February 2012

Whatever it takes

February 27 2012 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

This coming week begins the Week of Prayer for North American Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. This special annual offering helps support about 5,000 missionaries who are faithfully sharing the gospel with people who need to know that salvation is found in Jesus Christ.
Your gifts to this offering help support missionaries serving in areas of North America that are in desperate need of the gospel. For example, you help support missionaries serving throughout Canada. Last year, about 43 percent of Canadians did not attend any religious worship service. In the Greater Toronto Area there is only one church for about every 275,000 people and only 40 Southern Baptist churches. Through our state convention’s Office of Great Commission Partnerships we are working with the North American Mission Board and the Canadian National Baptist Convention to help start churches in Canada.
If you visit anniearmstrong.com you can read more about missionary work in Canada and other areas of North America. At this website you will find specific prayer requests from missionaries and information about their ministry. I encourage you to spend time this week in prayer, asking the Lord to work in a mighty way through His servants for His glory and His purposes.
This year’s Annie Armstrong goal is $70 million and the theme is “Whatever it Takes.”
As followers of Jesus Christ we must live with a “whatever it takes” perspective in order to reach the 259 million lost people in North America. We must be willing to do whatever God asks of us so that people have an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.
Missionaries supported by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering have responded in obedience to God’s call to do whatever it takes, and this means serving in a variety of ways. They plant new churches, work on college campuses, help meet physical needs in rural and inner-city areas, train pastors and laity, and minister among people from different countries and religious backgrounds.
I am grateful for the way North Carolina Baptists support this offering. Last year, despite a very difficult economic season, our churches significantly increased their support of this special offering. In fact, North Carolina churches led all state conventions in giving to this offering, as well as to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.
Amazingly, by God’s grace and provision, we can give even more than we gave in 2011 if we will only obey Him. We can sacrificially give out of hearts that desire, above all else, to see disciples made for Jesus Christ. 
I challenge you to ask God how much He wants you to give in support of North American missions this Easter through this special missions offering. Your giving can help make an impact that will last for eternity.
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
2/27/2012 2:11:51 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Is your church in 3-D?

February 13 2012 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

During my address to our Board of Directors last month I shared with them that I believe we as a state convention have a single, highly focused, laser-driven agenda, and that agenda is to help the churches of this Convention carry out the marching orders that Jesus gave us in the Great Commission.
I truly believe our marching orders come from the Great Commission. We must go and tell people in our communities, state, nation and throughout the world about Jesus Christ.
As we seek to be obedient and to fulfill the Great Commission we must be intentional in three areas: evangelism, discipleship and missions. We will never see the Kingdom impact our Lord’s desires if we do not commit ourselves to all three of these efforts.
This is what our three-year Find it Here emphasis is all about. In my last column I encouraged you to get involved in this year’s Find it Here focus on missions mobilization, and I do pray you are seeking God’s direction for how your church will participate.
Last year’s Find it Here emphasis was discipleship, and we want to continue providing you opportunities to build on what you did last year and to grow even more in discipleship.
This year we are inviting North Carolina Baptists to attend one of the “Looking at your church in 3-D” events (ncbaptist.org/3D). This event will help lead you and your church through a process to discover, develop and deliver.
First, you will discover where your church is and where God is leading your church. Then, you will develop a strategy for how to get where God is leading. Finally, our staff will help equip you with resources so you can deliver, or follow through on the strategy you develop.
Our staff is dedicated to walking with your church through every step of the “3-D” process. Their desire is to partner with you, to meet you where you are, and to help your church move forward as you seek to become all God intends.
Our staff is also dedicated to helping strengthen your church so that your church can experience the tremendous blessing of seeing God change lives as believers create a disciple-making culture.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ means embracing Jesus’ commands to follow Him and to abide in Him. Disciples are always becoming more Christ-like as they allow the power of God and His Holy Spirit to transform their heart and mind.
North Carolina Baptists, it is not enough to share the gospel and then walk away.
We must teach people the truths of God and walk alongside them as they mature in their relationship with God. We must make disciples who will in turn go throughout their community and the world making other disciples for God’s glory.
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:8
2/13/2012 4:37:25 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments