Leadership and Growth
Wins for Tasmanian Baptists
During 2022, the Mission and Leadership Development Team were very busy, supporting Tasmanian Baptist churches.
So … how are Tas Baptists going? Read on to find out.
On the Front Foot
As I look forward to 2023 it is with great hope and with a deep sense that significant challenging times lie ahead of us. These challenges are reflected in the significant change to the religious landscape of Tasmania over the past 20 years.
- The latest Census figures show how those nominating as “Christian” has dropped from 69.9% in 2001 to 38.4% in 2021; and over the same period, those nominating as “no religion/secular belief” has risen from 17.2% to 49.9%.
- In the five years between the 2016 and the 2021 Census, those of “no religion/secular belief” overtook “Christian” as the largest religious grouping.
This is such a dramatic change, I’m sure I cannot fully appreciate what it means for our mission and ministry. Nevertheless, I’m convinced God has been preparing us for this moment.
How Tasmanian Baptists are responding
These changes have not caught us by surprise. More than a decade ago we deliberately embarked on transitioning to become a mission-shaped movement. More recently, our focus has been on building a team of new generation pastoral leaders. Although there is still more to do, we are making significant gains.
So, where to from here?
The Tas Baptist Council is currently in the middle of a review. They want to listen to our churches in this moment, and hear from God, to clarify our next steps. It is hoped a report will be ready to present to next year’s Mid-year Assembly in May.
My encouragement to us all is the words God spoke to Joshua, “be bold and courageous”.
Given the changing nature of society, complete with some significant economic challenges thrown in, I suspect the years ahead will be quite demanding and tough. Yet, God is with us, and this turns any threat into an opportunity. We are not caught on the backfoot, but are instead progressing with confidence.
So let us move ahead full of faith, hope and love.
Mission And Leadership Development
Focus on Joy
Every year feels big (and small) when thinking about church, community, and leadership.
It’s like thinking about family. There is no winner. Just the time-period of a year spent sustaining a community, growing leaders, deepening relationships, and dealing with setbacks.
I find it simultaneously rewarding, and challenging. As well, it is easy to let the setbacks dominate any discussion, because they are the easiest to remember.
Which is why at the end of every year I focus on what brought me joy.
Tas Baptist Pastors and LEADERS’ Musters
Courage | Presence | Proximity
I loved our March get together in Hobart, and our discussions on Courage. They set me up for the year in so many ways. I particularly loved our end reflections, and conversations I had with many, as we mutually encouraged one and other.
As the year has gone on, our conversations around Presence (Burnie) and Proximity (Launceston) have felt large. It feels like it is a constant conversation at the moment, where we are calling each other into presence and authenticity.
It brings me joy to spend time with you.
How we have carried courage, been present, and responded to our calling is something that gives me great hope as we head into 2023.
Blessings and Grace and Peace to you this Christmas.
Mission And Leadership Coach
God’s Invitation to You
As I reflect on 2022 …
There is a deep, quiet, and joyous sense of gratitude in my spirit about our Tasmanian Baptist community and what God is doing among us.
This year I have had the privilege of noticing an increased sense of team among our pastors, and walking alongside people as they courageously choose to follow God and his ways. I have seen an increase in bravery and vulnerability, understanding of self and of God, and a willingness to listen to and follow the promptings of Holy Spirit.
There is a stirring that God is doing something fresh, and we get to participate and co-create. No doubt there will be more challenges ahead, but what a privilege this is!
As we turn to 2023 …
I sense an invitation for us to know God better through the presence of Holy Spirit.
There is an invitation to find guidance for better ways of engaging. To find guidance to better engage with our communities and those around us with hospitable love and transformational grace.
I sense courage (bravery + vulnerability) and deep friendships will be integral to leaning into the kingdom of God, with patience and perseverance. I also sense an invitation to lovingly and prophetically speak into younger generations. To pull down the barriers in ourselves and our faith communities as we learn to know God and each other afresh.
Questions for you to ponder …
- What is God’s invitation to you for 2023?
- What does it look like for you to carve out time to dwell in God’s presence?
- Who are the safe people that you can increase vulnerability with?
- How can you build relationships with people of different generations?
FIND OUT MORE about the Mission and Leadership Development Team and how they can support you and your Tasmanian Baptist church.
Christmas Events Tasmanian Baptist churches celebrate! (from 14th December)
Deep Thought Dec 2022 The Change Makers by Melissa Lipsett BWA
CROSSOVER Christmas Resources Helping Baptists share Jesus at Christmas
AROUND THE CHURCHES November 2022 Find out what’s been going on!
ANNUAL ASSEMBLY Anthea Maynard reports
FAMINE In the Horn of Africa Be Informed by Baptist World Aid
How did We Do in 2022?