It’s a New Day

It's a New Day. By Karen Wilson

Deep Thought – a bi-monthly feature in reCharge

Working Together in Ministry

Let’s be catalysts to change and transformation

Karen Wilson

Karen Wilson is the President for Baptist World Alliance Women. She lives in Perth WA, and is the keynote speaker for the EmpowHer Day of Courage at Riverlands, Longford on Saturday 18th November.

When I stepped into the position of President for Baptist World Alliance Women 2020-2025, I sensed God asking me to find and/or create spaces for women and men to flourish together.

This would mean creating ministries that are open to both, affirm both, have mutual respect for one another, and give equal voice one to the other.

Silent contributors

For too long, women have been asked to be the silent contributors to the Kingdom. Their ministries and efforts have been greatly appreciated, yet their voices have been hushed. That time has now finished. It’s a new day.

For too long, women have been asked to be the silent contributors to the Kingdom.

Back in July 2019, the Baptist International Conference on Theological Education met in Nassau, Bahamas. The decision was made to not only re affirm the resolution of the Baptist World Alliance entitled “Women”, adopted in Nassau in 1988 but to take it further[1].

READ the resolution here: Recognizing and Affirming the Calling of Women in the Church.

There was a call for churches, and church leaders, to repent from the teachings and practices through which they have prevented women from flourishing as human beings created in the image of God and full members of the body of Christ.

The call went further – to be open to the Holy Spirit to bring conviction, inspire discussion, and provoke transformation in individual lives and communities by affirming the God-given call of women for service in the church, so their stories may take rightful place in the wider story of Christ’s body in the world.

The All-encompassing Challenge

The challenge? For all of us to learn, and then use, language which is affirming to both women and men in worship, communications, and publications. In addition, to work intentionally to create equal space for women in all leadership roles in the church, Baptist conventions and unions, and across the entire Baptist World Alliance.

As I look at the place women have in our Baptist churches, and with this call being proclaimed globally, I believe there is a need for us to understand how to stand together and discuss issues together. As well, we all need to learn how to make room for one another, and how to avail each other of the others’ gifts.

God has a Kingdom-purpose for the entire body of Christ to flourish – male and female alike – and we are being ushered into that era where we will see it come to pass.

I, for one, am excited that we get to not only see it, but be catalysts of change to bring this transformation.

So what do I see?

I see a global ministry where women and men . . .

  • Champion one another and stand together (Zeph 3:9)
  • Understand the responsibility in the Kingdom and encourage one another forward (1 Thess 5:11)
  • Meet regularly (Heb 10:25) and are aware they are not alone (1 Cor 14:26)
  • Gather and await the move of the Spirit of the living God. (Acts 2:1)
  • Stand firmly alongside one another (Gal 3:28), in the one Spirit,
  • Strive together as one for the sake of the gospel (Phil 1:27).

Men and women alike have a mandate to love God fully and love others with acceptance and dedication. So let’s do this! Let’s:

STAND RESPECTFULLY and confidently together in the calling God has given us.

SEEK OUT spaces of commonality to work for the mutual benefit of all.

OPENLY SHARE tables of discussion for the strengthening of the Kingdom.

LET’S STAND alongside the Next Generation 

TOGETHER SEEK the Kingdom first.

GO INTO ALL THE WORLD with a spirit of unity to proclaim the name of Jesus.

It’s a new day.

More Deep Thought

Expanding Horizons by Stephen Baxter | The God of Bethel by Maddy Svoboda | Being Family Together by Christa McKirland

* This article was originally published in the Summer 2020-21 Heartlands for Women, newsletter.

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Karen Wilson, President Baptist World Alliance Women. It's a new day

Karen and Mark Wilson live in Perth WA. In addition to being the President Baptist World Alliance Women, Karen
is also the CEO of the Global Leadership Network Australia/NZ, and this year founded the Women Leaders Network.

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NO LIMITS Women’s Symposium

No Limits Women's Symposium

Women in Leadership

Heartlands News

Encouraging Women

Ann Herbert (Citywide) explains what took place at the recent No Limits conference. Other attendees pictured above are Jenna Blackwell (City), Zahara Rehrmann (Summerhill), Tracey Avery (City), Jenny Baxter (Hobart), and Kez Hutchison (Wynyard).

Inspiring, challenging, thought-provoking, impactful!

These were some of the words 105 women used to describe the No Limits women’s symposium held in Brisbane on 10-11 February 2023. Not only that, there was awe-inspiring worship, and opportunities for great fellowship.

Baptist Women of the Pacific, which is part of the Baptist World Alliance, organised the conference with the intention of connecting, equipping, and mobilising women for Christian ministry across the Pacific region. They successfully did this with women attending from New Zealand including Māori, Tonga, PNG and Australia.

No Limits Women's Symposium
Rousing worship times; Short talks speakers respond to Q&A

Six Tasmanian women, from Wynyard, Launceston and Hobart, enjoyed attending the conference together. The sessions explored what the Bible teaches about women, particularly with regard to their role, purpose, and potential to serve the Body of Christ and help grow God’s kingdom on earth.

The sessions explored what the Bible teaches about women, particularly with regard to their role, purpose, and potential to serve the Body of Christ and help grow God’s kingdom on earth.

Historical and cultural contexts

On the Friday night, Dr Christa McKirland, lecturer in Systematic Theology at Carey Baptist College in Auckland, noted the importance of understanding the historic and cultural contexts in which the books of the Bible were written. She also emphasised the importance of being careful not to interpret individual verses in isolation from the whole of the letter or book in which these are located. She especially encouraged in-depth study of gendered passages, which historically have caused controversy.

God has given each of you a gift.
Use it to build up others in the Lord.

Marg Mowczko

Saturday morning began with some rousing worship, followed by theologian Margaret Mowczko, who has specialised in early Christian and Jewish studies. She spoke about the apostle Paul’s theology of ministry. In particular, she looked at Paul’s teaching about the mutuality of women and men in Christian marriage and ministry. She finished her presentation with the encouragement: “God has given each of you a gift. Use it to build up others in the Lord.

No Limits Women's Symposium
Megan Powell du Toit; Conference speakers and panellists

Bible survey with a twist

Rev. Megan Powell du Toit, from the Australian College of Theology[1], provided a stimulating overview of the biblical story of God with women. Starting at Genesis, she explored how God sees and values woman, sees the pain sin has caused them, and how he acts to mitigate sin’s impact. From the matriarchs of Genesis and Exodus, through the female judges and prophets, Jesus’ foremothers, to the female leaders of the New Testament, Megan showed how God has continually used women to help achieve his purposes.

The stories show that God’s mission for the church includes women and that God releases their gifts for God’s glory. Rev. du Toit encouraged each of us to fully use our God-given gifts for the sake of the Gospel.

Empowered women

Sela Havili

The final speaker, Rev. Sela Havili, shared her journey of becoming an Anglican priest who serves New Zealand’s Tongan communities. Hers was an inspiring story of the challenges she faces, and the blessings she is receiving, as God uses her to help build His kingdom amongst these people. She passionately encouraged us to be “women empowered by the Spirit to reveal the love of Christ.”

In addition to these four presentations, we enjoyed lively and stimulating panel discussions, plus inspiring presentations from five women about the local and global work they are doing across the Pacific region. 

Responses to the No Limits women’s symposium


The conference encouraged me to learn and question things that I have just gone along with. And I was inspired by all those passionate women who have stepped into their calling. I want to encourage other women to go next time!

Tracey Avery, City Baptist


I found it so encouraging to see women empowered in utilising their gifts, strengths and calling from different nations. I want to emphasise that women just GO if there is another opportunity.

Jenna Blackwell, TB Leadership and Mentor Coach; TBW Team (North); Ministry Team Assistant City Baptist


Even though in the past I have always been very sceptical of women’s conferences, I loved having a women’s space to be sisters together. It was a time of theological depth and the relational authenticity, and it was inspiring. I loved hearing from my sisters across the South Pacific.

Dr Christa McKirland – conference speaker

Blessed with new birth

I was so encouraged to have the opportunity to take five stellar Tasmanian women to Brisbane to attend the No Limits women’s symposium. It made me aware we are blessed to have so many women in our midst who are willing to rise to the challenge, take a lead, and use their God-given gifts. They are the shoulders upon which others will now stand.

Jenny and Elissa

Jenny Baxter, State Director Tasmanian Baptist Women

While it was my dream as a leader in women’s ministry to see this event happen, I was still overwhelmed by the response. The need to speak justice into this area is even greater and devastating than I realised. There are new seeds to create an online community of support and similar events in other parts of Australia and the Pacific. Most overwhelming were the stories women shared in the breaks. There were stories of frustration, sadness and grief. Incredibly intelligent women, given amazing gifts, were being limited if not oppressed, my heart broke anew. I felt like God was birthing something new that day so we will pray and listen.

Elissa Macpherson, Conference Organiser and President, BWP; National Director, ABW

1 Megan also co-hosts the podcast, With All Due Respect, with Rev. Dr Michael Jensen

No Limits Women’s Symposium

Heartlands News

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