Today is going to be a long day! No, it isn’t that I have all that much more than usual to do. It’s all about anticipation. You see, tonight is our annual meeting for our Morgan Baptist Association. I will admit to you that it has been a while since I have looked forward to an associational meeting, but for some reason, I am excited about what is happening. You see, we are seeing the rebirth of our association under the leadership of Dr. Edwin Jenkins, our interim Director of Missions. In less than a year, we have seen our family of churches return to what it means to be a family of churches. We have gone from being dysfunctional to being on the verge of functioning as well or better than any association of which I have been a part. We are witnessing a miracle from God as the excitement builds for what He is doing.
So yes, it’s going to be a long day as we make the final preparations for this grand meeting. The key to our rebirth is an excitement that stems from getting back to the basics of ministry. Dr. Jenkins has challenged us to once again do ministry and missions together. He has laid out a plan that centers on four initiatives geared towards encouraging, engaging, equipping, and motivating our churches to be on mission together. Together. That word means everything for an association because it is only as we work together that we will fulfill our purpose. Individuals and churches can accomplish a great deal on their own, but it doesn’t compare to what happens when we cooperate with each other. I know the word synergy has been overused in recent years, but the concept is a good one. The total effect of churches cooperating together is greater than the sum of the individual church contributions.
In recent years, I have had many people tell me that the time of the association had passed – that we didn’t need them any longer. I’ve even heard some pastors say that it’s a waste of time and money. But it isn’t for several reasons. First, pastors need someone to minister to them, and the Director of Missions is the perfect candidate to do just that. When the DOM is doing what he’s supposed to do, pastors come to love him as the pastor of the pastors, but he is so much more. He is the mission strategist that reminds us how important it is to do more than just talk about the Great Commission. He provides opportunities for churches, large and small, to work together to spread the gospel at home and around the world. Then the Director of Missions serves as an equipper especially to pastors who may not have the opportunity to attend conferences and seminars that sharpen their skills.
So please, pastors, don’t throw away the association. Support it. Get excited about it. And join me tonight at FBC Decatur at 6:30 p.m. for the best annual meeting you may have ever attended.