September 2014

Impacting lostness through disciple-making

September 23 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In the past nine months, our convention staff has begun the work of implementing our five-year strategy to impact lostness through disciple-making. The work that has been accomplished is the result of North Carolina Baptists embracing the strategy and partnering together to make a difference.
 
For example, many churches have a vision for collegiate ministry and are working with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina in developing campus ministries, like the churches of the South Roanoke and Stanley associations that are planning ministries at community colleges in their respective areas.
In the mountains, churches are beginning new works at Lees-McRae College, Mayland Community College and at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, among others. The new Campus Church at Western Carolina University reaches more than 600 students and adults each Sunday.
 
Students comprise approximately 80 percent of this congregation – they are discipled, and in turn, reach other students with the gospel.
 
Convention collegiate partnership staff continues to work with networks of churches that are launching ministries at universities where the Convention has traditionally operated Baptist Campus Ministry. At only nine months into the new strategy, North Carolina Baptists have more than doubled their gospel presence on college campuses across the state – and this is only the beginning!
 
North Carolina Baptists have also embraced the newly formed Strategic Focus Team (SFT), which assists churches and associations to impact lostness where the greatest numbers of lost people reside in this state. SFT strategists have immersed themselves in their areas, forming relationships with church and associational leaders while raising awareness of the depths of lostness in their locations. In the Triad population center, several churches have begun reaching an unreached and unengaged people group in that area. Other Convention employees are working with associational leadership in rural areas to develop strategies to impact lostness and strengthen existing churches.
 
Part of our strategy emphasizes planting new churches to reach our state’s growing diversity. To that end, our Church Planting and Missions Partnership Group launched an initiative in January to identify unreached people groups living in North Carolina. With the help of churches and associations, they have discovered more than 50 points of engagement in the Charlotte, Triad and Triangle areas that are primed for new ethnic church plants. 
 
North Carolina Baptists have also embraced the strategy’s emphasis on discipleship. In 2014, one of the approaches our Evangelism & Discipleship Group is using to strengthen existing churches is by training more than 500 people in The Story. This is a conversational evangelism technique that equips believers to live and share the gospel through the framework of discipleship.
 
It is great to see this growing number of North Carolina Baptists embrace the strategy. Your eagerness to partner together, whether in starting collegiate ministries, reaching out to people groups, planting churches, helping identify people groups or learning strategies for evangelism and discipleship, makes a difference.
 
As more North Carolina Baptists engage in Kingdom advancement, God will use the churches of this Convention in even greater ways to impact lostness through a disciple-making culture.

9/23/2014 12:20:10 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Excelling in mobilization

September 9 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

North Carolina Baptists often talk about getting people mobilized for service. The process of mobilization involves preparation for service, bringing resources together, and making someone or something capable of moving.
 
A great organization that excels in mobilization is Baptists on Mission, also known as N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM). Every year, NCBM mobilizes thousands of Baptist men and women for missions and ministry.
 
This organization provides disaster relief training events several times a year across the state and has trained more than 14,000 men and women in disaster response. NCBM also provides chaplaincy training and work skills needed in disaster situations.
 
NCBM leaders excel in clearing the way for volunteers to be able to serve. They coordinate with other disaster relief agencies, such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, in addition to a long list of state and national government disaster response entities.
 
Earlier this year, NCBM sent a trained team of volunteers to assemble an entire hospital in hurricane-stricken Mississippi. This team of North Carolina Baptist volunteers was the official expert assembler of a FEMA-provided hospital that had been assigned to the North Carolina state disaster relief agency. It is amazing how NCBM is trusted in our nation! That level of trust illustrates how highly valued and respected NCBM is for its service and professionalism.
 
Having the right equipment is also an important part of mobilization. Here again, NCBM excels. It has specially designed mobile kitchens, 18-wheeler trucks, water tankers and related hardware. Within a few hours, NCBM can send a fully trained, fully equipped team into a disaster area to begin feeding tens of thousands of hungry people. It is remarkable that NCBM can accomplish so much with fewer than a dozen paid staff headquartered in the Baptist Building in Cary.
 
The secret of NCBM’s success is found in a deep commitment to Christ and a fervent passion for helping hurting people that is embedded in the hearts of North Carolina Baptist volunteers.
 
Although disaster relief is the best-known and most public ministry of NCBM, there are more than a dozen other ministries in which it also excels in mobilizing volunteers for service. As an example, NCBM mobilizes nearly 1,000 volunteers each year to serve in impoverished communities in the Appalachian Mountains.
 
If you want NCBM to continue mobilizing thousands of volunteers each year, contribute to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) in September. This special offering is the primary funding source for NCBM but it also fuels other important missions-focused ministries across our state, including church planting, association mission projects and mission camps for youth. 
 
Church leaders, please let your people know about the NCMO offering and allow them an opportunity to follow the Spirit’s leading in their giving. We can exceed the goal of $ 2.1 million and impact more lives when we each do our part.
 
If you would like to learn more about the NCMO, please visit ncmissionsoffering.org. For more information on NCBM, go to baptistsonmission.org.

9/9/2014 10:09:46 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments