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. From Staff Yesterday, a pastor in St. Louis called me to discuss his church’s upcoming Advent initiative. First he asked about marketing ideas in general. Then he asked if I knew anyone who could help with graphic design. My answer: “Sure! I can. I’ve helped churches with initiative like this before, and I’d be happy to help your church too.” CBF Heartland staff is here to provide a wide variety of personalized resources for churches in our area; call on us anytime. From the Community The greatest untapped reservoir of missional resources is you! CBF is a network of Christians and churches, and each one has unique gifts, skills and resources to share. What resource will you share with the CBF community?...

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. The word “faithful” reminds us of higher responsibility.  Back to the priesthood of the believer concept, faithful reminds each of us about faithfulness to God’s desires for our lives; for our relationship to brothers and sisters who are also part of the Body of Christ; and to those we meet each day and can be the presence of Christ. As I observe Baptist churches I watch this same “free and faithful” play out.  In churches, the key word “autonomous,” while certainly true, lessens the awareness of our inter-relatedness to other churches.  A “faithful” focus heightens our awareness for the health of other churches. Just this week a tragic event happened at a church in Kansas City. On Wednesday night at our church, the other church was listed on our prayer calendar.  Our pastor prayed for the other church’s pastor whose burden is profound this week.  Our church prayed for families and...