Update #1: Sub-Groups & Strategy
The Cooperation Group recently convened to address the motion's text and begin engaging in a comprehensive discussion about the state of cooperation within the Convention. As we embarked on our work, we turned to Psalm 77 for guidance, with a special focus on verse eleven, which reads, "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old." This verse underscores the theme of finding hope and solace in God by reflecting on His faithfulness and power, even in the midst of present difficulties.
As it concerns the motion, its text requested,
(a) the President to appoint a broadly representative group
(b) the group to examine how the Convention should determine churches' alignment with friendly cooperation in faith and practice
(c) the group to present recommendations on how we can progress together with biblical fidelity, missional clarity, and cooperative unity
The President has successfully fulfilled the first request by appointing a diverse group representing Southern Baptists in theology, ecclesiology, ethnicity, region, vocation, and gender.
To fulfill the other requests outlined in the motion, the Cooperation Group will operate in two sub-groups, each with a dedicated focus on examining specific documents and functions related to cooperation.
The first sub-group will focus on Article 3 and The Baptist Faith and Message. The second sub-group will concentrate on Bylaw 8 and the Credentials Committee. Additionally, an ad hoc group has been formed from members of both sub-groups to gather insights from local, state, and national levels regarding cooperation.
These groups will meet regularly to study their respective documents and resources, after which the full Cooperation Group will convene to exchange findings and ultimately formulate recommendations.
The group has devised a four-stage approach to fulfill the messengers' ultimate request to bring recommendations that have been thoroughly studied. These stages include,
Stage 1: Research (September through December)
Stage 2: Recommendations (January through March)
Stage 3: Refinement (April through May)
Stage 4: Resolution (June)
We appreciate your prayers and support. We are doing our best to follow the God who "is holy" and "who works wonders" and who leads His people "like a flock . . . through the sea" and "through the great waters" (Psalm 77).
Jared C. Wellman
Cooperation Group Chairman