Pastors & Leaders eNews - October 2023
Welcome to October23 Insights eNews!
There have been celebrations across many of our churches over the last couple of weeks as people from all walks of life have testified to the saving work of Christ in their lives as part of National Baptism Week. For others it was the prompt to begin the journey of preparing for Baptism in the future.
We know God has been at work and we encourage you to share any stories, photos or videos so we can be encouraging each other with these. Crossover Australia are collecting them here: Crossover Baptism Stories
Let’s be continuing in prayer that God will continue to work in all those who have followed him in obedience in this way! More, Lord!
For more encouragement, resources and news of what is happening across the movement, please read on.
The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly
The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly will be held on Saturday 11 November 2023!
Our major focus during this Gathering will be the impact of leadership investment to increase the number and diversity of leaders to meet the demands of our God-given Goal of 1000 Healthy Churches in a Generation. Newly appointed Principal of Morling College Rev Dr Tim MacBride will be delivering a keynote address and we will be hearing from churches across our movement that are multiplying and raising up disciples.
There will also be some important business to discuss including the approval of a revised pastoral Code of Ethics and Conduct and Procedures for Handling Allegations. There will also be a brief update report from Assembly Council following the Way Forward motion passed at the May 2023 Annual Assembly regarding Affiliation, Baptist Values and Marriage. Please note that in previous comms a proposed motion from Tamworth Baptist Church was missing from the initial Notice of Assembly. Since then, Tamworth has advised that they will no longer be bringing their motion to this Assembly.
Delegate and Alternate Delegate registrations for Assembly close at 9:00am on Saturday 4 November so be sure your church registers soon using this link:
Urgent Update on Middle East Crisis - Message from BWAA
Together we’re grieving the violence that is causing immeasurable suffering, and mourning with those whose loved ones have been killed or are being held captive. We’re distressed for the one million people who’ve been displaced, and all those innocent civilians living in fear across the region today.
We need the help of our Baptist family. Donations will enable our local Christian Partners to provide urgent assistance to families affected by this conflict as soon as possible.
Baptist churches across Israel and the Palestinian territories, including Gaza Baptist Church, have requested fervent prayer for peace. ‘Let us follow paths of peacemaking that unequivocally reject terrorism or any acts that target civilians,’ the Baptist World Alliance said, in a statement on behalf of churches in the region, ‘Let us generously provide help and support with the compassion of Christ.’
Please join us in praying for peace, hope and security for the entire region, so all can enjoy fullness of life as he intends. We’re yearning for the day the prophet Isaiah spoke of when swords will be beaten into ploughshares. (Isaiah 4:1)
New Team Leader - Youth & Young Adults
It is with great excitement we announce that Sarah Alarcon has been appointed as Team Leader – Youth & Young Adults Ministry with the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT.
In addition to Sarah’s considerable experience in youth ministry within the local church context, Sarah has also served as State Youth Camp Director since 2018 and IMPACT Gap Year Director since 2021. Prior to these ministries, Sarah’s work with Youth For Christ as the Internships Coordinator saw her invest significantly in the lives of many young adults.
Please join us in upholding Sarah in prayer as she provides leadership to this strategic area of ministry among Baptist churches.
Standards Lunch and Learn
As a reminder, we are excited to invite you to the launch of the updated Safe Church Package and Safe Church Health Check Application at the start of November! Please join us on either Wednesday 1st November from 8 to 9pm or on Thursday 2nd November from 1 to 2pm. Both will be held via Zoom. We will be outlining the headline changes to the package and application documents as well as providing good time for your questions. We will also be making the updated package and application available prior to the 1st, so keep an eye out on the resources tab of the Creating Safe Spaces website accessed HERE.
Please register for the sessions using the link below
These documents are an important element of how your church keeps kids, young and vulnerable people safe and remains compliant regarding relevant legislation. So we encourage you to please take the time to be there and bring members of your church leadership and Safe Church Team.
Morling College Open Night
Morling College is hosting their final Open Night of the year on 2 November and it’s not too late to register! We encourage you to share this event with your churches and especially anyone interested in future study to get a taster of what it’s like to study at Morling College and discover all the possibilities for academic and spiritual growth.
For more details visit their website:
IMPACT Gap Year
Discover more about the 2024 IMPACT Gap Year by joining us at our next open night on November 2nd 6:45pm @ Morling College.
Share this invite with your 17-21 year old’s as you encourage them in their faith journey as young adults or why not come along to open night with them.
There’s so much encouragement from gathering together! With Connect 23 leaders from 90 different Baptist churches gathered across 10 regions and have shared the positive impact it ahs had in their local community as well as their region. Connect brings inspiration, equipping and encouragement to leaders involved in ministry with children and young people. Connect 2024 is for all those serving in youth ministry as well as SRE, kids and family ministry. Connect is a day of high quality input and the opportunity for deeper engagement with other leaders in a similar ministry area to you.
Mark McCrindle will bring the keynote on Gen Alpha and Gen Z – who they are and what that means for ministry with them today. A variety of workshops with practical tools to use in your youth group, SRE classroom or ministry program will also be part of the programme. Alongside the excellent input is the opportunity to connect, worship together, share resources and ideas that make a practical difference in your local ministry to children and teens.
Connect 2024 is planned for a region near you in March and May 2024. We are excited by the potential of sharing time together across generational ministries! Find out more here
Discipleship - Where Everyone Gets to Play
At our Insights October Session, we heard from Tim Piesse, Discipleship Pastor from Crossway Baptist Church, he shared about transformative insights on discipleship including practical strategies that ensure every person in your church not only becomes a disciple but also a disciple-maker. Tim was also able to share insights, strategies, and stories that highlight the transformative impact of discipleship within the context of National Baptism Week.
If you missed this session, take some time to listen to the recording now.
FORM 2023 Evangelism & Church Planting Conference
FORM 2023 was an incredible time of equipping and fellowship. 170 delegates from churches across NSW & ACT gathered together and we heard from Jason Elsmore, Director of the Queensland Baptist Movement, on what it means to be FEARLESS in our mission and ministry. Time was also spent sharing FEARLESS stories, developing our practical skills in workshops, and building rich community. Stay tuned at 4m.org.au for details on FORM 2024.
State Youth Camp
What a fabulous time we had at SYC23. If you missed out this year, check out our highlight video by clicking the image below.
It was really wonderful to see ongoing discipleship in local churches and we are so excited to hear stories of youth being Baptised in their local church. If you have youth being Baptised in the coming weeks, please send us a photo (with parents’ permission) and a short story, we would love to share them in the next newsletter.