God is moving in the midst of crisis

April 3, 2020

Throughout the centuries, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ has flourished despite challenge, opposition and persecution. We see this in the biblical accounts of the early church in the Book of Acts. Whenever followers of Christ were persecuted and scattered, the church grew. Even in modern times, the church has grown faster in parts of the world where our brothers and sisters in Christ often risk their very lives to worship Jesus.

While I don’t want to make direct comparisons between the persecuted church and the coronavirus pandemic our world is currently enduring, there is no doubt that we are living and ministering in an extraordinary, unprecedented and challenging time in history. In the midst of the upheaval and adjustments we are being forced to make in our lives, I have been encouraged by reports from pastors and churches across our state about how God is moving and at work in the midst of this global crisis.

As pastors and churches made difficult decisions about modifying or canceling their worship gatherings in the early days of COVID-19’s impact on our state, many took their services or sermons online by way of livestream or video recording. For some, this was the very first time they had shared their messages in this manner. Pastors have shared with me that they have seen strong engagement from people accessing messages online. One pastor in western North Carolina whose church typically draws about 200 for worship reported that some 2,000 people accessed a recent Sunday service via Facebook Live. Another pastor told me they had 10,000 people watching their service via the internet.

I have also heard reports from pastors of people coming to know Christ and making other spiritual decisions during home worship with family as a result of these livestreamed messages. To God be the glory! This serves as a reminder that people are looking for hope and assurance in these uncertain times. May we look for ways that we can love and serve our neighbors in these days and be ready to share the hope that we have in Christ with them.

In these days where “social distancing” has become part of our conversation and practice, Sunday School classes, small groups and others are utilizing cell phones and other technology sources to meet together virtually for prayer and encouragement. Families are using these days to start or expand worship together in the home.

I am thankful for all of our pastors, church staff and associational leaders across our state who continue to minister and lead their congregations in these recent days. I want you to know that the staff and elected leaders of the Baptist state convention are continually praying for you. We are also trying to reach out to every pastor of a North Carolina Baptist church by phone to encourage you and see if there are any needs that the state convention could possibly assist you with.

Additionally, we have developed a special web page of resources related to the coronavirus, which is available at ncbaptist.org/covid19. New content and resources will be added to this page as they become available.

Finally, may we continue to take comfort in the fact that the God we serve is in control of this world and none of what we are facing took Him by surprise. Along with you, I rejoice that we know Christ as our Savior, and we can find comfort in the fact that God is with us. He will comfort and encourage us and give us His peace during these difficult days if we look to Him.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” — Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)


by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.  
/  Executive Director-Treasurer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

5 reasons your pastor should take a sabbatical

The word “sabbatical” has different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It has one meaning in the academic community, another meaning in its biblical usage, and still another in many secular settings. For the purpose of this article, I define sabbatical in...

Baptist state convention to host community blood drive

In response to critically low blood supplies in the region, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is hosting a community blood drive at its offices in Cary on Thursday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Following is more information about the drive. WHAT:The Baptist State...

Grandparenting: Embracing a God-sized vision

“Isn’t it great to be a grandparent? You get to spoil them and give them back to their parents!” This is a common response when people find out I am a grandparent, but it reveals an incorrect and incomplete view from a biblical perspective. My wife and I are enjoying this phase of...

How to create a comprehensive disciple-making strategy for your church

As summer arrives in full force, it may be difficult to think about fall ministries. Planning, recruitment, schedules and programming lie ahead, but have you ever asked the question, “What if our preschool, children’s, youth and adult ministries were viewed as layers in one...

11 fun ideas to serve children (and families) this summer

One area of concern school teachers have noticed about children returning to school after months of virtual schooling is the delay or regression of social skills. Time away from in-person interaction has caused a lag in the social and emotional development of many children. With...

Twitter hashtag focuses on the good work of Southern Baptists

On a website that often makes social media look terribly anti-social, many Southern Baptists have been sharing some positivity with the Twitter hashtag #ThisistheSBC. As the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting looms, social media posts and conversations about the...

A ‘Revelation 5’ vision for North Carolina

Near the end of his life while exiled on the island of Patmos, quarantined if you will, the Apostle John was given a foretaste of the future. Part of John’s vision recorded in Revelation 5 includes a picture of thousands and thousands of people from every tribe and language and...

On mission through the Cooperative Program

For almost 100 years, the Cooperative Program (CP) has been the primary way Southern Baptists “do” the work of ministry together both here and abroad. Standing on the firm ground of the Great Commission, the CP is an effective tool that galvanizes the missionary zeal of our...

1 Comment

  1. Chaplain Chimka Akaa Niro

    Great being here

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!