General CBF

CBF version 3.0?

In my first trip ever to the founding church of Southern Baptists, I was treated to warm hospitality, excellent worship and thought-provoking messages, both from Wake Forest’s Bill Leonard and CBF of Georgia Coordinator Frank Broome.


Joined by more than 300 of my closest Georgia CBF friends Nov. 9-10 at the First Baptist Church of Augusta, Ga., I was challenged to think about CBF’s future in terms of a software upgrade. In his “Testimony of Vision,” Frank used the software metaphor to describe CBF’s and CBF of Georgia’s development.


In version 1.0, Frank said, CBF was volunteer driven and led. On the state level, there were no professional paid staff members, so Fellowship Baptists filled the roles. In 1997, CBF of Georgia version 2.0 was introduced when Frank was hired. From then until 2008, Frank and leaders from Georgia churches set about building an organization with capable staff members in the areas of reference and referral, missions, communications and congregational life.


As CBF of Georgia winds down its own strategic planning process, Frank predicted what a CBF vs. 3.0 would look like. Here’s a paraphrased summary:

  • Increased emphasis on networking and partnerships.
  • Increased ethnic, gender and generational diversity.
  • Continued focus on the world’s marginalized people.
  • High tech and high touch approach.
  • Learning to speak a new language that includes such words as “emergent,” “post-modern” and “missional.”
  • Centered in and directed at the local church.

Frank concluded by issuing a word of caution around two issues: not forgetting our Baptist history and not neglecting the funding of CBF version 3.0.


What do you think CBF and its state and regional autonomous sister organizations will look like? What do you think they should look like? How can CBF respond to the changing culture while not losing its sense of history?

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