Welcome & ‘Celebrate 150’
Hi Pastors and leaders,
It was Matthew Henry who said “When God intends great mercy for his people, he first sets them praying.”
At our Assembly in September we made a renewed commitment as a movement to prayer, seeking God to move among us in transformation and renewal. One of the first practical tools to help in this has been the Pray@1102 initiative, based on Luke 11:2. It invites people to stop each day and pray for God’s Kingdom to come among us.
Since then, literally hundreds of people have already signed up for daily text, email or social media reminders, and are engaged in praying specific prayers every day around the theme “Your Kingdom Come”. Thousands of people across our churches have already taken bookmarks to help engage them in the commitment to pray.
This is very exciting, and I believe it’s just the beginning. In this enews are more details of how to connect with the Pray@1102 initiative. Further ways to support your church in focusing on prayer in a way that can be customised for your local context are on the way too. And if your church is doing something specific around prayer, then I’d love to hear about it, so we can share it with others.
Prayer is in our heritage as a movement. 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. Their first decision was to meet monthly to pray.
That means 2018 is our 150th birthday! Next year we want to celebrate the story of our past 150 years, and also 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, but I want to particularly let you know about the highlight event – Celebrate 150 in May.
Celebrate150 will run in place of our Revive gathering next 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 celebration, inspiration and equipping, culminating in a final celebration rally for all ages in the evening. The location will be Le Montage, a fantastic venue in Sydney’s inner west. More info and promotional material is coming your way soon but can I encourage you to mark off the dates, plan to come and join the celebration and invite your church to be part of it too!
Finally, also in this eNews is a letter from me around our ongoing financial partnership in advancing the gospel of Jesus. Could I ask you to have a read and consider how your church might respond, both now and in the year ahead. God is at work across our churches and we want to continue to be able to support our churches in the best way possible.
Thanks for all you do to lead and shepherd in your church context. I’m praying that as the end of year & Christmas season approaches there may be many fruitful opportunities for you and your church to advance the Gospel of Jesus in word, sign and deed.
Next year it’s 150 years since a handful of Baptist Churches got together and made a decision to meet together on a monthly basis to pray. And that was the start of our Association in NSW & ACT which now has over 330 Churches – it all started with prayer! In the lead-up to celebrating these 150 years together we believe that God is calling all of us to pray and to have a renewed commitment to prayer both individually and corporately. Any time in the past that God has moved by His Spirit to draw people to Himself, when disciples have been made and lives have been changed, when Churches have been transformed and new Churches have been formed, it has been accompanied by prayer.
Jesus calls us to be persistently prayerful and to align ourselves with His Will and His purposes. In Luke 11:2 Jesus teaches us to pray “Your Kingdom Come”, and we believe God is calling us to pray this together. So we have a movement-wide Prayer Campaign called PRAY@1102, based on Luke 11:2, where at 11:02am (or another time that works for you) you stop and pray the prayer for that day. There are many ways for you to get involved:
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to pray at the time you’ve set and pray the prayer listed on the bookmark.
- Text your name & Church name to 0402 204585 to receive an SMS at 11:02 am each Monday to Friday with the daily prayer.
- Join either our Facebook group (www.facebook.com/prayat1102), Instagram (www.instagram.com/prayat1102) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/prayat1102) to get a post each day at 11:02 am with the daily prayer.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an email at 11:02 am each Monday to Friday with the daily prayer.
To join with the thousands of people in our movement who have already signed up and/or to order bookmarks for your church, please go to www.nswactbaptists.org.au/prayat1102. Imagine what God is going to do as we pray together “Your Kingdom Come!”
Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017
In the last eNews was information and resources concerning the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 which was being prepared for introduction into the NSW Upper House. The Bill was introduced on 21st September. Attached is a copy of a letter from myself (Click Here for Letter) which was sent to all NSW upper house and lower house members.
I’d encourage you to connect with your parliamentarians about this matter. If the text of this letter is a helpful resource as part of that process feel free to use it as you see fit.
ABM Nationwide Campaign ‘No Place for Violence Here’
On Nov 25 Australian Baptists Ministries (ABM) will launch a nationwide campaign called ‘No Place for Violence Here’ to address domestic and family violence (DFV) in our churches and communities.
We’re encouraging all churches in NSW/ACT to take part in the campaign in some way. Please visit noplaceforviolence.com to register for the campaign.
The Public Engagement Group of our Association, alongside BaptistCare NSW and others, have been working on DFV over the last 12 months, and we’re delighted that work is growing, with the National Council now encouraging all churches nationally to raise our collective awareness. We know that many of our churches have been doing good work in the area of DFV for some time and we are grateful for all of those efforts.
Prior to Nov 25, the ABM National Council will release a statement acknowledging that in our history we have often failed people living in abusive relationships. We’ve failed to recognise the existence of violence and abuse in our homes, and when we did recognise it, all too often we didn’t do what was necessary to protect those who were being abused.
Could you plan to read this statement in your church and display some of the campaign materials on Nov 25 as a way of kicking off a year of focus on this issue?
And please go to noplaceforviolence.com to register your church. After registering your church, you will get access to a full suite of pastoral, educational and worship resources. You will also receive regular updates throughout the 12-month campaign, including ideas about how you can take action in your community.
We look forward to working together to make our churches places of peace and safety.
Contributing to our Association
Please find attached a letter regarding your church’s ongoing support and contribution to the collective work of our Association.
Please Click Here: CPSB Letter Nov2017
Children’s Ministry Leadership Cohort
Is someone new taking on the leadership of kids and families ministries in your church in 2018?
In early 2018 we are again running a cohort for people who have recently taken on leadership in children’s ministries in Baptist churches. Our vision is to help people start well in children’s ministry so that they can develop as leaders and have maximum impact for ministry and the flourishing of them as a leader.
The cohort runs from March 2018 through to October 2018. We meet in person or via Skype (2 hours) in 6 sessions over the year.
As well as being a space to connect, share stories and encourage one another we will focus on:
- Faith development, spiritual formation in children and the role of the family
- Programming and planning
- Developing Yourself and Your Team, and
- Casting Vision
Feedback from previous Cohorts has been very positive both from the leaders participating and the churches they have come from.
Contact Louise Bartlett to find out more Lbartlett@nswactbaptists.org.au
New Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care Courses at Morling College
Morling is now your one stop shop for Chaplaincy training!
Do you know anyone in your church or Christian community that would like to be equipped to work in pastoral care? Or do you have staff with experience in pastoral care or chaplaincy who may be interested in attaining a qualification?
Morling now offers these four courses in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care:
- CHC42315 Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (RTO Code 45206)
- Graduate Certificate of Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care
- Graduate Diploma of Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care
- Master of Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care
Below are resources to help you connect people in your church with the Morling College Chaplaincy offerings.
- Click here for Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care Letter
- Click here for Chaplaincy Powerpoint.pptx
- Click here for Chaplaincy Bulletin Insert
Avoid an ‘orthodoxy of nostalgia’ by changing your organization’s language
Please find attached a link to a helpful leadership article: https://www.faithandleadership.com/victoria-atkinson-white-avoid-orthodoxy-nostalgia-changing-your-organizations-language?utm_source=FL_newsletter&utm_medium=content&utm_campaign=FL_feature
Crossover e-news Sept/Oct 2017
Christmas is 10 weeks away – and Crossover will be releasing new resources by way of invites, video and sermon guide for sharing Jesus this Christmas! Entrepreneurs and the gospel?!
Check out our latest PRAC magazine for some innovative ways Baptists are using their gifts to share the gospel around the nation.
Stan gives you tips on how to connect online with your local community.
We’ve also updated you on the recent Emerging Evangelists Conference and how you can nominate someone to attend in April 2018.
Interim and intentional interim ministry
Interim and intentional interim ministry can be a very valuable resource for churches in transition.
If you are interested in undertaking interim ministry training in 2018, please visit the Transitional Ministries of Australia website (transmin.org.au) for information about dates, locations, costs and registration.
The previous two-day pre-requisite course for Intentional Ministry training, Interim Ministry for Today’s Church, is now a three-day programme, including a day focussed on processes and skills around church revitalisation.
For further details, contact Viv Grice at the Baptist Ministry Centre.
Mark the date! Pastors and Leaders Day – Feb 21, 2018
This year a record number of pastors and leaders came together at Toongabbie Baptist Church for our 2017 Pastors and Leaders Day. This annual event has evolved into a fantastic morning of encouragement, equipping, and networking, as well as an opportunity to hear more about our annual Revive gathering.
Well, Pastors and Leaders Day is returning in 2018 – on February 21st next year, again at Toongabbie Baptist Church. You’ll receive all the information and resources for our Celebrate150 major event in May next year, and how you can make it easy to engage your church with this event. It will also be a morning of inspiring worship, encouragement, and equipping, as we gather together.
Soon you will receive the email to enable you to register.
Youth Pastors Conference 2018
Each year our youth and young adult pastors head away together to connect, grow, dream and be refreshed for the year ahead. This is not simply a conference for paid staff, but also for key volunteers and leaders your church is wanting to invest in. Over the last couple of years we have seen this conference grow to be impacting more than 150 pastors and leaders from over 50 Baptist Churches, reaching from Moree to Menai, Tamworth to Toongabbie, Grafton to Gymea, Thornleigh to Taree, Bathurst to BelAir.
For more details or to register, head over to http://youthpastorsconference.org.au/
Jesus the Game Changer National Campaign Update
What might Jesus the Game Changer look like for your church?
As you should have now heard, there is a National Outreach Campaign in the lead up to Easter 2018 using Jesus the Game Changer, produced by Olive Tree Media. In the 6 weeks leading up to Easter, churches participating in the campaign will run the course and look at 6 of the 10 topics in the JGC materials. Olive Tree Media have produced a special pack of materials for churches, and will also be running a national radio campaign. Topics will include Jesus, Equality, Women & Children, Leadership and Forgiveness. The series considers how the life and teaching of Jesus changed the world and why it still matters for us today.
Watch this short video to hear more about what it could look like for your church to run Jesus the Game Changer and how Olive Tree Media will be resourcing churches to do so.
See below video 3 Different Approaches to using Jesus the Game Changer