As we seek to put our finger on the pulse of Australian Baptist church life, one of the most significant signs of health and vitality is our leadership. (more…)
Norm Nix Scholarship 2017
The Norm Nix Scholarship is awarded each year to an Australian Baptist to assist in their development as a leader in evangelism in their ministry context. The scholarship is named in recognition of the outstanding leadership and service of retired Crossover Director Rev. Norm Nix, in encouraging evangelism throughout Australia. (more…)
NCLS has become an essential resource for the leadership of local Baptist churches as they seek to be more effective as agents of God’s mission in their local context. At a national level the NCLS research is pivotal to the development (more…)
Norm Nix Scholarship 2015
The annual Norm Nix scholarship is given to assist an Australian Baptist Pastor or theological student in their development as a leader in evangelism, in their ministry context. The scholarship is named in recognition of the outstanding leadership and service of retired Crossover Director Rev. Norm Nix, in encouraging evangelism throughout Australia. (more…)
Norm Nix Scholarship 2015
The annual Norm Nix scholarship is given to assist an Australian Baptist Pastor or theological student in their development as a leader in evangelism, in their ministry context. The scholarship is named in recognition of the outstanding leadership and service of retired Crossover Director Rev. Norm Nix, in encouraging evangelism throughout Australia. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide or contribute to the funding of the recipient’s undertaking a research project or specific training course, to allow for their intentional development as a missional leader. In 2015 it is awarded to Scott Morrison from Victoria.
Scott and his wife Sarah are intentionally involved in evangelism and church planting ministry in Melbourne, and Scott is six months into the Arrow Leadership Program with the view to prepare and equip them for this ministry both in Australia, and in the long term overseas.
After seven years as Youth Pastor at Crossway Baptist Church, Melbourne, Scott left this role at the start of 2015 to invest fulltime in the disciple making and church planting ministry Praxeis, a ministry birthed out of Crossway. Scott describes the move “towards the end of my time at Crossway, God started to shift my heart towards the lost, mostly through an organization called Praxeis. Praxeis is all about seeing church planting movements in Melbourne, Australia, and the rest of the world. As I began to share the Gospel with more and more people, and more and more people seemed to respond in a positive way to Jesus, it felt increasingly that this was what God really wanted me to do.”
Scott describes Praxeis as a ministry focused on praying, sharing the gospel and training others to share the Gospel too. Their hope is to see a saturation church planting movement where all over the city of Melbourne non-believers of all races and faith backgrounds meet in homes to fall in love with Jesus, become more obedient to Him, and to join with God in His mission of reconciling all people to Him. As an example Scott describes, “Sarah and I are currently connecting with a number of Hindu households. One of these is a couple who have seen God answer really specific prayer. When we last met together in their home, both said how much they love praying together, and that they want to know Jesus, not just know about Him. There’s a long way to go, but bit by bit, God seems to be drawing them to himself.” Long term they are considering a call from God to go overseas to a people of 22 million; 0.1% being Christian, majority are Buddhist. They hope the experiences of disciple making and church planting in Melbourne will equip them to share the Gospel overseas.
The scholarship will specifically support Scott as he does the Arrow program to increase his capacity to lead others, and bring them along the journey. He reflects that “six months through Arrow (a 2 year course), God has already been shaping me. He’s spoken to me clearly about my heart attitude, the future, and how I approach my role. As well as this, perhaps for the first time, I would now say that I am competent with admin!”
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]