In blogging about the life of the BUGB it is always easier seeking to critically evaluate what others do than making positive proposals. So here is an attempt to set out some of the things that I think are important about our life together.
Valuing Ministry: A core part of the Union’s life is recognising, affirming and developing ministers and ministry. Working with Baptist Theological Colleges to form ministers but then providing continuing education as well as being the catalyst for theological reflection.
Resourcing Mission: So that we encourage mission at local level, working nationally on behalf of regional Associations to help develop networks of churches (eg; small churches and larger churches networks) and encourage innovation.
Developing Character: As the people of God we need those who challenge us to develop our character, those released to a wider ministry among us who call us to be true to the vision of a holy, catholic and apostolic church and who help us to enter into conversation with other Christian churches and the wider society.
Healthy Relationships: Regional Associations are the primary means by which wider Baptist life engages with the local church. It is here that much good work is done in helping churches, facilitating settlement and encouraging local churches and ministers to relate together.
Strategic Support: Enabling Mission at the local level is a significant part of the Home Mission agenda as it seeks to enable ministers to settle in situations which are not otherwise financially viable, in order that ministry can be provided in locations of strategic importance or significant potential and in order to facilitate risk taking in planting and developing churches.
Growing churches: The local church is fundamental to our life together; it is here that we grow disciples and it is here that the spiritual disciplines of church life (preaching, sacraments, prayer etc) enable people to be encountered by God; it is local churches which provide communities which express the reality of sharing in the body of Christ and it is local churches which encourage and enable evangelism and engagement with society.
Glory of God: We don’t exist for our own sake but because of the grace of God and for God’s glory. Who we are and what we do are reflections of the character of God. Our worship life, our prophetic edge and so much more are expressions of this.
There is much more that could be said about each of these things and when I have some time I might try and expand on each of them (an article for the BT perhaps?) but I hope that these 7 phrases give some form of positive intent.