In the coming years Mountain State Baptist Association will place emphasis on the following:
1. Leadership Development
75% of our MSBA pastors are bi-vocational, meaning that is the norm and not the exception. Their discretionary time is limited. Traditional training will continue to be offered and expanded such as retreats, workshops, conferences, and periodic classes. To acknowledge their limited time and their geographic dispersion more innovative methods of training will be introduced over the coming years such as video on demand, video conferencing, online education, and onsite consultations. The development of the next generation of leaders within our MSBA churches will require new leadership structures in the individual congregations. Our churches will have to find ways to accommodate and integrate multiple generations and multiple cultures in terms of discipleship, worship, fellowship, outreach, and proclamation of God’s Word.
3. Church Planting
The term “unreached community” will take on dimensions beyond geographical with additional identifiers such as need, ethnicity, culture, age, or socio-economic status. Churches will be encouraged to think outside the box in planting churches by: partnering together to jointly plant new works; merging existing churches that are declining or plateauing; reconstituting, recalibrating, or redirecting existing works; and creatively planting parallel churches in one facility or location to accommodate homogenous groupings (an example would be several different ethnic congregations utilizing the same facility by staggering/coordinating the times of their separate activities and programs).
2. Mission Engagement
MSBA churches who receive assistance from outside sources such as churches or neighboring state conventions will strive to also become mission-sending entities. Reciprocal partnerships from church to church will form. More MSBA churches will engage in mission activity from raising awareness (formation of mission study groups, dissemination of mission materials and opportunities) to ongoing mission programs locally and regionally; from short term mission trips to longer term placement of individuals and families on the mission field; and participation in associational sponsored mission activity such as the Alaska Missions 2015 summer trip. Acts 1.8 will be viewed more simultaneously than sequentially. Geographic distance will not be as important as connecting points as technology allows more churches to actively engage previously distant mission fields and to do so with limited financial resources.
The MSBA churches will form innovative new connections with other believers at the local, regional, national, and international levels to mutually increase their effectiveness in the Kingdom of God. This may take the form of cyber-communities, networks, or multiple levels of cooperation and collaboration.
5. Servant Leadership
Everything undertaken by Mountain State Baptist Association will be done so in the spirit of servant leadership. (Mt. 20.28, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”)