What do you see in our Association of Churches?
Dr. Bob Lowman, Executive Director, MBA
We are called Metrolina Baptist Association, a family of 150 churches and church plants in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, founded in 1886. We are not a subsidiary of our state convention or the Southern Baptist Convention, although we have great partnerships with both. The best word to describe an association is family: we are intentionally connected to one another because of who we are and where we are, driven by the love of God to do the Great Commission together where the Lord has planted us. Our relationships in this family are not like that of a parent to a child, but like brothers and sisters, living and serving together in Jesus’ name right here.
We asked several of our leaders: What do you see in our association of churches? Here are their answers:
I see Kingdom Focus, a single vision – One church united by the one true God. I see churches coming together through common bonds in ministry. I see our churches embracing more opportunities to partner with our international communities; building relationships, trust and unity; supporting each other as we reach the lost for Christ.
I see great opportunity for MBA to build partnerships with churches in need of revitalization…I see the need for our churches to be a gospel light in an increasingly secular city…I see an urgent need for cooperation, unity, and harmony among our pastors…I see the incredible opportunity to partner with the Lord in fulfilling His Kingdom in Charlotte and beyond. We can do more together than we can do alone.
I believe I see that we are going to be pressing into more equipping and sharing the Gospel, with some hardships along the way. But we will also start seeing the harvest come in new and unusual ways. Every church is strategically located to fulfill their mission, making disciples.
I see more of our churches becoming sending churches…sending church planters, church revitalizers, and more. Our community of churches loving and helping one another and their greater community in such a way that the world sees our unity. Jesus prayed for us to be one in John 17 for a reason: for His Kingdom’s sake. *
Here’s the bottom line: the challenges are real, and the possibilities are God-sized. The needs are great and we trust God to provide all that is required to trust and obey. If a church is concerned about the mission field of their neighborhood, an association is concerned about the mission field where all of the churches are located. We are a local association, but our local is large! There are hundreds of thousands of people on the Metrolina mission field who do not have a relationship with Jesus. I see God mobilizing us to reach those neighbors, not when we get a new program, but when we allow the Holy Spirit to compel each of us and every church to do the Great Commission together, one day at a time, one relationship at a time. When a church is struggling, I see another church who is able to walk with that sister church in partnership toward health and effectiveness in mission and ministry.
Oh, the possibilities of what God can do when churches realize that we cannot alone reach the mission field around us…but together, a family of churches united in Jesus’ name, can reach a region for Christ. If you can see these possibilities, will you pray with me that the Lord will continue to mobilize us on mission together? He is able!
*Thanks to Travis Currin, Michael Davis, Sandra Montague, Brian Ottinger, Gail Reynolds, and Mike Williams for their answers.