Ignite Commendation and Status
I warmly commend this final report from the Ignite Project Team. Leaders and Godly leadership are critical to enable us as Baptists Together to be faithful to God's call of 'growing healthy churches in relationship for mission'.
Over this past year or so a vision has begun to be birthed in us to develop the sort of patterns of ministry and leadership that we will need for the future. The Ignite Project was a way of seeking to capture our hopes, vision, energy, prayer, and practical experiences to enable us to set our course ahead as Baptists Together. So this report represents and articulates many hours of listening and consultation and gathers them up and reflects them back to us so that we can think more deeply about the practicalities of turning vision into reality. This report is not the end, it is only the beginning of a period of generational change!
Our Baptist Union Council (who are tasked by us to discern broad strategic direction and hold the Baptist Steering Group accountable for implementation) received the Executive summary and explored in more depths the different sections of the full report in smaller groups in October 2015. Overall it was recognised that there is still a lot of hard work to be done but that we are heading in the right direction. It was also recognised that some areas needed more further reflection than others. In the light of Council the project team has finalised the report and offered suggestions of practical ways forward for implementation. It is important to note that these suggestions are not 'agreed' formally but are welcomed as concrete proposals to help us develop our thinking and plans for each of the areas. Ongoing consultation and collaborative working are essential to enable different parts of this report to be refined and returned to Council in the future.
In October, following the feedback from Council, the Baptist Steering Group (who we have tasked to plan and co-ordinate collaborative implementation) spent further time considering which areas of the report we needed to address as a priority. We agreed the following:
that the final report from the Ignite project should be available on our website, together with the report, Reflections and Thoughts on the Future of Baptist Ministry by Roy Searle that was an additional substantial piece of work created to support the work of the Project team
that a copy of the Executive summary be sent to every minister and church to invite feedback and engagement
that we initially focus our energies on the Marks of Ministry, covenant for churches and ministers, the personal development plans for Newly Accredited Ministers and progressing the database and process systems necessary to facilitate effective ministry support.
This report represents a huge amount of work from the Ignite Project team led by Phil Jump (Regional Minister and Team Leader for our North Western Baptist Association) and also included Andrew Jackson, Alice McDermott, Anne Lane, Israel Olofinjana and Adam Stacey. I want to thank them for all their energy, dedication, gifts and passion in getting us this far, we really appreciate the ways that they have served us through this project.
All that remains is for us all to work together, each bringing our gifts and insights, so that we can develop and agree detailed plans for each of these areas in order to release the ministries we want and need for the sake of God's mission. It is a huge challenge but I believe that we can do it!
Thank you for all the ministry that you offer right now within and beyond our Union, this is not only valued but also forms a great foundation for all that we will develop.