Friday, August 2, 2013
Missional Networking near and far
I had met with Bill a couple of weeks earlier at the association clergy breakfast. I learned of his congregation's long-time partnership with Mid-Hudson Love, In the Name of Christ (aka "Love, INC."). Congregations work together to gather resources and assist persons with their basic needs. Pastor Bill affirmed that such a collaborative organization has increased Community Baptist's ability to help persons while reducing the redundancy of several congregations offering help individually (and sometimes to the same individual!).
Such work aligns local churches with the needs of a community. In turn, you realize you share common ground concerns with other religious communities. Partnerships can be intra-Baptist, ecumenical and interfaith. Some may be short-term and need specific. Other projects could take on a life of their own, sparking other efforts and leading to deepening relationships between your congregation and the community. Such work can draw people together even within your congregation as it expands the different ways people can connect and belong to a given church membership.
As I speak with other ABCNYS congregations, I will keep listening and looking for ways to connect churches together. I believe missional networking is a great way to move us forward--together!
My sermon at Community Baptist appears online, by kind courtesy of the web support folks at the church. You can hear some of my thoughts on the biblical and theological background of Christians working together as the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12) as well as the ways I am seeing ABCNYS as a powerful tool for networking churches together as we seek ways to live into the fullness of the Kingdom/Reign of God.
The mp3 file of my sermon "Building the Body" can be heard online via: http://www.communitybaptistwappingers.com/sermons/Jul28_2013_JH.mp3
To learn more about missional networking: www.missionalnetworking.org.
To learn more about Community Baptist: www.communitybaptistwappingers.com.
To learn more about Mid-Hudson Love, INC. http://www.mid-hudsonloveinc.org/
UPCOMING ABCNYS VISITS:
August 4--First Baptist, Syracuse
August 11--Tabernacle Baptist Church, Utica
August 18--Baptist Temple, Newburgh