Learn about the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship: http://www.thefellowship.info/truth.
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A brief introduction to CBF: What is it? Who's in it? What do they do? What do they believe? How do they relate to our church? How did it begin? Is our church a CBF church?
Each of the words in our name - Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina - is important to our identity. But perhaps Fellowship holds the greatest insight into who we are as an organization.
- We are a fellowship of churches and individuals who voluntarily cooperate to do together what we could never accomplish alone, for the Kingdom of God.
- We bring together people of shared interests, activities, beliefs and experience.
- We provide companionship along our shared journey to be the presence of Christ in the world.
- We serve each other as equals.
At CBFNC, we value fellowship and the many ways it brings us together.
We are a fellowship of Baptists in North Carolina sharing a commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in our midst, and a reverence for God's Word. Our oneness is expressed through a devotion to historic Baptist principles of faith and practice. This devotion calls us to join together in responding to Jesus' call to go into all the world to share God's love (Matthew 28:19-20). Check out this article by Randall Lolley, "Bringing Baptists of North Carolina together for Christ-Centered Ministry."
Bringing Baptists of North Carolina Together for Christ-Centered Ministry
Centrality and Authority of Scripture - We affirm the authority of scripture. We believe the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, is central in the life of the individual and church.
Priesthood of All Believers - We affirm the freedom and right of every Christian to interpret and apply scripture under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. We affirm the freedom and responsibility of every person to relate directly to God without the imposition of creed, the control of clergy or the interference of government.
Autonomy of the Local Church - We affirm that Baptist churches are free, under the Lordship of Christ and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whomever they perceive as gifted for ministry and to participate, as they deem appropriate, in the larger Body of Christ.
Freedom of Religion - We affirm religious freedom for all people and the separation of church and state.
Read articles from Executive Coordinator, Larry Hovis, on the Four Fragile Freedoms of Baptists, published in our newsletter, The Gathering. Page one and page two.
CBFNC Values, Identity and Mission
In addition to our commitment to Baptist principles, we honor these values:
Community – We embrace the Christian community we share beyond our local congregations
and come together frequently for worship, education, fellowship and service.
MIssional Focus – We exist to participate in the mission of God in the world rather than to
perpetuate organizational structures. We believe God has a call for each Christian, each congregation
and each ministry agency. We help in the discerning, equipping and implementing of that call.
Collaborative Partnerships – We respect the calling and passions of other Christians (individuals,
congregations, organizations and institutions) and commit to minister with them as mutual partners,
actively working together to pursue a common mission.
Leadership – We enlist servant-leaders from local churches who guide us in understanding the needs
of their congregations and communities. We seek leaders who reflect the multi-faced make-up of
Flexibility - We aim to be adaptable, responsive and relevant so that we may act quickly and effectively
as new needs and ministry opportunities arise.
Spiritual Formation – We draw upon the breadth and depth of the whole Christian tradition to undergird
our common life and ministry. Our life together is shaped through the practice of prayer and other spiritual disciplines.
Christian Education - We are committed to Christian higher education and lifelong learning to equip all baptized believers for mission and ministry. We also support equipping persons called by God to vocational ministry through quality theological education.
Three Overarching Commitments
A Commitment to Transformation
“Be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12:2)
We serve a God who declares, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5) Transformation is the work of the Spirit in the lives of Christians, congregations, mission partners, and the world. We are concerned for the conversion of all people into the image of Jesus, for the ongoing growth and spiritual formation of Christians, for creative and innovative missional collaboration, and for the renewal of all creation. We desire to be agents of God’s newness.
A Commitment to Engagement
“Be doers of the word” (James 1:22)
We seek to be engaged with the world and with our communities. We want to follow the foremost commandment of Jesus to love God with all we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27). CBFNC desires to assist congregations and Christians in discovering and fulfilling their divinely-appointed mission. Our greatest potential for engagement is through the incarnational living of the members of every congregation. We want to connect followers of Jesus who share a common missional calling and passion. We envision a future for CBFNC that focuses on the mission of God in the world. We desire to be agents of God’s love for connecting Christians and congregations to that mission and encouraging them in their ministries.
A Commitment to Community
“Be devoted to one another in love” (Romans 12:10)
Our name—Fellowship—points toward our deep desire for connection. We seek that beautiful Scriptural experience expressed by the word koinonia. CBFNC exists to support connections among congregations and Christians, to facilitate conversation, and to create missional partnerships and networks within our fellowship, as well as the broader Christian and religious communities. We need to live in fellowship and partnership with one another because it bears witness to the unity of the Body of Christ. We need one another in order to grow in faithfulness and effectiveness; innovation and creativity flourish more readily and abundantly in community. We desire to build community among the congregations, individuals and partners of our Fellowship, so that we can be agents of God’s reconciliation in the world.
CBFNC churches and individuals are actively engaged in ministries around the state, nation and world.
North Carolina Missions - We coordinate missions initiatives within the state, with a particular focus on the unreached and the most neglected.
Church Planting - We launch new churches, Anglo and ethnic, to meet the needs of "those not here yet."
Missional Churches - We encourage and equip local churches to engage in God's mission in their communities and wherever they feel called.
Global Missions - We support and participate in missions outside our state, including the mission efforts of the larger CBF movement.
We provide scholarships for students at partner divinity schools, with a special emphasis on North Carolina institutions.
We conduct leadership development conferences, retreats and events for clergy and lay leaders.
We consult with congregational leaders concerning leadership development strategies and resources.
We help ministers (experienced and recent seminary graduates) and churches "find each other" through a ministry of reference and referral.
We sponsor youth and children's retreats several times throughout the year.
We sponsor youth and children's choir festivals.
We conduct conferences and retreats on various topics related to spiritual formation and faith development.
We consult with congregational leaders concerning faith development strategies and resources.
Supporting Our Partners
Our primary partners are the churches and individuals who comprise our fellowship. Our first priority is to serve them. In addition to these core constituents, we also have significant relationships with other ministry partners, two of which deserve special mention.
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (National) - CBFNC is grateful to be part of the larger CBF movement of God's people. Though funded and organized separately from CBF, we seek to be the face of CBF in North Carolina by supporting and promoting CBF ministries in our state and beyond, including global missions and theological education.
A Covenant of Partnership and Missional Collaboration between CBFNC and CBF National was entered into on June 24, 2010, at the National General Assembly in Charlotte, NC. This covenant acknowledges the autonomy of both organizations, but also recognizes a strong mutuality in our mission that leads us to covenant together in prayer, affirmation and partnership. Read more.
Historic North Carolina Baptist Institutions and Agencies - we value the agencies, institutions and ministries that have historically been part of the North Carolina Baptist family. Though we do not seek to own, operate or control these ministries, we do seek to partner together in mutual ministry. We provide a channel for churches to fund these ministries through the CBFNC Mission Resource Plan.
Our Gatherings - Each year, our fellowship experiences a "family reunion" in the form of the CBFNC General Assembly. Usually held in a church, the assembly offers inspiring worship, informative ministry workshops, helpful resources from various ministry partners and rich fellowship with Christians from around the state. We also hold various fellowships and gatherings throughout the year including our regional tour Fellowship on the Move.
In addition, clergy and laity who share a common bond through CBF values and commitments gather on a regular basis, often monthly, for Regional Fellowship Groups in several locations throughout our state.
Our leadership - Each year, the General Assembly elects our leadership, which includes the Coordinating Council (the board of directors of our non-profit religious corporation) and several Ministry Councils, which coordinate the various programs and ministries of CBFNC.
Day-to-day operations and ministries are conducted by a paid staff which includes the Coordinator (executive director), Ministry Coordinators (who oversee ministry areas) and support staff. Our coordinators travel around the state speaking in churches, visiting with ministers and church leaders and facilitating CBFNC ministries.
Getting to Know Us
CBFNC is not a member organization but a partnership of equals. Our goal is for each local church to discover its divinely appointed mission and carry out that mission in its community and beyond.
If you embrace our mission, principles and values, and desire to share in our ministries, you are welcome in our fellowship. We humbly ask for the opportunity to be one of your missional partners and appreciate any financial gifts you are able to make. You are invited to attend our assemblies, participate in our ministries or call our staff members or volunteer leaders for information on becoming involved with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina.
May God bless and guide us as together we seek to be
the presence of Christ in North Carolina and around the world.