It is hard to believe that our annual meeting is coming up in just a few weeks. For many months now our program committee has diligently worked to make all the necessary preparations for our time in Greensboro.
The program committee, which is comprised of North Carolina Baptists from across the state, also spent a significant amount of time in prayer and discussion about the theme for this year’s meeting. I am excited about the direction in which they feel God leading them and this convention. I join them in their desire to continue encouraging churches to pray for spiritual awakening, as this was the focus of last year’s meeting, but to also challenge churches to take that next step. Our prayers for revival should not just result in personal growth and sanctification – we pray for spiritual awakening in order that we might see God’s eternal Kingdom advanced.
This year’s annual meeting theme of “Arise” is based on Isaiah 60:1-3 and our desire to see North Carolina Baptists “arise” and obey the Lord’s command to share the gospel and make disciples. I hope you will join us for the Tuesday morning session (Nov. 12). I will share how you and your church can take the next step to “Arise” by joining our convention’s new five-year strategy to impact lostness through disciple-making.
You can also learn more about the new strategy by participating in the Tuesday afternoon breakout sessions. Our staff will lead in sessions about the eight population centers, collegiate partnerships and how to develop a disciple-making culture. More information about the strategy is also available at ncbaptist.org/strategy.
Our staff will be available to meet with you in the exhibit hall. For our annual meeting regular attenders, you will notice a different look in the exhibit hall. Our convention staff exhibits will be organized according to our new convention staff structure. The new structure will help staff more effectively implement the new strategy. Several new groups and teams are now part of the new structure, and I encourage you to spend some time in the exhibit hall becoming familiar with our ministry areas.
I especially want to encourage you to stop by the booth area for the new Strategic Focus Team, which will lead the work in eight population centers across the state. These centers represent the most concentrated areas of lostness. This team has some very special things planned for you in the exhibit hall.
We are blessed to have Fred Luter with us this year to deliver the Convention sermon Tuesday evening. Rev. Luter is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La. Mark Harris, our convention president, will preach during the special “Arise” worship service Monday evening (Nov. 11).
Please plan to come a little early and enjoy the many speakers featured during the Pastors’ Conference, which begins Sunday night (Nov. 10) at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro. All annual meeting sessions will be held at the Koury Convention Center.
More information about the annual meeting and conference is available at ncannualmeeting.org.