Baptist Steering Group - November 2019
What made this a particularly good Baptist Steering Group / All Team Leaders gathering was the emphasis on prayer
. At the very start of our meeting we gathered together to give thanks to God in prayer and then to reflect from Scripture (Luke 1:26-38) on Mary’s willingness for God’s new thing to be birthed in and through her. Later past President Dave Gregory led us in prayers for creation and the environment using Graham Kendrick’s song of lament, “Beauty for Brokenness”.
The following morning, I encouraged people to pray for some of our churches by name; those that were thriving, together with those facing challenges. We also prayed for our sister churches in Albania following the earthquake
. I went on to remind everyone of some of the prophetic insight that has been shared with Baptists Together over recent years and invited us to pray into these.
It’s always a blessing to have one of the Accompanying Group, who provide prayer support and shares in spiritual and missional reflection with us. Once a year, in November, we meet with the whole Group. This gives the Accompanying Group the opportunity to meet face-to-face as a group and to reflect on their ministry. On this occasion it was good to welcome Rev David Pile, Rev Dawn Brown and Rev Yinka Oyekan to the group. There was space for them to feedback their reflections about how we work and embody our values. They led us in an extended time of prayer, praying into some of the key topics that we had been engaging with during our time together. As we prayed, we were looking for keys to unlock things, whether that was asking God for Him to guide and act or seeking divine insight and new ideas.
Following Council’s consideration of our need for a new generation of ministers and the funding to invest in their formation
and training, we worked on defining the task of a Working Group and began to discern the sort of people we will need as part of this team and how we will identify them.
We also gave time to exploring the concept of “dual-operating” that was presented to Council
as part of ongoing reflections about the future of the Baptist Steering Group
. This approach offers a way to gain greater clarity about when Baptists Together are seeking to live as a movement and when we need to be faithful in operating as charitable bodies. We listened carefully to each other and thought more deeply about what this would involve. There was particular consideration of a possible “Movement Leadership Team” with some wanting to think about the name itself and others concerned about the size of the group if those leading priority areas were included. Overall, there was a sense that this approach would help us move forward in our relating together and that we need to be ready to experiment some more with this. The further reflections of BSG/ATLs will be fed back to Council in March 2020.
The news that Spurgeon’s College had been granted registration with the Office for Students (OfS)
, was met with cheers and applause and we took the time to give thanks to the Lord and also to recognise that this was a great example of how we successfully amplified our voices in the ‘public square’ by joining together to support Spurgeon’s College.
Mike Lowe (National Communications Manager) gave us a presentation of the initial findings from our recent communications survey
. This gave us valuable insight into where we are now and the best ways to engage with our current stakeholders. One of the good things that came out of the survey was that the regular emails, the Baptists Together Magazine, the website and Association communications were resulting in people feeling connected to Baptists Together and having a sense of belonging. We were also clear that we need to do more work to understand and develop our communications in terms of where we need to be for the future.
One of our Baptists Together values
is, ‘feeling like one team’ and I try and nurture this value in all sorts of different ways. At BSG this time I asked Adrian Argile (Regional Team Leader for The Heart of England Baptist Association) to organise some team bonding based on his passion for table tennis. We had great fun, and a little friendly rivalry between my team and Beth Powney’s team. As always with these things hidden talents and character traits were revealed!! All credit to Beth’s team who were the overall winners of the night! Once the fun was over, the serious table tennis players stayed on to play a doubles match where the (imaginary) trophy went to a partnership of Ken Benjamin and Graham Ensor!
The Revd Lynn Green is General Secretary of our Baptist Union
Baptist Steering Group offers collaborative leadership through co-ordinating the effective development and implementation of the broad strategy discerned by Council.
The purpose and role of All Team Leaders (Regional, College and Specialist) is to work together to develop and shape policies and plans to enable us to achieve our overall vision and strategy.
The Accompanying Group to the Baptist Steering Group provides prayer support and shares in spiritual and missional reflection with them.
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