Last week, I joined a group of friends to attend a telecast of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit in our area. I won't take the time here to justify this choice(although I will say that the Willow Creek Church in South Barrington, Illinois, has a better record of affirming women in ministry and reaching out to ethnic people than many of our progressive Baptist churches)but it was a great learning experience. Participating in this meeting also reminded me of the shifting patterns in cooperation among churches today. These new relationships cross denominational, regional, and ethnic lines.
Even the huge churches that measure weekend attenders in the thousands seek ways to partner with other churches for the sake of the kingdom of God. They realize that kingdom work is not a "lone ranger" task and that no church can do all that God has called believers to do.
These churches and many smaller congregations may not carry the Baptist name, but their theology is often very close to ours. For one reason or another, some have chosen to leave the Baptist name aside to further their ministry (and we could chase that rabbit for awhile, too).
I wonder if there are possibilities for CBF to partner with some of these folks? Many times these churches are looking for mission opportunities and we certainly can offer many possibilties for such involvement. Does this compromise our identity? What do you think?