For more than 300 years, Baptist churches in America have been working together in associations. There were associations before there were state Baptist conventions or national Baptist conventions. In fact, we had Baptist associations before we even had the United States of America. Why? Because Baptists long ago discovered that working with the other Baptists in their area multiplied their Kingdom work.
The 41 churches of Trinity River Baptist Association are not competitors, but partners in the ministry. No two of our churches are alike. Each is unique and each is necessary if we are to reach our area for Jesus.
Not only do we need the 41 churches, but we also need the spiritual synergy that is created as those 41 churches come together as an association.
As an association, we can stand tall and strong in this community, knowing that we have TR Baptists scattered all around our area. Maybe your church only has a few or a few dozen or a few hundred members. Remember that you are not alone. Together, our churches have more than 13,000 members. You are part of that, part of something big, something powerful, something that makes a difference.
We work together to meet human needs in our area, to share Jesus with the unreached, to be salt and light in our communities. Every time one of our 41 churches comes together to meet, it is a point of spiritual light that is shining in the darkness.
We join forces, such as when two or more churches have a joint DiscipleNow. We help one another, such as when one church helps another conduct its Vacation Bible School.
We work together to prepare men called by God to pastor churches, and to equip churches led by God to start new churches, and to discover people loved by God who need new churches.
We learn from one another through our relationships with members of other churches. We know them because we see them at TRBA events. We care for one another and pray for one another, considering the members of other churches as part of our “extended family.” If your church is your family, then your association is your clan, your tribe, your people.
During Associational Emphasis Week, May 17-23, I hope you will take the opportunity to remind those in your church or class or small group, about Trinity River Baptist Association. Remind them how fortunate we are to be part of that larger family. And take a moment to pray for your association and the 41 churches that make it what it is.
Never stop “associating,”