Baptist associations: A valuable partner in ministry

May 17, 2019

Recently I had the honor and privilege of attending our annual conference for associational mission strategists (AMS) and potential associational mission strategists at Caraway Conference Center. The theme of this year’s event was “Moving into a New Future: Sowing and Reaping.”

You may know associational mission strategists by other names, such as directors of missions (DOMs) or associational missionaries. In conjunction with last year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Dallas, the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders unanimously approved a recommendation to change the titles of directors of missions to associational mission strategists to better reflect the nature and scope of their work.

No matter what they’re called, associational mission strategists and the 77 local Baptist associations in our state have played and continue to play a vital role in our statewide strategy to impact lostness through disciple-making. We as Southern Baptists value cooperative ministry and missions endeavors at the local, state, national and international level, and AMSs and local associations are valuable partners in ministry.

Chances are the local association in your area sponsors a variety of trainings, outreach events and other opportunities for you and your church to get involved in missions and ministry. The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina also works closely with AMSs and associations to sponsor and facilitate events such as prayer gatherings, prayer walks, training events and consultations related to disciple-making, church planting, church health and revitalization, and more.

This year’s AMS conference was well attended, and I was especially encouraged by the number of attendees who were interested in becoming an AMS or learning more about missions and ministry on the associational level. I was also encouraged by the testimonies of what God is doing in our local associations.

During this same conference two years ago, attendees spent time prayerfully developing a personal ministry plan and strategy for their association. At this year’s conference, one associational leader reported that while developing his personal ministry plan, the Lord had impressed upon him to be more intentional in the area of personal disciple-making with the pastors and leaders in the association where he serves.

Through this associational leader’s obedience to the Lord, he has seen God grow and multiply five generations of disciples. To God be the glory!

If your church isn’t connected or engaged with your local Baptist association, I would encourage you to get involved. The popular statement that we as Southern Baptists uphold is true — we can accomplish more together than we can apart.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit….” — John 15:16a (NKJV)


by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.  
/  Executive Director-Treasurer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!