Category Archives: Book Chapters

Introduction

“The passage of the Baby Boomers will mark the end of an era, the end of the membership association as we know it” (Sladek, 2011, para. 8).  “We are slowly dying, but refuse to admit that we are even sick” … Continue reading

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Definitions

Baptist: Unless otherwise specified, “Baptist” will refer exclusively to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) entities such as local churches, associations, state conventions or national bodies (The Association of Religious Data Archives, n.d.). Self-identifying as Southern Baptist does not mean universal and … Continue reading

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Associations in the U.S.

In 1707, Baptist churches in Philadelphia designated their most capable members as messengers to an annual meeting where the group would “consult about such things as were wanting in the churches, and to set them in order” (Gillette, 1851). Following that … Continue reading

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The Role of Theology in the Future of Associations

Theology is a significant driver in the future of associations. Theological differences are one of several factors that led to the formation of new associations and state conventions within California, Texas, Virginia, and Missouri (Elliot & Warner, 2007). A detailed … Continue reading

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The Role of Ecclesiology in the Future of Associations

Dockery (2011) believes that because Evangelical theologians have focused so much attention on issues relating directly to scripture and scriptural interpretation, they have simultaneously failed to give necessary attention to “articulating a theology of the church” (p. 21). The resulting … Continue reading

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The Role of Autonomy in the Future of Associations

Closely associated to the issue of ecclesiology is the Baptist distinctive of local church autonomy. With the creation of the South Carolina Baptist Convention in 1821 and the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845, the nature of the association changed. State … Continue reading

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Who is the Association?

Before assessing the changes that might be necessary for associations in the future, a brief note explaining the complexity of associational polity seems appropriate. Regardless of the association’s size and specific organizational structure, Baptist associations and conventions generally conform to … Continue reading

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