Hi fellow pastors and leaders,

Welcome to Spring!

As I continue to settle into the DOM role I have been reflecting again on the primary place of prayer in the life of the pastor and leader.

The Apostle Paul is one of many biblical examplars we can learn from in this respect; and we discover that his prayer life is anything but self-focused.  His most regular personal prayer requests in the NT centre around the effectiveness of the gospel message through his ministry, and his own prayers are often for the welfare of the believers he writes to. One of these has been particularly significant for my own life:

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”  (Colossians 1:9-12)

To know deeply and confidently God’s will, flowing from the revelatory activity of his Spirit in our lives… to minister in fruit-bearing leadership that models ongoing surrender and commitment to Jesus… to be strengthened with God’s power that shows itself in endurance, patience, joyfulness and thankfulness in ministry…  What a privilege to be able to pray this for ourselves and others, knowing that we serve a God who answers prayer!

Taking a stand for Refugees

Recently this letter was sent from Australian Baptist Ministries (our national Baptist body) to the Prime Minister, about the ongoing situation regarding treatment of refugees in offshore detention.  As you may be aware, the Guardian Newspaper has recently released a series of documents that confirm once again the appalling conditions in the offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru. This has issued in a call by 1800 academics for the government to hold a summit to find a better way forward.

We are inviting you and/or your church to write a similar letter to the Prime Minister, simply asking the government to call a summit that brings together experts and community leaders to try and map out a better solution. In so doing we believe we witness to the One who called us to love our neighbour as ourselves and to welcome the stranger.

The details of how to be part of this, plus the editable text of the letter, can be found here: Letter to Prime Minister re Assylum Seekers

Baptist Assembly Saturday 17th September

Assembling to worship, pray, celebrate and discern 

On Saturday 17th September we will gather as a movement to worship, pray, celebrate and discern together at our mid-year Assembly.  We will be affirming our Strategic Priorities for the next 3 years and also receiving the initial report on the review of our new constitution, including explanations of proposed changes.  Further feedback will then be invited in the months ahead as we move towards affirming a final version of the constitution at our AGM next year.

Our venue will be Morling College, and the day also includes the Morling 100 year Celebrations and our annual Accreditation Service.   It will be an inspirational day, and I’d very much encourage to be there!  Details of the programme can be found at https://nswactbaptists.org.au/ordinary-assembly-2016/, and I encourage you and people in your church to book in as soon as you can.

Gen1K Prayer meetings – is there one in your region?

“Satan dreads nothing but prayer… He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” (Samuel Chadwick).

Jesus’ own example also reminds us that prayer is foundational to our own walk of faith, and our partnering with God in the ongoing extension of His Kingdom.

As an Association we are committed to continuing to develop a culture of prayer.  As part of this, we are inviting regions of churches to come together in prayer around our Gen1K vision for spiritual vitality, growth, health and multiplication among our churches, and for specific prayer needs of the churches in that region.  A number of these have already been held in some areas, both in and outside of Sydney.  We know also that in various regions churches are putting into practice a collective dependency on prayer in other ways as well.

Commitment to prayer is a primary priority for us as we move into the future.  As we continue to press into this, can I ask you to consider 2 things:

  • If your region is doing something collectively in prayer, please email me to let me know, so we can share the stories and encourage each other
  • I invite you to hold a combined Gen1K prayer meeting in your region – or, if you have already had one, to do them regularly! The Association wants to help you champion this – please contact Carolyn Altman at caltman@nswactbaptists.org.au for further information.

Responding to domestic violence – resources and ideas from our Public Engagement Group

Our Association’s Public Engagement Group (PEG) has identified domestic violence as a key social issue.  We are encouraging you to make it a priority to engage your churches in worship and action around this topic in November, coinciding with a wider community focus on this issue on White Ribbon Day (see http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/).  Research would suggest that it is likely there are people in every one of our churches who will know victims of domestic violence, or be victims or abusers themselves.

Increasingly this issue is on the public agenda, so our churches can and should be well placed to respond both within our congregations and our communities.

We are seeking to provide churches with the resources needed to respond effectively at a personal, local and societal level.

  • Domestic violence training was held earlier this month at the Ministry Centre and also online, and this workshop is available on our website HERE
  • The PEG has developed a resource HERE which includes worship and advocacy resources, as well as information about best practice pastoral responses.
  • In addition, BaptistCare NSW/ACT has been ministering in this area (both to survivors and perpetrators) for many years and is a recognised leader in this field. You can find out more here: https://baptistcare.org.au/our-services/community-services/domestic-and-family-violence/

Join together with many other churches as we raise a collective voice, and with God’s help seek to change the culture of violence in our nation.

Farewelling Ken & Judy Clendinning


Note: this farewell has been placed the night before our Assembly gathering to allow people who may be travelling distances to make a single trip if they wish to attend both events.


CCLI and Big Movie licenses 2017

We have emailed to you church treasurer/ secretary a copy of the form for the renewal of CCLI and Big Movie licenses for 2017.

To participate in this scheme for 2017 (being 31 October 2016 to 31 October 2017) please return the application form and full payment by 30 September 2016. Late applications cannot be accepted due to CCLI and Big Movie Studio deadlines.

If you have any queries, please contact Rick Li (rli@nswactbaptists.org.au) or (02) 9868 9218.

Leadership Resources

Developing leaders

One of the greatest responsibilities and privileges of leadership is the nurturing and development of other leaders.  How do we do this effectively?  Here’s a helpful one page resource on “Triple O Leadership” from Mark Chapple which talks through how to develop an environment for people to flourish: HERE

I’ve found this blog on developing leaders helpful in recent times as well:  http://www.missioalliance.org/lead-without-toxic/

If you have a leadership resource you would like to be considered for sharing with your fellow pastors and leaders, please email the info to me.

Building Foundations for Sustainable Ministry – Baptist research from NCLS

Viv Grice and our MSD team have been working with National Church Life Survey to research pastor health and work towards providing ongoing monitoring of how we can best be encouraging ministry and personal health among pastors.  This has become a national initiative which Baptist pastors all across Australia have engaged with through a baseline survey a number of months ago.

Results of this and their implications are being worked through at the moment.  However, as a precursor, we have been working with NCLS to provide information on the 6 dimensions of Sustainable Foundations for ministry for Baptist pastors, based on past NCLS Leader Surveys.  Their report is here: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/resources/ncls-personal-foundations-fact-sheets-for-sustainable-leadership/ and Viv has prepared a summary analysis HERE .  I encourage you to read and reflect on this resource and share it with others.

Developing Leaders in your church’s Children’s Ministry – a new Cohort Training opportunity

The Children and Families team at our Association are beginning a leadership cohort in Term 4 this year for people who have recently taken on leadership in children’s ministries in Baptist churches. The vision is to help people develop well in children’s ministry so they can flourish and have maximum impact as leaders.

The cohort will run for approximately 9 months from Oct 2016 through to June 30, 2017, and will meet in person or via skype in 6 sessions over that time.  Topics include sharing stories and big issues, developing children (faith development and spiritual formation), programming (weekly, yearly in line with church vision and for a generation), developing yourself (understanding strengths, growing as a leader, staying healthy for the long haul), developing your team, and casting vision.  The cost will be $150.

Details and dates will be fine tuned with those who accept the invitation to be part of this cohort.

Senior Pastors – here is a great opportunity to invest in and equip those who are growing into leadership in this critical ministry area in your church!  Can I encourage you to sponsor a leader from your church to be part of it.

Contact Louise at lbartlett@nswactbaptists.org.au for more info.

Upcoming Events

Morling Preaching conference – Ajith Fernando & David Rietveld

12 – 13 SEPTEMBER 2016


This interactive, two-day conference focusing on the book of Acts, features two guest speakers and includes practical workshops valuable for both beginning and seasoned Bible teachers alike.


Ajith Fernando: Leader of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka

Ajith Fernando serves as Teaching Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka after being National Director for 35 years. His main responsibilities are counselling, mentoring and teaching staff, leaders and pastors in YFC and the wider church. His grassroots ministry has primarily been with the urban poor. Ajith is the award-winning author of 16 books, and his books have been published in 20 different languages. He serves on the translation team of a new Sinhala Bible.

In four sessions over two days, international guest speaker Ajith Fernando will explore the image of preacher as a bridge-builder and apply it to the books of Acts.

David Rietveld: Senior Pastor for New Peninsula Baptist Church in Victoria, Australia

David has been the Senior Pastor at New Peninsula Baptist Church since Jan 2014. Prior to working with the Baptist church, David grew up in Christian Reformed Churches, studied at Moore, worked for Figtree Anglican, and then Wellspring Anglican in Hobart. David’s passion is to make Jesus’ preaching understood within social contexts. His Masters studies (from Morling) and PhD research seeks to unpack how we hear God’s word as part of communities.

In four sessions over two days, David Rietveld will focus on some of the practical aspects of the preacher’s task, including “listening to listeners”.

Click Here for more Information & to Book

Click Here for Flyer

Celebrating with Central Baptist Church – 180 years of Baptist witness in NSW/ACT!

This year the oldest Baptist church in Australia – Central Baptist Church – celebrates its 180th Anniversary.  This is a significant moment for one of the churches of our movement, and we celebrate it with our brothers and sisters at Central.  It is also significant for our movement as a whole, as we recall with gratefulness to God our very earliest Baptist beginnings in NSW, and look to the future.

On Sunday 25th September at 10am, Central Baptist is holding special celebration service at the Sydney Lower Town Hall, George St Sydney.

You are welcome to spread the word and be part of the celebrations on that morning.

Have you booked in for NEOS?

Neos is the annual gathering for NSW/ACT Baptist Pastors, Chaplains and Spouses. There are numerous networks for pastors these days. But it is important to get together with sisters and brothers in ministry with the churches of our own association.

NEOS is not just “another conference”.  It’s an opportunity to connect with, pray with, be refreshed with, and give support to fellow pastors, chaplains and others in ministry who are committed to the task of leading Baptist churches and ministries.

Whether married or single, with your spouse or by yourself, we encourage you to come to give and receive at Neos 2016.  https://nswactbaptists.org.au/event/neos-2016/

Position Vacant – BFS

BFS is currently looking to fill the role of Client Services Officer in our Sydney office, located at Epping. The role of Client Services Officer is vital to the Client Service Team to ensure that the BFS continues to provide outstanding service to all clients throughout Australia.


Epping Baptist Church – Pastoral Roles

With two staff members leaving to lead churches within Sydney and a proven record of training and equipping leaders for today and the future, EBC has the opportunity to evaluate ministries to children youth, young adults and young families and to fill positions to meet the changing ministry needs of the area.