There are few invitations easier to ignore than an invitation to a church business meeting. Not that the meetings are unimportant. In fact, the opposite is true. Church business meetings, or members meetings as some call them, are vitally important. Much good and important work is addressed at these meetings. Plans are made for the future and the body of believers is given the opportunity to celebrate the good work of the Lord in their midst.
In 20 years of pastoring churches, however, I noticed that fewer and fewer people were interested in being part of the business of the church. They voted by their absence that they were willing to trust the leadership of the congregation to others.
The annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention is much more than a business meeting. Certainly, business is conducted there, important business in fact, but we will do more. Through Crossover evangelistic events we will work together to impact the community with the gospel. At the 2021 Pastors’ Conference, Press On, we will worship and be ministered to through solid Bible preaching. And at the KBC Annual Meeting we will celebrate the great gospel work being carried out in Kentucky and beyond.
But why should church leaders attend their state convention’s annual meeting? Here are five reasons:
1. For the fellowship: God made us to thrive in community and to do that we must be intentional about being around others. The connections made and strengthened at the annual meeting of your state convention are life giving. Given the stress and strain every church leader has experienced through COVID, we need space to laugh, tell stories and enjoy each other.
2. For the focus: One of the most difficult aspects of Christian leadership is to help those we serve remain focused on the mission of Jesus without drifting into competing ones. The annual meeting of your state convention is an opportunity to remember why we joined together in the first place and what we are seeking to accomplish cooperatively.
3. For the fight: When I say, “for the fight,” I am certainly not encouraging chaos at our meeting. If fact, the opposite is what I have in mind. I am thinking of the most important fight, the battle of cooperating together to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. The KBC Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to remember that the Great Commission of Jesus drives all we do. We will be encouraged to remain faithful until Jesus comes or calls us home.
4. For the family: Some have said the annual meeting of a state convention is like one big family reunion. We can celebrate the unity we enjoy in Kentucky and strengthen that unity by spending time with our Kentucky Baptist family.
5. For the faith: The Kentucky Baptist Convention has one mission, and it is the Great Commission. Our mission reminds us that the KBC was created by churches for church to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. When you attend and participate in the annual meeting of your state convention, you are participating in how we work together to advance the gospel in Kentucky and beyond.
I hope one of these reasons, or something entirely different, will be used by the Lord to motivate you to attend this year’s annual meeting in Elizabethtown. I look forward to seeing you there.