By Dawn Zurmiller
BRANSON — Although the Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri (BSAM) has been in existence for more than 40 years, many people are unaware of its purpose.
Amy Boff, BSAM president and a staff member at First Baptist Church in Branson, would like to create more awareness of the organization that she considers to be a significant resource for churches.
“I wholeheartedly believe in the BSAM organization as a way to strengthen churches by strengthening and building up the church office,” Boff said.
The purpose of BSAM is to offer support and encouragement to ministry assistants in Missouri. Besides working on a new website which will include blogs and discussion areas, the organization also produces a quarterly e-newsletter and provides various possibilities for ministry assistants to meet others who are serving in similar roles.
“The connections which are built through this organization are invaluable,” Boff said. “Working in a church office is unlike any other working environment. Although many of the tasks are similar to secular places of business, the church body is an entirely different organization and requires unique skills to not only keep things organized and running smoothly but also to minister to the special needs of the church body.”
The key component of BSAM is its annual conference which provides a wide array of opportunities for training and leadership developments. Along with a daily large group session which includes worship and a keynote speaker, there are also workshops offered that address such skills as grammar updates, proofreading, editing, software training, graphics layout and design, and discussing things such as dealing with change, keeping confidences, and supporting your minister.
This year the conference will take place in Jefferson City on Oct. 11-13 at the Baptist Building. The theme is taken from Habakkuk 3:19 and is entitled “Personal Bravery.” The cost is $95.
“We felt all assistants could relate to the challenges of trouble, suffering, and responsibility,” Boff said. “This verse is very appropriate to focus on because we know our strength comes from Christ.”
The keynote speaker for the conference is Nancy Hutson of Shining Star Ministries. Hutson presents to Christian organizations of all kinds about how our lives should be characterized by moral purity, patience, and peacefulness so that we can shine out for God amongst a dark world. Joining her as worship leader will be Becki Kelley, who has served BSAM and at the Baptist Building for many years.
The conference is scheduled to begin Monday morning and end on Wednesday at lunch time. Reservations must be made by Sept. 13. Anyone wanting further information should call Boff at First Branson at (417) 334-7437.