The shifts taking place in our world and in our culture demand that we too must make adjustments in our thinking and in the way in which we fulfill our purpose. Without such shifts in our thinking and in the way in which we fulfill our purpose, we will be irrelevant and ineffective because the external changes will exceed our internal changes.
Associations must adapt to meet current and future challenges if they are to survive and even thrive in the future. The historical design of Associations was successful to meet the challenges of its time. A new paradigm of thinking is needed in each generation.
Forward thinking Associations have a distinction of being kingdom minded. There are two aspects to this distinction. First, we reaffirm our theological and historical heritage as Baptists. We do not want to forget our rich history of theology and Great Commission efforts. SABA is and will continue to be an Association of Baptist churches.
David Dockery in this book in which he was editor, states that in the 21st century, “denominations that thrive will remain connected by conviction to Scripture, the gospel, and their tradition . . . So do denominations still matter? Yes! . . . they do matter and they will continue to matter, but only if they remain connected to Scripture and orthodox tradition. We need conviction and boundaries, but we also need a spirit of cooperation to build bridges.”
Second, we recognize that God is at work among other Great Commission groups with whom we could join efforts to extend God’s Kingdom. Dockery again writes, “Perhaps more important for the twenty-first century than the denominational future will be the importance of networks. . . . while working and exploring ways to partner with affinity groups and networks moving out of their insularity and seeking to understand better the changing global context around us.”
Christ’s commission to make disciples of all the nations challenges us to partner with other Great Commission Christians with common doctrine and common vision.
So, we will maintain our ties with our rich heritage as Baptists and continue to cooperate with our brothers. But we also understand that God is at work in His world and is using others outside of Baptist circles to accomplish His will. We will work in both spheres of influence.
SABA exists to connect, encourage and support churches for kingdom impact.