Find it Here: Embracing Christ 2011 is the second year of a
three-year initiative focused on evangelism, discipleship and missions
mobilization. During the 2010 emphasis, churches committed to four evangelistic
activities on or prior to Easter Sunday with the intent of baptizing believers.
Building on last year’s success, Find It Here: Embracing
Christ 2011 focuses on transforming believers into fully devoted followers of
Jesus Christ. This year’s focus includes a spring and fall emphasis. During the
spring period, churches focused on the necessity of following Christ, and in
the fall they are turning to the importance of abiding in Christ.
Craig Willingham, senior pastor of Berry’s Grove Baptist
Church in Timberlake, is glad his church has participated in the first two
years of Find It Here. He believes it has made a difference in the lives of
those under his care and of those in his community.
“We participated in the first installment on evangelism and
it was well-received by the church,” Willingham said. “We had people actively
reaching out to their lost friends.”
Eager to build on last year’s success, Willingham was
excited to participate in the spring emphasis because he knew it would connect
with his congregation. “I was particularly excited about the focus on
discipleship because we were already putting a big emphasis on our small groups
and seeing people grow,” he said. “I wanted to see more of our body become a
part of that.”
Willingham’s desire for his congregation has come to
fruition. “Our church has seemed much hungrier to grow in knowledge of the Word
since the spring emphasis,” he said. “The growing desire for God’s Word seems
to be infectious!”
So infectious, in fact, that Willingham has restructured
Wednesday night services to accommodate the growing desire to go deeper into
God’s Word. “On Wednesday nights, I now spend our time going deeper in the
scripture from Sunday’s message and having serious discussion about its
application to our lives,” he said.
Attendance has increased in Sunday School, small groups and
weekly worship services since the church participated in the spring
Lynn Sasser, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
executive leader for congregational services, said the change Willingham has
witnessed is exactly what Find It Here strives to achieve. “It is our prayer
that Find It Here will lead North Carolina Baptists to grow deeper in their
walk with Christ so they will become prepared to follow Him no matter the
Sasser said 575 pastors and church leaders are participating
in Find It Here: Embracing Christ 2011. The initiative gives church leaders
access to resources such as sermon outlines, Bible study lessons, prayer and
devotional guides. The material can be customized to fit the needs of a particular
The ability to customize the outreach has worked well for
Willingham. “I utilized most of the sermon passages, though not necessarily in
the order they were given,” he said.
“We also distributed the devotionals to the congregation and
used the weekly Bible studies on Wednesday nights. Our church really
seemed to get a lot out of focusing on a passage together for an entire week.”
Although the fall emphasis is already underway in some
churches, there is still time for more churches to participate. During the
fall, participants work through six weeks of sermons and Bible study lessons
from John 15, teaching believers the importance of abiding in Christ and
bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God. Willingham believes the fall emphasis
will be an important catalyst to launch his church into the third and final
year of Find It Here – a year that will build on the previous two years by
focusing on missions mobilization.
“We know discipleship is vital to missions,” Willingham
said. “Discipleship prepares us for missions by helping us to see what will
sustain the work after we are gone.”
Though it might not be a new formula, Willingham knows Find
It Here is a great way to rejuvenate a church. “It is a wonderful way to get
the entire congregation to focus on the essential elements of what it means to
be a church and to go deeper in the scriptures and how to put those elements
into action,” he said.
Willingham should know more than anyone. He has seen Find It
Here help restore spiritual vitality to his church.
“I am thankful that our convention has put such an emphasis
on things that truly matter in regard to the Kingdom of God,” he said.
“Find It Here will make an eternal difference in the lives
of our people.”
call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5648.