Heartlands – Autumn 2022
Women’s Ministry at The Point
By Rachelle Hawkins
Since the The Point* Baptist’s inception in 2006, we have endeavoured to hold many outreach events to reach our town of Beauty Point. The message is always about who Jesus is, and why it’s important. These events include men’s dinners, women’s dessert nights, concerts, kids’ clubs, and an annual visit by Texan missionaries who do all the above, and more.
We, as a church, long to share the hope Jesus offers.
At the beginning of last year, we were feeling disappointed that international borders were still closed due to Covid-19. It meant our Texan friends could not come out to hold their mission outreach. As well, watching social media, it was clear our town had a number of people experiencing varying levels of anxiety, grief, depression, loneliness, confusion and hopelessness. We, as a church, long to share the hope Jesus offers.
A timely visit
When I was visiting Newstead Baptist Church, I was taken with the personable and articulate way Wendy Marston led the service. Her voice conveyed a particular sense of love and care. And her words conveyed her love for the Lord and the people and activities of the church.
After the service I asked her if she’s ever shared her story. At first she said no. Then remembered she had shared it once before. I asked if she would be willing to share her story again to a group of ladies in Beauty Point, and without hesitation she said yes, she would.
So we planned another women’s event.
And the response? Outstanding!
We decided to host a 3-course meal in The Cormorant Cafe, cooked by our chef. Wendy would be our speaker, and I invited a musician – guitarist and singer/songwriter Briar Marshall to bring some music. Wendy titled her talk “Undervalued or Super Loved?” and this went out on all the invitations.
The event was soaked in prayer, and was run by a team of women helping the logistics.
The responses came flooding in. We were all floored when 54 people RSVP’d to come, with 26 of these not currently attending church. On the night, we announced we were about to start a new Bible study, designed to introduce people to the life and love of Jesus.
From this initial night, seven ladies became part of the Bible study. A follow-up Bible study is currently underway, with most of the same ladies plus some new ones.
The debrief – Reflecting on what happened
We consider this outreach meal particularly successful. What made it so, compared with many events we’ve held which were all equally prayed over?
- Timing – it was June 2021 and people (especially mums) were keen to get out of the house
- Offering a free meal in a café, which was neutral territory
- The title of the talk “Undervalued …. Or Super-loved?” resonated with a lot of the attendees. This can not be stated enough, as a number of women commented that it sounded like something they “really needed to hear”.
- Having the follow-up bible study planned, with flyers to hand out, which allowed the ladies to respond on the spot, by expressing interest in a bible study.
Beauty Point still has a whole lot of people who need to hear of the hope and forgiveness that Jesus offers, and the lengths he went to, to purchase it. We hope 2022 brings more opportunities to share His love.
Jesus died because sin is killing us
Undervalued and super loved
The important thing, in my view, is to recognise that without the forgiveness of Jesus, people all around us are heading for eternity without him. We, at the Point Baptist, feel the burden of telling that message clearly.
So whether that’s through personal/friendship evangelism or inviting friends to events such as the Tasmania Celebration with Will Graham. Perhaps by investing in people’s lives, getting to know them and showing a genuine interest in them. Or events like the one described above.
All these create opportunities to explain Jesus died because sin is killing us. His life and death was God’s plan to deal with our problem of sin and death. What an exchange!
Once someone accepts Jesus’ free gift of forgiveness, they have a restored relationship with the God of the Universe. Even more than that, He comes and lives inside them to guide, shape, convict and counsel them, and to transform them into the likeness of Jesus for the rest of their life!
That’s one heck of a deal that people living all around us don’t even know is offered.
Rachelle Hawkins grew up in rural NSW and studied science at Newcastle University. Immediately after marrying Craig, they moved to Tasmania where Craig took up a job as a forester. Here she studied aquaculture and was employed as Senior Biologist at the newly starting seahorse farm in Beauty Point. Six children and many thousands of seahorses later, Rachelle loves nothing more than coffee with friends, time with family, her involvement with the Point Baptist Church, local soccer, and driving the taxi for her kids.
* The Point Baptist Church in Beauty Point is a small congregation in a small town. We meet at 5pm every Sunday in The Cormorant – Café on the Pier, which is upstairs in Seahorse World.