A few weeks ago I shared “A Modest Proposal for Baptist Associations.” I sought to do two things. First, I wanted to affirm the importance of associations in Southern Baptist life. We often spend so much time thinking about national or state work, we neglect the work in our own backyards—associations have typically filled that role. Second, I argued that for some associations, moving toward volunteer leadership may be a good way to bring renewed interest and participation at the pastoral level. Not all pastors have the margin for this, but many do, and would be eager to participate if they felt they were needed.
Let me reiterate that there are many associations at work with full-time staff doing great work. In recent weeks I have been in Cochran and Moultrie Georgia. I got to spend quality time with the full-time associational missionaries in these two towns. These brothers are doing great work, and I’m thankful for them. I know there are many associations in a similar position.
My “Modest Proposal” which calls for volunteer leadership has worked in my association, the Greater Atlanta Baptist Network,” and perhaps it could work in yours.
Because we are a volunteer-led association, at the time Baptist 21 ran my piece, our website was not working. There are certainly some disadvantages to not having full-time staff! But it’s up-and-running now. If you would like more information about what a volunteer association could look like, please check out atlantabaptist.org.
Aaron Menikoff is the Senior Pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, GA. Aaron completed his Masters of Divinity in Biblical and Theological Studies and his Ph.D. in American Church History from Southern Seminary. He serves on the administrative team of the Greater Atlanta Baptist Network where he leads a monthly pastors fellowship. He is also a regular contributor to The Gospel Coalition and 9Marks. Follow him on Twitter at @Aaron_Menikoff