Dallas, like most major cities in the United States, is growing dramatically in population, diversity, and lostness. Our city is a rapidly changing mission field, with people from all over the world residing here. Stanley McChrystal wrote in his book, Team of Teams, that the world has shifted from being complicated to complex and predictable to unpredictable. So has Dallas. To reach this mission field, we must have the ability to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances.
As the organization closest to churches, Baptist associations can provide a missions context from which churches can effectively reach their communities with the Gospel of Christ. In fact, I believe Baptist associations are so essential to local missions that if they were to cease to exist today, Great Commission churches would recreate them or something similar tomorrow. Such is the strategic importance of a local team of churches, particularly because of the vital community connections, geographical proximity, and leveraging of resources such a team provides.
Dallas Baptist Association has trusted relationships with pastors and churches, developed over many years. The DBA staff collectively have more than 200 years of ministry involvement in the Dallas area, resulting in meaningful connections with ministry partners and community leaders all over the city.
The value of existing relationships in connecting churches and individuals to Great Commission strategies cannot not be overstated. DBA brings a network of relationships to a potential mission endeavor. These connections provide new opportunities to work together, and new partnerships for a much greater impact for Christ.
Proximity means “nearness in space, time, or relationship.” Next to the church, the association is the entity closest to the mission field of Dallas and Rockwall Counties. Using familiar military terminology, DBA’s staff and our member churches are the boots on the ground. We live here. We are involved in the life of the city such as the neighborhood associations, schools, businesses, and recreation. This wealth of knowledge about our mission field is necessary to develop the most effective gospel strategies.
Proximity places the association in a position to observe important developments as they are taking place. Our nearness enables us to see the needs and the opportunities for our churches and for our communities. We can identify communities in which there is no ministering church. We can also discover areas where God is clearly at work so we can join Him.
Using a smaller investment to gain a greater return is “leverage.” A local association is in a position to leverage the work of churches, whether small or large, for a greater impact.
Suppose a church in the suburbs believes the Lord is calling it to minister with a church in the city core of Dallas. Because that church is part of an association of churches, it can build upon ministries and relationships already developed, rather than starting from scratch. The association can make the church aware of potential partners and lessons learned by experience in ministries in similar areas.
Thank you for your support of Dallas Baptist Association. Our churches provide 100 percent of our operating budget. When you give, you are helping to provide the connections, proximity, and leverage for advancing God’s Kingdom in Dallas.