What is the function of a 21st Century Baptist Association?
Dr. Nathan Finn from North Greenville University writes in The Baptist Association: Assisting Churches, Advancing the Gospel (p.34), “Today, associations continue to play a strategic role in Southern Baptist life. They continue to foster fraternal relationships among pastors, offering pastors a natural pathway to building friendships with like-minded ministers. Many associations continue to provide a measure of doctrinal accountability, especially when a church begins to embrace views most Baptists consider beyond the pale. . . . Church planting has remained an important associational emphasis, often partnering with state conventions and/or NAMB.”
The core of the association remains in the 21st Century Baptist Association. I heard a statement recently that churches begin to make the method the mission and never accomplish the mission. There comes a time when methodology needs to change, but we must never forget that our mission never changes. There needs to be a focus on relationships between pastors and churches. Relationships will bring encouragement, collaboration, serving, and celebration. There needs to be an environment of continuous learning and growing as pastors, leaders, and disciples. There also needs to be an emphasis on reaching the thousands of lost people in the region and around the world and how the believers that make up the churches in the association will be empowered to be on mission in their communities and around the world.
Who we are
The Saluda Baptist Association is comprised of 85 churches in greater Anderson County. We are one of 42 Associations in the state of South Carolina and are affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. We are an autonomous body, governed by the selected leadership that represent the churches who make up the association.
The local association is the connection of the area churches for equipping, networking, resourcing, and collaborating.
The association staff team serves to facilitate and support the work of the churches. In conjunction with the leadership team, the association should provide training for pastors, staff, and the members of the churches to equip them in the ministry God has called them. Networking pastors sharing ideas, burdens, and victories strengthen the association and the community.
The local association is a resource for administrative functions of the church such as organizational documents, budgets, facilities, etc.
A collaboration of pastors and churches is essential to bring the lost to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Whether coordinating regional events or planting/restarting a church, working together is key to making an impact on the darkness in our community and world.
Involvement: Partnering with other SBC Agencies
Location: 1901 South Murray Avenue
Mailing Address: Post Office Box 13005
Anderson, South Carolina 29624
SBA Office Number: (864) 225-7759
Rev. John Watkins