Hi fellow pastors and leaders,
Welcome to the latest Pastors eNews.
On Saturday 1st April we will be holding our Annual Assembly at Parkside Community Baptist Church. Over the last few years it has been wonderful to see how our Assembly gatherings have been transforming into key times of inspiration and intentional discernment of God’s will and purposes, in the context of an active commitment to our core value of being Relationally Committed. We come together, under God, to Shape the Future as we seek to understand and obey His will for us.
Also, shortly after the Assembly, 19-20 May, we will also be gathering for our annual REVIVE gathering. This year we will focus on seeing – Seeing the local and global need for Gospel ministry. REVIVE is a time where leaders can come and share with others in the Association. But it is also a time where every person in your church can come and be encouraged and inspired as they connect with others, worship, are equipped through speakers and workshops and hear stories of how God is at work across our state and territory and beyond.
So why are we focued on growing our times of gathering?
Above all, our gatherings are a response to God’s grace in our lives. Hebrews 10:19-21 reminds us of this grace:
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way he opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God…
The passage then goes on to exhort us as people of faith to respond in particular ways to the grace freely given us in Christ. I suggest these have special relevance for us as we gather together at Assembly and Revive:
1 Draw Near – Our gatherings help us draw closer to God
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Our assurance of faith in Jesus brought about by grace leads us to draw near to God. Our gatherings are firmly grounded in this desire to help you connect with God, to hear his voice and respond to his call. Time is set aside to reflect on what God is doing and were he is leading.
2 Hold Fast – Our gatherings help us stay strong in faith
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Often when we step out in faith, fear, uncertainly and doubt creep in. We ask ourselves “did we make the right decision?”. Gathering together is an opportunity to hear how God is moving in our movement, in our vision and in our goals. It is a time to reflect on what we are doing and why we are doing it so we can be refreshed to keep holding tight to what we have been called to, and to press further into it. We are helped in our faith walk and built up by co-workers in the Gospel.
3 Stir up each other – Our gatherings inspire us to greater things for God
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
The writer of Hebrews knew the importance of us being encouraged by each other as we seek to live out our faith. My dream is that our gatherings would be a time of inspiration and of spurring each other on in faith and ministry, and I think each year this becomes more of a reality.
So I encourage you to engage with our times of gathering, and hope you enjoy this months eNews!
Are you ready for Easter? Crossover Resources Update
We’ve prepared new resources for Easter 2017, including a new outreach video and new postcard designs, to help your church explain the message of Jesus and the gospel over Easter and perhaps invite some people along to church. We’ve also created new resources for helping you promote and collect the annual Crossover Easter Offering, as we partner together to invest in evangelism through Australian Baptists.
Farewell & Thanks Ian and Debbie Lowth
Kiah Ridge Conference Centre would like to share news of Ian and Debbie Lowth moving on from Kiah Ridge after 17 years of service.
Please join with us in praying for their new venture and re-settling near Port Macquarie. Their time concludes at the end of April. If you would like to pass on any message of thanks, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org who will ensure they are collated and presented at their farewell.
There are many projects planned for 2017 and beyond, and we would appreciate your prayer support especially in filling vacant roles in our catering team for a Chef/Catering Manager and other support staff.
Passing of Carol Taplin
Carol Taplin, wife of retired minister and former regional minister Bill Taplin, passed away earlier this month.
Please be in prayer for Bill, his family and their church as they cope with their loss.
The school year has begun and so too has SRE (aka Scripture) in our schools. This is a wonderful privilege that we have to partner with schools to complement their curriculum by providing children and young people the opportunity to hear about Jesus, and God’s big picture.
If you have anyone from your church involved in SRE (teaching or as a helper) please check that their authorisation is current.
Please note that if they are employed by a board, it is not the board or even the local church who authorises a person. If they attend a Baptist church then it is the Association’s responsibility to authorise.
Please go to https://nswactbaptists.org.au/baptistsre/ for more information.
2CH Prayer Diary
Please find 2CH PRAYER DIARY
Those who flourish in ministry are intentional about their well-being
Challenges are part of any ministry, yet some clergy thrive despite the inevitable setbacks. New research shows that their keys to success can be boiled down to a few simple strategies available to anyone.
Check out this great article!
Easter at Home is a faith shaping resource for families. 24 pages with ideas of things to do, passages to read and talk about. Designed to give parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles some ideas for exploring the gift of Jesus at Easter with the children in their lives. You can order copies here https://nswactbaptists.org.au/product/easter-home/ or watch a short clip to see what’s inside https://vimeo.com/206191689
Resources from Children Family Ministries: Courageous Conversations
The Most Common Factor In Declining Churches
Follow this link to an article from Thom S. Rainer that may be informative.
Making Property Serve Mission Rethinking the Church¹s buildings for the 21st Century
Please find attached details of a new book that may suit some churches.
Annual Assembly – Shaping the Future
Assembling to worship, pray, celebrate and discern
On Saturday 1 April 2017 we will gather as a movement to worship, pray, celebrate and discern together at our Annual Assembly. For more information and to register please visit: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/annual-assembly-2017/
Our venue will be Parkside Baptist Church.
Global Interaction Pastors and Mission Leaders Lunch
Baptist Ministry Centre – Wednesday the 5th of April – 12:00pm- 1:45pm
- Introduction to the 2017 May Mission Month Resources (Theme, Preaching ideas and videos)
- Catch up with Paul Gravitis and new directions in Orange Ministry
- Meet our newest workers from NSW/ACT preparing to go
- Matt and Shannon heading to Outback Australia
- Ally preparing for South East Asia
- Pete and Nomes preparing to serve in Central Asia
- Hear Updates and stories from our shared work among least reached people groups.
RSVP on 9868 9250 or email@example.com
Once again we come together to celebrate being one body in Christ.
Join us this year for Revive as we ‘See: Local and Global’. This year marks the first of 3 years focusing on
This year marks the first of 3 years focusing on mission. Everywhere we look, people are crying out to God, longing for the piece (and the peace) that will make them whole again. There are so many opportunities for us to share Jesus.
With our families. Our friends. Our next door neighbours. Our sporting clubs. Our backyard and our global yard. Come and be a part of Revive as we hear from a diverse range of speakers including Andrew Palmer, Omar Djoeandy, Tracy Trinita, Andrew Sloane, Belinda Lakelin and many more!
Register online at revive.org.au
Converge 2017 – Please Pray
Converge is a gathering of Baptist leaders who will spend two days in Canberra visiting politicians and talking to them about issues of justice that are important to us. A number of Pastors, along with the Director of National Ministries, Directors of Ministry from most Australian states, and staff from the Baptist Care network and Baptist World Aid Australia will come together from March 28-30.
Converge 2017 will focus on issues relating to violence against women, including domestic violence, violence in global supply chains and poor nations and violence experienced by refugees.
We would value your prayers for this important opportunity.