The longer I serve, the more apparent it is to me that God has been on mission long before His church was initiated. This Biblical reality was articulated by SBC president J. D. Greear when he said, “God doesn’t have a mission for His church; God formed the church for His mission.”
Many of our churches in New England understand that engagement in making disciples at home and abroad is essential for the health of the church. They express it through serving in and reaching their local communities for Christ, as well as connecting and partnering with other churches or plants throughout New England, the nation and the world.
If your church wants to be more involved in missions, the BCNE can help! Here’s how:
1. Making needs and requests of churches and plants known to a greater network of churches through our website and social media platform. These needs could include things like prayer needs, construction needs or special requests.
2. Organizing vision tours to help introduce potential partners to our church plants and churches needing revitalization. Through our relationships and partnerships with groups like Tennessee and Ohio Baptists, we set up on-site visits to explain and show needs and partnership opportunities. We’ve seen many long-term relationships blossom as a result of these visits.
3. Meeting prospective partners to share what God is doing here in New England. By being present at events like the TN Women On Mission annual meeting, the Madison-Chester-Crockett Baptist Association meeting in TN and the TN Baptist Mission Board’s annual meeting, we can increase awareness of the work in New England and develop partner connections.
4. Facilitating Holy Spirit-led contacts from various church leaders seeking mission connections in New England. For example, last year we arranged for a group from Women on Mission ladies to prayerwalk in Massachusetts. One of the places they went was Lawrence, where God used them to break through some long-standing spiritual obstacles.
5. Utilizing regional mobilizing missionaries like Stephen and Nellene Carter from NC in Southern VT and Robert Smith from AL who serves in several churches in MA and VT. They spend a majority of the year serving and living here to build the capacity of the churches and their mission by making connections with churches in their second home states of NC and AL.
The fruit of such connections can be seen in how God is growing and developing mission partnerships across New England!
Tim Buehner serves as mobilization and ministry evangelism coordinator at the Baptist Convention of New England.