Pastors & Leaders eNews - September 2023

Hi everyone and welcome to the September 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.  

We are now under one month out from National Baptism Week 2023! It’s not too late to check out the resources on our Landing Page including courses designed around exploring faith and leading towards Baptism!

FORM

FORM conference 2023 is happening next week and its not too late to sign up for a day visit! Registrations for one day (Thursday 5 October) visits close this Friday, September 29 so make sure to head to the FORM website HERE to register now!

Let's Talk - Children and Baptism

If you have been involved with children and family ministry for any length of time you have probably asked yourself or been asked by someone about baptism and children. How old does someone need to be to be baptised as a believer? How do you talk about such a symbolic event with kids who are still developing their ability to think abstractly?

As part of National Baptism Week (October 15-22) we are inviting ministry leaders across the nation to have a conversation about children and baptism. It would be great if you are able to join the conversation!

Thursday October 19 1pm-2:15pm AEDT on zoom

Louise Bartlett (NSW&ACT) will share some historical and current theology and practice of baptism and children. Tracy Valentine (QLD Baptists) will share some reflections on baptising kids and the most common questions or challenges she has experienced.

There will also be some breakout groups to share stories, challenges, ideas and questions. Your contribution to this conversation is important for all of us. Children and young people are an important part of our faith communities and research continues to show that the majority of those who come to faith are under 18. Witnessing and experiencing peak experiences such as Baptisms contribute greatly to faith development, so this conversation is significant for all of us and our ministry contexts.

Please follow this link to register for this conversation on October 19

Register Here

Igniting the Evangelistic Spark: Mobilizing Communities & Maximising National Baptism Week

This month at our online Insights pastors and leaders gathering, we were joined by Karl Faase, CEO of Olive Tree Media where he shared with us about the heart of evangelism tied into National Baptism Week happening in October.

Karl shared with us insights, strategies, and stories that highlighted the transformative impact of evangelism within the context of National Baptism Week. He also shared some extra details about the exciting opportunities Olive Tree Media’s resources like Faith Runs Deep offer to empower our churches in evangelistic endeavours.

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.

Our next Insights Online Gathering will be held on 18 October, more details coming soon!

OurStory

‘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.

For National Baptism Week we are partnering with Alpha Australia to help kickstart conversations about exploring faith and baptism in your church. Check out this story of how City Youth in Penrith has benefitted from using Alpha’s Youth series to help their youth delve into faith.

If you have a story about how your ministry, church, or region is stepping into the Gen1K vision send an email to hello@nswactbaptists.org.au with more details.

Opportunity to Pray Together

Prayer is a continuous need and a spiritual discipline which as followers of Jesus we are called to participate in, individually and together.

We want to keep providing opportunities to pray together. The next opportunity is coming up online on Thursday 5th October from 7.45pm to 8.30pm. Please join us from wherever you are across our movement for 45 minutes of praying for God to move, bless, comfort and lead us in raising leaders, growing healthy churches and partnering together in mission.

To join us you can register for the Zoom HERE.

The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly

The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly will be held on Saturday 11 November 2023!

There will be some important business to discuss but our 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.

We will welcome Rev Dr Tim MacBride, recently appointed Principal of Morling College, as our keynote speaker.  We will explore stories from churches that are multiplying and raising disciples. And we will look at what we can achieve together when we work towards our shared goal and calling.

Register Here

Updated Safe Church Package Launch

We have been promising that they are on their way and now they’re here! 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 1pm to 2pm. Both will be held via Zoom and include Q and A.

Please Register HERE.

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.

Healthy Youth Ministry Framework

Our Healthy Youth Ministry Framework is a new tool designed to help you ensure the health of your youth ministry and identify areas that could use some work. With your help, we’ve been working hard for the last 2 years to clearly define healthy youth ministry and gather resources for youth pastors to use in improving the health of their ministry.

If you’ve responded to a survey, connected with a team member via email or in person, or helped us trial different formats, you’ve contributed to this work, and we’re so grateful!

After much testing and revising, the Healthy Youth Ministry Framework is finally ready to launch, and we’re excited for you to use it! We hope this tool will be a valuable resource as you look to strengthen your ministry.

You’ll start by reading the instructions and completing the survey. This should take you around 10-15 minutes. Once this is completed, you’ll receive some initial results and resources delivered to your inbox.

After this, a team member will reach out to help you understand your results, identify areas in need of growth, and connect you with resources to help in that area. We’ll follow up again in a few months to see how you’re going, and we recommend you use the framework every 12 months or so to help track your growth.

Now is a great time to use the tool as we begin to look towards the end of the year. If you get started on it soon, you’ll be able to use the results you get to help plan your strategy for 2024.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, rstuhr@nswactbaptists.org.au and click the button below when you’re ready to get started.

Healthy Youth Ministry Framework