The Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) is to change some of its structures and ways of working as it seeks to become a more mission-focused movement. At their meeting in June, Baptist Union Council agreed the key framework for developing a new future. In many respects this marks a beginning and not an end – “we want to organise ourselves differently as a Baptist community; as we do so, we believe this will generate significant change but this will happen with time, and will be rooted in the life and vision of local Baptists, not determined and imposed from any central body.” (more…)
You never know who you are going to encounter in life. Sometimes in the strangest situations you are shown by the most unlikeliest people what it means to be Jesus to the world around you. Andrew (Hamo) Hamilton had an experience exactly like this recently. (more…)
One of the most basic and fundamental considerations for spiritual seekers as they encounter people from a community of faith is simple: is this a mob that I would like to hang out with? Do I feel comfortable with these people. Is this social network and sub-culture something I want to belong to? You can have the best evangelistic skills on planet earth but its not always what you say, its how you live. Statistics show that Australians have made their judgment on this. Substantially more Aussies are open to Jesus than they are the church. But are they missing out on a best kept secret? I think they are. (more…)
How often have you heard it said about evangelism: “We just sow the seeds, and we’ll never know how they might grow. We may never see those people in our particular church, but that doesn’t matter.” It sounds noble and is usually said unapologetically. But it sounds like very poor farming to me. (more…)
Sam Thomson is pretty good at hunting pigs. He roughs it a lot and spends a lot of time as a pastor outside the walls of his church. He actively shares his passion for pig hunting with impressionable young people who he takes out into the wilderness for expeditions and adventures. Is this really the kind of Baptist pastor we want? In part 3 of this series we expose another Baptist pastor straying beyond the walls of the church. View for yourself and see what you think.
Sam is on staff at Blackwood Hills Baptist Church in the Adelaide hills as well as being a school chaplain. We spoke to him during a rare visit inside the walls of the church and dug a bit deeper to see if in Sam we had uncovered a genuine missional pastor.
Every now and then I have encounters with judgmental Christians which leave me shocked and at a loss to explain the visceral hatred they display. Sometimes the encounters are less traumatic and simply baffling. I marvel at the capacity for misdirected believers to contradict themselves and the faith they claim to be promoting. However, I am happy to say that I encounter the opposite far more: loving faith communities who go out of their way to communicate the Gospel in winsome and innovative ways. (more…)
Australia has become the second most cosmopolitan nation in the world. 1 As immigration has increased, Australian communities have become culturally more diverse. In the U.S., Harvey Conn, in his introduction of Manuel Ortiz’s book One New People, points out that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week because Christians tend to gather in ethnic groups.2 Our churches must respond to these changes in the particular contexts in which they are situated. There are doorways for welcoming and engaging in multicultural mission. (more…)
The mission of God is concerned with alerting people to his universal reign through Christ. One of the ways we join him in that enterprise is through the verbal announcement of that reign. We must see evangelism in this broader context, but we need to be careful not to assume that unexplained action is evangelistic. (more…)
Jane does not have a lot of time for Christians, and she made that pretty clear from the start. But the offer of free pancakes meant that at least she would talk to us. She is typical of the thousands of students attending Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley where Inglewood Community Church has launched a campus service. (more…)