Networking and Associations

Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from Mission Summit Conversations (June 2013)

  • Insights
    • Relationships! With local, regional, national, denominational, pan-denominational, geographical, and at the level of the local church relationships are essential.
  • Challenges
    • How can we continue to flow information from the grassroots up?
  • Experiments
    • One church that felt too small to reach out has created at least 6 relationships where they facilitate ministry through the use of their building. That congregation has a growing sense that God is doing ministry through them. Each week instead of 25 in attendance, they now touch well over 100 each week.

Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from the Mission Table (November 2013)

  • Insights
    • With the growing complexity of some regions with many associations, there are more hoops to jump through, more layers of persons to move through
    • The growing grouping of persons in regions according to affinity might have the unintended consequence of being restrictive, of having folks only associate with like-minded persons.
  • Challenges
    • One challenge is the amount of physical space that has to be covered (ex. In a region)
    • A challenge to the association principle is that churches call non-ABC pastors who tend not to be associational
    • We may need to answer the question as to whether the association principle is meant to preserve ABC or a particular region or whether it is designed to promote ministry.
  • Experiments/Projects
    • We have to challenge ourselves to stay open to different types of association for the future.
    • A challenge to our networking/association is the rules that we sometimes put in place like Robert’s Rules of Order.  That might be important to certain groups of persons but it might be a barrier for others for whom that style is not the norm.  We need to experiment with other forms of decision making.


Read the full notes:

Mission Summit Conversations:

Mission Table:

Views expressed are the sole opinion of conversation participants. They do not express the views of American Baptist Churches USA, or individual American Baptist churches. Conversation notes and summaries are shared to allow American Baptists and friends to easily review and use these Mission Summit Conversations and the Mission Table learnings as they wish.