Welcome to the Pastor’s eNews

Hi fellow pastors and leaders,

In Colossians Chapter 1 we are reminded powerfully of Jesus’ supremacy over all things as our world’s creator, sustainer and Lord (v15-17).  We are also reminded that this same Jesus lives in us as his people (v27).  What a great encouragement as we engage with another year of ministry and leadership!  Jesus’ powerful presence indwells and enables you and I every moment of every day.  We are never left to our own devices or natural capacities.  God’s desire is to empower us for service in ways only he can; for us to know his close presence in every moment; to live and serve deeply apprehending Christ’s presence in us.  May that be your experience this year!

With these thoughts in mind, we stop with millions of people across the world to thank God for the life and ministry of Billy Graham, Baptist evangelist and pastor, who passed away overnight (21st February). We thank God for his faith, leadership and the way he allowed God to use him in such extraordinary ways for his Kingdom. Australia was significantly impacted by his ministry in the 2nd half of the 20th Century, and many Christians will point to one of the Billy Graham Crusades as significant in their own spiritual journey.

HAPPY 150th!

In 1868 a handful of NSW Baptist Churches decided to connect in an Association, to support and encourage one another in their mission and witness. That means this year our movement turns 150! That first grouping has grown into a movement of over 340 churches, significantly diverse in many aspects but united in our purpose to “Advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

This year we want to celebrate well the story of our past 150 years. We also want to be inspired by it to look to the future with energy, as we continue to press into the vision God has put before us. Some special ways of doing this are being planned, including significant new publications reflecting on our history, sermon/Bible study material, opportunities for prayer, and special events – the most significant one being Celebrate150 in May.


Celebrate150 will run in place of our Revive gathering this year. It will begin over early dinner on Thursday 17th May and that evening’s programme will include our Annual Assembly AGM. Then on Friday 18th we will gather for a day of inspiration and equipping, culminating in a final celebration rally for all ages in the evening.


Celebrate150 is a wonderful opportunity for people from across NSW and ACT and beyond to gather, reflect on our heritage, and be inspired as we head into our next 50 years together!


Le Montage, a fantastic venue in Sydney’s inner west.

WHO?: Everyone!!!

I encourage you to mark off the dates, plan to come and invite your church to be part of it too. You will receive further information in the mail in the next couple of weeks. You can also find out more online at www.celebrate150.org.au

Look forward to seeing you there!!


Changes at the Baptist Ministry Centre

We want to let you know of some changes to how things are organised at the Association.  Firstly, the staff of the Association are just as committed as ever to seeking to serve our churches and organisations.  In order to do this most effectively, we are making some changes…

  • The Association staff is now called the Baptist Ministry Team. While the building many of us function out of at Epping will continue to be known as the Baptist Ministry Centre, we are no longer referring to the “BMC Team”, as a number of staff (eg. our regional ministers, Kiah Ridge staff) work from places other than the BMC.
  • The term Ministry Support and Development (MSD) is no longer being used, and there no longer exists a “MSD Team” as such. Teams have been restructured around our Vision pictures which allows us internally to be more focused in serving our movement in line with our Gen1K Goal.
  • Jamie Freeman joins the Leadership Team of the Association as the leader of the Gen1K Mission Team, while continuing in his role of facilitating support for our church planting and pioneering work. The Association’s Leadership Team now comprises Heidi Tak, Andrew Palmer, Viv Grice, Ian Altman, Jamie and myself.
  • We are pleased to welcome Lisa Andrawes to the team in the role of SRE Consultant and Development Manager. Lisa will build on the great work done by Cheryl Clendinning in providing support for our 1000 SRE teachers across the state, and the development of our SRE curriculum and resources.  Cheryl will conclude her 10 years of service with the Association in April.

We will soon be reflecting these changes on our website and in other relevant material.

Call to Prayer for Religious Freedom Review

Australian society is facing rapid change and in the midst of this change is the issue of religious freedom. Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM) is calling on all of our Baptist family to be in prayer for God-honouring outcomes from the Religious Freedom review.

The Prime Minister announced the Terms of Reference for the Review on 14 December 2017. In undertaking its Review, the Prime Minister instructed the Panel to:

  • consider the intersections between the enjoyment of the freedom of religion and other human rights;
  • have regard to any previous or ongoing reviews or inquiries that it considers relevant;
  • consult as widely as it considers necessary.

The Expert Panel comprises:

  • The Hon Philip Ruddock (Chair)
  • Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM
  • The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC
  • Father Frank Brennan SJ AO
  • Professor Nicholas Aroney

The Prime Minister has asked the Expert Panel to report its findings by 31 March 2018. The Panel shall examine and report on whether Australian law (Commonwealth, State and Territory) adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion.

Australian Baptist Ministries combined with other denominations through Freedom for Faith to lodge a submission. The Association of Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT also made a submission to the expert Panel. Over 16,000 submissions were made to the Panel.

The Panel will report to the Prime Minster, with the report going to the Cabinet and presumably to the joint Liberal and National Party rooms for discussion.

Please join us in praying for the Panel in their deliberations and their recommendations to the Federal Government.

Marriage Celebrants Update


In case you did not receive the email, we have included information from NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages

Marriage Celebrant Newsletter February 2018

Wealth With Purpose – Stewardship Summit and Resources

In 2018, Wealth with Purpose is a running the Stewardship Summit 2018.  Wealth with Purpose has a passion for stewardship discipleship and to see Christians use their money to invest in eternity – see http://wealthwithpurpose.com/

There are three clear aims for the Summit:

More Money for Ministry – Your Church has a vision that God wants you to achieve.  This requires financial resources to fund it.

Maximise your existing resources – Whether it is your current revenue, buildings and other resources, these need to be stewarded well for maximum kingdom impact.

Provide financial discipleship – The role of leaders is to disciple their members to be God-honoring stewards.  Yet in Australia, 50% of the population live month-to-month and it now has the 3rd most indebted households on earth.  The advance of the Gospel is limited because of it.

The line-up of speakers come from throughout Australia and the denominational spectrum, including Pastor Matt Hunt, a Baptist pastor from CrossLife Baptist Church in Queensland.

The Sydney leg of the Summit is on February 28.  If you would like to find out more please go to their website http://wealthwithpurpose.com/events/ .

Invitation to input into pastoral health and sustainability survey 

The request below is being forwarded on behalf of Darren Cronshaw, pastor at AuburnLife Baptist Church in Melbourne.  It invites pastors to assist in a “Health, Sustainability and Effectiveness of Australian pastoral leaders” research project by completing an anonymous survey.

Please note that this survey is different to the National Pastors Health Survey, which the Association has been partnering with NCLS in over the past 2 years. The 3rd round of the National Pastors Health Survey will be occurring later this year.

As a Christian leader you have gained a depth of understanding about life, discipleship, ministry and mission. Knowing that, we would like to invite you to share some insights from your ministry experience in a brief survey focused on the health, effectiveness and sustainability of Christian leaders.

The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous. Just follow this link to get started: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/healthyleaders

Please feel free to send this link to others who you think may like to share their experiences.

A summary of the results will be made available to you when they are published later in 2018.  For more information about the ethical guidelines of the research or to enquire or comment on the research project please contact us. 

Thank you for assisting if you can.

Grace and peace, 

Darren Cronshaw- Pastor, AuburnLife Baptist Church,

Head of Research and Professor of Missional Leadership, Australian College of Ministries

E/ mailto:dcronshaw@acom.edu.au|   Mob/ 0438 136 287

Crossover e-news Jan 2018

Title: New Resources to kick off 2018
Link: http://mailchi.mp/crossover/enews-jan18


As you kick off 2018, there are some great resources and tools we want to make sure you’re aware of. We believe these tools – produced by both us and others – are valuable resources that will help equip both you as Church Leaders, and those within your congregations, to share the message of hope and forgiveness found in Christ!

We’ve also let you know how you can partner with us in 2018, to continue to resource Australian Baptists in sharing their faith, through our annual Easter Offering.

Global Leadership Summits held in Baptist Churches

A Global Leadership Summit will be held in two Baptist Churches this year. The below information is shared on behalf of Willow Creek Association Australia

The GLS is fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content from a world-class faculty at a convenient location near you.

We hope you and your team can join us in 2018 as we anticipate more than 5,000 leaders to gather across more than 25 sites nationwide, to inspire one another in vibrant leadership learning communities. 2017 was our most successful year yet and globally, the GLS engaged more than 400,000 leaders across 675 Plus sites in 128 Plus countries and 59 languages!

GLS events are held via videocast, presenting some of the most up-to-date, high-impact leadership teaching available anywhere in the world. Every year the GLS inspires and equips leaders with an incredible range of speakers who are leadership practitioners. The full speaker line-up will be released in April 2018. Please note: speaker line up is subject to change and not all speakers are shown at Australian locations.

GLS 2018 – NSW – Sydney (South)

Monday, October 15 at 9:00 AM → Tuesday, October 16 at 5:00 PM
Gymea Baptist Church, 2 Tea Gardens Ave, Kirrawee NSW

GLS 2018 – NSW – Sydney (West)

Friday, October 19 at 7:00 PM → Saturday, October 20 at 5:30 PM
Toongabbie Baptist Church, 180 Toongabbie Road, Girraween 2145


Changes to the SRE Team

For those who may not up caught up with the news – Cheryl Clendinning will be concluding her role as SRE Consultant April 13, and handing the baton to the very capable Lisa Andrawes.

To ensure all our SRE teachers are up to date with their authorisation please have them check the expiry date on their authorisation cards. If expiring (or expired) they need to renew. This means all teachers – both those who are new & those renewing, need to interviewed by you, as our authorising agent before you sign and file the paperwork away and have the information transferred on line to complete the authorisation process.

See the Baptist SRE webpage to find info for pastors, coordinators, teachers, curriculums and also about training.

The outcomes of the 2015 SRE/SEE Review are beginning to take effect and new procedures need to be in place by 2019. Your assistance in ensuring this valuable opportunity to share about the Bible and Jesus in our public schools is managed properly is very much appreciated.

Global Interaction Staff Vacancy

Global Interaction – our global mission agency – is hiring!

We are looking for a quality leader to fill the role of Partnership Development Consultant. This is a strategic, full time appointment in the area of communication, training and partnership, and is part of the wider Global Interaction team in NSW and ACT.

If you would like to know more, please contact our Administration Team Leader Ms Bu Lu Kareng – nswact@globalinteraction.org.au or phone our State office on 9868 9250

To apply please email your resume and cover letter to nswact@globalinteraction.org.au by Tuesday 27th March.

Mark the date!  Pastoral Development Days

Please find below a list of coaching, training and development days for your consideration. Use the links to find more information.

February 28 Wednesday 6:30 PM

Introduction to Life Coaching 

Level 1, 3 Carlingford Rd, Epping, NSW 2121 Australia


March 9 – Friday 9:30 AM

Coaching Mission Stream: Workshop 1 

Level 1, 3 Carlingford Rd, Epping, NSW 2121 Australia


March 11 – Sunday 9:30 AM

Simple Church Network Day 

122 Herring Road, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113 AU


March 22 – Thursday 9:30 AM

Leadership Development – Living as Christians in a Pluralistic Society 

3 Carlingford Road, Epping, NSW 2121 AU


April 5 – Thursday 9:00 AM

Leadership Development – Spiritual Retreat 

64 Mackillop Drive, Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153 AU


May 17 – 18 – Thu – Fri

Annual Assembly and Celebrate150 

38 Frazer Street, Lilyfield, NSW 2040 AU



Baptist World Aid’s 2018 advocacy campaigns!

Join with Baptist World Aid and the NSW/ACT Baptist Association for the launch of Baptist World Aid’s 2018 advocacy campaigns!

If you have a Catalyst group, a social justice group, or are interested in finding out how you and your church can advocate on issues of injustice in 2018, then we’d love you, or a member of your church, to join us. Throughout Feb and March, three launch events will be held in NSW (Southern Sydney, Northern Sydney, and the Central Coast). At these events you’ll be inspired and equipped to take powerful and meaningful action tackle poverty, modern slavery and domestic violence in your community, our country, and our world.

Find a Catalyst launch near you and register here: https://baptistworldaid.org.au/catalyst-launch-2018/


Crossover Easter Offering


Baptist Churches across Australia have been, for over 30 years, taking up a special offering at Easter for the work of evangelism, through the ministry of Crossover. Crossover is Australian Baptist Ministries’ agent for helping pastors equip people in the local Baptist church to creatively share the good news of Jesus, as they demonstrate Christ’s love in community.

For 2018, our Offering Video, brochure, how to give online and other resources are available online at: http://www.crossover.org.au/easter-2018/

Offering resource packs will also be sent out to churches in early March. Contact Crossover for a copy on USB via admin@crossover.org.au or 02 9868 9236

We greatly appreciate the opportunity to partner with you as we seek to resource the body of Christ for effective mission.


The Impact of Discipleship

by Travis Ryan (on behalf of the Action Group for Discipleship)

In answer to the usual question “how long have you been coming here?” asked at a recent membership night, one of our young adults proudly proclaimed “I think about seven months.” With joy and a touch of amazement someone immediately responded “Far out! Isn’t it amazing how God has transformed you in those seven months?!”

It was an appropriate response: it is amazing. Seven months ago this seventeen year old young woman had no relationship with God nor ever been into a church. Fast forward seven months and here she was now: believing, baptised, walking in truth, fully participating in the life of our church and marking that by becoming a member.

It has been an incredible journey for this young lady as her peers have included her in their community, invited her to their parties and shared their personal faith experience with her. As people in their twenties have shown an interest in her, asked her how she is going and continued to pray with and for her. As people in their thirties have taken her through Christianity explored, answered her questions and led her through the waters of baptism. As someone in their forties has prayed a prayer of commitment with her and gifted Christian reading to her. As a couple in their fifties has taken her under their wing, inviting her to join them for weekly family dinners as they share their love of Jesus with her.

This is a case study of intentional, everyday discipleship at its very best.  It has been exciting to be a part of it. It has been deeply encouraging to witness her transformation, and it causes me to desire more of the same in ever-increasing measure.

Can you imagine what it could look like across our churches to see this story multiplied out over and over and over again? A movement of discipleship rising up across our churches that sees lives transformed by the power of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God!

The Strategic Priorities adopted by our Assembly reminds us that we desire this very thing. Strategic Priority Three states plainly our priority to: encourage and support the development of a disciple-making culture across all generations throughout our Association.

Our Baptist Ministry Team are continuing to shape their support for churches towards this priority.  An action group for discipleship has also formed and begun to meet regularly assist in it’s implementation.  But of course it is in our churches, and our own lives, that the a discipleship revolution will really take root.  . We invite you to join with us in praying for a movement of discipleship and disciple-making in all our churches, and most importantly, to personally join us in being shaped and formed as disciples of Jesus who leads others to do the same.

Crossover Easter Outreach Video

Our role at Crossover is to support evangelism through Australian Baptist Churches. We have created a new video resource for Easter 2018 to help you communicate the message of Jesus and the gospel this Easter. In this year’s video Karl Faase examines a popular misconception about the purpose of the life and death of Jesus and suggests a more powerful, personal application.

This video is ideal for use in services or events over Easter, posted on your social media platforms, on your church website, and made available to church family to share it with their friends.

Find the video, sermon guide (coming soon) and Easter postcard invite resources at : http://www.crossover.org.au/easter/
Share the video directly on social media or with friends from: https://vimeo.com/254976316
Or contact Crossover for a copy on USB via admin@crossover.org.au or 02 9868 9236

What People Get Wrong About Easter from Crossover Australia on Vimeo.

Small Groups with Purpose Conference

If you are keen to build health in your small group ministry then you wont want to miss the Small Groups with Purpose Conference. Featuring Pastor Steve Gladen (Saddleback Small Group Pastor and SGN Founder). Speaking live in Melbourne June 14-16 – Sydney June 22-23.

The conference is brought to you by the Small Group Network and Tracey Ware (SGN Australian Leader). Register here-http://www.churchesofchrist.org.au/smallgroupswithpurpose

Please use these links to view videos outlining the event: