Please participate in the Study Team's Nationwide Survey
Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 11:14 After months of preparation and dialog, your SBCAL Associational Study Team is excited to offer an online survey which will seek your guidance and wisdom in our assignment of bringing recommendations on the title and role of effective associational leaders. Please use the attached link to access and take the survey - it is fairly brief. If you are a user of social media, please share this link with others who you think might also share in our interest to see local associations prevail in their efforts to come alongside and assist churches. We particularly want the input of pastors and church leaders as their perspective and participation is vital in this process. Just as a reminder, the SBCAL commissioned this team last June in Phoenix to explore and bring back recommendations related to the role and title of associational missionaries. I have had many conversations and questions since June about the scope and focus of this team, so let me take a moment and state what this team is not:
We are not seeking to address the perception of the value of local associations. Much has already been done in this area and it really depends on who you ask and where you are, as to the response.
We are not evaluating the relationship between local associations and state conventions or other SBC agencies. While there is much changing in our SBC family, and these relationships are significant, that is outside the assignment of this team.
We do not work on behalf or represent anyone other than the SBCAL in this task. While we all have relationships among many SBC entities, this study has a single focus and audience – Associational Leaders.
We are not trying to criticize the current excellent work that so many are already doing among SBC associations. Most of us on the study team are neck deep in associational life, and we are some of the biggest fans and believers in healthy associations.
With all of that said, I believe we are at an incredible moment to begin to describe ways in which local associations are serving a vital role within our Southern Baptist family. Quite frankly, I am humbled as I have encountered so many fantastic leaders serving in associations across the country. In fact, I can point to two major initiatives that we at the Jacksonville Baptist Association are launching this year that we discovered from other associations. We need to do more of this kind of sharing and peer conversations among associational leaders. Our hope is that with this study we can describe what is already happening across the landscape and see effective associations serving their churches by equipping and engaging pastors and churches in significant Great Commission work. As we explore this study and return to you with the findings, we prayerfully anticipate painting a picture of what God is already doing among SBC associations that we can celebrate and consider as we all seek to serve our churches at the highest level possible. Thank you for your prayers, participation and support of this team.
Richard Wheeler Lead Missional Strategist Jacksonville Baptist Association