If you don’t already know, Sojourn is dually affiliated with Acts 29, Mark Driscoll‘s outstanding church planting network, and the Kentucky (Southern) Baptist Convention. We’ve been extremely blessed in our cooperation with the KBC, who have supported us without reservation with finances and countless other intangible resources. Both Mike and Daniel, our longest-standing elders, have nothing but glowing praise to say about the support the KBC has given us. They’ve attached no strings to the Cooperative Program money we’ve received, despite the fact that we’ve done some pretty, um… let’s say “unconventional” things over the years.
Our brethren in Missouri, as of today, can say quite the opposite.
Apparently, this week, the Missouri Baptist Convention’s executive board passed the following motion:
Effective Jan 1, The Acts 29 Network is an organization which the MBC Exec Bd. Staff will not be working with, supporting, or endorsing in any manner at anytime.
While recognizing the autonomous nature of all areas of MBC life beyond that of the Executive Board Staff, the MBC Executive Board directs the Church Planting Department and other ministry departments to NOT provide CP dollars toward those affiliated with the Acts 29 Network.
Motion as amended passed by a vote of 28-10
Good grief, y’all. Seriously. What have we come to as believers when we shun the partnership in the Gospel that we have with careful, theologically-minded, passionate church planting organizations like Acts 29?
Honestly, I’m pretty fired up about this. For the love of God, are there not even pragmatists enough in the ranks of the Executive Board to see the folly of cutting off partnership with one of the most successful church planting groups in the nation? According to NAMB statistics, fewer than 70% of NAMB church plants are still around four years later. Compare that with A29’s record: only one church of its hundreds of plants does not exist today, and only because it merged with another regional A29 plant.
There’s been some suggestion that MBC churches who disagree with this resolution ought to pull their CP dollars and fund dually-aligned A29/MBC plants directly. I consider this the wisest course of action, since it kills two birds with one stone. Obviously, the primary concern is funding the preaching of the Gospel, which is certainly taking place in A29 churches! But the ripple effect of direct, inter-church support is that it sends a loud message to the MBC: we don’t like what you’re doing, and you didn’t give us a chance to let our voices be heard, so we’re voting with our wallets.
One blogger today prayed that the Lord wouldn’t remove his hand from the MBC because of their refusal to partner with other believers in the work of the Gospel. I pray the same.