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Baptist Associations are a Family Heritage

Church Pin Map

For my family, Baptist associations have been part of our DNA since at least the 1940s. I suspect it goes back even farther.

Several weeks ago I was organizing my home office and aggressively throwing out things I no longer need that have piled up over the past 11 years. I came across a couple of boxes of family archives. Much of one box were various papers from my father. As I anticipated beginning as the director of missions for the Columbia Metro Baptist Association, I had a good time reading through some of the papers and remembering my family commitment to Baptist associations.

From stories told by my parents, I suspect it was through associational meetings in Wilmington, NC where my parents met in the 1930s. Beyond these gatherings, Dad would preach at churches who needed someone to fill in, and often he would take Mom to play the piano. Not a bad way to court one another.

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The Synergy of Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, Good News

Great ChurchesFour essential characteristics of FaithSoaring Churches are Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, and Good News. All four characteristics must be present in congregations or they are incomplete, myopic, and lack sufficient spiritual and strategic vitality and vibrancy. They also must interact in a way that creates a synergy that is greater than the cumulative impact of their individual characteristics. Only when this synergy is present will congregations move from being good enough to being sufficiently great.

The idea behind suggesting these are the essential characteristics of great FaithSoaring Churches is my desire to understand what characterizes congregations when they are functioning with great spiritual and strategic surrender to God’s empowering vision.

Management guru Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great, suggests many organization are good. Functioning in a great manner, however, eludes the many organizations. David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons in their book, Good Faith, challenge Christians to live out a good faith. They also share what they believe constitutes a good faith practice.

The exceptional synergy of Good Faith, Good Fellowship, Good Works, and Good News results in Great FaithSoaring Churches with a generous presence of spiritual and strategic vitality and vibrancy.

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Our One Priority

PriorityDownload Our One Priority

Respond to This Post:  https://goo.gl/forms/swnO5KBgF1fGQ6ut2  (For members of Columbia Metro Baptist Association churches only.)

For your congregation to effectively move forward, how many spiritual and strategic priorities should you have? Three? Five? Seven? How many priorities are too few? How many are too many?

Did you know the word priority only existed in a singular form for the first five hundred years after it came into common use? It was primarily after World War II that it was expressed in a plural form and became priorities? If that is the case then the correct answer to how many spiritual and strategic priorities a congregation should have is one.

If you could only have one priority as a congregation, what should it be?

  • To reach people for a Christ-centered, faith-based spiritual journey?
  • To pay off the debt for your buildings?
  • To connect the unchurched with your church for Christian discipleship?
  • To grow you church bigger?
  • To make disciples of Christ who make disciples of Christ?
  • To make sure your church exists until you die?
  • To call a pastor who will bring vision that your church can follow?
  • To reach young adult families with children?
  • To fill up your sanctuary with worshipers?
  • To care for the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of your members?

If you could choose only one, which one would you choose? Which one is a worthy priority that fits your congregation and honors our God?

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How Do Economics Impact Churches in Your Ministry Area?

NUCLEARTOWN 64796-2I hope we all know that economic situations, and patterns of both increased and lessening prosperity significant impact the opportunities and challenges congregations and our overall Christian witness face on a regular basis. In the association I serve--Columbia Metro Baptist Association--we have not only the very urban metropolitan county of Richland, but also a county to the north--Fairfield--which has risen and fallen based on various economic projects that prosper for a while and then disappear.

The most notable in the past 30 years was a Mack truck plant that opened and then closed 15 or so years later. It promised great prosperity, but left bankruptcy for those who misunderstood the fragile nature and risk of this economic opportunity. 

How do we help churches, their leaders, and their layperson in various businesses to cope with the hope and despair of fleeting economic opportunities and challenges?

The current situation about a nuclear facility in the county is current bringing hope, but signs are pointing to possible disappointment in the near future. Read this article to discover why: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article160291039.html.