When I first became an associational leader 30 years ago, the two terms “associational,” and “leader” were seldom, if ever, used together. We were either called “Associational Missionaries,” or “Directors of Missions.” I do not remember anyone calling me an “Associational Leader.”
That is not the case now. We have come a long way. Praise the Lord!
The SBCAL book I was privileged to edit, “The Baptist Association,” features a chapter called “A Leader of Leaders,” by Dr. Tom Billings, former Executive Director, Union Baptist Association, Houston, TX. Leadership is one of the 17 proficiencies of an effective associational leader, according to the SBCAL Study Team Report that was unanimously adopted in June 2018 by SBCAL members.
If you are an Associational Mission Strategist (AMS), I hope you consider yourself to be a leader of leaders. This role has no “authority” over any pastor or church, but a lot of influence if the AMS is an effective “leader of leaders.”
If you are a pastor, staff member, or lay church leader, I hope you will pray for your AMS and encourage him to lead well. As he leads well, follow his leadership.
AMS, let your pastors know (often) that you love them, you care about them, you pray regularly for them by name, and that you want to be there for them and serve them. Provide equipping, fellowship, and ministry opportunities through collaboration together among sister churches. Lead with vision, compassion, clarity, and conviction to be a gospel-centered, gospel-driven missional association of churches.
If you have not read Tom Billings’ chapter in our book, or if you have not read it recently, I encourage you to do so.
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May the Lord bless you and use you for His glory.
Your brother in Christ,