Cooperation Group to release recommendations May 1

The SBC’s Cooperation Group announced Friday, April 19, that it would release its recommendations May 1. In a release on its website, the group’s chairman, Texas pastor Jared Wellman, said the release date should allow for ample discussion of the recommendations before the 2024 SBC Annual Meeting.

The group, appointed by SBC President Bart Barber, held its first meeting last fall. It was formed in response to a motion from a messenger to the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans calling for the study of what it means for churches to be “in friendly cooperation on questions of faith and practice.”

“We are thankful for the prayers and support for us as we studied and developed these recommendations,” Wellman said in the release, adding that scheduling conflicts as well as the busy Easter season prevented the group from having an in-person meeting for several weeks, which caused their work to be delayed.

“Though this release comes later than we initially planned, we are grateful that it still provides over 40 days for messengers to engage with, understand, and respond to the recommendations,” he said.

The recommendations will be the culmination of Stage 2 of the group’s announced 4-stage process. Stage 3 will be the refinement stage, followed by the resolution stage in June.

Finally, Wellman announced that the group will release a series of articles on its website May 6.

“These articles will offer deeper insights that we have been able to glean into the nature of cooperation within our community,” he said, adding that group members will also appear in online discussions to help messengers process the recommendations before attending the annual meeting in June.