Question: What should an association/network of churches look like and be doing? What could we be doing that would be of value and be a blessing in helping pastors and churches fulfill the mission God has given them? How could we be partnering with and helping churches reach their communities for Christ, develop leaders, plant churches, and fulfill the Great Commission to go and make disciples locally and globally? In 2018 and going forward, what could/should this look like?
I ask you these questions because we are going through a very strategic effort of meeting with pastors, ministry leaders, christian business leaders and asking them to help us redefine what any association/network of churches should look like. In addition to a great deal of prayer and seeking wisdom and guidance from God, we're asking questions like, "In your opinion, in a perfect world, here in 2018 and going forward, what would an association/network of churches who is truly partnering with and helping local pastors/churches look like and be doing? How can we help you and your church? What needs do you have? What are the needs of other pastors and churches you know? What could we be doing that would be of value and be a blessing in helping you and your church fulfill the mission God has given you?"
The responses have been overwhelming! Some have surprised us, but the vast majority have affirmed what we had already heard from God. We will share a lot more about the responses we have received here soon and we will continue to solicit as much input and feedback as possible.
We are quite excited about the launch of our new website and this new blog. This is just one part of our rebranding effort for our association/network of churches. Our hope and prayer with our new website and blog is that they would be a tool to help, resource, and equip leaders and churches to be On Target with the mission, vision, and values God has given them. We are still in the formative phase on a lot of this, but take a look over our new website and see what all we currently have in the works and let us know your thoughts.
I will tell you that God is assembling an incredible team here at Noonday. This is a group of pastors and ministry leaders who have planted churches; led churches through transition, challenges, and heartaches; who have been through dark valleys and have been to the mountain tops in ministry. We understand fully the unique challenges that come with leading churches and we have a huge heart to help pastors and churches thrive and experience absolutely everything God has for them.
I will also tell you that there are a bunch of associations and networks across the country who are watching closely at what God seems to be up to here in Greater Atlanta. They are hoping that we can figure this out and then come show them. Most associations and networks all over the country, regardless of denomination or non-denomination, are struggling greatly and have been for many years. Most pastors and churches just don't see the relevance and value of them.
PS. For those who would say that we don't need associations and networks, I would politely suggest that maybe you're wrong. Honestly, that is how I felt for several years while lead pastoring a church, but then God began working on my heart and opening my eyes. Here's the reality, the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in any of our communities and areas are far too great for any one church. Have you looked around and paid attention lately? They are far too great for a bunch of churches working independently to have any real impact with. However, if we can get churches to come together and work together, you know, that whole "body of Christ" thing Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27?
I would contend that there is a greater need today than ever before for the coming together and working together thing, aka. networks or associations.
So, I ask you to join us in this effort and be a part of the solution. Go back and look at the questions I posed at the beginning of this. Pray about this and please comment with your thoughts on all of this.