Pastors eNews - March 2019

Hi fellow pastors and leaders,

Welcome to March enews! I encourage you to take time to read it and in particular the information below about our new whole-of-movement event The Gathering on 2nd May, building on the success of Celebrate150 last year.

The events of last Friday in Christchurch are yet another reminder of the brokenness of our world. Whether atrocities such as this and the myriad of other human suffering hits headlines or not, we know that living ‘in between’ Genesis 1-2 and the New Creation is hugely painful, for much of humanity.  Add to this the way we humans seem to continually make life hard for ourselves by our propensity to reject God’s rightful leadership of our lives and the picture, of course, looks bleak.

Into this ongoing reality comes the hope of Easter! Jesus’ resurrection brings hope for the present and the future.  God’s new creation project is underway!  We of course look forward to that day when we will experience it in full.  We also sense the call to participate in it: “…Thy Kingdom Come, in earth as it is in heaven”.  I am often struck that the Apostle Paul finishes his great resurrection discourse in 1 Corinthians 15.  He does not say “So let’s celebrate the great future that awaits us!” – though of course we rightly do.  But rather he says (1 Cor 15:58): “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” We minister and lead in the present, in his resurrection power, seeing his Kingdom come, until that day we see the King face to face.

As you once again reflect on the Easter events and lead your community in celebrating them, I pray these realities bring assurance and hope to your life and leadership!


Steve Bartlett | Director of Ministries

7 weeks until The Gathering - 2nd May 2019


There are only 6 weeks left to register for The Gathering!

‘The Gathering’ is your Association’s new major event building on the incredible feedback received from the 2018 ‘Celebrate 150’ event. The Gathering is an opportunity to gather together and celebrate our movement of churches.

We want ‘The Gathering’ to grow you. To grow your heart for God and all He has called you to. To grow your passion for your local ministry and mission. To grow your connection to our tribe and what we can achieve together.

The Gathering is your opportunity to be connected, inspired, equipped and sent back to the local church, community and family, blessing them out of what you have received. It will follow on from our annual assembly on the evening of the 1st of May. The Gathering is for all the people in your church and is a great platform to inspire your people.

Don’t miss this exciting new format – make sure you put this event in your church calendar and be a part of something new.
More information will be sent in the new year and you can keep updated on The Gathering website 

For more information contact Kylie.

Update regarding National Redress Scheme

We are pleased to report that 87% of our churches have agreed to join the National Redress Scheme as part of our NSW/ACT Baptist participating group.

Thank you to all churches who have agreed to support this important initiative in supporting survivors of child sexual abuse.

We submitted our application to the National Redress Scheme in December 2018 and they have now advised that they expect we will be formally declared participants in the scheme in coming days.  This will allow historic victims of child sexual abuse to be considered if the abuse is in relation to a Baptist church who has opted in to the scheme.

More information about the National Redress Scheme can be found here

As yet we have not been able to put in place a way forward to allow Incorporated entities that are not churches into the Association’s Participating Group in the Redress Scheme.  We are still seeking a solution and will keep you informed as this progresses.

Please contact Jonathan Bradford if you would like any further information via email

Christchurch Shootings

Keith Jobberns, National Ministries Director, on behalf of Australian Baptist Ministries has released the following statement on the ABM website:

We join with our brothers and sisters in the Baptist Churches of New Zealand in condemning the attacks on the mosques in Christchurch. We stand with them in their statement, “The events that have occurred in Christchurch are horrific. The prayers of the Baptist movement are with the many victims and their families and friends.”

We support the National Leader of Baptist Churches of New Zealand, Charles Hewlett, who has travelled to Christchurch to be with the Baptist community there as they pray for the Muslim community and join in their lament.

We also join our churches in Australia with the New Zealand churches in their statement, “The Baptist Churches of New Zealand share grief with the Muslim community.  You should be able to practise your faith in peace.  We sharply condemn all hatred and violence.  We pray for you in your suffering.”

Volunteers Needed - Ministry Standards Committee & Divorce Sub-Committee

 The Committee for Ministry are looking for volunteers to serve on the Ministry Standards Committee and the Divorce Sub-Committee. If you would like to volunteer or would like more information please contact Jenny Casey. 

Drought Relief Update

An update on our churches in drought affected regions and how you can help

Since launching our drought appeal mid-last year, much has happened that we’d love to share with you! Firstly, almost $250,000 has been donated from across our Baptist movement to our drought relief fund! This is a wonderful display of support for those doing it tough in drought conditions.

We’ve heard many stories of the blessings experienced by people because of the drought relief fund. Here are just two of those stories from the Western region.

A non-Christian family was not sure how they were going to celebrate Christmas 2018, as all their resources were going towards keeping breeding stock alive. The local church gave them vouchers for food and petrol just before Christmas and their teary response was “Thank you for allowing us to have a Christmas for our children, thank you for caring. And maybe the church is ok!”.

A non-christian farming family wasn’t home, but the local church left a hand-made card and vouchers on their doorstep. The husband called the church and said“Thanks mate, really appreciate it. I don’t like to say we’re struggling, but these vouchers, you wouldn’t realise just how perfect their timing is”.

Thank you for being a part of these stories! Your generous contributions have helped local churches meet the physical, emotional and psychological needs of people in their local communities.

Requests for Assistance
If you attend a church that has multiple pastors and leaders, we encourage you to consider sending one of your pastors for up to two weeks to a church in a drought affected area. Some of these churches would really appreciate the teaching on a Sunday, and the support of having a pastor visit with the local community. If your church is able to send a pastor, please contact Kylie to find out more information

Crossover eNews & Easter

Crossover has partnered with Baptist Churches around Australia at Easter time for over 30 years now. 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.

Your State Leaders value the contribution Crossover makes as a catalyst and resource developer in evangelism, church planting and church revitalisation. In 2019 they have made a video for you to share with your congregation about the Easter Offering for Crossover. As the Easter Offering is Crossover’s only source of funding, it is vital to us as a movement to facilitate and support church leaders as you equip your congregations for mission.

We recognise that there are many demands on church finances these days, so we really appreciate the opportunity to partner with you as we seek to resource the body of Christ for effective mission.

Many churches take up the offering in the lead up to Easter, others over the Easter weekend. We have online giving facilities for both churches and individuals, so you can now forward the monies collected to us online if that’s easier than posting a cheque/EFT. Click the Support-Give tab to find out more. Please make sure your church Treasurer receives the Treasurer’s form posted to you / available here which also includes these options.

You can view the Crossover eNews here


Easter Resources

Crossover Easter video with Steve Bartlett

Sharing with non Christians

The other story of Easter video

The other story of Easter Sermon Guide

Revive Youth Nights

The aim of our Revive youth nights is to connect and encourage our youth ministries through teaching, worship and story. It’s a time to celebrate what’s happening around NSW/ACT as well as providing a tremendous platform for youth pastors and leaders to serve our wider movement of churches. By serving together we can reach over 2,000 young people with the message of Christ!

Our theme for 2019 is NOW and Currently we have confirmed the following events:

Hunter Region – May 24th
Central West – Bathurst – May 31st
Southern Sydney – Gymea – June 14th
Northern Sydney – TBD
Western Sydney – TBD
Central Coast – TBD

If you would like further details about any of these events, please contact Kathy Dwyer.
If you would be interested in hosting a Revive Youth night for churches in your region, please contact Steve Dixon.

New Resources for your Ministry

Mathew Kuruvilla – Church Without Borders

Mathew Kuruvilla has been the Senior Pastor of Parkside Church for over 30 years. Parkside Church is a diverse church, with people from over 60 different nations making it their home.

Mathew’s vision is to see people from all different ethnic backgrounds in our city come to know the Lord, and worship together as one big family of God’s people. Mathew is a Morling graduate with several years of experience in cross-cultural ministry, including time on board the OM’s ship Logos and ministering among various communities around the world.

Mathew is the author of ‘Church without Borders’. In his book he details the Parkside story and theologically engages with the need for multiethnic churches, offering practical suggestions to help build and nurture Christian communities of people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

Mathew is married to Savi and they have two adult children and a daughter-in-law. You can find out more about Church without Borders here.


New research text on Church Consultancy released

Congratulations to one of our church consultants, Ian Duncum, on the publication of The Impact of Church Consultancy (Wipf & Stock, 2019). His book follows the journey of ten churches who undertook consultancies and explores both the consultancy process and its outcomes. Consultancy churches overall had higher levels of vitality and thirteen times the growth compared with churches not undertaking a consultancy.

We value the role church consultancy can play in assisting churches to navigate to greater health and vitality, and for proactive reflection and development. Now this research has added clarity about their value, and how this may be further enhanced as we continue to seek to best serve the churches across our movement.

Dr. Ian Duncum has pastored churches and held denominational leadership (in church health) and research positions. He is part of the Baptist Specialised Consultancy Team and is also an intentional interim pastor, trainer, and mentor. Ian’s book can be ordered through or at a special launch price through


Vale Gladys Cleary - Global Interaction

Former Global Interaction Cross Cultural worker Glady Cleary died on Sunday 24th February 2019. Gladys and Frank Cleary served with the mission for 21 years across four different contexts: Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe and Philippines, and after their mission service both served on mission committees, most recently the Executive of Friends of Global Interaction Group. Gladys maintained an intimate walk with the Lord and a deep commitment to our global mission work. She will be greatly missed by many and our prayerful support is with Frank and family as they grieve Glad’s death. In 2003 Gladys published her autobiography ‘Glad and Glory’ and we are thankful to God for the deep truth of this title.

Balance Ministry Services - Limited Spaces Available

Balance Ministry Services provide accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, reporting and advisory services to Baptist Churches in NSW & ACT.

Their mission is simple: to support your ministry with accounting and bookkeeping services.

They offer fixed pricing and only work with Baptist churches and do not make a profit, so you get all the benefits of professional services at a fraction of the cost.

To find out more and to express your interest in these services please visit Balance Ministry Services is a ministry of the Baptist Association in NSW & ACT.

Position Vacant - Chef @ Kiah Ridge

Imagine working in a hospitality environment as part of a small committed team, where you have the opportunity to achieve a better work/life balance and use your skills for something with a real purpose. Know well in advance how many people are due in for meal service, at what time, and special requests and how long service would run for, with the kitchen typically closed by 8pm

Kiah Ridge Christian Conference Centre is an activity of the Baptist Association of NSW/ACT, with a vision to provide a venue and opportunities where people can ‘Connect with Jesus, and Experience His Community’. Located in Tahmoor 10 minutes from Picton, and 20 minutes from the Southern Highlands (Mittagong/Bowral).

We are seeking an experienced and skilled Chef that is passionate about food service and the transformational power of Christian Camping Ministry. The successful applicant will oversee all aspects of the delivery of food service at Kiah Ridge, ensuring delivery is to a high standard, within budget requirements.

This role is a full time position, with rotating weekend work. Flexible working arrangements, including part time commitments, are open for discussion. An attractive remuneration package will be offered in line with skills, experience and relevant Hospitality award.

A full role description is available to interested applicants. Applications should be submitted to the Site Director with a covering letter addressing the role description, resume, and at least 2 referees. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as applications may be reviewed prior to the closing date; and as such the closing date is subject to change without notice.


Further information, and a copy of the role description, please contact:
Site Director, Kevern Bawden on 4683 1111,


A Working With Children Check is a prerequisite for anyone in child-related employment. It is a requirement of employment that a ‘clearance to work’ in child related employment is obtained and maintained. Any fees payable are by the employee/applicant.

All employees are required to fully support and uphold the values of Kiah Ridge Christian Conference Centre, and its parent organisation the Baptist Association of NSW/ACT.