To the churches of the BMA of Texas:
The associational year, 2020-2021, continues to be a struggle for us. Many of us hoped that the battle with COVID would be over and that we could regain some sense of normalcy. Yet each Sunday, someone new is infected, another family has chosen not to expose themselves in Sunday school or worship services or they have chosen to attend online services. In the midst of these struggles, more than ever, I continue to believe that we are stronger together, every church working together to advance the ministry of Jesus’ church through our associational work.
Our society today is constantly evaluating institutions, their relevance, and their role in our modern world. The church that Jesus built during His ministry has throughout the centuries faced many challenges: the Black Plague, the Spanish Inquisition, social and political pressure; yet that church has persevered though the ages. There have always been those who would try to move the church from Main Street, to the back street—from being the headline, to be being just a footnote.
When Jesus asked his disciples, “…but whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered him saying, “…thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus responded by saying, “…that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This question and response found in Matthew chapter 16 provides the basis for our theme this year: His Church, His Victory, Our Opportunity. Jesus laid and is the foundation for the church.
Jesus built His church to spread the Gospel to future generations of believers, and as a way of training and educating us. He preserves and protects His church: “…for the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus’ church is not barricaded in some fortress. It is marching under the banner of the cross, assaulting Satan’s territory and rescuing those enslaved to sin and in bondage. Peter says this in his epistle, “…ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” He goes on to say a few verses later, “…but ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:5, 9). What an opportunity we have to labor together with the saints for the work and ministry of the Kingdom within His Church.
I encourage you to come worship with your brothers and sisters in the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas and see what great things that the Lord is doing through His churches at the 2021 Baptist Missionary Association of Texas Meeting Nov. 4, 2021, at New Harmony Baptist Church in Tyler.
Bro. Leon Ross
Baptist Missionary Association of Texas