By Dr. Clif Johnson, President • BMA of America
What are you looking for when the BMA meets in its annual meeting? What are your expectations? What is the purpose of the meeting? Why would you or should you travel to such a meeting to spend two and a half days with other pastors and departmental leaders?
I encourage you to come to our meeting with the following expectations:
• To be inspired. I heard Jack Graham say at Pastor’s Oasis one year, “I don’t want to burn up. I don’t want to burn out. I want to burn on!” How true that is for me too, and hopefully you. But most of us would have to admit that there are times when we want to walk away. Some of you may be dangerously close to that reality. Would you come to our meeting to be spurred on? You will be able to hear the Word of God preached, which is sure to revive the spirit. You will be able to receive encouragement, rest and strength from the Lord through your fellow soldiers in the work. Some of you may not be thinking of walking away from ministry, so what that means for you is that you get to be the ones encouraging the weary! We need each other, men! Let’s show up for one another.
• To be equipped. One of the features of our meetings is to equip each of you with the training that is needed for ministry today. Our breakout sessions prove to be very timely in our current culture. You will get to choose from breakouts covering mental health, handling abuse within the church and leadership. The road of ministry can be difficult to navigate when these particular issues are staring at us, so we need to be able to walk through these minefields with grace and truth.
• To be informed. When we gather, you will not only have the opportunity to hear reports from our national departments, but you will be able to speak to the leaders of these departments. I am not sure if you realize what a blessing it is that we have such approachable and accessible leaders, but I assure you, it is, indeed, a blessing. You need to know what and how your departments are helping and assisting your church to fulfill the Great Commission. Added to that, you will be able to shake the hands and hug the necks of most of our missionaries this year, which is another unique feature of our association.
I have fellow pastors in other works who envy what we have in the BMA. But we are only as strong and vibrant as our associational commitment and camaraderie. I hope to see you in just a few days.