January 2014

Building relationships

January 28 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In some of my recent columns I have been addressing particular aspects of the new five-year strategy for our convention entitled “Impacting Lostness through Disciple-Making.” In the explanation of the strategy we talk about the importance of building relationships. It is possible to have different motives for cultivating relationships with people. I invite you to reflect on relationships you have known with different individuals. Can you remember someone who pursued a relationship with you because they wanted to help you spiritually? It may have been a relative, a neighbor or a friend at church.
One worthy motive for building relationships with new people relates to their spiritual life. Are you willing to obey God when His Spirit impresses you to help another believer grow and mature in their walk with Christ? You do this by intentionally investing time with that brother/sister in Christ and pouring into him/her the spiritual truths God has taught you through some of His servants that took time to teach you. Even if you are tempted to think you have little to offer, God knows what that individual needs and He knows that as you depend on Him and do what He asks, you will receive everything you need to help that person grow spiritually and become better equipped for a mission of God. You call this process disciple-making.
There is also great value in building relationships with people who do not know Christ as Savior with the intentional purpose of helping them become a Christ follower.
We are commanded in our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples and the initial step in this process is helping people establish a spiritual relationship with God through saving faith in Christ. It has been said that 63 percent of people in contemporary culture have indicated that they do not believe the church is relevant. However, 25 percent of those surveyed have indicated they would attend a church if they were invited by a friend.
The foundation of the Christian faith is about relationships. Jesus said “I am come to seek and to save that which is lost.” He came to earth in order to make provision through the cross for our sin to be forgiven. God wants sinful people to accept His forgiveness and establish a faith relationship with Him. This is an invitation for anyone to become a part of His eternal family.
When we love others as Jesus loves them, we will demonstrate that we care about them. Are you willing to make this kind of personal investment? There are 5.8 million people living in North Carolina who do not know Christ as Savior. Who is God asking you to build a relationship with in order that you can introduce them to Christ and help them become a spiritually mature Christ follower?
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
1/28/2014 1:07:32 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

State evangelism conference focused on disciple-making

January 13 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Although this month marks the official implementation for the new five-year strategy, “Impacting lostness through disciple-making,” Baptist State Convention of North Carolina staff have been preparing for many months to engage in the purpose and goals of this strategy following approval by the Board of Directors in May 2013. In addition, I shared a major presentation about the strategy during our annual meeting last November.

Disciple-making is at the heart of the new strategy. We want to push back spiritual darkness, or impact lostness. This begins by making disciples who will make more disciples. We need you, North Carolina Baptists, to be involved in making disciples right where you are in the context and community in which God has placed you.
Our convention staff wants to serve alongside you and help equip you to impact lostness. One way we are seeking to do this is through the state evangelism conference Feb. 24 at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh.

The conference this year is devoted entirely to inspiring and encouraging leaders to impact their communities, and beyond, with the gospel. We have an excellent line up of speakers and breakout leaders who will challenge you and help you as you seek to make disciples.
The morning session features Bruce Ashford, associate professor of theology and culture and provost of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as Steve Corts, lead pastor of Center Grove Baptist Church in the Clemmons/Winston-Salem area. Dr. Corts also serves as director of the Tarheel Leadership Network which his father, Mark Corts, led for several years. The evening session of the state evangelism conference features James Emery White, founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte.
Special testimonies will be shared by Tom Wagoner, lead pastor of Central Baptist Church in Dunn, and his son, Stephen, who is a church planting strategist for a church multiplication network and a lead pastor with Church in the Triad in Greensboro. Derwin Gray, founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church, will also share a special testimony. Transformation Church is unique in that it is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational church with two campuses in South Carolina.
You will not want to miss the breakout sessions in the afternoon.
These sessions will provide great information and training to help you learn how you and your family can be much more effective in impacting lostness through disciple-making. Convention staff will be leading these different sessions where you can explore topics such as mentoring, developing a family discipleship plan, reaching and discipling teenagers and building Kingdom relationships among the growing population of Hispanics in our state.
We request that you pre-register, but attending the conference is free. The lunch cost is $7 at the door but only $5 if you register before Feb. 1. You can register for the conference and the lunch at www.ncbaptist.org/sec.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:8
1/13/2014 3:42:58 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments