At CBFVA, we believe that the Church is God’s best instrument for doing work in the world. We believe that God has put your congregation right where you are, with the people you need to do the work God is calling your congregation to do. We also believe that God has given us the gift of partners that help us on our way. CBFVA is compelled by God’s spirit to walk alongside congregations as they live out their unique call. We believe the best way to do that, in this season of life, is through Advocacy, Partnerships, and Theological Education.
We live in a divided world and all too often, we put entire people groups in the middle of our cultural and religious wars. At CBFVA, we believe all people are created in God’s image and should be treated with the dignity and respect that comes from being a child of God. Each person is unique and has a unique story; each person has a meaningful call on their life, and each person is called to be in a community with other faithful believers.
Every church is welcome here, authentically as they are.
We do not have to agree on every theological point to work together. This is one of the blessings of being Baptist! Each church is free to believe and practice faith as they choose. Nevertheless, we understand the importance of working together to meet the needs of those in our world, living out the amazing call of God with our collective voice!
We acknowledge that each congregation and every person is a work in progress.
As we walk through life and as we partner together, our hope is that we all grow in faithfulness to God and in love for one another. It is God who calls, it is God who helps us grow, it is God who invites us into the work that God is doing in our world, and it is our job to respond.
no matter where you fall on these issues, you are welcome at the table.
We know we work with churches that see issues differently. Hear us say this: no matter where you fall on these issues, you are welcome at the table. We are here to support you, resource you, and connect you. We are not in the business of kicking people out of the fellowship; we are in the ministry of inviting people into it. CBFVA exists to partner with you as you live out God’s call for you in your community and the world.
As we respond to God’s call, we want to do so in a way that respects those God is calling us to serve.
From the language we use in mission to the way we engage in practical mission in the field, we aim to respect the inherent dignity of all people. When we go, we do so by partnering with those already at work in the areas we serve, building their long-term presence in the area knowing that God is at work in those communities long after our short-term teams leave. We also hope that those who go out on mission come back ready to be advocates in their local communities.
Our Voice Will Be Heard
We occupy a unique place in Baptist life in Virginia. We hold a space where hard conversations happen and where we do not run away from tough subjects. Yet, all too often, the only voices heard are those that exclude, demoralize and do harm to our Christian witness. We speak a different language. We seek to lift up, inspire, empower and heal a broken world. Hear us say this: Our voice will be heard.
We live in a moment that is too important for us not to speak out. Our voice will be heard. When we speak, we do not speak out for the sake of winning arguments or to gain power or influence or resources. We speak out because we are compelled by the love of God. We speak out because God’s call in our lives is so clear that we are compelled to live out in the world the work that God is doing in our own lives. The world needs to hear our voices. We have a compelling call, and we should live out that call with courage, knowing that our God who calls also equips us to live our calling in the world.
The Gift of Partnership
We will not avoid hard conversations. In fact, we want to lean into hard conversations because we believe it is the mission of the church to give people a theological lens to see God present in the hard things. We must be willing to have genuine conversations about the injustices and inequities in our world.
In the next few years, most congregations will face hard conversations on topics like race, sexuality, Christian nationalism, gun control, and the real struggle many are facing about keeping the doors open. When these conversations come, CBFVA is here to support you, resource you, and connect you with other churches that have been having similar conversations. We will lean into these conversations with you, knowing that we are not alone when difficult but necessary conversations come. This is the gift of partnership!
Every Voice Matters
We value collaboration and diversity. While these are still aspirational goals, they are key in our work. At best, a single perspective (moderate, white) is limiting in terms of understanding the Kingdom. At worst, a single perspective can be dangerous, as we see with Christian nationalism. We are committed to opening our eyes to see the diversity of God’s work in our world.
Every Voice Matters
Having different perspectives, different viewpoints, and different ways of experiencing life helps us see God in new ways and live into a deeper faith. At CBFVA, we must let all voices have a seat at the table that we are building. While it might be easier and more efficient to limit the voices at the table, in the long run, we are being truer to our values by inviting different voices to help guide us.
Every Voice Matters
As every voice matters, we also acknowledge the power of our collective voice. The church should have a voice in the world, standing up for the disenfranchised, speaking truth to power while sharing the good news of the gospel. We will not be silenced by those who want to commandeer the name of Jesus for unethical reasons. We will stand, living authentically into our call, as advocates of God’s redeeming love for the world.
Every Voice Matters
The Church’s Voice
Congregations matter. At CBFVA, we believe that the Church is God’s best instrument for doing work in the world, but there is work to do! For us to be the voice in the world that I believe we need to be, we need to put on some comfortable clothes and get to work. We believe the best days for CBFVA and for the Church are in front of us, but for us to get there, we must find our voice, partner together in transformational; ways, tap into the resources around us, be true to the values we hold, and be willing to go where God calls.
Three Pillars of CBFVA
Over the past two years, CBFVA has intentionally focused its energy on building in three specific areas: Advocacy, Theological Education and Partnerships. After a season of prayer and discernment, our council took these three pillars and started to build something that we hope helps connect churches to transformational avenues for their congregations. While no congregation will connect to all three pillars, we do hope that there is something here that will resonate with you and your congregation.