Blog

Sharing Fellowship perspectives

Being a Stranger in a Strange Land

Four years ago, CBF of Missouri provided me with the excellent ministry gift of a sabbatical.  One of the components of my sabbatical was to experience “being a stranger in a strange land.”  I chose to do this by visiting Bucharest, Romania.

The plan was that I would meet up with a guy I had never met before (other than via the internet). “Gio” would rent an apartment for me, he would show me around Bucharest, we would travel to Transylvania and visit the Peles Castle and Bran Castle (where “Dracula” lived), and he would take me to visit the Ruth School for Roma kids in the Ferentari sector of Bucharest.

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Missional Resources

One component of my job is to discover, foster and promote resources for missional churches. Those resources come from a variety of places:

From Partners

I recently got an email from Bo Prosser, Coordinator for Missional Congregations at CBF, entitled “An exciting new film about poverty from Sojourners.”  His email described a 30-minute documentary called “The Line” which features real people, their economic struggles, and their inspiring and creative responses to the challenges they face. Partners like CBF and Sojourners can provide great resources to congregations.

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Free and Faithful vs. Faithful and Free

When CBF was formed, John Hewitt, the first elected moderator (who had also been pastor of Kirkwood Baptist church in the 1980’s) noted that we were “free and faithful Baptists.”  It was a sound-bite that caught on, and I have used it scores of times through the years.  Baptist historian Walter (Buddy) Shurden noted it would have been far better had the phrase been “faithful and free Baptists.”

The word “free” seems to put the focus on the individual.  How many times have we heard the concept of “the priesthood of the believer” defined as “I can do what I want”? What a gross misunderstanding!  But the notion of free (especially for our American culture) implies the individual.

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