Frequently Asked Questions

are provided to help you and your church understand more about the Convention's strategy to impact lostness through disciple-making. 

What impact is projected to happen to the relationship between the state Convention and the local association with the restructuring of the Baptist State Convention?
The projected impact is for the relationship to be strengthened. There is great potential for associations to further their relationships with churches as well. Our hope is that pastors will gain a new appreciation for their local association through this impacting lostness strategy process of churches cooperating together in reaching the lost around them.

Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) staff strategy coordinators will serve in a consultative and servant role with the associations and churches. They will assist in the process of strategy formation, but not direct local leaders.

The focus of the strategy is upon impacting lostness across the state with the goal of improving disciple-making efforts. While our research shows that there are 8 population centers with the greatest concentrations of lostness, the plan is to engage all associations across the state in assisting churches to engage the lost and make disciples in their local communities, as well as develop an Acts 1:8 strategy to reach these concentrations of lostness. The strategy provides a framework for the 8 population centers that includes a Convention strategist, the associational missionaries in the area, pastors, laypersons and other church leaders. The Kingdom will be impacted greatly if all partners, meaning churches, associations and the Convention, work together.

What associations will the person in Wilmington cover?
The concentrations of lostness in the Wilmington area includes Wilmington, Brunswick, New River and potentially portions of Columbus associations. We have data that provides an idea of where many of these pockets of lostness are located, but pinpointing the exact neighborhoods, apartment complexes, etc. will be part of the cooperative efforts of churches, associations and the Convention working together. The NC MAP ID project is a good tool to help us with this effort in each of the population centers. NC MAP ID was introduced to associational missionaries at the January meeting by Mike Sowers.

How will that person relate to the associations? Relate meaning interact, work with or will their duties be total directed to the local church?
The Convention strategists, known officially as the strategy coordinator, will work with associational missionaries, pastors, laypersons and other church leaders in the population center to establish a strategy committee, or committees in the larger areas, that will seek to do three things: 

  • First, identify ways to strengthen the strategies already in place in associations and churches to engage the lost through the strengthening of churches and the planting of churches. 
  • Second, assist in developing new strategies that might be needed to assist associations and churches to engage the lost through strengthening existing churches and planting new churches.
  • Third, work with strategy coordinators in other population centers to facilitate churches and associations from other areas of the state to join churches and associations in their assigned population centers to engage the lost through strengthening existing churches and planting new churches. The strategy coordinator will not instruct church or associational leadership; however, the strategy coordinator will give direction to Convention staff as requests are made for Convention specialists to assist churches and associations.

What are the duties of the regional person? Is there a job description?
Just to be clear, the 8 high intensity lostness areas do not necessarily correspond to the 10 BSCNC regions across North Carolina.

In relation to a job description for the 8 strategic coordinators, a draft has been developed, but an additional part of the restructuring is the establishment of a new organizational culture for Convention staff where there is more collaboration among staff. Those individuals assigned to the Strategic Focus Team are working to finalize the proposed job description. We have been very pleased with the enthusiasm our staff has shown as they’ve engaged in the facilitation of this collaborative work environment. We will be glad to share the job description when it is finalized. The work assignments of this position should in no way compete with or supersede the importance of the role of a local associational missionary. Our work is to assist and support.

Why wasn’t this mentioned in the January meeting with associational missionaries?
The strategy was introduced during the January meeting and was not finalized until March. However, in January we presented a document that included 9 strategic statements that formed the foundation of the strategy. After introducing the strategy, we divided into small groups and discussed these statements. The input we received from associational missionaries was brought back to the staff committee working to develop the strategy. The input we received from associational missionaries had a significant impact on the strategy in its final form. The restructuring was not completed until the strategy was completed. The associational missionaries who participated in those discussions were also introduced to the concepts of the 8 population centers and the idea that a Convention strategist, at that point simply referred to as a generalist, would be assigned to each of the population centers. Following the meeting in January, different Convention staff members have continued to dialogue with associational missionaries about these same subjects both individually and in small groups.

Is this regional person going to begin working with local churches on other projects other than church planting?
Yes! The strategy calls for our staff to work to strengthen churches and plant churches. BSCNC staff has always worked with individual churches as requested and we do this in our desire to strengthen the local association by strengthening the churches of that association. As the strategy coordinators are made aware of needs expressed by the local strategy planning group, they will contact specialists on the BSCNC staff in Cary and make them aware of a request for assistance.

While our church planting staff has been reduced, we have increased the number of our staff that will be assigned to strengthen churches. In addition, the strategy coordinators will work with our collegiate partnerships staff, formerly known as campus ministry, in our offer to assist associations and churches as they assume leadership roles and determine how they will impact their local college and university campuses.

Is this a move by the leadership of the Convention to assist in “doing away with associations?”
No. We have no desire to initiate or “assist” in any effort to do away with associations. As stated earlier, we believe that we can help strengthen associations and their partnership with churches. We recognize and believe in the value of local Baptist associations. Again, we have no desire or intention to replace or eliminate associations. Associational missionaries are the front line contact with North Carolina Baptist churches and they have opportunity to enjoy strong relationships with their affiliated churches. It is impossible for the Convention to establish the level of partnership with 4,300 North Carolina Baptist churches that a local associational missionary can cultivate with churches in his association. Just as we believe the BSCNC needs strong partnerships with associations, we believe this Convention can be a valuable partner to assist associations. Both autonomous organizations work with North Carolina Baptist churches and the people in those churches need to see us as partners working together in our efforts to strengthen their fellowship. We need each other in order to impact lostness all around us.

BSCNC staff members have demonstrated that we both value and respect associational leaders in the development of this strategy. Few people realize that directors of missions were able to engage in conversation about the strategy before the staff saw the strategy. In addition, associational missionaries were given the opportunity to provide input before the strategy was presented to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. Associational missionaries have been given access to the strategy like no other North Carolina Baptists has, for no one else (staff included) had the opportunity to critique and speak into the strategy to the degree of associational missionaries.

More Information

Brian K. Davis  /  bdavis@ncbaptist.org  /  (800) 395-5102 ext. 5501