Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. exhorted North Carolina Baptists to “get engaged in God’s great work” during his address to messengers on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Greensboro.
Evoking the meeting theme that emphasized the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, Hollifield shared three primary ways for N.C. Baptists to emulate Jesus in ministering to those around them from Matthew 9:35-38.
First, Hollifield challenged NC. Baptists to see the condition of people because Jesus saw the multitudes and cared for them.
“Their condition is compelling, and it compels us to get involved,” Hollifield said, adding that many people today are like people in Jesus’ day in that they are “like sheep without a shepherd.”
Many people have no purpose in life and no hope for tomorrow, Hollifield said. They are ravaged by personal problems, broken relationships and fragmented homes. Moreover, many people are spiritually lost and destined to spend eternity without Christ.
“What are you doing to help people know that God loves them?” Hollifield asked.
Second, Hollifield challenged N.C. Baptists to feel the compassion that Jesus felt when He saw people in need.
“Jesus felt for people in need,” Hollifield said. “Jesus cared and took time to show He cared. When we see people in need, we’ve got to show them compassion.”
Hollifield said Christians must ask themselves some sobering questions when it comes to serving and ministering to others.
“Do I care enough to get involved with lost people?” Hollifield said. “Am I willing to share the good news, this powerful gospel?”
Hollifield said a believer’s compassion should know no limits.
“We cannot reserve our compassion for only those who deserve it because we do not deserve the compassion Jesus has for us,” Hollifield said.
Hollifield also shared several examples of how the different ministries of the Baptist state convention are demonstrating compassion to those in need and helping churches minister to them in Jesus’ name.
He also announced plans to elevate the convention’s church health and revitalization ministry. This effort will result in a new team to assist the 86% percent of N.C. Baptist churches that Hollifield said are plateaued, declining or dying.
Third, Hollifield challenged N.C. Baptists to hear and respond to Christ’s commission.
“The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few,” Hollifield said. “You have been called of God to minister to those who have spiritual and physical needs no matter their race or country of origin. Jesus loves them and died for them as much as He loves and died for you and me.”
Referencing Acts 1:8, Hollifield reminded messengers that God empowers believers and uses them to accomplish His work.
“Will you hear His commission for you?” Hollifield asked. “Will you get engaged in God’s great work?”
“Take time to make a difference in someone’s life. Are you willing to get involved when you recognize a need?”