Why do I prefer AMS to DOM?
- Words have meaning. Language matters. Each word is important.
- “Associational” lets everyone know that the role of this leader is an associational one, not the title of a local church staff position. Some churches have the staff position “Director of Missions.”
- “Mission” is singular, not plural. AMS indicates one who leads local churches to collaborate together for one mission - the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20).
- “Strategist” describes a leader who is prayerfully, intentionally looking for ways to assist his churches in advancing the Gospel locally and globally.
- “Associational Mission Strategist” has a more active meaning while “Director of Missions” comes across as more managerial.
- I do not “direct any missions.” We don’t even call them that, for the most part. We usually call new churches “church plants.”
- In 1960, our predecessors were called Superintendents of Missions or Associational Missionaries. Directors of Missions has only been around about 40-50 years, so it is not that historic.
- In my experience, if you ask most church members - and many pastors - what does a Director of Missions do, they do not know. The role of an Associational Mission Strategist is easier for most people to comprehend than a Director of Missions.
- The SBCAL Study Team considered dozens of options before it agreed on the descriptor “Associational Mission Strategist.” AMS was chosen after many different possibilities and combinations were considered.
- It is helpful to have as many associational leaders as possible on board with this descriptor.
- The AMS descriptor was based on the 17 Proficiencies, not the other way around.
- AMS especially resonates with Pastors and others under 50.
- AMS establishes a fresh vision for associational leadership.
How can we make AMS the new default descriptor for Associational Leaders?
- Start referring to yourself and your peers by the acronym AMS instead of DOM – nationally but especially within your state.
- Whenever someone refers to you as a DOM, kindly but politely plant the seed by saying that that is the former descriptor. The one my peers unanimously adopted in 2018 is Associational Mission Strategist, or AMS.
- Ask your state convention and associational leader organization to consider adopting AMS as the preferred descriptor when referring to associational leaders.
- If you and your association do not choose to adopt this as your title, that is your prerogative, but pray about describing your role in these terms regularly to plant the seed.
- If you do not feel led to change your title because you will be retiring within a few years, consider planting the seed and encouraging your association to change the title for your successor.
Your brother in Christ,
Quotable Quote: In its simplest form, the ABCs of salvation is not the gospel; rather, the acts of admitting, believing, and confessing (and you might tack on, repenting) are all biblical responses to the gospel. Aaron Wilson, 6.7.21, Lifeway Research: The ABCs of Salvation is Not the Gospel