June 2014

Help your child stay in church

June 17 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

The Word of God admonishes parents in Proverbs 22:6 and Deuteronomy 11:22 to prepare their children for life by training them to obey God’s commands and to walk in His ways. Parents should begin this process of discipleship when children are young and impressionable and continue this spiritual training until their children are grown and move away from home.
According to an article written by Mark Kelly of LifeWay Christian Resources, “Teens who at age 17 have parents as authentic examples of Christian faith – proactive and consistent in living out their faith – are more likely to keep attending (church) as young adults.” The article also states that 20 percent more of those who continued attending church indicated they had parents or family members who invested in them by discussing spiritual things, giving spiritual guidance and praying with them.
Family vacations can provide opportunities to invest spiritually in your children with some meaningful evangelism and discipleship conversations. I encourage you take a family vacation this summer and enjoy hanging out with your children and grandchildren in a more relaxed setting. Do fun things together! This is a great way to strengthen family relationships and create memories to be enjoyed in future years.
You may have a child or grandchild leaving home this fall to attend their first semester in college. What are the most important topics you need to discuss with them as you prepare to send them into an environment that is completely different from what they have known in their home and church community? Have you prepared them to expect a different life environment? What are some foundational Christian truths this individual needs to be grounded in before they leave your home? The next few weeks will provide some final opportunities for you to have some important conversations with this young college student. Be a responsible parent or grandparent and make the best of this opportunity.
Encourage your freshman to connect with the local Baptist Campus Ministry representative at their new school. It is very important that you help your student locate a good church near their college campus and become actively involved. Research indicates that approximately 85 percent of students who leave home to attend college never return to church – I think this occurs in many cases because students often lose contact with a local church during this time in their lives. Even great para-church ministries on campus are not an acceptable substitute for a church life with a local body of believers. Consider doing some research on the Internet about churches in the area or contact the Baptist State Convention to help your student find some churches to visit. It is important that they get involved in a local church during their college years and that you do everything you can to help your child remain in church!

6/17/2014 10:10:35 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Paying tribute to fathers

June 3 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

How would you respond if you were asked to name the most responsible job in America? As I think about significant positions in life, I think about all the responsibility that is required for a father and a mother to be good parents. God entrusts parents to love, nurture, develop and prepare their children for embracing their future.
On June 15, people across our nation will pay tribute to fathers in America. We will utilize this special day to express love and appreciation for the fathers who have loved us and provided for our needs throughout our lives.
I believe that most men who are fathers want to be a positive influence with their children, even if they have failed as a father. It is possible to come back and be this influence for your family – the Bible reveals that even some godly men in history failed as fathers. Fatherhood is not easy, but God can empower men and equip them to be good fathers and godly leaders in their homes. It is possible to overcome past failures and become the spiritual leader your family needs. Our heavenly Father is a God of grace and forgiveness – He is willing to grant you the gift of another chance and transform your life.
On May 8, Gloria and I were blessed to attend the funeral service of Dr. Gene Watterson, a friend we have known and loved for many years. It was a beautiful, Christ-exalting worship service that paid tribute to a life well lived for the glory of God. Gene served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Shelby for 26 years and pastored churches in Virginia and Florida. In past years, he was influential in the work of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, serving as president of the Council of Christian Higher Education, first vice president of the Convention and later president of the Convention. Watterson was a great preacher, a wonderful pastor and a man who was passionate about sharing Christ with almost anyone who would listen.
I was impressed and challenged during the funeral service by the comments that were shared by many who loved and deeply respected Gene. I was most impressed as I listened to his adult son, daughter and grandchildren share beautiful stories that illustrated Gene’s influence on each family member. What a tribute they paid to a great father, and what a positive, powerful influence Gene had on his family. I have no doubt that the influence of this godly father will pass from one generation to another, and that God’s kingdom will advance because an imperfect father loved a perfect Savior and made himself available to be used of God for the benefit of others.
… know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts …” 1 Chronicles 28:9
6/3/2014 10:02:30 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments