BURTON, MI – I can still remember the moment when the ministry horizon of my life shifted and broadened. In November of 2008, I was brought by my pastor to the state Annual Meeting. Now, you may think that coming to one state-level annual meeting is not that big of a deal,and I must confess that at many times I had felt the same way. But because my Pastor had taken the time to make sure that I would be invested in these moments, I knew that it mattered to him, so I would at least put on a good face and go along with it. When I got to the meeting, there were the normal expectations; agendas, formalities, reports, resolutions, motions, and elections, but there was also something new that I discovered… newfound interests and newfound invitations.
When you are in the room, you become a part of the process as you see how our unique cooperative partnership has come together to continually fan the flame of kingdom work.
Being in the room matters because of…
Interests – In these gathering we get to share about our common interests and trajectory as kingdom laborers. And not only do we get to partake in those common shared, but new interests are also sparked as we begin to understand what is being accomplished and why.
Intentionality – These gatherings have a way of putting all our philosophies about cooperation into intentional actions. The faith that we have is a practicing faith. It doesn’t merely exist in some theoretical abstract bubble…It is theological principles meeting the ground-level practices and actions.
Investment – There are moments in our lives as believers where mutual fruit is produced in the work of mutual sowing and mutual reaping. During the annual gatherings, there are investments that are made for the good of the local church and also so that good might be made known to a lost world that needs the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
Invitation – The annual meeting is not merely an invitation for attendance, but to see how God uses disciples from various churches and various walks of life to bring glory to Jesus with their unique talents, skills, gifts,and personalities. Initiatives are introduced at the Annual Meeting, and the goal is not just to pass on information but to invite others on the journey to multiply the endeavors and increase the harvest.
Integration – The unique aspect of such invitations is the incredible partnerships/fellowships you will have with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes we can fill lonely and isolated as ministers, disciples, and/or local churches. Take the time to get to know new partners and be a part of this opportunity to connect with others. New faces become familiar friends and co-laborers at the Annual Meeting.
Impact – The Annual Meeting has meaning because it leaves a lasting impact on our lives, our churches, our mission, our culture, and our time. May the impact this year be multiplied.
Perhaps you’ve looked at these gatherings and wondered if they are worth attending. I assure you if you are looking to broaden your ministry horizon, to see the opportunity for a momentum shift, and to take part in being a multiplier of kingdom-work, the gathering in November is the place to be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Jerome and his wife, Melinda, began serving the people of Eastgate Baptist Church in the summer of 2013. They have been married since 2004 and have 4 children. Bro. Jerome has been serving in ministries & churches throughout the U.S. and across the globe since 1999.