ABA n BMA n SBC

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by grace_proclaimed, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. grace_proclaimed

    grace_proclaimed
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    Could someone list the organiztional similarities and differences between the ABA< BMA and SBC?
    Thanks,
    JLS
     
  2. rlvaughn

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    One noticable difference would be in representation. Both the ABA & BMA allow each church to have an equal number in representation regardless of the size of the church membership or the amount of contributions given to the program. The BMA also requires that each representative (messenger) be a member of the church sending him/her as a representative. The SBC allows representation based on congregation size and contributions given to the Convention work.
     
  3. grace_proclaimed

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    RLV,
    What about in mission work? How do they differ and how are they similar in these ways?
    Have you any contact with the direct missions Baptists who once fellowshipped with Eld. Hamilton, etc? They were from somewhere in California?
    Thanks
    JLS
     
  4. rlvaughn

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    I think the proper name for that group is the California Missionary Baptist Association. It was organized in 1933. Some of the churches cooperated with the ABA and some did not. The cooperative churches organized an association sometime in the 50's, I think, to be more fully aligned with the ABA. The other association is commonly known on the west coast as the "Old State" association. They are strictly direct mission - no committees, boards, etc. The association provides a forum for mission work to be presented, but all decisions are made in church business meetings and the churches deal directly with the missionaries. The association has dwindled from probably 50-something churches 30 years ago to about 15. They have had issues and splits over Calvinism, New Lightism and other things and many of the churches just dropped out. Most of those churches still exist as independent churches.

    I will try to answer on ABA & BMA mission work later.
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    JLS, this is a quick answer. IMO, the ABA has the organized system closest to gospel missions, at least in theory. The churches send recommendations of missionaries to be supported, and at the annual meeting the missionary committee makes recommendations from that list. Messengers from the floor may make motions to add back those the committee has left off. The leaders of the association adamantly maintain that these are only recommendations to the churches, but the ones that are recommended are the ones that receive support through the Secretary-Treasurer, and they receive the amount recommended by the messengers (unless that much money should not happen to come in for them). You might find it interesting that a few years back (I haven't checked recently) over half of the churches in the ABA evidently supported missionaries directly - at least they didn't send money through the Secretary-Treasurer's office.

    I cannot speak directly to the inner workings of the SBC, having no real life experience with it. It is my understanding that the mission boards operate throughout the year approving, suspending and/or replacing missionaries (whereas, the missionary committee of the ABA has no real continuing existence outside of their meetings).

    The BMA system is more board oriented than the ABA, in my opinion. They seem to have some authority to operate between sessions as well. I would consider them in their mission work as a mediating system somewhere between the SBC & the ABA. Perhaps others with more direct knowledge can give more details.
     
  6. rsr

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    You are correct, Robert.

    I would add that the description doesn't include all of what the SBC would call "missions." State conventions, for example, have their own missions system, and both state conventions and the convention boards have a range of volunteer programs that includes short-term mission trips, recurring missions (such as a summer program on the Rio Grande in Texas), and disaster relief.

    Many churches have annual mission trips (especially for students) and each church may have local missions (such as a semi-permanent outreach ministry at a housing project in my town.) FBC Dallas has 30 such programs.

    All these may not meet the definition of missions (sometimes being classified as ministries) being discussed here, but some of them do.
     
  7. rufus

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    The BMA Statement of Principles, Article III, Section Five states:

    Each church in this association is entitled to three (3) messengers chosen from her own membership. The qualifications of messengers are determined by the church electing them.

    We strongly believe in equal representation at Associational Meetings. Neither money nor size plays a part in it.

    Rufus [​IMG]
     
  8. grace_proclaimed

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    Thanks for the input.
    Please tell me a little about the BMA method of missionary support and approval, etc. (on the Assoc. level)
    JLS
     
  9. rufus

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    grace_proclaimed asked:

    BMA Missionary Support:
    Each of the 1334 churches in the BMA freely chose levels of support to the overall Associational Missions Program. For example, the church I pastor gives around 20% of our offerings to missions. That is divided among International, National, State, and Local missions. Those monies are sent to Missions Headquarters in Little Rock and distributed by Missions Directors according to the wishes of the churches.

    BMA Missionary Approval:
    For a person to be approved a BMA missionary, he must go through physical, psychological, doctrinal and biographical tests. In fact, I'm filling out a confidential biography on a friend who has applied to the missions field. Only after all the tests are done and the candidate is interviewed by the Missions Advisory Team and then approved by the messengers of the Annual Association, can he start deputation and head toward the field of service to which he feels God has led him.

    I hope this helps some.

    Rufus [​IMG]
     
  10. grace_proclaimed

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    BMA Missionary Support:
    Each of the 1334 churches in the BMA freely chose levels of support to the overall Associational Missions Program. For example, the church I pastor gives around 20% of our offerings to missions. That is divided among International, National, State, and Local missions. Those monies are sent to Missions Headquarters in Little Rock and distributed by Missions Directors according to the wishes of the churches.
    </font>[/QUOTE]What if personell changes are made during the year. How is their support determined?
    I assume there is a possibility of one being rejected for reasons other than doctrinal reasons? What if his home church has recommended him; does this affect anything when the choice is made? I'm asking out of ignorance and a desire to learn the system. I trust my pointed questions don't seem antagonistic. I only seek to learn. Thanks for the help.

    JLS

    [edited to take the questions out of the closed quotes for easier reading; Also, rufus, do any of the BMAA churches also practice direct missions support in addition to the National program? Thanks, rlv]

    [ January 28, 2003, 12:00 AM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  11. rufus

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    What if personell changes are made during the year. How is their support determined?
    quote:


    While each church determines the amount of support given to the Missions program, the messengers of the churches annually elect a Salary Committee that sets up compensation packages for each missions field. If a change is made on a field, then the appropriate compensation package is applied to that field.

    I assume there is a possibility of one being rejected for reasons other than doctrinal reasons? What if his home church has recommended him; does this affect anything when the choice is made? I'm asking out of ignorance and a desire to learn the system. I trust my pointed questions don't seem antagonistic. I only seek to learn. Thanks for the help.

    Your questions are fine! I'm glad to try to answer any and all questions about BMA Missions.

    No candidate will be considered who is NOT recommedned by his home church. But, even if a home church recommends a candidate, physical and psychological profiles could prevent a candidate from being approved to a field. The BMA has elected a few to go to a certain field and they returned quickly from the field because of family, culture, or emotional aberrations. So the BMA set in place some tests to try to screen for possible problems in those areas.

    Also, rufus, do any of the BMAA churches also practice direct missions support in addition to the National program? Thanks?

    I know of a handful of churches that practice direct support in addition to Associational support. Each church is free to choose her missios support.

    I hopes this helps some.

    Rufus [​IMG]
     
  12. grace_proclaimed

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    Thanks! That's very enlightening.
    I'm glad to get to know some of the inner workings of the BMA.
    JLS
     
  13. BM

    BM
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    Rufus, coming from a BMA church myself; I would like to say you done a great job giving that information. we are a small church and we give 10% of our offerings to local,state and foriegn missions. [​IMG]
     

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