I often get asked, “Why should my church be a part of the North American Baptist Conference?” The Scriptures are filled with verses that speak about our connection to one another as God’s people. As followers of Jesus, we are brought into the body of Jesus Christ. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” Then later in verse 27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” As Christians, we bring all that we are to one another – our God-given design, abilities, talents, and spiritual gifts. In doing this, we add to each other, complement one another, and serve with each other. There is strength and encouragement in our unity in Jesus Christ and in our unity with each other.
There is the same value in our walking and working together as a conference of churches. To come together recognizes our need for brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. It recognizes that we can do more together than alone. Ephesians 4:4–6 states, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” As an NAB community of faith in Jesus, we can learn from each other. We can challenge each other. We can be blessed by the diversity of being a community of faith that comes from different backgrounds and from different places but shares a vision to serve and to minister in this world.
You might ask, “What then distinguishes the NAB from other groups or associations of churches?” In a series of six short articles, I want to describe our identity as a North American Baptist Conference of churches. I am thankful to be on this earthly journey with you as we seek God’s will and mission together.