Completing my service

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Completing my service

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:36 pm

This week, I will be completing my service as Interim Field Coordinator for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia. I have had the privilege of sharing in this opportunity for six and one-half months. I am thankful for the progress we have made during this time and for the coming of Rev. Terry Maples to be the new Field Coordinator for Virginia. Terry comes from having served as Field Coordinator in Tennessee for the past five and one-half years. It has been a special joy to have served in this capacity. I would like to make some observations about CBFVA and CBF in general after sitting in the corner office here.

First, CBF is a young movement. In 2016-17, CBF will celebrate twenty-five years since or organization in 1991 in Atlanta. We are just now becoming a young adult as an organization. In that twenty-five years, there have been positive and negative moves. We have some great accomplishments and disappointments, but as one of those who gathered for the organizational meeting in 1991 and has been involved for all that twenty-five years, I am proud of the accomplishments for CBF. The movement has never grown to the size some of us had hoped, but it has become a major player in the American religious landscape.

Second, CBF is a youthful movement. Yesterday, our CBFVA Coordinating Council met in Richmond. I was the oldest person at the table. Many of those who were sharing in this work were in their thirties, and at least one is still in her twenties. The gathering brought together pastors, church staff members, laypersons, a college president, two African-Americans, and a vast reservoir of experience. CBF is no longer in the hands of the founding generation, a fact for which I praise God. On the national scale, many staff members are young. Those who said it would only be a one-generation movement of disaffected old folks from the SBC have been proven to be wrong.

Third, CBF has a respected seat in the religious world. We are active in the Baptist World Alliance, involved (especially this year) with our brothers and sisters in Canada, partner with the Amity Foundation in China, and have both inter-denominational and interfaith links. Our Executive Coordinator was invited to be among the religious delegation to meet Pope Francis this year.

Fourth, CBF is moving to a new model of missions beginning at the General Assembly in Greensboro this June. We will be setting a sustainable goal to hold our missions force around 125 units of work. No, it's not the largest, but we are seeing results where our misisons force is working. The emphasis will be kept on "presence," meaning that we place people for the long haul and seek to continue with those positions until goals are accomplished. At the same time, the global model allows us to shift people to locations where they are most needed at a given time, whether that is overseas or in North America.

Fifth, CBF is making a place for Women in Ministry. In VA, our past moderator and our moderator elect are women ministers. I have seen enough of the exclusion of women for their gender rather than looking at a more biblical model. I'm seeing how God is using some modern-day Priscilla's and Phoebe's in his kingdom. CBFVA has furnished this year the President of the Baptist General Association of Virginia from among our women who pastor churches in our state.

Sixth, over the past six months, I have had three opportunities to meet with the Movement Leadership Team of CBF. These are the state and regional coordinators who fill the role similar to the one I have had the privilege to fill in interim. They are one of the most creative, committed, and innovative groups with whom I have been privileged to work in more than forty years of ministry. Every time I have been with them, I come away challenged to be a more committed and throughtful follower of Christ and a person seeking how to be the best possible celebrant of all God is doing. There is some great leadership that has clustered around CBF in the states and regions of our work.

No, all is not perfect, but from this seat, I am excited by what I am seeing and long to see CBFVA and CBF Global go boldly into the future. I could say a lot more, but today I am giving thanks for what I see happening.
"God will never be less than He is and does not need to be more" (John Koessler)

My blog: http://emporiadave.wordpress.com/
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Re: Completing my service

Postby Neil Heath » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:00 pm

Thanks for your service, Dave, and for your very positive comments concerning CBF. It's good to hear!
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Re: Completing my service

Postby Tim Bonney » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:33 pm

I'm sure the CBF has greatly benefited from your leadership! Thank for the report on CBF directions and activities!
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Re: Completing my service

Postby William Thornton » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:33 pm

I'm an outsider but Dave is my kind of pastor/servant. The CBF is much richer because of folks like him.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
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Re: Completing my service

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:35 pm

Ed: As I said in my note of congratulations when you interim position was announced "Congratulations Dave. With such leadership Virginia will stay among the state and regional leaders leaders." From reports I have heard, your service has indeed supported that statement.
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Re: Completing my service

Postby Bruce Gourley » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:10 pm

Those are good words, Dave. I am appreciative of your leadership in CBF life.
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Re: Completing my service

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:32 am

And I'm going to ask the follow up question. So what's next, Dave?
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Re: Completing my service

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:28 pm

Sandy wrote:And I'm going to ask the follow up question. So what's next, Dave?

At this moment, Sandy, only the Lord knows. I'm looking for an intentional interim but will take a traditional one if that is what is open to me. Right now, just a couple of preaching appointments and sorting all the stuff I brought home from Richmond. Thanks for your interest.
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