As I have reflected on 2015, I was reminded just how great of a year it was for North Carolina Baptists and the strides we have made in creating a disciple-making culture across our state.
When we first launched the strategy of impacting lostness through disciple-making in January 2014, we knew that we had quite a bit of work ahead of us. We knew that this would greatly change the way we approached and engaged in ministry. Yet as I travel across North Carolina, I am finding that more pastors and church members are more intentionally engaging in disciple-making efforts as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission.
I am finding that more and more people understand their calling as personal disciple-makers. This calling is about more than growing the institution of the Church. It is about the people of the Church growing to become disciples who will share the gospel with others, see others come to faith in Christ, help those individuals grow into mature followers of Christ and then make even more disciples.
The disciple-making process involves taking time to develop and build genuine relationships with others. It involves investing time with them and pouring our lives into theirs. This is what the Apostle Paul expressed in his words to the church at Thessalonica that he not only shared the gospel with them, but he also shared his very life with them.
Those words of Paul expressed in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 serve as the theme and the theme verse for this year’s disciple-making conference, which is titled “Reveal.” It is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 29 at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro. This year’s conference will have a special focus on how to invest our lives in others and view our relationships through the lens of disciple-making.
The conference features an exciting lineup of speakers including Chuck Lawless of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Bruce and Lori Frank of Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville; Dhati Lewis, a pastor and church planter in Atlanta; and Jerry McCorkle of Spread Truth Ministries. In addition to the main sessions, the conference will include a number of practical equipping sessions to help you disciple others within your sphere of influence.
I hope to see you at this year’s disciple-making conference as together we prayerfully seek to be used of the Lord to share the gospel and our lives with others in order to make disciples of all nations. This will be a great opportunity for both staff and lay leaders to receive information that will help them become more effective in discipling others as together, we work to create a disciple-making culture.
“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” – 1 Thessalonians 2:8.