Friday, September 23, 2005

Lombard Consesus: We Need a New Movement; Charles Revis Lays Out a Vision

All attendees were asked to discuss the problem.

PSW Group

1. Do we need a new group?

Yes, but we don’t want to be a “denomination”
Better: a movement
Join with BGC (Baptist General Conference)?
Home is no longer home…we need to hold together
Logistics a problem for creating a new denomination
We need “something”

2. What would a new movement look like?

At this point, I floated the name “Baptist Churches in America” as a possible new name for the new movement.

Lean, mission-focused
Doctrinal statement
Authority of Scripture
Accountability without “hard-edges”
“Classical Christianity”

3. How do we get there?

Maybe PSW could do a DBA of “BCA”
Any organization could do that: Green Lake, Northern, or WVBC
Via regions
The power of Big Mo
MI’s suggestion: abolish VF (General Secretary’s office)—that kind of model Manageable sub-group to do deal with new structure, values, doctrine, etc.
Need to empower a task force to deal with those issue
Use ABE as a shell
Bathe it in prayer!

4. What’s the desired outcome?

See people won to Christ—in an accelerated way

Need a vision? One articulated by Bill Nicoson

“A group of Baptist congregations committed together to an orthodox, biblical and theological foundation that will result in the growth of the church of Jesus Christ as demonstrated by healthy congregations.”

Special Report:

Sarah Day Cheeseman from M&M Board came to dispel rumors that M&M benefits will be denied to members from churches that may separate.

Report Back for Regional Group Discussions 2:35

Q1: New Group?


Q2: What will it look like?

Michigan Report
ABE: stay in there!
ABE: provide a new home for disaffected churches
ABE: a “region”
A few others: Stay in our region, join an existing denomination
Confessional/statement of faith

Northwest Report
Confessional/statement of faith
National footprint

Indiana Report
“Come, Lord Jesus”—a new organization with a new leader
Hope for Indiana Resolution that it might pass
Hope that Exec Ministers will lead the charge
17 execs are sympathetic (over 4000 churches)

Iowa/MN Report

Lean, missional organization
No politics

Northeast Report (NY, New England)

Need new organization
May have to dually aligned churches first

Kansas/Nebraska Report

Confession of faith
Coalition level
Dually aligned

PSW Report

Unite with existing fellowship: a minority report
Lean, doctrinal core
Without a doctrinal edges

West Virgina Report

Many open possibilities
Must get rid of our will and find the Lord’s
Let ABE hold the banner for a time

ABC of the West

New organization
Association within ABC?
New denomination?
A network!
Let ABE be the organization network

Side-Report: the Great Commission Network (Kaiser, ABCW)

A time to take a stand
History, vision, mission, strategies
Robust doctrinal statement
Must embrace all four strategies (mentoring, coaching, consultation, opening)
Delivery systems
GCN also working with Presbyterians and RCA


Q3. How do we get there?

IA/MN: lean mean missional team
PSW: legal entity, empowered group
Have a Core group to work on vision, mission and values
Not an anti-ABC group
Northwest: this group is the core. Use the momentum generated in this room
MI: avoid mistakes of the past; we are in a different context because the regions a are leading the way

Q4: What’s the outcome?

IA/MN: Be on the cutting edge
NW: Support churches doing the primary work: seek and save the lost
Partner with like-minded entities (not just other Baptists)

An extended time of prayer followed before the dinner break. Bill Nicoson urged us to pray for Roy Medley and for the VF staff.

Evening Session 7:00 PM

– Time of worship
– Greeting from Chuck Moore, President of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary

Message from Charles Revis (Exec, ABC of the Northwest)

“Launch! What will it take to become a Missional Movement?”

1. We need Mission Clarity

Biblical, concise and compelling
Must be clear on the essence of the gospel
“The world has many religions, but only one gospel.”
John 3:16-18
Romans 6:23
Jesus’ death on the cross

We must believe that the gospel has the power to change the world
To affirm homosexual practice is to deny the life-changing power that is at the heart of the gospel
The power of the message to make converts
The power to create new life
2 Corinthians 3:17: transformation

What has happened to that missionary spirit? It was lost because we lost the reality of the life-transforming power of the gospel. We have lost ground in America!

We must believe that sharing the gospel is job number one.

The importance of Last Words (Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:8)
We must do the command that Jesus gave us.
When the body and Head are out of sync, it goes spastic—as we now see.
“A church that isn’t a missionary church will soon be a missing church.”
“There is a church because there is a mission, not vice-versa.”
We will not rest until the job is done…

Churches like that will find like-minded churches. Baptist interdependence was founded to enable us to carry out mission.

Imagine a whole tribe of missional churches linking arms together in Christ!

Revis’ experience in NW.

We must embrace NT practices that sustain the missional movement

New forms of connectionalism

Multiple networks
Parachurch style

Historic assosiationalism

Philadelphia Baptist Association 1707
The local church is incomplete
Associations made the churches healthier
Associations made mission stronger
Confession of faith
Disciplined theological stability
Problem solving

I’m happy to say that Revis cited my friend and member of my church, Dr. Howard Stewart…

The practices of the early church

Reflecting on Romans 15

-Mutual refreshment
-Sharing of resources
-Developing and supporting leaders
-Joined together for mission
-Joined together in prayer

Implications for now:

Mission together

The example of FBC of Vida, Montana: vital renewal and evangelism

Bill Nicoson closed in prayer.

Tomorrow: we’ll do some work!


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