Pastors & Leaders eNews - July 2023
Welcome to July Insights eNews!
It was exciting in May to launch our 2023-2025 Strategic Priorities as we press towards being a movement of 1000 healthy churches in a generation. One of our prioirity areas is “Partnering in Ministry.” We’ve always believed we are “better together”. While many issues, pressures and differences challenge our unity, we still hear Scripture urging us to be unified around Jesus and together in ministry.
One of our strategic priorities in the partnership area is to “expand the capcity of our regional minsitries to contextually adance the Gen1K goal in local networks.” We put some legs on that this month as regional leaders from border to border and ocean to outback gathered at Kiah Ridge for our “Regional Teams Conference”. The intention was to develop, connect, encourage and equip Regional Ministers and their teams. It was a great few days!
Here’s what some of our regional leaders said about RTC:
“I genuinely think this conference is going to make a massive impact on our movement. I also HIGHLY value the emphasis on prayer, and dependance on God.”
“This is a game changer I reckon, keep doing it and I think there will be much kingdom fruit through partnership realised in the coming years.”
“RTC is a great time with a great bunch of people, doing something with strategic importance. Exciting time to be part of the Association and this particular group.”
“I was thrilled to see so many positive initiatives in the NSW ACT Association. I was delighted to meet people from other regions. We plan on bringing a bigger team next year.”
There are so many other benefits in supporting, encouraging and equipping one another in ministry. And there are lots of opportunities too! In this month’s Inisights you’ll find partnership opportunities to:
- partner in prayer,
- encourage one another through a coordinated and resourced Baptism Week,
- connect with like-minded mission-focussed leaders at FORM Conference,
- join with other youth groups at our State Youth Camp,
- build supportive relationships with other pastors in Renewal Retreat Groups,
- be equipped by a team helping local churches to be safe places,
- and more.
I encourage you to find out what God might have for you as you explore partnering with one another in the calling God has placed on us all.
Associate Director, Strategic Support and Regional Development
Strategic Priorities - Partnering in Ministry
In May 2023 at The Gathering Incorporating the Annual Assembly, the movement accepted the 2023-25 Strategic Plan. The Plan can be summarised in our three priority areas: Developing Leaders, Mobilising Healthy Churches, and Partnering in Ministry.
The third of these priority areas is Partnering in Ministry which incorporates Priorities 5-7:
- Expand the capacity of our regional ministries to contextually advance the Gen1K goal in local networks
- Enhance our strategic support services and resources towards the Gen1K goal
- Work towards greater unity and partnership across our movement
Check out the video for a look at what Partnering in Minstry looks like!
Opportunities to Pray
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6)
In an action-oriented world where we value progress and fast-paced results, I resonate with the phrase: “Let’s hit the ground running.” I often forget, though, how hard it actually is to literally “hit the ground running”. I remember when I was young that train doors could be opened before the train stopped at the station. For the more adventurously rushed, it was an opportunity to leap off the still moving train and “hit the ground running” to be first off and first out before the crowds blocked their way. I saw a few people try this only to fall heavily and be stopped in their tracks, often injured. It’s dangerous to hit the ground running! Instead, of a running start, perhaps we need a kneeling start, a considering commencement, a prayerful beginning. In fact, we need a prayerful beginning, prayerful middle and prayerful end, don’t we? We need to kneel before we run. I’ve been encouraged recently as I get glimpses of the prayer life in our churches and amongst our regions. A prayerful posture is something that wells up from a deep place of reliance on God and relationship with him. At this time in our movement, as much as ever, we need that deep reliance and relationship expressed through prayer. Particularly as we continue on a journey about Affiliation, Baptist Values and Marriage, we need to hear from God, listen to one another and move forward graciously, carefully, compassionately and in ways which honour Christ. So, we want to provide a few opportunities you and your churches may wish to use as tools to pray.
- Let’s Pray Together – a quarterly prayer calendar emailed out to you to assist you to pray into issues across our movement. To sign up to receive the Spring Edition of Let’s Pray Together please go to the Communication Preferences section of the Association’s website (click here) and tick the box for “Prayer and Intercession”.
- Intercessors – a group of people committed to pray for our movement as we continue our journey about Affiliation, Baptist Values and Marriage. We want to support the Way Forward Consultants in prayer and ask for continued guidance from God for everyone and every church in this process. To sign up to be part of the Intercessor group, please click here.
- Prayer Nights – a monthly 45-minute prayer opportunity on Zoom in the three months leading up to both our November and May Assemblies. The first one will be 7.45pm to 8.30pm on Thursday 17th You can register by clicking here.
Please continue to pray for your leaders, pastors, churches, regions and movement.
Australia's Baptistist Quiz Night
Australia’s Baptistist Quiz Night (Sep 2nd, 8pm Eastern) is a fundraiser for Crossover that will pit church versus church, and we the NSW&ACT Baptists against the other state associations.
Conducted via Zoom, it’s easy to get a table together at your place to represent your church. Info and Rego are at crossover.org.au/quiz
National Baptism Week
For the first time ever, we’re inviting Baptist churches across the country to participate in an annual National Baptism Week from 15-22 October.
National Baptism Week is an opportunity to talk and teach about baptism, preparing those who are ready, it’s a prompt to be on the front foot in inviting people to take a step of faith, and it’s a moment to remember, celebrate and pray for baptisms across our movement, regardless of whether your church will be having its own baptisms that week.
National Baptism Week is for kids right through to retirees, for country churches to ethnically diverse churches to simple churches. Crossover is hosting an online Baptism Hub filled with ideas and resources that you can use in a variety of contexts, including National Baptism Week – check it out HERE
State Youth Camp
STATE YOUTH CAMP IS COMING UP SOON!
We’ve got plenty of groups already registered and we’ve made some big plans, but we want YOU to be a part of it!
The camp team has been working hard on the program, talks, worship and activities. This is a great way for youth ministries to offer their young people a camp experience, with some of the hard work taken care of for you.
Would You like to have a look at SYC before bringing your youth??
For those who are interested in coming along next year, we also offer taster visits!
Bring 1-2 of your key leaders and come along for a day, or even a half day to check it out. This is a great opportunity to see how camp works and what it would be like for you to bring your group along.
Click below to register and we’ll be in touch to discuss timing for your visit.
FORM 2023 is coming up in 2 short months and it’s time to register now! 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 Team with Adam Boyes, Lead Consultant at Co-Lab Consulting;
- Evangelism with Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover for Australian Baptist Ministries;
- Intercultural Mission with Marbz Diaz, Team Leader Church Witness & Intercultural Lead for NSW & ACT Baptist Churches;
- Simple Churchwith 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!
Christian Leaders Open Day
The Retreat Movement is extending an invitation to Christian Leaders to join with Facilitators of Retreats on Wednesday 13th September (9am to 3.30pm) at the Mount Schoenstatt Spirituality Centre, 230 Fairlight Rd, Mulgoa for encouragement, connection and equipping from Tim Dyer.
Topics that will be covered at this Open Day include:
- Skills and Gifts Christian Leaders need.
- Qualities for Change Agents.
- Mistakes Christian Leaders Make.
- Temptations Christian Leaders face.
- Power and Influence in Christian Groups.
- General Questions regarding Christian Leaders.
For more information contact email Colin Cowling (email@example.com)
‘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.
Over 50 years ago, the Western District Baptist Churches joined together to establish Ridgecrest Christian Education and Convention Centre. Ridgecrest grew from a vision to create a space where Christian young people in the west could gather together for fellowship, teaching and community – and now does that and so much more. To find out more about Ridgecrest’s’ story 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.
Redefining Limits: A Pastor's Journey of Hope and Resilience
This month at our online Insights pastors and leaders gathering, we were joined by Grant Wilson, Senior Pastor of Kiama Baptist Church. Whilst riding his bike at a local mountain bike track with his family, Grant had an accident, resulting in a C4 spinal cord injury. Following prolonged hospitalisation and physical therapy, Grant returned home and back into pastoral ministry. Grant’s story is one of courage, questions and perseverance.
In addition to Grant sharing his story with us, he provided us with some lessons he has learned and principles for caring for those who have experienced life-changing challenges. If you missed this session live, visit our website HERE to view the recording.
Be sure to join us at our next Insights Gathering on Wednesday 23 August, more details coming soon.
Safe Church Health Check
We encourage churches to continue to engage with the Safe Church Health Check through the Baptist Association. In NSW, the 10 Child Safe Standards are now mandatory as of 1st February 2022. The OCG has also indicated that they are continuing to look to build capacity in organisations regarding these standards, but compliance actions have also started to be issued to non-compliant organisations as of 1st February 2023. We also understand that the standards are forthcoming in the ACT. The Safe Church Health Check is an application to the Baptist Association who will then conduct an audit of your church’s policies, procedures and practices against the 10 child safe standards. Passing the Safe Church Health Check represents best practice and gives comfort to your church that you are meeting your obligations. This audit is free to our Baptist churches. More information and the application form can be found at the Creating Safe Spaces Website – https://creatingsafespaces.org.au/schc/.
Baptist World Aid Job Opportunities
Do you dream of working towards a world where poverty has ended, and all people enjoy the fullness of life God intends?
As the international aid and development arm of the Baptist church in Australia, Baptist World Aid works in 24 countries with local Christian Partners. We support projects that fight poverty and injustice and empower communities. Not least, we encourage Christians to be generous in their giving. Last year, our work helped over 900,000 people as they emerged from poverty.
We currently have a number of opportunities to join our team of passionate, committed and prayerful people. Are you able to advocate for the world’s most vulnerable, and lead others in generosity?
To find out more about our current job opportunities and to apply through our website click here.
Philanthropy Specialist (0.6 – 1FTE)
You may have skills in relationship or account management, philanthropy or supporter-centred fundraising and are looking to use your skills to change the world. If so, this is your ideal role.
By building and maintaining established relationships with existing partners and key supporters, you will make a direct and significant contribution to ending poverty.
This role is open to candidates in any Australian Capital city and who are looking to work part-time (3 days a week) or full-time.
Church Partnerships Manager WA (0.6 FTE 3 days a week)
Join our National team of Church Partnership Managers and enjoy looking after Baptist churches in WA. You will build and develop strong, authentic relationships with Baptist churches and key supporters. In addition, you will enjoy opportunities to speak at church services and events, sharing inspiring stories and encouraging Christian communities to partner with us in our work. This role does require some work on Sundays, and some domestic travel.
You may be a pastor at a church, wishing to extend your service to God beyond your local community. Or you may be pursuing another career looking for an opportunity to step into a role where you can be an ambassador for the world you want to see.
Ethical Fashion Co-ordinator -Advocacy Specialist (1 FTE)
This is a rare and exciting opportunity to influence and manage the direction of on our influential Ethical Fashion Report. If you are an advocate with project management skills, interested in leading this project and growing the impact of our dedicated and passionate advocacy team, we want to talk with you!
Our Ethical Fashion Report is a highly regarded ongoing research project, keeping the fashion industry accountable and sharing results with ethically minded Australians. Management of this project includes company research and engagement, data analysis and report production, as well as campaign execution involving media and communication.
Mid Value Donor Co-ordinator
You will love creating connections with people and will be excellent at building relationships. You will be results driven and enjoy using your passion to influence others to partner in our work and therefore grow in their giving, you take personal responsibility to achieve and find ways to do this creatively.
You may be an Account Manager, a Relationship Manager a Client or Customer Relations expert or be working in a Donor facing role and wanting to take that next step.
Why Baptist World Aid?
Our team is made up of exceptional people doing important work. We enjoy a positive, collaborative vibe, and we have a lot of fun too. As a charitable organisation, we are able to offer salary sacrifice options to all employees, along with hybrid working arrangements and a range of other benefits.
Baptist World Aid Offices are located in North Ryde