Your congregation is not alone. Associations exist to make clear our understanding that congregations are not isolated entities. We exist to say that we need and care for another, that we have a united mission, and that by freely cooperating with one another we can accomplish far more together for the cause of Christ than by acting alone.
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, compares the church to a body, specifically to the “body of Christ.” Christ is the head of this body, that has many other “members” or “parts.” Within a local congregation, the “members” or “parts” are individual Christians, with each part, like a hand, foot or eye, having a specific function or functions (vv. 12-17). Each part is needed (v. 21) and put in its place by God (v. 27.) Christ’s body is called on to care for and support all of the other individual parts and thereby to care for the unified whole (vv. 25-26) This image of the body is not limited to a single church congregation. Paul’s grand vision of the Body of Christ includes the worldwide church of all nationalities and of all languages united under the headship of Jesus. Each of our churches is a part of something far bigger than our own local congregation.
The MMBA exists to:
- Provide fellowship, support and encouragement between like-minded pastors, ministerial staff, and churches in our association.
- Encourage doctrinal unity.
- Encourage commitment to missions, and to provide resources to help Churches fulfill Christ’s mission.
- Promote cooperative mission opportunities between churches and their members.
- Design and implement a mission strategy of church planting, church replanting and church strengthening for the Mid-Maryland region.
- Serve as the “voice” of the denomination in their local communities.
- Serve as a communication liaison between churches, and the state and national entities of the SBC.
What Does the DOM and the Association Actually Do (to Empower Pastors and Churches in Our Global Gospel Mission)?”
Services Provided To and For Pastors. (We believe strengthening pastors strengthens churches.)
– monthly pastoral fellowships – September-May. (Pastors won’t work together if they do not fellowship together!)
– pastoral encouragement and prayer support through meetings with the DOM and with other pastors.
– supply preaching availability by the DOM.
– crisis support for pastors and their families, Including access to counseling and potential benevolence help.
– networking peer opportunities for pastoral development (“iron sharpening iron”).
– advocacy for pastoral and family support – “the servant is worthy of his hire.” Pastors are often hesitant addressing issues such as salary, housing allowances, benefits, sabbaticals, etc. A DOM can more easily speak to these issues.
Services Provided To and For Churches. (We believe strengthening churches strengthens our mission.)
– Cooperative Program education and a “bottom-up” network of communication with the state convention and the national SBC to help those networks maintain connection and relevancy with local churches.
– seminars, conferences, training events designed to meet the needs of local churches.
– financial grants to strengthen churches engaging in new, creative evangelistic outreach events.
– church planting and replanting networking with BCM/D and IMB resources. The association is the preferred first contact for churches interested in planting new churches. The MMBA can be a provider of significant local funding for these endeavors.
– consultant services for churches without pastors and advocacy of Intentional Transitional Interim Pastors.
– conflict intervention and mediation in churches (by church invitation).
– networking mission trips and inter-church ministry projects. The MMBA offers potential project support and scholarships.
– promotional awareness and support for parachurch ministries that enhance the ministry of churches and are best supported through networks of churches (e.g. Centrepoint Counseling, God’s Trucking Ministry, Christian Jail ministry, Judson Bible college. Open Door America, Westminster Rescue Mission, etc.)
– capital giving campaign consultation.
– an associational prayer network (coming in 2019).
Physical Resources Provided to Churches
– van rental discounts.
– the block party wagon including a moon bounce, popcorn and cotton candy machines, games, etc. for VBS, and festival events.
– a solar powered projection system and local hotspot technology to share The Jesus Film and other discipleship media (available in hundreds of foreign languages) for mission trips (new).
– Annual Pastor-Spouse Appreciation Dinner
– International Pastor-Spouse Appreciation Dinner
– Sportsmen’s Day (annual evangelistic event for sportsmen)
– Associational Prayer Breakfast (coming in 2019).
If your church may be interested in being a part of the exciting work of the MMBA, please contact Rev. Larry Steen, our MMBA Director of Missions. Phone: (410) 596-4257