February 2013

Are we ready to do ‘whatever it takes’?

February 25 2013 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In Acts 8:26-31 we read about a divine encounter that leads to a spiritual rebirth in Jesus Christ. In this text we read that God sent Philip to meet an Ethiopian eunuch. When Philip met the eunuch he was reading from the prophet Isaiah. He wanted to know more about God, but he needed someone to help him understand the truths of scripture.
These verses are the theme scripture passage for the 2013 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. This year’s offering theme is “Whatever it takes…Reaching the one.” The offering goal is $70 million.
It was in May 1934 when a man in North Carolina prayed that God would raise up someone to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. God answered that prayer of Vernon Patterson during a crusade conducted on borrowed farmland in Charlotte.
A traveling evangelist named Mordecai Hamm shared the gospel and a young man who later became known as Evangelist Billy Graham accepted Christ as Savior. Who could have imagined the impact when someone prayed to reach one person for the Kingdom?
The North American Mission Board (NAMB) reports that about 260 million people in the United States and Canada do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
We need Christians to stand up for Christ and be ready to go. We must be willing to do whatever it takes to reach people – even if just one – for the sake of the gospel.
Your giving to this offering helps support North American missionaries who are starting new churches, engaging students on college campuses, serving as church planting catalysts, and helping meet physical and spiritual needs through ministry evangelism.
Sunday, March 3, begins the Week of Prayer for North American Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. I encourage you to visit anniearmstrong.com for resources that will help you and your church promote this offering.
Also available on the website is a prayer guide to help you pray specifically for our NAMB missionaries.
You can pray for missionaries serving from Chicago and Philadelphia to San Francisco and Vancouver, British Columbia. Our missionaries are serving in unchurched neighborhoods among homeless women and children, ethnic communities, and in many urban areas of great influence.
During our annual meeting last year, North Carolina Baptists were blessed to participate in a North American Mission Board commissioning service. I was encouraged by the testimonies of those committed to serve our Savior in some of the most unchurched areas of North America. They expressed their desire to do whatever it takes to reach even just one person for Christ. Are you willing?
As we approach the Easter season, please pray for God to work through these missionaries for His glory. Please also ask God what He wants you to give in support of the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.
“I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22

Visit the Biblical Recorder’s special Annie Armstrong page for the 2013 Week of Prayer.
2/25/2013 1:58:54 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Preparations, prayers begin for My Hope with Billy Graham

February 11 2013 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Later this year, in November, Billy Graham will celebrate his 95th birthday.
The Lord has used Rev. Graham to proclaim the message of our Savior’s cross throughout much of the world. I have always been encouraged by his humility and his unwavering commitment to share the gospel. 
One unique way God has chosen to use Rev. Graham is through the My Hope with Billy Graham evangelistic emphasis.
My Hope has been used in 57 countries, and as a result of God working through this effort, nearly 10 million people have come to faith in Jesus Christ; an average of 2.2 decisions per participating household.
My Hope encourages believers to invite their lost friends, family and neighbors to their home for dinner or refreshments and to watch a television broadcast or video of powerful music, testimonies and an evangelistic message from Rev. Graham.
After watching the program, the hosts share their testimony and invite guests to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
About 305,000 churches have participated in My Hope since 2002, and footage of Rev. Graham sharing the gospel has been shown in more than 4.2 million homes.
My Hope coordinates training for those who participate as hosts, and encourages the host family to begin discipling new believers and involving them in the local church.
Event organizers are encouraging churches, families and individuals to begin now in preparation for the November My Hope outreach to be held across the United States and Canada.
People can begin preparing by attending training events that will help equip them to share their faith, and by praying for the lost people they will invite to their homes.
This year North Carolina Baptists have a tremendous opportunity to impact this state with the gospel by participating in My Hope. We can share God’s love with those around us by taking time to build relationships and to invite people to join us for this special event.
Your convention staff is already praying about how God would use this opportunity for His glory in our state. We can help connect you with My Hope training events, evangelism resources and promotional materials. I ask that you pray about how God would have you be involved with My Hope.
I long to see a mighty movement of the Holy Spirit sweep across this state and radically transform our lives.
I pray that North Carolina Baptist churches will boldly step out in faith, commit to participating in My Hope, and earnestly pray that many people will be saved.
Each of us knows someone – a co-worker, family member or friend – who needs to hear about the hope that is within us.
Our only lasting hope is found in Jesus Christ; won’t you be obedient to our Lord’s command to share this hope?
You can read more about My Hope at www.myhopewithbillygraham.org.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15 
2/11/2013 4:39:29 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments