A look back at 2016by Emily Rojas, BSCNC Communications
2016 has been a year full of God’s blessings, and we’re so grateful for what He has done in our state and around our world. This year, we’re especially thankful for how we’ve been able to take strides toward helping churches and individuals as they integrate disciple-making into their daily lives.
Following are some BSCNC highlights from 2016. We hope that reading them will cause you to “return” and “give glory to God” (Luke 17:17) for all that He has done this year.
The Disciple-making Conference kicked off this year’s events on Feb. 29th at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro. The theme of the conference was “Reveal,” and the event speakers included Bruce Frank, pastor of Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville; Chuck Lawless, professor and dean of graduate studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Dhati Lewis, pastor of Blueprint Church in Atlanta.
“The problem is that we have reduced life-on-life disciple-making to a once a week meeting at Starbuck’s where I’m going to ask you about your life.” — Dhati Lewis
The Awaken Statewide Prayer Conference took place at First Baptist Church, Charlotte on March 11-12. Its goal was to unite believers in prayer with the theme “Watch and Pray.” Speakers included Chris Schofield of the BSCNC’s Office of Prayer; Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church, Charlotte; Bob Lowman, associational missionary in Charlotte; and Richard Owen Roberts, founder of International Awakening Ministries in Wheaton, Ill.
“It’s not that we have to somehow wrangle with God, that we have to somehow overcome His reluctance to bring revival. No — what we need to overcome is our reluctant hearts.” — Mark Harris
Summer Youth Weeks at Fort Caswell were a hit with students from all over the state. Held from June 13 to Aug. 6, these seven youth week camps included worship, discipleship and fun activities, while maintaining a focus on the theme, “Every One, Every Thing, Every Day, Every Where: Living Life on Mission.” Afshin Ziafat, pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas, was one of the camp’s seven featured speakers.
“You cannot divorce your being saved to your being sent on this mission. Every one of us is called to be on this mission.” — Afshin Ziafat
The One Day Conference, held Aug. 20 At Western Avenue Baptist Church in Statesville, was a time designed to equip North Carolina Baptists to be disciple-makers and to help local churches to create disciple-making cultures. Cris Alley of the BSCNC’s Strategic Focus Team was the event’s keynote speaker, and event attendees had the option to attend 15 different equipping tracks.
“As God grows you as an individual in His image, your life shows those whom you disciple an unforgettable picture that life is better lived God’s way.” — Cris Alley
Patterned, a 10-week disciple-making resource created by the BSCNC, was introduced to North Carolina Baptists during the One Day Conference in August. Patterned, which is available in both digital and print versions, includes five lessons for each week centered on the elements of disciple-making. Lessons were written by North Carolina pastors, ministers, lay leaders, missionaries and seminary professors and are designed to be used in a small group or Sunday School setting.
“In order to understand a kingdom, you must know the King.” — Marty Childers, “Patterned” contributor
North Carolina Baptists on Mission responded to many disasters in and outside of the state this year. NCBM provided cleanup and restoration after flooding in West Virginia, and most recently, NCBM conducted more cleanup and restoration after Hurricane Matthew left parts of North Carolina devastated. NCBM was able to provide hot meals, clean water, chaplains, showers, laundry services and childcare in addition to providing chainsaw, mud-out and tear-out teams.
“Do we really see hurting people, and do we really love them?” — Richard Brunson, executive director, NCBM
The “Overwhelmed” Women’s Retreat was held Oct. 28-29 at the Caraway Conference Center in Sophia, and the keynote speakers were Carolyn McCulley, founder of Citygate Films; and Ashley Allen of the BSCNC’s Embrace Women’s Ministry. McCulley and Allen emphasized the retreat’s theme of “Overwhelmed,” based on Psalm 16 with the aim of helping attendees feel overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord rather than by their circumstances.
“If you want to know how to avoid being overwhelmed, it’s taking a moment to say, ‘Lord, what have You given to me to do today? What have you called me to do, and where are you going to meet me where I feel overwhelmed?’” — Carolyn McCulley
The 2016 Annual Meeting was held Nov. 14-15 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The meeting’s theme was “Impact: Compelling the Lost to Come to Life,” based on Luke 14:23. Featured speakers were David Platt, president of the International Mission Board; Timmy D. Blair Sr., former president of the BSCNC; and Milton A. Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the BSCNC. At Annual Meeting, messengers elected new BSCNC officers, approved motions and budgets, and participated in breakout sessions and times of worship.
“We must lead our churches … into the difficult and dangerous places.” — David Platt