June 2013

July 4 is reason to celebrate and to pray

June 17 2013 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-tresurer

Our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., is home to many monuments and memorials that help us honor and remember those brave Americans throughout our history who fought for the freedoms we now enjoy in these United States.
If you have visited the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site in New York City, you know this is also an important place. This memorial includes the names of those who died during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. On this day, when our freedom was under attack in America, there were those who gave up their life in order to save the lives of others.
As we look to celebrate America’s Independence Day in about two weeks, I hope you are reminded to pray for the citizens of this great country that has been so blessed by God. I love this land and I believe we live in a great nation. I am proud of the American spirit and the way our citizens rush to care for people in need. However, I need to ask how burdened you are about the spiritual condition present in our land today? I fear we are destined for moral ruin and spiritual destruction apart from a supernatural intervention by God, an intervention that can alter our present course. How can we expect God to bless this nation if we continue on our present course where sin is rampant, the Bible is ignored and the existence of the only true God is denied by so many? 
The Bible admonishes us to pray for those in authority so we must pray for our governmental leadership. Pray that these leaders will make decisions pleasing to God. We should pray for our teachers, who are in key leadership roles as they equip and influence our country’s future leaders. Pray for the salvation of many who serve in our armed forces and pray that God would provide them with wisdom, courage and protection.
Systems of government can change and government leaders can change. Yet, Christ’s rule and reign will never change. The leadership and authority of our Savior is the only thing in this world that is constant and that will never fail.
Do you recognize that a spiritual revival must occur within the church of Jesus Christ before we can hope to see a great harvest of the lost? Pray that our pastors will be passionate in their preaching about real freedom in Christ. Pray that North Carolina Baptists will be bold in our witness for Christ, and that our lives will be radiant examples of what it means to know and love God.
As we celebrate the Fourth of July, let us be grateful to God for all the blessings He so freely gives, but let us also celebrate the ultimate freedom and deliverance we know in Christ. Let that freedom ring so that others may hear and many will come to know Him.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” Psalm 33:12
6/17/2013 5:14:18 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-tresurer | with 0 comments

Strategic partnerships help advance the Kingdom

June 3 2013 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

About a week ago, members of our staff returned from a Southeast Asia vision tour. They met with International Mission Board missionaries and spent time in villages with local believers. They also explored opportunities for North Carolina Baptists to engage this area of the world with the gospel, which is home to more than 340 unreached, unengaged people groups.
Our Office of Great Commission Partnerships, led by Michael Sowers, is doing a tremendous job helping N.C. Baptists reach lost people not only in Southeast Asia, but also in Moldova through a partnership with the Baptist Union of Moldova.
I was blessed to join members of our staff last year for a mission trip to Moldova and saw firsthand the great need for evangelism and discipleship. A group of pastors participated in a weeklong Moldova vision tour last fall with the Office of Great Commission Partnerships, and as a result, N.C. Baptists are now engaged in five of the nine regions in Moldova. Jimmy Huffman and Camp Caraway staff returned not long ago from a camping summit in Moldova, helping train leaders in how to use camps to reach people for Christ.
Through the Office of Great Commission Partnerships, N.C. Baptists are also committing to strategic, intentional partnerships in Boston, metro New York and Toronto. Three new partnerships have already formed this year in the Boston areas of Falls River, Lowell and Charles River.
Twenty-one churches are now focused on partnering in the Greater Toronto Area, home to nearly one out of every five residents of Canada. More than 140 languages and dialects are spoken in Toronto.
I am also excited to tell you that plans are already underway for this year’s Coats for Queens outreach in New York. Last year, with the leadership of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Gastonia, N.C. Baptists spread out in Queens and Brooklyn to give away free coats to anyone in need, and to pray and share the gospel with people. This year, the goal is to collect 50,000 coats and distribute Jesus videos in various languages.
I want to ask that you please begin praying for a group of students who will serve two weeks later this month in metro New York as part of their second year of training through the Next Generation Missional Journey. This three-year initiative, sponsored by Great Commission Partnerships, trains young mission leaders. 
These students will serve alongside the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association (MNYBA) and work among the Sri Lankan people on Staten Island, an area MNYBA is targeting for a new church plant.
I am grateful to God for Baptist people who are investing their lives in these partnership areas so that we can see God’s Kingdom advanced. 
As you rejoice about all of this mission involvement, realize that you are helping make it all possible when your church supports missions through the Cooperative Program. Has your church accepted the 1% CP Challenge?
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15 
6/3/2013 3:17:52 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments