March 2019

Easter offers opportunity to share hope of Christ

March 19 2019 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

As we approach Easter and turn our thoughts and attention to the celebration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, let us also remember that we have an incredible opportunity during this time of the year to share the love of Jesus with those who have not yet come to know Him.
 
Easter provides a natural opportunity to initiate and engage in gospel conversations with individuals that have little understanding about the genuine spiritual meaning of Easter. Unchurched individuals and families seem to be more receptive and open to attending a church service at Easter. However, we must take time to invite them and encourage them to come.
 
J.D. Greear, Southern Baptist Convention president and pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, has challenged each of us to select one person this year that we will pray for, cultivate a relationship with and seek to lead that person to accept Christ as Savior. As we think about the “Who’s Your One?” initiative, what if part of our investment included inviting that person to join us for worship during the Easter season?
 
If “your one” feels uncomfortable attending worship on Easter Sunday morning, invite them to an Easter drama production that depicts the final days of Christ’s earthly life, His crucifixion and resurrection.
 
Even an Easter egg hunt hosted by your church could be great event to introduce families to your church. Intentional conversations that follow these special events provide opportunities to share the hope we have in Christ. Studies show that many individuals will be open and receptive to attend a church service or an outreach event if you will invite them to come with you.
 
It is exciting to think how declining baptism numbers in North Carolina and all across the Southern Baptist Convention could be changed if members of our churches will consistently and fervently pray that God would send forth laborers into His harvest (Matthew 9:38).
 
What a positive difference it will make if each of us will regularly ask our Christian friends who the one person is they are praying for and attempting to reach for Christ this year.
 
How about you? Are you willing to make a commitment to God that you will cultivate a relationship with the person that God is impressing upon your mind and heart?
 
Will you share with that individual how he or she can receive God’s gift of eternal life? Will you invite them to repent of sin, place their trust in Christ and accept Him as their Savior?
 
Will you help them grow spiritually in this new relationship with Jesus by teaching them truths from God’s Word?
 
Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live’” – John 11:25 (NKJV).

3/19/2019 11:38:28 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Annie Armstrong Easter Offering helps ‘send hope’

March 5 2019 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

I’m thankful for the long and rich history that Southern Baptists have enjoyed in working together to fulfill the Great Commission through local, national and global missions and ministry efforts.
 
One of those partnerships that we enjoy is with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), which exists to help every church take its next step in missions and to encourage every believer to live on mission.
 
NAMB supports a variety of missions efforts to share the love of Christ with the lost and hurting through church planting, compassion ministry, disaster relief and chaplaincy ministry.
 
In addition to supporting these efforts through the Cooperative Program, another way we support the work of NAMB is through the annual Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American missions. This offering began in 1895 and was named in honor of Annie Armstrong in 1934 because of her leadership and action as a tireless advocate for missions.
 
I invite you to join me in prayer for this special offering during the Easter season. Churches are encouraged to observe a week of prayer leading up to the offering during a time that best fits their congregation and church calendar.
 
This year’s offering theme is “Sending Hope,” based on 1 Peter 1:3: “… He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (CSB).
 
You can learn more about the offering and find additional resources, a prayer guide and more online by visiting anniearmstrong.com. The national offering goal for 2019 is $70 million.
 
Your gifts support more than 5,000 missionaries who are planting churches and taking the gospel throughout North America through other ministries.
 
I rejoice that North Carolina Baptists have been a leading supporter of the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for many years. Please pray how the Lord would lead you and your church to support the offering again this year.
 
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina enjoys a strategic partnership with NAMB to assist in church planting and missions efforts in several strategic North American cities. More than 270 churches that are part of our state convention are currently engaged in partnerships throughout North America.
 
To learn more about how your church can become involved in one of these partnerships, please contact our Office of Great Commission Partnerships or visit ncbaptist.org/gcp.
 
Thank you again, North Carolina Baptists, for your faithful prayers and financial generosity in support of AAEO and other cooperative missions efforts.
 
Every day, lives are being impacted and transformed in the name of Jesus because of your prayers and support.

3/5/2019 12:10:59 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments