Assembly Report 2024

Mid-year Assembly Report

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

Assembly Report

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Supporting the Supports 

Picture of stone pillars through binoculars for Sacred Agents

Sacred Agents

Andrew Turner of Crossover reflects in his Sacred Agents blog

One of the beautiful strengths of the Baptist movement is our conviction that all believers are priests. Within those four words are numerous deep truths around access to God through Christ, participation in mission and ministry, and responsibility in the church. Everyone has a part to play.  

Everyone Has a Part to Play

But they don’t play it equally. As in a Shakespeare, one actor has a hundred lines and another has two. One may play four different parts, another is simply a tree. Jesus’ parables of responsibility often feature uneven participation, too. One servant’s entrusted with ten talents, another five, and another one. So uneven participation is not surprising – even among those who’ve been given the same amount of lines or talents, some give everything they’ve got, and some don’t.  

We Baptists rightly love our culture of volunteerism – no one is forced to give anything – it’s all given freely from the heart. This is lovely, but it can also have a shadow side. 

Pillars of Your Church

There are some roles, like Treasurer or Worship Coordinator that are complex and involved and pretty much require a super-volunteer. But who has that much time to give? It’s the rich (who can live off reduced paid-work hours), the active-retired, the under-employed, uni students during summer, and those doing court-ordered community service.

These are the ones who have the time to be pillars of your church. Not so much the single parent, the small business owner or the full-time worker. Now there are some beautiful saints among the former list. But the criteria you really want to be using for such important roles has more to do with spiritual maturity and gifted capability than simple availability. 

Photo of stone pillars for Sacred Agents Supporting the Supports

Supporting the Supports That Need Support

So a church can look wider in its search for pillars, if it is willing to look for supports that need support. If your church pillar needs to be so strong they can stand alone, you’re building a culture of self-sufficiency and stoic independence – not conducive to healthy church community? 

Staffing is not the only alternative to this. That single parent may be able to serve as a Worship Coordinator if the church provided them with some babysitting. For some roles the church may be able to provide an expense account, or pay for training, or carry some of the load in a hundred other possible ways. 

Asking ‘Who is God calling to this Role?’

It’s more complex than simply asking ‘Who has time to do X? Only Jenny? Well, Jenny it is then.’

It begins with asking ‘Who is God calling to this role?’ and then ‘How can we release them into it?’ It’s complex, but so it the body of Christ. Beautiful community is quite interdependent, and it is a witness in itself.    

Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover.

Andrew Turner is the Director of Crossover for Australian Baptist Ministries. Thanks so much to all who have supported the Australian Baptist Easter Offering – which funds Crossover to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus.

Photo by Diogo Nunes on Unsplash

A turning of the tide?


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A Particular Kind of Boldness

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Sacred Agents

Andrew Turner of Crossover reflects in his Sacred Agents blog.

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31 

A Particular Kind of Boldness
It takes courage on multiple levels to live as a representative of Jesus Christ. Courage before Christ himself, to have the nerve to say Yes, Lord, I’ll be your person in this place as opposed to Master, I know you are a hard man … so I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground.

It takes courage on multiple levels to live as a representative of Jesus Christ.

But courage also, of course, in the face of the world, because when we endeavour out in Jesus’ name, we’re likely to receive the same full gamut of different responses that Jesus himself received – welcomed and honoured through to mocked, despised and rejected. 

Vulnerable to Rejection

Now this is nothing to do with success or failure. If you board a ship and share Christ, all 100 passengers may receive you happily. Or they may hate you and throw you overboard. Neither outcome necessarily means you’ve represented Jesus well or badly. Each could be a beautiful worship and service to Jesus. The point is, it’s out of your control. There is no way to program the mission of God so that an outcome is guaranteed. God refuses to simply reprogram the robots, but instead makes himself vulnerable to rejection. (Paradoxically, wonderfully, he wins our hearts through having his broken.) 

The point is, it’s out of your control. There is no way to program the mission of God so that an outcome is guaranteed.

The Boldness We Need

So the boldness we need, and the boldness the first disciples sought and received from God, is not an imperviousness to rejection, like a coat of armour so strong we can simply crash through and feel no pain. On the contrary, it is the courage to feel that pain.  

It’s interesting that the word gallantry has two main definitions: ‘Great bravery in battle’ and ‘polite and respectful attention in courtship’. Do you see how these are linked? Both involve the willingness to be shot down.

It’s interesting that the word gallantry has two main definitions: ‘Great bravery in battle’ and ‘polite and respectful attention in courtship’.

The boldness that sacred agents need by the Spirit is this Christlike form of boldness. It steps out from behind safe cover. Takes the first steps forward toward the other because they have God’s attention and God’s respect. Is prepared to suffer pain, but it takes pains not to inflict it.

Asking God for Boldness

The more we can take that posture and those steps in all the places God sends us, the more likely we are to in fact receive a very positive response. So let’s spend less time calculating our chances and more time asking God for his kind of boldness. If you’re thinking of inviting someone to church, or Alpha etc – worry less about whether they might say no, than about how their life may be if no one invites them at all.

Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover.

Andrew Turner is the Director of Crossover for Australian Baptist Ministries. Thanks so much to all who have supported the Australian Baptist Easter Offering – which funds Crossover to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus. It’s not too late to still contribute if you haven’t.

Photo by Manfred Richter (CC)

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reCharge NEWS March 2024

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    BibleProject Resources

    BibleProject creates free resources to help people experience the Bible. Everything they make is funded by generous supporters around the world. The entire library of videos, podcasts, classes, and other resources are available at bibleproject.com.  

    Their most recent production is a 10-part series on Jesus’ teachings on the Sermon on the Mount, available to watch on Youtube.  

    Subscribe to the channel for more explainer videos about the Bible. They currently have over 4 million subscribers already!

    Register for Foundations

    Foundations is a path toward the unique calling that God has on your life, equipping you to live the deep truth of Christian faith in every area of your life. 

    The course runs on Wednesdays from Wed, 1 May to Wed, 14 Aug.
    Choose either a day course at Hobart Baptist (12:00pm to 2:30pm) or an evening course at Citywide Mornington (7-9:30pm).  

    The two courses will combine for two Saturday sessions on the 1 June (9:30 – 4:30) and 6 July (9:30 – 7:30) 

    The whole course works together to produce a deep understanding of a practical Christian worldview. 

    You will receive specific skills in a range of areas including: 

    – Managing complicated relationships
    – Knowing God’s will  
    – Building healthy teams
    – Developing life-giving habits
    – Finding your place in leadership
    – Sharing your Faith
    – Understanding the revolutionary big picture of the bible  
    – Love and Sexuality
    – Listening  
    – Community
    – Development and Transformation

    Cost of $50 includes refreshments, meals on the Saturdays, and a Foundations manual.  

    Register now  

    Citywide Easter Exhibition

    Monday, 18 March to Friday, 26 April 

    A series of drawings by artist Michael Henderson have been installed in Citywide Baptist Church, Hobart, for Easter 2024. 

    The work is titled, We only remember history in the present moment. The four drawings are a part of a larger series of 16 charcoal drawings. All together they describe contemporary life through stories from Christian Scripture.

    The drawings are not intended to illustrate certain scriptures, or tell the story of the whole Bible, but they draw inspiration from biblical stories and place an experience in a contemporary setting. They blur the line between history and the present moment, intending for the viewer to think about their own life. 

    Most of the drawings are 1.2m square. The 3 of the crucifixion are 1.4m square. The 16 drawings combine for an overall length of 20m.

    The Drawings

    The second drawing above describes Jesus being crucified, with the two either side describing Peter and Judas’s response to Jesus’ crucifixion. This series of 3 is where the whole series started for me. I wanted to describe both Peter and Judas turning their back on Jesus, and then both of them responding to what they had done. 

    The fourth drawing above is of Mary hugging Jesus, and focuses on Mary’s joy at seeing Jesus again, rather than describe an event around the resurrection. 

    The drawings have been exhibited in many places, including St. Francis Xavier’s Catholic Cathedral in Adelaide, as part of the 2017 Adelaide Fringe Festival, and in churches and exhibition spaces around Australia. Michael’s work is held in private and public collections; he was a finalist in the 66th Blake Prize (2021).

    The exhibition runs from the Monday, 18 March to Friday, 26 April 2024 at 400 Cambridge Road, Mornington, Tasmania. 

    Art can be viewed daily Monday to Saturday.
    From 9:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday and Sunday. 

    See all 16 drawings online here.


    The Bob Curè Exhibition Space

    Matt Garvin and Dan Evenhuis explained more about the motivation behind Citywide’s exhibition space. 

    “As we approach Easter, we wanted to have an exhibition that would help those passing by reflect on Jesus and his sacrifice. We have around 2,000 people walking through our foyer each week,” said Dan Evenhuis, Executive Pastor at Citywide

    “Citywide’s Mornington Campus has housed the Bob Curé Exhibition Space in its foyer since 2019. Through the exhibition space, we have been able to support many local artists, photographers and craft-makers as they share their creative thoughts and skills,” he said. 

    Matt Garvin, Senior Pastor at the church, said he was grateful to have Michael’s art which communicates the message of Easter over these few weeks.

    “The Bob Curè exhibition space is our way to encourage Christians to express their creativity,” he said. 

    Launceston Alive Easter Festival

    Thu 28 – Sun 31 Mar  

    Launceston Alive is an annual Easter community festival of thought, music and art held throughout Launceston over the Easter weekend at one of the following planned events. Karl Fasse, Colin Buchanan and other performing artists will offer stories of faith. 

    Thursday, 28 March at 9:00am – Leaders workshop with Karl Faase at Legana Christian Church, 1 Gerrard Cl, Legana.

    Friday, 29 March at 6:00pm – The 2024 Unearthed Event will unearth stories of faith with Karl Faase and Colin Buchannan. There will be music and entertainment by Colin Buchanan and Jade Steg; a remarkable story of faith and courage from Bernadette Black; Karl Faase will speak about the stories of faith that have shaped our nation. All are welcome, just come along at Door Of Hope Church, 50 Glen Dhu St, South Launceston. The event is free.

    Saturday, 30 March, 11:00am – 2:00pm – The Children and Families Festival is especially for children, young people and their families. Performers include Colin Buchannan, Bronte Ferguson, Azahlia Dingemanse and Caitlyn Duffy. at at Riverbend Park, Launceston.

    Sunday, 31 March, 5:00pm – Combined Churches Easter service with Karl Faase at Door Of Hope, 50 Glen Dhu St, South Launceston.

    Launceston Easter Alive

    Faith Impact Audit

    NAYBA Audit Presentation

    On Thursday 7 March, Stephen and Jenny Baxter attended a presentation for the results of the NAYBA Impact Audit of Tasmania. This is the first statewide audit of its kind conducted and reflects the work being done by people of faith. 

    The final audit report includes the following statistics on Tasmania: 
    – 284 community service activities 
    – 209,057 people served in the last year 
    – $70,841,878 social value impact to the State of Tasmania each year. 

    Stephen hosts a panel at the Grace Centre Rokeby. From left, Councillor Brendan Blomeley (Mayor of the City of Clarence), John Kamara (Tasmanian Australian of the Year 2024) and Aimen Jafri (Chair of the Multicultural Council of Tasmania).

    New Book Available

    Tasmanian Baptist History 

    This is the ninth book on Tasmanian Baptist History by Laurence F Rowston. It looks at the beginnings of sixteen of our Baptist Churches in Tasmania commencing about 1880.

    The churches are Bracknell, Blackwood Creek, Burnie, Deloraine, Devonport, Hobart, Latrobe, Launceston, Longford, Perth, Sheffield, Smithton, Ulverstone, Wynyard and Yolla and also Memorial, the Henry Reed Mission Church in Launceston.

    But it is more than account of their first years.

    The book contains full biographies of their pastors, seventy-four in number from the moment they come on the scene wherever they are, to their deaths. The biographies look into their origins, their preaching and their pastoral work and the movements of the day.

    The book has more than 3,000 footnotes and contains about 230 photographs. Each chapter contains a conclusion which compares the church of those years with the churchtoday. In time a hardback hand-stitched two-volume copy will be available from the author.

    Books cost $40 plus postage (or collect from Baptist Assembly or Citywide Mornington office, 400 Cambridge Road, Mornington, TAS. Contact Dan Evenhuis on 0481 917 806  or email dan.evenhuis@citywidehobart.org.au .

    March Muster

    Why Theological Education Matters

    The Tas Baptists March Muster was held in Hobart and offered the perfect opportunity to launch the Frank W Boreham College. Andrew Corbett, of Legana Christian Fellowship, gave a detailed account of Boreham’s amazing life and ministry.

    Boreham moved to Australia in 1906 to pastor at Hobart Baptist Church. He wrote 46 books (many receiving wide international acclaim) and over 3,000 weekly editorials for the Hobart Mercury between 1912 and 1959.  

    Alongside the launch of the college, the Muster focused on professional development. David Williams from Taylor Baptist College, Edmonton, Canada (and Kairos University) and Darrell Jackson, interim principal of Whitley College in Victoria spoke on the topic. 

    Darrell answered the question, “Was Jesus a theological educator?” while David reflected on “Why theological education matters”. 

    As the first Muster for the year, time together was an opportunity for fellowship, learning and encouragement. This included a long table dinner together at HBC’s new Esteem Cafe.

    Following the Muster,  David Williams travelled to all three regions to discuss with other Baptists what further theological education can look like, from diploma to doctorate. In particular, he outlined the Kairos subscription-based education model of learning that surrounds students with a team of mentors who, together, determine the student’s education and formation pathway.   

    Stephen Baxter launches Frank W. Boreham College at March Muster.
    Long Table at march Muster 2024
    Long table dinner at Hobart Baptist Church during the March Muster.

    Candidate Forums 

    Meet your Local Candidate 

    In the lead up to the State election, churches are working together to host election candidate forums. The forums will be held in each electorate in preparation for the upcoming State election. Each forum will include set questions on issues of concern to Christians, and time for questions from the floor. Most events will be live streamed or recorded, for those who cannot make it.

    This is a great opportunity to meet local candidates, ask questions and hear from them on issues that you care about. 

    Find more information online meetyourcandidates.org.au 

    Crossover

    2024 Australian Baptist Easter Offering

    The Australian Baptist Easter Offering by Crossover is a thousand churches combining to express our gratitude for Jesus and to invest in sharing him with others.  

    The offering supports Crossover – a national Baptist ministry that provides resources, training and encouragement to help Australian Baptists share Jesus with their friends and neighbourhoods. They offer all churches free-to-use Easter resources. 

    To see all their resources or join their mailing list, visit the Crossover website

    Crossover runs entirely on the donations of people like us – so let’s support generously as we’re able. Donations can also be made directly at crossover.org.au 

    Re-Imagine  

    Combined Gathering 

    Re-Imagine is a combined gathering that aims to create a safe space for people to wrestle with faith, ask questions, and explore the journey of following Jesus. The gathering is organised by young adults from different churches, aged 18+ and is open to anyone interested.
    Meets fortnightly at 157 St John St (St Johns middle building) on Tuesdays at 6pm for dinner and discussion with the next meeting on Tuesday, 12 March. 

    Find more details on Facebook.

    Samaritan’s Purse

    Shoebox Numbers Are In! 

    Samaritan’s Purse announced this week that 11.3 million shoeboxes were packed worldwide during last year’s Operation Christmas Child collection season (2023). That means millions of children will now hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be discipled in 2024!

    read stories of the incredible impact a simple shoebox gift is having around the world, visit their website. 

    Seeing and sharing the impact of this work is a great way to honour everyone in the TasBaptist community who has packed shoeboxes and partnered with Samaritan’s Purse over the years.  

    Being Human Webinar

    What does it mean to be human?

    Karl Faase will be joined by Jo Frost to look at the question, What does it mean to be human. Jo Frost is Author of the book and video series, ‘Being Human’ and will grapple with the idea of what it is to view the world through the Being Human lens. She will consider questions such as What is Jesus on about when he offers us ‘life to the full’? And look at the cultural stories are shaping our identity. Also, what makes humanity unique and what is the invitation that God extends? 

    On Tuesday, 12 March 2024 at 7pm  

    RESERVE YOUR TICKET 

    Trauma Recovery Course

    Reboot Trauma Recovery

    This three-day, faith-based course is focused on healing from trauma.  While aimed at Service-related trauma, REBOOT courses are being offered to the wider community suffering from all forms of trauma. This includes victims of crime, DV, childhood trauma, disability, grief and ongoing illness.
    One veteran on average dies by suicide every 2 weeks, making suicide amongst our service community is at an epidemic.

    Free to attend. Childcare is not available. For more info contact Andy & Zoe Cullen: 0420 462 845 or email: info@rebootau.org

    From Wednesday 13, March to Friday, 15 March
    9am to 2pm
    (Graduation Ceremony on Friday night, 6pm – 8pm)  

    At Wrest Point Hotel Hobart, Drysdale Room – 410 Sandy Bay Road, Sandy Bay 

    REGISTER ONLINE

    Heartlands Summer 2024 – out now

    By Women, for Women

    Heartlands is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

    Read more…

    Heartlands News

    New College Roadshow

    Frank W Boreham College launch

    Tas Baptists launched the new Frank W Boreham College on 5 March at Hobart Baptist Church.  The college will provide ministry and theological education, training, and reflection for our pastors, leaders, and members across Tasmania. This means Tasmanian Baptists now have the capacity to provide qualified training within the State.

    The new college is made possible by a partnership with both Kairos and Whitley.

    David will visit the state in early March and travel to all three regions to discuss what further theological education can look like, from diploma to doctorate. He will explain the Kairos subscription-based education model of learning. This model surrounds each student with a team of mentors who, along with the student, determine the student’s education and formation pathway.   

    The following informal evenings are open to anyone. 

    • Wednesday 6 March 7.30pm at Hobart Baptist Church
      Hosted by Stephen Baxter, 0417 313 273  
    • Thursday 7 March 7.30pm at Newstead Baptist Church
      Hosted by Dan Hutchison, 0457 765 907  
    • Friday 8 March 7.30pm at Burnie Baptist Church
      Hosted by Matty Coppin, 9484 064 490  

    Please contact Stephen, Dan, or Matty, ASAP if you plan to attend. 

    Hear about the Kairos subscription-based education model of learning

    Workshop for churches on CYSOF

    New Child and Youth Safe Organisation Framework legislation 

    Olive Road and Fostering Hope are running a workshop on Child and Youth Safe Organisation Framework (CYSOF) legislation. 

    The workshop is on Thursday, the 14 March 2024 at the Grace Centre, Rokeby,  from 9.30pm to 2.30pm. 

    The workshop will provide an opportunity for attendees to grapple with the new CYSOF legislation and to share resources and ideas to develop the required policies and processes that will ensure ongoing compliance with the new Framework.   

    Anyone from not-for-profit organisations and churches in Hobart would benefit from this workshop to gain a better understanding of the new legislation. This includes the new Reportable Conduct Scheme and new strict timeframes on reporting to the regulator. The workshop will also focus on how organisations or churches might comply with the ten Child and Youth Safe Standards.   

    If you, or someone within your organisation or church, are keen to attend, or if a weekend or evening session would suit better, contact Mary Blake, Exec. Officer, Fostering Hope on m. 0423 365 988 or email mary@fosteringhope.net.au.

    There’s more information about the Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework here

    Kids playing outside
    Working for a Child and Youth Safe Organisation

    Gaza Crisis Update

    From Baptist World Aid Australia

    Around 1.9 million people in Gaza have been displaced since the war started three months ago, when Hamas launched a terrorist attack on innocent civilians in Israel. 

    People are sheltering in overcrowded school buildings, churches, and medical centres; some are even pitching tents on the street. This has left families vulnerable as winter hits, with temperatures dropping down to 10 degrees at night. 

    Also, Gaza is experiencing a healthcare crisis.  

    Baptist World Aid Partners in the region are distributing aid to families, including medical items, medicines, hygiene kits, mattresses and blankets, and food packages. They are also continuing to provide medical supplies and other essentials to families in the West Bank and Lebanon, where civil unrest and violent attacks are rising.  

    Read this lament written late last year as preparation to pray for protection and relief for families in the Middle East.  

    If you’d like to consider giving, visit Baptist World Aid here. 

    Gaza war damage photo by Mohamad Zaanoun, International Health Partners
    Gaza war damage photo by Mohamad Zaanoun, International Health Partners

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    ReCharge News March 2024

    The Turning of the Tide?

    book with pen and graph for sacred agents crossover

    Sacred Agents

    Andrew Turner of Crossover reflects in his Sacred Agents blog.

    I blinked and had to look at the number a second time: 34 percent! Each year we gather the number of baptisms reported by Australian Baptist state associations, and there was a 34 percent increase from 2022 to 2023. Wow! But what to make of it? 

    It could be a whole range of things. Perhaps Australian Baptists got a whole lot better at reporting! (I imagine plenty of baptisms go un-counted, and while that’s frustrating for statisticians, it’s rather how things should be in a decentralised movement like ours.) 

    Or was it a post-Covid bump? Possibly, but I’m not convinced. Was it our National Baptism Week initiative? No, given the six-month lag in collecting the numbers, they’ll show up next year. I had been expecting a rise of over 20 percent simply based on what I was hearing anecdotally from pastors and leaders. But 34 percent is remarkable – what could possibly explain it? 

    Is the wave of baptisms another indication of the ‘turning of the tide’?

    Could It Possibly Be Jesus?

    Well, I think the answer could possibly be Jesus. Why on earth would so many people want to be baptised? Hang on, why would they not? Let’s remember that belonging to God’s family through faith in Christ is the normal and sensible thing given the unfolding of his kingdom, the place in it he offers, and the promise of his Spirit! We can get lost in studying the tea leaves of culture and economy to see whether people will or won’t like Jesus – and find that we believe more in the power of culture and economy than in the power of the gospel to captivate people of all cultures and economies. 

    That said, I do wonder whether wave of baptisms is another indication of the ‘turning of the tide.’ The church in the West has long been adjusting to the end of Christendom and the loss of (mandatory) popularity that entailed. Many have become resigned to endless decline – a narrative that’s entrenched itself even as church participation has increased. 

    New Theist Movement

    As Western culture increasingly becomes a spiritual desert, however, should we be surprised that spiritual thirst increases?

    As Western culture increasingly becomes a spiritual desert, however, should we be surprised that spiritual thirst increases? Along with stories of baptisms, I’ve been inundated with stories of ‘gate crashers’ – people (especially young adults) walking into churches that neither advertised nor invited them – and asking to be introduced to Jesus and Christianity.  

    Ten years ago the ‘New Atheist Movement’ held the floor among Western intellectuals, but it has died much faster than any church it mocked, and in its place we now see the ‘New Theist Movement’ – including such opinion-leaders as Jordan Peterson, Tom Holland and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (now openly a Christian). For more on this see Justin Brierley’s The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God book and podcast.  

    So are we seeing the turning of the tide – even the beginnings of revival? It’s 20 years too early to say. But keeping our heads – indeed keeping our eyes on Jesus – our confidence to live for and witness to him should be based on him, rather than the fickle fashions of our culture.

    Let’s be absolutely confident in Christ, and in pointing people to him, regardless of whether they’re likely to applaud or imprison us. 

    Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover.

    Andrew Turner is the Director of Crossover.
    Crossover exists to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus.

    This article appears on his Sacred Agents blog

    Please support the Australian Baptist Easter Offering – which funds Crossover to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus. For information on how to participate and run the offering, see crossover.org.au/offering.

    Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash.

    A turning of the tide?

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    February 2024

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    Waking Up to the Dream

    Waking up to the Dream at Christmas

    Preparing for Christmas

    Crossover Director Andrew Turner helps switch your mind from the Silly Season to Reality.

    Waking up to the Dream By Andrew Turner of Crossover.
Photo by Kira auf de Heide on Unsplash

    I love my weekly parkrun, but I don’t enjoy running. I enjoy the challenge. What I really enjoy is stopping running.

    During the fifth and final kilometre, as my brain struggles for oxygen, weird stuff begins to happen. I talk to myself out loud without thinking, so it’s a surprise to hear ‘Come on Turner!’ and realise the voice is mine.

    Time slows. The world shrinks until my sole focus is on that Sisyphean asymptote known as the finish line. When eventually I get there, there’s a further strange few minutes where I’m conscious of sanity gradually returning. Reality reappears. A weekend begins.

    It’s interesting how Christmas sits in the very final week of a long year. It’s meant to be about the breaking in of ultimate reality – the Word became flesh and dwelt among us1 – but by Week 52, the room can be swimming a little. Jesus gets lined up with elves and tinsel, fir trees and reindeer. It’s called the Silly Season for a reason, and we’re ready to suspend reality for a week or three to taste an idealised world where work is rare and cricket plentiful.

    So how can we be sensible enough to know we need rest, but also awake enough to the capital-R Reality of the inbreaking Kingdom? How do we keep it from just seeming like a dream?

    Do it well

    One way to do this is by Adventing well. Advent reminds us that the Kingdom has been coming in off the long run. It’s a dawning, not a random lightning flash that leaves you wondering whether you only imagined it. Come, thou long expected Jesus.

    Another is by Christmasing well. Read the story as a news story and pinch yourself – this has really happened. The hopes and fears of all the years are met – are met – in Thee tonight!2

    The hopes and fears of all the years are met – are met – in Thee tonight!

    Phillips Brooks

    And finally, let’s New Year well. The return to school, work or other mundane rhythms are no longer a doom, because they’ve been put in a new perspective. In Christ, we find that that Reality doesn’t bite, it kisses! Our Messiah comes not to condemn the world but to save it! Not to extort productivity out of us, but to offer an easy yoke! Not as a disgusting medicine only palatable if mixed with elves and tinsel, but living water! Not to mete out our wages, but to offer us gifts!

    Christ is not blind to or immune from the world’s pain, nor should we be. (Lenting well is next.) But he shows us that it’s a passing nightmare, not our defining reality. So we approach the new year driven by hope rather than dread, knowing that our Hope is not a Sisyphean asymptote, but closer than ever and certain to arrive.

    Merry Christmas, sacred agents!
    2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover.

    Andrew Turner is the Director of Crossover for Australian Baptist Ministries

    Crossover exists to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus. Check out our resources, ideas and recommendations at crossover.org.au.

    1. John 1:14 (NIV) ↩︎
    2. O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks, 1868 ↩︎

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    reCharge NEWS October 2023

    25th October 2023 | reCharge News

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      Support those affected by the Middle East Crisis

      Baptist World Aid are taking action. You can too.

      Baptist World Aid have activated a disaster appeal to respond to this unfolding crisis and enable local Christian Partners to provide urgent assistance to civilians affected by the conflict as soon as humanitarian corridors are open.  

      Together, we’re grieving the violence that is causing immeasurable suffering, and mourning with those whose loved ones have been killed or are being held captive. We’re distressed for the one million people who’ve been displaced, and all those innocent civilians living in fear across the region today. 

      Baptist World Aid request the help of the Baptist Family. Donations will enable local Christian Partners to provide urgent assistance to families affected by this conflict as soon as possible. 

      Appeal details. DONATE HERE > | Resources for churches are also available >

      Baptist churches across Israel and the Palestinian territories, including Gaza Baptist Church, have requested fervent prayer for peace. ‘Let us follow paths of peacemaking that unequivocally reject terrorism or any acts that target civilians,’ the Baptist World Alliance said, in a statement on behalf of churches in the region, ‘Let us generously provide help and support with the compassion of Christ.’  

      Please join us in praying for peace, hope and security for the entire region, so all can enjoy fullness of life as he intends. We’re yearning for the day the prophet Isaiah spoke of when swords will be beaten into ploughshares. (Isaiah 4:1)   


      Hiroshima Survival

      Original Documentary: Australian Veteran’s Incredible Story

      This documentary features Dennis and Laura Ludbey formerly of Ulverstone Baptist Church.


      mainly music at Westbury

      Westbury Baptist Church, mainly music

      Westbury Baptist have established mainly music in order to connect strategically with families in their local community.

      Children and their parents enjoy songs and activities together. Parents and carers discover others in their community and form friendships.

      Through the program, Westbury Baptist will have an opportunity to reveal Jesus through their interaction and engagement. Together, with the support of mainly ministries, they’ll be creating a joy-filled community of belonging.

      First time free, then $5 per family. Ages 0-4 plus parents/carers.

      Westbury Baptist Church, 53 Franklin Street, Westbury, TAS 7303

      Doors open at 9:45 and music starts at 10am, followed by morning tea and play time.

      Find out more >


      Farewell Mal Garvin

      18 November 1941 – 3 October 2023

      Family and friends were warmly invited to attend the memorial service of Mal Garvin at 11:30am on Thursday 12th October at Citywide, 400 Cambridge Rd, Mornington.

      READ: An article about the service on Thursday 12th October, including an overview of Mal’s life.
      WATCH: The entire service on YouTube.

      Mal Garvin memorial service, 11:30am Thurs 12th October 2023, Citywide Baptist Church Mornington

      Follower of Jesus, loved and loving husband of Jenny. Loved and loving father and father-in-law of Matt and Leeanne, Liz and David, Danni and Dan, Nathaniel and Renee. Proud and loved Papa of Maddi, Josh (and Jen), Dan, Sophie (and Mitch), Simeon, Anya, Zoe, Josuahm, Ollie, Bridie, Lilly and Tim.
      Friend and mentor to hundreds across the country and around the world.


      Domestic Violence Resources

      The Safer Spaces Toolkit

      An endorsed project of Australian Baptist Ministries, The Safer Space Toolkit is aimed at resourcing pastors and church leaders to address domestic abuse and build relationally healthy communities.

      FIND OUT MORE: Preaching tools, training sessions, videos and user guide.
      WATCH the introductory video, below

      This project started as a result of recognising domestic abuse resources were often available only by region, and there was a need to create a resource that could be accessed by any pastor anywhere, with access to the Internet.

      The project working group is made up of Baptist women from around the country who have expertise in pastoral leadership, theology, teaching, domestic abuse and project management.


      Compliance Reminder

      Is your church ChildSafe?

      The Safe Church deadline is fast approaching! 1st January 2024 is the date to meet all the Safe Church requirements, as set out by the Child and Youth Safe Organisations Act approved by parliament in May 2023.

      Child Safe training for Safe Churches

      Training has begun in every region of the state. If your church has not yet begun the process, you are encouraged to get onto it urgently.

      As a refresher, you could read the article by Administrator Rodney Marshall which was published in June: Safe Churches Update >

      For more information please contact:


      LifeWay comes 3rd!

      Crossover Quiz Night Results

      Australia’s Baptistist Quiz Night

      Crossover Quiz night 2023

      Well done to all the teams who participated in the online quiz night on Saturday 2nd September. A big thank you from Crossover for joining in!

      Crossover raised just over $1,100 from the night.

      Special mention to the top 3 teams: 

      1. Knightsbridge Baptist Church SA 
      2. Richmond Baptist Church SA 
      3. Lifeway Devonport Tas

      State Leaderboard:
      1. South Australia/Northern Territory
      2. Tasmania (Woohoo! Go Tasmania!)
      3. Western Australia
      4. Queensland
      5. New South Wales/ACT
      6. Victoria

      Funeral Notice

      Farewell Markus Sebastian

      1963-2023

      Friends and relatives were invited to attend the service to celebrate the life of Mr Markus Sebastian at Gateway Baptist Church 22 Wellington Street, Launceston on Friday 29th September 2023, commencing at 11 am.

      The service was conducted by Rev. Michael Eleveld, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Launceston. This invitation was extended to those who knew Markus. He would have loved to see people he knew there.

      Please also be in prayer for Stephanie Sebastian (SU Tas), daughter Charlie and son Michel.


      Australian Christian Book Awards 2023

      The Australian Christian Literature Awards encourage Christian writing and publishing that helps people discover Jesus in a way that is authentic and culturally meaningful. The SparkLit Awards recognise and encourage excellence in Australian Christian writing and publishing.

      Held recently in Melbourne, the awards revealed some amazing writers along with their books. Check out the shortlisted books as well, because they also produced some gems. (Maybe there’s some Christmas shopping in the wind today?)

      WINNER! Australian Christian Book of the Year 2023

      Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible’s Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture by Christopher Watkin
      A philosopher uses the Bible to analyse and interpret contemporary Western culture.

      Australian Christian Book of the Year award winner 2023

      WINNER! Australian Christian Teen Writer 2023

      Caleb MacLaren from Victoria won the 2023 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award with his screenplay The Journey.

      In a modern twist on the Noah’s Ark story, this script follows four companions as they navigate an empty world devastated by an alien attack. 

      Australian Christian Teen Writer of the Year award winner 2023

      Fostering Hope

      Mentoring Program in Hobart

      The next Fostering Hope training day is in Hobart on Saturday, October 14.

      Fostering Hope are a community organisation whose work comes from the Bible and the teachings of Jesus to ‘visit’ and ‘care for’ orphans and widows, to put the lonely in families, to love the fatherless, to care for children, and to love the neighbours in the communities. Tasmanian Baptists partner with Fostering Hope partner to provide foster care to Tasmanian children.

      Through their Mentoring Program, Fostering Hope seeks to provide a “friend with purpose” for kids in care.

      If you are looking for a way to live out your faith in caring for those in need, you can make a difference for a child in care. Please get in touch to talk about how to be equipped with training, connected with a child, and provided with ongoing support as you mentor. With just a few hours a month, you can significantly impact the life of a child in care for the better.

      Find out more or apply HERE | Reach out to Ellie (ellie@fosteringhope.net.au).

      Fostering Hope Mentoring Day, Hobart 14th October 2023
ReCharge News October 2023

      Crossover Resource

      Baptism Week Ideas Guide

      15-22 October 2023

      National Baptism Week logo
      Crossover Baptism Week, Oct 2023

      National Baptism Week will be an opportunity for churches, youth groups, small groups and ministries across Australia to celebrate, explore and offer baptism.
      Check out the short explainer video and Ideas Guide, as well as baptism resources on our new Baptism Hub. Joining in is very simple – no need to register or report back – you can use Baptism Week in your own way.


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      The Scandal and the Wonder

      Ready for Baptism? - Crossover reflection from Andrew Turner

      Baptism Week

      Who’s Ready for Baptism?

      Andrew Turner of Crossover reflects in his Sacred Agents blog.

      When is a person ready fro Baptism? Sacred Agents #121
Photo by Amonwat Dumkrut on Unsplash

      I’ve been working on baptism resources lately, and it’s mainly straightforward. But there are curly issues too, like the question, “When is a person ready to be baptised?”

      There are extreme answers to this. Some denominations say ‘At birth!’ Others, concerned about post-baptism sin, have concluded ‘Just before death!’ You’ve likely narrowed it down somewhat from those extremes, but the question remains.

      If we baptise people on their first interest in Jesus, how do we know it isn’t merely a crush? Six weeks later they might be into Buddha or basket-weaving. It’s not a new phenomenon – the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13) speaks of flash-in-the-pan believers as one of four main types of people who hear the gospel.

      But if we delay, how long? For there’s another type (thorny ground) who hang around much longer but in the end are similarly unproductive. And Jesus’ next Parable (The Wheat and Weeds) speaks to the difficulty of discerning which is which anyway.

      Baptism, historically

      In the 3rd to 5th Centuries, churches enrolled new believers into several years of instruction in faith and morals. Their way of life was closely observed. The final hurdle was to learn the creed and be able to recite it by heart. Then baptism. There’s something admirable about the commitment to intentional discipleship, but there’s something troubling too.

      The scandal and wonder of the gospel is that people can be reconciled to God instantaneously. The returning prodigal isn’t required to spend a few years in the workers’ quarters, proving his reformation. He gets the ring of family-belonging only five minutes after turning up in rags.

      The scandal and wonder of the gospel is that people can be reconciled to God instantaneously.

      Andrew Turner, Crossover

      Learning vs Earning

      Discipleship is a process, certainly. But it’s at our peril that we shape it (or allow it to be perceived) as a staircase up to acceptance with God and inclusion with his people.

      So what’s the choice? Shall we be casual, or die-hard? Lax, or strict?

      It needn’t be so binary. Why not have a rigorous system for strengthening new believers, but place baptism at the start rather than the end?

      There’s a new life to learn, but it’s not something we earn. Dallas Willard aptly put it, ‘Grace is not opposed to effort, it’s opposed to earning.’

      How do you know if someone is ready for Baptism? Dallas Willard said: ‘Grace is not opposed to effort, it’s opposed to earning.’

      When the Ethiopian eunuch says ‘There’s a pool of water – what’s to stop me being baptised?’ we don’t see Philip answering, ‘Well you’ve only passed the Isaiah exam.’ But neither does the New Testament see disciple-making as dipped-and-done. Baptism has always been an initiation – a start line.

      Some will start and then stumble. But the danger of baptising someone who may fall away is vastly outweighed by the danger of withholding baptism because they might. It is best, I think, to baptise all who are willing to follow Jesus . . . straight into a supportive and disciplined community.

      Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover.

      Andrew Turner is the Director of Crossover.
      Crossover exists to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus.

      Check out the Baptism Hub on crossover.org.au/baptism

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      ReCharge NEWS August 2023

      30th August 2023 | ReCharge News

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        NEWS FROM CROSSOVER

        Crossover Baptism Week

        15th to 21st October

        National Baptism Week will be an opportunity for Baptist churches, youth groups, small groups and ministries across Australia to celebrate, explore and offer baptism.

        Watch the explainer video and ideas pack. Joining in will be very simple – no need to register or report back – you can use Baptism Week in your own way.

        Check out the new Baptism Hub which also includes new baptism resources and more to come.

        Free seminar in Hobart

        Sharing Hope in Crisis

        Sharing Hope in Crisis seminar

        As the Church, we are representatives of Jesus, bringing compassion and comfort to our world. Sharing Hope in Crisis further equips us to do this well, allowing people to journey through a life-changing circumstance.

        This seminar is to provide resource and equip you to help those going through crisis. Tea and coffee and light refreshments available. Bring your lunch, or choose from local cafes.

        Let’s learn more on how to journey with someone through crisis, grief and difficult life changing circumstances. 

        God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:)

        Sharing hope in Crisis Seminar

        Date: Saturday 23rd September 2023
        Time: 8.30am for a 9.00am start – 4.00 pm finish
        Venue:  Your Church, (29 Charles Street, Moonah)
        RSVP’s required for venue and resource supplies.

        Crossover Fundraiser

        Australia’s Baptistist Quiz Night

        8pm, Saturday 2nd September

        Yes – Baptistist is now a word!

        Crossover Quiz night 2023

        What happens when 1000 churches and six associations go head-to-head? Let’s find out!

        Grab some friends and some nibbles and a laptop and a phone and make a team to represent your church! Suggested donation of $10/person to register.

        The quiz will happen over Zoom, so you’ll need a laptop (or other Zoom-able device) positioned so your team can see, hear and be seen. 

        FIND OUT MORE >

        APBF Sunday, 20th August

        Save Manipur Day of Prayer

        Join this important day of prayer for our Baptist family in India who are suffering.

        Every year, on the 3rd Sunday in August, the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation proclaims a Day of Prayer for a specific area in the region.

        In 2023, the focus is on Manipur, India. FIND OUT MORE >

        Sadly, more than 120 people have been killed, 250 places of worship destroyed or damaged and up to 50,000 people displaced. More than 1,700 homes are now seriously damaged or destroyed as a result of the recent violence.

        Rev. Prof. Akheto Sema, General Secretary, CBCNEI (Council of Baptist Churches, Northeast India) writes:

        The State of Manipur requires unceasing and deepest concern. Due to recent unrest and violence which started from 3rd May 2023 thousands of men, women and children are displaced, rendered homeless and are made to suffer.

        Several churches destroyed and burnt down, houses belonging to the victims burnt down; children and college/university going students had to seek admissions outside of Manipur since the institutions are closed.

        RESOURCES

        Where are All the New Atheists?

        Olive Tree Media Webinar series with Karl Faase

        Wednesday 6th September, 7.00pm AEST

        Olive Tree Media’s 2023 Webinar Series has been amazing and there have been some incredible guests share their expertise and wisdom.

        In the next instalment, Karl Faase will host Justin Brierley for:

        Why New Atheism Grew Old
        Justin Brierley on his forthcoming book ‘The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God’

        Citywide Celebrates!

        75 Years of Witness

        On Sunday, 6th August, Citywide Baptist celebrated the 75th anniversary of the commencement of the Lenah Valley Church. About 120 past members and adherents were present at the celebration.

        Citywide Lenah Valley celebrates their 75th Anniversary

        The anniversary occasion was held at the Lenah Valley Church following the morning service. As part of the celebration, a printed history was made available entitled 75 Years of Christian Witness. A History of the Lenah Valley Baptist Church, by Laurie Rowston and Maurice French.

        75 Years of Christian Witness. A History of the Lenah Valley Baptist Church
        Cover of the book, launched on the day

        The work began when the leadership of the Hobart Baptist Tabernacle saw the need for outreach in this growing suburb. To that end, the afternoon Sunday school was commenced in the Community Hall, on 1st August 1948.

        The afternoon Sunday school was the only Christian witness in the suburb at that time. Today the Lenah Valley congregation is part of the Hobart Citywide Church, which includes the Citywide Hobart Nepalese Church.

        Office Administrator Position

        Newstead Christian School

        Established in 1996 to provide a distinctly Christian education, Newstead Christian School is a friendly and supportive school community comprising of 120 students from K-10, in stunning Launceston, Tasmania.

        Committed to equipping and empowering our students to serve wherever God might call them, we focus on teaching the Australian Curriculum from a biblical perspective; support-ing students to grow in character and faith, as well as academic and sporting excellence.

        We are currently seeking a person with excellent interpersonal and communication skills to join our cohesive team here at NCS from the beginning of Term Three.

        Position Overview As part of the school office team, this employee provides a broad range of general administrative support consisting of effective client (Children, Teachers, Other Staff, Parents, Suppliers, etc.) services and advice and operation of school-based systems.

        HOURS: 8.30am-3.30pm, Mon- Fri, 42 weeks/year.
        ALLOWANCES: 11% Superannuation and standard leave allowances.
        JOB-SHARING? Possible, should two suitable candidates present themselves.
        POSITION DESCRIPTION/APPLICATION FORM: Visit the NCS website at ncs.tas.edu.au
        SUBMIT BY: Friday 25th August 2023 to principal@ncs.tas.edu.au,

        Youth Alive Undivided

        NORTH: 6pm 18th August | NW: 6pm 19th August | SOUTH: 6pm 25th August

        In August, Youth Alive are running “Undivided”three regional youth gatherings. They would love to invite your youth ministry and young people!

        Youth Alive’s mission is to reach young people with the message of Jesus. They believe these events will see youth ministries united, faith ignited, momentum gained, and young people respond to the Gospel!

        Outreach events are a great way to unite young people, reach youth, and share the truth of Jesus. At every one of these events attendees will be invited to a local church or youth ministry as a next step of faith. They would like to partner with you to help reach the next generation.

        The Youth Alive team are building volunteer teams for each of these events. If you would like to volunteer, please click the button, below.

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        August/September 2023

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        We are a Royal Priesthood

        A Royal Priesthood - Tas Baptists - Sacred Agents

        Sacred Agents

        Six Simple Questions

        Crossover Director Andrew Turner considers the work of ‘a royal priesthood’ in his latest blog.

        Sacred agents have a priestly duty – in fact sacred agent is just a fun way of saying priest. All of Jesus’ people are called into one version or another of this ministry, and together we are being formed as “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2), which will never not be amazing.

        A royal priesthood
        Tasmanian Baptists in action

        Priests always face two ways – towards God and towards people. To be effective as sacred agents, let’s not only think about how we talk to people, but also how we talk to God. So whether you’re going brilliantly or feeling far from effective, here are some great questions/requests you could bring to him.

        1.     “Would you please fill me with your Spirit?”

        Jesus is the vine and we’re the branches. We can only give to others what we ourselves have received, so all effective sacred agents have found ways to ask and to receive much from God. The good news is that God eager to give! Jesus couldn’t have been more emphatic about this: We’re not only allowed to ask for God’s Spirit, we’re urged to. (Luke 11)  Amazing things happen when God pours his love into our hearts. And apart from this, not much really happens at all.

        2.     “Please show me where I’m blocking your flow.”

        Jesus was equally emphatic in teaching that God’s blessings are not just for us but are to be through us. “If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink … streams of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7) But there can be objects, attitudes, habits, fears or doubts that choke the ministry God wants us to have and reduce it down to a trickle. Asking God to bring such things to light is highly strategic and good us as well as others.

        If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink … streams of living water will flow from within them.

        John 7:37-38 Berean Study Bible
        3.     “To whom are you sending me to today?”

        It’s easy for us to look at our day and just see tasks, appointments and duties. God sees people. And if we’re available to Him, there will be people he wants us to not just brush past, or even for us to go out of our way to meaningfully connect with on his behalf.

        4.     “Please give me a real sense of how much you love them.”

        We’re usually called to be more than messengers, who simply say ‘God wants you to know XYZ’. Even if all we have for someone is a brief word, we’ll be much more likely to share it (and share it well) if we have a sense of how deeply and powerfully God longs for them.

        5.     “Who should I partner with in blessing them?”

        This question moves us from seeing ourselves as solo superheroes. We may have individual assignments from God for sure, but often we’re called to work as a body, which is wonderful and powerful and a witness in itself. If someone has a need and the solution is not in my hand, my hand may still have a role to play – pointing, connecting, or passing along.

        6.     “Please give me wisdom and courage to know and play my part today.”

        Along with God’s Spirit, wisdom is the other thing that the Bible makes clear we’re allowed to ask for with guaranteed results. A sacred agent is not called to do everything, nor to do nothing. We just need to know our part and be ready to play it.

        Be transformed

        It’s possible that the simplicity of these questions could have disappointed you. They’re not exactly rocket science, are they? But for those who dare to actually ask them, there’s transforming power that leaves rocketry looking pretty boring by comparison.

        Andrew Turner is the director of Crossover, and author of the Sacred Agents blog

        Andrew Turner is Director of Crossover for Australian Baptist Ministries.

        Crossover exists to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus.
        Browse all our resources on crossover.org.au


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        Sacred Agents