Throughout North Carolina and even beyond, many Baptists are seeking a return to personal holiness.
During its annual meeting in Greensboro Nov. 12-13 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), messengers heard several people speak to the theme Awaken, based on Romans 11:13-14.
“In a very real sense America has spit in the face of God,” said Marvin Green, director of missions for Sandy Run Baptist Association.
“Awakenings start with repentant hearts therefore it must begin with me.”
Green was joined by Shelton C. Daniel, bishop of Greater Joy Baptist Church, and Sammy Joo, BSC senior consultant with international campus ministry, at various times throughout the annual meeting to highlight the need for believers to return to God and experience spiritual awakening.
“I’m grateful for our leaders in this convention,” Green said, crediting them with leading the way toward spiritual awakening.
His association began calling the community to pray in spring 2011. They met with Chris Schofield, BSC office of prayer director.
BSC photo by K Brown
Shelton Daniel was one of three Awaken theme speakers during the Nov. 12-13 Baptist State Convention annual meeting in Greensboro. Daniel is bishop of Greater Joy Baptist Church in Rocky Mount.
Working together with other denominational leaders, Green said their community recently held its fourth meeting.
“The focus has been on prayer,” Green said, with each meeting drawing 700-900 people.
Get out of the pot
Daniel said believers are called to four things:
Called to wake up.
“Sleeping refers to slacking in intensity of faith, and it does not show any fear in the Word of God,” Daniel said.
Sleep refers to the “state of being uninvolved,” “being unexcited,” he shared.
Called to get dressed.
“We are walking around in pajamas all day long,” Daniel said. When Paul talks of the armor of God, Daniel assured messengers, Paul was not speaking of “pj attire,” but fighting gear.
Called to walk properly.
Daniel said not long ago he too was asleep. His ministry at a rural church was successful.
“I was asleep because I was comfortable,” he said.
Walking properly involves behavior, Daniel said.
It was in the middle of the night that Daniel heard God speak to Him to wake up. He answered the call to Rocky Mount and started an inner city church.
Four years later, Greater Joy Baptist Church, which began with 14 people, has 1,200 in attendance.
Called to stay focused.
Daniel said it is “high time to wake out of sleep.”
Referring to a recipe for frog soup, Daniel said the main ingredient is the frog.
The key in cooking frog soup is starting out at a comfortable temperature for the frog and raising the temperature gradually, lulling it into a stupor.
“The frog will never notice the changing temperature,” Daniel said,
The church has also become complacent.
“The issues of life have lulled us to sleep,” he said. “It is time for us to wake up.”
In the frog soup recipe, the enemy has made a mistake … he “forgot to put the top on the pot,” Daniel said. “As long as I keep looking up I’ve still got time.”
Reaching international students
Joo shared the story of Lily, a student who “experienced language barriers, culture shock and loneliness.”
She was also carrying guilt and shame, until she met Jesus.
“She has returned to her country and has found a solid Bible teaching church,” Joo said.
“She also shares the gospel with her husband who has never been to church. God changed Lily’s life.”
Joo shared another story of an Indian man. A Christian couple befriended him, gave him a Bible and encouraged him to meet other Christians.
Later this Indian returned home not only as an engineer but also as a preacher and evangelist.
“As a result of his faithful work for Christ, over 700 churches have been established in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal,” Joo said.
Because some North Carolina Baptists have been willing to work with international students, some of the students have made decisions to follow Christ.
Joo has seen that ministry firsthand.
“God has brought nearly 20,000 of these 21st century Moseses to North Carolina,” Joo said, referring to the Old Testament character who was raised in Egypt and went to the wilderness where God told him to return to lead the people.
Joo believes international students and Moses have a lot in common.
If N.C. Baptists can introduce these students to Christ, they might choose to follow Him and return to their homeland to share Christ with their people.
Using Colossians 4:2-5, Joo encouraged messengers to “be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”
“Small acts of generosity can make a huge impact in the lives of international students, and will open the door to sharing the gospel.”
For more stories from the annual meeting, visit here.