For many people the New Year brings opportunity for resolutions. In the beginning of 2012, some of you may have made a New Year’s resolution to live a healthier lifestyle, or to be a better steward of the financial resources God has entrusted to you.
Instead of focusing on New Year’s resolutions for our Convention, I am praying for a new resolve. I believe God has already given us our mission, and that is to assist churches in accomplishing their divinely appointed mission. We can, by God’s grace, become the strongest force in the history of this Convention for reaching people with the gospel.
Now, we must be more resolved than ever before to accomplish this mission. We must be fully resolved to do whatever necessary to see people come to faith in Christ and mature as Christ-followers.
I resolved five years ago to develop a list of core values to assist our Convention in keeping focused on our mission; the result was what has come to be known as the 7 Pillars for Ministry.
These core values, or pillars, are biblical concepts of a Christ-centered vision for our Convention that sharpen our focus as we labor together for Jesus Christ.
Many of you heard me share the 7 Pillars during my address during our annual meeting in November. After a time of reflection and evaluation, I have updated the pillars. These revisions bring more clarity to the meaning and purpose of the pillars and the focus of our Convention.
I made these revisions based on recommendations from the Vision Fulfillment Committee. In 2010, our Board of Directors approved a motion directing the formation of a Vision Fulfillment Committee.
The Committee sought input from North Carolina Baptists about the fulfillment of our vision through the funding and implementation of the 7 Pillars. The input of North Carolina Baptists through the Vision Fulfillment forums, as well as input from the Committee, helped shape these revisions to the pillars.
The most significant change has been made to Pillar 6, “Escalating Technology.” This Pillar has been significantly revised and is now titled, “Embrace Unreached and Unengaged People Groups.” Although I continue to see value in using technology in missions and ministry, I wanted to magnify our emphasis on missions, and therefore I revised this pillar.
In addition to pillar revisions, the Vision Fulfillment Committee encouraged our Convention to consider how we can be more effective in several areas of our work.
I have already formed three cross-functional teams from among Convention staff to address some of these areas. These teams are exploring communication issues, the tension between balancing church planting and strengthening existing churches, and strategic development.
I will be updating you on the work of these teams later in the year. I encourage you to read the updated 7 Pillars document at ncbaptist.org.
So … whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31