Messengers used a variety of words to describe this year’s annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention in Greensboro. The most common descriptor I heard was “refreshing.”
The two-day gathering could be labeled as “completely uneventful,” if you were looking for conflict or disagreement. But if unity and renewed vision is what N.C. Baptists want, the event was very significant.
No miscellaneous business was introduced from the floor – perhaps a record. There were no challenges to the budget. The Committee on Nominations’ report was unchallenged. The only committee report that drew a response from the floor was the Resolution Committee. A motion was presented to amend a resolution on holiness. It was briefly discussed and defeated. Those who came to the Coliseum Special Events Center were looking for inspiration and encouragement, not conflict. There was both a hunger for something fresh and an expectation of spiritual awakening.
Testimonies in the halls and from the platform demonstrated that many pastors used the materials provided by the program committee to preach on the theme from Romans 13:11-13 in their churches.
In some churches, preaching led to protracted times of prayer. In other congregations, Baptists incorporated the prayer guides in their personal daily quiet times and Bible studies.
Clearly the annual meeting had been covered by the prayers of many.
N.C. Baptists were told that 79 percent of North Carolinians have no active church affiliation.
Approximately 5.6 million people in North Carolina do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
Preparation materials stated, “Spiritual darkness is everywhere – in our neighborhoods, across the state and throughout the world. It is high time we awaken to this call for a spiritual revival.”
If we respond to the call heralded throughout the convention, perhaps we can be a catalyst for something powerful and life-changing in our state. The annual meeting is over. The call to “Awaken” is just beginning.
The seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas are important for two key ministries.
The Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina annually ask us to stand with them in touching the lives of hurting children. They do an outstanding work. They are deserving of our most generous support. I hope the Thanksgiving season will find all of us giving generously to this annual offering through your home church. Visit their website (bchfamily.org) to meet Travis, Kimani and other children who have experienced the radical transformation only Christ can give.
The second critical offering is obviously the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.
A messenger at last week’s meeting in Greensboro shared with me about his passion for calling Baptists to radical generosity toward this offering.
He suggested that we should seriously consider giving a gift to the Lottie Moon offering that is either an amount equal to your largest Christmas gift, or an amount equal to the total of all of your Christmas gifts, or an amount equal to one week’s salary.
That is the least we can do in obedience to the assignment our Savior left us until the day he concludes history.