General CBF

The Importance of Getting Together

The following post is from Rick McClatchy, coordinator of CBF Texas, about CBF’s General Assembly in Houston, Texas, July 2-3.

I have been asked by others why do Baptists try to get together annually from across a broad geographic area? I tell them that there are at least two major reasons. One is fellowship—to see friends and catch up on what’s happening in your friend’s life. Another is to exchange ideas through formal presentations and informal conversations.

It is toward this second reason that I would like to direct your thoughts for a few moments. As the missional church reform—that effort to engage the whole church in the global mission enterprise—gains momentum, it will require that congregations have a broader global awareness and cross-cultural competency than ever before. Therefore, events where Baptists can meet to encounter different ways of thinking and learn about different cultures must be the standard way of operating for the missional church.

Too often our Baptist churches operate like the city logo sign for Gruene, Texas. They have signs on I-35 that reads “Gruene, Texas, gently resisting change since 1872.”  That’s good if you are trying to sell nostalgia to tourist, but if you are a Baptist church, it is a way to become quickly irrelevant to the world.

Baptist churches need to be leaning into change with a welcome heart and inquisitive mind. A missional mindset values cross-fertilization. When I went to college my professors talked about the value of cross-fertilization. They demonstrated to me that the interchange between different cultures or different ways of thinking can be mutually productive and beneficial. I would contend that cross-fertilization is something that is of value for missional churches too.

Sometimes we as Baptists are a little hesitant to participate in cross-fertilization in missions and ministry strategy and theology. That tendency hurts us, by keeping some of the best innovations out of our churches. But it also hurts other Baptists, because they do not have access to our best ideas.

Cross fertilization helps everyone. So how do you get involved in this cross-fertilization of ideas? The CBF General Assembly in Houston, Texas, on July 2nd & 3rd is a good place to start. This meeting will have dozens of workshops where bright and gifted Christian leaders will be sharing their ideas. The theme is “Embrace the World: Welcome to your Neighborhood.” Come and bring your fellow church members and you will leave with something that will help your church in its missional journey of connecting with the global neighborhood.

Find out more at

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