Hi fellow Pastors!
Where Moses stood, “the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed” (Ex. 3:2). In that holy encounter, he was being summoned into an experience of leadership that he would rather not pursue. After all, he was tending his father-in-law’s flock of sheep, minding the task at hand, he didn’t need anything else to do. But suddenly, out of nowhere, God calls him to move from the placidity of sheep herding to the seemingly unfathomable task of leading a captive people through an exodus and onto a circuitous journey of liberation. Going from herding sheep to herding people is a tremendous personal shift. Everything in Moses’s bones told him he would rather just stay with what he already knew how to do: herding sheep.
As pastors we often find ourselves in circumstances not too different from Moses. How often do we prefer the familiar and the safe? How much do we prefer to remain with what is, with no inclination to move toward what is possible? How often as leaders of faith communities do we stay on the edge of our own Red Sea waiting for some miracle to occur before we even budge? Like Moses, only when we take the plunge of leading do we discover new capacities of self and of faith that were otherwise dormant or underutilised.
DEVELOPMENTS at the BAPTIST MINISTRY CENTRE
Pastors and Leaders’ Hot Desks. We have set up a couple of hot desks at the Ministry Centre for pastors to use when they would like an occasional alternative to their church or home offices or to spend time with some BMC team members. The desks are set up with phone, wifi connections, etc. So we don’t have too many turn up at once please contact Carolyn Altman to check their availability. She can be contacted on either firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 9868 9212.
Prayer Room. We have fitted out the prayer room at the Ministry Centre so it is more inducive for prayer and are currently setting up prayer stations so team members can more regularly withdraw for prayer. This room is also available for pastors and leadership groups to use for prayer or prayer retreats.
Ministry Standards Manger. We are sad to announce that Lynette Cain will be finishing up as our Ministry Standards Manager at the end of the month due to family commitments and the demands of this role, especially with the changing requirements emerging from the Royal Commission. Lynette has done a marvelous job in overseeing the Persons of Concern, Safe Spaces for our churches as well as the ministry standards. We will be putting some temporary measures in place while we determine the future oversight of this area of service for our churches.
REGIONAL MINISTER FOR MID-NORTH AND NORTH COAST REGIONS
It is with great pleasure I’m able to announce the appointment of Rev Pete Davies as the Regional Minister for the North Coast and Mid-North Coast Churches for the following 4 years. Pete has been appointed following an application and interview process involving two representatives from the Baptist Ministry Centre and 2 representatives from the region. This role is for one day a week and will start in the first week on June. Pete has recently relocated to the Coffs Harbour area and is planning to build a new home in the region.
We will conducting interviews for a similar role for the Western Districts over the next couple of weeks.
SHARING THE GOSPEL
David Milne recently completed some Australian based research which has highlighted that many believers will greatly increase in confidence and competence to share their faith if given the opportunity to learn the skills of transitioning from not only being a ‘Christian presence’ to becoming a proactive disciple maker. Critical to this is belonging to a team that is actively sharing the Gospel where they can be encouraged through prayer, problem solving, skills development and companionship to continue with multiplying disciples of Jesus. You can read the short article below:
MARRIAGE CELEBRANT REFRESHER
A marriage refresher course will be conducted at the Ministry Centre, Epping, from 9.00 to 11.00am on Friday June 24 as part of the celebrants’ training day for the Recognised Ministers. Any celebrants who have not completed a refresher over the past 5 years are encouraged to register. Celebrants can also register to do this online. Click Below.
FORUM with JAMES BRYAN SMITH
James Bryan Smith (author of The Good and Beautiful God) is coming to Morling on Friday May 27. He’s doing an open training/forum day. He’s talking about “Becoming an Apprentice to Jesus.” How can we adopt Jesus’ narratives about God for our lives? How does Jesus help us understand who God is and who we are as God’s children? How can we in turn, help people in our churches become full disciples of Jesus Christ? People can book online here.
INTERIM PASTOR from USA
We have been contacted by a pastoral family in the US who are considering a sabbatical in NSW in June-July 2016. They are seeing if there are any churches that may wish for some part-time interim pastoral support. They come from Knoxville, TN, and have been in ministry for 20 years . They are seeking an opportunity for their family to take an “adventure” and have some quality time together. Their children are 15, 13 and twin 11 year olds.
They are curious to see if there are any churches that may need an interim pastor for a few weeks? Or perhaps a pastor who is taking leave and their time here would match the pastor’s time away? They would be seeking a place to live, and possible access to a vehicle for six. You may listen to some sermons at http://mypleasanthill.com/sermons.
If there is such an opening, please contact Viv Grice on email@example.com
Baptist churches are invited (and encouraged) to take part in the sixth nationwide survey of churchgoers – the 2016 National Church Life Survey (NCLS). The survey will take place across Australia in October and November of 2016, the same year as the National Census. The NCLS aims to be a life-giving resource for churches, to nurture vitality, revitalisation and inform decision-making, as you seek to be part of God’s mission both locally and globally.As part of the NCLS, Baptist Churches will also be asked a special set of questions around Evangelism, Mission & Faith Sharing. These questions are aimed at giving both our association and your church a clear indication of our evangelistic temperature and how we might lift our evangelistic edge and faith sharing amongst our churches and as a movement.
We would also like to encourage churches to include children aged 8-14 in the NCLS for 2016. Please ensure that your church orders enough of the Children Surveys so that those aged 8-14 can participate and have their voices heard.
KIDS AT REVIVE
Are you or someone in your church coming to Revive and was wondering is there anything for the kids?
The answer is Yes absolutely!
The heartbeat of Revive – to gather, celebrate, be centered and enjoy our diversity – is for all ages! By bringing children to Revive, your kids will gain a vision and perspective of the wider church and their place in it. Revive is intentionally designed with both all age worship and workshops, as well as child specific sessions, so that your whole family can share in discipleship together.
Friday has a really fun program planned for kids from 1-5 years old. Everything from face painting, animal farm, stories, music, great games and toys to play with.
Saturday is geared towards 3-12 year olds. Together we will be exploring ideas around contentment in a wealthy world, a biblical mindset around responses to refugees and living compassionate lives. All delivered by incredibly talented, passionate people who love working with kids and know how to engage them.
As a family you’ll be able to pedal against poverty, create art and worship together.
On Saturday children under 3 are welcome to join the kids program if they have a carer with them.
There is also a Parents Room with live video and audio streaming from the main room if you need a space. You will be able to watch all the main sessions as well as workshops from Scott Higgins, Steve Frost and John Beckett.
So register your children at revive and give them an experience that will help you as you disciple them to live like Jesus.
SOME RECOMMENDED READING
Below are some recommended reading from our pastoral colleagues:
- Duane Elmer, ‘Cross-cultural Servanthood – Serving the World in Christ-like Humility’
- Lamin Sanneh, ‘Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West’
- Lesslie Newbigin, ‘Signs Among the Rubble: The Purposes of God in Human History’
- Scott Bessenecker, The New Friars: The Emerging Movement Serving The World’s Poor,
I’d welcome any other suggestions to pass on.
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.
Ken Clendinning – Director of Ministries