Messengers, Convention staff pray for the lostby C. Walter Overman
During the 2013 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) Annual Meeting, hundreds of messengers wrote the name of a lost friend or relative inside an outline of North Carolina sketched on a chalkboard.
“Many times, while writing the names, these people would tell us stories,” said Russ Conley, BSCNC team leader for the Strategic Focus Team. “These names are the names of sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, coworkers and neighbors. These are people who are very important to the person who wrote the name on the board.”
The chalkboard, which was located in the Annual Meeting exhibit hall, was intended to prompt North Carolina Baptists to commit to pray for that person’s salvation. About 300 names were written on the board by the end of the two-day meeting.
Messengers were also encouraged to take a magnet from the exhibit hall, write the name on the magnet, and take it home as a reminder to pray for that person.
“We had a number of people take a handful of these magnets back home to their churches and Bible studies to encourage others to pray for their lost friends and relatives,” Conley said.
The Strategic Focus Team consultants, compelled by the personal testimonies, wrote each name on a card and asked BSCNC staff to adopt five of the names and commit to pray for each one over the course of five days.
“We want North Carolina Baptists to know that we didn’t take the chalkboard and erase the names,” Conley said. “The messengers took responsibility for praying for those names, and we are joining them in that effort.”
Each name has also been added to the Convention’s on-site prayer room, where Convention staff will have the opportunity to continue praying for the names in 2014.
Conley encouraged all North Carolina Baptists to join the messengers and Convention staff in praying for the lost.
“We should pray for the lost because we have been commanded to pray for them,” he said. “When we pray for the lost God will give us a burden to share our faith.”
North Carolina Baptists can pray for the lost in a number of ways. Conley said churches might consider drawing an outline of the state or their community on a whiteboard or chalkboard, and invite members to write names on the board and commit to praying for them. He said churches can also encourage people to write the names of lost friends and relatives on cards and ask church members to pray for the names for a number of days or weeks.
Conley added that churches will soon be able to purchase the magnets from the Convention’s online store. The magnets are an effective way to reinforce the importance of praying for the lost.
“Prayer is the most important thing we can do,” Conley said. “Certainly we want to share our faith with people, but we want to do it from a prayerful perspective that acknowledges that God is the one who changes hearts.”
For more information contact Kathy Bennett at 800.395.5102, ext. 5557 or firstname.lastname@example.org