This week (June 1), the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Discovery Team released its findings at the midpoint of Toward Bold Faithfulness, a one-year journey announced in October 2019, based on Acts 16:6-10. It has sought first to discover on focusing where God has revealed the most urgent needs, and then to respond to God’s call for the Fellowship, allowing congregations to thrive and Christ’s mission to flourish.
The Discovery Team’s work and its report was based on exploring essential questions from the intersection of the Holy Spirit, congregational needs, and opportunities for growth, according to CBF Executive Director Paul Baxley.
The process involved listening to more than 4,600 Cooperative Baptists from 762 congregations in a dozen countries, and will continue with the opportunity to sign up for Zoom sessions June 8-17 and respond to the report and daily videos released this week as part of its findings.
The team was co-chaired by Baxley and CBF’s Moderator-Elect Carol McEntyre, pastor of First Baptist Church, Columbia, Missouri, along with thirteen minister and lay leaders from across the country.
Baxley noted how the group was beginning its final stages just prior to the worldwide pandemic, and “we immediately wondered if the pandemic would force us to reconsider the findings. We found, instead, that in the season of the pandemic, the most powerful gifts were even more powerful, and the most urgent needs took on even more urgency.”
The same has been true as the findings are released as country and congregations alike are confronted “by obvious evidence of a different pandemic, namely one of racial injustice and hate,” but found “the same is true again.”
“This should give us even more faithful resolve to use all the gifts we have been given to do what the Holy Spirit is doing. Much is at stake. Our life together is not optional, and our shared mission is essential.”
Plans are to use the interactions during the Zoom sessions before transitioning to the response stage. Detailed presentations about the work t come will be made by the virtual General Assembly, June 25-26, we will make detailed presentations about the work to come.