In Conversation All Together Pastoral Retreat guest speaker, Rev. Dr Allan Demond discusses his ministry as Senior Pastor at NewHope Baptist Church. PAGE 12 >>
“Any leader worth his salt knows what he doesn’t know and does something about it.” DAVE KRAFT PAGE 13>>
3 Camp pioneers Book launch celebrates Baptist campsite’s 50th anniversary >>
Photo: Sarah Wickham
7 Ask Anything New DVD answers some of the questions that Australians ask about God >>
Vose Seminary 2016 graduates gathered with staff to celebrate their completion of years of theological study recently.
Graduates urged to shine 10 Training for Africa Over 370 people filled the auditorium of Riverton Baptist Community Church to acknowledge the success of 62 Vose Seminary graduates and welcome a new batch of students on 14 March. Built around the theme ‘let your light shine’, Vose Seminary’s annual Commencement and Conferral Service was an enthusiastic and celebratory event, according to organisers. Vose students have achieved some outstanding academic results over the years and the class of 2015 was no exception, with Richard Fletcher being awarded the Oliver Hayward Prize as the top student in the Graduate Diploma of Divinity program of the Australian College of Theology (ACT). The ACT is a consortium of 16 theological colleges, of which Vose is a member. Deborah Hurn won the Vose Seminary dux award, and her significant achievement in the
Bachelor of Theology degree was also noted. Dr James Lee introduced a group of Korean graduates, speaking fluently in both English and Korean, with his Korean comments being translated into English on the overhead screens. This is the second cohort of Korean students who have graduated from Vose Seminary, and the program is likely to grow further in the future. Not all the graduates were able to attend as some had already commenced ministry in other parts of Australia, while several international students are now serving in their home country. Baptist Churches Western Australia Pastoral Consultant Rob
Furlong spoke, urging students to let their light shine winsomely. He lamented that Christianity is increasingly portrayed as an extremist faith and encouraged those gathered to be sensitive in their portrayal of faith. “To do so, be mindful of the principles laid out by Jesus in the Beatitudes,” he said.
... urging students to let their light shine winsomely.
He also reminded graduates of the strength inherent in genuine meekness, and of the impact that it can have. During his talk, Vose Seminary Principal Dr Brian Harris showed
the latest photos of the building project at Vose which has now reached lockup stage and is scheduled to be opened at the end of April. He also spoke of the new opportunities resulting from the introduction of online courses at Vose, where it is now possible to take a whole degree in distance format. “The take up of the program has been strong, and current enrolments are double what was predicted,” Brian said. A group of musicians, mainly Vose students, led the worship at the service. They will also lead worship at the Baptist pastors conference this year. Undergirding the strong performance of Vose Seminary is the stable leadership that has been provided by its principals over the years. Now in its 53rd year, the Seminary has only had three principals in this time and all were present on the evening.
WA nurses visit Ethiopia to train orthopaedic nurses >>
Generous hearts committed to building the Kingdom of God. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view APRIL 2016
A leading topic There are so many challenges in leading a church. It is said that if you have two people in a room you have politics. Agendas, opinions, desires and challenges. These are not things uncommon to the early church. You can read about a disagreement that threatened to split the church in Acts 15.
Mark Edwards Mark Edwards is the Senior Pastor at Inglewood Community Church.
The early church was going through an explosion of growth as the Holy Spirit worked in miraculous and definitive ways. Thousands of people were accepting the good news of Jesus Christ. That indeed He was the Messiah, the Saviour. People of every tribe, tongue and nation were receiving the Holy Spirit. Into this wonderful movement came a group of people determined to see these
new Christians accept the old ways. To accept that the Law of Moses had a claim on their life. This threatened to halt the momentum of the Church as it lost its focus on the primary mission. Thankfully good sense prevailed and the missionaries were given permission to keep doing what God had empowered them for. How often do we in churches allow our own
preference, our own desire, to threaten the agenda of Christ in the church? It took wise leaders to guide the discussion to a place where the primary mission was kept at the forefront of the decisionmaking process Leading in church is difficult. We are dealing with people who love Jesus, who are passionate about their church. Yet at some point we need to understand that loving people
means we love them enough to not leave them where they are. To see a better future, a new way, to keep momentum going. Leading. It does not mean you domineer. It does not mean you win. It does mean however that you love people enough to not leave them where they are.
When you don’t know what to pray … You’ve probably heard that ‘prayer changes things’. And it does. But what about when you don’t know what to pray, or you are not sure what you are really hoping for? Perhaps you are confronted with an ailing relative. You love and care for her deeply, and probably don’t feel ready to say goodbye.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
Your default when she becomes ill is the ‘Lord, please heal her’ prayer. But in your quieter moments, you might wonder, ‘is that really a loving prayer? Perhaps it is her time to go’. Is it unthinkable to pray, ‘Lord please take her home’? Or it might be a wayward son, in trouble with the police yet again. Instinctively you pray, ‘please get him out of this trouble Lord, and sort him out’. But
what if God wants to restore him through a jail term? Could that be wiser than your ‘let him off the hook’ prayer? And then there are those prayers that God really shouldn’t answer in the affirmative. CS Lewis wrote of ‘prayers which heaven in vengeance answers’. Actually, getting the new job you prayed for could be the worst thing in the world for you. That might
be tough to accept as you open the rejection letter, but it might be no less true. Likewise, believe it or not, you are probably better off not winning the lottery. For those who pray, and then think about what they’ve prayed for, these questions often arise. So what to do when we don’t know what to pray? Perhaps it is to go back to basics. Is prayer about sending
instructions to God, or is it about consciously entering into the presence of God. No requests to bark out, just taking a deep breath and remembering that God is, that God knows and that God’s love can be trusted. As we wait in that presence we sometimes find agenda’s change, a new perspective dawns, and fresh courage is born. In the end, while prayer sometimes changes things, it more often changes us.
Living with grief On 23 November 2015, Stephen passed away. He was my eldest brother and friend. He inspired me and many others to be better versions of ourselves. In the end, he was the victim of a short and furious battle with anxiety and depression. We were there when he died; hoping, praying, weeping, disoriented.
Dan McGrechan Dan McGrechan is a Baptist pastor planting a new church in the Midland area.
So began the road of grief for our family and his friends. Personally, I’ve found it to be a road like no other. Many seasons of life are difficult. Stress, illness, conflict, disappointment and the like insist on sprouting and spreading in our lives like garden weeds. And we go to war on them. We pray, plan and act to overcome these hardships. The Roundup [weed killer] may
not always work, but our objective is clear: get rid of them. Grief is different. As hard as it is, I don’t want it to leave just yet. It keeps the memories of Stephen close. It keeps the offensiveness of death before my mind. It recentres me on the hope I have in Christ, the death conqueror. I am not striving to overcome grief. I am learning instead to live with it. Like the Psalmist
who experienced darkness as the closest of friends, I have found grief to be a constant companion. The same is true of God. He has not removed the pain of loss. Instead, He has drawn near to me to share in my suffering. He is present as one who lost his own Son to an inexplicable death. He is equally affronted and offended by Stephen’s death as I am, perhaps more so.
He is more silent than speaking, but He is with me. In a sense, I look into God’s eyes and we both know that death is not meant to be a part of this world He created. And He assures me that it will have no part in the next world for which we hold out hope. In the meantime, we grieve together. For however long I walk the road of deep grief, I am thankful for Emmanuel – God with us.
letters to the editor send us your letters The Advocate welcomes your letters to the editor on topics of concern to you and the community. Send your letters of no more than 100 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 10th of each month.
Tribute to campsite pioneers John Le Cras It was the year Australia converted to decimal currency from pence to cents, the Vietnam War was raging and Sir Robert Menzies retired as the nation’s longest serving Prime Minister. “Of course this story is not just about the construction of buildings, as important as they have been. The buildings have been a means to an end.” For the thousands of campers who have enjoyed the facility, and for many of the camps that have been held, the goal has been to provide the opportunity for people young and old to experience God at work in their lives. Praise and blessing among the Peppermints is an independent publication. To purchase a copy, email email@example.com
Campers lining up for meal time at a family camp, 1981-1982.
On the road for ministry At a time when the plight of refugees in Australia is a hot topic, Baptist Financial Services Relationship Manager Anina Findling and Baptist Churches Western Australia Insurance Officer Natalie Coulson found encouraging examples of the positive impact refugees can have on the communities into which they integrate while on a recent road trip. The two women travelled through the Great Southern region visiting churches, schools and ministries. Their visits included two cross-cultural churches, mostly comprised of refugees. “We were greatly blessed by their deep faith,” Natalie said. “They are respected, hardworking members of their communities who have
established themselves and their churches well.” Throughout the trip both Anina and Natalie consistently found that every church, school and ministry that was visited had great aspirations for how they would love to see their facilities and ministries serve their congregation and community more effectively, with the ultimate goal of seeing more people say ‘yes’ to Jesus.
Photo: Natalie Coulson
But 1966 was significant for another reason that has had a profound impact on the lives of literally thousands of young people, as told in a new book. Praise and blessing among the Peppermints tells the story of how a small, dedicated group of Baptist church members from WA’s South West realised a vision to build the Baptist campsite on the shores of Geographe Bay. This year the Busselton camp site celebrates its 50th anniversary. The anniversary and the launch of the book will be celebrated on Saturday 16 April at 3pm at Bunbury Baptist Church. Author Bruce Jenner has penned a fascinating account of how the idea developed and the leap of faith by a dedicated band of workers that saw the vision for a Christian campsite become reality. One of those camping pioneers and Bruce’s publishing collaborator Don Cross explains how the campsite project came about. “The Baptist churches were not long established in the region, and they were exploring ways to minister both to their own people (especially youth) and also to reach out to the unchurched population,” Don said. “Bringing people to Christ and discipling them in Him were seen as priorities.” “Camping for schools and other organisations was becoming prominent in this period, and it seemed to some in our churches that this activity offered an excellent way to influence many people for Jesus Christ.” And influence they did as Bruce explains in this detailed account of how, starting with nothing but raw bushland, the camp pioneers constructed a campsite. At times this involved hauling old forestry cottages to the site, hand digging wells and repurposing almost any material available given that budgets were often razor thin. Bruce’s description of how this book came about is similar in nature to the campsite itself – a testament to faithful people prepared to get out and give something a go for a cause in which they had passionate belief. “That this book has been written is entirely due to the efforts of Don Cross,” Bruce said. “Don was ready to undertake the hard work of contacting many of the people who could provide information and so part of the task was already in hand.”
Anina Findling (back right) with a group of Katanning Karen Baptist Church women.
ANNUAL BOOK SALE SATURDAY 9TH APRIL 2016 Come join us. We have over 30,000 second hand books available for you to choose from. There will also be a sausage sizzle and much much more. Come early so you don’t miss out. The main event is Saturday 9th April from 9am3pm. Any unsold books will be on sale at Vose during business hours until 29th April.
GREAT OFFERS, QUALITY BOOKS, COME, GROW T: 08 6313 6200 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.vose.edu.au A: 20 Hayman Road, Bentley WA 6102
RTO 0145 VET CRICOS 01052B ACT CRICOS 02650E
news APRIL 2016
New look Baptist campsites
There have been some exciting new developments at the Baptist Churches Western Australia Serpentine and Busselton Camping Centres recently. Thanks to a generous community grant from SUEZ, an environmental organisation, the Serpentine Camping Centre has also been able to install a wheelchair ramp and stairs into the dining room and main hall. Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Camp Ministries Ross Daniels said this is a significant addition to the campsite. “It will foster inclusiveness, safety and wellbeing, and a greater sense of community amongst our campers,” Ross said. “It has already been well utilised and our regular campers have been very appreciative of the many upgrades and changes they are experiencing at the campsite.” The Busselton Camping Centre has also seen some major additions to their facilities in recent months.
For more information about the campsites, visit www.baptistcampingcentres.org
Photo: Serpentine Camping Centre
Bathrooms at the Serpentine Camping Centre have been refurbished, bringing them into the 21st century and made a sensational addition to the Leaders’ Cabin. Guests that lead camps will feel a little bit of luxury when they stay in the freshly painted, newly air-conditioned cabin, which boasts new beds with innerspring mattresses, new flooring, new window treatments, and a comfortable and functional new camper’s office. Feedback from campers who have enjoyed the new facilities has been very positive. “Fabulous – the glamorous bathrooms were amazing and beyond our expectations!” a recent group commented about their experience.
A new bunkhouse was opened in December ahead of schedule and has already been steadily booked by singles, couples and families who are looking for a quiet beachside getaway. The bunkhouse has been appointed with modern conveniences and boasts three separate air-conditioned and ensuite units that can accommodate between two and seven guests. The largest of the three cabins also comes complete with a kitchenette. Both Serpentine and Busselton Camping Centres are proud to be industry leaders, being the first two campsites in Western Australia to successfully achieve accreditation approval with the National Accommodation, Recreation and Tourism Accreditation (NARTA). NARTA provides a process for checking and providing recognition of compliance with relevant legal operational requirements.
New additions have won over campers and leaders at the Serpentine campsite.
Busselton Camping Centre • Meeting halls • Dining halls • Dormitories (accommodates 35-86 guests) • Bunkhouse (accommodates 20 guests) • Bunkhouse 2 (accommodates 35-104 guests) • Bunkhouse 3 (2 x 2 guests, 1 x 6 guests) • Cottages (4 x 6 guests) • Grassed oval, tennis, basketball and beach access • Campfire (seasonal) • Wheelchair friendly • Self-catered/catering provider available
Serpentine Camping Centre • Full sized gymnasium • Large meeting hall • 4 meeting rooms (small) • Large dining hall • Accommodates 200 guests • Swimming pool (21 metres) • Grassed oval, tennis and basketball courts • Minigolf and challenge activities • Climbing wall • Campfire (seasonal) • Wheelchair friendly • Fully catered
UK adventure Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries Mark Wilson and his wife Karen were joint speakers at the East Midlands Baptist Association Ministers’ Conference in the United Kingdom during February. ‘God is good but He’s not safe’ was the topic for the conference. Mark and Karen said that as they unpacked this theme, many ‘aha’ moments were shared as they identified with pastors in their ministry and mission. “The sessions led by Mark and Karen were inspirational, rooted in scripture, and practical in terms of encouraging ministers going through difficult times,” East Midlands Baptist Association Chair of Trustees Rev. David Harvey said. Karen spoke at a ladies’ day and Mark at church services on the weekend. They then gathered with national leaders to speak about significant issues facing the church in the UK. “Mark and Karen teach and embody an attractive vision of
Christian ministry; authentic, vulnerable, focussed and deeply committed to the glory of Christ in the church,” Rev. Mike Fegredo from Nottingham said. “Karen’s line about adventurous leadership remains with me: ‘If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine!’ Give me adventure any day!” he said. The couple found that the challenges faced by those leading local churches are common across both countries – pastors need encouragement, inspiration, fellowship and solid training to continue in the work God has called them. Alongside the main sessions, there were many opportunities to encourage leaders in their calling.
digital church 08/03/16
Tom Jones lifeway.com/pastors There are many particular things a church can do to honour their less visible members, but the bottom line is this: love like Christ.
Mark Dance lifeway.com/pastors Our desire to conceal our sin can be traced back to Adam and Eve … Fearing consequences is normal, but running from the One who loves us most doesn’t make any sense. What sin are
you covering up that needs to be covered by the blood of Jesus? Confessing sin is your part; covering sin is God’s.
that we have become God’s children, by both birth and adoption.
response from us. The secret is beautifully summed up in this phrase: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart’ [Proverbs 3:5].
and He has set this time for me to overcome!”
rickwarren.org/devotional What relieves our hurt and helps us keep going when we’re in pain and we want to give up? God’s grace.
Steven Dilla twitter.com/stevendilla Why fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom?
twitter.com/KyleIdleman Suffering makes room in our spirit for us to know and experience the blessing of God’s peace and presence.
philpringle.com/blog The believer is both born of the Spirit and adopted by the Father. This is double assurance
desiringgod.org The secret to contentment is very simple. And it does not require heroic acts of piety. No, in fact it requires a childlike
joelosteen.com Let your attitude be, “Yes, this obstacle looks big, this sickness, this legal situation. But I know a secret: God is still on the throne,
twitter.com/CSLewisDaily I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
Louie Giglio twitter.com/LouieGiglio Nothing is ordinary. Life is an endless series of little miracles. The difference between living and existing is noticing.
Baptistcare, one of Western Australia’s largest providers of aged care, disability and mental health services, recently celebrated its fourth annual Recognition Awards at a Gala Dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Perth. The evening celebrated everyone’s achievements at Baptistcare over the past year. “The Awards are an opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ to our staff, to honour the extraordinary 1,700 people who make up our organisation, who continue to make a difference in the lives of thousands through the services we provide,” Baptistcare CEO Rev. Dr Lucy Morris said. The Baptistcare Recognition Awards acknowledge staff
who demonstrate the organisation’s values of dignity and compassion, integrity and respect, courage and justice, stewardship, and accountability, as they carry out their roles in our communities across Perth and regional Western Australia. The process of nomination starts with submissions from peers and clients, and the winners are selected by an external judging panel which includes the CEO of Aged and Community Services WA (ACSWA). Two CEO’s Awards are also presented for Leadership and Advocacy, the recipients of which are handpicked by the Baptistcare CEO. ACSWA CEO Trevor Lovelle praised the calibre of staff. “I never cease to be amazed at the quality of people working at Baptistcare,” he said. Congratulations to these outstanding winners of the 2016 Baptistcare Recognition Awards: • Dignity and Compassion Award – Melanie Thompson, Support Worker, Baptistcare Disability Services, Bunbury
Integrity and Respect Award – Pamela Helm, Supervisor, Baptistcare Mirrambeena residential aged care facility, Margaret River Courage and Justice Award – Panya Prathumchat, Domestic Staff, Baptistcare Kalkarni Residency residential aged care facility, Brookton Stewardship Award – Ray Sidwell, Facility Support Officer, Baptistcare Mirrambeena residential aged care facility, Margaret River Accountability Award – Annette Lambert, Payroll Coordinator, Support Services, Belmont CEO’s Award for Leadership – Natalie Curley, Facility Manager, Baptistcare Gracewood residential aged care facility, Salter Point CEO’s Award for Advocacy – The late Richard Hill, Disability rights advocate
Baptistcare awards staff
Baptistcare CEO Rev. Dr Lucy Morris (far left) with the 2016 Baptistcare Recognition Awards winners: Natalie Curley, Heather Simmons,
Baptistcare is already working on plans for the 2017 Awards.
Melanie Thompson, Pamela Helm, Panya Prathumchat, Annette Lambert and Ray Sidwell.
Christians more happy than atheists
Home to share
Photo: Jill Birt
A new survey has found that Christians experience higher levels of happiness, life satisfaction and self-worth than people who do not have a faith.
Scott and Bek Falconer (front of table) spoke about their experiences with the Yawo people in Mozambique at a recent Global Interaction event.
More than 90 people from Baptist churches across Perth and the South West met to hear the latest news of Global Interaction’s work in Mozambique in late February. Scott and Bek Falconer and Cam and Kath Beeck spoke about their first three years working with the Yawo people, facing personal and family challenges that tested their perseverance and faith in God. They also told inspiring stories of seeing God at work, meeting
needs and bringing light to people stuck in a culture of fear. “God’s love will transform people and culture. That’s why we are there,” mother of three and eight months pregnant Bek said. They also shared how their experiences shaped their conviction that they need supporters in Western Australia to pray for them and the Yawo people they are living with. The Perth Global Interaction team, Pastor Colin Meadows and Pam Gallagher, hosted the morning gathering at Riverton Baptist Community Church. Sally Pim reported on a recent Global Xposure shortterm team she led to Malawi and Mozambique. She expects to join
the Global Interaction team in Mozambique in 2017. “The experience was a real encouragement for me as I prepare to be part of the team in Mozambique. It confirmed so much for me,” Sally said. Glenn and Liz Black, who are preparing to work in Thailand among the Ethnic Thai, sensitively guided the gathering through heartfelt yet informed prayers for Global Interaction workers and spheres of influence around the world. Resources for entire church congregations are now available for May Mission Month. To download materials, visit www.globalinteraction.org.au/ be-involved.
As part of the Measuring National Well-being research, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) [in the United Kingdom] questioned 300,000 people between 2012 and . In a table measuring happiness, Christians apparently scored themselves more highly than every each religious category except Hindus. According to the ONS, Christians are happier than those of no religion, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. Similarly, Christians came in joint first place with Hindus in the life satisfaction index and they were ranked second in terms of self-worth, behind followers of Judaism. Speaking on Premier Christian Radio’s News Hour, Christian psychologist and retired psychology teacher, Nadia Foster, said: “People think all religions are the same but they’re not. Those of us who are Christian say it’s a relationship and not a religion. That makes a
difference because you’re having a relationship with a living God.” “One of the verses in the Bible [is] ‘I have learned to be content in all situations’. There can be an element of sadness because everything that happens in our life isn’t wonderful but in the midst of it, as a Christian, you know that it’s okay.” Which faith group is happiest?* • No religon: 7.22 • Christian (all denominations): 7.47 • Buddhist: 7.41 • Hindu: 7.57 • Jewish: 7.37 • Muslim: 7.33 • Sikh: 7.45 • Any other religon: 7.26 *Figures: Office for National Statistics. On a scale where zero is ‘not at all happy’ and ten is ‘completely happy’. This article originally featured on premier.org.uk/news – a website covering news from a Christian perspective.
news APRIL 2016
Toddler groups growing fast
structure the music elements of a Toddler Jam program. The latest Toddler Jam music CD, When I Grow Up, was launched on the day. It contains seven new songs from WA songwriters Benjamin Humphreys, Brianna Louwen and Jess Magowan that will engage and entertain young children and their families. Music books with lyrics, chord charts and lead sheets are also available. “The CD has all the songs as well as backing tracks so it’s a valuable tool for Toddler Jam groups that don’t have the ‘live’ music,” Jess said. The crucial area of intercessory prayer for Toddler Jammers and their families was addressed by pastors from Inglewood Community Church, Senior Pastor Mark Edwards and Children and Youth Pastor Andrew Binns. Parkerville Baptist Church started their Toddler Jam program eight years ago and have consistently run two sessions each Wednesday during school terms. “We continue to have many families with deep needs and mobilising our team and others to seriously pray for them is really important. The time with Mark and Andrew was really helpful,” Parkerville Baptist Church team leader Karen Entwistle said.
The Inglewood Toddler Jam music team leads conference participants in a favourite Toddler Jam song.
Youthful outlook is bright
For more information about Toddler Jam, visit www.toddlerjam.org.au
Photo: Ed Devine
A record 40 members from 16 groups met at Inglewood Community Church for the annual Toddler Jam Conference in early February. The Toddler Jam website states that the program is an “inclusive, entertaining, interactive and engaging musical experience for toddlers and young children”. With more than 20 groups already across the state, new groups starting in 2016 include Kingsley Church of Christ, Maylands Church of Christ, Lakeside Baptist Church and Impact Catholic Community Church, which meets at Chisholm Catholic College. Keynote speaker at the conference, Operation Mobilisation trainer Wayne Field spoke on leaving a spiritual heritage for our families. “What we model, children will pick up on,” Wayne said. Conference attendees could choose from a number of electives following the keynote speaker. Maida Vale Baptist Church Pastor Rob Douglas talked about how their church is leveraging their contacts from Toddler Jam into other areas of church ministry including their monthly Messy Church service and their community fair events throughout the year. Engaging dads has been a particularly productive focus. Inglewood Community Church Worship Pastor Jess Magowan ran a workshop to help group leaders craft and
Photo: Mark Edwards
The Toddler Jam movement continues to grow steadily in Western Australia.
Baptist youth and young adults pastors from across WA gathered for community and coffee.
To find your local Baptist church visit www.baptistwa.asn.au
Youth and young adults pastors from Baptist churches across Western Australia met in Perth last month to strengthen ties, hear about each others’ ministries and to make decisions about how to gather youth together on a state level. Over coffee, pastors enjoyed hearing how each others various ministries were ‘travelling’. Joining the group were five people new to their roles: Joseph Chang from Riverton Baptist
Community Church, Rowan de Boulay from Parkerville Baptist Church, Stan Meyer from Kalgoorlie Baptist Church, and Ben and Tara Smith from 1Church Mandurah. Ben and Tara share the youth pastor role at 1Church Mandurah. “We found it encouraging to connect with the faces behind the various youth ministries. Some like us new to the ministry and other more seasoned youth ministers,” Tara commented. “To hear that we are there to help each other was great.” “We are not alone but one big family.” All pastors had a resounding harmony of vision to keep discipleship as the main focus of youth ministry.
“I was really encouraged to hear a consistent theme of renewed authenticity,” Peter Randell of Waratah Christian Community Church said. “Real discipleship, real basics, real community and real spiritual growth in young people.” The group has started an online network space to post event information, share ideas, celebrate each other’s wins and to ask for prayer. The pastors’ next get-together will take place at the pastoral retreat from 18 to 20 April. For more information, phone the Baptist Churches Western Australia office on 6313 6300.
With less than 1 in 14 Australians attending a church, research commissioned by Olive Tree Media surprisingly showed that 49 percent of people are interested in having a conversation about spiritual issues. McCrindle Research carried out the independent study in 2014, with researchers speaking with Australians outside the church. Baptist Churches Western Australia Church Health Consultant Pastor Philip Bryant has the view that many in the Christian church have believed a lie. “It goes something like this, ‘Australians are not interested in talking about God or religion’,” Philip said. “The findings obviously counter this view by revealing that every second person in the country would be open to a conversation on the topic.” “What does this mean for Christians and the church? Maybe
we don’t need to shrink from our beliefs or opinions? Maybe we can have a voice?” he said. Crossway Baptist Church (in Victoria) Senior Pastor Dale Stephenson and the Crossway team have field tested and developed this idea into a series called Ask Anything which was recently launched in Perth. The result is five ten-minute DVD clips acting as teasers to answering some of the questions that Australians ask about God. The series answers the questions: Is there a God? Why does God allow suffering? God and evil, Is the Bible reliable? Is Jesus worth considering? The idea is that a Christian, or group of Christians, may invite some friends who are not yet believers over for coffee and cake to watch a DVD and discuss some of life’s questions. “From my experience, it is simple. You play the DVD for ten minutes, switch it off, pick up a piece of cake and ask, ‘so what did you think of that?’ Put the piece of cake in your mouth and sit back and listen to people’s comments and ideas. They usually flow a plenty,” Dale said.
Photo: Mark Edwards
Asking the big questions
Pastor Dale Stephenson launching Ask Anything at Inglewood Community Church.
He has witnessed discussions where people not only share their thoughts, but challenge one another. The facilitator does very little, but conversations about spiritual issues occur. A natural follow-on to Ask Anything, for those who want to know more or explore more deeply the spiritual issues of life, is the Alpha course.
“Many have used Alpha as a follow-up and seen people become life-long followers of Jesus,” Dale said. “Alpha has been repackaged in recent times and is worth considering, along with similar evangelism tools.” “Churches and individual Christians need to be strategic about evangelism.”
“Ask Anything partnered with Alpha, is one way to be strategic.” Philip Bryant at Baptist Churches Western Australia can help work out an evangelism strategy that would suit your church and local area. To contact Philip, phone 6313 6300.
Kingdom Aviation Ministries (KAM) in Derby has taken possession of its newest aircraft, a four-seater Cessna 172. Prior to arriving in Derby, the aircraft was sent to Coldstream, Victoria to be restored by a team of dedicated aviation ministry workers. Kingdom Aviation is a not-forprofit organisation that exists to
reach remote communities, people and churches to help, encourage, disciple and share the gospel. Upon arrival in Derby the aircraft was put into immediate use carrying KAM missionary staff to remote locations to undertake teaching in isolated community schools. During the school term, KAM staff are in the air five days per week, covering vast distances to reach the schools that they spend time in. They not only run programs in the schools but also provide support to staff and community members as needed. KAM staff are trained chaplains through
YouthCARE so are able to bring support in times of need or crisis. KAM currently covers an area from the Dampier Peninsular in the west, Mount Barnett in the east and to the south-east of Fitzroy Crossing. During the wet season, flying can be very dangerous with storms and wet gravel airstrips. The Cessna is heavier than KAM’s current Jabiru aircraft, providing for safer flying under these conditions. A recent highlight for team members was flying to One Arm Point, a remote Aboriginal community to the north of Broome, to conduct the baptism
Baptist Church. Pastor Estian Meyer has been appointed as the new Youth Pastor at Kalgoorlie Baptist Church. Pastor Adrian Buggs has been appointed as the new Senior Pastor at Karratha Baptist Church.
Baptist College geared up to ride to school as part of National Ride2School Day on Friday 4 March. Even though the emphasis of the day was promotion of a healthy physical lifestyle, the event also added to the sense of belonging and community. Students decorated their bikes, science teachers wore their lab coats and there was even a tandem bike ridden by physical education teachers. Over 100 participants enjoyed a healthy breakfast together upon arrival at the College, before heading off to class. Principal Mark Ashby also rode with the students. “This
Photo: Kingdom Aviation
New wings to share gospel
VH-WYE sits in the sun at Derby waiting for another mission.
of three Christian ladies from the community, surrounded by family and friends.
For more information about KAM, visit www.facebook.com/ KingdomAviationInc
was a great opportunity for the College to be involved together. It was wonderful to see so many families participate together,” Mark said.
of other useful resources are available on their website. For more information or to arrange a guest speaker to visit your church, please contact the Global Interaction office on 6313 6300.
local briefs Baptisms Maida Vale Baptist Church is rejoicing over five baptisms conducted recently: Mark and Arline Conners and their sons Travis and Brendon; and Will Van Der Ham.
Pastoral changes Pastor Kenny Ho has been appointed as the new Young Adults Pastor at Perth Baptist Church. Pastor Joseph Chang has been appointed as the new Youth and Young Adults Pastor at Riverton Baptist Community Church. Pastor Ann Clews has been appointed the new Pastoral Care Pastor at Morley
Annual Assembly This year the Baptist Churches Western Australia Annual Assembly will be held on Saturday 22 October at Carey Community Baptist Church.
School community rides together Students and parents, along with staff from Kennedy
May Mission Month This year marks 97 years of May Mission Month. Global Interaction’s May Mission Month is an opportunity for Australian Baptists to focus on cross-cultural mission and impact the third of the world that is the leastreached. High quality resources to support partnerships with Global Interaction during May Mission month and a number
New car park Work has almost been completed on the new car park at the Baptist Ministry Centre in Rivervale with the creation of 32 new parking bays. It is anticipated that this will make it easier for visitors to be able to access the services that the team at Baptist Churches Western Australia provide.
feature APRIL 2016
Time for some nuance
between the gay a
The Mardi Gras parade in Sydney rem since the dark days when gays and l openly vilified and when all conver to form their own views about sex w further to go before homosexuals f society they deserve, but some of us march toward the end of discriminat moral imagination and limited the pu Contemporary minds are fixed to think of only two possible camps on the gay issue. Either you are pro-homosexual and therefore open-minded, kind and respectful, or else you are a mean-spirited, homophobic bigot. You are either for me or against me. No space is given to a third group, much larger than the current discourse allows, made up of people who sincerely want an end to discrimination and who show nothing but care and respect toward gay friends but whose deeply held convictions prevent them from endorsing samesex practice. This last clause may get the blood boiling for some, but perhaps that underlines my point. Some of us are unable to imagine how you can care for someone and disagree with their lifestyle at the same time. For me, a turning point came with a David Marr appearance on ABC’s Q&A program. Angela Shanahan, a columnist with The Australian, had tried to explain the traditional Catholic view that God proscribed homosexual practice but still ‘loved all His creatures’. Marr seized the moment. “You people,” he said in a tone that got the audience laughing in nervous anticipation. “You people have no idea how unspeakably cruel you are.” He mocked the ‘poetry’, as he called it, of God loving gays but banning their sex and concluded amid rising applause, “I have no patience with it anymore. It is just bigotry and cruelty and hatred.” The argument was over. It was a powerful moment, and many thoughtful Christians realised the significance of it. We have entered a day when, for David Marr and many others, holding to the historic Christian teaching on same-sex activity is itself an evil, an act of bigotry, cruelty and hatred. His language was more measured but his most recent The Sydney Morning Herald piece addressing this topic, ‘Sacking the Sinful’, was full of very loaded descriptions of the church leaders featured: all of them nervous, pent-up and narrow-minded. What else could they be if they thought homosexuality ‘sinful’! I know and respect each of the people interviewed for the article but I found myself disliking Marr’s version of them. Perhaps in the tradition of ‘an eye for an eye’ the church deserves some purgatorial derision. No one could deny that professed Christians have used very condescending and spiteful language toward gay
people (and, shamefully, sometimes even resorted to violence). But tit for tat won’t help us in the long run. The biblical perspective on sex – that all sexual intimacy outside heterosexual monogamy is contrary to the Creator’s good intentions – is not going anywhere; and nor are our gay neighbours. This realisation alone demands that we work out together how to have a respectful, nuanced public conversation. In particular, we have to ask whether holding a moral view is in itself hateful. Obviously, strong moral codes, whether religious or secular, can promote hateful speech and behaviour, but are the codes inherently hateful? Specifically, I want to ask David Marr: Do you not believe it is possible to profoundly disagree with someone’s lifestyle and sincerely care for them all the same? I am not offering a defence of Christian teaching on homosexuality (which may, of course, be wrong); I am simply affirming that believers ought to be able to hold their view thoughtfully and respectfully without being considered ‘bigots’ and ‘homophobes’. This is where I think we could learn from the moral genius of Jesus. He had the ability to hate the sin and love the sinner. I know that sounds cliched today – David Marr scoffs at the aphorism – but perhaps that’s because we have forgotten how to do it. For all our talk of openmindedness, many have great difficulty seeing how you can dispute someone’s moral stance or behaviour and love them simultaneously. This shows itself in much contemporary discussion of both religion and ethics. If a Christian says she thinks Islam is untrue, she is heard to be demeaning Muslims – and vice versa. If a preacher condemns materialism as immoral, he is heard to be saying materialists aren’t worthy of friendship. And, of course, anyone who questions the moral status of same-sex activity is thought to be hateful and homophobic. There is a failure of ethical imagination here, an inability to utilise two mental muscles at the same time: the muscle of strong conviction and the muscle of compassion for all. Jesus was the master of this ethical exploit. Open the Gospel of Luke at chapter 13 and you’ll hear Him condemning certain behaviour and warning of coming judgment. Continue through to chapter 15 and you’ll find Him wining and dining with ‘sinners’ – those you might have thought were first in line for judgment – and illustrating the point with a parable about a father’s
feature APRIL 2016
and the god-fearing ...
minds us how far Australia has come lesbians were legislated against and rsation about the rights of individuals were shut down. We no doubt have fully experience the acceptance in s are wondering whether the noble ation has inadvertently damaged our ublic conversation. love for his prodigal son. Keep reading to the end of the story and the point is made with disturbing clarity: so seriously did Jesus take sin that He thought He had to die for it; so seriously did He love sinners, a category in which He placed us all, that He thought He had to die for them. He was able to be morally exacting and deeply compassionate toward the same people at the same time – though it is a sad and undeniable fact that many in the church since have had difficulty emulating the feat. But secular society sometimes shares a certain reasoning with narrow-minded religion. The logic says: we are able to love only those whose lives we endorse. This can take you in two directions. The religious version reduces the number of people it loves, to match the lifestyles of which it approves. The secular version increases the number of lifestyles it endorses, and derides those who don’t follow suit. In both cases the assumption is the same: we are able to love only those whose lives we agree with. There are weaknesses in both incarnations of the logic. The weakness of the religious version is its inability to love beyond the borders of its moral convictions; hence the hateful speech, and sometimes violence, of old-time religion against gay people. The weakness of the secular version is an aversion to speaking about ‘morality’ in the first place, especially in the area of sex. Ironically, this too can lead to impatient denunciations, such as Angela Shanahan endured on Q&A. But there is a third way, based on a different logic. We ought to be able to love even those with whom we profoundly disagree. It must be possible for Christians to question the moral status of sexual intimacy outside heterosexual monogamy while demonstrating respect and care for neighbours who are neither heterosexual nor monogamous. True open-mindedness is not merely accepting as true and valid someone else’s viewpoint; it is the more difficult and noble commitment to honouring people whose viewpoints you reject. Thoughts naturally rush to other important matters. Why does the church oppose gay marriage? Why should religious schools and organisations be exempt from certain employment laws? And what possible grounds could there be anyway for the Christian critique of
same-sex activity? These are good questions which must be tackled carefully. My point is more basic. For all the important advances we’ve made in this area in recent years, some of the associated rhetoric has damaged our ethical imagination to the point where agreeing with Christian teaching on same-sex activity equals cruelty and hatred. It’s time for a more thoughtful and open conversation. Dr John Dickson is an author and historian and a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity. This article was first published in ABC’s The Drum and used with permission.
... so seriously did He love sinners, a category in which He placed us all, that He thought He had to die for them.
10 news APRIL 2016
Training for African nurses
Anne Coyne from York Hospital was the third member of the team sent to train nurses at Felege Hiwot Hospital in Bahir Dar northern Ethiopia. Ann also works at York Hospital and Bethany nurses at the new Midland St John of God Hospital. The trio flew to Addis Ababa where they met with translator and fellow nurse Gerry, who had worked as a translator for Ann and Bethany on an earlier trip to Ethiopia. The seven days of training helped 22 qualified nurses in basic orthopaedic theatre skills, wound care, infection control, hand hygiene and pressure care. The majority of nurses who completed the training were male nurses. “They do such a great job with really limited resources,” Bethany said.
Parky Craft, the weekly craft group at Parkerville Baptist Church, is making theatre caps and masks to send to the hospital when the next trainers leave from Perth. The hospital’s needs are significant. Currently they do not have suction for operations, so there is a plan to send equipment that has been superseded from Australian hospitals. Hospital Matron Enewey invited the team to her home for a special feast of welcome. Ann Mitchell as the oldest person at the meal was given the honour of cutting the special welcome bread that is only cooked for such events. Bethany said another highlight of the trip was visiting a fistula hospital where the team learned more about how the hospital cares for women with fistula damage due to complications arising while giving birth.
Photo: Bethany McGrechan
West Australian nurses Ann Mitchell and Bethany McGrechan from Parkerville Baptist Church were part of a team sponsored by Australian Doctors for Africa that visited Ethiopia to train orthopaedic nurses in February.
Anne Coyne, Ann Mitchell and Bethany McGrechan enjoying a special welcome feast in Bahir Dar northern Ethiopia.
“I think there were about 40 beds in the hospital. Currently they are doing three to four operations a week. A few years ago it was six to seven operations a week,” Bethany said. “Their community education program and how they are helping new patients is amazing.”
“They have successful surgery patients walk with new patients through the process of surgery and recovery. It’s made the problem far more transparent and many problems are being avoided,” she said. The hospital has worked closely with the surrounding village communities to demystify the
causes and prognosis for young women suffering fistula damage. Today villages are encouraging and supporting women to seek medical help during their pregnancies in an effort to reduce the number of birth complications. All three nurses shared they would consider travelling to Ethiopia again to train medical staff.
international briefs Religious freedom
In a strong statement of faith to mark her 90th birthday, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has said that she is grateful to the nation for its prayers for her and that she has felt God’s “faithfulness” during 64 years on the throne. The comments – rare insights into the Queen’s personal thoughts and Christian faith – came in the foreword to a new book, The Servant Queen and the King she serves, recently published. The Queen wrote the foreword and said, “I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for His steadfast love. I have indeed seen his faithfulness.”
World Watch Monitor reports that after a year filled with repeated threats and attacks against Protestant churches and their leaders in Turkey, the leader of their tiny Christian community has admitted that they remain “anxious and distressed”. Pastor Ihasan Ozbek of the Association of Protestant Churches named two major obstacles to their religious freedom: the Turkish judiciary’s failure to respond to their members’ security concerns, and the government’s exclusion of Protestants from the state’s protocol dialogue with other religious minorities. There are about 7,000 Protestants in Turkey.
The world’s deadliest terrorist group is in Nigeria, where the Islamist insurgency Boko Haram and other forces killed more than 4,000 Christians in 2015. This tally was a 62 percent increase from the previous year, according to Open Doors, a global charity that supports Christians in places where their faith exposes them to hostility. Nigeria’s largest confederation of Christian churches is jointly endorsing a commitment to revive the Church in the country’s north, before it collapses from a decade of violence that has killed thousands of Christians and driven away more than one million.
An era has ended with the passing of a great Aboriginal leader and lifelong Christian, Murabuda Wurramarrba, who died on Groote Eylandt on 19 November 2015. He would have turned 82 in January. Murabuda’s family, the Wurramarrba clan, invited a family friend to conduct a traditional Christian burial that was merged with Aboriginal forms of grieving accompanied by didgeridoo playing and the ancient rhythms of clapping sticks. In 1921, Murabuda’s father, ‘Old Charlie’ Galiawa was one of the Groote Eylandt men who welcomed the first Christian missionaries.
Burmese refugees relocated
The election of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party in Burma promises hope and freedom for the nation, but offers little difference for persecuted minority ethnic groups. The military junta has had absolute power for nearly 30 years and although the Burmese government is trying to make reforms and changes, the army is very powerful, wealthy and corrupt. Nearly 100,000 people from minority ethnic Burmese groups have been displaced from their homelands and are currently living in refugee camps along the Thai/ Burma border. In one camp, Maela Muu, there are 18,000 refugees. The camps continue to grow as more displaced people arrive. During November and December 2015, 10,000 people were displaced by fighting in Kachin and Shan States. Thailand has announced that it will send the refugees back to Burma in 2017. This is planned despite the ongoing atrocities. Some adults who are 25 years old were born in the camps and
Photo: Seipoe / Shutterstock.com
The Queen’s King
An unidentified Burmese refugee boy in front of his house in Ban Mae Surin temporary shelter in Mae Hong Son, Thailand.
have never known life inside Burma. They have nothing to return to – their family homes have been burnt down and farms destroyed. Landmines still exist around many village areas. Since the announcement by the Thai Government that they will return people to Burma, at
one refugee camp there have been 36 suicides. Even though, the majority of the people in these camps are followers of Jesus. Several hundred Burmese people now living in Perth have travelled through these camps on the Thai/Burma border on their journey to Australia.
news 11 APRIL 2016
Record cyclone devastates Fiji
Houses and churches in Fiji were badly destroyed by Cyclone Winston earlier this year.
Cyclone Winston pummelled the islands of Fiji on Saturday 20 February with the strongest winds ever recorded in the island nation. Forty-two people were killed and two weeks later 60,000 people remained in emergency accommodation with thousands more struggling to find shelter, food, safe drinking water and access to sanitation. The nation has declared a State of National Disaster. Entire villages were destroyed as winds gusting at 335 kilometres per hour terrorised families seeking shelter. Save the Children is providing counselling for children who are gripped by fear following the cyclone. Baptist World Aid Australia partnered with Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji to provide immediate and longer term assistance to the devastated communities. They provided immediate support by distributing 500 hygiene kits each containing a ten litre collapsible water container, first aid kit, sanitary pads, antibacterial soap and water purification tablets. ADRA Fiji sent teams to remote areas to assess needs and distribute food supplies, including rice, tuna, lentils, sugar and biscuits. In Ra Province they shared 500 food packages on 25 and 26 February. This was the first
aid to reach the area after the cyclone struck on 20 February. Communications were severely interrupted with concrete electricity poles snapped in half by the winds, mobile phone networks down and roads blocked with uprooted trees and other debris. Ninety-seven schools were damaged or destroyed, limiting how quickly children could return to the normal rhythm of their school day, which contributes to their recovery and builds resilience. Save the Children is focusing their relief efforts on helping children return to school. Entire crops have been destroyed leaving communities without any ongoing agricultural livelihood. ADRA Fiji team members reported they were encouraged to see how people had taken in their neighbours and relatives accommodating them in their homes. Families shared whatever food they could find. Despite the devastation people still managed smiles, shared jokes and relayed the trauma with some emotion. People warmly welcomed the ADRA Fiji team when they arrived and offered to share the rice and dahl meal they had. President of the Fiji Baptist Convention, Pastor Peni Dolavale, has appealed to the worldwide Baptist family to pray and support them in whatever way possible in this emergency disaster situation. Recovery from the devastation is expected to take many months.
Catalyst for new group
A new Catalyst group has been formed at South Perth Baptist Church following the launch of Baptist World Aid Australia’s Catalyst program for 2016. Baptist World Aid Australia Advocacy Coordinator Eliza Whalley and Advocacy Manager Gershon Nimbalker visited Perth for the launch, held at North Beach Baptist Church in mid-February. More than 80 people attended and received new resources and campaigning materials focusing on ending poverty, fighting slavery and tackling corporate corruption. “Catalyst groups give churches a unique opportunity to learn about some key justice issues and advocate for justice,” Eliza said. “It’s inspiring to see how our collective voices can achieve far more than people expect.” The Catalyst program is a simple, structured and effective program that churches and community groups use to make pursuing justice part of their ministry. For more information about forming a Catalyst group, visit www.baptistworldaid.org.au.
Photo: Jill Birt
Baptist World Aid Australia Advocacy Coordinator Eliza Whalley and WA representative Dushan Jeyabalan outlined the Catalyst program at South Perth Baptist Church in mid-February.
12 in conversation APRIL 2016
Sharing wisdom with pastors
What is your background and how did you come to Australia? I was born in Eastern Canada and lived there for my first 35 years – home to Anne of Green Gables and maple syrup, located approximately 18,000 kilometres north-east of Perth. The invitation to serve as a pastor in Melbourne came in 1994 through a friend who frequently visited Australia and offered my name to the church’s pastoral search committee. What led you to pastoral ministry? Who has been influential in your life? My Christian faith was nurtured in a vibrant neighbourhood church and a warm believing family. I was given wonderful opportunities to teach, serve and lead in the mission of Jesus from a young age. Seeds of a calling were planted early. Through college I studied philosophy, science and world religion, cycling through phases of doubt and confidence, understanding and questioning. In the end all of this served to deepen my call. I have many mentors. My youth pastor Gordon – who is still in ministry and was pastor to me again at my parents’ funerals in recent years, my preaching mentors Harold, Andrew and Tom, my staff, colleagues and children. I have learned from every one of them. And in philosophy: Ludwig Wittgenstein, in pastoral ministry: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in theology: NT Wright, in education: Donald Schön, in leadership: Jim Collins – to name but a very few.
of Jesus. We do this through Communities of Hope and our vision is to grow 100s of them in the coming decade. Our people are ethnically, socially and generationally quite diverse – we hail from over 55 nations and there are as many pushbikes as Porsches in our car park. Our building is a community centre and we see all its diverse activity as a platform for servant evangelism and hospitality outreach. All of this yields endless stories of impact and that is what excites me – Skype groups that reach to the Middle East, ESL [English as a Second Language] communities that are doing Bible study as a means of language learning, youth ministry that gets kid off the street and into Jesus’s mission, and seniors lunch communities that make it possible for long time non-religious people to think again about faith! As to ‘management’ and ‘pastoral’ work, it helps me to foster a people centric vision of all my activity. I like to think of my work fitting into three baskets. Basket number one is spending time with people. This is work I do adding value to individuals and groups as we follow Jesus and make more followers of Jesus. Basket number two is time spent preparing to be with people, like answering these questions, and basket three is time spent following up the people I have been with. To be sure tasks can feel administrative and sometimes trivial but at its best everything I do can be connected with people I serve.
NewHope Baptist Church is a large and influential church in Melbourne with multiple congregations and more than one campus. How much of your work is ‘management’ and how much ‘pastoral’? What do you particularly love about NewHope and how the church ministers to the community? I have served as the Senior Pastor of NewHope Baptist for nearly 21 years. I love our culture (which is always maturing), our commitment to mission (which has never changed from its founding in 1951) and our strategic activity (which is constantly morphing). Everything we do is about helping people follow Jesus, and making more followers
Pastoral ministry is full of challenges. What causes you to have sleepless nights? The two biggest things are breaches in our culture and gaps in my skill set. Great culture is critical. We have a passion to imitate Jesus and to inculcate His values in our community experience. We spend time articulating what this means in practice and embracing it in the form of a values statement. When behaviours transgress these commonly held aspirations it is painful. It is never the conflict that worries me, it is the unhealthy culture underneath. Robust candour that sees good hearted people having a bold debate is productive and serves ministry.
Photo: NewHope Baptist Church
Rev. Dr Allan Demond is the Senior Pastor of NewHope Baptist Church in Melbourne. He will be the speaker at the All Together Pastoral Retreat for Baptist pastors and chaplains and their spouses in Mandurah in mid-April.
But rotten attitudes, dishonest spirits and gossiping tongues are always unproductive and can keep me awake, seldom literally – thank you Lord! My personal growth areas can do the same. Growth always causes pain. It stretches. A current example for me is fundraising. As our church grows to a new level and as giving patterns change there is new learning and hard work for me to do. I have a pattern – I expect others will relate – of first denying (the problem is out there, why aren’t people committed anymore?), then crying (how am I supposed to do this?, I was never trained, it’s too hard) and then trying (okay, what do I need to read?, who do I need to talk to?, what can I start doing even if I fail the first time?). The fourth stage, when I get back to sleep, is flying. What is the most encouraging for you from pastoral ministry? Transformation in people’s lives. What part does prayer play in growing NewHope? Prayer saturates the work. Like many churches we have a great variety of prayer initiatives, meetings, ministries and events. We have prayer ministry teams who exercise vibrant healing ministry, intercessors who support our leaders, ministries of prayer in
our gatherings and group life, prayer retreats, staff prayer days and a constant call to prayer as a core discipline of following Jesus. Continuous, spontaneous prayer is the engine of our mission. We seek to marinade all our decisions in prayer and pepper all our meetings with it. It is common to pray repeatedly in a meeting as we proceed through agenda items, asking for direction and giving over items we have discussed. Sometimes we simply wait in prayer. We believe that our work is spiritual at the core and so we are constantly seeking God to lead and empower by His Spirit. What part does spiritual disciplines have in your life? How do these activities influence your wellbeing? Serving in leadership from a non-anxious and deeplysatisfied centre, fosters joy and fruitfulness in ministry. This is what the spiritual disciplines are about for me. I love music and find I can use worship songs to grow something deep inside me. This takes time, focus and prayerful desire. I am frequently surprised and thrilled by my study of scripture as it yields encouragement, direction and ‘soul food’. Both solitude and community figure in my discipline of following Jesus, the one gives space for reflection and the other a mirror to better see myself. Habits of
the Bible, prayer and giving form a scaffolding for doing life. My purpose in embracing spiritual disciplines is the wellness of my soul [3 John 2]. How do you ‘do’ discipleship at NewHope? Doing discipleship and being church are the same thing. So the question is as big as the whole of our endeavour at NewHope. We call people to ‘follow Jesus in the power of the Spirit, on mission, in community, through the disciplines of the Bible, prayer and giving’. When followers of Jesus are on mission everywhere and passionately serving Communities of Hope (missional focused congregations, ministries and clusters) new followers are constantly being made. What do you do for fun? I enjoy meals with family, watching old movies, visiting cafés with my wife, collecting rare Canadian and Australian stamps, listening to classical music and a wide range of worship music, serving a healthy church, flourishing in faith, studying my Bible when I don’t have to, time with my neighbours, reading to extend my understanding with red wine and sharp cheese, fiddling with electronic gadgets, walks in our local bushlands and conferences with Baptist ministers!
leadership 13 APRIL 2016
I’d love to read more … but! – Part 1
John Wesley said, “Read or get out of the ministry”. There is no way of getting around it. Any leader worth his salt knows what he doesn’t know and does something about it. Leaders are life-long learners and one of the best ways that I know of to keep learning is to keep reading. When you stop reading, you stop learning and when you stop learning, you stop leading with effectiveness. We all have our excuses why we don’t read as much as we say we want to or think we should. The first thing I would say in this regard is get off your ‘but’. I would love to read more, but … • I don’t know what to read or how to read. • I am a slow reader. • I am too busy … just barely keeping up with what is already on my plate. You will never ‘find’ the time to read. I have never met anyone who was walking down the street and found some time lying there for the taking. We all have the same amount of time as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the guy flipping burgers at the local
McDonald’s – 168 hours a week. You have never had less than that and you will never have more than that, no matter how many times you say to yourself, “I wish I had more time”. With reading, as with most other important things in your life that you never seem to get to, it is a matter of priorities and values, not time. You will always make time for what you think is truly important. Here are [the first two from a list of] seven things that you can begin doing to build the habit of reading more:
up 30 minutes earlier to read, cut some time out of an addictive hobby you have that is eating away at your finite 168 hours a week. If reading is to be a priority for you, you’ll make time for it! Next month Dave Kraft will discuss the remaining five suggestions he has identified to help you read more. Used with permission from Dave Kraft, www.davekraft.org
1. Set a specific goal For over 18 years I have had a goal to read at least two books a month (24 books a year). Recently I discovered that for the last 15 years I have averaged 29 books a year. This didn’t happen by accident or by wishing. What gets measured, gets done. Perhaps you should start with a goal to read one book a month and tell someone about your goal. There’s nothing like accountability to keep you moving. 2. Make time To make (not find, as you will not find) time, you will want to decide what you will sacrifice so that you can read. You may want to watch less television, go to bed 30 minutes earlier so you can get
A friend of mine was an MK (Missionary Kid) of parents who served as Indian missionaries for most of her childhood. As a result, she has a love for many things Indian, including food. Her husband, wanting to express his love for his wife, became an Indian cuisine master chef (you thought I was going to say became a Bollywood dancer). His curries are outstanding. When we last ate with him, he said that he would share the ingredients he uses to make these divine curries, but is unwilling to share the recipe. We enjoy his curries, realise that there is no secret sauce, but cannot reproduce his masterful work in the kitchen. What does this have to do with Arrow Leadership? Bear with me for a moment. Arrow Leadership has been serving the Australian church for 20 years. There have been many outstanding pastors influencing, through their service, the Western
Australian church, who have participated in Arrow Leadership, including Lisa Venables (The Salvation Army State Leader), Tania Watson (Churches of Christ State Executive Minister) and Mark Wilson (Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries). Their focus on developing the church and the next generation of leaders to pastor the church creates an ongoing missional ripple effect in Western Australia. Arrow’s Emerging Leaders Program has continued to develop over the years. The ingredients include renowned practitioners who serve as facilitators, coaching relationships to augment the development of participants;
prayer reflection partners between participants; state based peer groups that meet throughout the two year journey; evening speakers who share of their stretching leadership experiences; and contemporary leadership content to best equip participants for the challenging (but rewarding) task of leadership. Whilst these are the ingredients, the unique way Julian Dunham, Director – Emerging Leaders, folds and infuses these experiences creates a distinct Arrow taste for participants. “Relationships and learning in community are central to the leadership development methodology utilised by Arrow. So our programs are deliberately constructed around participation in residential intensives over the two year journey,” Julian said. Ellenbrook Baptist Church Pastor Aash Parmar shared of his experience of Arrow: “Arrow Leadership is one of the most pragmatic and worshipful leadership experiences I have ever encountered. Through the
program, I was able to connect with renowned practitioners of leadership and engage with culturally relevant teaching presented by proven leaders. Arrow has been instrumental in developing my understanding of mission and ministry as a leader. Of all the courses I have undertaken in my leadership journey, Arrow has been the most fruitful, exciting and worthwhile.” Aash joins other West Australian based Arrow Leaders including Anthony Palmieri, Mark Parsons, Steve Ingram and Craig Eccleston. Much like my friend’s curry ingredients, whilst the various components of a deconstructed Arrow Program might look familiar, the consistent creation by Julian of healthy learning environments, enabling the Holy Spirit to teach, counsel and bring revelation in the lives of participants, continues to grow emerging leaders for the 21st century church. For more information, visit www.arrowleadership.org.au
Photo: Arrow Leadership
Arrow hits target in WA
Arrow Leadership Director – Emerging Leaders Rev. Julian Dunham in action.
14 news APRIL 2016
New music for Young & Free
98five Music Director Chela Williams
“Coming into the project we had a pretty clear vision for what we wanted this record to say,” Young & Free’s worship leader and songwriter Aodhan King explained. “Before we had even entered a studio or picked up an instrument we were always talking and dreaming.” “Every song started as a conversation and a thought and from that place we were able to shape the lyrics and melodies around that.” Youth Revival has a distinct youthful sound comparable to mainstream radio however Aodhan clarifies creativity will always reign when it comes to musical expression. “I think it’s hard to fit us into a particular genre, we are all influenced by such a wide variety of genres,” Aodhan said.
“Our team is so diverse in their creativity, which I think helps us create something very unique and honest to who we are … Music has always been a major part of what we do as a church and as a youth group we wanted to add our expression to that.” Introducing Youth Revival is debut single ‘Where You Are’ which is currently being heard nationally. “The song follows a character that is faced with many options, but comes to the conclusion that life with Jesus is the most fulfilling and that being where Jesus is the best place to be,” Aodhan reflected. “I feel like the heart of this album is the same as the first although as our team has matured in their walk with God, so have the songs.” “I believe that this album reflects the journey of our team and youth ministry.”
Photo: Hillsong Young & Free
Young & Free return with their sophomore album Youth Revival following the huge success and boundary-breaking debut release We Are Young and Free. Organically formed from within Sydney Hillsong’s youth group, the band has made producing unique praise and worship music for today’s generation a natural progression for the team.
Aodhan King, Tracy Pratt, Laura Toggs and Alexander Pappas have recently released another album.
College making waves
Photo: Andrew Field
For more information, visit www.98five.com/latest-music
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Whilst many churches have a strong focus on purposefully interacting with the wider community Mount Pleasant Baptist Church chose a slightly different approach when it launched its own vocational education and training college, in 2006. The college is run as a ministry of the church to engage with people from all walks of life and now offers a range of short and nationally accredited courses in creative arts, Christian ministry and theology. In 2015 Mount Pleasant College (MPC) creative arts courses provided a platform for students to write, perform, mix, produce and create their way towards a career in the creative industries. The college’s film
team had a particularly good year, presenting at the Grenada AfterGlow Film Festival in the USA. This team was not only nominated for their short film When Life Gives You Lemons, they took out the award in their ‘comedy’ category. The short film tells the story of a man’s time on a lemon plantation and how his choices create problems and co-creator Harry Benjamin was surprised to have won the award.
“I submitted the film to multiple festivals to try our luck. It’s great to be awarded for your creative vision and hard work,” Harry said. Mount Pleasant College is a Registered Training Organisation catering to students in Years 11 and 12, school leavers and beyond. For more information, visit www.mpc.wa.edu.au
intermission 15 APRIL 2016
A minute with ...
Life After Death
Photo: Ryan Quicke
Scott Petty Scott Petty looks at the million dollar question of what happens after death. With an easy to read style and Australian humour, the biblical answers that we all seek are provided in Life After Death. Though this is written for young adults it is a good read for anyone looking for answers on this sometimes frightening subject. Scott shows readers that though the non-believer lives in fear of death because it is the end, the believer has a hope for what awaits us on the other side of this transition to a fuller and more beautiful life, once we have finished the work God has for us on Earth. This book is part of the Matthias Media Little Black Book series and you can check out answers to other pressing questions like predestination, and science and God, in the series.
Emma and Ryan Quicke
Eaton Baptist Church Associate Pastor Ryan Quicke
What led you to this role? We felt the call to do ministry in a more rural area and Eaton fits really well with that.
Abel’s Field Tore Knos This world is full of young people having to grow up too fast and take on adult responsibilities well before they should. Abel’s Field looks at one such situation where a young man, Seth, still in high school suddenly has to take total respobsibility of his two younger sisters. Facing situations that he is totally unprepared for makes him frustrated to the point that he retaliates while being bullied and this lands him in ‘detention’ in the form of after school work detail with the groundskeeper, Abel (Kevin Sorbo). Working with Abel brings Seth to breaking point but together Seth and Abel start a new chapter toward healing and redemption. This movie is a real look at the struggles facing many of young people today and how God-appointed relationships can make a huge difference to their path.
Where is the church located? Eaton is within the greater Bunbury area, about two hours south of Perth and as a church we are just down the road from the main commercial area, including a 24 hour Kmart (which is perhaps a potential ministry opportunity for us in the future). What time are services held? 9.30am – this has just moved back from two services to look toward a church plant. How and when did your ministry area start? I’m responsible for the Young Adult group at Eaton. We are mostly formed with those who have finished high school and stayed down this way, or have finished studies in Perth, married and moved down for work. Who makes up the ministry team? Gary Le Cras has been the Senior Pastor of Eaton for the last 20 plus years, so it’s great to learn from him. Gavin Knepscheld heads up our youth ministry and I’m truly blessed to work alongside him as well. What is a feature of your church or ministry you’d like to share? My other role in the church is to encourage all its ministries to have an evangelistic focus. It’s disturbing to see how quickly we make church into a product to consume or a performance to critique rather than being personally committed to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
listen Take Everything
This voucher entitles you to 15% off your next purchase in store at Mount Lawley The Advocate – April 2016
Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley Assistant Manager Dorothy Waddingham
Website: www.koorong.com Address: 434 Lord Street, Mount Lawley Phone: 08 9427 9777
Seventh Day Slumber Seventh Day Slumber have brought a rock feel to a number of worship songs to rival Kutless and Third Day in Take Everything. With wellknown songs including ‘Mighty to Save’, ‘How Great is Our God’ and ‘Lead Me to the Cross’ this is a great album for those with a desire to worship and a love for a heavier style of music. A favourite on this album would have to be ‘Mighty to Save’, such a great song and this alternative spin to the backing music increases its generational appeal. As we come out of the Easter season and follow-up friends who are new to the faith, think about some music that will touch their hearts that is a little different to typical ‘church music’.
16 news APRIL 2016
Photo: Ben Good
Running with endurance
The BT Run Club Africa team prepare to run in Lichinga, Mozambique. Back: Naomi Cowley, Josiah Crane, Emily Cowley. Front: Caleb Crane, Samuel Crane, Tim Cowley.
The BT Run Club Africa just completed their second half marathon run in eight months with personal performances that would inspire any Olympian. The club began in March 2015 when Global Interaction workers Jonno Crane and Ben Good decided they needed to do something to improve their fitness and wellbeing. “So much of life in Mozambique is out of control, there is so much uncertainty. Running is one of the few things that remains constant: every Tuesday and Thursday at 5pm and Saturday or Sunday, we run,” Ben said. “We run from the Cranes’ place through a small suburb then out into farming land and bush.” “It is so beautiful, peaceful and quiet. During the wet season the atmosphere is so clear the group can see across the landscape to Lake Malawi,” he said. Other routes are more suburban, passing the Governor’s house guarded by AK-47 toting guards, the hospital, past the market and soccer fields. The group has connections to BT Run Club in South Perth. While the Crane family and the Goods were last in Australia, some of the
Crane children and Ben Good ran with the club most weeks. In consultation with Simon Elliott, the founder of BT Run Club, the group registered BT Run Club Africa on Strava, a running website and app which allows people to post their runs to a group page to encourage and spur on each other. Being registered on Strava enables others runners throughout Africa, including fellow Global Interaction workers in Malawi, to join the group. Usually four to seven people run in Lichinga, Mozambique each week. Sometimes there are 11 runners which often includes some of the Crane’s teenage children as well as Ben and Jonno. So far no local Yawo people have joined the group. Many say their energy is fully allocated to working on their farms. BT Run Club’s vision statement includes, “run with endurance in the context of community”. “When you’re running, pushing the limits both in regards to speed or distance, your mind can start filling up with doubt, your body aches, your mind says just stop, just give up. Yet because we run together, we can encourage one another,” Ben said. “We are the alternate voice for each other. Keep running. Don’t stop. You can do this. And we push on.” During the Good’s time in Australia later this year Ben will speak about some of the life lessons he’s been learning through BT Run Club Africa.
New season tips off
The WA Baptist basketball season commenced on 19 March with 79 teams taking part in the 2016 season across a mixture of juniors, mixed, men’s and women’s divisions. At the commencement of the season a breakfast for referees and a skills training morning for juniors was held by members of the Lakeside Lightning State Basketball League squad. As in the previous season, Baptist Basketball will hold a community barbecue to provide the opportunity for positive connections to be formed amongst parents, coaches and teams. This season it will coincide with 98five Sonshine FM’s Giving Day later in the year. Information will be broadcast on 98five. Over the years, Baptist Basketball has been a great way to introduce Christ to friends and colleagues, to catch up with other Christians while leaving Sundays free for church. For more information, visit www.baptistbasketball.info
Photo: Vic Wong
Don Thomson in action at Lakeside Recreation Centre.