January 2018

Make disciples in your home, church and world

January 23 2018 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

About one month from now, N.C. Baptists will come together for our annual Disciple-Making Conference. I hope that you are making plans to join us for this year’s event which is scheduled for Tues., Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Center Grove Baptist Church in Clemmons. Historically, this event has been held on a Monday, so please make note that this year’s event is being held on a Tuesday.
Our mission at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is to assist local churches as they seek to fulfill their divinely appointed mission. One of the ways we seek to fulfill our mission is by providing a variety of opportunities for training and equipping like the Disciple-Making Conference.  
Based on feedback we’ve heard from North Carolina Baptists, our leadership team has revamped the structure of this year’s event so that it focuses on providing biblical and practical training in a variety of ministry areas.
This year, attendees will be able to choose from among 40 different equipping sessions being held throughout the day. These sessions will be led by a mix of convention staff, pastors and other church and ministry leaders who will focus on equipping you to make disciples in our homes, our churches and our world.
In addition, Matt Carter, pastor of The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, will be our keynote speaker for the day, and he will be focusing his messages on disciple-making in our different spheres of influence. Matt is one of the most influential younger pastors and leaders in all of the Southern Baptist Convention, and I am looking forward to hearing what he has to share with us.
The goal of the Disciple-Making Conference is to equip you to become a more effective personal disciple-maker as well to help you create or continue to cultivate a disciple-making culture in your church.
Before His ascension, the Lord Jesus Christ commanded us in the Great Commission to “go and make disciples.”
Let’s be reminded that disciple-making involves both evangelism and discipleship.
Disciple-making must begin with evangelism, but it must not end there. Evangelism is the first step in disciple-making, but it is not the only step. As we share Christ with others and see individuals come to know Him, we must continue to walk alongside of them and help them grow in their walk with the Lord so they, in turn, can become disciple-makers as well.
I hope to see you at this year’s Disciple-Making Conference on Feb. 27. For more information about the conference and to register, please visit disciplenc.org.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – Matthew 28:19.

1/23/2018 8:42:28 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

How will you be a voice for life?

January 9 2018 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Near the conclusion of the creation account found in Genesis 1, God’s Word makes a profound statement that highlights the significance and value of all human life. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
While there are many rich truths that could be gleaned from this single verse of Scripture, the fact that we are created by God in His image is what gives all men and women a deep sense of worth and value.
Mankind is the crowning jewel or the zenith of God’s creation, and the Bible underscores this truth throughout the pages of scripture.
Every January, many followers of Christ and others set aside a day to remember and reflect upon the value of human life as part of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, which is on Jan. 21 this year.
On that day, many churches will celebrate the fact that life is a gift from God, and they will also grieve the numerous lives that have been lost prematurely due to abortion, abandonment, abuse or some other means.
I’m thankful that as Southern Baptists, our Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has done much work and made great progress in advocating for the sanctity of human life in Washington, D.C., and beyond.
This year, the ERLC will host its third Evangelicals for Life event Jan. 18-20 in Washington, D.C. (Visit evangelicals.life.)
As believers, we are called to be a voice for the powerless and to serve and support those in need by sharing the grace, love and compassion of Christ with others. There are a number of ways that individuals and local churches can be a voice for life. Consider how God may be calling you to be involved.
We can pray for those whose lives are the most vulnerable, particularly the unborn, the disabled and the elderly. We can stand ready to come alongside and minister to those who find themselves in the midst of a crisis pregnancy or the loneliness that often comes in the late stages of one’s life.
Maybe God is calling you to adopt a child or serve as a foster family. Perhaps God is asking you to play a part in the restoration and healing process with someone who experienced the emotional and physical pain of an abortion months or even years ago, but they still long for forgiveness and spiritual healing. Will you help that individual to know that God loves them and offers a new start in life?
In whatever way God leads you to be an outspoken voice for life, remember the truth that we are all made in the image of God. An individual’s worth and dignity isn’t based upon their culture, their class or the color of their skin.
Every single person has value to God because they are made in His image, and each individual is precious to Him. Remember, whoever is precious and valuable to God should be precious and valuable to us.

1/9/2018 9:30:54 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments