Partners in Christian Mission

Creating Healthy Leadership


Pastors and Leaders Muster

Jenna leading a session

WHEN Tuesday and Wednesday, 14th and 15th September 2021

FACILITATORS Mission and Leadership Development team, Michael Henderson and Jenna Blackwell (pictured)

ATTENDEES Tasmanian Baptist pastors, leaders and their spouses.

VENUE Gateway Baptist and Silo Hotel Launceston

The Premise

Who you are is what you create in the leaders around you

During the Muster, those gathered looked at three different areas of leadership. It was 28 hours of personal investment in leadership, and listening to what God had to say. As well, it was a rich time of content, reflection and discussion. As you can read from the comments below, it was refreshing, challenging and pivotal moving forward.

The Setup

Initially meeting at Gateway Baptist hall for a reflective session, Michael Henderson led an inspiring warm-up to enter the retreat. As a 'safe' and welcoming community, attendees enjoyed one another's company, listened to some inspiring music, wrote about where they thought God was leading them personally, and encouraged others with those very same words.

After a BYO lunch at Gateway, the Muster moved to Peppers Silo Hotel Launceston for the remainder of the time.

Michael Henderson, Jenna Blackwell and Mission Director Stephen Baxter, all lead a couple of sessions each. Various aspects of leadership were discussed, and challenges were offered and accepted. As well, there was plenty of time for connecting with other leaders, eating good food, and sleeping in the comfortable hotel rooms.

On Tuesday evening, the entire cohort ate out, and were joined by others who were unable to attend during the day, pictured below.

Keep reading for some reflections of the Muster

The Outcomes

Here is a list of reflections/revelations/learnings since the Muster

Further down, read some more specific reflections.

  • Understanding afresh the servanthood of Jesus Christ
  • New awareness of leadership being "in and through Jesus"
  • The challenge of hermeneutics (as in, interpretation of the Bible)
  • We shared some vulnerable conversations with each other
  • There was a level of personal authenticity exercised and explored in a team environment, post-muster
  • We are a movement, going in the right direction
Maddy Svoboda

Maddy SvobodaThe surroundings this year were incredible," says Summerhill's Pastor, Maddy Svoboda. "It was very professional and comfortable, and helped to have good conversations throughout the sessions. I've been impacted by how I am leading, myself, and what's the story I am acting out of. To be continually checking in with that, and what is God's story within me. That's been the big takeaway."

In regard to leadership, Maddy says, "I feel as though the Muster helped me to consider where I'm at. And to take it to my leadership team, and see how they are tracking, not just in a leadership capacity, but what stories are they living out of as well, and that's been very helpful."

Tracy Ortiz

Tracy OrtizHobart's Kids' Church Coordinator, Tracy Ortiz, was similarly impacted. She says, "It really felt like a retreat atmosphere, and we also felt a little bit pampered, because we wouldn't normally stay in a hotel, and spend time in those special surroundings."

In particular, Tracy enjoyed Michael's opening session - the challenge to listen to God speak into her life. She recalls, "The affirmations that Michael (brought) definitely pointed me in a good direction. I was thinking much more practically, but God was saying, 'No, it's me first, then all the practical stuff'. He was saying, 'Don't forget to rely on me'!"

Nicholas Alexander

Nicholas AlexanderFrom LifeWay Devonport, Nicholas Alexander was enthusiastic, "I really enjoyed sitting together with the other community leaders, sharing wisdom and fellowship. I always enjoy being exposed to a new concept or way of doing things. I also love meeting in a non-church space. Nothing against churches, but I find meeting in a different setting puts me in a different frame of mind.

"I also found the walks to cafe and extended coffee/tea breaks were excellent at extending the conversation."

Paul Dare

Paul DarePaul Dare oversees the new-ish Baptist Fellowship at Levendale under Citywide's banner. He responded saying he really appreciated the time together in a great venue.

He also suggested that the Muster was the best one ever!

The Future

Planning ahead for 2022

Next year, a Pastors and Leaders Muster will again be held. The overwhelming response was that this time away is definitely valuable. It helps leaders look at things in a different light, and give a new perspective. Relationally, it is also incredibly valuable to gather together. There is no doubt that pastors and leaders need each other, and the Muster is a great way to strengthen those connections.

For more information, questions or suggestions about the Muster for 2022, please contact Jenna Blackwell ( or Michael Henderson (

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