Joining a new church can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to learn about the church, the staff, various ministries and the denomination to which it belongs.
Southern Baptist churches are experiencing an increase in members who are coming from other denominations and have a limited understanding of Southern Baptist’s background and beliefs.
A new service being offered by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) and the Biblical Recorder aims to help those new members better understand what it means to be a Southern Baptist and part of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
Beginning in January, new members of Southern Baptist churches in North Carolina coming from non-SBC backgrounds will be eligible to receive a free, one-year subscription to the Biblical Recorder, the state’s longstanding Baptist news journal.
The goal of the program is to strengthen churches by informing and educating new church members about the missions and ministries of the SBC, BSC and affiliated churches. Cooperation is at the heart of all that Southern Baptists do in missions and ministry. The BSC and the Biblical Recorder want to help new Southern Baptists better understand how we cooperate locally, statewide, across the nation and around the world.
“Our desire is to invest in these new members who are joining our churches to help them understand the value of all we do as Southern Baptists to fulfill the Great Commission,” said Milton A. Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the BSC.
Allan Blume, editor of the Biblical Recorder, said the free subscription program will help these new Baptists better understand things like Southern Baptists’ strong support of missions through the Cooperative Program, its network of seminaries and work of entities such as the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).
“People will often say, ‘I didn’t realize Southern Baptists had this much going on,’” Blume said. “This is an opportunity for us to assist churches in communicating to these new members who we are as a denomination and how we work together as North Carolina Baptists and as Southern Baptists.”
Additionally, Blume said the Biblical Recorder plans to run a series of articles throughout 2016 that highlight the beliefs and history of Baptists.
Churches are asked to contact the Biblical Recorder to submit the names and addresses of members of their congregations who are eligible for the free subscriptions. The only requirement for the free subscription is that individuals be new members of a Southern Baptist church and be from a non-SBC church background.
For more information or to submit subscription information, contact Liz Tablazon, circulation manager for the Biblical Recorder, at (919) 459-5693 or [email protected]. Subscription information may also be submitted at [email protected].
“We hope churches will take advantage of this opportunity to get the Biblical Recorder into the hands of more of their members,” Blume said. “I’m grateful to partner with our state convention to make this program possible because I believe it will ultimately help strengthen churches and encourage them in their Great Commission mission.”