Pastors eNews - May 2019

Hi fellow pastors and leaders,

Welcome to the May edition of enews!  In this edition we recap the exciting events of last week as our movement came together for our Annual Assembly and The Gathering last Thursday 2nd May. Info about upcoming events, an update from Baptist World Aid Australia about the Mozambique cyclone emergency and other important news are also part of this edition. I trust it is helpful for you and your ministry.

As I write this our federal election is less than 2 weeks away. I imagine many of us are reflecting on how we might best help both ourselves and people in our churches work through how they will vote. By this I mean not simply ‘who should I vote for?’, but how do I ensure my Christian values and convictions guide my voting decisionsWhat should I think through and how do I weigh it all up?

I have been encouraged to see good resources being produced to help with this from across the Christian community.  Let me mention just a couple by way of example.  Andrew Palmer (our State Director for Global Interaction and part of our Association’s Leadership Team) has hosted a series of podcasts entitled How in God’s Name should I vote?  – see These engage guests from across the Christian movement in Australia and are designed to help Christians engage in the political process in intelligent ways that support the common good, share the reasons for our faith in sensible ways and remain true to an orthodox vision of evangelical faith.  EternityNews has significant resources on its website including an article by John Dickson entitled How to vote Christianly. You’re probably aware of other resources as well, or may even have written material yourself for your own local context.

Let’s be in prayer for the election and for our country at this time.  Let’s pray that as God’s people we may all seek His leading as we exercise our vote, giving thanks to God for the freedom we have to do so.


Steve Bartlett | Director of Ministries

What happened at The Gathering


The Gathering is our new event, born out of the success of Celebrate150 in 2018. It was held on 2 May, and designed for everyone in our Baptist movement to connect, engage, be challenged and inspired as we serve and follow Jesus. The theme for 2019 was Mobilising our Movement.

The day included input from a range of passionate, experienced speakers. Videos and audios of each of these talks can be found here. The 8 ‘Ted Talk’ style messages delved into different aspects of our theme.

Tim Piesse from Crossway Baptist Church in Victoria shared with us around building a disciple making culture and later with a call for people to be mobilised for disciple making. Jess Wiles from Epping Baptist Church shared around the topic of building community in the context of church. We then had our funny bone tested by Nathan Ranclaud (Uncle Nath) who gave us an example of connecting with the local community through comedy. Jenny Allen from Mayfield Baptist heated things up with a message on the heart of mobilisation for discipleship. Justine Toh from the Centre for Public Christianity explored how to be mobilised in a complex world followed by Susy Lee from Baptist World Aid Australia who gave us some good news and helped us to be ‘mobilised for mission’. Anna Phan from Erina Baptist Community Care challenged around living out faith in your workplace and then the afternoon was wrapped with an inspirational message by Ken Kamau from Earlwood Baptist Church.

Beyond the content of the messages The Gathering provided an amazing space for people to connect with each other, support each other in prayer and hear that God is doing in our movement beyond their local church.

A series of short video stories were shown and can be found here. These videos tell the stories of everyday heroes in the Baptist community and will hopefully inspire you in your ministry and faith.

The Gathering was supported by several sponsors who deserve a mention both for their financial support and also for their engaging and educational exhibitions at the event.  These include BaptistCare, Baptist Financial Services, Baptist World Aid Australia, Morling College, Global Interaction, Soltura, Baptist Historical Society, Integricare and Open Doors.

Thanks to all who were part of this special day.  Planning is already underway for The Gathering 2020! 

What happened at our 2019 Annual Assembly

On Wednesday evening 1 May over 250 people from across our movement gathered at Le Montage at Lilyfield to share in dinner and our 2018 Annual Assembly.

Inspiring stories were shared from across our movement, and the activities of our Association and its Affiliated Groups over 2018 were highlighted in the Annual Report. The 2019 Church Partnership Support Budget Target of $1.6m was affirmed. 15 Accreditation candidates were approved to become accredited. Others’ applications for transfer on to our Accredited list were also affirmed, and some names were removed from the accredited list. Minor changes to our Accreditation Guidelines and ministers Code of Ethics and Conduct were also affirmed.

We continued our conversation (begun at Assemblies in 2018) around what Affiliation should mean for us as churches. Papers were available in the Assembly Guide. Small groups discussed aspects of what an Affiliation Fee process could look like. This feedback will be collated and considered by Assembly Council and a proposal brought to our September Assembly. We also introduced a discussion around how the convictions of the need for a shared commitment to common beliefs/ values, and the value of Freedom of Conscience, are to work together in the common life of our movement.

You can download the Annual Report, Assembly Guide and other documents presented to Assembly here.

For the first time, we had an additional venue for Assembly operating in Canberra at Mosaic Baptist Church.  People connected via videolink with the main venue and participated fully in the Assembly.  We look forward to continuing to use this technology to activate additional venues at assemblies in the future, facilitating increased participation by people in regional areas.

Pre-Election Update from Freedom for Faith – Religious Freedom in Australia

Freedom for Faith (FFF) is a Christian legal think tank that exists to see religious freedom protected and promoted in Australia.  Australian Baptist Ministries, our national Baptist body, is a partner organisation of FFF.

FFF prepared an extensive submission for the Ruddock Review into religious freedom last year which formed the basis of our Association’s own submission to that review.  The recommendations of the Ruddock Review were released publicly late last year and the current government has referred them to the Australian Law Reform Commission for further consideration.  It will be some months before the ALRC finalises its review and recommendations for legislative change.

In the meantime there is an election, and Freedom for Faith has sought clarity from political parties on their positions concerning a number of the significant questions around religious freedom in Australia. These include the capacity of faith-based schools and other educational institutions (including theological colleges) to hire staff who share their beliefs and values, and their response to the implementation of the Ruddock Review recommendations.

The responses of the major parties and other relates helpful articles are now on FFF’s website – see

Religious Freedom is of course not the only issue of importance for Christians to consider as they prepare to cast their vote – see the resources I refer to in the introduction to this enews.  However it is a significant one, and people across our churches are seeking clarity from our political leaders on their positions as we approach the election.  These FFF resources are helpful in this regard.

New Safe Church Coordinator

We are very pleased to have Craig Thacker joining our Baptist Ministry Team from 6th May in the role of Safe Church Coordinator.

Craig will be working closely with our Ministry Standards Manager Jonathan Bradford and our Creating Safe Spaces Coordinator Joseph Lam, in the areas of Creating Safe Spaces training, assisting churches with Persons of Concern risk management, as well as coordinating the Safe Church Health Check which we plan to launch in coming months.

Craig comes to us from the Salvation Army safe church team and has significant experience in this area.

Craig can be contacted on

Crossover – Thank you to Churches & Treasurer’s Info

Crossover would like to say Thank You for your partnership and investment in evangelism through the Crossover Easter Offering. We have created a Thank you Image to pass on our appreciation to your congregation if you took up an offering for Crossover at Easter. You could include it in a bulletin/newsletter, on a power point presentation, or online as you like. You can download it here:

If your Church Treasurer/Administrator is looking for information about what to do with your Offering, please click here to refer to the Treasurer’s Form:

Revive Youth Nights

The aim of our Revive youth nights is to connect and encourage your youth ministry 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!

Please be in prayer for our upcoming Revive Youth Events. We have 7 events over 3 weeks across NSW. Pray for the host teams, speakers, worship bands & for the youth that will come, that they will be open to hearing the gospel that is presented. 

Our theme for 2019 is NOW, please make sure that your youth ministry are aware of the details below for their closest event;

Friday May 24th

Revive Hunter – Belair Baptist Church- 7-9pm Contact Lysander Lawrence 0421 722 698
Revive Central Coast -Narara Valley Baptist Church – 7-9pm Contact Luca Croce
Revive Narrabeen – Narrabeen Baptist Church – 7-9.30pm Contact Daniel Leach

Friday May 31st

Revive Western Sydney – Windsor District Baptist Church – 6.30-9.30pm Contact Mick Pope
Revive Bathurst – Bathurst Baptist Church – 7-9.30pm Contact Jayson Fox

Friday June 14th

Revive Northern Sydney – Thornleigh Community Baptist Church – 7-9.30pm Contact Emma
Revive Southern Sydney – Gymea Baptist Church – 7-10pm Contact Matt Willis

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.

Jo Saxton Leadership Conversations

Author, speaker and pastor Jo Saxton will be in Sydney on 25-26 July, sharing with us her insights on leadership in the 21st century. I encourage you to bring your leadership teams along to both days for the Jo Saxton Leadership Conversations.

Thursday, 25 July will focus on young adults and emerging leaders. Friday, 26 July focuses on experienced leaders and women in leadership.

For more information, visit


Thursday, 25 July Friday, 26 July
Northside Community Church Morling College
Food stalls available
$90pp all day, includes morning tea and lunch
$40pp afternoon only
6:30pm – 9:00pm 9:30am – 4:00pm all day
2:00pm – 4:00pm afternoon only



If you would like further details about any of these events, please contact Steve Dixon or Kylie Hood

FORM - 18 to 19th October

As an association we are committed to the goal of 1000 Healthy Churches in a Generation or GEN1K. Form is a two day festival of ideas, storytelling, masterclasses, networking, team building and much more. Form will shape evangelism and church planting in the Baptist Churches of NSW and the ACT as we see a movement of a thousand healthy churches in a generation.

Community: Join a community of creative and innovative people who are committed to seeing individuals, culture and churches formed in, for, with, Christ.
Collaboration: Collaborate with your team or other experienced practioners on challenges and opportunities in advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word, sign and deed.
Coaching: Get one on one coaching from experienced transformissional coaches and leave the conference with a clear roadmap for what’s next.

18 – 19th October

Adult (Subsidised)    $92
Adult                       $162
Adult (Day Rate)       $72
Child                         $25

Venue: C3 Spectrum4310 Nelson Bay Rd, Anna Bay NSW 2316

Oaks Pacific Blue Resort, Salamander Bay
Shared room $65.00
One-bedroom apartment $130.00
Two-bedroom apartment $185.00
Three-bedroom apartment $265.00

Register Here


If you would like further details about any of these events, please contact Jamie Freeman

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.

Baptist World Aid Australia - Cyclone Emergency in Mozambique

Last week we sent out an urgent prayer request regarding Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique. Below is a statement from John Hickey the CEO of Baptist World Aid sharing about the Baptist response to this disaster and the continuing prayer needs.

Photos from KFHI of the aftermath of the Mozambique Cyclone Idai and emergency response. Access all of the resources in this collection at

When Cyclone Idai cut its path across southern Africa less than two months ago, Australian Baptist churches generously helped us raise more than $200,000 to stop the rising death toll. Your kind donations helped deliver clean water, food and shelter to survivors… where it’s needed most.

But now the situation in Mozambique is even more dire. A second powerful storm, Cyclone Kenneth, has since made landfall in Mozambique. Whole villages have been flattened. More than 20,000 children, women, and men have been left homeless.

It saddens me greatly to write to you again so soon, with such terrible news. But I’m writing because children, women, and men are once again in urgent need of the church’s loving assistance.

You have already shown great kindness towards some of the most vulnerable people in this broken world. Thank you so much for your compassionate generosity.

In the weeks ahead, thousands of survivors will return to their homes to find there is nothing left. And, again, they will be forced to fight for their lives.

Please encourage your church family give generously to save the lives of children, women, and men in the wake of these cyclones.
Direct them to: Or call 1300 789 991.

Thank you for kind compassion towards survivors of disaster. Thank you for all you do to demonstrate the love of Jesus to families who are in desperate need.

Yours in Christ,

John Hickey
CEO, Baptist World Aid


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.

My Community Project - $20,000 to $200,000 Grants Available

Have you got a great idea to improve your local community?

My Community Project is a NSW government funding program that is all about local ideas, local projects and local decisions. Applications are now open for grants from $20-$200k. Project applications are closing on 15 May. You can find more information on My Community Project here.

Unincorporated churches who wish to apply will need to be sponsored by the Baptist Churches of NSW Property Trust who can be contacted by email at