Who are Baptists?
Baptists are grass-roots people, with a particular emphasis on the local church. These local churches are self-governing and self-supporting, ranging in size from twenty or so members to several thousands. Although each Baptist church is an independent entity, Baptists nonetheless have always believed in associating with one another – and so churches come together in regional, national and international spheres to promote and support the fellowship of Baptists everywhere.
To find out more about what it means to be a Baptist, visit the Baptist Union of Victoria website.
What about other churches in our neighbourhood?
We work together with other church communities and traditions at various levels because we see ourselves as just one local community in God’s world-wide ‘family of families’. Being part of Diamond Valley Baptist Church involves a commitment to pray for and assist our fellow churches, both locally and globally. In practice we are linked to the Baptist community of churches, who broadly share our ethos and work together on many projects that no single church community could hope to achieve.
We see ourselves as a unique part of the broader church of the Diamond Creek area. Together with other local churches in our area we make up the Church that the community sees. As such, cooperation and communication with our neighbouring churches is crucial in our witness to our neighbourhood.
Why not just be an independent faith community?
We are an independent church! Every Baptist church is completely independent. There is no denominational control or hierarchy. Each church is self-governed and determines its own affairs. Every Baptist church chooses its own pastors. Every Baptist church owns its own buildings and assets. Every Baptist church determines its own programs. All the members are involved in policy and vision decisions.
So what are the advantages of affiliating with the Baptist Union?
- It allows us to identify with other Christians around the world who are known for their commitment to encouraging spirit-led, Bible-directed communities of faith.
- It allows our church to more effectively participate in missionary service around the world. Through Global Inter Action (GIA) we help support missionaries in countries around the world.
- It allows churches in one region to pool resources and support ministry in a way that they would be unable to do by themselves. For example, through the cooperative efforts of the BUV many churches have been financed in their staffing or building projects. We share a theological college, welfare agency and other support services.