November 2009

Please Pray and Support Lottie Moon

November 16 2009 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

Even though Southern Baptists promote and pray for international missions throughout the year, we are in the season when Woman’s Missionary Union challenges us to give special attention to a concerted prayer effort and the special offering that our International Mission Board (IMB) depends on to provide more than half of their annual budget.

The goal for the 2009 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) is $175 million. North Carolina Baptist churches led the Southern Baptist Convention in supporting the 2008 LMCO. I hope we will do the same in 2009.

This December I will be privileged to preach in the First Baptist Church of Charlottesville, Va., to help promote this offering.

I feel greatly honored because this is the home church of Charlotte Diggs Moon.

In 1873, she became one of only six Southern Baptist workers to serve in China.  For almost 40 years, Lottie Moon served God faithfully as a traveling evangelist in China.

She pleaded through many written letters for Southern Baptists to pray more, do more and give more for the cause of reaching 360 million lost people in China.

In 1887, she suggested to the women in her home state of Virginia that a week of prayer and a special Christmas offering for foreign missions be promoted in Southern Baptist churches.

Eventually, due to broken health and starvation because she literally gave her life and food to the Chinese people during a time of severe famine, Lottie Moon was forced to return home.

She died on a ship on Christmas Eve 1912 that was carrying her back to the U.S. The LMCO commemorates her life poured out for others because of her love for Jesus. Inscribed on a monument at her grave are these three words: “faithful unto death.”

Despite financial hardships created by the economic downturn, Southern Baptists gave $141 million to support the work of international missions through the 2008 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

However, this amount fell nearly $30 million short of the $170 million goal.

One hundred percent of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goes to the International Mission Board’s overseas budget to support missionary work.

The IMB spends 71 percent of its total budget of $319.8 million, including a major portion of funds received from the Cooperative Program, on missionary support which includes funding 5,587 IMB missionaries serving in 174 countries.

Because of the economic downturn and the staggering level of unemployment some Southern Baptists may need to give more sacrificially than in past years.

The Great Commission of Christ compels us to give in support of our missionaries during these challenging times.

Statistics reveal that more than 1.5 billion people in our world have still never heard the story of Jesus. We must pray, we must give financially and we must be willing to go so that all may hear.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19

11/16/2009 8:05:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 1 comments



Developing Fully Devoted Followers of Jesus Christ

November 2 2009 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

During the past three and a half years as I have served as your Executive-Director Treasurer, God consumed my heart with one guiding vision, one heart cry, for our convention: “By God’s grace, we will become the strongest force in the history of this convention for reaching people with the message of the gospel.”

A sense of urgency exists in reaching the lost for Christ and now is the time, like never before, for us to join together and become a powerful spiritual force to the glory of our Lord. We don’t know how much longer we have to accomplish this.

You have heard that 4.9 million residents of North Carolina do not have a relationship with Christ.

Although we do not like to think about it, according to scripture, they are headed to an eternal hell if they do not possess a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

They cannot experience the assurance that their sins are forgiven and it is impossible for them to know the peace which the Holy Spirit imparts to believers.

That 4.9 million is no abstract number. It is a number representing our family members, friends and neighbors.

It represents the people you and I see every day in this state.

These individuals need hope, peace, and purpose in life, but most of all they desperately need a relationship with Jesus.

Our Lord challenged His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, baptize them and teach them to obey all that He commanded. This was not given as an option.

The Great Commission is a mandate each of us must obey.

That’s why we are asking North Carolina Baptists during the next three years to intentionally and strategically join hands with many Southern Baptists and do our very best to fulfill our Lord’s Great Commission.

In 2010, we will emphasize reaching those around us through intercessory prayer and personal witnessing. During the second year, we’ll focus together on discipleship as we work with new believers and help them to grow into the maturity of Christ.

The third year will concentrate on launching maturing believers into missions.

We will challenge followers of Jesus to move out of their comfort zone and help spread the gospel in this state, across North America and even in other countries through short- term volunteer missions. 

It is my prayer that during this multi-year evangelism initiative every resident of North Carolina will hear the message of Jesus, embrace the Christ of the Bible and experience the life-transforming power of Jesus Christ.

You and your church can play a vital role in reaching North Carolina for Christ and helping new believers become fully devoted followers of Christ.

For more information visit www.finditherenc.org or call our Office for Evangelization at (800) 395-5102, ext.5557.

Matthew 28:19-20 — “Go… make disciples…baptizing them…teaching them to observe all things I have commanded…” 

11/2/2009 10:01:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments