I’m Proud To Be A CBF Baptist

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship held its General Assembly in Atlanta last week.  Wieucans participated in a number of ways. Several of our members volunteered their time at the registration desk. Choir members participated in Friday night’s worship service.  Our CBF staff members filled all kinds of roles to make the weekend a success. Your ministers participated in worship and workshops designed to help us do our jobs better. One of our teenagers even helped supervise children’s activities during the event.

Our partnerships with CBF and CBF-GA are vital to Wieuca’s future, and a strong, committed Wieuca has the chance to provide important vitality and life to these partner organizations.  Here are three big takeaways from last week’s assembly.

Whether working through the global missions and church support functions of CBF proper or connecting with partner organizations like the Baptist Joint Committee  and the New Baptist Covenant, CBF provides opportunities to learn from and partner with excellent individuals, organizations and churches. We can learn a lot from other CBF churches in our city and all over the country. Through CBF we are connected to ethicists, theologians, activists, missionaries, ministers, professors and lay people with more experience and expertise than we could ever absorb. We ought to take better advantage of those connections. And let’s not sell ourselves short. We have experience and expertise worth sharing with our partners, too.

New Global Missions Coordinator Steven Porter challenged CBF churches to be forward thinking in their approaches to missions, evangelism and partnership. Acknowledging that old methods of outreach and evangelism have produced diminishing returns for some time now, Porter encouraged us to be open to more modern evangelistic approaches as we seek to reach our communities.  He also reminded us that “evangelical” should not be a dirty word in moderate Baptist circles.  And people like CBF theologian-in-residence David Gushee–and others–will continue to push us to more fully embrace progressive, biblical approaches to scriptural interpretation, justice and peace issues, and the relationship between believing Christians and our governments.

If CBF is anything, it is a missions sending body. As we partner with CBF, we support people committed to carrying the message of Christ all over the world. From Atlanta and Miami, to India and China, to South Africa and Uganda, to Japan and Indonesia, to Belize and Brazil, the gospel of Jesus Christ is being proclaimed by people we support and train and pray for and host and even visit from time to time. I’m one who thinks we should do everything in our power to more generously support all of the missions initiatives of CBF.

Every time I attend the General Assembly I’m reminded that I–and we–should do more to take advantage of everything our association with CBF has to offer. And I’m reminded of how important it is that we make sacrificial efforts to cooperate with and support the work of like-minded Baptists. CBF is large enough to have a national and global impact; large enough to be heard in the Oval Office, the halls of Congress, and at the United Nations. But it’s not so large that your voice won’t be heard; not so large that our voices can’t help shape its direction.

We should cooperate and contribute, support and encourage, listen and guide as CBF continues to grow.  I’m proud to be a CBF Baptist.

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