In the Summer and Fall of 2011 the Biblical Recorder
ran a series of articles highlighting each of the "Seven Pillars for Ministry: Biblical Concepts for a Christ-Centered Vision." This has been the adopted vision of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) since 2006.
At the BSC annual meeting in November 2011 Milton Holifield presented a revised list of the Seven Pillars in response to the Vision Fulfillment Committee's report.
To see the newly revised pillars, click here.
"By God's grace, we will become the strongest force in the history of the convention for reaching people
with the message of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."
– Milton A. Hollifield Jr.
Pillar 1 – Practice Fervent Prayer
Prayer is the key indicator of the passion of a redeemed heart to worship God and work hard for His harvest. The call to pray for a fresh movement of God that will usher in a season of spiritual awakening and evangelization establishes direction for ministries of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Such prayer will precipitate a burden in the hearts of God's people to pray toward His passion for a spiritual movement to sweep across this state and nation. Kingdom focused prayer that glorifies God must become a priority in the life, home and church of God's people.
"The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
– Westminster Catechism
Edenton church develops, grows prayer ministries
Providence prayer warrior enjoys growing ministry
Gastonia women hem clothing in prayer
Pinetops wants more people in PEW
Biltmore Baptist Church raises up God's 1,300
Women's conference to celebrate 10th anniversary
10 ways to pray for disaster relief
Editorial from K. Allan Blume: Prayer is the Foundation
EDT column from Milton A. Hollifield Jr.: A return to fervent prayer
Guest column from Chris Schofield: Are Your Prayers God-Centered?
Pillar 2 – Promote Evangelism & Church Growth
This denomination of churches will fail to accomplish her task if people are led to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but are not encouraged to mature in their walk with Christ because conversion is only the beginning of their spiritual journey. Those who do not know Jesus as Savior must be reached for Christ and assimilated into the fellowship of a healthy church environment that is conducive for good spiritual development. Baptism numbers have declined across our nation and Southern Baptists are not even reaching our children with the gospel. This must change! Collegiate ministry is another critical function of this state convention because thousands of young adults attend educational insitutions where a seedbed of unbelief and antagonism toward the gospel of Christ is present. The concentrated populations of the inner cities must also be reached for Christ. North Carolina Baptists must utilize all available means to sow and cultivate the seeds of the gospel as we prepare for a great harvest of souls.
"Southern Baptists are a harvested-oriented denomination in the midst of an unseeded generation."
Be intentional, strategic in sharing gospel
Gideons spread God's Word around globe
Gideon photo gallery
Dean Mattern: my story
Gastonia church offers hope, gospel to community
The Cove Church facilitates spontaneous baptisms
Churches leading the state in baptisms
FBC Cary works at being intentional
Caswell summer weeks teach youth about identity
Caswell photo gallery
A vision to change means food for Haiti
Youth learn to share gospel anywhere they go
Deep Impact photo gallery
Sharing faith a command
Editorial from K. Allan Blume: Reaching the unreached
EDT column by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.: Are you telling your story?
Guest column by Chistopher C. Hefner: Church multiplication values
Guest column by Nathan Finn: Watching Muslims profess Christ, face persecution
– Charles S. Kelley Jr., president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Pillar 3 – Strenthening Existing Churches
Many older churches are declining and some have died. Henry Blackaby has rightly said, "Discover where God is working and join with Him." Spiritually healthy churches will discover new life when they launch contextually relevant ministries and challenge their members to live daily worship and communion with God. North Carolina Baptists must embrace new ministry concepts and share what is learned with others. Local churches and Baptist associations can help other congregations through the establishment of networks and affinity based ministries. Refreshing and exciting ways of accomplishing the task of Acts 1:8 missions can be initiated and sustained by existing congregations when they cooperate with others in church planting, saturation evangelism, partnership missions and disaster relief.
"Our goal is to point the way back to healthy church life by calling attention to the timeless biblical priorities, principles, and methods that God has ordained for the maturity of the local church – God's work, God's way."
Rocky Mount church takes ministry outside walls
FBC Icard finds BSC helpful with process
NCMO funds help associations minister
Ashe photo gallery
Little River photo gallery
Small churches catch new vision
Where are the men in our churches?
FBC Garner intentional about transformation
Vision Fulfillment Committee reports results
10,000 online for Sunday School training
Editorial from K. Allan Blume: Healthy churches make disciples
EDT by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.: A healthy church bears much fruit
Guest column by Brian Upshaw: How can we strengthen the church?
Guest column by Neale Davis and Sam Williams: Toward connection: Men should avoid isolation
Guest column by Aaron Dougherty: Are ministers of education a dying breed?
– Mark Dever, senior pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.
Pillar 4 – Plant New Multiplication Churches
The state of North Carolina is exploding in population growth and vast ethnic diversity. Although there is still a monumental need and wonderful opportunities for existing Baptist churches to grow, many newcomers to North Carolina from other countries and other states will never be reached by some of our existing congregations because of language and cultural barriers. Some people possess preferred styles of worship while others want to find groups of Christians who have similar interests such as cowboys and motorcycle enthusiasts. Healthy New Testament churches must ensure that their ministry DNA includes the intention and goal to start other new churches somewhere. This is the same method used by missionaries in other countries to reach unreached people groups. It is natural for churches to give birth to new congregations and celebrate what God will do through that new unit. The financial resources required to plant new churches come from existing congregations. Most new churches reach and baptize more lost people and churches, but it is all about the growth and expansion of God's Kingdom.
Heart of church planting: Apex starts congregations
Apex photo gallery
N.C. assn. partners to help Wisconsin
NCMO offering goal set at $2.1 million
Lumberton church goes Vertical
Vertical photo gallery
Lexington church sets up in building
River photo gallery
Cities need to be church planting tours' focus
About church planting
Church planting resources
Editorial by K. Allan Blume: What does a church planter look like?
EDT by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.: Planting new churches for God's glory
Guest column by Chuck Register: Planting churches for a purpose
Guest column by Diana Davis: Four steps to encourage a church planter
Guest column by Ed Stetzer: State of church planting in the SBC
Associations and networks
How do I become a church planting partner?
Steps to starting a church
"How did Christianity change from a faith spread primarily through church planting to a faith in which church planting became an unusual practice? As the church became established, it began to protect its establishment. Existing churches began to see a church plant as a comptetitor."
– Ed Stetzer, director of research, LifeWay Christian Resources
Pillar 5 – Increase Work with the International Community
The staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina must reflect the ethnic diversity of the state of North Carolina. More than 180 languages are now spoken within the boundaries of North Carolina, and abundant opportunities exist for Christians to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). This ministry and others like it will open avenues for new relationships and evangelism. Many internationals are very religious, but they do not possess a living faith relationship with Jesus Christ – the only way to God. We must be good stewards of the opportunities for ministry around us because God is bringing the world to our doorstep. The face of North Carolina is much different than it was 25 years ago and it will never return to that former appearance. Years ago, someone helped each of us learn how to develop new friends and what it meant to be a responsible person in our community. Someone we trusted cared enough to help us discover a personal relationship with Jesus. Are you willing to do the same with others?
"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings."
Forest Hills ministers to internationals' needs
Forest Hills photo gallery
Good Shepherd Community Church
Good Shepherd photo gallery
Charlotte Chin Baptist Church
Charlotte Chin photo gallery
Greater Joy Baptist Church
Greater Joy photo gallery
BSC wants to help churches reach internationals
International photo gallery
Campus reaches out to internationals
Refugees find new home, new life in N.C.
Editorial by K. Allan Blume: Reaching the nations from our home
EDT by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.: The nations are here
Guest column by Ken Tan: Reaching internationals as my neighbor
– Acts 17:26
Pillar 6 – Escalate Technology Improvements
& Upgrade the Website
The information services team of the BSC has been renamed to the information technology/information systems team. The website for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina will no longer be our only means of communication with the North Carolina Baptists and all other publics. Convention staff is creatively utilizing new technologies as they seek to both connect and communicate with associations, churches, and individuals to resource one and all with tools necessary to communicate the gospel. To assist in these endeavors, the BSC website has undergone an entire revision and relaunch based on accurate statistics and precise strategies designed to reach new audiences with the gospel of Christ as well as strengthen and equip local churches as they obey the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. The internet will become a primary way for communicating with people as it is already for many of those in a younger generation.
My story: Roman Gabriel III uses technology in ministry
Webmaster shares on questions related to technology
Churches increasingly embrace web, technology
Social media tools help ministries
With prayer app, IMB spreads word
Technology unites families around the world
Survey: 14% of churches use online giving
Most church websites ineffective, study finds
Churches & 'digital cloud' studied
Smartphone apps change Bible study habits
Haiti orphans helped by Facebook campaign
Editorial by K. Allan Blume: Technology: friend or foe?
EDT by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.: Ready to connect & share truth
Guest column by Brian Davis: BSC staff uses technology to spread gospel
Guest column by Diana Davis: 10 tips for church Facebook pages
Guest column by Tom Cheyney and Steve Canter: Twitter for the church planter
Guest column by Aaron Linne: In this realm, the youth can lead
Guest column by Micah Fries: Managing social media (before it manages you)
Guest column by Aaron Linne: Five ways tablets will change church & ministry
"Web technology now enables us to reach people for Christ in ways not conceived just five years ago."
– K. Allan Blume, former senior pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Boone; current editor/president of the Biblical Recorder
Pillar 7 – Reclaim the Younger
Generation of Church Leaders
Most revolutionaries in church life do not recognize the need to network beyond affinity groups that are much smaller than the SBC. These church leaders are intellectually astute, highly motivated and suspicious of most people over 50 years of age. They take advantage of living in the information age and believe most resources are available via the internet. They receive most of their information about Baptist life by reading internet blogs of pastors and others who spend hours writing for cyberspace audiences. Familiar with the methodologies of other churches, many regard much of the North Carolina Baptist religious system as archaic and meaningless. Waiting for a slow process to yield results is almost unthinkable. A new generation of Baptists is coming of age, and teh BSC must learn from church leaders who are young, effective, enthusiastic and greatly devoted to Christ. They can help bridge the generation gap and work toward a renewed vision of collaboration and vitality among the churches of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Connecting with this generation of church leaders is critical for our future existence as a vital convention of Baptist churches.
"Are we a denomination of Pauls and Timothys or are we becoming more generationally fractured to the point where there is decreasing cooperation in reaching people for Christ?"
N.C. Baptists try to reclaim younger generation
Raising a next generation mission leader
Reaching 20-somethings key in today's ministry
Modeling Modesty: My story by Rachel Lee Carter
Youth workers urged to influence next generation
Rainers: Millennials must see relevancy in faith
Study probes why college students leave church
Editorial by K. Allan Blume: Are we willing to reach them?
EDT by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.: investing in the future
Guest column by Brian Davis: Reclaiming younger generation of church leaders
Guest column by Randy Mann: Celebrating what matters in your children's lives
– Thom S. Rainer, president & CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources