Pastors & Leaders eNews - June 2023
Hi everyone and welcome to June Insights enews! This edition contains pastoral resources, good stories, info about equipping opportunities that will be helpful in your ministry and leadership, and more!
When speaking at Cardiff Heights Baptist Church recently I heard about a great initiative being offered by the church – Drive Through Prayer! In the mornings twice a week the signs go out and the prayer team rugs up to connect with people driving past the church (on a main road) and stopping in to request prayer. Stories abound of opportunities to pray and build connection with people and to see God answer prayer! What started in COVID has continued to become one of the things the church is known for in the community. How good is that!
We know that prayer is foundational, and so the question is: How is this reflected in the culture of my church? And how are we leading by example in it? I feel the need to regularly reflect on this in the context of our Association as well.
One of the ways we encourage prayer is through the Lets Pray Together quarterly e-newsletter which gives a brief daily point for focussed prayer on some aspect of ministry across our movement, including our affiliated organisations. With the added benefit of being a great resource for knowing what’s going on, and encouraging stories thrown in, its well worth committing to pray using it, and to encourage your church to as well. You can find the Winter edition here , and if you don’t currently receive it but would like to, please email email@example.com and let us know.
Strategic Priorities - Mobilising Healthy Churches
In May 2023 at The Gathering Incorporating the Annual Assembly, as a movement we affirmed our 2023-25 Strategic Plan. The Plan can be summarised in three priority areas: Developing Leaders, Mobilising Healthy Churches, and Partnering in Ministry.
The second of these priority areas is Mobilising Healthy Churches which incorporates Priorities 2-4:
- Increase the rate of multiplication of new congregations
- Support churches to navigate significant crises and move towards greater health and impact
- Advance engagement in holistic mission for, with and from all peoples, and across all generations
Check out the video for a look at what Mobilising Healthy Churches looks like on the ground!
FORM - Early Bird Extended
FORM is a place for church leaders, pastors, members of church communities, small groups, and anyone wanting to learn how to better engage missionally with their communities, families, colleagues and friends.
Due to the generosity of our partners for FORM 2023, we’ve been able to extend EARLY BIRD discounts for one more week!
But these discounted rates MUST end midnight next FRIDAY (7 July). After this, prices will increase by $20 per person.
Extra discounts apply for church groups of 5, church planters and simple churches. And travel subsidies also available. Jump on now to register you and your team!
State Youth Camp
STATE YOUTH CAMP IS COMING UP SOON!
September 22-25 we will gather as one massive camp of youth groups from all over the NSW/ACT And it’s not too late to join us!
Registration for churches is still open and you can register your church using the QR code attached. Tickets are on sale and the early bird ends soon so make sure you take advantage and rego soon! When you register your church to attend you will get access to our Coordinator page that is full of promo items, helpful camping hints, packing lists, worship playlists and everything you need to get your youth ready for SYC!!
What are some of the benefits of coming to SYC?
A camp for your youth group where all the logistics like food, activities, teaching, workshops, worship and safety and risk management are done so you can spend more time with your youth grabbing hold of those discipleship moments!
Speaking from the incredibly talented Sheldon Holmes (Wagga Wagga Baptist) and Ash Shipley (Skar Ministries) who will be sharing on our theme of “All Things New”
A chance to connect with other youth groups, camping in tribes and building relationships and partnership opportunities with other leader and youth pastors.
We want to make SYC as accessible as possible for all churches, so if you have concerns and questions please reach out and get in touch. There are scholarships, leader support, volunteer opportunities and travel subsidies and so many ways we can support your youth group to come and be a part of something bigger!!
Check out the SYC website for more info and to register!
A Masterclass in Evangelism & Discipleship with Ger Jones
Ger Jones pastors Vintage Church, Santa Monica. Planting the church in 2011, Ger, a lawyer from London, felt the call to reach people that others were not reaching.
Like most churches, the pandemic hit them hard, with an 88% drop in church attendance in the very transient city of LA. Undeterred, Ger’s strategy was to not focus on trying to get back those that had left. Rather, he saw this as an opportunity to reach those not yet in relationship with Christ. As a result, Vintage Church is now at 150% of pre-pandemic attendance across their four locations.
A master strategist, leader and church builder who skilfully interprets culture and has a heart for the lost, Ger brings his wisdom, proven strategies and practical application to the conversation on evangelism and discipleship.
For more information and to register click HERE
Advanced Creating Safe Spaces
Advanced Creating Safe Spaces – 9am – 5pm – Saturday 29th July 2023 (Hybrid – in Person at Macquarie Park or on Zoom) and your choice of either Saturday 12th August 2023 (Zoom) or Monday 14th August 2023 (In person Macquarie Park). For pastors, church leaders, Safe Church Teams and those who want to expand their knowledge and skills in this area of church ministry. Register HERE
We have conducted over 70 Creating Safe Spaces (CSS) workshops in the first 6 months of this year and have more booked for the second 6 months. But we still have space for more and are starting to receive requests for 2024. So please go to the CSS website to express interest in running a CSS workshop in your church. Click the “Host a Workshop” button. Further, you can register for one of our Zoom or face-to-face workshops at the CSS website. Click “Find a Workshop”. Also, you can purchase and complete the online module of our training via the CSS website. Click “Start Online Training” button. The CSS website is www.creatingsafespaces.org.au. In addition to English, we can deliver CSS training in Chinese and Korean language.
Cultivating a New Generation of Church Leaders
This month at our online Insights pastors and leaders gathering, we were joined by Sarah Alarcon, Director of the IMPACT Gap Year and State Youth Camp where she shared on the topic of “Next Gen Trailblazers – Cultivating a New Generation of Church Leaders”.
In our time together Sarah shared about the formidable challenge of effectively engaging and nurturing young adults, especially when it comes to fostering their leadership potential and tips on how best to begin identifying practical steps for engaging with and developing young adults. If you missed out on Insights this last month, visit our website HERE to view the recording for this session and other past gatherings.
Be sure to join us at our next Insights Gathering on Wednesday 26 July, more details coming soon.
Three Free Resources - Family Breakdown, Loneliness/Belonging, Singleness in the Family Centric Church
Recent publications around family breakdown, loneliness and belonging, and singleness in the family centric church may be of interest to you. Publica – a research and public policy organisation devoted to partnering with Churches and organisations to strengthen family and community relationships throughout Australia, recently held forums around the country with church and denominational leaders. Articles have since been published based on these conversations and other research data.
Broken Families, Broken Lives: The Challenge of Pastoral Care and Inclusion in the Church.
Presenting data on the prevalence and flow on effects of family breakdown, this paper identifies key pressure points within relationships, before turning to life in the church post divorce.
Belong Be Known and Be Loved
This report details the current crises of loneliness that many in our communities face, before discussing ways in which church communities are uniquely positioned to foster community and belonging.
Singleness and the Family Centric Church
Exploring the family centric model of church and the impact this has on people who are single. This paper invites us to have a more robust theology of singleness.
Find all these articles HERE .
‘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.
Central Baptist Church, located in Sydney’s CBD, is the earliest Baptist Church established in NSW. On 30 April 2023, they held a Baptism Service, which was a celebration of diversity, faith and unity. Here are some of the stories of faith from their Cantonese congregation.
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.