Assembly Report 2024

May 15, 2024
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Mid-Year Assembly

It was a good mid-year Assembly, with an update from Scott Ambrose on the search committee process, input from Scott Pilgrim, Executive Director at Baptist Mission Australia (BMA) and with a significant focus on Boreham College provided by Matty Coppin. The Boreham College brochure is now available on the Tas Baptist website. 

Maddy Svoboda spoke about the new discipleship coaching course staring this June. At last year’s muster, Tim Piesse from Crossway Church in Victoria spoke about discipleship. He explained how the Crossway congregation felt they didn’t have a clear idea of how to make disciples. As a result, the church formulated the course, ‘Building a Discipleship Culture’. This course outlines intentional ways to put the mission of God back into the hands of everyday people.  

Maddy is starting a Tasmania cluster for this course that will involve fortnightly, group coaching calls from June. The course will go for one year, with an option for a second year. IT will cover how to embed discipleship practises in the life of our churches. Churches participating include Newstead, City, Riverlands, and Summerhill. If this sounds like something you want to be part of, there’s still time to join, contact Maddy for more information. 

What God is Doing

The Assembly provided a great opportunity to see what God is doing amidst our Tasmanian churches.  

Nicholas Alexander from Lifeway Church spoke about the two new Student Pastors at their church Stuart Crabtree and Morgan Read. For more info see our recharge articles on each. 

As Franz Brosch takes the helm from Owen Muskett at Wynyard Baptist church, he shared some of his interesting back story.  

Anthea Maynard gave an update on Fostering Hope. She shared about the ongoing need for mentors and how Fostering Hope’s Mentoring program and training provides kids in care a “friend with purpose” and offers them another positive relationship as part of their therapeutic web. Tas Baptist strongly supports Fostering Hope in several ways, including financial assistance that comes from a generous gift from Baptcare. 

A Reimagining Journey

Scott Pilgrim spoke on the ‘reimagining journey’ in the context of May Mission Month. He pointed out that with BMA on their own reimagining journey, both groups can share the synergies and learning opportunities with each other in this rapidly changing world time we find ourselves in 

His talk was timely for both Tas Baptists and BMA, especially with May Mission Month underway, and for Tas Baptist as we celebrate a significant step forward with the launch of Boreham College. 

Scott Pilgrim considered the current global context, along the changing nature of our Tas Baptists context, and proposed we re-imagine what God’s Spirit can do in and through us as we take intentional steps on the journey that includes: 

Re-affirming and celebrating “Missio Dei” and reframing change, for example, embracing a default attitude of expectancy in God as a people of faith, rather than suspicion, uncertainty and fear.  

Courageous Questions

Scott posed several courageous questions:  
– How does the decline of Christianity in the west impact the future of western mission agencies?
– How does Jesus’ new wineskins metaphor speak to us about mission opportunity in existing and potential locations?
– Are we willing to let go of power and control in genuinely embracing global south partnerships?
– What is the future of sending from Australia?
– How does Jesus’ turning the tables metaphor challenge us in our approach to mission?
– What is our future in an increasingly culturally and religiously diverse Australia?
– Where are we stuck and what do we fear?

Over the past 18 months Tas Baptists have done a lot of Looking, listening, learning – looked back … looked to each other … looked to others … and looked to the Spirit … 

Scott finished his talk by highlighting the importance of contextualisation in a changing world and by providing quotes and examples of innovative, collaborative expressions. 

“Contextualisation is a very difficult thing to do. It challenges deeply ingrained understandings and practices and demands radical and uncomfortable shifts in mindsets. But it’s so desperately needed in our changing world if people are to experience the good news of Jesus in ways they understand.” Claire TC Chong

He pointed out that Boreham College is a good example of Innovation and collaboration going hand in hand with contextualisation

Paul Manning (Baptist World Aid) spoke about some of his recent experiences visiting Nepal.

“Innovation and collaboration go hand in hand with contextualisation… Across the globe, God’s Spirit is raising up new missional partnerships and collaborations. Let’s be a part of what the Spirit is doing!” Steve Sang-Cheong Moon

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