January 26, 2017
By Carrie McGuffin and Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — Governance bodies of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are holding its winter meetings this week in Decatur, Ga. The CBF Ministries Council and Movement Leadership Team (MLT) met Jan. 23-24 and Jan. 24-26 respectively to continue their work together and hear updates from the CBF staff and Illumination Project Committee of the CBF Governing Board. The CBF Nominating Committee is meeting Jan. 26-27.
CBF Ministries Council
The CBF Ministries Council focused its work on ways to better equip minister and ministries, support congregations and continue to grow and strengthen the Youth Baptist Ecosystem. A 20-member elected advisory council to the CBF Governing Board, the Ministries Council collaborates with Cooperative Baptists to identify, develop and deploy the assets of the Fellowship and to effectively empower shared ministry networks.
Council members gave reports and updates on the ongoing selection process of CBF theological education scholarship recipients for 2017-2018 as well as Ministries Council grants, which offer funding for projects to support efforts of a congregation to build bridges within its church or the community. The Ministries Council will award $25,000 in grants to recipients at the 2017 CBF General Assembly in Atlanta, and is currently accepting proposals that address criminal justice system ministries, lay leadership development as well as other issues churches and communities are facing. For additional information about the Ministries Council grants, visit www.cbf.net/ministries-council-grants. Grant proposals are due March 15.
CBF Movement Leadership Team
The Movement Leadership Team opened its two-day gathering with a time of prayer and devotion followed by a conversation with CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter. The MLT is comprised of the coordinators of the 18 state and regional organizations of the Fellowship as well as Paynter and CBF Moderator Doug Dortch. Jay Kieve, coordinator of CBF of South Carolina, is serving as the MLT convener in 2017. The MLT gathers several times per year to coordinate and promote productive communication, share information, learn more from one another and cast vision and direction for the Fellowship.
During its second day, the group heard updates from CBF staff on the 25th Anniversary Campaign, Peer Learning Groups, Clergy Sexual Misconduct Task Force, CBF church starts and new church starting resources, CBF advocacy efforts, the upcoming Leading Women conference in Knoxville, Tenn., and the 2017 General Assembly in Atlanta.
CBF Global Missions staff shared about the ongoing implementation of the Global Missions’ renewal plan For the Joy Set Before Us: A New Day for CBF Global Missions. Watch a brief video about the plan announced and affirmed at the 2016 CBF General Assembly here. Global Missions staff also gave updates on opportunities available for CBF state/regional organizations and churches to engage with field personnel and the CBF Offering for Global Missions.
Illumination Project Update
The Ministries Council, MLT and Nominating Committee heard an update from CBF Governing Board member Charlie Fuller on the work of the Illumination Project. Fuller, who serves as executive pastor of First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C., is chair of the Illumination Project Committee of the Governing Board. The Illumination Project is a process of discernment and accompaniment involving CBF congregational leaders to build and strengthen unity through cooperation, focusing on illuminating the qualities that have built unity in CBF and identifying processes to maintain and grow unity through cooperation.
Fuller shared an update about the committee’s ongoing work and plans for listening and reflecting sessions to hear and receive the stories of Cooperative Baptists at upcoming CBF state and regional meetings this spring and at the General Assembly in June 2017.
The CBF Missions Council will meet Feb. 2-3 and the CBF Governing Board will round out the winter meetings of Fellowship governance bodies on Feb. 8-9.
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.