October 2011

Are you ‘All In?’

October 24 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In just a little more than one week North Carolina Baptists will gather for our (Baptist State) Convention’s 181st annual meeting. This year our theme of “All In” is based on 1 Timothy 2:3-6, which tells us that God wants all people to know Him.
 
I have been praying for the messengers who are preparing to attend the meeting. I am praying that “All In” will become more than just another meeting theme; I hope it will become the theme of our lives.
 
Be reminded that Jesus Christ was all in when He died on the cross so our sins could be forgiven. He was all in when He left all of heaven’s glory to humble Himself and come to earth as an infant.
 
He wants us to reach the whole world with the message of hope; with the message of the gospel. He gave up everything in order that we could have a redemptive message to share. Are you all in? Are you willing to do whatever God asks of you in order that more people will hear the gospel and have an opportunity to respond?
 
I pray God will use our time in Greensboro to help us truly examine our hearts, repent of sin, abandon the desires of the flesh and radically commit our lives to pursue His will.
 
There will be multiple opportunities during four theme interpretations to consider what it means to be “All In” for Jesus Christ.
 
We will also observe four special times of worship through prayer, as different individuals from North Carolina Baptist churches guide us in praying.
 
There will be a special presentation that I hope you will not miss on Monday evening: Find it Here 2012: Expanding the Kingdom. Find it Here is our three-year emphasis on evangelism, discipleship and missions mobilization.
 
For the past two years North Carolina Baptists have stepped up and responded to the challenge to become more intentional in evangelism and discipleship, and we have seen God work in extraordinary ways in some of our churches.
 
During this third year of Find it Here our attention turns to missions mobilization. We pray that every North Carolina Baptist and every North Carolina Baptist church will take another step toward missional living and do more than ever before to impact the spiritual darkness around them and in other places of this world.
 
You can learn more about Find it Here 2012 by visiting the Find it Here booth in the exhibit hall or attending the Find it Here break out session Tuesday afternoon.
 
We will have many break out conferences that will address various topics, as well as a host of exhibitors offering great ministry resources. A complete listing of these sessions and exhibitors is available at ncannualmeeting.org.
 
Much more information about the annual meeting can be found at this website. Take some time to visit the site and make your plans. I hope to see you in Greensboro.
10/24/2011 1:55:39 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Investing in the future

October 10 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Sr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Throughout the beginning of my journey in pastoral ministry I was blessed to have older, godly men in my life. These men came alongside me and listened to me, prayed with me and taught me from God’s Word. They were friends as well as teachers.  

I am thankful to God for these people. But I must tell you that I did not seek out these relationships; these men came to me. They sought me out and let me know they wanted to invest in my life.  

If we are truly going to reclaim a generation of young leaders we must go to them. We must reach out to them and be sure they understand that we want to know them.  

They need to know we value them as an equal in Christian ministry. It’s about truly investing in their lives. If something doesn’t change we’re going to be in trouble in the near future. If you look around your church this Sunday many of you will notice more older adults in attendance than younger adults.  

Although we have made great progress in recent years involving younger leaders in our state convention’s annual meeting, we still have much room for improvement.  

I do not believe the reason younger leaders are not more involved is because they do not care. I believe they do care, and care a great deal, about advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ here and around the world. Yes, I recognize that some of their methods and ideas do not always match my preferences and opinions, but that does not necessarily mean they are wrong. There are many good things we can learn from them. Must we remind ourselves that Jesus was around 30 years of age when He began His earthly ministry? The traditional church leaders of that day thought His belief system was very radical.  

The problem is, we do not always do the job we should in helping the younger generation of Christ followers understand our vision and purpose. Young leaders want to invest their time in what they believe is really important – in what is eternal.  

They want to be involved in outreach that is focused on the gospel. They want to be involved and invest, but they must be convinced that it’s all for Kingdom purposes.  

Our future depends on engaging young leaders. Our state is full of passionate, young leaders who love Jesus and His church.  

This year I encourage you to bring a younger leader with you to our annual meeting Nov. 7-8. But please, do more than that. Please listen to them and get to know them. Yes, you can teach them some things. They can also teach you many things. They can bring a fresh perspective and renewed passion that many of us so desperately need. Invest your life in them as an investment in our future as Baptists.  

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”  – 1 Timothy 4:12

(This item is part of a package about reclaiming the younger generation of church leaders. The Biblical Recorder is focusing on the Seven Pillars for Christian Ministry adopted by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. For more stories on the younger generation of leaders or to find out about the entire package, please visit here.)
10/10/2011 8:44:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Sr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments