Our stated purpose as a region is centered on leadership. We believe God is calling this region to “support congregations in developing leaders who transform lives.”
Some may wonder how this has risen to the top out of all the potential and possible objectives.
In a time when many of our churches are one generation away from closing, we have observed that leadership is the key determinate factor in reversing the tide of decline and creating a healthier future.
For many in the church today “health” is defined in terms of resources, particularly the financial resources available to support the church. But there are congregations with legacies of wealth which are far from healthy. For me, health and vitality are measured more by impact of ministry than by membership or budget.
Instead of knowing how many members are on church rolls I would rather know how many lives have been changed. I would rather hear a church measure and report the degree to which it has become leaven for the residents of their immediate neighborhood. I would like to hear how the quality of life has improved for those who have come into relationship with their fellowship.
As long as our churches are in survival mode new life will continue to be an elusive dream. Only when the church can let go of the need to survive can it begin to thrive. I say this because we do not allow ourselves the permission to risk and dream when we are preoccupied with questions of survival.
The move from survival to revival will only happen through the drive and inspiration of leaders who possess both confidence, skill and desire to challenge and redirect the church to discern and embrace God’s will for their future.
Our commitment as a region is to support our churches, pastors and leaders in understanding what it means to be a leader in the 21st Century, a time when everything is rapidly changing. To this end we have directed our resources toward leadership development and continue to solicit additional support in the form of grants and donations. We recognize the strain ministry imposes on pastors and leaders and so we are directing more attention toward health and wholeness in church leaders. We continue to look for ministry models which effectively achieve positive outcomes and are building collaborations with those congregations and organizations which can teach others to get desired results.
We invite our churches to continue the conversation lifting up the leadership challenges they are facing in this time which is packed with possibilities. As the conversation increases so will our creative imaginations increase and the end result is that more lives will be transformed through Jesus Christ.
The American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region
1100 South Goodman St.
Rochester, NY 14620
Telephone: (585) 340-9520
Fax: (585) 340-9522