This blog will be a sampling of the articles I write for the Centennial monthly newsletter along with anything else I need to get off my mind. Sometimes there will be attempts at humor, and for that I apologize now. Other times, the subjects will be more theological in nature. I do not pretend to be an expert in any field, but I have an opinion on just about everything, and can usually make a pretty good defense if challenged. Enjoy my ramblings and feel free to share them with anyone else who may be blessed by them.
Happy New Year! My prayer is that God will make His presence known to you and through you in 2018. Last month I promised that we would take some time each month to unpack each of the four priorities established through our recent strategy planning process.
Priority One is to provide training and equipping of churches in missions and ministry. As you know, this has been part of what we have done as an association for the last several years. We found during our strategy process that most of our pastors look to us for training and equipping, and we want to meet that expectation well. We understand that there are other sources for training. In addition to what we provide, we will continue to promote Georgia Baptist training events and others that will meet your needs.
We set three goals related to this first priority. Allow me a few moments to expand on how we are accomplishing those goals right now.
· Goal 1: Develop an associational training event beginning Spring 2018. ELEVATE: Church Strategy Summit is meant to train and equip every member of your church. Workshops include topics on missions, small groups, worship, women’s ministry, outreach, and student ministry. There will be something for you no matter what you area of ministry. Dr. Chuck Lawless is scheduled to be our main speaker. He along with our workshop leaders brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Registration information will be available soon on our website.
· Goal 2: Utilize existing associational events as opportunities for training. You may have noticed that most of the events we have traditionally had now include a training element. The Fall Women’s Event now is Abide, a day of inspiration and training for women. A couple of years ago, we changed our annual VBS preview day to the Children’s Ministry Workshop. This event will be held this month and is designed for anyone who works with children, not just leaders. Because we believe the church is the place where we gain the tools to do ministry, we will continue to provide opportunities for our churches to join together for training.
· Goal 3: Develop quarterly training opportunities for pastors. We will continue to host Roundtables for pastors where these men of God sharpen one another. In addition to that, four times a year the monthly ministers meeting will include a special guest speaker who will address a specific topic related to pastoral ministry. We call this Pastor Enrichment. The first one will be held January 8 at noon at the Garden Patch restaurant. Bryan Alexander from the GBMB Church Minister Relations Department will speak on the topic of handling conflict.
Together we can accomplish so much more. Thank you for being a part of the Centennial Baptist Association!