Bringing the Kingdom of God to Tasmania
It’s time to …
“Reengage Reimagine Realign”
What the newly adopted strategic plan might mean for us as Tasmanian Baptists
Seeing Tasmania infused with the salt and light
When Jesus taught about the kingdom of God (or kingdom of heaven in Matthew) it was more immediate and grander than just securing a place in heaven for people after death. The kingdom of God is the rule of God here on earth. It exists in part now and will exist in fullness when Jesus returns.
Jesus taught of something new entering into our broken world. His presence among us, along with his miracles and healings, was evidence of God’s rule coming to this planet. After his resurrection he charged his disciples with the responsibility of keeping the project going. Ever since, when the Church has been at its best, it has been an agent of this kingdom.
What we hope for
We acknowledge it “is not the church of God that has a mission, but the God of mission who has a church” . God has a job for his church in Tasmania. As Tasmanian Baptists, we are committed to becoming a union of churches who willingly “lay aside our personal preferences for the sake of the community being served” .
It “is not the church of God that has a mission, but the God of mission who has a church”Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.
This is the heart of the new vision that we adopted at our May 2021 Assembly. It is to see “Tasmania infused with the salt and light of the kingdom of God.” We believe this is God’s hope for the state of Tasmania; it is our hope too.
The Church needs to adapt
The vision goes on to note that our contribution to the realisation of this vision will be through “facilitating and developing innovative, diverse, and transformative member churches and faith communities living out the Gospel.”
By stating this, we acknowledge how many in our communities do not consider the Church a place to go to for assistance with the issues they face. Our inherited form of being and doing Church needs to adapt to the changing world. This is not a something new for God’s Church. At many points during the past 2000 years, the Church has undergone renewal and reformation as the Spirit has remoulded it for successive generations.
Three key strategies: Reengage | Reimagine | Realign
With that in mind, the newly adopted strategic plan outlines three key strategies: to assist our churches and members to reengage in God’s mission, to reimagine the church for our time and to realign our resources (time, finances, buildings, organisational structure) towards these ends.
This is no mean feat and will not happen overnight. As I’ve said a bit lately, it took God weeks to get Israel out of Egypt, but 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel. Like Israel, we can fall into mourning the loss of the past, rather than embracing the opportunities God has before us. Yet this is the call of the journey of faith, to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us [by] fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith”.
“run with perseverance the race marked out for us [by] fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith”.Hebrews 12:1b-2a
We live in a profound moment in the history of the world. In declaring Jesus is Lord, and praying that God’s kingdom may come, and that God’s will may be done in Tasmania as in heaven, we are not only aligning ourselves with God’s purposes in our world, but asking God to use us.
I trust you can say “Amen” to that.
Mission Director, Tasmanian Baptists
 Former Archbishop Rowan Williams
 Church of England, charge for candidates for Pioneer Mission