I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be elected as president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina! I look forward to getting to know more and more of you over the next year.
This past convention was one of the most inspiring I have ever attended, beginning with the Pastors’ Conference led by Matt Capps. The preachers in this conference modeled for all of us what great expository preaching should be like. They touched my heart and gave my soul deep insights into God’s Word.
Lee Pigg was such a blessing in the way he presided over the convention. I loved his smile and was melted by his tears. His sermon for us was nothing less than a home run!
I left this convention even more excited about the privilege of supporting missions through the Cooperative Program.
We saw first-hand how God is using this important giving strategy. We were reminded of the good work supported by the Cooperative Program in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
The video from the International Mission Board (IMB) was one of the highlights of the convention. Baptists have brave and committed missionaries all over the world reaching the nations!
Danny Akin’s message at the Pastor’s Conference and his seminary report to the convention showed us that our SBC dollars are being used by God in a great way to shape the next generation of leaders through our seminaries. I am glad that we not only have a partnership with the SBC, but also a commitment to growing the percentage of what we forward to the SBC continues.
I am also grateful for the privilege of supporting the important mission work being done through our state convention. Our IMB sends missionaries across the world to reach the nations for Christ.
But the nations have come to North Carolina as well. Our state convention is leading great efforts to reach those born in other countries who now call North Carolina home.
Our North American Mission Board is doing an effective job in planting churches in those areas outside the South that so desperately need Jesus. That means the job of planting churches in North Carolina is now in the hands of North Carolina Baptists. The success rate of N.C. church plants is much higher than the national average.
The theme of this annual meeting “Who is my Neighbor?” reminds us that Jesus gave us both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
We are to both share the gospel and love our neighbors. North Carolina Baptists are strongly committed to loving their neighbors.
We saw the Great Commandment in action when over 100 of those cared for by the Baptist Children’s Homes of N.C. gave their report. Their testimonies brought tears to our eyes.
We are loving our neighbors once again through sending out N.C. Baptists with their yellow shirts to minister in disaster relief through Baptists on Mission. Being faithful to the Great Commandment opens doors for us to fulfill the Great Commission.
As inspiring as this convention was for all who attended, every N.C. Baptist can be reminded constantly of what they are supporting through their giving by reading the Biblical Recorder. Every two weeks I can read about how God is working through our national convention, our state convention and our local churches. I encourage each of us to regularly read the BRnow.org web site and strongly recommend that at least all of our church leaders should be given the printed newspaper as a way to stay on mission with what God has called us to do as Southern Baptists.
Because I believe in the Great Commission, because I believe in the Great Commandment, I am committed to the Cooperative Program. Each of us, no matter the size of our churches, can impact the world through a church by church commitment to giving through the Cooperative Program.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Steve Scoggins is president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C.)