Most Sanctuary folks know that we are somehow associated with other Conservative Baptist churches, but many may wonder what that association really means. Are our association ties merely signaling a common historical and doctrinal stream going back to the 1950’s, or are there ongoing benefits for our relationship in this day? And that’s a great question. Since we don’t often talk much about our association, let me offer a few facts that might increase your appreciation for our current relationship.
(1) I personally enjoy a great relationship with a bunch of other like-minded pastors who are very intentional about seeing Northern California and Nevada churches thrive for the glory of God. Our regional association is known as NextGen Churches with our office located at Morgan Hill Bible Church. We are one of about 140 Conservative Baptist churches in our region, and I enjoy a rich fellowship and mutual encouragement with a dozen to fifteen or so that I’ve come to know quite well.
(2) When wildfires recently swept through Sonoma County last year a call went out from two of our networked churches in that area for others to join them in reaching out to fire victims in their community. Together (Sanctuary’s generous gift included), we quickly raised over $85,000. that is now providing compassionate assistance to families who lost their homes and are struggling to get back on their feet. It was our partnership with NextGen churches that enabled us to respond to meet this critical need in a timely manner.
(3) Together, we currently partner with eight church planters launching start-up churches, have three potential planters going through an assessment process and are working with four new churches to facilitate their planting efforts. With each partnering relationship we help with assessment, financial support and on-going coaching to give the new young churches the greatest chance for success. Many of these are in urban, new and high growth areas where we are seeing an openness to the gospel and a hunger for authentic relationships grounded in a relationship with Christ.
(4) Our network also provides professional and legal advice to member churches as well as assistance to churches funding capital campaigns. When we (Sanctuary) were recently wading through the murky waters of the conditional use permit application process for our Cachagua ministry, we received invaluable assistance from our network’s legal advisor, help that considerably strengthened our case at the county hearings. What a helpful service!
(5) Many of you know of the ministry of Silver Spur Camp and have personally experienced or heard stories of kids won to Christ and others built up in their faith, there. Silver Spur is a ministry of our association that reaches more than 8,000 campers in a year, a work that has served our church well for many years. We also work in close association with the CBA mission arms of World Venture (formerly CBInternational) and Missions Door (formerly Mission to the Americas). Each of these mission agencies exist solely to extend the gospel of Christ to others who still need to hear. And through our partnerships with each of these, our Sanctuary family has another vital way to play a part in taking Christ’s love to the world.
These are clearly not all the ways that we benefit from our participation in these regional, national and world-touching co-operations, but they give us a glimpse that is real cause for thanksgiving. More can be discovered by going to the NextGen Churches’ or Conservative Baptist Churches of America’s websites. Undoubtedly, the greatest benefit of our association with NextGen Churches is that it extends and strengthens our gospel footprint in the world, Jesus is lifted up, and in this we can find great joy.