Note: This is the last of a 3-part series on my reflections of the past five years of ministry in the Pike Association of Southern Baptists. On Monday, we covered the past accomplishments in Part 1. Yesterday, we covered the current challenges facing the association in Part 2. Today, we complete the series by examining the future ministry opportunities for the association.
As we begin to look forward to what lies ahead for the cooperative work of our association, there are several exciting ministry opportunities on the horizon in each of the association’s three focus areas of church strengthening, church mobilization, and church planting.
- Strengthened relationships among pastors: Due to the high turnover rate among pastors, there is a need for the association’s current & new pastors to develop a stronger relationships with one another. We will provide multiple fellowship opportunities, including the return of the Pastor Roundtable discussions in 2019.
- Leadership Development Trainings: The KBC’s Darryl Wilson will be with us again in the Spring to equip Sunday School leaders in the areas of teaching, outreach, and ministry. We will also have a training session in 2019 for pastors, church treasurers, Finance Committees, and anyone else involved in church finances. Our VBS clinic will also be back again. More Leadership Development trainings will be offered throughout the year.
- Ministry Courses: We will continue to expand the number of classes offered to pastors and church leaders. In addition to the Preaching Class and Baptist Bible Doctrines class, we will be developing curriculum for courses on Pastoral Ministry and Leadership as well as overviews of the Old and New Testaments.
- LoveLoud: Because we have been able to complete over 50 home repairs in the past four years, we receive construction requests year-round. In addition to our week-long LoveLoud event during the summer, we are exploring the possibility of several LoveLoud weekend events throughout the year.
- Partnership with Freeda Harris Baptist Center: The Freeda Harris Baptist Center is a ministry center in Pike County that meets the spiritual and physical needs of low-income residents in the area. We are currently in discussions to develop a significant partnership between the association, the center, and the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Stay tuned for some exciting developments early in 2019!
- Medical/Dental Clinic: Because of the success of the Medical/Dental Clinic in 2018, we will be planning another free clinic for local residents in 2019 as well.
- Increased emphasis on North America & the nations: While we have been very active in our local area, we have not yet been really active in missions activities outside our local region. It is my prayer that we become more intentional in the months and years ahead as we seek to put feet to our Acts 1:8 mandate.
- 5 new churches planted by 2020: A few years ago, we set a goal to plant 5 new churches by the end of 2020 in the Pike Association. Creekside Church has been planted and is growing stronger every day. New Life Church is still in the pre-launch phase, but should materialize in 2019. We praise the Lord for these 2 works, but that means we are still praying and planning for 3 more church plants within the next 24 months.
- Ethnic church planting: One of the people groups that we have not effectively reached in the Pike Association is the growing Hispanic population. Therefore, we are praying and making plans to begin an ethnic work sometime in 2019.
- Replanting opportunities: There are a few churches in the association that could be candidates for a “replant”. We will be exploring these possibilities more in 2019 and beyond.
God has been so good to the Pike Association over the past 5 years. Even though we have faced significant challenges, the churches of the association have made a significant kingdom impact because they have been committed to partnering together to reach eastern Kentucky and the world for Christ. To God be the glory!