Each year, Southern Baptists take a special time to highlight our state associations and all of the great Kingdom work that they do on a local level. From May 15-22, Baptist Association Emphasis Week, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) places a special emphasis on our associations.
I am appreciative of all that our 78 North Carolina Baptist associations have accomplished for the Lord. Just last month, I was blessed to attend the 2016 Associational Missions Conference at Caraway Camp and Conference Center where I had the privilege of spending time with and addressing members of the staff from our N.C. Baptist Associations.
I would also like to take the time to extend my personal thanks to each and every director of missions, associational missionary and staff member who live and labor throughout the state. I am truly grateful for the leadership position into which God has placed each of you. Thank you for shepherding the associations as you strive to please the Lord. I know that your job is not an easy one, but your efforts do not go unnoticed.
In 2014, our convention launched the five-year strategy of “impacting lostness through disciple-making,” that was adopted by the messengers during our 2013 Annual Meeting.
I believe that our associations are incredibly important in implementing this disciple-making process. As an association works with local churches and sees their unique strengths and weaknesses, the association is able to help draw local churches together to spur them on to make disciples.
These local Baptist associations are self-governing and their initial responsibility is to advance the Kingdom through their member churches, but I am also grateful that God unites all North Carolina Baptists to spread the gospel throughout this state, across North America, and around the world in fulfillment of the Great Commission.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus commands His disciples to share His Word throughout the world – He tells them, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Surely, this convention alone, without local Baptist leaders would not be able to function most effectively in impacting lostness in this state – but because of associations, we are truly able to share the gospel effectively throughout our very own “Jerusalem.”
Together, we are stronger than when we are separate. I pray that during Baptist Association Emphasis Week this year, you will take some time to think about the missions work that God has accomplished in our state through the associations’ faithful answer to His call. It is through the cooperative efforts brought about by the associations that we can become “the strongest force in the history of this convention for reaching people with the message of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
If you would like more information about the local Baptist associations of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, visit ncbaptist.org/index.php?id=82) or contact Abby Edwards at [email protected] or (800) 395-5102, ext. 5536