'Awaken' is focus of BSCNC annual meeting

by BSCNC Communications
Monday, August 6, 2012 | 2 yrs old

North Carolina Baptists will be challenged to respond to the call for spiritual awakening during this year’s Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) annual meeting. The theme for the meeting, to be held Nov. 12-13 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Special Events Center, is “Awaken,” based on Romans 13:11-14.

BSCNC leadership is praying that this meeting of North Carolina Baptists will encourage a revival among churches across the state as believers are awakened to the need to return to God in holiness so that they will be ready and able to do the work of His Kingdom.

“Awakening is about what God is doing among His people. It is about His people returning to Him in repentance, and in a cleansed heart and life,” said Chris Schofield, BSCNC director of the Office of Prayer. “It is about God moving in a powerful way to see that His people will be in step with what He is doing in His world to redeem a lost and dying humanity.”

About 5.6 million people in North Carolina, and 1.6 billion people throughout the world, do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. A spiritual awakening among believers is necessary if lost people are ever going to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Every day, North Carolina pastors are confronted with the reality of spiritual darkness.

“There’s a spiritual famine in most peoples’ lives and in their family’s lives. They come to church on Sunday, but what happens on Sunday has no connection with their lives,” said David Turner, pastor of Corinth Baptist Church in Elizabeth City.

Turner is praying that North Carolina Baptists will come to understand that they need God to guide every area of their life, and that they must live every day to tell others about the gospel.  

“No matter where you go in a small community you’re going to find good people; kind people. But that’s part of the problem. People are known around here as being good and decent people, but not lost or saved,” he said. “Please join us in praying that we would have a spiritual awakening for the need of Jesus Christ in the lives of people.”

One reason Turner believes a spiritual famine exists is the lack of emphasis on discipleship in local churches.

“We’ve said come and join us at church, but we haven’t encouraged people to join the Kingdom of God,” he said. “There is a vast difference in being a member of a church and a follower of Jesus Christ. To be a follower of Jesus means to do what He says we should do as believers. We don’t understand that discipleship is an ongoing process.”

Turner also attributes the great need for spiritual awakening to the church becoming more inward focused than outward focused.

“We have gotten so consumed with our own needs that we have lost sight of the spiritual need for God to work through us to make a difference in this world. We tend to see what we can get out of the church, rather than what we can put into it,” Turner said.

Jairo Contreras, pastor of Cristo Vive Baptist Church and New Hope Baptist Church in Rutherfordton, also sees the need for spiritual awakening. He has seen the power of God to change lives, and wants to see more people awakened to what it means to live for Him.

Contreras has joined with other pastors and churches in the area to host community-wide prayer revival meetings. The results have been more than they imagined, as hundreds of people join to pray for revival.

“People talk about it and how much it impacts their lives. We see the Spirit of God moving,” he said. “It’s not a magic button or program. It is spiritual awakening in peoples’ hearts. It’s a conscious choice. You have to be looking for it.” 

Through these prayer rallies, people are crying out to God for His mercy and for His Holy Spirit to transform communities. Contreras is encouraged to know that he is not alone in praying for spiritual awakening, and appreciates partnering with other pastors and leaders.

“We want to plant the seed and then see the fruit,” he said. “We can intercede. God can change peoples’ minds and hearts.”

To learn how you can begin praying for the annual meeting and for spiritual awakening, visit www.ncannualmeeting.org.