FIRST-PERSON: The “What-Do-You-Do-ers?” Fellowship

FIRST-PERSON: The “What-Do-You-Do-ers?” Fellowship

What do you do?

That is often a question people ask me when they find out that I serve the Mid-Valley Southern Baptist Association. I often reply that the Mid-Valley Baptist Association exists to bring churches together for Christ’s Kingdom. This role that God has called me to is unique because it allows me to see the greater kingdom work that is taking place in our churches.  

On March 25-26, a group of us, “What do you do-ers” (also known as Director of Missions or Associational Missions Strategists), gathered in Fresno, CA, for a retreat at the California Southern Baptist Convention office. Yes, retreat and Fresno are being used to describe our time (I am a native of Fresno, so I love Fresno, but it is not really viewed as a retreat destination!). As I reflect on our time together, four words come to mind: fellowship, trust, faithfulness, and thankfulness (I apologize that, as a Baptist preacher, I could not get them all to be alliterated!).

Fellowship

This group that meets together twice a year was formed as its own entity, “The California Directors of Missions Fellowship.” However, fellowship is not just in the name. It is part of what we do. Being the youngest DOM in the room, this time with more seasoned brothers, has been a blessing to me. I love hearing how the Lord is working in incredible ways throughout our great state of California. When Baptists hear the word “fellowship,” we are prone to think of potlucks. However, this fellowship of Baptists exists to “Cultivate and catalyze healthy churches.” While we do share meals together, the purpose of our meeting is to encourage one another through the Word, prayer, and testimony to continue to serve our local churches to reach their communities with the gospel.

Trust

Another word that comes to mind is trust. Unfortunately, we live in a time in our convention of churches where trust needs to be rebuilt between our entities and our local churches. I am hopeful that this trust will grow, but there is still more work to do. This is where the DOM plays a crucial role in our convention. I want my local churches to be able to think through the trust necessary for our “Cooperative Effort.” I want my churches to be able to trust in the work our association, state convention, and national convention are doing. Several stories were shared at our meeting of how DOMs have played a crucial role in restoring trust between various entities and the local church. 

Faithfulness

As our meeting went on, I was greatly encouraged by the faithfulness of my fellow DOMs. Many of them have served in their roles for decades (maybe even longer than I have been alive!). Their faithfulness to remain committed to God’s Word and the local church was a great encouragement to my soul. Many of these brothers work multiple jobs, pastor a local church, and serve as a DOM for their association. Yet, through all the work they are doing, their faithfulness to the Lord really stands out.

Thankfulness

We live in a day where it is normal to see church movements and partnerships split and fracture. Our family of churches is not perfect, we have a lot of work to do, but I am thankful that we have so many churches on board to do Great Commission work here in California and the nations.  We have brothers and sisters serving from the heights of the Sierras to the low deserts who are holding the line for biblical fidelity. For that, I am incredibly thankful. Some of them may feel isolated, but I want them to know that I am thankful for the God-glorifying work they are doing. Let us all continue to press on and be faithful!

Finally, I am thankful for the the sacrificial giving of our California Southern Baptist Convention churches, which enables us to meet twice a year as DOMs and hear about the work that God is doing in our state convention and associations. Thank you, CSBC churches and CSBC staff, for being great partners in the Great Commission work that is happening throughout the state!

About the Author

Greg Kilgore
Associational Missions Strategist, Mid-Valley Southern Baptist Association

Greg Kilgore is the associational missions strategist for the Mid-Valley Southern Baptist Association in Fresno, California. He is a member of Woodward Park Baptist Church. He and his wife, Megan, have three children: Owen, Camille, and Judson Titus. Greg is a PhD student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor.

More About Greg Kilgore
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