About the Fellowship
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. Our understanding of Baptist faith and practice is expressed by our emphasis on freedom in biblical interpretation and congregational governance, the participation of women and men in all aspects of church leaderhship and Christian ministry and religious liberty for all people.
For more than twenty years, CBF has been driven by its mission to serve Christians and churches as they discover adn fulfill their God-given mission. our vision is to be a national and global community bearing witness to the gospel in partnership with Christians across the nation and around the world,
CBF consists of individuals, approximately 1,800 affiliated churches, regional fellowships and ministry partners seeking to be the presence of Christ. Based in Atlanta, CBF partners with 15 theological schools, 18 autonomous state and regional organizations worldwide, and has an annual budget of $12.4 million.
Read more about our mission, priorities and identity below, and read the 2013-2014 CBF Viewbook here. View the 2014-2015 CBF Budget here.
Our mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.
Our vision is being the presence of Christ in the world.
Our Core Values
1. Baptist Principles
- Soul Freedom – We believe in the priesthood of all believers. We affirm the freedom and responsibility of every person to relate directly to God without the imposition of creed or the control of clergy or government.
- Bible Freedom – We believe in the authority of Scripture. We believe the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, is central to the life of the individual and the church. We affirm the freedom and right of every Christian to interpret and apply scripture under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
- Church Freedom – We believe in the autonomy of every local church. We believe Baptist churches are free, under the Lordship of Christ, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whomever they perceive as gifted for ministry, and to participate as they deem appropriate in the larger Body of Christ.
- Religious Freedom – We believe in freedom of religion, freedom for religion, and freedom from religion. We support the separation of church and state.
2. Biblically-based Global Missions
All of us are called to be co-laborers in the task of fulfilling our Lord’s Great Commission. We believe the Bible teaches that…
- God is the one triune God, Creator of all people in God’s own image
- All people are separated from God by sin.
- Christ is the Savior and Redeemer for all peoples.
- The Holy Spirit convicts and converts all who believe in Christ, teaches the church in the voice of the Living Christ, and empowers the church and all believers for the mission of Christ in the world.
- Christ calls us to minister redemptively to the spiritual, physical, and social needs of individuals and communities.
- Every believer and every church is responsible for sharing the Gospel with all people.
We want to enable believers and churches to work cooperatively with other Great Commission Christians to activate this global missions calling in their communities and throughout the world.
3. Resource Model
We are committed to discovering and providing resources that will empower churches to fulfill their mission in their particular contexts and will equip individuals to fulfill their calling under the Lordship of Christ. We prefer to cooperate in mutually beneficial ways with other organizations rather than to establish, own, and control our own institutions.
4. Justice and reconciliation
We are committed to a biblical vision of justice and mercy. We believe the call of Christ extends to every area and relationship of life.
5. Lifelong learning and ministry
We believe in lifelong learning for laity and clergy for the ministry of the church. We are committed to Baptist theological education that affords intellectual and spiritual freedom to both students and professors in an atmosphere of reverence for biblical authority and respect for open inquiry and responsible scholarship.
We will organize, make decisions, and carry out our mission in ways that earn trust. United in our mission and our shared commitments, we will celebrate God’s gift of diversity among the individuals and churches of the Fellowship.
We will organize in ways that encourage flexibility, responsiveness, and accountability. We will monitor our processes and organizational structures in light of our stated mission.
Resourcing congregational leaders and members for the journey toward Christlikeness.
Global missions and ministries
Engaging in holistic missions and ministries in a world without borders by identifying and responding to the critical needs of congregations through partnership missions with local churches and ministry among the most neglected peoples.
Administration and Fellowship Advancement
Supporting life-changing ministry through managing the Fellowship’s resources, telling the Fellowship’s story and connecting the passion of donors with giving opportunities within the Fellowship.
Our strategic priorities
Interacting with the world community
- Support and promote the Millennium Development Goals
- Expand advocacy efforts for human rights, religious liberty and social justice
- Develop a national framework to address poverty in the United States
Honoring race, gender and generations
- Model racial, gender and generational inclusion in hiring and leadership
- Heighten understanding of women in leadership
- Invest in young Baptists
- Increase funding for global missions efforts
- Educate and develop missional leaders
- Increase awareness of global missions efforts
- Provide training for indigenous church leaders and pastors
- Facilitate short term mission engagement opportunities for churches and individuals
- Provide missional resources
- Facilitate long term relationships among churches, individuals, and field personnel ministries
- Expand communication of CBF’s mission and vision
- Increase the number of field personnel (missionaries)
What It Means to Be a Cooperative Baptist
For we are laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9).
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a community of Baptist Christians and churches walking together and drawn toward the center of our common life in Jesus Christ. We share this fellowship with God, whom we have come to know through Christ. We serve as co-laborers with the Holy Spirit in God’s mission. Within these relationships we freely offer this expression of our identity, not to bind the conscience of any believer or the freedom of any congregation but as an expression of the nature of our fellowship.
Our vision is to be a national and global community bearing witness to the gospel in partnership with Christians across the nation and around the world. Our understanding of Baptist faith and practice is expressed by our emphasis on freedom in biblical interpretation and congregational governance, the participation of women and men in all aspects of church leadership and Christian ministry, and religious liberty for all people.
Our life together is also shaped by a common ministry focus. Because of our passion to obey the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) of our Lord, we are committed to global missions with the least evangelized and most neglected persons of the world through sending vocational and volunteer missionaries.
Because of our passion for called, gifted and qualified ministry leaders, we are committed to effective leadership development in partnership with theological education institutions. Because of our passion for local churches as the locus of Christian formation and discipleship development, we are committed to a collaborative model of resourcing congregations through the development of a robust resource network.
Because of our passion for participation in God’s mission beyond the capacity of most congregations, we are committed to supporting ministry partners who share our identity, values, and goals.
Our community consists of congregations, individuals, regional fellowships, and ministry partners. While we respect the freedom and individuality of each member of our community, we are committed to practices of cooperation, collaboration, and leadership that will enable us to be faithful and wise stewards of our common life and mission.
In summary, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a community of Baptist Christians who cooperate together to engage people in missions and equip people for ministry
Become Part of the Fellowship
According to the CBF Constitution and Bylaws, affiliation is measured by contribution. Any church or individual who sends a contribution of any amount is considered a member of the Fellowship with voting rights at the annual General Assembly. Is your church interested in becoming part of the Fellowship? Request an introduction to CBF packet.