Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsJUST THINKING: When the BMAA Assembles

JUST THINKING: When the BMAA Assembles

I was just thinking about the upcoming BMA of America meeting in Conway next week. When the BMA of America assembles, it is a very special occasion for very special reasons. It is the time for the churches to send their messengers to be informed about the workings of the association of churches — workings that extend around the world.

The Beginning of the Association

Originally the association was called the North American Baptist Association (NABA). Following a split from the American Baptist Association in a meeting in Lakeland, Fla., the NABA was formed at Temple Baptist Church in Little Rock in 1950.

The association continued with that title for almost 20 years, but due to another group having a similar name, the messengers of the churches voted to change the name to the current Baptist Missionary Association of America (BMAA) in 1969. Among other groups across our nation, the BMAA is well known for its Christ-centered, conservative doctrinal positions. That is a banner we should proudly hold up.

The Ministries Supported by the BMAA

Sadly, there are many members of the churches that do not know that their particular church is a member of the BMAA. As a result, they are not aware of the various ministries that are supported by the association.

World Missions has always been at the forefront of our associated work. But in reality, all the other ministries work hand-in-hand to aid and promote the work of missions. Those ministries are the BMA Foundation, Ministers Resource Services, Baptist Publishing House, Lifeword, Moral Action, BMA Theological Seminary and, as already mentioned, Missions.

While each of these departments and agencies has an executive director and very capable staff, they belong to the churches of the BMAA. When the BMAA assembles, it is to hear the reports of the ministries from the past year’s endeavors and to be informed of the progress and recommendations for future ministry works for the upcoming year. The messengers of the churches of the BMAA are then entitled to vote to approve or disapprove of those reports from the committees and boards that report annually. For the past 64 years, the meetings have been moderated by leaders elected by the messengers of the association. As a result, for these many years, harmony has prevailed and the work of the BMAA has been effective — despite some years of difficulties due to inconveniences, such as the recent COVID pandemic.

God’s Grace Has Always Been Sufficient

While the Great Commission has been the marching order for the Lord’s churches, no one church could do what the association of churches has done. We work together — with prayer, encouragement and financial support. Without those, the ministries would fail.

When the BMAA assembles, it is to do those very things. While the assembly is actually a huge business meeting, it is also a time of worship, thanksgiving and encouragement to both the churches and those serving the churches. The ongoing success of these ministries is not due to the talents of good leaders; it is the fact that God’s grace has always been sufficient.

Please Send Your Church Messengers

The BMAA assembles Tuesday through Thursday, April 25-27, at Antioch Baptist Church in Conway. While this year’s meeting will not be like previous ones because it is taking on more of a conference atmosphere, still each church should be represented. 

I am only a retired pastor. I am not a director or leader. But I am a member of a BMAA church and will be serving as a messenger for Chenal Valley Baptist Church in Little Rock. I urge every church in the association to send messengers to Conway next week. Each church is permitted three messengers with alternates and one missionary committeeman.

May God bless your church and may He bless the associated efforts of the Baptist Missionary Association of America!