July 2013

Making disciples within the family

July 29 2013 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Last month I came across a New York Times article in which the author described her experience caring for a grandparent with Alzheimer’s. The author shared that although providing care was difficult, her parents raised her to value family. I enjoyed reading the author’s childhood memories of visits with grandparents, family dinners and family vacations. Because of the positive influence of godly parents and/or grandparents, some of us are blessed to have wonderful memories about family life dating back to early childhood. We still cherish the Christian values and lessons for life that were instilled within us as we spent time with those influential individuals.
As students of the Bible, we recognize that God designed the institution of marriage and family. In Ephesians 5 we read that marriage between one man and one woman should serve as a beautiful picture of God’s love for His bride, the church. If a married couple is blessed to have children, they should recognize that their home life is to provide an environment where children learn to live in community and care for and serve one another. Most importantly, we learn from reading Deuteronomy 6 that the home is a place where children are to be taught about God. It is where children should observe genuine models of faith, trust and mutual respect for others.
One of the greatest blessings parents will enjoy, and one of the greatest achievements they can attain, is to lead their children to accept Christ as Savior and grow in faith.
Too often, because of busy schedules and sometimes feelings of inadequacy or fear of failure, parents rely upon the local church to do what parents are commanded by God to do. Christian dads and moms are to lead the way in helping their children become Christ followers. Becoming a follower of Jesus is a priority decision because it impacts their entire life and also determines their future - including eternity.
Perhaps you are thinking, “What is the role of the church in relation to discipling our children?” Leaders within the local church are to come alongside parents to equip and empower them to be the disciple-makers of their children and youth. However, the primary responsibility for doing this lies within the home. Grandparents must assume this responsibility if their own children are not fulfilling this role as Christian parents. If not you, then who do you think is going to do this? It is too great a price to ignore this great and wonderful responsibility and just hope that someone else will give attention to the spiritual needs of your children or grandchildren.
Statistics indicate that more than 70 percent of youth never return to church after they leave home for college. According to Proverbs 22:6, this could be changed if they were discipled in the faith while at home and prepared to live boldly through Christ within an ever increasing secular culture that does not believe in or care about a biblical worldview.
“…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
7/29/2013 2:29:08 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Reflections from 2013 SBC meeting

July 1 2013 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

I recently had the blessing of attending the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting in Houston, Texas. I always look forward to this time each year when Southern Baptists are encouraged through wonderful ministry reports, testimonies of God at work and powerful sermons from God’s Word.
This year 5,103 messengers gathered in Houston for the annual meeting. North Carolina Baptists, I thought of you often during this meeting. During an International Mission Board hosted breakfast, North Carolina Baptists were recognized for leading the SBC in support of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. The churches of this state convention led all state conventions in gifts to this offering in 2012.
You were also recognized during an event hosted by the North American Mission Board, as the churches of this state convention are also leading all state conventions in gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. I affirm your faithful, sacrificial giving. I know many of your churches still struggle financially because of our nation’s continued economic challenges. Yet, you have stayed the course and remained committed to missions support because of your passion to see the gospel advanced throughout this nation and world. 
In addition to these special offerings, the Cooperative Program is the heart and soul of financial support that fuels the many missions and ministries of the SBC. As president of the Fellowship of State Executive Directors, I have the privilege of serving on the Cooperative Program Advisory Council. This council, which was established by SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank Page and the Fellowship of State Executive Directors, met in Houston to explore new strategies for Cooperative Program promotion.
I am thankful for the leadership of Frank Page and his desire to see increased support for the Cooperative Program across the SBC. The Executive Committee’s report during the SBC featured testimonies of individuals whose ministries are supported through the Cooperative Program. I appreciate Frank Page inviting Keith and Page Wieser, collegiate church planters in the Midwest, to share with Convention messengers. This couple has started a collegiate church plant on two different college campuses. As we look to move forward in North Carolina with new localized, contextualized models of collegiate ministry, collegiate church planting is certainly a model we will value and seek to use as appropriate.
I am also thankful for Dr. Fred Luter’s continued leadership. What a joy to see messengers stand in celebration and support of Rev. Luter when he was re-elected to a second term as our SBC president. He is a godly man who models a life of humble obedience to the Great Commission. Rev. Luter will bring the Convention sermon during our state convention’s annual meeting Nov. 11-12 in Greensboro. More information about our annual meeting is available at www.ncannualmeeting.org.
I am excited about the wonderful things our God is doing through churches of the SBC. I pray that our meeting theme of “Revive Us” will truly become reality as churches across our nation join together in unity to impact lostness for the glory of Jesus Christ.
7/1/2013 12:45:38 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments