March 2013

A call to prayer

March 25 2013 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In his booklet “Awaken,” Chris Schofield tells how a prayer movement began in New York City in 1857 when one person began praying that God would bring people together to pray. On the first day of prayer one man knelt alone to pray, even though he had encouraged people to join him through distributing hundreds of handbills entitled “How often shall we pray?” However, his pleas to God were eventually rewarded because he persisted. Six people joined with him for prayer the first week, 20 the second week and in six months, 50,000 people were praying in the city. What came to be called the Layman’s Prayer Revival of 1857-1858 was used of God to revive the church. Spiritual darkness was pushed back as history records that millions were converted and over the next few years God’s church advanced in world missions.
 
The National Day of Prayer, which is observed every year on the first Thursday in May, began in 1952 as a way to invite people to pray for our nation. I am intentionally writing this column a few weeks early in my hope that individuals will be reminded to make plans for a special observance of this call to prayer for our nation on Thur., May 2.
 
Although you could pray alone, I urge you to begin now preparing for the National Day of Prayer by organizing a prayer gathering with other citizens. Pray with other church groups, community residents, co-workers or students at school, and also remember to pray with your family.
 
As directed in Matthew 9:38, ask God to prompt millions of believers to participate in this call to prayer for our nation. We should pray for our president, vice president, government leaders and others who are in crucial positions of leadership and influence, such as our teachers, business leaders, military personnel and media professionals.
 
Wake up America! Return to God because we are destined for moral ruin and spiritual destruction apart from a supernatural intervention by God that can alter our present course. We must pray for a spiritual awakening unlike anything we have ever seen in our nation.
 
Pray that the body of Christ will recognize and respond to the desperate spiritual condition within our fellowships.
 
Do not fail to recognize that we must see a spiritual revival occur within the church before we can expect to see radical changes within our nation resulting in a great spiritual harvest of the lost. God is waiting and willing to do great and wonderful things when His people begin to pray according to His requirements as stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
 
More information about the National Day of Prayer, as well as prayer guides and other resources, is available at www.nationaldayofprayer.org.
 
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
3/25/2013 4:01:29 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Thankful for your partnership

March 11 2013 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

With each passing year that the Lord privileges me to serve Him, my appreciation, understanding and amazement of all that I observe God doing continues to increase. As I look toward next month and my seven-year anniversary of serving as your executive director-treasurer [of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina], I am filled with gratitude to God for the tremendous blessing of serving N.C. Baptists in this capacity.
 
In these last seven years I have been granted a front-row seat to see God at work. I have seen God use N.C. Baptists to start new churches so that more people will be reached with the gospel.  I have seen God work through national and international partnerships as we seek to push back lostness. I have been blessed to see churches grow spiritually and provide opportunities to involve more of their members in missions.
 
I encourage you to not grow weary in your efforts. I ask you to continue in your work for Christ’s church as we do not have time to waste or to dwell on things we have accomplished thus far through His Holy Spirit. With millions of lost people in our state, we must utilize an Acts 1:8 model in fulfilling the Great Commission. I am fully committed to helping this Convention of churches, by God’s grace, become the strongest force in the history of this Convention for reaching people with the gospel. 
 
In my address to our Board of Directors during their last meeting I shared an update on the work of our Strategic Development Committee that is working to develop the foundation for a five-year strategy. The strategy will focus on strengthening churches in order to push back lostness through the making of disciples.
 
I will present this strategy before the Executive Committee next month, during which time I will also bring a proposal to restructure [BSC] staff. Since I strongly believe that structure follows strategy, while our committee has been crafting the strategy, I have also been developing a staffing structure to support the strategy.
 
Please pray for me, and for our staff, as we take the necessary steps to position ourselves to better serve the churches and associations of this Convention. Our mission as your [BSC] staff is to assist the churches in accomplishing their divinely appointed mission. The staff often hear me say “as we serve the Lord, we work for the churches of this Convention.”
 
Although I have seen God bring forth much fruit in the last seven years within and through the work of this Convention, my prayer is that the days to come will be even more fruitful for His Kingdom. Please know of my prayers for you and your churches. Thank you for allowing me to serve with you.
 
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy....for your fellowship (partnership) in the gospel....” Philippians 1:3-4.
3/11/2013 3:54:35 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments