The work of the local Baptist Association is the best-kept secret among Southern Baptists! So we have tried to put into one document all of the things we do.
The York Baptist Association is a network of churches cooperating together for kingdom growth by fulfilling the Great Commission. Our cooperation is supported through the staff of the York Baptist Association and the initiatives of the leadership teams of the York Baptist Association resulting in a number of ministries and processes designed to develop our churches and expand the kingdom of God locally and around the world while developing disciples, leaders, ministries, groups and congregations through our churches. The following is a description of most of what we do through four areas of focus; Church Development, Church Multiplication, Church and Community Ministries, Great Commission Community Partners…
· The Intentional Church Multiplication Process (ICMP)
o The Intentional Church Multiplication Process or ICMP is an intensive process that leads established churches to discover their mission and purpose by leading their leadership teams to clarify the core values of their church and discover the vision that God has for their church at this time in their history. The end result will be the development of a strategic plan for reaching their vision, crafted and customized by the church. The York Baptist Association in cooperation with the South Carolina Baptist Convention offers this process to our churches and provides support, encouragement and networking to each church before, during and after they complete the process and implement their strategies. Before leading a church through the ICMP process the Pastor must first complete the Church Health Leadership Track.
The Church Health Pastors leadership Track
The Church Health Pastors Leadership Track is a 10 to 12 month self discovery and coaching process designed to help leaders discover their leadership style and implement spiritual leadership in their church. The process includes a monthly leadership cluster led by a trained coach/consultant, a monthly session with your personal leadership coach and practical application as you are coached while training leaders in your church. The York Baptist Association partners with the South Carolina Baptist Convention to provide our pastors with this training. The end result will be Pastor/Leaders multiplying leaders who multiply leaders.
· Equipping Conferences
o The York Baptist Association provides equipping conferences that provide training for all leadership positions within our churches. These are scheduled by our Church Strengthening Team as needed.
· Equipping Round Tables
o The York Baptist Association plans and sponsors many of the training events in various formats. A new format that has been offered recently is called “Equipping Round tables”. Equipping round tables are small venue discussions around a particular topic or issue of interest to our pastors for the purpose of giving them a more intimate setting to discuss and learn from each other and from experts on a particular topic or issue. Equipping round tables are offered by the Leadership Development Team, Church Strengthening Team or Kingdom Advance Team as needed or requested by our pastors.
· Sunday School Conference
o The York Baptist Association recognizes that the majority of our churches continue to depend on traditional Sunday school as the main teaching and discipleship arm of the church and so each year we provide at least one Sunday school training event designed to train all Sunday school workers from Pastors and Sunday School directors to teachers and assistants. The focus of our Sunday School conferences usually focus on best teaching practices but also investigate new ideas for utilizing Sunday School for discipleship and outreach. We also have training resources available that can be reserved by our Sunday School leaders.
· Vacation Bible School Clinic
o Most of the churches in York Baptist Association continue to use Vacation Bible School as a major outreach to children and their families because VBS continues to be one of the most effective evangelism strategies in our churches. Each year the York Baptist Association hosts a Vacation Bible School Clinic for the purpose of giving pastors, directors and teachers the opportunity to review the best curriculum’s and practices offered by Lifeway and other resources.
· Bible Drill
o Each year the York Baptist Association hosts an Associational Bible Drill where contestants from our churches seek to score high enough to move on to the state Bible drill at the South Carolina Baptist convention.
· Pastor Search Committee Training
o The York Baptist Association continues to grow and now with over 75 churches in our Association it is normal for a number of our churches to be without pastors. The staff of the York Baptist Association provides Pastor Search Committee Training and a Pastor Search Committee Workbook that enables a committee to follow a proven process for finding the next pastor that God has for their church. The churches that take advantage of this opportunity testify to its effectiveness and benefits.
· Pulpit Supply, Interim Pastors and Resume Service
o In addition to pastor search committee training the staff of the York Baptist Association provides our churches with a list of available people who can provide pulpit supply or serve as interim pastors during the period of time a church is seeking their next pastor. The York Baptist Association also provides a resume service to assist search committees in finding qualified pastors.
· Administrative Support and Consultation Services
o The staff of the York Baptist Association is also available for consultation services for any church leader or committee concerning questions or issues the church may have concerning any area of church life, church structures, church strategies or policies and procedures.
· Pastor and Staff Support and Coaching
o The staff of the York Baptist Association provides counsel, support, encouragement and coaching for the pastors and staff of our churches. We seek to be a resource to our pastors as well as our congregations and our door is always open.
· Senior Adult Rallies
o Each year the York Baptist Association is privileged to host one or two Senior Adult Rallies where senior adults from our churches gather for entertainment, encouragement, fellowship and a good meal. These rallies continue to be one of the most well-attended meetings in the Association and are a highlight of the year.
· Pastor Networks and Fellowships
o As a “Kingdom Growth Network” the York Baptist Association depends on the connections that are pastors have with one another. Our partnership team seeks to provide fellowship venues for pastors where they can get to know each other, discover each other’s strengths and find “missional” affinity with one another. Each month the York Baptist Association hosts a pastors luncheon for pastors to gather to eat, share and fellowship. We also provide a Christmas dinner for pastors and their spouses as well as a Pastors Retreat and other gatherings in hopes that as our pastors get to know each other they will begin to lead their churches to work together more closely for kingdom expansion.
· Church Secretary Support
o The York Baptist Association recognizes the vital importance and central role the Church Secretaries play in the life of a local church. Our staff, especially our office Administrator, provides support and encouragement as well as resources for our church secretaries. We also host a Ministry Assistant Lunch once a year where our secretaries can fellowship and learn.
· Leadership Development
o The staff of the York Baptist Association recognizes that the expansion of the kingdom of God on this earth depends on healthy churches that are seeking to fulfill a clear, God-given vision. We believe that healthy churches are led by healthy pastors who have developed Biblical leadership skills. Therefore, we are committed to providing leadership development opportunities for our pastors and pastoral staff. Leadership development opportunities are offered in the form of large group training events, small-group training and individual mentoring and coaching. Some of these opportunities are provided by the York Baptist Association staff others are provided by pastors and denominational workers with proven skills that are brought to our pastors and others are provided by the state convention or other resources and our pastors are given opportunities and, occasionally, scholarships to participate. The first priority of the York Baptist Association Staff is to listen to what our Pastors are saying they need and then find a way to meet that need.
· Men’s Ministry
o The York Baptist Association encourages the development of men in our churches. We believe men should be leaders and our churches should be led by men and so we seek to provide encouragement and support for the men’s Ministry Directors of our churches. We also provide resources and opportunities for men to be on mission together within our Association and elsewhere. These would include the Pastor and Directors supper event that we host at least every other year, ministry opportunities in the form of construction projects or other ministries offered to in our community as well as Disaster Relief response.
· Women’s Ministry
o The York Baptist Association supports the work of women in our churches through the Women’s Missionary Union and other women’s events by providing encouragement to the WMU organization and its efforts to expand the kingdom through our churches. We also support the WMU focus projects each year by helping our churches understand what the project is and how they can respond to it. We also encourage women’s ministries in our churches by helping to promote women’s events that our churches are hosting so the other churches can take advantage of them.
· Discipleship Growth Hubs
o A new opportunity that the York Baptist Association is hosting is called “discipleship growth hubs”. We believe the best model for discipleship is found in the New Testament as modeled by Jesus as he walked with his disciples in small groups. In that small group, he had three that he spent more time with and mentored more directly. From that model, we are introducing a training opportunity for church leaders to develop “discipleship triads” that will result in a more effective discipleship process. This process will develop leaders that multiply themselves and result in more effective outreach.
· Sports Outreach Ministry
o The York Baptist Association has hosted and encouraged the development of sports outreach in our churches. Some of our churches are involved in “upward sports” others are involved in” impact sports” . Each of these sports outreach ministries are very effective in reaching children and youth and their families and we encourage our churches to participate, however, we have also encouraged and supported the development of our own sports outreach ministry called, “Victory Sports Outreach” developed by Greg Pendarvis in Ft. Mill.
· Special Evangelistic Events
o The York Baptist Association provides leadership and coordination for the Evangelistic Events Trailer that we were able to purchase in 2011. The Trailer contains two bounce houses, a cotton candy machine, popcorn machine, sno-cone machine, yard games and tables and tents as well as the generators and materials for a church to provide a neighborhood block party or an event on the church property.
· Special Ministries
o The staff of the York Baptist Association continues to find ways to reach specific target groups in our community with the Gospel through special ministries. Special Ministries are designed to reach the various groups of people who share a common interest or “affinity”. We have worked with various groups in our churches to develop “equestrian ministries”, “motorcycle ministry”, “chaplain ministries”, “camping ministries”, etc. We will always be on the lookout for new opportunities to facilitate special ministries through our churches as effective outreach strategies.
· Acts 1:8 Strategy and Coaching
o The York Baptist Association is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission through modeling and promoting the “Acts 1:8 Strategy”. Jesus clearly defined the Great Commission as the ongoing outreach to the local community (Jerusalem), our extended community (Judea), a diversified community (Samaria) and the entire world (the uttermost). The York Baptist Association staff and our Missional Team have developed an Acts 1:8 strategy model through the York Baptist Association. We provide mission outreach to our local communities, we seek to extend our outreach to communities beyond our local churches in this region, we are seeking to reach a diverse population of racial, ethnic and language groups and we have adopted an unreached people group that we are leading our churches to reach in central Asia and Europe. In addition we also provide our churches with Acts 1:8 strategy planning that assists each church in developing their own strategy. The goal is that each of our churches will have its own Acts 1:8 Strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission.
· Kurdish Outreach
o The York Baptist Association has adopted the Kurdish people as our unreached people group. We have focused on the Kurds living in eastern Turkey but also seek to join with others who are reaching the Kurdish people in Iraq as well as in Europe and the United States of America. We have sent numerous mission teams composed of volunteers from our churches into the Kurdish regions of the world and will continue to do so until God leads us to do something else.
· Conemaugh Valley Baptist Association Partnership
o Our Judea partnership is with the Conemaugh Valley Baptist Association in Pennsylvania. This is a small Association of 22 Baptist churches in the region composed of 10 counties with over 2 million people in population. The need for evangelical churches is tremendous. Several our churches have sent mission teams over the last few years to assist those churches and to cultivate the area for new church plants , we have also provided two Summer Missionaries last year to work in that Association .Our commitment to the Conemaugh Valley Baptist Association initially has been a three-year partnership ,however, we may extend our partnership for another three years or choose another region to partner with.
o The Great Commission is all about “multiplication”, the desire of the York Baptist Association staff is to see a “multiplication movement” among our churches. This multiplication movement would include strategies that multiplied disciples, leaders, groups, ministries, and congregations. At this time we are developing strategies to fulfill this vision. We will do this by developing three areas the first area will be multiplication of congregations, the second area will be multiplication of groups and ministries within our churches and the third area will be multiplication of disciples and leaders that multiply disciples and leaders.
§ Church Planter Coaching and Support
· The staff of the York Baptist Association provides encouragement, coaching, networking and limited financial support to church planters who seek to plant churches within the York Baptist Association mission area. We help them connect with the South Carolina Baptist convention New Work department, we provide them with networking among our churches and we seek to connect them with church planter training beyond the Basic Training they received from the South Carolina Baptist Convention. We provide that training by connecting them with the “Cyprus Process” at North Rock Hill Church or with the “Immersion Process” or the Cowboy Church network or the Hispanic Bible Institute for Multiplication or other planter support networks that are appropriate to that particular planter.
§ Hispanic Outreach
· The Hispanic community in the York County area is the fastest growing community in our demographic. The need for evangelical work within the Hispanic community is evident, so three years ago, we called Enrique Ramirez as our Hispanic Church Planting Strategist. He has successfully started the La Red International Church in Rock Hill and has developed the Spanish Bible Institute for Multiplication that has 30 students and has resulted in a network of three Hispanic churches and at least one mission outpost. We believe that this initiative will continue to expand in the days ahead.
§ Church Planting Center
· As we develop our multiplication movement it has become apparent that we need to develop a more intentional church planting strategy. So we are in the process of working with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the North American Mission Board and several of our churches that are committed to church multiplication. This collaboration has a vision of forming a “Church Planting Center” that will cultivate church planters, train them, provide them with internship experience and then send them out with resources to plant a successful multiplying church.
Church and Community Ministries:
o As we seek to model the Acts 1:8 strategy in our local mission field, the York Baptist Association has developed mission outreach ministries that seek to reach the mission segments of our Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.
§ Midtown Ministries
· Midtown Ministries is an outreach to urban youth and their families in Rock Hill. As Rock Hill has grown in population (it is now the fourth largest city in SC) it has developed an urban core of the city with an increase in poverty, homelessness, single-parent families and gangs. In response to this David Roth, our Multi- housing Ministries Director initiated this ministry over 10 years ago in the old Midtown Apartments. Today Midtown Ministries is hosted at Eastside Baptist Church. This outreach provides activities, Bible studies, worship opportunities and evangelism initiatives to a diverse demographic and involves several volunteers from a number of our churches.
§ Multi-housing Ministry
· The fastest growing housing market in our area is called “Multi- housing” and includes apartments, condominiums and mobile home parks. Statistically the residents of this type of housing are highly mobile therefore less likely to be connected to a local church and represent one of the highest “un-churched” populations in our area. Multi- housing Director David Roth gives leadership to help our churches learn how to develop a ministry within apartment, condominium or mobile home communities.
§ York County Christian Women’s Job Corps
· The York County Christian Women’s Job Corps is a 501C3 nonprofit subsidiary of the York Baptist Association. It was established in 1996 and designed to reach economically dependent women and assist them to regain sufficiency spiritually, relationally and economically. Through the years this ministry has been very effective in transforming the lives of women and their dependent children and has served as a model for over 100 CWJC ministries across the USA and around the world. It is supported by many of our churches with volunteers and financial contributions.
§ York County Christian Community Development Corporation
· In 2005 York Baptist Association established another 501(c)(3) nonprofit subsidiary called the York County Christian Community Development Corporation. This was in response to the realization of a growing need for truly affordable and safe housing in our community. The vision for this ministry was to purchase and renovate housing with volunteer labor so that people in the lower economic positions of our community could afford a home. As the economy turned downward the efforts of this ministry had to be refocused to providing housing to homeless men. Today this ministry owns a five-unit apartment house in Rock Hill and has been operating it as transitional housing for men. Recently, we have leased the house to a ministry called “Scandalous Grace Prison Ministry” which is using the house as a halfway house for men coming out of prison.
§ Adult Literacy
· Recently, Glenn Rock Baptist Church discovered the need for adult literacy training as they ministered to the multi- housing community in Ft. mill. Through the initiative of Pastor Gene Flack the York Baptist Association hosted an “Adult Literacy Training Conference” at Newkirk Baptist Church in Rock Hill. Eight students from YBA churches were trained to help adults learn to read. It is hoped that this will begin a ministry to the 25% of students who drop out of school each year.
§ Baptist Campus Ministries at Winthrop and York Tech
· The York Baptist Association has a partnership with the Baptist Campus Ministries at Winthrop University and York technical College. Students in these two schools represent one of the most impactful mission fields in our area. Baptist Campus Ministries supported by the local churches of the York Baptist Association has the opportunity to impact the next generation of leaders in this country and many from other countries.
§ Disaster Relief
· The York Baptist Association Men’s ministry facilitates our Disaster Relief ministry. In a local disaster, such as the tornado that tore through York County last November, the York Baptist Association disaster relief volunteers are coordinated through this office by Director of Missions, Mike O’Dell and Men’s Ministry Director, Rick Hamblin. The York Baptist Association has several disaster relief units including the chainsaw unit at first Baptist Church Rock Hill, the Shower and laundry unit at First Baptist Church Clover, the recovery units at Hillcrest Baptist Church and Central Baptist Church as well as a Cope Unit maintained as an Evangelistic Events trailer at the York Baptist Association office.
§ No School Left Behind
· The largest mission field in the York County area is represented by school-aged children. Approximately 35,000 students attend the public schools in the four school districts in York County and it is estimated that less than 10% of those students have a relationship with Jesus Christ. The “No School Left Behind” initiative is designed to help churches in the York Baptist Association adopt a local school and provide volunteers, bookbags, teacher supplies, and general teacher support to those schools for the purpose of developing relationships that will enhance the quality of education in our schools and cultivate the Gospel. Several of our churches have adopted schools in the last two years.
§ God’s Kitchen
· New Beginnings Baptist Church in Clover has been feeding 150 people per day for several years through their “God’s Kitchen” ministry. The York Baptist Association partners with this ministry financially and has networked several of our churches to provide volunteers and support.
§ World Changers
· The York Baptist Association has hosted the World Changers in the Rock Hill and York County area for 15 years. Each year hundreds of young people come from all over the country to work on the homes of elderly residents and share the love of Christ through their witness and testimony. Many of our churches provide lunches and volunteers during those weeks for World Changers. At least one church, the Red Path Baptist Church was established directly as result of this ministry.
§ Community Changers / Baptist Builders Projects
· While World Changers only happen one week per year, the need for simple repairs, wheelchair ramps, and other construction ministry opportunities come to us all year round. The Men’s Ministries of our churches are given the opportunity to respond to these needs as they come through our office. The result is that our local churches are ministering to the people in their local areas.
§ Benevolence Coordination
· Benevolence Ministry is an ongoing need in this economy. The York Baptist Association staff is called constantly by people in need, by our churches seeking to help people in need, and by organizations seeking churches that can help people in need. The staff of the York Baptist Association coordinates these calls with our churches giving them the opportunity to respond.
Great Commission Community Partners:
o One of the Core Values of The York Baptist Association is Partnership with other Great Commission groups. The staff of the York Baptist Association has identified the following ministries as Great Commission Partners that a number of our churches are working with. We seek ways to provide opportunities for these ministries to network with our churches.
§ Life Builders: English as a Second Language Ministry
· Life Builders English as a Second Language ministry was begun by the York Baptist Association as a 501(c)(3) subsidiary ministry and later was spun off as a separate “stand alone” ministry. However we have maintained a close working relationship with this partner as it seeks to reach the growing number of language groups living in our area. Stephanie Moore is the Director of this ministry and offices in our building. A number of our churches host ESL classes as outreach ministries through their church to this growing segment of our population.
§ Celebrate Recovery
· Celebrate Recovery is a Christian response to addictions and through Bible Study, Worship, mentoring and behavior modification curriculum assists participants with a path toward freedom from addictions. Celebrate Recovery meets in the YBA building each Friday evening.
§ Renew Our Community (ROC)
· A relatively new partner is called the “ROC” in Rock Hill. It is designed as a “one-stop” benevolence center where churches of all denominations can come together and provide benevolence assistance to the entire York County area. It was initiated by Dale Dove and North Rock Hill Church. The York Baptist Association is providing networking assistants, as well as volunteers to make this ministry effective.
§ Camp Canaan
Camp Canaan is a Christian oriented camp located on the Catawba River in Rock Hill. It is a great resource for our churches and our community. The York Baptist Association staff has worked with this camp to assist in their development and marketing among our churches because we believe it offers such a valuable resource to our churches and their groups.
§ Narroway Productions
Narroway Productions is a Christian theater located in Ft. Mill that presents Gospel-themed professional dramas for this region. The York Baptist Association has many churches with volunteers who serve through Narroway Productions. The staff of the York Baptist Association seeks ways to help our churches become familiar with this resource and provide opportunities to utilize it and participate in it.