DIRECTOR OF MISSIONS REPORT 2019
Many thanks to the Church@ St. Charles and Pastor Fred Caudle for hosting our 2019 Potomac Baptist Association Annual Meeting.
I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to our association of churches, and to our pastors for the privilege of serving alongside your ministries over the past six and a half years. This journey has been one of the greatest joys of my life.
Thank you Kay Caudle for the invaluable help you have been to my ministry, and to our churches over the past several years. Kay serves our PBA with tireless devotion and excellence. You are the best!
This year we lost one of our great servants. Our PBA clerk, Pat Blanton, went home to be with the Lord. We miss Pat dearly but look forward to our reunion in
heaven. Pat's husba nd, Pastor Joe Blanton, will bring our Annual sermon this year. I'm looking forward to hearing what Goa has to say to us through Joe tonight.
We congratulate Emmanuel Church in the calling of their new Senior Pastor, Rick Hancock. We also rejoice with Leonardtown Baptist Church in the calling of Jason Pamblanco as their new Senior Pastor . Please pray for Trinity Baptist Church as they are presently interviewing pastoral candidates. I continue to serve as Transitional Pastor at Trinity. Also pray for First Baptist Church of La Plata and their pastor search process.
Congratulations to Indian Head Baptist Church and Pastor Jeff Dwyer as they celebrate their 100th year anniversary of gospel ministry on October 27, 2019.
The Association is the earliest historical expression of organized ministry cooperation among Baptists in North America. It predates conventions and mission boards. Associations provided the context for the great common doctrinal confessions among Baptists. Baptist associations are networks of like-minded, Gospel centered followers of Jesus trying to make an impact in their communities by advancing the Great Commission to the glory of God.
Some ask, "Do associations have meaning and validity in today's world of Baptists?" It's no secret that associations have fallen on hard times across our own State Convention as well as our National Convention. Intentional partnerships built on trust across denomination lines are weakened and neglected. Challenges are ahead for associations to go beyond surviving to thriving. Times are changing. Adjustments will need to be made.
The Baptist Association is the closest denominational resource to your local church. You don't need it all the time, but from my experience when you need help, you need it fast and from hopefully someone who understands your church context and community, someone who has built a relationship with you and your church.
I still believe associations have a vital role in contributing something positive in the current SBC ministry landscape. I am not great at predictions, but I would venture to say that the future success of the Potomac Baptist Association will depend on at least three factors.
(1) Making the churches and their needs prior it y. The PBA office and staff are not a church, never have been and never will be. They are parachurch, serving alongside the local churches and pastors to assist their needs and mission. The churches and their mission are what is most important.
(2) The Pastors perceived value of the a ssocia tion. My observation is that a pastor is the lens or the filter through which his congregation discerns the value of associational cooperation. A Pastor's perceived value of the association has a direct consequence with his church's participation/s uppor t in the association. I believe this is more so today than ever. Lay involveme nt/lea ders hip in associations is challenging due to the transition over time from a programmatic era in denominational life to a more eclectic age. Unless the pastor sees value in the cooperative work of associations, the association will decline . Pastors will be the key influencers in shaping or not shaping the future of the local association.
(3) Gathering around Great Commission purposes together. Over the past several years we have centered our focus on certain priorities: Missions, Church Planting, Church Suppor t/Strengthe nin g, Pastor Support (including peer learning, mentoring, coaching, encouragement and guidance for pastors to lead their churches to be healthy and missional). Some of these priorities may remain relevant for the future of the PBA. Some may need to be abandoned and new priorities may need to be formed.
I hope these thoughts will be helpful and encouraging as you journey together for His kingdom. The Potomac Baptist Association is a uniquely blessed association and will have a bright future as you seek God's leading together.
By His Grace,
Keith Corrick, Director of Missions