by Tim McCoy
Executive Minister, CBOQ
Each year, we as Canadian Baptists enjoy the privilege of coming together at our annual Assembly, joining as representatives of our local congregation and carrying out the business of CBOQ. But that’s not all that is accomplished. Beyond the necessary business of CBOQ, the closest thing I can compare the full experience to would be a family-reunion-meets-family-meeting. Confused? Let me explain.
I claim broadly that when we assemble at Assembly we experience the following: inspiration, information and encouraging fellowship. The business is critical to our existence and our existence allows for greater impact; we can do more together than if we go at it alone.
I am so grateful for the inspiring worship and great teaching of God’s Word that takes place at Assembly. Each year, our Assembly planning team considers who we are as a family, the challenges that are facing a majority of our churches and matches those with who might be able to provide inspiration through teaching and worship leading. It is our hope that as we leave Assembly, we are inspired to continue to live out God’s calling in our lives in our local church context. When we assemble, we are inspired.
At CBOQ our mission is to “equip churches and leaders as they engage in their mission from God in their community.” We take that mission seriously and Assembly provides a perfect place for thoughtful equipping. Our schedule is packed with learning sessions that provide information and resources that can immediately be applied in the local church context. We draw together great resource providers and teachers and design times for collaboration among churches that provide varied levels of information for you, the church leaders, to put in practise in your local church. When we assemble, we receive valuable information.
I love our Baptist family. For me, one of the great joys of Assembly is to observe the reunions that take place among you. Old friends finding each other in the crowd and navigating the aisles to embrace. Former churches and former pastors sharing photos of children or grandchildren “all grown up now.” The lingering conversations in the hallways of ad hoc small groups who extend the learning from the main sessions through intentional listening and powerful encouragement. Fellowship…it’s an old “churchy” word that means: friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests. Our shared interests? Christ, our Lord, Christ’s Gospel and the meaningful relationship among those of us called to serve Christ in local CBOQ churches. When we assemble, we experience encouraging fellowship.
I appreciate the reminder from the writer of Hebrews about the importance of us assembling:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
The day is drawing near and it’s important we assemble. I look forward to seeing you and receiving my annual dose of inspiration, instruction, and encouraging fellowship. It will be great to see you there!