The voice of Queensland Baptists February 2010
Is it okay to seek greatness? New church building opens at Cleveland Parents! Get busted!
Print post approved ISSN: 11323-7829 The Queensland Baptist - first published in 1890. This series Vol 8 Issue 1.
Naresh, 6, Bangladesh, loves to sing Naresh’s hopes are simple. His dream is to be a police officer and have a ‘good house’ to live in when he grows up. But poverty denies children like Naresh the opportunity to pursue their dreams. For so many families life is reduced to a lonely struggle for survival without reliable access to basic life essentials like clean water, nutritious food, health care and education. Become a SAO Sponsor today and give a child, their family and their community the opportunity to overcome the grip of poverty. Show them that they are not alone in their struggle.
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In this issue Comment: David Loder Comment: Alan Grieve Speaking out: John Sweetman Around the regions Baptisms Milestones First group of graduates (Bloom!) Reviews Persecution brief Called home Fun Zone Quotable quotes Positions vacant and classifieds QB ministries Kids encountering God (QB Kids) Parents! Get Busted! (QB Youth) QB Archives New director of camping appointed (QCCC) New community service for QBC (QBC) Do you like what you see? (QB Women)
QB partners Global Interaction
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Feature Articles Jodie’s Journey Covenant reality True greatness
Our cover: 2010 lies before us. We don’t know what’s around the next corner. For some the year’s path will be smooth; for others it will be rocky and tough going. As we strive to become more like Jesus and live for him, we can be confident of God’s promises. As Paul wrote to the Philippians, ‘My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus’ (Phil 4:19 NIV). Whatever the year holds, our God will sustain us.
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News, views and issues
From the Editor We are back into stride in our busy lives and the year, still new, holds many opportunities. If you are in a leadership role, John Sweetman, ‘Speaking out’, encourages you to flow with the seasons of your ministry, rely on friends and really need God. Jim Greenbury, ‘Is it okay to seek greatness?’ outlines the qualities God values as we seek to serve Him. Alan Grieve is delighted to share his thoughts on our diversity in ministry and QB women are gearing up for an exciting year which includes a new initiative for time poor women; a day conference to be held at the QB Centre, Gaythorne. And while the year is still new, it’s worth considering Michelle Farrall’s comments, ‘Contract vs. Covenant in Christian life and mission’, which have application in all areas of our busy lives, even in simple things like showing kindness and love for others by rsvp-ing to invitations in a timely manner. QB Convention 2010, ‘Encountering God’ will soon be upon us (May 1015). We’re looking forward to Dr Nigel Wright’s ministry with us. His theme, ‘The Holy Spirit: God on the inside’ explores what it means to know God. ‘Far more than intellectual knowledge, it means engaging in personal relationship, to sense God’s active presence in our lives on a daily basis – and that’s where the work of the Holy Spirit comes in.’ Nigel has written a book that ‘examines, from Scripture, why the Holy Spirit is far more important than most of us realise’. It outlines ‘why we need to take a fresh look at who the Spirit is and what the Spirit does – God on the inside of those who believe, on the inside of creation itself as Lord and Giver of life and, indeed, on the inside of God’s own being’ (excerpts from the book). Information and registration details for Convention 2010 are included in our centre pages. We look forward to joining with you to pray, worship and learn. I trust you enjoy this issue The qb. Robynne Milne
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The qb is a member of the Australasian Religious Press Association, published bi-monthly by Queensland Baptist Services Group in February, April, June, August, October and December. Editor: Robynne Milne Advertising contact: Robynne Milne Designer: Shell Graphix Printer: Fergies Print & Mail This magazine is printed with soy based inks and paper from sustainable forest plantations. We welcome reader feedback and opinions about our articles. Remember to include your full name and postal address. Articles and advertising in The qb express the opinions of the authors, not necessarily the editor or publishers. Every effort is made to ensure the correctness of facts and information however we cannot accept responsibility for errors. The publishers reserve the right to accept or decline any advertising. Deadline for advertisement and copy: 10th of the month prior to publication. PO Box 6166 Mitchelton Qld 4053 firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (07) 3354 5646 Ph: (07) 3354 5633 Advertising rates are listed at www.qb.com.au - follow the links to qb magazine. Prices are also available on enquiry and advertising packages can be tailored to suit your budget. Reduced contract rates apply to three bookings within a 12 month period. Please contact us for details. A limited number of inserts are also accepted. Copyright © 2003 by Queensland Baptist Services Group. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without written permission from the publisher. ISSN: 11323-7829
Comment: David Loader
ENCOUNTERING GOD Happy New Year! I trust that as you journey through 2010, you will be aware of God’s sovereign presence with you each part of the way – the good and the not so good, the joyful and sad, easy and tough going. Nothing will happen to you without the Lord’s knowledge or permission! The beginning of a new year is often a time for reflection – some do so by reviewing the past year, others in anticipation by resolving a new thought, habit, or action that will make them a better person in the coming year. Others choose a theme (Google indicates 2010 is the year of the Girl Guide, the tiger, of Biodiversity, etc), or perhaps a key verse of Scripture. Maybe as the New Year began, you prayed this prayer! Dear Lord So far this year I’ve done well. I haven’t gossiped I haven’t lost my temper; I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help. Amen There is a danger that self examination may go too far, but I sense that lack of reflection is more of an issue. We don’t stop regularly enough to reflect on life, especially our life in Jesus. Like all relationships, it needs regular maintenance, focus and intentional time and effort.
After a long period of self-examination the prodigal son was at the end of his tether. He could have turned in any number of directions – to his friends, his financial adviser, an employment agency, a life coach or a New Year’s resolution to help him determine that things would be different in the future. He could have changed his perspective to live a satisfied life in his current predicament. But he chose wisely; he chose right. The relationship with his father was broken and needed purposeful attention, and it was a difficult but necessary encounter. I wonder how carefully that conversation was planned on the way back. How many times was the opening sentence rehearsed? We too, need an encounter with the Father! Intentional, planned, and regular. There are various ways we will encounter God in the coming year: through the systematic and regular reading of the Bible, meeting with God’s people, through worship, through nature, around the communion table. We do so not merely because it is a good thing to do but because it is the right thing to do.
‘Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe’ (1 Cor 11:28 The Message).
Ministry Matters The year is already shaping up as a busy one for you and me! In line with the Board’s priority, I will visit Pastors’ groups around Queensland to lead a session on Encountering God. If you are a pastor, please make every effort to be there, if not, please encourage your pastor to attend. David Loder, General Superintendent, Queensland Baptists email@example.com
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Comment: Alan Grieve
My kind of message
I wouldn’t pay to attend a ‘Casting Crowns’ concert. They don’t play my kind of music. In fact I don’t know of any music style that would grab me to the extent that I’d part with cash to sit and listen for an hour or two. Music and I don’t seem to share a deep sense of fellowship! My aversion to music may stem from an encounter with a teacher during my primary school years. Our teacher marched the class to the General Purpose Hall to audition for the school choir. There was another teacher seated at a piano and in single file we students made our way one by one to sing a scale or two beside the piano. After my audition the music teacher said, “I think you’d better join the group outside to weed the gardens”. Even to this day, I would much prefer to spend a whole day working in the garden than sitting down and listening to an hour of music.
The thesis of the book is about making Jesus the focus and purpose for all you do and all you want to become. Mark challenges us about our church attendance, our personal devotional time, our keeping of commandments and asks: ‘Do we maintain these practices because it is the expected ritual of a Christian or do we engage in such activities because our love for Jesus is such that we couldn’t do anything otherwise?’ I was particularly encouraged and challenged by Mark’s comments concerning the text of Scripture in John 13:3435 where Jesus says: A new commandment I give that you love one another: just as I loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Mark then makes this comment:
‘When we love each other, the world will believe that we belong to Jesus. We cannot love the world before we demonstrate a lasting love for fellow believers.’
Having made this comment, I must hasten to say that I really appreciate groups like Casting Crowns and others who seek to further the Kingdom of God through their music and Christian lyrics. I realise that music connects with numerous people and many are brought to salvation and then edified to grow in their love for Jesus. I recall a particular Baptist convention in NSW where the then President decided he wanted a youth night as part of the convention so he arranged a suitable venue, several very loud bands and a Gospel presentation. An elderly retired, pastor/evangelist attended and commented afterwards: “I didn’t like the loud music and I couldn’t understand most of the lyrics, but I wept for joy as I saw those numbers of youth walk the aisle to respond to the Gospel message.” As I grow up and get old, I want to have that guy’s attitude! Praise God for all styles of music which are used to promote Jesus as Lord.
Mark succinctly states what I long to see happen within our Queensland Baptist Church family, indeed within the Christian family worldwide. Irrespective of how we appreciate a style or gift that other believers utilise in ministry, it is not our prerogative to condemn or belittle when that ministry is used to promote the person and values of Jesus. We cannot expect to win unbelievers into the Kingdom of God if we fail to love fellow believers with the love with which Jesus has loved us.
During the Christmas break I read a book written by Mark Hall, lead singer and songwriter for Casting Crowns. The title of the book is Your Own Jesus (published by Zondervan, 2009). It was a very easy read and it contains an excellent message.
Alan Grieve President, Queensland Baptists M: 0412 070 252 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The band Casting Crowns may not play my kind of music, but they sure preach my kind of message. Keep up the good work guys!
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Another year of
CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP One of my concerns is that people see Christian leadership as temporary role. I was talking with a young pastor today who was bemoaning the fact that so many of the people his age who had led ministries and missions in their late teens and 20s were now married with children and doing nothing. Now we need to be careful here. Many Christian leaders are validly providing Christian leadership is their workplace. Not everyone should view church leadership as their first priority. We need Christian leaders throughout our society building God’s Kingdom. Also, there are times in life when we are stretched more and those early childrearing years can be demanding.
But it’s true isn’t it? Not many leaders finish well. Christian leadership takes its toll and many don’t want to take the pressure of spiritual responsibility for others over the long-term. I was sitting in my office thinking about this on a personal level today. Do I really want another year of pressure and responsibility? Then a young pastor mate dropped in and shared his visions and passion for the church. Soon after I received a belated Christmas newsletter from a friend who is travelling all over the world (at my age) serving and preaching to desperate people, and I heard God say, “John, you’re not finished yet. Get back in that yoke. There’s a lot to be done”.
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So for those who are doing it tough and wondering today whether you’ve got another year of servant leadership in you, here are a few words of reflection from someone who has been at it for quite a few years. 1. Flow with the seasons If I had a choice, I would like to live in perpetual Spring (maybe I should move to Bundaberg). But unfortunately the other seasons inevitably follow. I love Spring, but Summer comes quickly in Queensland and then we sweat for months. Seasons come and go in the church. I remember the season at church when
people didn’t want to go home after the evening service - we worshipped for hours. That was a great season. I remember when we used to pray from 10.00pm to 2.00am each Friday night. Now that was a good season, but I don’t think I could do it now. I remember the conflict season when everyone seemed to see the problems and I wondered if anyone really wanted me to lead. I was glad to see that season pass. All seasons (both good and tough) pass. We can’t hang on to them, even if we want to. God sends the seasons. I just have to be faithful. Sometimes I can contribute to a particular season, but often it’s God’s work and I just go with the flow. Do I like this? Not particularly. I wish that I could change lots of those seasons. But it has helped me survive in leadership, knowing that ultimately I’m not responsible for the season, just how I lead in the season.
The challenges, problems and opportunities we face as leaders are a huge bonus. They keep us on our knees.
barbecue, but in my office. However, I doubt whether I would have got this far without my friends. God has been my rock, but sometimes I have needed his presence through my friends.
my Bible reading and prayer time every day, but I was not desperate. It felt more like a good habit than a need. It’s so good to be back, holding the leadership reins - desperate and needy again.
Now I can’t think what it would be like to lead alone. It sounds unbearably hard to me.
The challenges, problems and opportunities we face as leaders are a huge bonus. They keep us on our knees. They keep us dependent. They keep us humble. They keep us close to God. So don’t run away from them or close up shop.
3. Need God My last thought may sound obvious, but actually it’s not. It is easy in our culture to set up our lives in such a way that we have little need for God. Everything moves along just fine, and our relationship with God unintentionally dies bit by bit. Then we suddenly hit a problem or some pressure and it’s too tough. We bail out. We prefer the comfort of control. I had a small taste of this on my study leave over the last three months. I can research and write just fine. Oh I had
I hope that I will lead and influence as long as God allows. And I pray the same for you. By the way, the Malyon Graduation will be at 7.30pm on Monday night 22 Feb at Bridgeman Baptist. We’d love to have you celebrate with us. John Sweetman Principal, Malyon College
2. Rely on friends I’m a fairly independent person. In my early years in leadership I thought that I would be strong enough by myself. But I wasn’t. I hit some rough spots and really needed friends who accepted me and loved me despite all my weaknesses and brokenness; friends whom I could trust not only to encourage me, but also to challenge me when I needed it.
1. Flow with th
2. Rely on frien
3. Need God
I’m such a nerd. Most of my friendships have been built, not in coffee shops or on the sporting field or around the www.qb.com.au The qb FEBRUARY 10
Around the regions Team work
In 2000, the Pastoral Teams’ Conference started as a network of four pastoral teams. It has continued each year and now includes 15 teams. The program provides quality input, well led ‘like ministry’ electives and ample time for team processing and reflection. This year’s conference, held at Mapleton Conference Centre in January, featured guest speaker, Brian Winslade, National Director of both Crossover Australia and the Baptist Union of Australia. Pastor Stephen Ball who visited for the day commented that the conference was worthwhile. He said that it was especially meaningful when teams prayed for their senior pastors and when those in ministry for more than twenty years prayed for those ministering for less time.
homeless; homeless people moving between friends, sleeping in cars or sleeping rough. Food for the parcels is purchased from the Townsville Foodbank and supplemented with contributions from members of the church congregation. The church won’t turn away anyone seeking food. “We are making sure that at least the children are fed,” Pastor Wardill said.
Narell Miller from our Deception Bay Church received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the World Vision ‘Kids’ Hope’ Conference in Melbourne recently.
The need increases over the Christmas period as parents struggle to provide more than the basics for their children. It’s a busy time for the church as they prepare food parcels for the needy.
Narell is one of 17 mentors working with children at Deception Bay State School. Narell’s exceptional commitment and creativity was recognised with a plaque and Koorong gift voucher. Nominated from among 3,000 Mentors across Australia, Narell was one of only four to receive this award.
In his name
Caring for poor and homeless people in the Upper Ross suburbs of Townsville is an ongoing ministry for Townsville Baptist Church. They provide food parcels all year round. The problems in the Upper Ross are greater than many people might realise. Church community worker Michael Stainbrook works in the Upper Ross area, providing welfare assistance. From a shopfront in Kelso, he runs programs for families and children including music appreciation, crafts, homework help and bike work, where kids can bring in their bikes to be repaired. Pastor Ross Wardill said many people in the area struggle to put food on the table and then there are the hidden
‘Kids’ Hope’ is proving to be an excellent means of connecting the Church with the local community. It’s wonderful to see how everyday Christians can play a part in transforming young lives.
PHOTO: Tao Lu, Ross Wardill and Gwen Tolman pack parcels for immediate distribution (image courtesy of The Express, Townsville).
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For more information about ‘Kids’ Hope’, go to www.kidshopeaus.org. au or phone Pastor Allan Fulker at Deception Baptist on 3204 1311.
Images at top: Pastoral Teams’ Conference
Around the regions
Exciting new chapter begins
Pastor John Gallagher, together with his wife Shauna and family embarked on a new adventure on Sunday 3 January when John was inducted as the new Youth and Families Pastor at Deception Bay. John and Shauna moved from Bundaberg where John was a part-time pastor working with youth at Fitzgerald Street Baptist. John has just concluded his studies at Malyon College and is looking forward to getting right into fulltime ministry with youth and families at Deception Bay.
Rev Dr Max Davidson officiated at the Induction Service and the Rev Allan Fulker (Senior Pastor) brought the challenge to ministry from Paul’s letter to Timothy. A number of visitors from Bundaberg were present to encourage and support John and Shauna on this important occasion. The church congregation is excited about this new venture because they are seeing growth in the number of young families and youth. The church is committed to the growth and development of youth and families
so that they go on to effective life and ministry for Christ. The Church’s motto is ‘Transforming our community for Christ by the power of his love’ and they see youth and families as a vital part of accomplishing that aim. All concerned are praising God for his clear leading and enabling in this new appointment and are looking forward to exciting days ahead.
Counting their blessings
Richard and Marilyn Morris left Rockhampton Baptist Tabernacle in December 09 to commence a ministry at Mt Tamborine. Richard was a fulltime pastor there for 10 years. Fond memories of their time at the Rocky church include the wonderful welcome they received, family camps, the worship team, watching youth grow in God and develop gifts, and the move to 650 Norman Road in 2001. (They remember Pastor Ron Holley’s persistence in securing that property too.) They know they’ll miss the people but they won’t miss the hot, dry summers. Richard and Marilyn say it was a mixture of timing, contact and confirmation that led them to accept the call to Mt Tamborine. Marilyn will be teaching Senior Maths part time at the High School which gives her opportunity to work in the community. Richard plans to ‘witness, witness, witness’. He also plans to introduce himself to the business community and lead the church through a strategic planning exercise to develop a church vision. He also wants to build the confidence
of the people to witness, be active in the local church and have confidence in God. Richard says that, during the years at Rocky, he has learned that there are different ways for the church to engage in witness and it’s always a team effort. It’s like a multi-facetted jewel: prayer, giving, speaking, living and spontaneous acts of praise. The influence of leadership is profound and both mistakes and sins and positive influences can have significant effects on others. Marilyn says that she’s learned how to better handle conflict and she has matured in her ability to listen and see things from more than one side. She’s grateful to Rocky’s technical ‘guru’ Michael Menzies too, for all the technical knowledge she’s gained. Richard’s parting advice to the Rocky church? “Let go of trying to manage God and let God. Focus on God in all things. Nothing is impossible.” Marilyn added: “Have compassion for each other. Show God’s love as he has shown us. Keep on doing this. Hang in there for God’s leading and enabling with pastors, use of the land and the road project.” They conclude: “We have been amazingly blessed by the loving-kindness of the church.”
PHOTO: Richard and Marilyn (proud new grandparents) pictured with Mya Grace Morris
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Praise God for these followers of Jesus.
PICTURED L to R: Jade, Lauren and David are baptised in idyllic surroundings just outside Innisfail. City North: Liam Mavity Forest Lake: Ben Clarke Greenslopes: Julie Tufuga-Bhushal Hertford Street: Timothy Carey Innisfail: Jade Bruschi Lauren Farnsworth David George Kenan McKay Kruger Parade: Eve Chinika David Johnman Del Liebke Mount Isa: Craig Gason Laura Lea Caitlyn Woodall Springfield Community: Tom Parke Andrew Parker Christy Parker Jason Rhys Stafford Heights: Nada Kodi Matthew Le Dilly Sauson Tairab Taringa: Louwen Heng
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‘...walk across the room to find a person like me’
has a plan for me. He has a plan for everyone. Craig Gason was baptised recently at Mt Isa Baptist Church. Here are some of his thoughts:
In it, John talked about how he made lots of money, worked for charity and had a family but was never completely satisfied.
I have come to know God this year. I want to tell you my story and to leave you with a challenge.
At the time I just thought it was a good song and the words meant nothing to me. Years later, two things happened. Firstly, I came to discover that I am not a fan of country music and secondly, I came across these lyrics years later in a book and they took on a whole new meaning for me. The void in my heart was a hole that no amount of good deeds or nice ‘stuff’ could ever fill. It was the gap between me and God and the only way I could get across it was through Jesus Christ.
Before I knew God I thought I was travelling through life, just fine. I was happy, had nice ‘stuff’ and a stable job that I love. I was of the opinion that because I was a good person, I would be forgiven by God and spend eternal life with him. But God had a plan for me and it started with him bringing Aleta into my life. I remember saying to her once: “Why do I need to bother making an effort now when I can just accept the Lord when I die?” This sounded like a very solid argument to me and then Aleta hit me with a brick: “Why would you want to wait to have a relationship with your best friend, when you can have it now?” That really affected me and it was from then that I wanted to get to know God. When I was a teenager I listened to a lot of music. I was growing up and didn’t yet know what I liked so I listened to lots of different styles. One of my favourite CDs was Big Daddy by John Cougar Melencamp. There was a song on the CD that I really liked called Void in My Heart.
My final journey to accepting God started with the Christianity Explained course, which I would recommend to any new Christians. As I went through the course, I had lots of burning questions answered. About half way though, I started to understand that there was no denying Jesus walked on this earth and that I could have eternal life with God. I remember having a moment one night where I just sat there and tried to fathom the fact that Jesus has given us this free gift and all I had to do is accept that he died for my sins. That is just mind blowing! And so I came to accept God and all the work Jesus did for me so I can be forgiven.
A while ago I was asked to pick a bible cover as a gift. We had little time and I was immediately drawn to one that had a quote from Jer 29:11, ‘...for I know the plans I have for you ... plans to give you hope and a future’. And now I start to see that God does have a plan for me. He knew what my life was going to be like before I was born. He sent people to me in order to help me get to know him. And now he challenges me again. The plan doesn’t stop with my salvation; the challenge is now to do something with that salvation; to help others. I want to thank my fiancé, Aleta, and Stuart (Pastor Batterham) and Jenny (Jenny Blake who assisted in running the Christianity Explained course that Craig attended) for taking a walk across the room for me. And now I would like to challenge you to walk across the room to find a person like me who is not down on their luck and doesn’t think they need saving. They are happy, stable and financially comfortable but they don’t know God and the importance and wonder of knowing him. They are probably the more challenging people to bring to God. Help them fill the void in their hearts, let them know that God has a plan for them also.
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Our churches celebrate New Worship Centre opens at Cleveland Cleveland Baptist Church opened their new Worship Centre on 29 November, 2009. “After years of talking, planning and building we finally have a new, modern, air conditioned Ministry Centre”, said Senior Pastor Richard Kingham. The 600 seat auditorium has new comfortable seating and up-to-date audio, lighting and projection equipment. Around 800 people attended the opening to share in the celebration and hear Rev Dr. John Sweetman speak on Jesus’ statement, “I will build my church”. He reminded everyone that the building is just that - a building. The real church is people and the challenge is to be ready for what God will do in and through them. Rather than cutting a ribbon or unveiling a plaque, the church invited Neville Heinrich, one of the church’s original members, to unwrap a Bible to signify that God’s Word will continue to be the centre of the teaching and focus of the Church. Two new Pastors were also recognised in the Service. Chris Luthy joins the team as Worship and Children’s Pastor and Doug Heinrich as Care and Family Pastor.
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50 years is always a golden milestone In the Kingdom of God every 50 years is known as a year of Jubilee. The Gap Baptist Church, constituted on 3 April 1960 with 18 foundation members, is celebrating this special milestone in 2010. On Saturday 20th March there will be an Open Day highlighting the church’s journey to date. Sunday 21 March will a special service of celebration and thanksgiving. The building… The Gap Baptist Church started as an outreach from Ashgrove Baptist Church. Land was purchased in 1959. A simple box style building was chosen, building commenced and after the stumps were placed a traditional ‘Stump Capping Ceremony’ took place where money was placed under each of the ant caps. This was quickly retrieved and put to good use by the treasurer! The initial building took 15 months to complete. It was constructed by the people from Ashgrove and Baptists living at The Gap, guided by builder Bill Luke and ably supported by ‘painter-in-charge’ Campbell Mauchline. Foundation member and first Secretary, Doug Adam remembers a slight hitch at the official opening ceremony – nobody could get the front door key to work. Jack Sweetman (Ashgrove Secretary at the time), tactfully went around the back of the building and opened the door from the inside and all was well! The Church purchased three homes as well as a manse in Shallmar Street which was raised and extended for the Colledge family. Two of the properties were later sold to finance much needed extensions which included underneath and the extra wing. Around 2006, the third property was sold to pay for internal upgrades. The
latest addition is the undercover coffee shop – the coffee cart was designed and built by the current pastor, Rev Stephen Goode.
out facilities and great coffee during the week from the outdoor Coffee Cart ensure that the church is always busy.
Long-standing ministries within the church – Kids’ Klub, youth group with a popular drop in centre, craft group, prayer meetings and home groups continue to nourish and grow all who are involved. Stephen firmly believes in the full utilisation of people’s God given gifts. When someone sees a need, the pastor is the first to say, “Well off you go; do it!” This empowering has seen many people move out of their comfort zones - from the Christmas Carols to the beginning of inter church prayer walks. Stephen considered it a great compliment when a minister of a large church within The Gap said, “You don’t think like a small church”.
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
Allan Burgess E V Keith Jim Allen John Colledge Bob Bickerton Tom Soper Ivan Dehnert Neil Watt Don McClelland Don Sison John Ward Neil Bernard Stephen Goode
Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade… Doug Adam commenced and captained the 21st Brisbane Company, Boys’ Brigade until 1987. The Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade companies were a major part of the Church until after 1987. Future vision…
When asked to consider the church’s greatest strength, Stephen believes it is their ability to include the diversity of people who make up the church fellowship and harness these differences under God’s mighty hand in order to be an affective agent of change in The Gap community. Coupled with not being afraid to try new ideas and take risks, this makes a very exciting background for celebrating the first 50 years and looking forward with hope and assurance to the next 50, God willing. For further information please free to contact Pastor Stephen Goode
Honouring God, valuing people From the beginning, the church has maintained a close fellowship with members working together. It has always centred on Bible teaching and believing with an emphasis on encouragement and support. This strength carried the church through uncertain times in the late 1990s. Through perseverance, the church is moving forward with a fresh vision for the future. With the vision of Pastor Stephen Goode, and the full support of the church family, the church has focused on becoming more active in the community. Nursing Mothers, Probus, Fitness and Dance, Orchid Society and M&Ms, along with informal playgroups are based in the church building. Well thought
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Boys’ Brigade 1976
Steve & Lois Goode
The first Service - 19
ay Gloria tod Doug and
Doug & Maisie Adam with Janet Morris at the opening (1960). Ma isie passed away ma ny years later. Doug is now married to Gloria .
(0421 871 802) or Mandy Colledge (0417 615 102). Dear Friends 2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of The Gap Baptist Church. Many people have been a part of The Gap fellowship over the years. Just as people continually change and grow, a church is also a dynamic, ever-changing place. We are excited to have the opportunity to honour the past, celebrate the present and look forward to the future. Let the Baptist phone network ring hot; forward emails and spread the news. Come and join us – catch up with old friends, make the acquaintance of new. Saturday 20 March - 10am – 3pm Open Day to commemorate where we have come from and where we are now. 16
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Des & Ma who be rgaret Jones, came p just on ar t e passed away in of church in of the couples the mid hear ts o 1996 – 60 fb le continu oth Margaret aving a big ho s. Des es to be and the le in the c a vital p h ar t of th urch. Margare t e Churc h today .
Activities include historical displays, community group displays, an audio/ visual presentation, sausage sizzle, art activities, coffee machine, jumping castle (or similar) and crèche for young children. Sunday 21 March – 9am Special service of celebration and thanksgiving followed by morning tea. We are also looking for items for our Memory Lane – photos, memorabilia, written recollections. Please feel free to contact Mandy (0417 615 102) or Pastor Stephen Goode (0421 871 802).
and their families
Kids encountering God Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven God belongs to such as these” Matt 19:14. The primary focus of Queensland Baptists for 2010 is Encountering God. Children in our families, churches and community need to encounter God in real and relevant ways appropriate to their spiritual, physical and emotional development. Our hearts’ desire should be that our children will not just learn head knowledge, but will have a genuine encounter with Jesus as they do so. As adults, we also need to acknowledge that God can work in and through children just as much as he can through adults. We need open our minds and hearts to what they have to contribute to our church communities. Perhaps you’ve heard the statistic that 80-85% of people who become Christians do so before age 14. Ministry to the children in our midst is vital. We need to take up our God-given responsibility to nurture and encourage the spiritual growth of the children in our families, churches and community; empowering them on their journey to faith.
• Encourage children to pray for the needs around them and around the world. Include them in your prayer times as a church and family. Children are quite capable of praying and God can speak through them • Develop the habit of family devotions – reading the Bible and praying together • Provide the children in your care with age appropriate teaching and resources. Learning opportunities should be aimed, not just at keeping them occupied, but to challenge and grow them in their understanding of God, his love for them and his plan for their lives. Children need to be taught Bible stories, but they also need to understand the biblical truths behind the stories and how they can be applied to their daily lives • Move out of our churches and help children in our communities come face to face with Jesus through • school-based programs such as Religious Education; Chaplaincy, Kids’ Hope AUS • community outreach activities such as Kids’ Games and Holiday Clubs, holiday camps through outreach events in your communities like Easter Festivals and city events • our own church programs such as Kids’ Clubs, Play groups • See children as a vital part of the church family and include them in worship services. This will help them to feel valued and that their faith responses are accepted. The adults around them will model and teach them by example.
Pictured top to bottom: June Lambourne, Karen Johns, Ruth Peckman, Julie Terry, Faith Giovas and Jo Stotschek
The newly formed QB Kids Team consider it is vital to equip and encourage parents, church leaders and children’s ministry practitioners, if we are to effectively empower children to encounter God.
Some ideas to empower and encourage our children in their journey to faith are:
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They need to feel that they belong before they can become all that God wants them to be • Get children involved in serving opportunities at a young age. We are saved to serve others and children need to be given the opportunity to show the love of Christ to others by their words and actions: eg participation in Operation Christmas Child, supporting an orphan, involvement in creative arts ministries, visiting elderly people • Let children hear the stories of others on their faith journey and experience the various aspects of worship-prayer, Bible reading, dance, music, the arts, times of reflection, communion, baptism • Help the children in your sphere of influence to discover their spiritual gifts and their pathways to God. George Barna in this Book Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions writes: ‘As you ponder how to invest your personal resources of all types – of time, money, experience, ability, facilities, expertise and so on, keep in mind that there is no better investment than nurturing our youngsters for an eternal payback’ (p42). God can work in and through our children. Take the time to listen, model and encourage them in their faith journey. Julie Terry Associate Pastor Hervey Bay Baptist Church On behalf of the QB Kids Team
Excellent resources The Faith Family Newsletter is an interdenominational Christian resource for families. Over 30,000 families around Australia make the most of this quarterly publication which costs 25c/copy. It’s an excellent resource to distribute to families in your church and community. Go to http://www.yacmu.com.au/wpcontent/uploads/2009/04/front-cover.jpg or phone the Yacmu Office (07 3377 9782) for subscription details. Books: Transforming Children into Spritual Champions George Barna Revolutionary Parenting George Barna Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults (2009) Dr Christian Smith PrayKids!-Adventures with Jesus in prayer is an eight page, full-colour children’s prayer curriculum with the mission ‘to encourage a passion for Christ through prayer’ in primary-age kids. There are 26 issues in all and each issue can be ordered separately. Go to www.praykids.com for details. 18
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The Child-friendly Church Ten promises for our children. We will 1. help you to understand how much God loves you by the way we care for you 2. help you to feel welcome every time you come to our church 3. listen to you and put you and your needs at the heart of our church 4. make sure you always feel safe, comfortable and special 5. be happy with you in your happy times and comfort you in your sad times 6. welcome you when you use your special gifts in our worship services 7. help you to learn that Jesus loves you, died for you, forgives you and is making a special place for you in heaven 8. be here when you wonder about life and God. We will listen to you and help you to find answers 9. be here to guide and support you as you learn how to follow Jesus in your everyday life as a Christian 10. encourage you as you discover your special way to serve God and share his love with others. www.10promisesforourchildren.org
Every high school kid is up to something; I know parents have long suspected it. When the teen is asked, “What are you up to?” the answer is always a flustered and awkward, “nothing” with a shifty sideways glance. Every high schooler dreads getting busted, whether it’s just being on Facebook when they should be doing their homework, or not telling mum and dad the whole truth about the party, or something more sinister – yikes!
Getting busted looms over the average teen’s head as a real fear. Although getting busted is something that high schoolers dread, it should be something their parents actually plan for. All Christian parents should aim to get busted by their children, but busted doing what? Well, put simply, parents should get busted being disciples. If you’re a parent, you should regularly get sprung doing the things that disciples do. You should get caught reading your bible, praying, tithing, fasting, worshipping and journaling. Basically, anything that you want to be normal in your teenager’s life must be normal in yours. You are an example to them as a Christian. If they never see you demonstrating the spiritual disciplines of a disciple they will likely gather that it’s not important, or that you don’t do it.
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I really like the encouragement to parents in Deut 4:9 where God says, ‘Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them’. Did you notice the two parts? Firstly, remember to keep your own spiritual life fresh, and secondly, teach it to your children. As a parent (or a grandparent) you have much more influence than you realise in the lives of your teenagers. They are looking to you to see what it actually looks like to be a disciple. I think of it like this; their peers influence the surface behaviours and views (the emerging identity) but parents set the baseline, they help for bedrock of identity, core values and behaviour. If you make spiritual disciplines normal they will think those disciplines are normal, but if you never get busted (even if you do these things in private) they won’t do them either.
Parents! Get Busted!
So talk about what God is doing in your own life, model discipleship. Come on parents, get busted! It makes a real difference! Mark Westhuyzen Team Leader QB Youth Ministries
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Treasures in little yellow boxes
Treasures are likely to come in any shape or form. For the Baptist Church Archives Qld, they came recently in fifty or more little yellow boxes – the kind used for Kodak colour slides. There were hundreds of slides from the late Rev Vic Bowring’s collection, donated by his family. They feature people, churches and pastors from the time when Mr Bowring was Superintendent of the Queensland Baptist Home Mission (1958-1975). Many of the slides are in good condition, especially considering their age, and are capable of being electronically scanned.
Superintendent and staff who travelled wherever there was a possibility of meeting the needs of the state’s far flung and diverse population.
The slides record a fascinating variety of places, covering the state from the far north to the west and south (and some interstate as well). Thankfully, most are identified and include images that are not otherwise available to the Archives, such as various church leaders, openings of buildings, official formations of churches and anniversaries. A number are of gatherings of Home Mission staff and denominational events. The collection reflects an extremely vigorous time of outreach and church planting into mining, resort and remote rural areas. They show a Home Mission
Most of the Bowring collection relates to churches that were established or were undergoing growth and development in the period of his leadership of the Home Mission. One church that is not included in this period and for which no picture is currently available is the
The Archives possesses an extensive collection of photographs, but many are not identified. We are keen to collect more documents and photographs of churches, people and pastors. Information can be sent to email@example.com. Help is also needed processing these slides and other similar material already in the possession of the Archives.
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Thompson Estate Church which was erected in 1885 in O’Keefe Street, Buranda, near the PA Hospital (the site is currently occupied by a Seventhday Adventist church). This church, formed originally by South Brisbane, had a good ministry but it closed in the late 1950s. The building materials were used to construct the Carina church in Creek Road (since closed, and now an Exclusive Brethren building) and the proceeds from the sale of land were devoted to new outreaches. If any reader has a photo of the Thompson Estate church or more information about its history, please contact the Archives at 53 Prospect Rd, Gaythorne Q 4051 Australia on phone 07 3354 5642 or 0404 083 108. David Parker Baptist Church Archives Qld
New Director of Camping appointed
In response to the growing success of its camping and conferencing ministry, Queensland Conference and Camping Centres (QCCC) has appointed Andrew Grant as Director of Camping to oversee operations at its three South East Queensland facilities. The purpose of the position is to work with existing facility managers and staff to further the mission of QCCC through the development and management of programs, human resource, financial, marketing, and strategic operations. Andrew and his wife Anne have three sons: Joseph, Timothy and Elijah. The family has relocated from Dubbo NSW where Andrew was the Director of Business and Finance with Cornerstone Community, a tent-making incarnational mission order reaching and discipling rural youth. Andrew brings fifteen years of experience in missional community. At Cornerstone, Andrew was responsible for commercial ventures that were operated for the purposes of discipleship and support of the mission. This has given him a breadth of business knowledge (including as franchisee of two Domino’s Pizza outlets) as well as a thorough grounding in ministry and discipleship. “We’re excited about the opportunity to join the QCCC family and contribute to their operations and ministry,” Andrew said from his base at the Mapleton Centre on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. “QCCC has some of the most breathtaking and versatile camping and conferencing venues in South East Queensland and it’s a privilege to join with the current staff and work with such great facilities.” QCCC is a ministry of Queensland Baptists, with facilities that cater for conferences, school camps and retreats at Brookfield (13km from the Brisbane CBD), Mapleton (Sunshine Coast hinterland) and Mount Tamborine (Gold Coast hinterland). Visit QCCC online at www.qccc.com.au
and develop in changing times
NEW COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR QBC
Queensland Bapitist Care
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Queensland Baptist Care (QBC) has expanded its services by incorporating Community Workforce Solutions (CWS), an employment service, into its range of community programs. CWS currently employs 27 staff and has offices at Wynnum, Upper Mt Gravatt, South Brisbane and Inala, with an outreach office at Victoria Point. This program fits with QBC’s mission as it specialises in providing employment, training and personal development opportunities for unemployed people; both those who are ready to work and those facing challenges in life, particularly those struggling with mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues. CWS will also provide facilities and infrastructure that QBC can use to deliver other services. CWS began in 1996 as a ministry of the Wynnum Baptist Church. Since then, thousands of people have participated in its employment and training programs. It delivers: Work for the Dole, numeracy and literacy training, development employment programs, work skills for youth, youth vocational training program, Community Employment Assistance Program, Community Training Partnership Program and Personal Support Program. Wynnum Baptist Church has now handed over the entire operation to QBC. It’s funded by the Federal Government for three years to deliver services to unemployed people. CWS is also involved in the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (Queensland Government) initiative. This consists of two programs: Job Preparation, assisting jobseekers to do all the things they need to do to find a job, and Work Placement, which enables 12 people to undertake a 15 week paid work placement with a not-for-profit community organisation focusing on Administration Assistant skills.
According to General Manager of CWS, Leo Zubevich, clients range from job ready to highly disadvantaged, with more tending to be at the disadvantaged end of the spectrum. CWS also strives to provide a holistic approach to its clients’ development. Counselling is an integral service provided to help disadvantaged people improve their lives on their pathway to employment. According to Leo, “If we can work at helping (our clients) with their issues in life, then they can usually see their way forward to get back into the workforce”. QBC welcomes this new service as it will enable them to provide more services to the community. QBC continues to grow and develop in changing times. It has an annual turnover of approximately $44M, employs approximately 900 people and has numerous volunteers across a range of ministries. However, it’s a continual challenge to cover both increasing costs and meet the expectations of government and community.QBC acknowledges and is thankful for God’s blessing and the many churches and individuals who contribute time and money to support its ministry. They look forward to the year ahead. If you would like to find out more about QBC’s services or make a donation you can do so online at www. qbc.com.au or phone Elaine at Head Office on (07) 3550 3737. Joanne Diefenbach Public Relations Officer Queensland Baptist Care E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Holy Spirit ...
God on the inside
CONVENTION 10-15 May 2010 Incorporating...
• Pastors’ & Spouses’ Conference 2010 • MTQ Workshops • Global Interaction Dinner • Multicultural Concert • Queensland Baptists’ Business Day • MTQ Dinner • Ordination Service • Saturday Seminars • neoLeader Conference Mt Tamborine Convention Centre
Reedy Creek Baptist Church
Beacon Road, Mt Tamborine
10 Gemvale Road Reedy Creek (Gold Coast)
Something for everyone! around OUR CHURCHES
SUNDAY 9 May - Day of prayer and thanksgiving at TAMBORINE CONVENTION CENTRE MONDAY 10 May – THURSDAY 13 May PASTORS’ & SPOUSES’ CONFERENCE (Speaker: Rev Nigel Wright)
Tuesday & Wednesday 2.30pm - MTQ WORKSHOPS
at REEDY CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH THURSDAY 13 MAY - SATURDAY 15 MAY Thursday Friday Saturday
5.30pm - Global Interaction Dinner 7.30pm - Multicultural Concert (Speaker: Rev Nigel Wright) 7.30am - Prayer Breakfast (Speaker: Rev Nigel Wright) 9.30am - Business Day (Registration 9.00am) 5.30pm - MTQ Dinner 7.30pm - Ordination Service (Speaker: Rev Nigel Wright) 8.45am - Saturday Seminars 1.00pm – 8.30pm neoLeader Conference www.neoleader.org (Speaker: Mark Sayers)
Saturday seminars - 15 May Seminar A: ‘Encountering God in a praying church’ Phil Greenbury is the Senior Pastor at Maroochy Baptist Church www.maroochybaptist.org on the Sunshine Coast. He has a passion for the gospel, God’s Word and for seeing people released into service. He also has a passion to see God move in revival. During his years in ministry, Phil has known times when God has moved powerfully. He has served as a church planter with MTQ and during his ministries at Tieri and Mareeba, God blessed the church with revival. Now as senior pastor of a large church, he has been focussing on growing and discipling people spiritually so that they can encounter God every day. Phil and his leadership team are experiencing a refreshing movement of prayer within church life and an increased expectation that God will work in the church and wider community. Phil will share from these experiences and others as well as discussing some ideas which will help your church develop in prayer ministry. Seminar B: ‘Encountering God through music and worship’ Tim Lovell is the pastor of The Goodlife Community Church in Buderim, Queensland. He has been involved in pastoral leadership and worship ministry for the past 20 years. Tim is passionate about exploring the meaning of both the Biblical and cultural expressions of praise and worship in the church. In this context, Tim believes that there is a need to explore and establish our foundations from the scriptures and explore our traditions and our cultural boundaries. Drawing on his years of worship
ministry and pastoral experience, he will endeavour to encourage and challenge participants to a deeper understanding and practice of praise. Tim is also a singer/songwriter who has both mentored and raised up many people in the ministry of praise and worship and he has also released and still mentors artists in the global music community. Seminar C: ‘Encountering God in our community’ For the past six years, Paul Wetzig has worked in the Mater Hospital’s Pastoral Care Department where he seeks to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families and conducts staff education and training. With his wife Sharon, Paul has also been involved in organising and conducting the Queensland Servant Leadership Forum on Faith and Values (The Forum). The Forum works with leaders aged 18-26 from all religious and social backgrounds to explore the importance of having some sort of faith and values underpinning their leadership, rather than simply skills and talents. During this time Paul and Sharon have also been experimenting with missional church models, under the name Enigma Community, with all of the joys and challenges that such projects bring. Paul passionately believes that the capacity to love and to listen can transform the world. Seminars D & H: ‘Young adults and spirituality’ (two sessions) Mark Sayers is an author and speaker who specialises in interpreting popular culture from a Christian viewpoint. He is the founder of Über www. uberlife.com.au a ministry that specialises in issues
Our Convention theme, ‘Encountering God’, emphasises our desperate need to know God in the highest, deepest and fullest way. Only as we seek His face are we able to be true followers of Jesus and only as we seek to allow the Holy Spirit free reign in our hearts and lives are we able to become more like Him. Our seeking must be consistent, regular and fervent and it makes sense to take every opportunity for learning and discovery. Convention provides just such an opportunity. I encourage you to attend so that together we can gain fresh and wonderful insights into the work of the Holy Spirit in us, in the world and as Triune God. Rev Dr David Loder
Pictured clockwise from top left: Rev Dr David Loder, Dr Nigel Wright, Rev Dr Rich Peterson
Dr Nigel Wright delivers deep biblical truths with warmth and passion. As a theologian, Nigel has contributed significantly to the recovery of the Anabaptist tradition, to thinking about the church and its relationship to the state, to reflection on the theology of charismatic renewal and to the renewal of evangelicalism. He describes his current field as ‘theology and ministry’. He is a well-published author, and his most recent book, God on the Inside: The Holy Spirit in Holy Scripture (2006) is the focus of his Convention presentations. As Senior Pastor of Reedy Creek Baptist Church it is my distinct honour and privilege to welcome all of you to the Gold Coast this May for the Queensland Baptists’ Convention. We are truly excited about sharing our hospitality, facilities and beautiful surroundings with you as we continue to partner together in the work of the Gospel. I am personally looking forward to being with all of you as we seek God’s favour, encourage one another in the faith, and work together for the expansion of God’s kingdom. For His glory and the good of others, Rev Dr Rich Peterson
of youth and young adult discipleship. Mark is also the leader of the Red East church in Melbourne, an innovative Christian community specifically reaching the young adult demographic. He is a highly sought after speaker, trainer, consultant and thinker in the areas of popular culture and faith. He provides unique, provocative and prophetic insight into pertinent issues affecting Christians today. Mark is the author of ‘The Trouble with Paris: Following Jesus in a World of Plastic Promises’. His latest book is ‘The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in An Age of Self Obsession’. Mark lives in Melbourne with his wife Trudi and daughter Grace. Seminar E: ‘Helping children encounter God’ As one of the pastors at Bridgeman Baptist, Trish Lane oversees the areas of Christian Growth and Discipleship, and Children’s ministry. Her experience as a primary school teacher prior to commencing her full-time ministry role has certainly established a great love for children and a desire to see them connect with God from a young age. ‘Helping children encounter
God’ is an interactive workshop for those keen to elevate program-based children’s ministry to a level that encourages children to explore prayer and active discipleship in their early years. Seminar F: ‘Encountering God through the Arts’ Stephen Horne is an artist and teacher who has worked in Victoria, PNG and Queensland in education and Christian mission. Stephen produces work for solo exhibitions and also exhibits regularly with ‘Visionaries’, a group of Christian artists. He uses art as a means of expression and worship in church services and in other aspects of Christian ministry and he conducts workshops and seminars on the place of the visual arts in Christian life and ministry. Stephen’s seminar will pose the question, “Are we still suspicious of the visual arts?” In this interesting and informative session Stephen will outline what is being done and what can be done with visual arts in the life of the church. Stephen plans to include an opportunity for some hands-on artistic expression in his seminar.
Seminar G: ‘Men encountering God’ Michael Knight is vitally concerned about the spiritual wellbeing of Australian boys and men. He has co-authored a book on masculinity with Peter Janetzki, titled ‘Being a Bloke’, the essence of authentic healthy masculinity (due for release June 2010) and has conducted significant research into the issue. Michael has been involved in full time Christian faith ministry since 1984. His current ministry, ‘Peer Power’, www.peerpower.com.au runs seminars on Life Skills/character education for secondary students. Michael has a BA in Religious Studies and Youth Work, having left school at the end of Yr10 on the advice of his Principal who said, “Don’t come back”. His ongoing theological training is an intentional, integrity/character based, non-formal discipleship. He, his wife Ida and three teenagers are actively involved at Ashgrove Baptist Church. Michael’s motto is, “Why tiptoe through life to arrive at death safely?”
or mail to QB Convention 10, PO Box 6166, Mitchelton Qld 4053 or fax 07 3354 5605.
REGISTER ONLINE AT www.qb.com.au
Ful resiOenlial MONDAY10M,yTHURSDAY 13 Mry
WEDNESDAY 12 MAY COS!
neoLeader Conference - reg ister online at wwwneoleaderorg Guest speaker Mark Sayers Where IS God In Australian Society'
TOTAL $ PAYMENT METHOD: Cheque/money order Card No. NAME ON CARD
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First group graduates For two years, Gateway Baptist member Ruth Larwill travelled regularly to Cambodia to conduct a training school in cake decorating for teenage girls who have been rescued from brothels. After much prayer, confirmation of God’s leading and his call to the whole church at Gateway Baptist, Ruth, husband Murray and their two sons, moved to Phnom Penh to establish a Vocational Training School, especially for victims of trafficking. At the end of 2009, Ruth wrote: We have ended our first Training School at Bloom on such a high with six girls graduating. Wow, what a night! Absolutely brilliant! It was an incredibly emotional sight to see the girls in their graduation gowns! Murray and I gave a little speech about how well the girls had done, that the Hospitality Course was based on rigorous Australian standards and that all of them had not only passed, but received nearly 100% on their exams! Then the girls came one by one to receive their certificates, a photo album of all their work and a silver bracelet inscribed in Khmer “Prov:31 She smiles at the future – Her value is far above rubies or gold. Bloom 18 Dec 2009.” Overall it was an amazing night! Lots of laughter and tears. A member of one girl’s family didn’t believe she had
made the cakes. Her counsellor called me over and I had to verify that indeed she had made all the cakes in her photo album ALL BY HERSELF! The looks on the family’s faces changed completely to looks of awe and respect. One of our graduating girls brought all her family – they live in a fully functioning brothel. I love this colliding of worlds! Then she casually mentioned that her mother and her sister had become Christians and were now coming to church with her! The other day we had our first customers in the café. At the end of the day, one of our girls (who was rescued after many years in a child brothel) just started giggling and said, “I can’t believe I have a real job and a real life!” It’s all so humbling – because for us – we’re just teaching cake decoration - but for them it means leaving a dark room where customers are brought to them from 5pm until morning. For them it’s literal. Darkness turns to light...no wonder they just start giggling sometimes! I used to think, ‘How could we possibly make a difference in a world so filled with poverty and evil?’ but I have come to see that Jesus knows each girl by name, and that if we listen to his whisper, Jesus is empowering his church to bring his light into this darkness. What we couldn’t do alone, we can do together!
www.gatewaybap.com www.bloomasia.org www.qb.com.au The qb FEBRUARY 10
‘…my deepest desire is to create opportunities for you to understand and live in the power of God’s truth.’
Do you like what you see? The beginning of each year is a great opportunity to have a good long look at the woman in the mirror. Do you like what you see? It’s important to remember that who you are now is not who you will be at the end of the year. Your growth will depend on how many God opportunities you choose to seize in 2010. As the state leader of women’s ministry, my deepest desire is to create opportunities for you to understand and live in the power of God’s truth. Together with my team we have been dreaming and scheming for a year and I’m so excited to see the heart of my prayer turned into action. In 2010 we will launch a new season for Queensland Baptist women. We’re going to throw off our excuses, leave behind our preconceived ideas, toss away our judgements and celebrate how God has made us, each one unique. It is my prayer that each woman might understand that... She is... worthy and valuable before God (Prov 31:10) She is... a significant person in God’s plans (Eph 2:10) She has ... unlimited capacity in Christ (Phil 4:13) She is... deeply loved by God (Eph 3:18)
We’re going to be discovering the truth about who She is... at two great events. Our annual camp has had a makeover and we are excited to announce a new opportunity to gather together as women celebrating our fantastic God. She is… camp at Mapleton Convention Centre, 6 - 8 August For women who love a weekend away with their girlfriends in a beautiful mountain retreat, come along to this event which will include all meals (no washing up! Yahoo!), inspired teaching, awesome worship, electives and shopping in the gorgeous hinterland shops (bring your credit cards!). She is… conference at Qld Baptists Centre, Gaythorne Brisbane, Saturday 21 August Are you a busy woman who finds it hard to get away for the night but longs for a strong dose of the word of God? We have a jam-packed, action-
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filled, go-hard day planned just for you. We’re going to wrap up everything that happens at camp, squish it, squash it, zip it and repackage it into an amazing one-day event. We welcome the wisdom of Elissa Macpherson as our keynote speaker at both events. Check out Elissa’s heart for the sisterhood in this issue of The qb. Expect an amazing time of worship, to be spoilt rotten, and all sorts of surprises. So gather your sisters and join the excitement as together we discover all that She is... Sue Peters State Coordinator for Queensland Baptist Women’s Ministry. For more information about QBWM please visit http://qbwm.baptistchurch-online.com, email email@example.com or ph 0438 287 638.
She is… Keynote Speaker, Elissa Macpherson, has a passion for ministering to women. Read more about her writing and speaking ministry, Lavish Pursuits, at www. lavishpursuits.com.au. Elissa has previously contributed articles for The qb and writes for Australian Christian Woman and Enhance magazine as a way to keep in touch with the women she meets through her ministry. She has written a book for women titled Beautiful, available through Word and Koorong bookstores.
Principles of sisterhood There is a word being bantered around women’s ministry at the moment: Sisterhood. Sisterhood is a group of women bound by religious devotion, a group of women with a common aim. It is a beautiful word and it is no wonder women have taken hold of it. There are two women in the Bible who modelled the power of sisterhood. In Luke 1 we read about the inspiring relationship between Mary and Elizabeth. In their encounter we can pull out principles of Sisterhood.
one... The principle of positioning: Luke 1:26, 27
(NLT) says, ‘In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in
Galilee, to a virgin named Mary’. This verse begins with an intriguing phrase. The story didn’t begin with the angel visiting Mary; instead it began with God planting Elizabeth into the context of Mary’s journey. When God called Mary to purpose, he had Elizabeth strategically placed in her sphere. When God calls us to purpose he has women positioned to be on our team. Have we found the Marys and Elizabeths in our spiritual community? It is good to intentionally spiritually connect to other women. Our missions are not independent, but they intersect and integrate with each other. Godly friendships have a ripple effect when focussed on the purposes of God.
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two... The principle of testimony: Luke 1:36, 37 (NLT) says, ‘What’s more your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but now she is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God!’ Both women are on the same journey of becoming mothers to sons that will change the world. Elizabeth however is a few steps ahead so she can be a source of wisdom and insight for Mary. Women who are ahead in the journey can use their testimony to teach, encourage and strengthen their sisters. Elizabeth’s testimony is positive because it is a shared experience. Counselling out of inexperience can be discouraging. Elizabeth’s experience with infertility is a classic example. I wonder if Elizabeth endured those clangers: “If you just relax it will happen; go on a holiday.” “Why don’t you adopt then you will fall pregnant.” Such shallow and simple advice invalidates the depth and complexities of the experience. Elizabeth’s experience is also effective because it is recent. Many young mothers have felt frustrated as Grandma pronounces that her children never acted like that. The truth is Grandma has just forgotten. Experiences soften over time. Cultural standards change. Memories blend into each other; even the most overwhelming emotions lose their edge.
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A recent shared testimony is powerful because it reassures your sister that they are not alone, that they are not going crazy, and they are going to be OK. Effective women’s ministry can provide a place to share and learn from testimony. Women in a season of struggle need the living testimony that with God nothing is impossible.
The principle of encouragement. I love how Elizabeth greets Mary in Luke 1: 43 (NLT), “Why am I so honoured, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?” Elizabeth sees what God is doing in the life of her friend and encourages her. Elizabeth gives honour, demonstrates excitement and specifically pinpoints what God is doing in Mary’s life. We need our sisters to believe in what God is doing in our lives. To recognise it, name it, and rejoice in it. We need to proactively let our sisters know the impact of their role in the kingdom. We can see a sister’s gift and assume she knows it is strong in her life. But many women can minimize their role in the kingdom. However, they can be inspired to new levels of ministry by our vigorous encouragement. What is fantastic is that Elizabeth recognises significance in Mary even while it is in seed form, even before she has given birth. Encouragement sees not only what God is doing but it also sees potential. Continued on page 27...
over the three months Elizabeth and Mary were together they shared between themselves the radical changes brought by pregnancy. A woman is capable of expanding in amazing ways. It is incredible just how expansive a nine month pregnant belly can be! Giving birth to the purposes of God also requires supernatural expansion. Isaiah 54 likens God’s people to a barren woman, like Elizabeth, who will give birth to God’s plans. Verses 2 and 3a say, ‘Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left’ (NKJV).
each other as women in the kingdom. Let us share our testimony and learn from the stories of others. Let us be women of generous and loud encouragement. Let us expect our capacity to expand beyond our expectations. Let us live with a generational attitude and nurture the daughters. Let the sisterhood play her part in the kingdom.
four... The principle of expansion. I wonder if
‘We need our sisters to believe in what God is doing in our lives. To recognise it, name it, and rejoice in it.’
Through the Holy Spirit we can increase our capacity, we can stretch out our lives. God called me into youth ministry when my second child was two years old. I thought having a young family was a free pass out of church ministry. But God expanded my capacity as a mother, my marriage, my love for teenagers and my capacity to bear excessive noise. The sisterhood is our midwife as we give birth to the purposes of God. She is our support through the pain of labor. Good sisters don’t enable our excuses, they encourage solutions. They encourage us to live bigger, to expect God to do the extraordinary in our lives; they don’t limit ideas of what womanhood and motherhood should look like.
The principle of generation: In Luke 1:50 (NLT) Mary proclaims that God “shows mercy from generation to generation”. In her song there is a theme of generations, history and ancestry. Mary shares with Elizabeth her perspective of God throughout generations. One of the aims of sisterhood is building legacy. In verse 55 Mary reminds us of the promises made to Abraham. But the child she carries will be greater than Abraham. She has an expectation that the next generation will achieve more for the kingdom of God. Let us actively create space for the next generation. Let us express our belief and confidence in our spiritual daughters. Elizabeth also models generational thinking. Rather than being threatened by the younger woman, she gives honour to Mary. Elizabeth encourages her and celebrates her mission. We should hope the next generation of sisters outdo us and take the kingdom of God further than we can imagine. Our spiritual sisters are a powerful ingredient in our lives as women of God. Let us position ourselves alongside
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Partnering with near neighbours It’s big in Papua New Guinea (PNG) – hardly noticed in Australia. I decided to participate in this particular street march even though general advice to PNG visitors is to keep away from crowds. How many were present? Probably 3000 or so. Various community groups were represented. The Director of the HIV Aids Department of the Baptist Union of PNG had issued each of us with a red tee shirt - the universal symbol. Many public buildings (including the Union’s offices) displayed the recognisable red motif. The Baptist Union of PNG is present through its leaders and ministry groups in an holistic ministry. Take as example the traditional custom of ‘payback’ that is still often practised. Over 60 people have been killed in the last two years in areas where Baptist Churches are present in numbers. Leaders, in the name of Jesus, have brokered peace between fighting clans where police and authorities have been unable to do so. Schools are steadily re-opening after being closed because of fear in an unsafe environment. The government has responded to the Baptist Union of PNG’s Education Department to run government schools – 29 now. While there are larger church groups, Baptists in PNG number about three times the Queensland count; this in a country of just over six million. Education about HIV Aids is significant. PNG has a high incidence with only a low proportion seeking treatment. The hope of the gospel is key in such a context. Health care facilities in PNG are poor by Australian standards, especially in rural areas. On my recent visit to PNG, I met an Australian Christian doctor who plans to return for occasional visits of a month or so to assist. He plans to recruit others. While Global Interaction does not have permanent staff resident in PNG, two Australian families are associated with
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Global Interaction – David Mills and his family at Kompiam Hospital and Ray Bartell and his family, Director of the Education Department of the Baptist Union of PNG. Why do I go to PNG? The Executive of the Baptist Union of PNG desires to have a Global Interaction person as a ‘consultant’. Twice a year I go to do whatever is required. Currently, I am involved in ‘Training for Trainers’ a new course for establishing a competency based approach to training pastors and church leaders. The majority of local church pastors have had no formal training. Last November I met with a village church pastor who told me how small groups in his church prayed each week for Global Interaction staff around the globe. His knowledge of staff and their spheres of ministry was quite impressive. We went through the Global Interaction Guide (do you have a copy?) page by page. He has five copies now, to translate into Melanesian Pidgin so that his people can be even better informed. Global Interaction’s emphasis is Empowering communities to develop their own distinctive ways of following Jesus. Competent leaders are in place in PNG. They are well able
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to lead and decide what is appropriate in the church’s ministry in PNG. Yes, resources are not abundant. In a recent United Nations Human Development Index, PNG is lower on the global scale than Bangladesh. In the Pacific, PNG is lowest. Challenges for ministry are huge. Australia, by the way, is second on the list of 182 nations. Community Development, Education, Health, HIV Aids, Youth, Women’s Ministries, Church Ministries, Training, Administration – these are all foci for the Baptist Union of PNG within their mission, ‘Believing God and Serving Holistically’. I am impressed with the ministry of Baptist Christians in PNG – a country that time-wise is closer to us in Queensland than many of the holiday locations we frequent. At one point in the 1970s, there were 70 Australian Baptist missionaries in PNG. Do Australian Baptists through Global Interaction still have a part to play in this country?
Authentic relationship is key. Locals appreciate it when workers from other countries avoid a stereotypical ‘fix-it’ approach. The Baptist Union of PNG looks for assistance in equipping leaders; for encouragement in their God-given ministries. Currently they are seeking a Director of Missions as they give serious consideration to reaching those outside of their country who have least heard the gospel. Mind you, we could cite many examples of ‘cross-cultural’ mission within their own country of 850+ different languages. They know about passion for reaching others and with great sacrifice and simple living. Global Interaction is focused on those who have least heard the good news of Jesus.
Many opportunities exist for serving and the next stage of partnering with those in PNG is unfolding, where our first missionaries went just 60 years ago. Geoff Cramb Global Interaction State Director, Queensland For information about projects linked with Geoff Cramb’s work in Papua New Guinea: go to globalinteraction.org.au - click ‘Projects’. For further information about Global Interaction and partnership opportunities, contact the Queensland office: P: 07 3354 5603 E: email@example.com Overseas staff on home assignment and available for partnership development – Steve and Lisa West-Newman – Cambodia, Larry and Jan Martin – Thailand, as well as outgoing: Melody Thompson – South East Asia.
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Faith journey My grandmother (now in heaven) led me to Christ in her Sydney kitchen when I was 13 years old. At 33, I faced the largest challenge of my life, but I didn’t realise it. I had felt run down and tired for some time, but having a baby and a disabled daughter always seemed to account for this. In November 2005, I found a large lump in my breast. Concerned it was breast cancer, I arranged an immediate check at specialist breast clinic. I was told it was just a reactive lymph node, due to infections. I had been catching more illness than ever before and it was assumed that this was the reason for the enlarged nodes. In retrospect, we now know that my immune system was breaking down and I was not able to fight off infection. The enlargement of my nodes was part of the greater problem. The cycle continued in pursuit of a diagnosis: 11 months of searching; seven doctors and 21 doctors’ visits. I could get no assistance and no-one would listen to me. One morning at a ladies’ church camp, I woke to find numbness and sciatica in my right leg. Finally, after a week of no sleep, terrible pain and little relief, I said to my husband, “If I still feel pain in the morning, I’m going to hospital emergency for help”. I went, and a senior doctor decided to do a CAT ‘just in case’. What was revealed would shock and distress the doctors, nurses, myself and my family. That night, a doctor came to tell us (my husband Greg and I) what they had found. I will never forget her words: “I have been chosen to tell you what we have found” (in other words, she got the ‘short straw’). “You have a mass in your back that is causing your pain and sciatica; it’s eating into your spine and pushing
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into your sciatic nerve, hence your sciatica. We don’t know what it is, or where it’s come from, but we think it’s probably malignant.” I remember pleading with this woman to tell all of the other doctors to work hard to save my life, because I was only 35 and had two small children to live for. My final diagnosis was Follicular Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, B-Cell, lowgrade, stage 4…the very last stage. I found out later that I had Lymphoma eating into bones, nerves and muscles in a large amount of my body. The pain in my shoulder was bone pain from Lymphoma. The process began: seven weeks of hospital as an in-patient to start with (all up 10 weeks inside); biopsies, tests, MRI’s, scans, x-rays and then radiation and chemotherapy. Two weeks of emergency radiotherapy to save the function of my right leg; six rounds of chemotherapy and eight rounds of a special Lymphoma
‘For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord’ (Jer 29:11). antibody; nine months of wearing a Hickman’s catheter (for withdrawal of bloods/delivery of chemo). My hair fell out twice. I went through two stem cell harvests and much fatigue and heartache. It seems amazing that I was able to endure the 11 previous months working, looking after the kids and home, all while my body was being ravaged by the cancer and I was desperately trying to get help. Two years, post diagnosis treatment, my former GP was disciplined by our state’s Medical Board for not performing to expected medical standards. I could have been diagnosed sooner had these standards been met. In the last three years, I have had 50 treatments of chemotherapy and other drugs, been hospitalised for thousands of hours, had a device implanted in my chest and also received blood and plasma many times. Due to the extensive state of my initial disease, I have been advised that I am medically incurable and to stay well in the future, I might require a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. As I continue to fight and remain positive, my aim is to believe for a long and disease free life, regardless of prognosis. I went into remission in March 2007 and fell back out of remission in January 2008. My right leg was saved again after relapse and my current status is stable. Much of my recovery and remission can be attributed to some amazing hematologists at the Royal Brisbane Hospital (RBH). My faith in God and the
assurance that one day I will be in his heaven has given me the strength and the motivation to continue when it all seemed too much. I cling to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord’. I also remember how Jesus healed the woman with the ‘issue of blood’ (Luke 8:43-48). I am marching on and doing more than just surviving, I am believing for a better future, free of any illness, completely healed and cured. I am now working on health reform and Lymphoma awareness to prevent others from enduring the nightmare I went through and to change the system so that Australians have safer GP visits and faster diagnoses. I have recently been talking to government officials to suggest ways to make our system better at detecting blood cancers, catching them earlier and supporting carers in crisis. My hope is that many people will read my journey and understand the signs/symptoms of blood cancers and get motivated to support health reform. I want people from all backgrounds to be encouraged by my journey of faith and trust in a God who carried me through my pain and suffering and continues to do so. I enjoy every day and appreciate all that I have. It is a miracle that I survived. Read more about Jodie Guerrero’s story at www.jodiesjourney.com www.qb.com.au The qb FEBRUARY 10
BOOKS . DVDS . MUSIC BOOK: Flashpoints of Revival by Geoff Waugh The author, Rev Dr Geoff Waugh is a retired Baptist minister who attends Kenmore Baptist Church. Geoff worked with Global Interaction in Papua New Guinea 1965-1970. The 2009 revised edition contains recent updates of revival in the 21st Century, especially community and ecological transformation in the South Pacific. (BookSurge, 2009, 193 pages, available at www.amazon.com) Dr C Peter Wagner, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena: “I know of no other book like this one that provides rapid-fire, easy-to-read, factual literary snapshots of virtually every wellknown revival since Pentecost. As I read this book, I was thrilled to see how God has been so mightily at work in so many different times and places. I felt like I had grasped the overall picture of revival for the first time, and I was moved to pray that God, indeed, would allow me not to be just an observer, but rather a literal participant in the worldwide outpouring that will soon come. As you read the book, I am sure you will be saying the same thing.”
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BOOK: Light on the Mountains: Pioneer Mission in Papua New Guinea (2009) by Geoff Waugh This book tells the early story of the Baptist Mission in PNG through to the revivals of the 1970s and 1980s. It includes over 50 pioneering photographs. You can see many of the photos on the book’s page on amazon.com: type ‘Geoff Waugh’ in the search box. Rev L.A. (Tony) Cupit, formerly GIA Overseas Secretary, and then the Baptist World Alliance’s Director of Evangelism and Education: “No one speaks more authentically about a mission situation than one who has experienced it. That is one reason, among others, why Geoff Waugh’s latest book, Light on the Mountains, will be such a valuable resource. It was my privilege to serve in Papua New Guinea with Global Interaction at the same time as Geoff. I greatly appreciated his genuine love for Jesus the Christ and notable contribution to and love for the Enga people during the seven years we served together. These are reflected in this fascinating book. Geoff writes with deep personal knowledge and insight about the joys and challenges of mission life. He has collected valuable original source material and used it creatively to convey historical and missiological insights that needed to be unearthed and made available. Anyone interested in learning about the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit of God in Papua New Guinea, and of discovering reasons why people engage in crosscultural and linguistic mission work, would be well rewarded by studying and absorbing the insights this book provides.”
CD LIBRARY: Hope for the Heart Biblical Counselling Library By June Hunt
At the end of 2008, Peter van Donge, concluded 32 years of ministry as a Baptist pastor in Queensland to focus on helping churches and Christian leaders to develop their lay ministry programs and better equip their people helpers. Many years ago, Peter found an excellent resource in Hope for the Heart counselling materials, and he has used these extensively as a personal resource, a ready sermon or teaching resource and as helpful information that could be reproduced easily for clients and congregational members.
This resource uses tools to help people breach spiritual barriers on their way to freedom in Christ. Each topic presents God’s heart on a particular problem or issue and reveals in a simple, easy-to-read, outline format ways to walk in a spiritually constructive way to positive outcomes.
Peter now has reproduction and distribution rights to these materials in Australia and the South Pacific. He comments, “A welfare and listening ear ministry for the community commenced at Wynnum Baptist Church while I was pastor there. I wanted to better equip the staff for their roles, so I explored a number of resources. In 2000, I came across the Hope for the Heart Biblical Counselling Resources. I am so impressed with them!”
For more information visit www.hopefortheheart.com.au
RESOURCE: Hope for the heart
The format provides definitions, characteristics, causes and steps to solution on each real life topic while reinforcing the importance of Christ-centred living. Each topic is packed full of real-life examples, biblical illustrations and practical strategies for facing some of today’s toughest challenges. Other excellent resources are also available.
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Please Pray SWITZERLAND: MINARET BAN LEADS TO THREATS AGAINST CHRISTIANS
INDIA: FEARS OF RENEWED ANTI-CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE IN ORISSA
While Muslim leaders are criticising the Swiss vote to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland, Christians in some Muslimmajority countries face severe restrictions on the building and repair of churches. In countries such as Saudi Arabia and the Maldives there are no church buildings at all. In a number of other countries, there are church buildings for foreigners but none for indigenous Christians.
Christians in Orissa are concerned that a recent series of events may provoke a renewal of antiChristian violence.
The Swiss referendum decision in November 2009 is beginning to have ramifications in other countries. In Egypt there has been a huge outcry against the decision, which concerned only minarets, not mosques. But Egypt is a country where it’s normally extremely difficult for Christians to get permission to build new churches or even repair existing ones. Christians are forced to travel long distances to worship or must meet in secret in their homes due to a lack of church buildings. Furthermore, recent months have seen a spate of attacks on church buildings. In Turkey, in December 2009, the leader of a church with a bell tower was approached by three people who threatened him, saying, “Switzerland is banning minarets and we will ban bell towers to you. You will demolish the bell tower by next Friday”. The police were informed of the incident and are now providing security for the church. A recent survey in Turkey has found that nearly 40% of the population have negative views of Christians, while over 50% of those surveyed said non-Muslims should not be allowed to hold open meetings where they can discuss their ideas and should not be allowed to publish literature that describes their faith. A recent review of prominent events posted on various Islamist terrorist internet forums highlighted the following comment, “Switzerland is a fragile country which has always kept away from the conflict arena, but now is like other heretic countries in Europe and is placing itself at the top of the list of the sheep to be slaughtered by the Mujahideen”.
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in December 2009, bombs were hurled against a store owned by a well-known Hindu shopkeeper in the town of Ghumusar Udayagiri in Kandhamal district. Posters making threats against activists belonging to a Hindu nationalist group appeared on the walls of the local hospital. Although these were apparently signed by the Indian Maoist party, Christians fear they will get the blame and this might trigger violence against Christians. The police have not ruled out the possibility that the bombs and the posters may even be the work of local Hindus who want to raise tensions in the area. The Christians’ concerns are based on the fact that a very similar turn of events triggered the massive anti-Christian violence in Orissa in 2008. A prominent Hindu leader was murdered, and although Maoist extremists claimed responsibility, Christians got the blame and subsequent protests rapidly escalated into horrific anti-Christian aggression. The timing of the latest incident, in the run-up to Christmas, also recalls the first large-scale outbreak of bloodshed against Christians in Orissa, which began at Christmas in 2007. Christians now fear that Hindu nationalists will stir up violence against them once again on the basis of a false accusation. Source: Barnabas Fund
Jim Miller (1923-2009) Jim Miller was a man of great faith and godly character. With his wife Ivene, Jim was a committed member of Holland Park Baptist Church and then Gateway Baptist Church for 62 years. For nearly all of those years, Jim was involved in faithful service as treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent, home group leader and deacon. Long term members at Gateway use words like ‘pillar of the church’ and ‘the backbone of the church’ always working behind the scenes, when describing Jim. Jim also served the wider body of Queensland Baptists over the years in roles as President of the Soccer Association, President of the Southside Association, Chairman of the Youth Department, Christian Education and Camping, Finance Advisory Board, Member of the Constitution Review Committee, and Bookstore Chairman.
In view of Jim’s long term commitment and godly, servant leadership, on his retirement from employment in 1983, Jim was appointed acting Senior Pastor at Gateway while the church waited for the new Senior Pastor to begin. Jim’s leadership was so greatly appreciated and his contribution so effective, that he was asked to continue on as Pastor Administrator which he did until 1992. Those who knew Jim remember him as a man of unwavering faith in Jesus Christ; with a deep passion for the church, a faithful supporter of mission around the world, and a constant prayer warrior. Jim had a deep love for and commitment to his family that he talked about often, and together with Ivene they modelled a godly and committed marriage. God used Jim in a mighty way. We are very thankful for his faithful service and his soft heart for God.
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I’ll tell you what I want what I really, really want:
Contract vs. Covenant in Christian life and mission Michelle Farrall, 29, explores how we’re approaching our faith like a mobile phone contract – what’s the most we can get for the minimal input. Some honest reflections (and an iPhone) led her to realise the power of a selfsacrificing, covenantal approach.
Not even a week later, the promotions began for the BRAND NEW iPhone that was much better/sleeker/quicker/ cleverer. I felt severely ripped off, stuck in a two-year contract with an inferior device.2
“The mobile phone contract worldview tells us, ‘Don’t get stuck in a relationship. Somewhere there are better friends, a better experience and a better product, so don’t get tied down.’ Look at how church has changed in the last 30 years. Before, you’d go to church as a sense of duty, now you choose one that best suits your needs. “That’s in contrast to a covenantal framework, where community and commitment are valued over our own rights. The covenantal worldview is so distant from us that we find it completely unimaginable. So we must enter a re-learning process, constantly asking ourselves why we’re running away from commitment.
This humbling experience got me thinking about the rest of life. How was I approaching my husband, my work, my church, my faith? Like a mobile phone contract: desperate to get the most out of it for minimal input?
“As our culture shifts more and more towards a damaging contractual framework, the more the covenantal soaked reality of biblical faith will be a key in the church’s future mission.”
I had been feeling trapped for a while. I was getting the classic seven-year itch, desperate to escape. The offers just weren’t doing it for me anymore...nothing could entice me to stay. Finally, my phone contract was coming to an end. All my friends had moved on to bigger and better devices – namely, iPhones1 – and I was embarrassed to bring out my clunky old brick (sooo 2007!). I shopped around for a month or so leading up to the Big Change, doing research online and seeking sage advice from my masseuse and eightyear-old cousin. I was determined not to be conned by secret fees, high voice call rates and slow internet speeds. I was clever enough to get the best deal for the best mobile: I was in control of my destiny. And so it was with not a little smugness that I walked out of the shop one bright sunny day, triumphant that I had beaten the phone gods and their evil ways, having joined the club of iPhoners (yes, there is a club).
My pastor, Mark Sayers3, has been wrestling with this for a while. He reckons we’re scared to commit to anything – or anyone – because it limits our options. Kind of like holding off on RSVPing for that party in case a better offer comes up.
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OK, let me see if I’ve got this straight: the more we as Jesus-followers embrace deep relationship and community, willing to stick it out for the long haul no matter what we get / don’t get in return... the more people will start to discover Jesus? Interesting.
But I wonder if talking about a covenant mentality is easier than doing it in real life. Like how Bruce and I have been talking off and on during our six years of marriage about doing some missions stuff in Africa – giving up a year or two of our lives and becoming better people through the experience. In light of this covenant mindset, suddenly all our good intentions seem a bit, well, mediocre. Cross-cultural workers take at least five years to really learn the local language and culture and even begin forming deep relationships. But for some reason I think I’ll be able to change the world in 12 months. I took my conundrum to Chris Barnden – the guy at Global Interaction who looks after all the cross-cultural workers. “In the past when there was a longerterm call to a missionary career, there was far less pressure for someone to produce results in a short period of time,” Chris explains. “It’s the contract mentality that says, ‘I’m only in it for a certain period of time... I’ll put in effort then walk away with no strings attached’. “Sometimes I worry that long term change in these communities won’t happen unless teams are in there for the long haul.” So, Chris, what would you say to Bruce and I who are considering giving a couple of years, but are a bit worried that we’re approaching it like a contract? “You should ask yourselves seriously what you’ve got to lose – are you going to miss out by doing this long term? Can you trust God to take care of your future?” I’d like to think that what Chris meant to say was something more along the lines of, “It would be amazing if you guys would give whatever time you can to overseas mission, without affecting your lives too much or giving up any control. The world would be a better
place for any contribution you make, with God indebted for all eternity”. Perhaps it would help to chat with Pip Miner, 31, who’s been in Cambodia for the last four years, having done a short term trip at 18 and now committed long-term to the Khmer. “When I came to Cambodia, I was expecting to see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a transformation of many lives. Have I seen it yet? No. That’s why I’m still here! I’m working for it, praying for it and longing for it. “Yes, a few people have come to faith in Christ. Others have grown in their faith and become more mature believers, able to lead and encourage others. There are small signs of God’s grace every week.” That’s pretty exciting, but surely Pip is different to the rest of us; she must always know God is at work, even when she can’t see it, and never think about what she’s given up. “The truth is I still have moments where I think about packing up and going back to Australia. On days of doubt, discouragement or simply
struggling with the latest infection, I sometimes think about quitting. Yet I stay in Cambodia because God is faithful, even when I’m not.” And so with those simple words ‘because God is faithful’ we begin to uncover the power of a covenantal relationship. Encouraged to let go of our culture-soaked-contract-approach to life, we no longer look for what we can get, but rather what we can give unconditionally. We begin to hear God asking us to stop worrying about our own story and instead contribute to his bigger story. 1.
Please note: no funds were exchanged between Apple and the journalist for this endorsement. However, Michelle would happily accept a new Mac in exchange for the free promo. Don’t think I’ll forget that one too soon, Apple. You owe me. Check out more of Mark’s thoughts at: marksayers.wordpress.com
Michelle Farrall This article first appeared in Resonate, Global Interaction’s magazine for mission-minded followers of Jesus. For more info and to read other articles go to www.globalinteraction.org.au
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Is it okay to seek greatness? When the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah in the Temple to announce the birth of John the Baptist, he declared that John would ‘be great in the sight of the Lord’ (Luk 1:15). This statement begs the question: What constitutes true greatness? At first glance, it might appear that this issue has little practical value. However, deeper reflection reveals that the opposite is the case: our response to this question will determine our ambitions, the honours by which we seek to be distinguished, and the hopes we entertain for our children. Greatness means different things to different people. The majority today envy those who are wealthy, those in positions of authority, sporting heroes, movie stars, writers, artists, and so on. Many people would not regard John the Baptist’s life as great or successful, since he spent most of his time in a wilderness, and did not attain wealth or worldly prominence; he was imprisoned for a time and then beheaded at about thirty years of age. How many people would view his life as successful, or realising its true potential?
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Yet in God’s eyes John was a great man. The angel affirmed this prior to his birth, and the Judge himself, looking back on the Baptist’s career, declared: ‘I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist’ (Mat 11:11). It is clear that God’s appraisal of greatness differs greatly from the world’s estimate. ‘People,’ we are told, ‘look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’ (1 Sam 16:7). Whereas the majority of people believe that superior talents make a person great, the Bible makes it clear that greatness in God’s sight involves something deeper than this: it has to do with character rather than ability or position. By examining John’s life we may catch a glimpse of some of the qualities which are highly regarded by heaven, so that we can form a wiser estimate of the nature of true greatness. Now, one of John’s distinguishing features was his unflinching courage and resolve to declare the truth despite the prevailing
trends. Speaking of him, the Lord asks, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see: a reed shaken by the wind?” (Luk 7:24). Clearly not. John was not swayed this way and that by the opinions of others. He was courageous; a man of iron will determined to serve God faithfully. When he rebuked sin, he showed no respect of persons. He termed the Pharisees and Sadducees ‘a brood of vipers’ (Mat 3:7), and did not hesitate to denounce Herod for committing adultery. Of course, it is costly to adhere to the Scriptures. John’s imprisonment and martyrdom illustrate the adage that those who are loyal to the truth must suffer for it. Unflinching devotion to God’s Word, then, is the basis of all greatness in his sight. As an outworking of his proclamation of the truth, John taught godly living with vigour and fervour. He counselled people in all walks of life - common people, tax collectors, soldiers, Pharisees and Sadducees – impressing on them the need for confession and renunciation of sin. And he taught a practical, vital religion as the fruit of repentance. Our Lord called John, ‘a burning and shining lamp’ (John 5:35) partly, at least, because of his deep enthusiasm for righteous living and his proclamation of high moral standards. John was a servant of his generation. As a prophet he preached in the spirit and power of Elijah, and his ministry led to a revival of religion, causing many people to turn to God and preparing them for the mercy that was soon to embrace all people (Luke 1:17). By serving his contemporaries in this way, John fulfilled the Lord’s criterion that the greatest person is not the one with the most servants, but the one who is the servant of all (Mar 10:43). Another distinguishing feature of John’s life was his heavenly-mindedness. Of course, he possessed certain advantages here. He spent most of his life in the desert, so that his ascetism enabled him to spend considerable time in prayer, meditation and reading the Scriptures.
We are not expected to isolate ourselves from the world. Instead, we follow Christ’s example. Although he lived the busiest of lives and interacted on a daily basis with all classes of people, he practised a perfect restraint and self-discipline which ensured that he spent time in communion with God. There was a great contrast in John. On the one hand, he stood undaunted against the evils of the time and favoured no one. His attitude to Christ, however, was completely different. In his presence, John exercised a profound submission. When Jesus approached John to be baptized, John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?” (Mat 3:14). He taught that his ministry would be eclipsed by Christ’s (Joh 3:30), and he delighted in the Lord’s unrivalled popularity (Joh 3:29). He judged himself unworthy to untie Christ’s sandals (Luk 3:16) or to carry them (Mat 3:11). This genuine humility in the presence of Christ was an integral element of John’s greatness. These, then, are some of the features of John’s greatness. Is it right to seek greatness? That ambition which seeks the adulation of the world or of the church is shallow, restless and short-lived. We must strive at all costs to avoid it. However, some aspirations are valid. Those who, instead of courting the praise and dreading the censures of fellow human beings, concentrate on eternity and the approbation of heaven as their goal, possess a noble ambition (Joh 5:44). And if, like John, they faithfully adhere to the Scriptures, promote godly living, strive to commune with God, humbly submit to Christ and serve others for his sake, they will at last receive the reward of their persistence and patience. A time will come, the moment of destiny will strike, and they will hear the thrilling words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant...’ (Mat 25:23). Jim Greenbury email@example.com
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Sudoku rules: Each row, column and block must contain one of the numbers from 1 to 9. No number may appear more than once in any row, column or block. When you’ve filled the entire grid, the puzzle is solved. Sukodu solutions to: QB Magazine, PO Box 6166 Mitchelton Qld 4053 Two correct entries will be chosen to receive a $30 Word bookstore voucher. Don’t forget to include your full name and contact details. Name Address
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Quiz Luke 18:1 What did Jesus tell the disciples to do?
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INTEGRITY TRAVEL Make your travel/holiday bookings with Integrity Travel and assist missions.
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Join escorted tours in 2010 and 2011 to Europe, South Africa, Oberammergau (2010) and the Antartic.
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Rockhampton Baptist Tabernacle State Phone (
Is God calling you to an exciting ministry of whole of church discipleship? Are you passionate about helping people to grow in Christ? Are you a team player who wants to work with a great team? Could you live in the relaxed but developing regional city of Rockhampton?
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ASSOCIATE PASTOR-CHURCH DISCIPLESHIP Full-time
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Rockhampton Baptist Tabernacle is located on 10.5 hectares in a booming city of over 60,000 people. We seek an energetic proactive team player to lead our church into intergenerational discipleship. We are a strong missions’ based church. Our children and youth ministries are healthy with good leadership in place. The person appointed will provide spiritual guidance to these thriving ministries. The appointee will be someone who: • has some ‘runs on the board’ • is in touch with children and youth • can see the bigger picture of intergenerational discipleship • relates well with adults. Being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound will also be helpful! The appointee will inspire, recruit and develop new and existing leaders, and help our youth and children to follow Jesus. Please contact Rockhampton Baptist Tabernacle phone 4926 9669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an information pack.
WANTED TO BUY
BRISBANE: BOARD REQUIRED - Male Queensland Conservatorium student aged 17 seeks Christian private board/shared accommodation from mid-February 2010, contact Lachlan Dorse 6555 3788/ 0421 512 894/ email@example.com.
Janet Oke DVD Series: “Love comes softly” - used Phone Lyn 4974 7428.
CALOUNDRA: Seafarer Chase luxury 2 b/r holiday apartments on the Sunshine Coast. Ocean views, heated pool, BBQ, security parking, close to beaches, shops, cinema and bowling club. Contact Marianne/Martin Burton Phone/Fax 5491 7155. CALOUNDRA GOLDEN BEACH: Highset three bedroom holiday home. Weekends or weekly. Pets OK. Close to beach. Phone 0402 077 822 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CALOUNDRA KINGS BEACH: Holiday unit, modern, pool, 100m from Kings Beach. From $360 pw. Phone Ray 0427 990 161. COOLUM: 3 brm beach unit, new facilities, ocean views $250 w/e, $470 week *excludes holiday periods. Phone 0411 222 787, email email@example.com.
Accommodation - AROUND THE STATE
The ladies at The Gap Baptist Church have materials and craft books to donate to any church group interested in using them for making quilts for homeless people or the mission field. Please contact Veronica Conway 3300 1193 or 0409 057 052. CALLED HOME BRUTON - Rev Thomas Anthony, Merrimac Qld on 15 December 2009, aged 99 years. Our much loved Dad passed peacefully in his sleep to be finally reunited with his Alice. Our Mum and Dad together again with their Lord - Vicki Power, Brian Bruton, Colleen Jackel and Fran Varcoe (dec) and their families. ’Bye Dad; a Good and Faithful Servant.
MALENY: Self catering fsc cottage, sleeps 4. Quiet. Walk to town. Phone 5462 2645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. NOOSA: By river, cafes, 5 mins from Hastings Street. 2 bed townhouse, mod FSC R/C, A/C, widescreen TV 3ht pools, spa, tennis from $595 pw Phone Jan a/h 3263 8750. NOOSA HEADS: LITTLE COVE - Family holiday unit, reasonable rates. Tranquil and peaceful, light and airy – yet only 300m from Hastings Street. Two Bedroom – sleeps four; fully equipped. Email email@example.com for details.
STANTHORPE - JIREH BED & BREAKFAST: Old fashioned country hospitality. Close to wineries and national parks. Dinner on request. Children welcome. From $90 double per night. Phone 4683 5298.
*AMEB Exams Contemporary and Classical. *Training on church keyboard and piano skills—learn contemporary piano skills from an experienced teacher.
Large Auditorium FOR HIRE: Seats 290. Qld Baptists Centre at Gaythorne. Phone Helen 07 3354 5600 for more information or visit www.qb.com.au – venue hire.
Skilled in event direction with particular focus on concerts and musicals...can coordinate. *Audio * Lighting * Visual *Talent *Staging * Programming
EVENTS - DATE CLAIMER Retired Pastors & Wives Meeting, 10am on Monday 22 February 2010 at Sunnybank Baptist Church. Speaker: QB General Superintendent, David Loder. Cost: $12.00. Please RSVP by 15 February to Rob Pattemore Phone 3408 4721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worked at AGMF, Easterfest, Unite, Carols in the City plus many more events
e: email@example.com m: 0400 165 547 p: 3324 8795
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You can sleep soundly, knowing your money is safe and working hard for you, and at the same time, helping to support much needed local projects. Simply, deposit your savings and investments in BAPLink, the investment fund of the Baptist Union of Queensland. BAPLink was set up to give people like you the opportunity to enjoy healthy interest returns, while creating a pool of funds from which Baptist churches and ministries can borrow to grow and serve their local communities. BAPLink provides: Competitive interest rates Security of a guaranteed return on your investment Friendly service No account keeping fees on savings and investment accounts Exemption from the Deeming Provisions for Pensioner savings Facilities available: Savings accounts at call and term Partnership accounts - a new way of giving Electronic transfers for both deposits and withdrawals Deposit facilities through the Westpac Bank Cheque accounts for churches Loans to churches and ministers Insurance with EIG Ansvar Join the growing number of â€˜Baptists making a
differenceâ€™ by depositing with BAPLink.
For more information or an application form contact us: Level 1, 53 Prospect Road, Gaythorne PO Box 6166, Mitchelton 4053 Phone: 3354 5611 or 1800 650 062 (outside Brisbane) Fax: 3354 5605 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.qb.com.au/baplink
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