Although the annual meeting is not until November, our program committee begins their work early in the year, as a meeting of this size and scope requires much preparation.
From that first meeting in January I sensed God working among the committee members.
They expressed their desire to see God work in a way unlike we have ever seen before.
I truly wish you could have experienced with us the presence of God in these meetings, as the committee cried out to God for wisdom and a clear vision of what He wanted accomplished during this annual meeting. God indeed spoke, and I am thankful the committee was sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
The Holy Spirit led the committee to Romans 13:11-14 and impressed upon their hearts the urgency for spiritual awakening.
Did you know that in 1900, 42 percent of the United States was evangelical, and today it is only 15 percent?
Jimmy Draper, the former president of LifeWay Christian Resources, recently shared some statistics during an address to the state executive directors that he said should “compel us to examine our lives, our entities, our churches and come in repentance before God asking for forgiveness and empowerment.”
He shared that in 1960 there were 9.73 million Southern Baptists who baptized 386,469, a ratio of 1/25.
In 2011, there were 16 million Southern Baptists and we baptized 333,341, a ratio of only 1/48
Last year, 20 percent of Southern Baptist churches did not baptize anyone. More than 50 percent of our churches did not baptize a youth between ages 12-17. North Carolina Baptists, this is why the theme for our annual meeting this year is “Awaken.”
We need a fresh movement of God to touch hearts and lives. We must return to God in holiness and focus our lives on telling lost people about our Savior.
We must awaken to the reality that we do not know how much longer we have on this earth to tell our relatives and friends about Jesus Christ, and therefore we must focus our lives not on ourselves, but on expanding God’s Church.
Spiritual awakening begins in each of our hearts. If we want God to transform churches, families and communities, and allow us to experience Kingdom fruit in our lives, we have to begin by praying for God to change our own hearts through repentance and renewal of obedience to Him. If you are not already praying for spiritual renewal, please join us in doing so. We have prepared resources to help you and your church in doing this, and these materials are available at www.ncannualmeeting.org.
Please pray that God will begin working in peoples’ hearts so that when we meet in Greensboro in two weeks we will come expectant, ready to hear from the Lord. I am praying this annual meeting marks the beginning of a powerful revival that will spread across this state, nation and world for the glory of God.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” – Romans 13:12