November 2014

Preserve your Christian heritage

November 18 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. Like you, I enjoy the food and fellowship with family and friends who enrich and bless our lives in so many ways.
In just a few days, we’ll once again gather around the table with those we love to express our thanks and gratitude to God for the abundant blessings that He has bestowed upon us.
As we anticipate and look forward to being with our loved ones again this Thanksgiving, I am reminded of the importance of passing on a godly legacy within our own families.
During our recent Annual Meeting a couple of weeks ago in Greensboro, I mentioned that we cannot overlook the mission field in our own homes as we strive to reach and disciple others with the gospel. Could it be that someone sitting beside you or across from you at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day is that person in your family who needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ?
Or perhaps you have been blessed with a godly family heritage because of the influence of a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle. This Thanksgiving season would be the perfect time to thank God for placing them in your life and thank them for caring about your soul.
I am thankful because, like many of you, I did experience the blessings of being born into a Christian family who took the responsibility of sharing Christ with the next generation seriously.
I would not be where I am today without the godly influence of my parents, my grandparents and my great grandparents. I am sure that many of you have similar testimonies.
Because of this heritage, God has given me a special burden not to break this chain with my own son and his children.
As I shared with you earlier this year, my father went home to be with the Lord over the summer. I am thankful that he is the one who led me to faith in Christ, taught me how to walk with the Lord and instilled in me the importance of a vibrant prayer life. He modeled for me a consistent and faithful love for his family and service to our Savior.
I will certainly miss dad’s presence at the Thanksgiving table this year. But because of his faith in Christ, and the faith that he passed on to me, I can rejoice that I will one day see him again at the ultimate thanksgiving feast in glory, the marriage supper of the Lamb.
So as we gather around our tables with our families this Thanksgiving, let’s be sure to enjoy the love, the laughter and the memories with one another as we give thanks to our great God and glorious Savior. But let’s also do all that we can do in the power of God’s Spirit to make sure that those with us around the table here on earth will also be around the table with us in heaven for all of eternity.

11/18/2014 9:16:20 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Join in worship, reconnect with friends

November 7 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Welcome to the 184th annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC). During our annual gatherings, we seek to accomplish several things, including the election of officers, consideration of committee reports, adoption of a budget for 2015 and other items of business. However, the annual meeting is first and foremost a celebration. As we gather, we celebrate all that God has accomplished through the missions and ministries of the convention this year.
The theme of this annual meeting is “Greater Things” and is taken from John 14:12, which states, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” I pray that as we celebrate all that God has accomplished in 2014, we will seek His face, submit ourselves to Him afresh and anew, and ask Him to accomplish even greater things through us in 2015.
I look forward to sharing with you about the progress we are making in the new convention strategy, titled “Impacting Lostness Through Disciple-making.” I believe God is challenging us to reach and disciple individuals in our sphere of influence, including the next generation within our own families. I rejoice in the reports I receive about the ways God is at work among our churches.
People are coming to know Christ, discipleship is taking place with new enthusiasm, and we are taking the first steps necessary to facilitate a disciple-making culture in many of our churches. We are identifying more unreached and unengaged people who are coming from around the world to make North Carolina their home. Church congregations are asking God to begin a movement that will result in a multiplication of disciples who make disciples, who make disciples.
You have opportunity to enjoy great worship services on Monday and Tuesday evening. Visit your BSC staff, as well as representatives from both our state and national convention entities and other vendors in the exhibit hall.
Take time to visit with friends, reconnect or even connect for the first time with other N.C. Baptists and pray – pray for God to do a life-changing work within us that will be evident to others in communities where we live, work and play. Pray that He will draw us closer to Himself and closer to one another in order that together, we might impact lostness through disciple-making for His glory!

Milton A. Hollifield Jr.,
BSC executive director-treasurer

11/7/2014 11:59:30 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Giving to express your gratitude

November 4 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Each year during the Thanksgiving season, North Carolina Baptists have an opportunity to express their gratitude to God for a wonderful ministry of the Baptist State Convention. This is the season to promote the annual Thanksgiving Offering that provides much of the financial support required each year for our Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina led by Michael Blackwell.
Gloria and I are in a different church every Sunday, and I have the opportunity to share some of the great things that God is doing through the work of this state Convention. There are several ministries of this Convention that people in our churches may not be well acquainted with, but wherever I go, when I mention the name of Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH), I immediately see smiles beam from the faces of individuals in the congregation.
North Carolina Baptists are proud to be part of this vibrant ministry, which has existed since 1885. I consider it to be the best in the Southern Baptist Convention. BCH provides ministry in all 100 counties of this state. In 2013, almost 10,000 children and adults were recipients of the ministries of BCH.
The president, the trustees and the staff of BCH understand their mission is to “provide the highest quality of Christian service to children, adults and families in a caring culture of measurable excellence,” and they are diligent in pursuing this purpose. Recently, I asked someone why North Carolina Baptists appreciate the ministry of BCH – the immediate response was, “because they give children a reason to have hope.”
Each year, Dr. Blackwell rejoices in sharing with me the number of children in their care who accept Christ as Savior.
The proof of the value of this great ministry can be best understood by hearing the testimonies of children and parents whose lives have been radically changed by Jesus through the efforts of our state Convention’s Baptist Children’s Homes.
I am always encouraged and thankful when I listen to youth and adults share about how their lives were radically and positively impacted through the ministry and love they received when they lived in one of our BCH facilities.
My purpose in writing this article is to encourage North Carolina Baptists to give a personal gift in support of the Thanksgiving Offering for BCH. The week of specific, intentional prayer for BCH is Nov. 16-23.
The offering goal for this special offering is $1,500.000. Giving to support this offering is another way to express your gratitude for all that God is doing through Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. I hope all of our church leaders will make their congregants aware of this opportunity to help support a most important Christian ministry by promoting and receiving this Thanksgiving Offering in their churches.

11/4/2014 12:53:37 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments