Mission & Affinity
There are a number of characteristics of Baptist Associations who are making an impact. Such Associations have been described as forward thinking Associations. One distinction of such Associations is they do not limit their relationships to geographical boundaries but are characterized by thinking globally and relating to others through networks.
Forward thinking Associations are characterized by mission and affinity not by geography. Mission is understood to be the purpose for which something is created while affinity is an inherent likeness or attraction. Forward thinking Associations understand their mission; their purpose for existing, which is to serve churches. By understanding and living out their created purpose, Associations attract others who have a similar mission. There has been for some time a re-alignment of individuals, churches, and organizations toward common mission and affinity.
Churches and Great Commission organizations will be drawn to the mission because of their affinity with the mission. Churches choose to voluntarily cooperate based on a common these two aspects. Churches choose to align themselves with organizations and networks, which help advance the God-given mission for their specific congregation.
Because of the limitations of time and resources, churches choose to be strategically connected with those entities that compliment the essence of their unique design. In other words, churches who desire to live out their Spirit –led DNA are looking to affiliate and participate in like-minded missions.
Associations of the future are characterized by those two components and not by geography. If an Association wishes to be a vibrant part of the future of what God is doing, especially among the younger generations, it must position itself to connect, encourage and support churches for kingdom impact.
Many Associations are still characterized by geographical boundaries, which limit the types of relationships that an Association can have. Geographical boundaries limit the influence of the Association. When we think in terms of geography and not mission and affinity, we limit what God might want to do in and through us.
Our current technology allows us to remove geography as a barrier. Individuals and organizations can use other technology to build and maintain relationship around the world. Because of modern technological advancements, forward thinking Associations are characterized by a global understanding as well as affinity.
Associations must see themselves as making a global impact. Associations are able to create partnerships with other Great Commission Christians worldwide. Such partnerships help churches within a given Association broaden their ability and cooperate with other churches to implement an Acts 1:8 strategy.
SABA exists to connect, encourage and support churches for kingdom impact.