By Phillip Harris Davis
Passion is a powerful thing. Passion compels people to action and the pursuit of seeing that passion become reality. Joining the work of CBF Global Missions over the past year, I have seen that the individuals, churches, and global partners that comprise this fellowship are passionate about their mission. Though these are manifested in an array of ministries taking shape all over the world, each is in pursuit of the mission to partner with God to renew God’s world. CBF Global Missions seeks to equip churches and partners with best practices to mobilize their passions. This has led to the development of Mission Collective events which have already begun mobilizing communities toward mission engagement.
The Mission Collective: Collective Wisdom for Collective Action workshop focused on diving deeper into how these events can foster transformational relationships among communities in the body of CBF. Facilitated by Ryan Clark and Steven Porter, participants were able to engage in conversation with one another to learn about the passions each had for the work of God in their communities. Some told stories of how their youth groups have engaged in short-term ministry with long-term field personnel. Others talked about the myriad of cultures and people groups which have revitalized their congregations and neighborhoods. This conversation opened the door to see how God has already been renewing the world through the life and ministry of CBF and its partners.
This segued to the aim of Mission Collective events: to equip the local church for mission engagement. This process begins with the discernment of local churches about their unique passions toward their communities. Whether it is engaging with the international immigrants or looking to partner in education ministries, each church is uniquely focused on a particular area of interest. Together with CBF, a local church will then gather other local or regional churches around mobilizing action toward their focus. Because CBF is a network of churches, individuals, and partners who serve as experts in their fields of ministry, CBF calls together several of these experts to facilitate conversation and workshops geared toward implementing best practices in missions for that particular context. Already regions are beginning to see how distinct local assets can combine with others in their community to do something together which could not be done individually. Churches are harnessing the power of collective wisdom to bring about collective action.
As a student of missions and increasingly involved in CBF life, I am inspired by the passion of our people. Consistently churches and individuals are seeking deeper involvement and commitment to the work of God in the world. The wind of the Holy Spirit is sweeping through the church to remind us that we are here for a purpose. As the church joins in the movement of missions around the world, beginning in their own backyards, we have the opportunity to partner with God in seeing the world transformed into new creation. As Steven Porter regularly reminds us, as a part of this transformational work we can accomplish far more together than apart. Mission Collective offers a gathering of people on mission to their neighborhoods.
To keep up with news, photos and videos from the 2015 CBF General Assembly in Dallas, Texas, please visit www.cbf.net/Dallas2015.
Phillip Harris Davis serves as a Mission Assistant for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and is a CBF Leadership Scholar.