Scripture places high value on fellowship among believers. But wait – I’m not talking about shaking hands in worship or sharing food in the church fellowship hall. Reading the book of Acts, I understand fellowship certainly includes activities around the table and various types of greetings. It also involves an investment of time with believers at many levels.
The early believers were more connected with the larger body of Christ than we seem to be.
Over the centuries Christians have fragmented into countless fellowship groups or denominations. In addition, we have increased our inward focus toward our local congregations. There are good and bad sides to that.
The bad side is myopia or shortsightedness. It is a dangerous mistake to miss the big picture of God’s activity in the full body of Christ, while believing that God’s activity in my local church body is the complete picture. No matter the size, no local church fellowship is able to give believers an adequate perspective of the full body of Christ.
I cannot count the number of times I hear comments like, “We don’t get involved in the state convention or association because we have so much happening in our church.” I understand the temptation to limit our activity to our congregation, but I strongly encourage Baptists not to go there.
Enrich your understanding of God’s family. Attend the annual meeting to the North Carolina Baptist State Convention in Greensboro, Nov. 12-13. Participate in the Pastors’ Conference and other related meetings. Learn what God is doing through your sister churches.
This year’s annual meeting is important for many reasons. First, it is important because there is a sincere call for spiritual awakening.
There is a growing hunger for a spiritual awakening in our times. The theme of the meetings may be the catalyst to fan the flames of revival. The program committee has humbly focused on praying for awakening among Baptists. I’ve seen evidence that it is working.
Second, N.C. Baptists are at a critical point in history. I believe we are more focused on our mission. We have the quality of leadership to facilitate our Lord’s assignment of the Great Commission.
We have a more defined, biblical unity than I have witnessed in my lifetime. This is a strategic moment for us. We can capitalize on its value best by working together. The annual meeting facilitates this opportunity.
Third, there is a desperate need to penetrate lostness in N.C. The cultural composition of the state is more multi-ethnic than ever. There are more lost people living in N.C. than any time in our history. Local churches have a critical role in reaching our communities, but they cannot do it alone. Now is the time to work together to impact the state with the gospel.
Fourth, the foundational nature of our unity is both in a personal relationship with Christ and in a corporate, voluntary relationship with other believers.
Absent of a structured denominational hierarchy, every church chooses the level of participation and cooperation with fellow Baptists.
I have found great personal and kingdom value by intentionally choosing to work with other church fellowships at many levels. I have never regretted my choice.
I look forward to seeing you in Greensboro.
When you see me at the Pastors’ Conference or in the convention hall, let me know how the Biblical Recorder can bless your local church fellowship and support your service to the King and His kingdom.
We are your partners in the Great Commission!