BUILDING HEALTHY CHURCHES
The goal of this association is to "Build Healthy Churches" and maintain the health of the church through EQUIPPING ministries, EDIFYING members, and EXALTING Christ through EVANGELISM. Thematic Scripture: "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV)
THE BENEFITS OF BEING A BEREAN ASSOCIATION CHURCH
"What we have is well designed and biblically sound!"
Nothing exceeds the joys and benefits that we have by being part of the Berean Association of Churches. Acts 17:11 is the model passage for this association... "they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."
On an individual level, the Berean sessions are joyful reminders of the man friendships we have made with pastors and churches over the years. We enjoy these friendships built around a common faith, worship, and activities that the Association provides. "Continue in brotherly love" (Hebrews 13:1).
I'm well aware that parents are to teach their children. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.
We are also strong believers in the statement that it takes a "Village" to raise a child, and we believe a network of churches will help get the job done. We shouldn't trust just anyone to do the job, nor trust just any curriculum that has the word "youth" in it. We simply cannot trust the care of our children to anybody.
We want people and ministries that will reinforce the teachings and values of the Christian home. The Berean Association provides the ministries that children can trust. This association is led by godly adults and young adults who love God and children. This association, we believe, is of unlimited value to our children.
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; instead, bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Our parents are encouraged and strengthened when they can load our children into a van and send them to youth rallies sponsored by the Berean Association. The rally may be a gathering at a building outside of a church building, but we are confident that our children will receive preaching, teaching, and activities consistent with the convictions and values of our association.
We send our children with confidence, knowing that they will be challenged, some will get saved; all will be confronted with the Word of God to live godly lives in an ungodly world.
None of our churches on its own could manage and operate a ministry of this size and capability, but together we can. Our families and churches are strengthened through this remarkable connection of churches.
"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same functions" (Romans 12:4).
Benefits of our Association are numerous and marvelous. The ordination for the gospel ministry is an extremely important function of the church. To gather a committee of trusted leaders from Association churches to help examine the candidate for their doctrinal belief is wise and helpful. And when churches find themselves involved in struggles that they seemingly cannot resolve cannot resolve, it is of great benefit to engage the help of wise, impartial people of churches like their own. Unfortunately this practice is probably not made use of a often as it should be.
When receiving potential new members of the church, a pastor should make it a practice to call the former church. He or She could discover where the prospects are spiritually so the transition can be effective in guiding them to spiritual maturity. The pastor may also discover that a prospect is running from discipline or is constantly dissatisfied.
A church without a pastor often reaches out to an association representative for help. The representative will not just give the church a list of names but will counsel the church search committee concerning the process and help them make wise informed decisions concerning a potential shepherd for their church. Churches can benefit greatly from checking out prospects with coworkers in sister churches to determine their reputations. All these services are available when requested.
NEW TESTAMENT MODEL
Much has changed in the last two thousand years, but the New Testament gives us examples of churches that banded together to solve a doctrinal conflict or to help a church in desperate financial difficulty due to a natural disaster or persecution. Churches at that early stage did not have an official association of churches. But it was natural and helpful for them to work together for the purpose of strengthening and advancing the cause of Christ. Christians personally, and churches collectively, benefited.
To me, the benefits of being in an association of churches of like faith and practice has not diminished but rather has increased. I am personally grateful for the association I have and that our church has in the Berean Association. The older I get, the longer I pastor, and the more I think about it, I realize that what connects us is greater than what separates us... "None of Us Are As Great As All of Us!"
Immediate Past Moderator, Dr. Richard L. Hall, Sr. (2019-2021)