Boldly Go Where No Association Has Gone Before!
For some leaders and churches there are big misunderstandings about the truly bold nature of Baptist associations. Even their character, nature, makeup, and unique features are misunderstood.
Early this month I spoke to the Network of Baptist Associations annual gathering at First Baptist Church, Jonesboro, GA. This is an annual gathering of associational directors of missions (also called in some places the lead missional strategist) from throughout the USA. The theme this year was Go Bold! They asked me to develop a workshop around this theme that would look at the future of associations.
I felt inspired to use the title Boldly Go Where No Association Has Gone Before! Because of my deep, life-long belief in and commitment to associations this was an easy topic for me to develop.
As I think about the leadership you have asked me to provide for our association, I want to share with you over the next several months some bold ideas for us based on what I shared during the recent conference. I have developed a series of principles and practices for a bold association.
I began my presentation by defining the uniqueness of a Baptist association from our other dimensions of denominational life. Continue reading HERE to see the first five.
- Principle/Practice No. 1—Churches and Associations are Organisms: State Conventions plus National Agencies are Organizations. At their best, associations are the only entity that can with faithfulness, effectiveness, and innovation serve congregations.
- Principle/Practice No. 2—Kinship relationship to congregations: Associations are Family. State Conventions are Friend. SBC Agencies and Institutions are Acquaintances.
- Principle/Practice No. 3.—Economic Position Related to Congregations: Associations are Solution. State Conventions are Scope. SBC Agencies and Institutions are Scale.
- Principle/Practice No. 4—Insight Provided to Congregations: Associations are Wisdom. State Conventions are Knowledge. SBC Agencies and Institutions are Information.
- Principle/Practice No. 5—Approach of Associations to Their State and the Southern Baptist Convention: Conforming to State and SBC? Competing with State and SBC? Collaborating with State and SBC?
In future posts and articles and I will take the concepts about which I am talking to a greater depth.