February 2023 Carolina's 10,000 P5
PRAYING TOGETHER TO REACH OUR WORLD FOR CHRIST
The words of Jesus echo through the corridors of time when He herald this message – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 (NKJV)
How can that possibly happen? Our world’s population is expected to reach 8 billion by the end of 2023 and is projected to continue to grow at an alarming rate of 90 million per year. Seventh-day Adventists are infinitesimally a minute fraction of God’s people who’ve been called and entrusted with the proclamation of the everlasting Gospel. As Adventists, we cherish the precious hope of the soon return of Christ. The reality of His coming is as close to your last heartbeat and breath. Scriptures confirm it with these words: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” I Corinthians 15:51-52 (NKJV)
God had blessed us as Adventists from such a small beginning in 1846 to a membership in North America of only around 3,500 believers when we were being organized as a global movement. Today in North America, we represent only 6% of the 19.5 million members of His global remnant movement. That means that 94% of Adventists surround communities around our planet earth.
The hourglass of time is reaching its last granules of sand. It is time for us as Adventists to pray and dedicate our energies to reaching every heart for Heaven that will respond to Christ’s invitation. He has promised what seems an impossible task to us. We may find our courage in the assurance of Philippians 1:6 where we are reminded that “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Last week I was in Florida at our annual meeting of the 59 conference presidents from across North America. I was deeply touched by an initiative to pray for difficult and challenging areas of the world that have not been reached with the message of a loving and soon-returning Savior. As you look at the world map on the next page, you will notice challenging regions of the world that have been assigned for prayer and support from each conference in North America.
The Carolina Conference has been assigned with the area in red on that world map, representing our unreached mission focus in the country of North Korea.
Despite the political challenges that have created a wide chasm in many of these parts of the world, the love of Christ compels us to pray for their safety and salvation. Jesus reminds us in His beautiful words of John 10:16 “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” NKJV. How I long for that day! I invite you to join me in earnest prayer for the very small group of Adventists in North Korea and the unreached precious lives of this nation for whom Jesus shed His blood on Calvary.
REMEMBERING AND PRAYING FOR OUR THREE QUINQUENNIAL GOALS (2022-2026)
Our first goal is to develop measurable goals for discipleship. Discipleship is the process of becoming like Jesus by spending time with Him. This ongoing and sustained personal relationship between a follower of Christ and Jesus as our master Teacher is the heart of discipleship.
Our second quinquennial goal is that of intentionally engaging, empowering, and enabling our young adults in the mission of the church. The administration of the Carolina Conference in partnership with the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Department is making a determined effort to establish a better connection with and ensure the retention and engaged involvement of our young adults in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Our third is a consecrated effort to focus on measurable initiatives to enhance the ministry of Mount Pisgah Academy to enable our campus to reach and maintain a consistent, sustainable enrollment of 125-150 students.
With each issue of our President’s Prayer Partners, we continue on to one of our goals and share some of the developments that are helping us focus our attention on accomplishing that goal. In our January issue we focused on our third goal – enhancing the ministry of Mount Pisgah Academy to enable our campus to reach and maintain a consistent, sustainable enrollment of 125-150 students.
We return to our focus on our first goal to develop measurable goals for discipleship. Discipleship is the process of becoming like Jesus by spending time with Him. True discipleship requires more than just removing that which is sinful from our lives. It must also include adding to our lives that which is spiritual in harmony with the counsel of Colossians 3:2 (NKJV) “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
The Discipleship Handbook published by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church outlines eight spiritual habits that are recommended as vital practices for every Adventist who desires to be a growing disciple of Christ. It is currently published in both English and Spanish. Here are those eight components of emphasis for His Seventh-day Adventist disciples:
Daily Personal Prayer
Daily Personal Study of the Bible
Daily Morning and Evening Family Worship
Weekly Sabbath School Attendance
Weekly Church Attendance
Weekly Prayer Meetings or Mid-week Small Group Bible Study Attendance
Regular Personal Witnessing
Regular Involvement in Local Church Ministry
So what measurable goals have we put in place so far to accomplish the emphasis on these essentials?
Dedicated financial resources to encourageand support every Carolina Conference church, company, and group in procuring and engaging in the reading and small group study of The Discipleship Handbookin either Spanish or English.
By providinga copy of the Discipleship Handbookto every member of the Executive Committee. We have scheduled a portion of our time to study it through the course of this year in every Executive Committee meeting.
By providing a copy to every member of our conference office team and study it every Monday as part of our morning worship beginning March, 2023.
By providing a copy to all our Pastors and encouragingthem to study it with their church boards and small groups for study and prayer.
Intentionally and diligently encouragingevery pastor to work with theirleadership teams in their districtbyidentifyingseasoned Christ-centered members who are willing to serve as Nurturing Companions (NC’s) for a period of at least one year –especially for, but not limited to, our newly baptized andprofession of faithbelievers. In our passionate quest for discipleship, we plan to encourage all NC’s:
To make a minimum of one contact per week,in person or by phone,with their designated believer for a period of at least one year.
To pray for and with their designated believer regularly.
Our Discipleship initiative is a journey across the Carolinas of intentional decisions leading to growth in our relationship with Jesusso that we can seek His face to be more like Him in our attitudes, our focus, and ultimately our behavior. According to Matthew 28:18-20, a person who makes the decision to trust and follow Jesus (confirmed in baptism) and also commits to obey all of His teachings (true discipleship) enters an invitation to a covenant relationship. It requires a commitment from the prospective disciple and the disciple-makers. It’s not something that happens by accident or overnightand it cannot be completed in the reading of the Discipleship Handbook or any program of discipleship. This is a lifelong commitment to follow God with our whole being and to both learn from and eventually teach others about how to follow Him.
May God bless us in our prayerful quest to be faithful to the ministry of evangelism and dedicated disciples of our precious Lord and Savior.
PRAYING FOR OUR PASTORS & THEIR CHURCH DISTRICTS
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these words of encouragement were penned for our churches: “Ask of me, and I will answer your requests. The promise is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” [9MR, 303]
Praying for our pastors is very important. They are serving God and the attacks of the enemy are relentless. They must be covered in our prayers on a daily basis.
Our prayers should be personalized by saying the title of pastor along with their name since they hold a position of sacred trust for God’s remnant church.
Why not pray specifically for our pastors by name using these seven needs and scriptural promises:
Protection from Satan Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Protection from Our Own Sinful Hearts But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15
Deep Spiritual Encouragement For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. Romans 1:11-12
Wisdom If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
Doctrinal Faithfulness By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:14
A Healthy Body But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27
A Strong Marriage & Family Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church. 1 Timothy 3:2-6
CHURCH(ES); COMPANIES & GROUPS
Lenoir SDA Church
Wilkesboro SDA Church
Summerville Community SDA Church
Orangeburg SDA Church
New Bern SDA Church
Wilmington SDA Church
Asheville Foster SDA Church
Hendersonville SDA Church
Charlotte Sharon SDA Church
Rockingham Spanish SDA Church
Evans Correctional SDA Mission Group
Monroe Spanish SDA Church
Rockingham Cornerstone SDA Church
PRAYING FOR OUR DEPARTMENTAL MINISTRIES
Beginning with our April 2019 issue of P5, we began highlighting a department of the conference each month – not so much as to give a full-length report of all that they have been or are accomplishing, but rather to simply uplift all our leaders and their faithful service in their respective ministries in our prayers.
During the month of September 2021, we began the second full cycle of remembering all the ministry departments of the Carolina Conference.
The Ministries of the Carolina Conference are basically structured under six organizational department functions. They include:
Beginning with the November issue of our P5, we transitioned to the Outreach Branch of our ministries which is divided into the following departmental subdivisions of service:
January, we invited you to lift up our Carolina Church PlantingDepartment.
During the month of February, we ask you to uplift our Carolina Community Services Departmentunder the gifted and dedicated leadership of our director, Elder David Graham and his secretary, Lisa Moyer.
The mission of the Community Service Department is to care for and serve our neighbors in North and South Carolina. They equip and encourage each local church to follow Christ’s example by seeking to meet the needs of their community. They seek to accomplish His mission and plan through using our God-given gifts to help others with physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Their ministry empowers local church leadership to offer programs and ministry activites that provide tangible ways that help people. Their annual Community Service Rally and Retreat at NOSOCA Pines Ranch is a vital part of helping the local church. This specially planned weekend is full of training, networking, and inspirational stories of God’s work in serving others.
The organizational structure flows through six regional Federations to the local church Community Service Director. In times of state or nationalcrisis, the Carolina Conference has a parallel partnership ministry with the Disaster Relief Department. Our Community Service Department assists through Recovery efforts in conjunctionwith our partner ministry, the Disaster Relief Department to help people in difficult circumstances. They also partner with Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and/or other community food and clothing distribution programs to best help people. There are many ways to get involved in your community and make a difference in people’s lives through the help of Jesus Christ.
Saturated with the Word
Fundamental Belief #14
Unity in the Body of Christ
As the President’s Prayer Partner, we again invite you to truly be a people of the Word. As Seventh-day Adventists, we embrace 28 Fundamental truths that are based on the Bible alone. In December of 2021 we began our third cycle in our emphasis of these vital beliefs that are centered in Christ as our Savior and as our Lord.
Let’s continue to place His Word prayerfully in our hearts each day of this month. I carry a set of these passages with me in my car and repeat them aloud as I drive from place to place. My goal is to prayerfully say one verse at least five times a day for a week, thus embracing the promise of God’s Word – “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11
Repeat these passages over and over till they become a part of your very being. Of course, you can always choose to do more. Prayerfully consider how you can saturate your soul and make His Word a part of your heart every day.
FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF # 14 Unity in the Body of Christ The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope andreach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children.
A. Jeremiah 23:3 (NKJV) “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.”
B. Micah 2:12 (NKJV) “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.”
C. I Peter 3:13-14 (NKJV) “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.”
D. Revelation 12:17 (NKJV) “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
PRAY FOR THE MINISTRY OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST EDUCATION
We recently began uplifting our church schools and the principals/head teachers and teachers and staff who are making a profound impact on the hearts and minds of our children and youth across the Carolinas. This month we will be uplifting the next three church schools in our prayers for this month.
Let us pray specifically for:
Our New Superintendent of Education-elect, Rick Anderson, and his newly elected Associate Superintendent, Cara Simonds, as they lead the ministry of Seventh-day Adventist education for our conference family.We are specifically praying that we can finalize on a replacement teacher at Tri-City Christian Academy that will allow Cara to transition to the Office of Education and render her supporting role to all our schools across the Carolinas.
God’s protective care over our teachers, parents, and students during this school year. We live in a world saturated with the sadness of sin and all the dangers of a devil who seeks harm to God’s children. Pray for the powerful presence of Heavenly angels to surround our schools from the horrors of what we have witnessed in the news such as the tragedy of the school shooting in Uvalde, TX just a few months ago.
Wisdom and happiness in the lives of each of our principals, head teachers,and teachers as they mentor and prepare our students for a life of service on this earth, but most importantly for their citizenship in Heaven.
School boards and church boards as they manage the operation of each of our church schools as centers that are consecrated for the salvation andeducation of our children and youth.
Remembering and Uplifting God’s Anointed Leaders for Seventh-day Adventist Church in Continuous Prayer
Be part of God’s praying church across North America by uplifting these leaders of our church who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard:
Weekly Focus on Seventh-day Adventist Conference Presidents