How do local Baptist associations help impact and equip pastors and churches?
Asa Greear, a longtime associational mission strategist and former international missionary, shares three key ways associations can “bring value to our churches” by focusing on relationships, prayer and training.
“Relationships are vital in visiting churches, visiting pastors, knowing our pastors, loving on them,” affirmed Greear, associational mission strategist for St. Johns River Baptist Association in Palatka, Florida, since 2007. He added that “coming alongside” pastors who are facing difficulties in their ministry provides needed encouragement both to them and their families.
“We also are emphasizing prayer in our association,” he noted. “We pray for our pastors on a daily basis” and “encourage them to pray for one another because prayer is so vital within the ministry that they do.”
Greear said a third key is a strong emphasis on practical training.
“It could be as simple as coming alongside in an outreach event and being there as a verbal witness and sharing the gospel alongside pastors,” he explained. Other hands-on opportunities range from deacon training to leading financial training sessions.
He said each of the association’s ministry priorities is designed “to help the churches to be more effective for the Lord Jesus Christ.”