September 2017

Praying for a great move of God

September 18 2017 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Each year I look forward to our state convention’s annual meeting as we join together over the course of two days to worship, fellowship and conduct convention business. I am especially looking forward to this year’s meeting because of a special event that will be taking place during our time together in Greensboro on Nov. 6-7.
 
On Tues., Nov. 7, the entire evening session will be devoted to a time of prayer for revival and spiritual awakening for our state, our nation and our world. We are calling this special service “Broken Before the Throne: A Prayer Gathering.”
 
I want to call on every pastor, staff member, church leader and lay person from North Carolina Baptist churches to join me for this prayer gathering in Greensboro. This special service of prayer aligns with the overall theme of this year’s annual meeting, which is “Return to Me” based on Zechariah 1:3.
 
Much prayer has already been devoted to this year’s meeting in general and for this prayer gathering in particular, and it’s been clear that the Lord has been working in the hearts of various individuals who have a role in planning the annual meeting’s theme, schedule and related activities.
 
As we look forward to November, my prayer is that God would move in a mighty and powerful way in our lives as individuals and in the lives of our churches. If we are going to impact our world for Christ and see revival and spiritual awakening come, it must first start in the hearts of God’s people.
 
To collectively focus our hearts and minds on the Lord, we are once again inviting North Carolina Baptists to join together in 30 days of focused prayer during the month of October as we lead up to the annual meeting in November. Chris Schofield, who leads the state convention’s Office of Prayer for Evangelization and Spiritual Awakening, has written a powerful daily devotional that can be of great assistance during this prayer emphasis.
 
The devotional is aligned with the annual meeting’s theme and theme verse, and it includes daily scripture and devotional readings, as well as daily prayer prompts. Each N.C. Baptist church has been mailed a copy of this resource, and it is also available as a free download at prayfor30days.org. Additional printed copies are also available for purchase for $2 each. In addition, the prayfor30days.org website has information about how you can request the devotions and prayer prompts be delivered to you by email or text message.
 
We are also inviting N.C. Baptists to designate Sun., Nov. 5 as a day of prayer and fasting for a refreshing, life-changing work of God’s Spirit within us. We’re encouraging pastors and churches to devote some or all of their worship service just prior to the start of the annual meeting to pray for revival and spiritual awakening.
 
I sincerely hope that you will mark your calendar and join me in Greensboro this November. I am praying that this meeting and prayer gathering will be a moment that we can look back to years from now as the beginning of a great move of God’s Spirit within NC Baptists and our churches. Will you join me?

“‘Return to Me,’ … ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord of hosts” – Zechariah 1:3b (NKJV).
 

9/18/2017 3:21:20 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Take time to encourage your pastor

September 5 2017 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

How grateful I am for those who serve as pastors of local Baptist churches! It is a role that requires much dedication and is overflowing with disciple-making and gospel-sharing opportunities. There are many spiritual blessings that these chosen servants of God get to enjoy, but the role of church pastor is also not without challenge and sacrifice.
 
In my ministry assignment as a leader for a Baptist state convention, I have the opportunity to work with individuals in numerous positions in Southern Baptist life.
 
As I consider numerous places where individuals are called to serve God in ministry, I have said many times that I do not believe there is a higher calling than the role of pastor for a local church.
 
October will be here soon, which is the month that is typically recognized as Pastor Appreciation Month.

While your pastor is hard at work in your church in the roles of teacher, counselor and countless others, I hope you will take some time to encourage him. It is very easy for pastors to feel underappreciated because of heavy responsibilities and time demands that come with the territory of their job along with responsibilities to their family.
 
Many pastors are also husbands and fathers, as well. Most pastors feel and experience the very real tension between family and ministry. A pastor’s work is seemingly never done because there is always one more call to make, one more person to visit or a little bit more time that could be spent in sermon preparation. Because of the nature of their work, pastors and their families sometimes do have to make sacrifices in certain areas.
 
Yet it is sad and unfortunate when family obligations and responsibilities are neglected because of one’s role as a pastor. This need not be the case, nor is it God’s plan for pastors.
 
So, what can you do next month to honor and recognize your pastor? Perhaps you can verbally express appreciation for him or write a note telling him that you are grateful for his role in your church.
 
Perhaps you can mention to him that you are keeping him and his family in your prayers. What if you as an individual, a Bible study class leader or church body could present to him a gift of some kind to let him know how much he is appreciated by the people he serves?
 
Whatever it is you decide to do, I hope that you will be a continual source of encouragement to your pastor in his quest to serve the Lord through shepherding your local congregation.
 
And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” – Jeremiah 3:15 (NKJV).
 

9/5/2017 9:04:20 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments