Crossover runs a variety of webinars to make our resources more accessible for Baptist Church leaders around Australia. The topics include a range of practical skills (like how churches can use facebook effectively) and support discussion topics – like bi-vocational and church planting hang outs with special guests from the relevant fields to give input and advise from their experiences. (more…)
Church Planting Webinar – 11am (EST) Wed 4th Nov. 2015
Church planting is an exciting frontier of ministry. There are churches who have been involved for many years in planting other churches and others who are seriously thinking about it. Church planting can be tough, complex and draining. It’s important to share ideas and experience, encourage one another and build supportive relationships.
Join us for our Church Planters Webinar on Wed 4 November at 11am EST. Our guest is Andrew Turner the author of Fruitful Church. Andrew works as a Church Development Facilitator with the Baptist Churches of South Australia and is a valued member of the Crossover Taskforce. Andrew replanted and for 11 years pastored Glen Osmond Baptist Church, during which time it in turn planted several churches. He and his family have now joined a team to missionally reinvigorate a small church in West Beach SA.
The Webinar length is scheduled for between 60-90min. Click on this link to join us: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/412314997
You can dial in by telephone to participate on this number: Australia +61 2 8355 1024 using the following access code: 412-314-997
Picture this… you are taking your ship out to the open seas. There is excitement in the air. As the captain, you have the vision of where you are heading and are in tune with weather patterns and ocean currents. You keep watch of the horizon, for potential changes ahead, and you give instructions to alter the ship’s course as you see fit. You will put this vessel through it’s paces and see it in full flight. A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are made for – so the saying goes.
This nautical imagery goes a long way to helping us grasp the spiritual gift of administration and it’s place in the church today. The New Testament provides us with several lists of spiritual gifts used to build up the body of believers. 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 is the only one to mention administration, in the ESV and NASB translations that is. Other translations include words such as leadership (NLT), guidance (NIV), organisers (MSG), leaders (CEV), and governments (KJV). These are all different translations of the Greek word κυβερνήσεις, which has its origin in the word kubernao, meaning ‘to steer’. It implies leadership or governance, and has a literal sense of a helmsman, the person responsible for steering a ship.
Administration is a spiritual gift essential in the life of a gathering of believers as demonstrated in Acts 6. In those days the number of disciples was increasing (6:1). The apostles were responsible not only for preaching and praying but also for the day to day running of the church. Whenever an issue arose ‘on deck’ they would have divert their attention from praying, preaching and charting the course ahead to sort things out. We can only guess at the sort of issues they had to deal with, but we are told of one: a disagreement about the distribution of food among the groups of widows. The apostles sensed that these kind of issues were diverting too much of their time and energy, so they gathered the whole group of believers and instituted the first helmsmen.
There were seven who were selected to serve as the first administrators. They were of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom (6:3). They were called and gifted. They knew their stuff and were bold and courageous in their faith. Stephen, one of those selected for the role, went on to become the first martyr of the early church. And with the appointment of these administrators the number of disciples increased greatly and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith (6:7). How was this possible?
The role of a church administrator is to simplify systems, to serve the various ministries and activities, and release pastors to pray and preach. For a church’s potential to be fully released pastors need to be able to devote their time, energy and effort to vision and charting the course ahead, knowing that their church has the appropriate systems in place which are being overseen by a called and gifted administrator. The pastor at the bridge, telescope in hand, leading the way forward with the administrator at the helm ensuring everything is in place to steer the church in that direction – that’s when we get to see what the church was really made for.
For more on church administration – including the resourcing, networking, and training of church administrators – visit churchadmin.org.au
– Alissa Ryan & Peter Adcock, Greater West For Christ & churchadmin.org.au . For more info you can contact Peter on [email protected]
“While all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable… there are times when the Word of God cuts through particularly sharply, like a two edged sword. I vividly recall many decades ago when I was struggling with a “meat sacrificed to idols” issue – one of those scenarios where Christians had differing opinions and where my choice would, quite likely, offend some Christians. I was reading 1 Corinthians 9 when it became crystal clear to me….”
Writes David Chatelier in a recent BUV Blog. Click here to read the article.
Did you catch the look of incredulous surprise on the face of the guy sitting on the park bench in our recent Easter video? He suddenly realizes that God has chosen to use him to reach others for Jesus.
Why is he so surprised?
What has happened to our understanding of mission that realising that all Jesus followers are “sent” by God is a new revelation?cYes we have too often outsourced mission and outreach as the video suggests and have diluted down the call to mission to just a select few.
This stands in such sharp contradiction to our Baptist story in Australia and overseas. A story of creative witness in many diverse contexts that is such a rich one. We trace our inspiration to being sent out to bear witness with creativity back to way of Jesus, the early church and the creativity of our God as demonstrated in the Scriptures.
Being sent is at the core of God’s mission, highlighted in the sending of His own Son and so clearly understood by the early church. Of the multiple examples let just highlight one.
Luke in his inspired account of the sending out paradigm of the early church in Acts 11:19f provides an understated narrative of a local church in action at Antioch.
As Luke records it, some unnamed people, ”men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.” Understanding that their commitment to Jesus meant they had to go out, they were instrumental in the establishing the first non-Jewish local faith community.
This ‘sending out’ paradigm is so imbedded in the ethos of this local faith community, that it comes as no surprise that they participate so energetically in another significant “sending out” moment in the mission of God.
As Luke records in Act 13, this same community of believers – inspired by the prompting of the Holy Spirit affirmed Barnabas and Saul in their call to be sent out – “So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”
And this initiated another stage in the movement that was to see the transformative message of Jesus impacting “all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
The Church when it is authentically the Church is always a sending community. Sadly however the guy in the park bench characterises the lack of awareness of many believers of God’s purpose to use them to share the message of Jesus.
I find myself asking the question, what would it take for my local church to help believers like him understand that as s/he goes out into their daily life activities at work, in the community – s/he is in fact being sent as an agent of transformation?
What would it take? Let me offer five suggestions that would be part of the list:
1. A commitment by the local church to make mission its core business as directed by the Holy Spirit.
2. A strategy by the local church to strengthen the local believers to believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. To fortify their confidence in the Gospel.
3. A strategy by the local church to equip the local believers to be more competent in sharing the Gospel.
4. A process as a gathered community to affirm local believers in their engagement as agents of transformation in their everyday worlds.
5. A celebration of the stories of transformation in the local community and beyond which have occurred because the local believers have “gone out” on mission.
For more on being ‘Revitalised in Witness’ please read the other posts in this series:
“This year it was exciting to hear about the range of models of church planting that are happening across the country. To meet church planters from the front line and work with them on the issues that they are facing. To see the common threads within the models. It is exciting to be with people who understand that the church is first and foremost centred on Jesus.”
Philip Bryant reflects on the recent Crossover Church Planter’s Consultation in March, and also discusses why church planting is needed in Australia. “We need new expressions of church to reach the myriads of cultures that exist in Australia… ”
How has your church joined the discussion on the results of the National Church Life Survey (NCLS)? What will be your response as a church? As leadership? – to the challenges of evangelism and church planting?
NCLS identified nine core qualities of the church to consider: faith, worship, belonging, vision, leadership, innovation, service, faith-sharing, inclusion. (more…)
Crossover invested heavily in the 2011 National Church Life Survey to commission research to help understand the potential and opportunities that exist for evangelism and church planting within our movement of churches. In addition to the standard NCLS questionnaire Crossover commissioned a further ten Baptist specific questions. The findings will help the leadership at all levels understand more about how we are doing as a movement and what opportunities we can grasp. The good news on the question of church planting is that we have plenty of potential represented in the significant amount of people in our churches who are prepared to be engaged. The question posed was “If you had the opportunity, would you support and/or become an active participant in the planting of a new church?”. The results are encouraging. (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…)
This weekend our little church is commissioning a family to go and plant a church 300km away. We can’t afford to do this. Not them – two of our best leaders, best givers, and best friends. Not now – as we’re still recovering from two other recent plants and as two of our interns also leave to become pastors elsewhere. Not us – a little church of perhaps 50 on a Sunday. What are we thinking?! Well, I’ll tell you. (more…)