October 2012

Praying for spiritual awakening

October 22 2012 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Although the annual meeting is not until November, our program committee begins their work early in the year, as a meeting of this size and scope requires much preparation.
From that first meeting in January I sensed God working among the committee members.
They expressed their desire to see God work in a way unlike we have ever seen before.
I truly wish you could have experienced with us the presence of God in these meetings, as the committee cried out to God for wisdom and a clear vision of what He wanted accomplished during this annual meeting. God indeed spoke, and I am thankful the committee was sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
The Holy Spirit led the committee to Romans 13:11-14 and impressed upon their hearts the urgency for spiritual awakening.
Did you know that in 1900, 42 percent of the United States was evangelical, and today it is only 15 percent?
Jimmy Draper, the former president of LifeWay Christian Resources, recently shared some statistics during an address to the state executive directors that he said should “compel us to examine our lives, our entities, our churches and come in repentance before God asking for forgiveness and empowerment.”
He shared that in 1960 there were 9.73 million Southern Baptists who baptized 386,469, a ratio of 1/25.
In 2011, there were 16 million Southern Baptists and we baptized 333,341, a ratio of only 1/48
Last year, 20 percent of Southern Baptist churches did not baptize anyone. More than 50 percent of our churches did not baptize a youth between ages 12-17. North Carolina Baptists, this is why the theme for our annual meeting this year is “Awaken.”
We need a fresh movement of God to touch hearts and lives. We must return to God in holiness and focus our lives on telling lost people about our Savior.
We must awaken to the reality that we do not know how much longer we have on this earth to tell our relatives and friends about Jesus Christ, and therefore we must focus our lives not on ourselves, but on expanding God’s Church. 
Spiritual awakening begins in each of our hearts. If we want God to transform churches, families and communities, and allow us to experience Kingdom fruit in our lives, we have to begin by praying for God to change our own hearts through repentance and renewal of obedience to Him. If you are not already praying for spiritual renewal, please join us in doing so. We have prepared resources to help you and your church in doing this, and these materials are available at www.ncannualmeeting.org.
Please pray that God will begin working in peoples’ hearts so that when we meet in Greensboro in two weeks we will come expectant, ready to hear from the Lord. I am praying this annual meeting marks the beginning of a powerful revival that will spread across this state, nation and world for the glory of God.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” – Romans 13:12
10/22/2012 1:12:30 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Baptist Children’s Homes committed to sharing hope

October 8 2012 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

North Carolina Baptists participate in supporting many different ministries that impact lives with the gospel in our state, nation and throughout the world. One unique ministry we are very blessed to support is the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH). This ministry is making a remarkable difference in the lives of children who are hurting and desperately need someone to extend kindness and compassion.
Since 1885, the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina has remained committed to caring for children in need. The mission of BCH has always been, and continues to be, “helping hurting children … healing broken families.” BCH seeks to help restore relationships between children and their families, and to help these families that are experiencing a time of crisis begin to experience peace and hope for the future.
BCH not only meets a child’s physical needs, but also seeks to meet a child’s spiritual needs.
Are you aware that 70 percent of Baptist Children’s Homes’ residents are unchurched and unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Children who come to live at BCH are surrounded by staff members and houseparents who want them to know the love of Jesus Christ. The children have opportunities to attend Bible studies and to learn about the grace and forgiveness of our Savior.
Throughout the years BCH has expanded its outreach through additional residential facilities, ministry to children with developmental disabilities, ministry to teenage mothers, and programs to help young adults transition to independent living.
Each year, North Carolina Baptist churches across the state give to a Thanksgiving Offering to help support the ministry of Baptist Children’s Homes. The theme for this year’s offering is “Sharing Hope,” based on Romans 8:24. The offering goal is $1,450,000.
By giving to this annual offering you will make an eternal investment in the lives of countless children. You will help children like Travis, who found hope when he came to BCH’s residential wilderness camping ministry known as Cameron Boys Camp. Travis went to live with his aunt and uncle as a young child because his mother was a drug addict and his father was often drunk.
Travis was emotionally broken and unresponsive to the help his aunt and uncle wanted to give him. After some time at Cameron Boys Camp, Travis’ life began to change. “When my relationship with Christ strengthened, that’s when things really started getting better,” Travis shared. Travis now enjoys a much better relationship with his aunt and uncle, and his attitude and outlook on life are completely changed.
Travis’ story is featured in the promotional materials for this year’s offering. You can watch a video about Travis by visiting bchfamily.org. At this website you can also download free promotional materials such as photos, posters and bulletin inserts. I encourage your church to support this offering, and in doing so, offer hope to hundreds of children.
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” Romans 8:24
10/8/2012 2:26:48 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments