Levels of Baptist Associations

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    Most local SBC churches have three levels of association, not really government since we are autonomous, the local, state, and SBC level. Any church can affiliate with none, all three levels, or any combination the local church wishes.

    I would be interested in knowing how your church does this, not just SBCs, but all types of Baptist groups. Do they all have three levels? Which level do you think helps you local church the most?

    Do you use Sunday School material through one of these organizations? Thanks for your response.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty
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    I like how the Free Will Baptist say it: Each level is said to be the broader or larger (not "higher") than the former.

    From Chapter III - section II (1) page 63 of the "A Treatise of the Faith and Practices of the Original Free Will Baptists"- revised 1981.

    With that in mind - I don't think one helps more than the other, rather each level has a distinct purpose.

    It would be like saying - who is more important - a mother or a father? Both are needed.

    As far as Sunday School material - we are not currently using Lifeway ( yes - we are SBC)
     
    #2 Salty, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2012
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    We are only nominally involved with our local association. It really is an anachronism to a time when they were really a help to local churches instead of guardians to the flame of WMU and church libraries.

    We are more involved with the state level having served on state boards and also getting involved with the state orphanages and ministries to children in Guatemala and Haiti.

    We are less involved in the national convention because we see it moving towards a top down bureaucracy that is led by the big church pastors who haven't led their churches to give beyond a nominal 'tip' to the CP.

    In terms of helping our local church, probably the state does in terms of information. I like the national convention because we can get involved in world missions thru the IMB.

    We use SBC material in our adult SS classes, but not in our children's ministry nor in our weekday Bible studies.
     
  4. Zenas

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    To a certain extent I agree with Tom Bryant about the value of the local association, although I suspect his church is not small. For large churches the association is of little or no value. Small churches, however, depend on it rather heavily for a number of things. So, for the small church the association is the most important. For the larger churches it would be the state or national groups.

    I belong to a SBC church and we use Lifeway in most of our departments. I would give their materials a C+ grade.

    As for the SBC, I think its biggest attribute is that it offers a brand name that everyone recognizes. Prospective members see the SBC brand and they have some idea of what kind of church you are.

    We support the cooperative program rather heavily, although a handful of members designate their offerings for "local use only." We honor those requests.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    We average 100 throughout the year, less durig the summer and more during the winter.
     
  6. 12strings

    12strings
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    Our church (about 200 on an average Sunday morning) has been SBC since its founding 50 years ago. Here's our current breakdown:

    -We recently cut our associational support way down, but not completely...they do almost nothing...but do support a local ministry at a college. A group of about 8-10 local pastors has been meeting monthly for about 2 years for prayer and discussion about minstry. We have had sevaral mulit-church events and services...so that is functioning sort of like an association within an association. It is very possible that we might someday stop doing anything with the local association if they don't do anything.

    -We support the Cooperative program by sending some money (we recently reduced our CP giving and gave about half of it directly to international missions)...to the state convention...which in turn sends some of that to the national SBC. We are not really all that involved with either...other than the support we give because we think supporting Missionaries, Seminaries, and disaster relief is a good thing.

    I think at this point we would say the level that helps our church the most is likely the national, since all of our recent & current pastors have come from Southern Seminary...(we are about an hour from Louisville.) Out of a total of maybe 12-15 Sunday school classes...I think only one (senior adults) uses the Lifeway curriculum. The State and local levels probably don't contribute much to our church. I would say our Current leadership views SBC membership as a good thing due to our support of good ministires...and the SBC moniker does give some bit of identity help for people who are new to town looking for a church.
     
  7. go2church

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    Give nothing to the local association as they don't really do anything and are mostly a pr firm for the SBTC which we are not a part of

    Support state convention pretty heavily

    Support SBC and CBF an average amount, though we allow people to designate specifically to either one to the exclusion of the other which ends up being more support to the CBF.

    Don't buy Lifeway materials for anything except preschool through 5th grade
     

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