October 2014

Ministering together in His name

October 21 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

It is important that every organization take time to review its mission and ask the tough question, “Are we fulfilling our mission?” The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) completed a review of its mission, vision and values in 2013; the result was the development of a new strategy titled “Impacting Lostness Through Disciple-making.” But the convention is not the only organization in Baptist life that has been through such a process – the leadership of North Carolina Baptist Hospital (NCBH) has recently done something similar.
 
Dr. Gary Gunderson, vice president of the Faith and Health Division, has helped NCBH leadership understand and fulfill the BSC’s original mission for the hospital. When established in 1920, the Hospital Commission made the following statement to the annual meeting of the convention: “Again, this form of Christian service must not be removed too far from the churches … As we establish and maintain a hospital system, it must not lead churches and Christians to relegate all responsibility and personal interest to the hospital … So a proper conception of this mission of the hospital will put the local church in close touch with the community, in ministering to the afflicted and also extend its interest to the institution as well.”
 
As a result, the NCBH has developed a new strategic effort recognized as FaithHealthNC (FHNC). One of the goals of FHNC is to identify concentrated pockets of healthcare disparity – communities and neighborhoods where individuals are disconnected from the health care they need. Dr. Gunderson has made it clear that FHNC must connect with local churches in order to find success in this effort and fulfillment of its mission.
 
As Dr. Gunderson shared the details of FHNC with me, it became apparent that there are several parts of the hospital’s strategy that will parallel the convention’s strategy.
 
But what most excites me is that there will be opportunities for NCBH and BSC to work together at those points where our strategies intersect. Already, we’re finding that some of the concentrated pockets of health care disparity overlap with the concentrated pockets of lostness that convention staff has identified in its research. This is especially true in communities with high concentrations of internationals. Through our combined efforts, opportunities abound for churches to engage unreached people groups living in our state.
 
It is this understanding of mission that has driven the hospital and the convention to work together cooperatively. Imagine all that your congregation, association and network will accomplish if you strive to fulfill the mission God has given you. The opportunities abound for North Carolina Baptists; I pray that we will seek God’s face and give our best to fulfilling our divinely appointed mission of going into all the world and making disciples.
 
“… And Jesus went about all the cities and villages … preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and disease among the people.” – Matthew 9:35

10/21/2014 2:45:52 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments