The Reformed Baptist Network is a new effort among Reformed Baptists seeking to organize together for the cause of Christ, church planting and missions. The Network is being formed from a number of long-standing 1689 Confessional churches, but seeking an association with a fresh vision and focus, desiring to express a broad Reformed and Gospel-centered communion. RBNet wants to affirm fellowship and relationship with other associations and fellowships, and pursue fraternal connections as much as possible. Yet RBNetwork also has a distinct missionary vision,organizational structure, and Confessional commitment.
There 89 attendees from 40 churches gathered to hear 20 mission reports from every continent of the world and gathered to network for the sake of the Gospel. On the final day they had a “guided but open-ended discussion, devoted to exploring the future prospects of a network of Reformed Baptist Churches for mutual edification and cooperation in home and foreign missions and perhaps other things as well.”
They “finalized an initial vision statement and appointed three planning committees (on confessional subscription, organization, and communication. Also, Gordon Taylor has volunteered to serve as a missions liaison).
Initial Vision Statement:
The Vision of the Reformed Baptist Network is to glorify God through fellowship and cooperation in fulfilling the Great Commission to the ends of the earth.
…In the end, we agreed that the Network would be based around subscription to the 1689 Confession, and would be formally organized for fellowship and cooperation in Missions. In addition, the Network will allow different levels of Membership (full member churches subscribing to the 1689 and associate members holding to a Reformed statement of faith) and different levels of Missionary support. Concern was expressed to avoid the partisanship of the past, and to encourage outreach and cooperation with a broader communion of churches as much as possible. In light of this, the meeting gladly received formal greetings and cooperation from the Board of FIRE (Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals).
Three ad-hoc committees have been formed to draft a Constitution and Policy Manual. Gordon Taylor was formally approved and called to serve as Coordinator. Also, we voted to incorporate as a 501c3 entity.
Over the next few months, the planning committees will complete drafts of the Constitution and Policy Manual.
A Constituting Conference is being planned for the Fall. More details will be published as they become available.
It was also decided that Gordon Taylor would be RBN’s Interim Coordinator.
Tuesday Nov. 17th and Wednesday Nov. 18th will be filled with speakers including Mark Chanski, Gordon Taylor, Jon Hueni, Sam Masters, Trevor Johnson, and Robert Elliot. The topics will include church planting (home missions), foreign missionaries, and sermons to encourage us in these endeavors. Thursday morning Nov. 19th will be a guided but open-ended discussion, devoted to exploring the future prospects of a network of Reformed Baptist Churches for mutual edification and cooperation in home and foreign missions and perhaps other things as well.
1) Do we preach with the expectation that conversions will occur? Or have we become so use to the lack of fruit in America that we consider it normal to have only one to five conversions a year? 2) Are we content with merely scattering the seed from a balloon? This is a stinging rebuke to those who merely serve up good meals of gospel preaching that lack zeal, conviction and expectation. 3) Are we willing to move on from a place or country that is rejecting the gospel and move to a place in the world that is crying for the truth?
In regard to this last thought I wonder if we may have too many preachers in the USA. There are places that are longing for someone to learn their language to come and teach them, to help them evangelize, to help them form a church and to help them see clearly the errors of false teaching. Would it be good if some of our experienced men sacrificed and went to regions of the world to plant the seed among those are longing for a gospel ministry? I am asking the question of myself and of you. I believe these are questions that need to be answered.