March 2011

Find It Here

March 28 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

As Baptists, we know that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ gives meaning to this life and hope for eternity. Sharing this love and hope is what our three-year Find it Here emphasis is all about. As you know, our 2010 Find it Here focus was evangelism. This year the primary focus is discipleship, and next year we will emphasize missions mobilization.

As part of our discipleship emphasis in 2011 we are also asking churches to make the weeks leading up to the Easter season a time of intentional evangelistic outreach. If we are going to fulfill our Lord’s Great Commission, we must intentionally and strategically make disciples of those who follow Christ, but we cannot do that until people first receive Christ as Savior.

Many of our North Carolina Baptist churches experienced outstanding results when they incorporated the Easter season evangelism thrust we encouraged last year. Worship attendance increased with new people attending, individuals made professions of faith and baptisms increased. I hope you read some of the celebrative testimonies that pastors shared with us about how they saw
God do a great work when their church members prayed for specific spiritual needs of family members and friends and then invited them to worship on Easter Sunday.

We say we believe that a salvation relationship with Christ is the most important decision in a person’s life. We say we believe that those who never accept Christ as Savior will spend eternity in a place the Bible calls hell. We say we believe that Christ transforms people and makes them a much better person. We say we believe that an individual becomes a new person when they trust in Christ as Lord.

We say that people who know Christ can experience joy and make a difference in their environment through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. If we really believe all these things, why are we not doing more in our efforts to help people discover this life-changing relationship with Jesus? Would you like to be used by God in helping others discover this life-transforming relationship with Christ?

Here are some things you can do immediately:
  • You can pray for people you know who need to accept Christ as Savior.
  • You can invite them to church on Easter Sunday.
Hopefully, pastors will preach an evangelistic sermon on Easter Sunday, invite people to accept Christ and have a baptism service either on Easter Sunday or the Sunday following.

Easter is only a few weeks away — but there’s still time. Who do you know who needs to hear the gospel of Jesus? Please do not miss the wonderful opportunity to lead your children or grandchildren to Christ. Who is the Holy Spirit prompting you to befriend so you can begin helping him or her learn about spiritual realities?

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17 NKJV

(SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or call 919-847-2127.)
3/28/2011 7:51:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments



It’s time to draw near

March 14 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

A few weeks ago an article was published on the Convention web site and in the Biblical Recorder about the congregation of Lake Norman Baptist Church in Huntersville reading through the Bible together in one year.

I am always encouraged when I hear stories of how local churches are serious about growing in their knowledge of the Lord and in their relationship with Him.

As you know, our Find it Here emphasis this year is discipleship. I do not believe we can talk about discipleship apart from considering our personal time alone with God.

We can have excellent mentors and great Bible study leaders. We can enjoy praying with family and friends. We can listen to wonderful preaching every week — but we cannot use any of that as a substitute for our own personal time alone with God.

Spending time with God is a priority in my life and it should be a part of a daily routine for each of us. But please, never consider time with God as something that is just part of a routine. Your time with God is so much more than that.

When you take time to fellowship with God on a regular basis you grow in your understanding about His heart and His character. It is the time when God can speak to you, give you wisdom and teach you timeless truths.

Reading the scriptures is also a priority for me.

The Bible is inspired (God breathed) truth without any mixture of error.

It is rich with treasures that God wants to root firmly and deeply within our hearts. With an open Bible before you, pause and meditate on the words you read.

Reflect on the goodness, grace and power of God. Praise Him for all that He is and thank Him for all that He does. You will discover that it is both interesting and delightful when the Holy Spirit enlightens your understanding of a scripture passage in a special way when you are alone with Him. Are you aware that God can speak to us when we listen in the place of prayer? But always remember that His spoken word will never contradict His written word!

How generous of our Father to allow us to draw near to Him at any moment, day or night, through prayer. Prayer really is a privilege with benefits.

It should come as no surprise when we discover that the evil one will use every tool he can to keep us from spending time alone with our Father in heaven. He recognizes that great spiritual power is available when we consistently spend time with God through Bible study and prayer.

Don’t miss out on the abundance of blessings that are yours when you seek after God. Draw near to Him today.

“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

(SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or call 919-847-2127.)
3/14/2011 9:06:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments



How do you measure up?

March 1 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

In our world today we do not need someone to explain to us what it means to compete. Just one month ago millions tuned in to watch two teams compete in the most important professional football game of the year.

Every year college students try to have the best grades and the best application essays so they can compete to get into the school of their choice. More adults find themselves competing with others for employment.

In order to compete there must be a winner, and to have a winner there must be some way to keep score, whether that means goals scored, touchdowns made or number of As earned.

Sadly, many churches today see ministry as a competition and thus create a scorecard to keep track of who is winning.

In Transformational Church, the latest study from LifeWay research, Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer suggest that the scorecard for many churches is “bodies, budget and building.” In other words, who can get the most people to come to their church, who has the largest offering and who has the most buildings.

North Carolina Baptists, let’s keep in mind that when it comes to building God’s Kingdom and impacting eternity, we are not competing with each other. We do what we do because God has called us to serve Him and our goal is to honor and glorify Him. We must seek His praise, not the praise of men.

Having said that, let me also say that I do agree with Stetzer and Rainer about the need for churches to keep a scorecard — but it needs to be a different scorecard than one most commonly being used right now. 

This research suggests that the new scorecard for churches should be one focused on “people coming to Christ and living in the Christian community.” In other words, making disciples. We must continue to evangelize and pray for people to come to faith in Jesus, but our work does not stop there. The Great Commission mandates that we are to make disciples by teaching converts how to follow Jesus, how to abide in Him and how to serve Him.

This, North Carolina Baptists, is why we as a Convention and why your local churches exist: to help others come to know the hope of the gospel. Are you doing this individually? Is your church focused on making disciples? How do you measure up to this new scorecard?

Our 2011 Find it Here: Embracing Christ emphasis can you help you learn how to do this. Just visit www.findithere-nc.org.

We are also offering a series of regional conferences across the state focused on transformational Sunday School and you can learn more about that at www.ncbaptist.org.

Please make 2011 the start of a new scorecard that measures what truly matters: changed lives.

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:8

(SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or call 919-847-2127.)
3/1/2011 10:49:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments