What is a Baptist Association?
A local group of Baptist churches that have joined together to assist each other and to carry on the work of Jesus Christ in their county or area. They are a democratic body that meets quarterly (or monthly) and also has an annual Convention. They meet to conduct business, assist each other, and for fellowship. They may have other fellowship and educational meetings throughout the year.
Pastors need good Christian fellowship with other pastors. There are some things a pastor needs to discuss that can only be understood by another preacher. Churches, staff, and laymen need fellowship with others. The local Baptist Association gives that opportunity for Christian fellowship on a regular basis.
“We can do together what no church can do alone.” By giving to the Association you are helping provide numerous ministries. You are especially helping the smaller churches and the newer missions. You are reaching out to your county and area in ways you could never do alone. Missions do not just include state and worldwide work. It also involves your church ministry and the churches and missions in your local area. The Association stands ready to assist churches in starting new churches and ministries.
Association Ministries include areas like Student Work; Christian Women’s Job Service Corp; Mission Service Corp; Prayer; Ethnic; Senior Adult; Singles; Counseling; Youth; Encouraging, assisting, training church staff; and more. Associations vary greatly in size and participation. Some can offer more ministries than others. All can provide assistance.
Want to know what church, Sunday School, and training literature is available? Don’t understand some aspect of Baptist, mission, or evangelistic work? Having trouble in your church and need some advice or encouragement? Your local Baptist Association can help. The Executive Director (aka Director of Missions), Secretaries (aka Ministry Assistants), and other workers and volunteers are there to help you. If they don’t know, they can probably tell you who does know.
Many Associations own, or support a Christian Encampment. An encampment is one of the most effective ministries to lead youth and adults to the Lord, teach them, and bring them closer to Jesus. There is something special about getting away from it all and joining with other believers to grow in grace. Many crucial decisions have been made for the Lord at camp.
Pastors get lonely, discouraged, stressed out. They sometimes feel they are the only ones out there. Time and again I have laughed, learned, and been encouraged by joining with other preachers of the Gospel in my local Association. My preacher dad gave this advice to young preachers, “Get to know an older pastor in your area that you can respect. Go to him often for advice.” He also advised older preachers to nurture friendships with younger pastors. The same is true for Youth Ministers, Music Ministers, etc. We need each other. And that need can be met through the Association.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 5, AD 2010.
Why I Support the Baptist Association, Part 2