Pastors & Leaders eNews - August 2023
Hi everyone and welcome to the August Insights eNews!
People responding to the game changing news of Jesus is at the heart of our collective ‘why’ as Baptists together, which is to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, sign and deed.
One combined expression of this is National Baptism Week on 15-22 October, where we will be joining with Baptist churches around the country in lifting up the opportunity and significance of Baptism. This initiative aims to put resources in your hand and give your church a sense of community with many other churches around the country as in your own unique way you celebrate and encourage Baptism.
The resources are fantastic, and the opportunity is wonderful! See the landing page HERE where you will also be able to click through to further resources from around our national movement, curated by Crossover Australia. From ideas guides to webinar opportunities and links to courses and resources, it is a truly fantastic resource to access as you encourage people in your context to move towards Baptism, and to think through what it means.
This is yet another expression of our collective Gen1K vision. Let’s be praying that this national initiative is hugely fruitful for the Kingdom as we point people to Jesus and help them follow in obedience to him!
FORM 2023 is coming up in 1 month! Our keynote speaker is Jason Elsmore, Senior Pastor at Gateway Baptist Church and Director of the Queensland Baptist Movement. Jason will speak on the theme of FEARLESS, as drawn out from Joshua 1.
We will also be running a range of workshop tracks facilitated by experts in their field, including:
- Building Health Ministry Teamwith Adam Boyes, Lead Consultant at Co-Lab Consulting;
- Evangelismwith Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover for Australian Baptist Ministries;
- Intercultural Missionwith Marbz Diaz, Team Leader Church Witness & Intercultural Lead for NSW & ACT Baptist Churches;
- Simple Church with Jen Trevena, Mission Catalyst for NSW & ACT Baptist Churches;
- And more!
There will also be a great kids program, where kids will explore evangelism and sharing the gospel in a child-friendly way. And our youth track will help young people explore evangelism in their unique context, as well as getting alongside them to participate in the rest of the program.
As a multi-cultural conference, translation to various languages will also be available. FORM 2023 is for everyone!
To find out more about FORM and to register visit their website HERE
State Youth Camp
Over 500 young people from over 20 churches over 4 days – That is State Youth Camp! And it needs you!!!
We need your young adults. We need your retirees. We need anyone in your church or your network who loves young people and can spare a few hours or the entire weekend to serve the youth and their leaders at State Youth Camp!
Camp runs from the 22-25th of September at Cataract Scout Park, Appin, and we will have people on the ground from the 20-27th of September to set up and pack down the camp site.
We need everything from prayer warriors to lights and AV support. Site safety, first aid and ushers. We need baristas and donut makers. Activities support and just plain ol’ “stick me wherever you need me” volunteers.
Safe Church Team Network Evening
On 23 May 2023, approximately 120 people joined both in person and online for the Safe Church Team Network Evening. The topic of the night was Responding to Historic Legal Claims in Your Church. There were presentations from experts in the fields of civil litigation, redress claims and also investigations related to reportable conduct. We further heard the experiences of a local church pastor who with his church have had to navigate this space. We are excited to now say that the video from this night (including the PowerPoint slides) has been uploaded to our Creating Safe Spaces webpage for you to view. Please visit the Creating Safe Spaces website HERE to view this video.
National Child Protection Week 2023 – 3 to 9 September
This year’s National Child Protection Week will continue to champion the message “Every child in every community needs a fair go – where we start matters”. This message captures the essence of the week which aims to promote a safe and supported life for every child, now and into the future. In conjunction with this week, NAPCAN has produced an activity booklet available for free download which could be a helpful resource to work toward satisfying Standard 2 of the 10 Child Safe Standards related to listening to children’s voices. This resource is available in the “For Kids” section of the NAPCAN website – Get Involved – NAPCAN.
From Conflict to Connection: Building Practical Peace-Making Skills
This month at our online Insights pastors and leaders gathering, we were joined by Wayne Forward, CEO of Peacewise where he shared on the topic of “From Conflict to Connection: Building Practical Peace-Making Skills”.
Wayne provided insight to help equip us to create cultures of peace in our unique ministry contexts and other useful tips to help manage conflict in a redemptive and transformative way. If you missed out on this month’s Insights check out our website HERE to view the recording for this session and past gatherings as well.
Be sure to join us at our next Insights Gathering on Wednesday 20 September, more details coming soon.
Leadership Development 101
Leadership Development 101 is now available for tweens and teens in your church! This training course is specifically designed for junior leaders aged 11-17, who are serving (or soon to begin serving) in an area of local church ministry. Whether you have junior leaders serving in children’s, youth, worship, hospitality or technology ministries, or in any other area, this course will develop their leadership skills. Topics covered include character, spiritual growth, teamwork, communication, spiritual gifts, skill development, safety and much more.
The course is delivered online, with each lesson containing a short video to watch, an activity to do, something to reflect on, and a conversation to have with a team leader. The course is very flexible in its delivery – it can be done by individuals or small groups, at your own pace. For more information and to register participants, visit https://baptistcfm.org.au/leadership-development-101/
‘Our Story’ is where we share stories of our wider Baptist movement; stories from our journey towards our goal of becoming a movement of 1,000 healthy churches in a generation, stories of how Baptist Churches in NSW & ACT are navigating key issues, and stories from our affiliated groups.
Sharing stories is vital so that we can learn from each other, be encouraged to persevere in our ministries, and witness how God is working amongst his Church. We hope that Our Story will be an inspiration for you and your church.
Green Point Christian College, a ministry of Green Point Baptist Church, has expanded to include Brewarrina Christian School, in central-west New South Wales. This has opened the door for the church to partner in community ministries in Brewarrina, a small town of approximately 1,000 people. To view a video about the story of Green Point click HERE
If you have a story about how your ministry, church, or region is stepping into the Gen1K vision send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with more details.
Banning "Conversion Practices" Proposed Legislation
The Association through the Director of Ministries has recently been involved in dialogue with government, alongside various other stakeholders, regarding plans to ban Conversion Practices in NSW.
There is no place in our communities for physically and psychologically abusive and coercive practices, and legislation that bans them would have our support. This is a complex area and we need to appreciate this complexity, and especially to support efforts to keep vulnerable people safe.
Unfortunately it appears from our discussion with government so far that much more broad ranging and deeply concerning legislation is being contemplated, despite pre-election commitments to the contrary. See the previous email HERE to pastors, leaders and churches about this a couple of weeks ago. This matter is ongoing and your prayer and action is encouraged.