The local grapevine has always been a way of finding out what is happening in your community, a mixture of gossip and real information. Churches need to know what is happening in their community so that they can be both proactive and responsive. Facebook groups have supercharged the local grapevine to new heights and they provide local churches with an insight into the pulse of the local community and its needs. (more…)
Monday is the day I talk about church stuff to my irreligious friends more than any other day. This is in response to the ‘Monday question’: “How was your weekend?” (more…)
The NCLS has plotted the Australian Baptist movement over many years. Over the last decade the survey has highlighted the increased involvement of local churches in their local communities as they have purposed to be more missional. However over the same period the survey has also highlighted that our engagement in sharing the good news of Jesus has decreased. (more…)
Prac interview with Garry Billing; General Superintendent for Tasmanian Baptists in 2010.
PRAC: Tell us a bit about your life and ministry experience prior to becoming GS for Tasmanian Baptists.
I sensed a call to pastoral ministry at the age of 16 and commenced studies at age 20. I had anticipated pursuing a musical career, but instead have found fulfilling opportunities to use these abilities within the churches I have served. I was ordained at Ulverstone in March 1969, two months after Wendy and I were married. We commenced ministry in Launceston where our two boys, Andrew and Shane, were born. When our hopes of going as missionaries to Bangladesh didn’t work out, we focused on pastoral leadership.
When Busselton Baptist Community Church moved from rented rooms in a child care centre to their own purpose-built Community Centre six years ago, they wanted to make a splash in the community to mark the long-anticipated event. It was decided to hold a “Free Fun Fair” on the opening weekend and this “one off” event was such a success that it has happened every year since. The splash, you might say, is still making ripples. (more…)
This Christmas, you are likely to see some unfamiliar faces at your church events: people for whom “church” is a foreign experience. What will they experience? How welcome, how comfortable will they feel? I grew up inside the Christian “club” but a few years ago, my own taste of a foreign church culture made me much more sensitive to the experience of newcomers or “seekers” who might attend a church like ours. (more…)