This week Briarwood Retreat Center hosted 40 seminarians and mentors from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship on retreat. We are so grateful for the CBF organizers for choosing Briarwood. They did so based on the facilities, location, and reputation of our hospitality.
A fun note for me was that the CBF director for church planting, the Rev. Kyle Tubbs, was with the group. Kyle is a friend from our time in the Dallas Baptist University PhD cohort program. He then was a church planter in the Austin area before moving to Decatur, GA to take on this role for his denomination. I enjoyed having time to catch up with Kyle, hear about how the CBF is planting ministries, and share notes on best practices.
Similarly to our emphasis on contextual ministry (particularly with the TEEM program and synodically authorized worship leaders) the CBF does not “parachute drop” in mission start pastors but instead identifies those who feel called to mission in a particular place or to a particular demographic or group of people. They then provide training, support, and encouragement to that person as they work with the Holy Spirit to plant and grow that ministry. I was encouraged to hear of their process and how we also are challenged to raise up contextual leaders for mission.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a partner in mission that I give thanks for. Those who attended our 2017 assembly might remember the Rev. George Mason (Wilshire Baptist, Dallas) speaking to our assembly. Wilshire is a part of the CBF, as is Broadway Baptist in Fort Worth (where we partnered to host a 500th anniversary festival hymn sing in the fall of 2017).
In a state in which the word “baptist” has much more recognition than “lutheran,” I am grateful for these gospel centered, ecumenically minded, and justice focused partners. #NTNL #CBF #InMissionTogether