In 2013, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) adopted a strategy titled “impacting lostness through disciple-making,” which our staff began implementing the following year.
Our mission as a state convention is to assist N.C. Baptist churches in their divinely appointed mission, which can be found in the Great Commission. The Lord commands us in His Word to “go and make disciples.” These are our marching orders from Him.
In keeping with our stated mission, our goal with the strategy has been to help facilitate a disciple-making culture across our state. It’s hard to believe that it has been five years since we began carrying out the strategy, and I praise God for all that He has allowed us as a convention of churches to accomplish over the past five years.
We have made great strides in helping people understand disciple-making as a holistic process that involves both evangelism and discipleship, which results in disciples who make disciples who make more disciples.
I am encouraged by the reports I am receiving from our staff regarding N.C. Baptist’s engagement of lostness across the state. Our strategy calls attention to 250 pockets of lostness within North Carolina. While there are significant populations of people who are far from God across the entirety of the state, our strategy calls attention to those locations where lostness is most concentrated. The good news is that churches are developing strategies to engage these pockets of lostness and the potential for multiplication of disciple-making is inspiring.
We have also made great strides in identifying and engaging unreached people groups who are living right here in our state. We have seen hundreds of new churches planted in our state who are reaching new people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have also seen an expansion of ministry on college campuses thanks to local churches engaging students on the campuses near them.
These items represent just a few broad highlights of how we have seen God work in and through N.C. Baptists over these past five years. Now the time has come for us to evaluate how effective the strategy has been and how N.C. Baptists have engaged with it.
During our recent Board of Directors meeting in late January, our Associate Executive Director-Treasurer Brian Davis and I shared with the board that we will soon begin the formal process to evaluate the strategy.
The evaluation will be multifaceted and will include electronic surveys, a series of public forums across the state and personal interviews.
More information about the evaluation process will be announced in the near future, but I want to urge you to participate. We want and need to hear from a variety of North Carolina Baptists about the strategy.
This includes pastors, church staff, associational mission strategists, lay leaders, congregants and others.
The results and findings from the evaluation will be shared as part of my report to messengers at this year’s BSC annual meeting in Greensboro on Nov. 11-12.
While we have learned a lot over the past five years, we still have much to learn. The strategy to “impact lostness through disciple-making” is far from being completed or fulfilled. But your valuable input and insights will go a long way in helping us better understand where we are and where we need to go from here.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” – Matthew 28:19a (NKJV).