January 2011

Associations essential to Kingdom work

January 17 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr. , BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

Each year as part of promotion for the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) the Baptist State Convention produces a series of articles about how this offering is used to make life-changing ministries possible. One article in particular I hope you had a chance to read last year was titled “Associations: Changing lives with NCMO funds.”

This article highlights how our North Carolina Baptist associations used NCMO funds to help advance the gospel. Last year associations started new churches, sent mission teams around the world, and found creative ways to serve the community.

Our 79 Baptist associations are so important to the work of the Great Commission and to helping North Carolina Baptist churches be as effective as they can in reaching their community, and the world, with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Associations allow churches to join forces and serve together for a greater impact. We can achieve more by working together. Last November during my address to you at our annual meeting I made the statement that when churches come to the point of thinking they do not need to pray for each other and cooperate with other churches, they have forgotten the very foundation on which our Convention was established. Our Convention was formed because North Carolina Baptists believed they could do more for God’s Kingdom by working together than by trying to do everything as an individual church.

So it is with associations. Just as nearly 4,200 churches come together to form our Convention, smaller groups of churches come together across the state to form local associations committed to making an eternal impact.

I am very thankful for our directors of missions/associational missionaries (DOMs/AMs) who serve these associations so faithfully as they help their congregations and communities. These association leaders along with their staff are invaluable resources and support for North Carolina Baptists.

The Baptist State Convention’s Associational Partnerships Office (APO) helps associations through a process in which they are able to partner with the Convention in various outreach and missions efforts. The APO works with our associations in many other ways, from providing leader training to helping associations fill ministry positions as requested.

The APO also works with the North Carolina Associational Missions Conference to co-host a conference each year.

As I personally meet with DOMs/AMs and other associational staff I must say I am greatly encouraged to hear these leaders share about their passion for growing in Christ and helping others do the same.

If you do not know your DOM/AM, I encourage you to get to know him. If you do not know Lester Evans in our Associational Partnerships Office, get to know him. If your church is not involved with your association, you are missing out on a great blessing.

“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

(SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or call 919-847-2127.)
1/17/2011 6:34:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr. , BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments



New Year, New Covenant

January 3 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

I’m sure many of you have made resolutions you want to try and keep this year.

With the start of a new year comes the opportunity for a fresh start — a chance to do things differently. As you are considering the kind of changes you want to make in your life, I’d like to encourage you to make 2011 a year of living with a fresh perspective. 

My prayer for us this New Year is that as we look to shed old habits and adopt new ones, we would be mindful of what Scripture teaches about the old and new covenants and what both mean for our lives today as believers in Jesus Christ.

My hope is that we will remember the old covenant but live in light of the new covenant promises. The old covenant required God’s people to offer a sacrifice as atonement for their sins. They did this through animal sacrifices.

Every day the priests ministered and offered sacrifices. Leviticus 16 describes how Aaron, before he could enter the most holy place on the Day of Atonement, was to purify the most holy place, the tent of meeting and the altar by sprinkling the blood of animal sacrifices. The old covenant required sacrifice, and it required a blood sacrifice.

The new covenant requires the same thing, for Hebrews 9:22 tells us that “without shedding of blood is no remission” for sin. Yet, the new covenant does not require God’s people to bring Him sacrifices for sin because Jesus Christ died once and for all as the sacrifice for sin.

Unlike the priests who only entered the “holy places made with hands,” Jesus entered into heaven in God’s presence. He did so because He sacrificed Himself. The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin — only the blood of Christ can do that.

How marvelous it is to know that for those trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior we belong to a new covenant and are no longer slaves to sin. I love how Romans says that for those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation.

In this New Year I encourage you to live in light of the new covenant. Jesus is better than any other sacrifice. He is better than any other high priest. Knowing Him is better than anything this world has to offer you.

You can’t do anything to earn His love or earn salvation. He paid the ultimate price for your salvation. You must have faith and believe in Him. Resolutions are good — but remember that good works can’t save you. If that were the case, Jesus didn’t need to come and die. Resolve this year to live for the One who is better than anything else in the world.

“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15 

(SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or call 919-847-2127.)
1/3/2011 2:11:00 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments