by Laura Barclay,
KBF Communications, Networking, and Interim Missions Associate
The CBF Missions Council, as well as state leaders and field personnel came to First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia, for a missions strategic planning session on Friday, January 30. Representatives were split into small groups to discuss facets of one main question, "What are the essential elements of a mission structure for a 21st century missionary situation?"
Steven Porter, CBF Global Missions Coordinator, spoke about the need for transforming missions processes into a 21st century context. Not only is this a cultural necessity for our faith communities and those communities we are serving to empower, Porter related, but also in order to fulfill the gospel. Porter will be KBF's Spring Gathering keynote speaker this year (register and find more info here).
“What started 25 years ago as a life raft for missionaries became a launching pad for Cooperative Baptist Global Missions with 125 field personnel in 30 countries,” Porter said. “That same passion to serve churches and Christians as they pursue God’s mission now invites us to reimagine the structures of CBF’s mission enterprise for a rapidly changing 21st century world. Indeed, faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ demands it.”
Alice Mull from Living Faith Baptist in Elizabethtown, KY, and I joined in brainstorming sessions to help offer practical suggestions like streamlined processes for telling our field personnel's stories, using common language and metrics, and providing meaningful communication with partner churches.
Our work together will continue for the next year through email, phone, and face-to-face meetings. We are representing our partner churches in this work and sharing comments we have heard from pastors, staff ministers and laity. In Baptist life, churches are central in the task of leadership and helping to transform communities through the healing love of Christ.
If you have suggestions for missions resources, questions or comments in the area of global or local missions, or simply some great stories to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll keep them in mind as we move forward in this important task. Let's continue to grow in our work together in the missional spirit of God!
by Laura Barclay,