An article earlier this year in USA Today reported that our state’s population has increased 18.5 percent in the past 10 years. Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city, saw a 35.2 percent gain during that time.
With a growing population comes a growing diversity. North Carolina’s Hispanic population grew 11 percent, making it the 11th state in the country in Latino residents. North Carolina school systems report that more than 230 languages are spoken in this state. Of the top five largest cities in our state, only in Raleigh is the white population the majority.
More people in our state means more churches are needed to help reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some people will not be reached by existing churches because of language and cultural barriers. We know that most church plants reach more lost people and experience growth faster than existing congregations. The more healthy, gospel-centered churches we have, the greater our opportunity to penetrate spiritual darkness.
Church planting is the heart of Pillar No. 4 in the Seven Pillars for Ministry. The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) wants to help churches across this state — and throughout North America and the world — start new churches that will in turn start new churches.
Last year, the BSC assisted North Carolina Baptists in planting 125 new churches. You may not be aware that these new churches included 29 Anglo, 27 Hispanic, 15 Asian and 18 multi-ethnic churches. Other types of churches included cowboy, biker, Montagnard, Chinese, Haitian, American Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, African, African-American, Burmese, Asian Indian, Filipino and Romanian. As a result of these church plants, we witnessed 2,813 professions of faith. I praise God for salvation and for these new brothers and sisters in Christ!
To help equip church planters to be as effective as possible, your Convention staff led 218 people through the Basic Training Journey for Church Planters last year. We have also launched a church planting partnership with the Canadian National Baptist Convention. Our prayer is that God will help us plant 60 churches by the year 2021in Canada. I want to thank each of you who have contributed to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) throughout the years. This offering, which is a focus in many churches during September, plays a tremendous role in helping us support new churches. We need your help. You can read about how this offering has helped by visiting ncmissionsoffering.org.
If your church is not already participating in church planting, I encourage you to pray about how God would have you to be involved. Our church planting team stands ready to assist you in any way that we can. Our desire is to see more churches planted so that more people may come to faith in Jesus Christ.
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
– Ephesians 1:22-23
– Ephesians 1:22-23
(EDITOR’S NOTE — This item is part of a package of stories highlighting strengthening existing church ministries across the state. The Biblical Recorder is focusing on the Seven Pillars for Christian Ministry adopted by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. For more stories on strengthening existing churches or to find out about the entire package, please visit here.)