The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is our primary denominational partner. As you know, CBF sees Mountain Brook Baptist Church as one of the most accomplished congregations associated with their “denomi-network.” In fact, our John Scott now serves as a member of CBF’s Governing Board, which is responsible for the administrative work of the entire body.
Their new Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley has been on the job less than a year. Paul’s first decision has been to invite the broader Fellowship to participate in an online survey, called “Toward Bold Faithfulness,” which will enable the Governing Board and its special Task Force to chart CBF’s future.
I applaud the Governing Board’s efforts in this regard. Look around and see how other denominational bodies tend to make such decisions. More times than not, some administrative group or committee within the organization comes up with a plan that then is presented to congregations to implement. This approach is less hierarchical and more congregationally-centered, a truly Baptist approach.
That’s why I encourage you to join me going online and taking the survey at www.cbf.net/tbf. This is your chance to express your convictions on CBF’s future. As an incentive to participate, every church that reaches 50 participants will be recognized as a “Toward Bold Faithfulness” congregation. More importantly, for each of the first 3,000 surveys submitted, $5 will be donated by a group of generous donors to CBF’s Offering for Global Missions, which funds the long-term presence of CBF missionaries, as well as to theological education efforts.
I am old enough to remember when Baptists trumpeted their desire to be bold in pursuing God’s Kingdom purposes and advancing the cause of Christ in our world. Sadly, denominational infighting derailed those plans, which has caused our Baptist witness to suffer significantly in recent years. Now is a good time for CBF to pick back up that mantle of boldness and seize the opportunities that are before us truly cooperating congregations. I, for one, am proud of CBF for doing so and do encourage you to join me in making this effort a most successful one.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).