In the parable of the good Samaritan found in Luke 10:25-37, Jesus is asked by a lawyer what he must do to inherit eternal life.
When Jesus responds by asking what is written in the law, the lawyer responds, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
After Jesus replies that the lawyer has answered rightly, the lawyer poses another question, “And who is my neighbor?”
Although the text informs us that the lawyer asked the latter question to “justify himself,” the question of “Who is my neighbor?” is one that we should all ask as Christ-followers.
“Who is My Neighbor?” is the theme for this year’s Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 5-6 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C. This year’s meeting will feature times of worship, preaching from God’s Word, ministry, reports, business sessions, ministry exhibits and more.
This year’s meeting is now less than two months away, and I hope you are making plans to join us for this special event. Also, make plans to attend the N.C. Baptist Pastors’ Conference prior to the start of annual meeting on Nov. 4-5. You can learn more about annual meeting, the pastors’ conference and a number of other related events and activities at ncannualmeeting.org.
This year’s annual meeting theme is an appropriate one as we seek by God’s grace as a convention of churches to impact lostness through disciple-making. The population of North Carolina is changing, and God is bringing people from all over the world to our state. Acts 17 reminds us that God is sovereign over the movements of people from among the nations so that they might seek and find Him. We have a part to play in God’s plan of taking the gospel to these individuals.
“The population of North Carolina is changing, and God is bringing people from all over the world to our state. Acts 17 reminds us that God is sovereign over the movements of people from among the nations so that they might seek and find Him.”
There are many breakout sessions being planning for this year’s annual meeting that will provide biblical and practical equipping to help you and your church reach your neighbors for Christ, even those who may come from a different ethnic or religious background.
In addition, based on feedback from messengers from our churches, this year’s annual meeting features a revamped schedule that will provide more opportunities for attendees to take part in these times of training and equipping. This year’s schedule will include three separate times allotted for breakout sessions. These will take place on Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon. I hope you will take advantage of these opportunities.
As we look ahead to this year’s meeting, I ask that you continue to pray for all of the events and activities that will be taking place and for the business that will be conducted. To assist with our personal spiritual preparation for annual meeting, Dr. Chris Schofield from our Office of Prayer has written a new devotional prayer guide for use during our 30-day prayer emphasis in October. Visit prayfor30days.org to access the prayer guide and learn about other ways you can participate in the October prayer emphasis.
I look forward to seeing you in Greensboro this November, and be sure to visit ncannualmeeting.org for the most up-to-date information about annual meeting.
“But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'” — Luke 10:29 (NKJV)
by Milton A. Hollifield Jr. / Executive Director-Treasurer / Baptist State Convention of North Carolina