Pastors & Leaders eNews - October 2022
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of sharing at the opening session of our FORM Evangelism and Church Planting Conference. 150 people were gathered to be encouraged and equipped in the task of evangelism and to seek God for his leading in multiplying and growing churches. I also recently spoke at the 3rd Anniversary of Graceway, one of our newer churches – the building in Sydney’s west was filled with people of all ages and 20 different nationalities, praising God together.
These gatherings have been inspiring to be part of! And they are but a couple of examples of the many ways God is at work extending his Kingdom among us. It is encouraging to see God answering the prayers of His people in these ways! As a movement we continue to hold before us our Gen1K Vision of 1000 Healthy Churches in a generation. This vision is beyond our own capacity but one we committed to together 11 year ago, in God’s strength, for the long haul.
Friends, we know that we are in a challenging season as we discern what it means to associate together as Baptist churches. Recommendations regarding this will be coming to our Assembly in November. At the same time, we do well to remember the clear leading of God that we have already discerned and, by His grace, given ourselves to in partnership – that is, to be a mission-shaped movement caught up in God’s unfolding purposes, impacting the lives of individuals and whole communities.
Let’s allow all these realities to drive us to prayer in the times ahead.
Director of Ministries
Nation-Wide Baptist Online Prayer Gathering (Tuesday 1 November 7:45pm-8:30pm)
Our previous Australian Baptist Prayer Gatherings have been so special to pray with people from our Baptist family around Australia, and we want to continue to meet like this as we bring our requests to our Almighty God.
We are having a special emphasis this time on praying for people in Australia and all around the world to meet Jesus, especially as we move into the Christmas season with the opportunities that provides. Given that the war in Ukraine is still ongoing, as well as the military coup in Myanmar, we will also be praying for peace in these countries. We will also be praying for those affected by floods in Australia and Pakistan, and for the 49 million people fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria, and whatever else God puts on our hearts.
Please share with those in your networks and set aside 45 minutes to join us in prayer on Tuesday 1st November 2022 at 7.45 pm AEDT. This is not just for Pastors & Leaders but everyone who is a part of our Baptist family throughout Australia.
You can register at http://crossover.org.au/praywithus
We said YES!!
What a year it has been for the State Youth Camp ministry with our return to onsite SYC at Cataract park in Sept. With 400 young people and leaders from 20 churches in attendance what an incredible time we had!
Although the weather meant we had a wet and muddy camp, the spirit of God was certainly at work in the hearts of our youth as Alana Palau and Eliseo Juan Ramirez brought teaching on our theme of YES and how we can say yes to Jesus, transformation, community and calling.
We witnessed powerful moments of young people making a first-time decision to follow Jesus, and young people stepping deeper into relationship with God. We also witnessed youth groups growing more connected with each other and with other churches, and we witnessed leaders, volunteer and crew empowered and released to serve and lead with a kingdom focus.
With amazing worship, fun activities, and thought-provoking workshops there many moments to celebrate!
Over the coming weeks we will be sharing more stories via our social media so please follow our Facebook or Instagram to hear more about all that happened at SYC22 and for early info on how you can get onboard for SYC2023!
Safe Churches Update
Our Creating Safe Spaces program is available to all churches to train church leaders and those working with children, young people and vulnerable people regarding safe church culture and practice. This includes in Korean and Chinese language. For further information or to book a workshop for your church, visit our website at https://creatingsafespaces.org.au/.
We are very thankful to God for Matt Lee joining us in the Ministry Standards Team as our Creating Safe Spaces Volunteer. Matt is a current Morling College student, along with being a pastor at his church. Matt will be working one day per week at the Ministry and Learning Centre supporting and encouraging our churches in Creating Safe Spaces training, among other things. Welcome Matt!
On the 1st February 2022 the 10 Child Safe Standards became mandatory in NSW. The Safe Church Health Check is provided by the Association and is strongly recommended to give your church confidence that policies, procedures, and practices are in place to meet these standards. For further information visit our website at https://creatingsafespaces.org.au/schc/ or call the Ministry Standards Team on 9868 9200.
Leadership Development Update from Craig
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”
One of the aspects of Paul’s ministry I love the most, is his constant focus on multiplication. When writing to the Ephesian church, Paul’s appeal is not that the apostle, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers DO all the work of ministry … it’s that they EQUIP people for works of service.
In the Discipleship and Leadership Development area, we’re seeking to help pastors and leaders constantly adopt a multiplication mindset – multiplying disciples, leaders and churches. Whether it be equipping pastors and churches to multiply:
- disciples through the ‘Building A Discipling Culture’ journey
- leaders through our regular Insights Monthly gathering and piloting the development of a ‘Leadership Pipelines’ in two of our churches with a view to making this available more broadly in 2023
- peace-making practices using the resources of Peacewise
- cultures that foster healthy approaches to mental health
we’re seeking to assist you in adopting Paul’s multiplication mindset.
Our multiplication mindset isn’t only for adults though. This mindset is foundational to our Children’s and Families Ministries (CaFM) and Baptist Youth Ministry (BYM). Both CaFM and BYM have held their annual state-wide camps and have seen God at work powerfully during these times. We’re looking forward to 2023 and believing these catalytic events will continue to be formative in the multiplication of disciples and leaders in emerging generations.
The presence of Christmas puddings at Coles tells me that the end of 2022 is rapidly approaching (where has the year gone?!?) and that for many of us, planning for 2023 is underway. Can I encourage you to continue to adopt Paul’s (and Jesus’) mindset as you look to further multiplying disciples, leaders and churches in 2023 and beyond.
Every blessing, Craig.
Connect 2023 - Leadership Development Opportunity
Leadership Development Opportunity in your region for 2023
Want to break down ministry silos and see deeper connection between teams? Looking for excellent training and equipping for those in Kids, Youth or SRE ministries? Are you wanting to work with other churches in your region for the common cause of seeing more people hearing about Jesus? Well Connect 2023 is for you. Connect happens regionally as a 1-day event hosted and facilitated by at least 2 churches with excellent content and experiences resourced from the Youth, Kids and SRE staff of the Baptist Ministry Team.
If you want to be part of seeing this happen in your region in March 2023 get in touch with Drew Harrison firstname.lastname@example.org . Let’s Connect in 2023!
BaptistCare warmly invites all churches and pastors to its Annual Member and Stakeholder event on Thursday, 10 November, starting at 2:30pm. The AGM will provide important updates on the incredible work of BaptistCare in the last financial year as well as provide insight into their work in the next 12-18 months. The event is open to anyone, and all are warmly invited to attend. It is an online event. For more information or to register to attend, please visit baptistcare.org.au/annual-general-meeting
HopeStreet Halo Ball
The BaptistCare HopeStreet Halo Ball raises vital funds for women and children escaping domestic violence. Since the first event in 2015, we have raised over $500,000. Together we have helped provide:
- Safe medium-term accommodation for over 330 women and their children
- Individual and group support programs and counselling for over 600 women and their children
- No-Interest loans worth over $566,000, giving women immediate access to finances
Through the vital contributions of pastors, individuals and churches, HopeStreet has offered support to hundreds of people like Brigit*. After reaching breaking point, Brigit took her three children and fled her abusive husband. She found BaptistCare HopeStreet and was provided with emergency food relief and then connected to temporary housing support. You can read more of Brigit’s story here.
Thank you for your ongoing support of women, children and families escaping domestic violence and who are rebuilding their lives. Please continue to give generously to this vital cause by donating here https://baptistcare.org.au/halo-ball-donate
The Halo Ball is on Friday, 28 October at The Fullerton Hotel Sydney. You are warmly invited to purchase last minute tickets by emailing email@example.com. For more information about the Halo Ball, visit https://baptistcare.org.au/haloball
Insights September & October 2022 Recordings & what's coming up
The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly
Message from Jamie Long, Chair of Assembly Council
The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly (Saturday 12th November 2022 – 9:30am to 4pm)
Connect with others in the Association, Celebrate what God has done and is doing among us & Collaborate to discern the will of God and to see the Kingdom become reality in our communities. At this Assembly significant decisions on several of the matters discussed over the last 2 years will be made through the voting process.
- Please take note of Notices of Motion received from 5 churches regarding female representation on Associations boards and committees.
- The motions and explanations from Assembly Council regarding Affiliation, Baptist Values and Marriage is also online. Please take some time to familiarise yourself with these motions and explanations before they are taken to vote at Assembly.
For more information and to register use the following link: The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly
The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly Prayer Gathering (Thursday 3rd Nov 2022 – 7:45 to 8:30pm)
In the lead up to The Gathering – Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly, we want to be committed to being reliant on the Holy Spirit and to humbly recognise God’s leading in all that is before us. This prayer evening is an opportunity to gather in corporate prayer for guidance and unity around the matters being discussed.
For more information and to register use the following link: The Gathering Incorporating the Ordinary Assembly – Prayer Gathering