Last night we had our quarterly church conference. I would say that it was a fairly historic night in the life of UBC. We began the night with a wonderful time of fellowship, eating ice cream together and just catching up. We then formally entered into our time of meeting together. During that time we read the Scritpures, prayed, read the Church Covenant, and dealt with several updates and recommendations from the body (including new members).
The last main point of business was to vote on the proposed constitution, which had been discussed during the previous quarterly conference (per our constitution) over a period of two weeks. The proposed constitution was approved by an overwhelming majority. The spirit of the meeting was (once again) exemplary and warm. We had several visitors take part in the fellowship, many of whom are seeking to join our fellowship. I was glad to commend our church to outsiders through such conduct.
From here, we have the daunting task of actually living this thing out. Our first order will be to nominate men to serve in the capacity of elders. The church body will receive nomination forms in the bulletins each of the next two Sundays. Please prayerfully consider the biblical qualifications and ministry description on the form when making your nominations. After nominations have been made, the pastors and Church Council will work together to compile a list of names of approved men, willing to serve, to present back to the church body for recommendation. Getting the right, qualified men is the key to more purely reflecting biblical leadership. Essentially, this is very serious.
Another key will be to educate the body on the key change in the Confession of Faith portion of the new constitution. The church has now adopted the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message of the Southern Baptist Confession as our confession of faith. The first 10 articles of the lengthier BF&M serve as our written confession (while we endorse the entire document).
The greatest change from our previous confession is that believers baptism is stated as prerequisite to taking the Lord’s table. As baptists, we believe that baptism, true baptism, to refer to those baptized as believers (not infants). While we certainly understand that baptism is not a requirement for salvation, it is nonetheless an act of obedience. So, if we believe baptism to be for believers only and it’s obedience, then only those sharing in the Lord’s supper should be those who have obeyed the Lord’s command to be baptized. Actually, this is nothing new. Baptists have held to this belief long before we were “southern.” You can read more HERE at a previous post.
I’m truly excited at the direction we are heading as a church that seeks to be more in step with what we believe the Scriptures to reveal about biblical community in the local church. While we understand that we live in a fallen world and there is no perfect church, that is no excuse not to pursue greater purity in every way. Thank you, UBC, for not resting and seeing to it that our church resembles the New Testament church so that we not only fulfill our passion, but we also plant church for the greater passion of the Great Commission.