The Baptist Northern Association exists for one reason only – to serve the local church!
Naturally the needs of one church are different to the needs of another so we’ve picked up a few skills and built a few partnerships to help.
Firstly we do training. This last weekend was our annual “One Life” Conference – which focussed on why and how to love and care for people. This year, Lance Laughton laid the theological foundation of why we should love people and Pastor Brian Stone, taught on how to do this practically. From his vast years of serving a number of churches as a pastor, he gave great insights on home visitation, hospital visitation, counselling, informal shepherding and caring for the caregiver in terms of pastoral burnout. In addition, we gave away two free books to every delegate; Mark Dever’s ‘Nine Marks of a Health Church’ and Kevin De Young’s excellent book on Scripture ‘Taking God at His Word.’ We do local church training on a number of subjects including; ‘Elders and Deacons – who does what and why’, ‘What is a Baptist?” and ‘Congregational Governance” among others.
Second, we do resources. A number of downloads are available on this site for pastors, moderators, fraternals leaders and even a Bible study booklet for church members to engage with the new 2017 draft Statement of Faith (and one is Sesotho). We have a number of partnerships with excellent organisations including Ekklesia Africa for books and conferences, theological training at BTC, missions, a foster home, an orphanage and medical step down facility, a retirement centre, and a chain of charity stores all aimed at caring and assisting for people.
Thirdly, we help youth groups. This is a new area for us and we’re right in the middle of phase one – ‘Find out what’s happening on the ground.’ We’re really glad to have Dan Riddell leading this with his years of youth ministry experience. We encourage all the churches to send their teens to Summer Camp – what an awesome experience and the statistics of the number of young people who’ve come to faith at Summer Camp should encourage every local church to make this a priority.