As your church considers affiliation with the SBTC, it is our prayer that you have all of the information necessary to prayerfully make the decision that is the Lord’s will for your church.
Below are some suggested steps that you may find helpful as your church works through this process.
1. Investigate the Issues.
Examine the following:
Budgets and flow of Cooperative Program money
Support of SBC ministries and seminaries
Positions on key issues
The SBTC can provide information that also includes several studies from some affiliated churches that discuss some of these issues. These are available upon request by contacting the Minister/Church Relations Department of the SBTC at 817-552-2500.
2. Educate Your Church Leadership.
- Share findings with your key church leadership. This could be the church’s deacon body or elder body, the Missions Team, the Church Council, etc… Help the church’s leaders to understand the issues so that the church can make an informed decision.
- Pray and seek God’s will as a leadership team as you make this convictional decision.
3. Invite Convention Representatives to Your Church.
- Invite convention representatives to your church to meet with the leadership team. As you have investigated certain issues, there may be several questions that have arisen.
- If you would like to invite representatives from another convention as well, the best scenario may be to have representatives from each convention come separately on different days to meet with your leadership.
4. Share Information with the Church Body.
- If the church’s leadership feels led to pursue affiliation with the SBTC, then share your findings with the congregation as a whole.
- Present studies
- Make reports on the process
- Have key leaders share personal testimonies
- The SBTC can provide a representative to come to your church and share information about the SBTC and answer any questions that
the church may have.
5. Take Official Church Action to Affiliate.
- There are two primary options for the church to consider: 1) to uniquely affiliate with the SBTC, and 2) to dually affiliate with the SBTC. Churches who dually affiliate will also want to decide on their allocation of Cooperative Programs gifts.
- This process may involve several steps. According to your by-laws, information may need to be presented a week or two in advance of a church vote. Since this is an important decision for your church, it is always best to provide as much information as possible and then
allow time for church members to become educated on the issues and to spend time in prayer.
- Changes to the church constitution may be necessary if it specifies that the church will relate to a specific convention.
6. Complete and Return Affiliation Form with Initial Contribution.
- To officially affiliate with the SBTC, the church simply fills out the Affiliation Form (English Version or Spanish Version). Include your initial contribution to the Cooperative Program (English Giving Form or Spanish Giving Form) along with your Affiliation Form. Your church’s participation in the Cooperative Program is the lifeline of Southern Baptist ministry. Together, we can reach Texas and touch the world.
- The Credentials Committee of the SBTC will then review the request and then, if all qualifications are met, will recommend affiliation to the Executive Board of the SBTC for approval.
7. Get Involved.
- As an affiliated church, you are encouraged to elect and send messengers to the SBTC Annual Meeting each year. You are also invited to send members to the annual Empower Evangelism Conference. Throughout the year, there are many events that you may participate in. Many are designed for the SBTC to minister to your church staff and members; while many are training events to help assist you in the equipping of your staff and members for ministry.
- There are also many opportunities to serve in other capacities.