Most days over the last year I have not been sure whether I was coming or going. Up is down, and in is out. I’ve preached to a small camera in an empty sanctuary, under a tree in a field beside our church and on the porch of an abandoned house on the back of our congregation’s property.
I often wondered as service was about to start, if anyone would even show up. The last year has frequently left me feeling empty in times where I would normally be filled with joy. The past year made every attempt to suck the joy out of preaching, ministry and life in general.
After being elected as president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina last November, the reality of the immense task ahead of us as North Carolina Baptists quickly set in. There is so much work to do. COVID-19 has placed a magnifying glass on the church in America. We have seen our deficiencies. Many have abandoned the church in this time. This has happened not because of a desire to keep themselves safe from the virus, but as a reflection of what was truly a priority.
In spite of all that has happened, it is time for N.C. Baptists to rally to the commission of our Savior. The fields are white unto harvest and if no one goes with us — if many abandon the propagation of the gospel — let’s go together, never giving up, never forsaking the calling of Christ!
It is time for N.C. Baptists to rally to the commission of our Savior.
This may seem like an odd introduction to then ask you to recommend someone to serve N.C. Baptists. Yet, I think it’s fitting. Ask yourself this question: Is the work we are doing as N.C. Baptists important? If so, help us carry it forward.
We need leaders of courage to stand up and help us as we lead N.C. Baptists into the future. You might say that you are not the type of person we are looking for. You are too young, or your church is too small. You are not a senior pastor, or you are not a pastor at all. You may think you do not have the prior experience necessary. Consider the following:
- All five elected leaders in North Carolina are under 43 years of age. These include the president, first vice president and second vice president of the convention as well as the president and vice president of the board of directors.
- All three convention presidents pastor churches under 150 people.
- The vice president of this year’s N.C. Baptist Pastors’ Conference is 31 years old.
- Previous board President Melanie Wallace is a pastor’s wife and was only the second woman to ever serve in that role.
- I was elected president of the Pastors’ Conference at age 29 after having been elected as vice president at 25.
In addition, individuals who serve on the convention’s board of directors, convention committees, and on the boards of the convention’s institutions and agencies come from all walks of life, geographic regions of the state and non-ministerial roles. There are many other examples that could be shared, but each one of them would bring me back to this: If you love Jesus, love N.C. Baptists and think the work of our convention is important, we need your help.
There is so much to do and so little time to do it. Take time to recommend someone or have them recommend you. You can learn more and make a recommendation at ncbaptist.org/recommend.
Editor’s Note: Pardue serves as president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The Committee on Nominations recently extended the deadline to recommend individuals to places of service in N.C. Baptist life until Monday, April 12, 2021.
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