Baptist Steering Group - June 2017
It was great to be hosted by the West of England Baptist Association in Clevedon on this occasion and we were privileged to hear from a range of missional leaders in different contexts. Click here to download a brief PowerPoint to share their stories in your church notices or other Home Mission Presentation.
Pill Baptist Church – ‘How do we connect with this community?’
Pill Baptist Church have moved location from their Chapel building to help them better engage with the local community. They now meet in a local community centre, a day centre in a retirement community and in a home group setting. They are also developing different expressions of church.
Read the full story here
Worle Bapist Church – ‘New communities need new churches’
The Church at Worle were asking the question - where next? Bigger church or plant? The answer was to plant in Parklands. With Home Mission support, they have been developing Parklands Community church and are about to interview someone with a view to calling a Community Pastor.
Read the full story here
Chew Magna Baptist Church – ‘It’s about discovering what our mission is’
Chew Magna is one of four small Baptist Churches that historically had little relationship with each other. In the last two years the other three were left without pastors, John Miles ~brought the leadership teams together. Over the past two years he has been helping them see a way forward. It’s not about the past and they must think differently – ‘what will church in the valley look like?’.
Read the full story here
Click here download a brief PowerPoint to share their stories in your church notices or other Home Mission Presentation.
Pray: For each of these churches as they journey with God, each other and their communties.
Investing in Godly Leadership
With its focus on implementation, BSG, received an update on progress with the Ignite project and was particularly encouraged to hear about a fruitful meeting with the pioneer networkers. Many opportunities now exist for training and recognising pioneers as accredited ministers, yet it was recognised that this was not always clearly communicated locally and regionally. In many areas we see the Lord opening up opportunities for pioneering and we long for Him to raise up more leaders in response.
The National Settlement Team also met together. At this time of the year there are the fewest ministers in the Settlement Book and it is especially challenging at the moment as more churches are seeking nominations than ministers available.
Pray: we continue to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into his harvest field.
Participating in God's mission
Whether we are disciples, churches, chaplains, pioneers or ministers, our vision across Baptists Together is to play our part as we participate in God's mission to the world. BSG were encouraged to hear feedback from the recent Baptist Together Mission Forum. The Forum is the collaborative space where we give particular attention to strategic mission and the Forum is also able to release resources to support this. On this occasion the Forum has been able to bless Urban Expression, the Fresh Expressions New Housing Hub, The Turning and to build further capacity to tell the mission stories of what God is doing.
Pray: For the establishing of the national New Housing Hub with Fresh Expressions and the key roles of Penny Marsh and Ali Boulton in that. Pray too that those who are responding to Christ on the streets through The Turning would be like seed that fell on good soil, springing up into lifelong discipleship.
Growing healthy churches in relationship for God's mission
All Team Leaders were able to further evaluate various approaches that had been outlined at our previous gathering. In doing so, some of the issues and tensions of our current governance as a Union came more sharply into focus.
Pray: the theme that the Lord drew out for us from scripture over the two days was the primacy of love in our life together. As we were reminded by Ephesians, we continue to seek to be rooted and grounded in His love and for that love to shape all that we are and do.
BSG was updated about the progress on developing concrete plans for the family solutions to the Pensions deficit and there was continued engagement with and support for the approaches emerging.
Despite slightly more positive signs in March and April, Home Mission income in May was £11k down on last year and the current forecast will be a £120k deficit on the 2017 Home Mission budget.
Pray: for the continuing development and refining of family solutions to our pensions deficit and for the Lord to bless us with the financial resources that we need to fulfil His call to us at the time.
At NST and also BSG we said ‘farewell’ to Richard Lewis who retires next month. Richard has served the Eastern Baptist Association for 10 years; the last three as Team Leader. We will miss his humour, experience, insights and grace; he has been such a valuable person to many of our teams! Beth Powney has been appointed successor to Richard and it was with joy that we welcomed her in each of our different gatherings.
Lynn Green June 2017
The Revd Lynn Green is General Secretary of our Baptist Union
Please share this update with your church.