May 2018

Pray for God to move at summer Youth Weeks

May 31 2018 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In the coming days, middle and high school students from all across North Carolina will begin descending on the N.C. Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell for our annual summer Youth Week camps.

These camps are more than just beach getaway in the beautiful surroundings of Fort Caswell.
 
Over the course of the seven weeks of camp this summer, nearly 7,000 teenagers will be challenged from God’s Word through powerful proclamation of God’s Word, times of worship, small group Bible studies, personal devotions, intentional discipleship and a hands-on missions experience.
 
Each year, I look forward to hearing the reports of how God moves during summer youth weeks.
 
Each year, thousands of youth make life-changing decisions for Christ during their week at camp. In 2017 alone, 321 students trusted Christ as Savior, more than 1,200 more rededicated their lives to Him and more than 100 more surrendered to a call to vocational ministry. To God be the glory!
 
Youth Weeks begin June 11, and I invite you to join me in prayer throughout the summer for God to once again move in a mighty way in the lives of those students who will be attending this year.
 
This year’s theme is “Re-imagine” and will focus on the parables of Jesus.
 
Jesus often used parables to get His listeners to re-imagine His kingdom and view it from His perspective rather their own. This year’s youth weeks will certainly challenge attendees to live their lives with a Kingdom mindset and focus.
 
Youth weeks’ staff and attendees will also celebrate a milestone this summer with the packaging of the 2 millionth meal that will be sent to Jacmel, Haiti, as part of a longstanding missions partnership over the past seven summers.
 
So as summer approaches, please pray for the youth weeks’ staff, leaders, preachers and chaperones who will be working with the youth who are attending. Also, pray for the thousands of students who will be attending youth weeks at Fort Caswell this summer. Ask the Lord to move again this year and that these students would hear His voice and respond to His call on their lives.
 
“I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” – Psalm 119:16 (NKJV).
 

5/31/2018 10:16:53 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Let’s strive to ‘keep the unity of the Spirit’

May 14 2018 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Recently, I heard Chuck Register from our Baptist State Convention staff preach a message from Ephesians 4:1-3 in which he spoke of the biblical plea for spiritual unity within the body of Christ.
 
Building on some of his admonition, I would like to encourage and challenge North Carolina Baptists to be a Christ-like influence and model the spirit of unity within our Baptist associations, churches and even our Southern Baptist Convention.
 
Recent events have revealed that many conservative Southern Baptists are divided over doctrinal interpretations, issues within the local church, a generational gap, racial and diversity issues, and more.
 
Yet, in spite of our divisions often because of differences in opinions and personal preferences, the apostle Paul strongly appeals to us in Ephesians 4:3 to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” The effort which God’s Word calls us to invest in order to keep the unity is effort that requires work and even exertion on our part. Yet the interesting thing is that the unity Paul speaks of is one that we can’t muster up on our own. According to Galatians 5:16, the unity of the Spirit can be observed in us if we are walking in the Spirit.
 
While this spirit of unity is a supernatural work, it is also one that we must strive to obtain by yielding our will to God’s Spirit. Ephesians 4:3 brings to mind Paul’s letter to the Romans in which he wrote, “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).
 
So how can we possess and live out this unity? The context of Ephesians 4 provides us with the answer in verse two. It involves humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance and love. I believe each of these attributes builds upon the other. It’s hard to be gentle, patient, tolerant and loving if we are not manifesting the kind of humility Christ exemplified as stated in Philippians 2:5-8.
 
What does humility involve? It involves having a humble opinion of one’s self by crushing our own pride. It also involves having an appropriate degree of Christ-awareness and an appropriate degree of self-awareness. Keeping those two perspectives in balance will go a long way in helping us maintain a humble attitude and move us closer toward unity.
 
We would do well to remember what is of supreme importance to followers of Christ. Our attitudes and spoken words should be under the control of Christ instead of our old fleshly nature.
 
What is most important to us should be what brings the most glory to the name of our Lord and Savior and builds up the body of Christ.
 
As you prepare to attend the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting June 12-13 in Dallas, Texas, I pray that you will examine your motives before you use unkind words and express negative opinions about another brother or sister in Christ. I urge you to live by God’s truth as stated in Ephesians 4:1-3.
 
Strive for unity in the bond of Christian love even when others around you are ignoring God’s command in this passage of scripture.
 

5/14/2018 2:08:22 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments