Hi fellow Pastors!
This is just a short note as we come to the end of 2015 as I haven’t been in contact through a newsletter for a couple of months. May I express my appreciation on behalf of the Baptist Ministry Centre team for all the support and partnerships we have experienced in this past year. The team is here to serve and partner our local churches and affiliated groups and ministries. I believe the team does a great job considering our limited resources and the numerous requests from our churches. It is always a challenge to balance being proactive and strategic in our activities while also responding and reacting to churches and pastors going through difficult seasons. It has been a delight to lead a team committed to serving our movement. I also appreciate the grace shown to us when we don’t always get it right.
Earlier this month the BMC Leadership team went on a 3 day retreat to review the year and consider how we might implement the Association’s agreed strategic priorities for 2016. The team looks forward to serving our movement in this coming year. During the year the Association will also need to review their strategic priorities for the following three years.
As people keep asking, once the Assembly appoints the next Director of Ministries I’ll remain while we process a healthy handover. I announced at the September Assembly that once I finish Judy and I hope to engage in some pastoral ministry within remote areas of Australia and possibly overseas. Just to clarify, remote isn’t over the Blue Mountains but rather in NT, North West WA or North West QLD. While this is what Judy and I would like to do, is this what God wants? While I remain in my current position I’ll be giving all my full attention to my current role and afterwards I will take a break so I can process a transition out and then discern what next God may be calling us to next.
FURTHER CHANGES AROUND THE BAPTIST MINISTRY CENTRE
Heidi Tak, our Associate Director for Finance and Administration is on maternity leave for the next 6 months having given birth last month to their first child, Eva. In this last week, Ray Wong our Financial Manager has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and has started treatment immediately which means that our finance and admin support and development team are significantly short-staffed just when we come to the end of our financial year. We have made temporary arrangements for the next few months but would really appreciate your understanding and prayers. Please pray particularly for Ray and his family.
I’m hoping to finalise the appointment of the Evangelism Consultant in the next couple of days. The purpose of this role is to assist in equipping pastors and church leaders to further lead and equip our congregational members to more naturally share their faith and the good news of Jesus with their non-Christian friends. The person will also work with the group of emerging evangelists we have identified over the past couple of years.
NEW ASSOCIATION WEBSITE
The new Association website is now up. Please check it out if you haven’t seen it. There are still a few sections to upload and some re-editing over the next couple of weeks but this should be much more user-friendly and easier to navigate. We plan to provide many more resources for pastors on the website as we review all our current documents and create some new ones. However, we believe as pastors, you also have many resources of your own which would be valuable to share with your colleagues. Please pass them onto Viv or one of the MSD team so they could also be available to others.
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT GROUP
The Public Engagement Group are really pleased to have a functional site now up as part of the new website with some information and resources on key issues. They are hoping this will be a helpful resource for our Association and churches. However, they need some help spreading the word to people to let them know it is there. The resources can be found on the following section of the website: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/public-engagement/ I encourage you to use them where appropriate with your leaders and congregational members.
The Public Engagement Group is planning to do a coordinated communication push of some sort on an initial campaign and action. This will incorporate Baptist World Aid Australia and BaptistCare. We had hoped to do this before the end of the year but have had to put it off until next year. Recently a group of five of us spent a day meeting with state parliamentarian staff around four issues: domestic violence; social and low cost housing; refugees; and possible loss of penalty rates. These were very helpful conversations which have led to some actions and ongoing conversations. Meetings with Federal politicians and staff have been arranged in March alongside other Baptist representatives from the other states.
MASTER OF MISSIONAL LEADERSHIP
This is an exciting new course being offered at Morling from 2016. As far as we know this is the first Master of Missional Leadership in Australia. This means pastors won’t have to go overseas to do study which will equip us to become a missional leader! If you are interested I’d encourage you to check out the link below and pre-register. Lecturers include Michael Frost, Graham Hill, Darrell Jackson, David Starling and Karina Kreminski. The missional spirituality guru, Dr Charles Ringma, will be doing some seminars with Morling in late February 2016. They eventually hope to develop an international adjunct faculty for this course so that they hear and learn from a variety of missional scholars and practitioners. More details can be found at http://www.morlingcollege.com/courses/master-of-missional-leadership/
We have just received word of the passing of Rev Bob Clark who served as the General Superintendent of Baptist Churches of Western Australia for 20 years. Bob was from NSW and a graduate from Morling and I’m sure well known by many of our older pastors.
Rev Colin Jones is another of our older retired pastors who has been seriously ill in Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital recently. Colin is a resident (with his wife, Muriel) of Osborne House, a Uniting Aged Care Facility. Though he is very ill, he still takes every opportunity with the hospital staff to speak of his love of the Lord and his sure hope of eternity.
May you all have a joyous Christmas and delight in the celebration of Jesus’ first coming to dwell among us.
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 (click here to contact)