The Vision and Values of the PMBA
As we began to rebuild the Association back in 2016, we knew that for the mission to take root we needed to create a compelling vision that would unite our diverse congregations. The challenge before us was that because of our deeply held belief in congregational church polity, each church could easily slip into a modality where it was only focused on itself. In fact, to a large degree that was the situation back in 2016. This reality of being a somewhat disjointed organization put pressure on the Association to keep reverting back to the model of primarily becoming essentially a resource provider, reinforcing a consumer-based approach to ministry.
We decided that the vision had to be more directly tied into our new mission. The core idea behind this was to see God use us to help facilitate a disciple-making movement in and through our churches. With this in mind, a new picture of what we could become surfaced:
In this new picture of what the future could look like, we combined the best aspects of congregational church polity with a cooperative approach to missions. Here, we recognize that each church brings strengths to the table that create the possibility for greater kingdom advance within geographic zones. All of these convictions led the following vision statement:
Our vision is to create a collegial and collaborative network of disciple-making churches that facilitates a Gospel-infused, Spirit-led movement where lives are transformed and communities flourish.
This new vision replaced a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter model of being a service provider with a relationally-based, mission-focused model of ministry. In this perspective we can foresee how churches embrace a new metric of success whereby they rejoice in not only in their own growth but also in the multiplication of new churches, revitalization of sister churches and Gospel saturation within their regions. It is an approach where pastors become friends rather than competitors seeking to learn and benefit from each other.
In order to fulfill our mission and see our vision become a reality, we need to create an organizational culture and climate that supports these objectives. To do this, we need to have core convictions that connect our Mission, Vision, and Values with our Strategy and Structure. These values represent a filter for how we make decisions, a purifying cauldron that purifies our motives, and a compass that guides our general direction. The following represent our essential values:
1. Courage: In order to make the necessary adjustments needed to help churches embrace their God-given mission, there has to be an honest, clear and deep assessment of where a church presently lies in the health continuum. Just as a patient who is sick needs to accept a doctor’s diagnosis in order to start their path towards recovery, so also should a church admit when it needs to make changes. This requires courage. Courage is doing the right thing despite what it might cost us. We must make a sober accounting of the current state of affairs. Without courage we will not be able to embrace God’s call to become the disciple-making entities he desires because we will be unwilling to pay the price of following Jesus.
2. Contextualization: The Gospel contains changeless, ageless truth. The Word of God stands forever. God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit are the same yesterday, today and forever. These are our foundations from which we do all ministry. What does change is how to apply these foundational realities to the time, place and situations we find ourselves in as we seek to be Jesus’ representatives on earth. This is what contextualization means. It is the cultural shaping of God’s mission on earth in different ways that enables us to stay faithful to the Gospel while adapting to the unique challenges and opportunities of our day.
3. Competence: It is not easy to lead a church or ministry. Not only do these days require men and women of godly character, we also need people who have developed key skills that boost their overall effectiveness. Competence refers to the intentional development of those capabilities that help to ensure that we lead in a productive manner. The Association seeks to provide an environment in which leaders within our congregations can grow and develop by providing coaching, resources, training, consultations and large group gatherings that directly boost key leadership capacities.
4. Compassion: We live in a world broken by sin. Instead of invoking a spirit of condemnation we seek to interface with people the way Jesus did. The Scriptures tell us that our Savior was a man of sorrows and was well acquainted with grief. He was moved by the needs of those around him. To follow his example means that we become people of compassion. This means we seek to desire, discern, and do what is in the best interests of others thereby reflecting the help and hope that is in the Gospel.
We believe that by embracing these core convictions, we can become more focused and intentional in how we do ministry in and through the Association. Our values provide us with the operational guide rails and organizational filters through which we seek to fulfill our Mission and Vision.