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The Guiding Principle of Relationships In Ministry
     Dr. Rodrick Conerly, Executive Director

A friend of mine is fond of saying, “Communication is a wonderful thing when it happens.” Communication provides us with many wonderful and occasionally useful facts and information. Everyday we are bombarded with information through advertising. Someone or some company wants us to buy their product, consider their point of view, or is asking for our opinion. As leaders in the churches across the Baptist Association of Greater Baton Rouge, we communicate with people on a daily basis through letters, by telephone, over the internet, and on cell phones, and the means to communicate expands every day. Yet, I have discovered that I do my most influential communication with a very small number of people. I communicate best with my family, friends, and other people with whom I have a close personal relationship. In other words, communication that makes a difference demands relationships. Communicating through relationships conveys so much more than mere facts and information.

As I continue to meet with the pastors and leaders of the association, the topic of better communication between churches and between pastors continues to be mentioned. We wonder why better communication is so difficult to achieve. Well, here is a suggestion: as ministers, we exist in close yet distanced relationships with our church members and with other pastors. Close relationships are needed in order to preach and minister to our members effectively. Yet, those members often keep a distance between us and them. This is part of the nature of the ministry to which God has called us. For this reason, we, as the pastors of the churches and leaders in the association, need each other. Yet, we seldom intentionally work at developing close relationships with one another. As the leaders of the association, we need to connect and share knowledge and resources and be empathetic and compassionate with each other. All of this takes time and energy. In order to connect, to share what God has taught us, to provide something of value to the joint effort of all the churches to extend the Kingdom of God, demands RELATIONSHIPS. As ministers, we need each other.

Yet, within our God-called task of servant-hood, our relationship building must be about how we can help each other become more successful--more successful as pastors, as parents, as fellow strugglers in the role of ministry. For this reason, we have begun the REGIONAL PASTORS’ CONFERENCES throughout the association. As we get together over a sandwich and a drink, we establish and deepen relationships through which God communicates. We find that although we have to do many things in our churches alone, for that is where God has placed us to serve; we can accomplish so much more through the networking and relationship building that takes place in these informal regional meetings. Working at relationship building IS HARD WORK but the end result will be KINGDOM EXTENSION BY DOING TOGETHER WHAT WE CANNOT DO ALONE. As a result, we will discover that the REGIONAL PASTORS’ CONFERENCES will play a vital role in our churches finding what God wants us to do together so that He can accomplish what ONLY HE CAN DO.

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