Todd Unzicker called on N.C. Baptists to pray for the nations, encouraged churches to be sending churches, and shared several examples of individuals and churches being on mission together during his executive director-treasurer’s address in the opening session of the 2022 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) annual meeting, held Monday, Nov. 7, at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center.
In his remarks to messengers, Unzicker announced a yearlong prayer emphasis for 2023 called “Praying for the Nations,” which features prayer resources for unreached people groups living in North Carolina, as well as missionaries and church planters from North Carolina. More information on the initiative is available at praync.org.
“Churches that are experiencing revival … all point to this revival starting with prayer and thinking about those outside the walls rather than those inside the walls (of the church),” Unzicker said. “‘Praying for the Nations’ is one simple first step, because the nations exist right outside your church walls.”
Unzicker said N.C. Baptist staff want to partner with pastors and churches by providing relationships, resources, tools and opportunities to advance the gospel across North Carolina and beyond.
He highlighted the recently announced “SendNC” church planting partnership between the state convention and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the “Go2Years” initiative as ways churches can play an active role in planting churches and sending out missionaries in North Carolina, North America and around the world.
“The future belongs to churches that send,” Unzicker said.
“‘SendNC’ enhances church planting opportunities by combining N.C. Baptists’ existing leadership and relationships with NAMB’s planter care and development pathways. “Go2Years” calls on college graduates and young professionals to devote two years to missions with a church plant in North America or on a missionary team overseas.
“We are strengthening opportunities for churches to be sending churches,” Unzicker said.
Unzicker also shared several examples of how N.C. Baptists are working to fulfill the Great Commission.
Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February, N.C. Baptists have consistently sent short-term missions teams into Eastern Europe to serve those impacted by the ongoing conflict. Bela Szilagyi, president of Hungarian Baptist Aid, joined Unzicker on stage and thanked N.C. Baptist for sending teams to serve.
Unzicker also shared examples of how N.C. Baptists’ generosity has led to the placement of two ultrasound machines at pregnancy resource centers in underserved areas of North Carolina over the past year, as well as provided initial funding for an adoption assistance grant for N.C. Baptist churches and their adoptive families.
Those examples were just a few ways that N.C. Baptists are demonstrating being on mission together, Unzicker said.
“‘On mission together’ is way more than a slogan,” Unzicker said. “It’s more than a vision statement. It’s who we are as N.C. Baptists.”