Hi fellow Pastors!
Welcome back after the Christmas – New Year break. I’m assuming most of you who are still in active ministry have had a break which I trust was a time of physical, emotional, relational and spiritual refreshment. Did you do any reading? I’d love to hear from you of any books that you could recommend to fellow pastors.
Over the past few months the BMC team have been called into a number of churches where there has been difficult tensions and disputes involving pastors and other church leaders or congregational members. Often requests to our team for assistance or intervention comes too late and deeply saddens us. One of the things we have noticed underlying much of this is that often there appears to be a movement away from our theological understanding as Baptists of what it means to be the church. Yet our doctrine of the church is one of the most significant marks of our identity as Baptists.
God calls us as people of faith in Jesus to be part of his Church. The Church is important in the purposes of God and I believe we need to take this concept of being the Body of Christ more seriously as we respond to our gracious God. The Church is called into being by God and its presence in the world is a work of his grace. I’m not sure we always reflect the covenantal nature of this reality in how we relate and express ourselves as the church.
In Christ, nor is any congregation meant to live to itself or just do its own thing. The emergence of the independent Baptist church in the nineteenth century is at odds with our historical Baptist understanding of the church. Let us not forget that it is God’s church, not ours, as he has initiated the call for us to belong. I will have much more to reflect upon and say about this in the future.
FURTHER CHANGES AROUND THE BAPTIST MINISTRY CENTRE
Continue to pray for Ray Wong our Financial Manager who has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and is undertaking treatment. With Heidi Tak also on maternity leave until June, we have made temporary arrangements for the next few months but would really appreciate your understanding and prayers.
I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Belinda Lakelin as the Evangelism Consultant for our Association. Belinda comes from the Illawarra area, though currently she is living with her husband and 4 children in Moranbah in Central Queensland, where he husband is working. Belinda will be commencing her role this week from Queensland and the family will move back to the Illawarra in April.
This is a part time (2 day) role and Belinda will be responsible for promoting and helping to develop increased local mission and evangelism engagement amongst our Baptist Churches. She has a passion for sharing Jesus with non-believers and equipping others to do likewise. Belinda has a background in teaching, computer programming, business systems and project management. However, more importantly she brings extensive experience in personal evangelism while also developing a broad range of church and non-church based evangelism strategies. She is currently completing a Grad. Dip in Divinity.
BAPTISTCARE HOPESTREET URBAN INTERNSHIP
BaptistCare HopeStreet, in partnership with Morling College, has reignited the Urban Internship, which will launch in January 2016. The Internship is designed to provide training and experience in urban mission combining a unique blend of community development and ministry. Each Intern will work alongside the HopeStreet and Woolloomooloo Baptist Church (WBC) teams while undertaking a Diploma of Christian Studies at Morling College. For further information please contact Matt Young, HopeStreet Missional Services Manager, on 9023 2576 or via MYoung@baptistcare.org.au.
2016 YOUTH PASTORS CONFERENCE
Leadership matters, and without a doubt the most significant and lasting aspect of leadership is character. Unfortunately we can spend a lot of our time developing the skills and techniques of leadership, at the expense of character. So how does one grow in Christ-like character as we serve the church?
The 2016 Youth Pastors Conference is focused on building Character in Long-Term Leadership, and will be held at the Oaks Pacific Blue Resort in Port Stephens. Over the 3 days of the Youth Pastors Conference, Bill Brown (Senior Pastor at Syndal Baptist Church for 39 years), will share with us both from the Scriptures and his experience how character is developed and why it matters. If you, one of your team members, volunteer youth leader, or someone you know of who benefit from such a conference, please contact Daniel firstname.lastname@example.org as there are day visitor options available.
Can we please ask for your prayerful support during this time of investment in our young leaders?
IMPROVING YOUR GENERATIONAL IQ
According to Haydn Shaw in his new book, Generational IQ, generational differences are a challenge for us in the church as well as in the workplace. Understanding these differences as pastors may help us to better engage the various generations within the congregations we pastor. Asking different and better questions may impact some of our ministry approaches, both for those already part of the congregation and those whom we may be seeking to connect with. An interview with Haydn about the contents in his book can be found at https://www.faithandleadership.com/haydn-shaw-churches-need-improve-their-generational-iq?utm_source=FL_newsletter&utm_medium=content&utm_campaign=FL_feature
If you also have an article or link that you would like to share with your colleagues in ministry, please pass it on so that I can include it in further newsletters.