A Statement of Belief Q&A

A Statement of Belief Q&A

Feb 21, 2014

A Statement of Belief Q&A

Helping you answer some basic questions


Church visitors have all sorts of backgrounds, reactions, and questions. Some visitors walk in, look around, and quickly walk out—never to be seen again. Others walk in, find a Sabbath School class, stay for worship, linger through a fellowship meal, and decide right away that they have found a ‘home’ or a ‘family.’

Most visitors, however, fall between those extremes. They are curious about the church and want to learn more about what the church does and what the church believes. Usually, they are content to watch and listen for a little while to figure out what the church does. Many people figure it is better to see what really is done rather than to ask about what a church tries to do.




When it comes to finding out what a church believes, quite a few are willing to ask, “What does your church believe?” or “What do Seventh Day Baptists believe?” While some visitors save questions for the pastor, some want to talk with the person they sat next to during the worship service or connected with in those in-between moments. Unfortunately, many times these conversations end before they really start: “Hey, here is a copy of our Statement of Belief. Let me know if you have any questions.”

Some visitors can look at our Statement of Belief and discover everything they want to know. Most will look at the Statement, think it’s okay, but they would still like to talk more—and they don’t have a clue how to start the conversation. Visitors might even wonder if asking a question about the Statement might mark them as a troublemaker, or worse.

The Board of Christian Education would like to help Seventh Day Baptists talk with visitors and with each other about what we believe. We’d like to help these conversations go deeper than, “Well, we’re like other Baptists, except we go to church on Sabbath—you know, Saturday.”

We are introducing a set of simple questions and answers about the content of the Statement of Belief that will provide an easy-to-use launching pad for meaningful conversations about who we are and what we believe. This “Statement of Belief Q&A” will be released as downloadable PDFs in at least three forms. There will be a brochure, a booklet, and a set of letter-sized pages with one topic per form. More information and links for the downloads can be obtained here: http://7db.info/q&a

The hope is that this document will prepare Seventh Day Baptists to say, “Hey, here is a copy of our Statement of Belief. I’ll let you look it over. When can we sit down and talk about what it means?” And then, when you sit down together, with the simple questions and answers in hand, you’ll have a great place to start a real conversation.

Remember, the goal of this document is not to provide a comprehensive teaching tool. Our goal is to provide a set of questions and answers that will be valuable for starting conversations about what Seventh Day Baptists believe. If you have specific suggestions for improving this material, drop us a line. As an online publication, we will be able to incorporate changes without having to wait for our paper copies to run out.

We thank the Rev. Gordon Lawton, Director of Pastor Services, for providing the initial draft of these questions and answers and for giving permission to the Board of Christian Education to change them as necessary. We also thank the General Council and our standing committee on Faith and Order for taking time to review the document and for providing guidance to make it more accurate and better suited for its task.

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