Baptist Steering Group - January 2020
Enthusiasm, energy, prayer, insight and adventure
are all words that spring to mind from this most recent gathering of the Baptist Steering Group (BSG) with All Team Leaders (ATLs)!
It was great to welcome Rachel Stone to her first gathering of ATLs and I also shared an update on the progress that Stephen Keyworth is making in his recovery. Furthermore, it was good to share that Diane Watts will be starting as Interim Faith and Society Team Leader
on Monday 3 February!
After worshipping the Lord with Psalm 65 we made space simply to listen
to anything that the Lord wanted to say to us. Two things emerged. Firstly, the coin in the fish’s mouth (Matthew 17:27) and a sense that the Lord has provided all the resources that we need to do what he is calling us to do. Secondly, that phrase from Revelation 3:8, ‘See, I have placed before you an open door…’. As we reflected together on this phrase it pointed us to the open door that we have, through prayer, to the heavenly places and also that an open door (or window) brings an invitation to step through it out into the world as we participate in God’s mission.
Later Steve Finamore encouraged us to pray from Mark 5
; for our mission ‘on the other side and the powers that are encountered there and also then women, and indeed all of us, who seek value, healing, life and purpose.
We prayed and laid hands
on our incoming President, Yinka Oyekan who was our Accompanier this time. His Presidential plans were discussed and affirmed. On Thursday morning we spent time praying into some of the challenges that we and our ministers and churches face.
We spent a great evening with seven young adults
from our churches. We were energised by the passion and enthusiasm expressed for the Kingdom and for the beautiful part that we as Baptists can play in that. We welcomed being able to listen to their perspectives and insights into life, faith, Kingdom and Church. We were particularly struck that this generation are subscribers rather than members, that they rent everything, their desire for belonging and authenticity, and the powerful role of ‘influencers’. They wanted to encourage our churches to be places of authenticity and communities of discipleship and reminded us that young adults are searching for values and a cause to be part of. Superficial, transactional or even combative churches and church meetings will not inspire this generation. For them, and indeed us all, this is a distortion of all that church and discipleship is supposed to be. It was so good to hear stories from these young adults of being loved, discipled, encouraged to lead and respond to God’s call and experiencing authentic community. There is a spiritual hunger in this generation and a huge opportunity for us all to grow in faith as we seek to follow Jesus together. We finished with an awesome time of prayer together and didn’t vacate the meeting room until past 10pm!
Clare Hooper came and shared with us from our Baptists Together Children, Young People and Families Round Table.
This group gathers together people passionate about CYF ministry from across our Associations, Colleges and Specialist Teams. The Round Table has discovered that there are about 300 employed CYF workers and ministers across our Baptist family – what an amazing and valuable blessing and resource! We were reminded of the need for us all to welcome the voice and participation of our children and youth across the board and the particular benefit of including CYF leaders in leadership teams in all aspects of Baptists Together. Clare gave us the opportunity to create questions to be used at our Assembly in May so that we can hear from our children and young people.
We spent some time considering and collating feedback on the recently drafted Pioneer Manifest
o. We share such a deep desire to see and release God’s new things and so much of the paper we were able to say a heartfelt, ‘of course’! Reflections and feedback will be offered to the Manifesto’s authors.
As a result of more careful listening and reflection we felt we were moving forward in our thinking about how we can best collaborate as Baptists Together
for the sake of the Kingdom and to serve our local churches. Following a presentation to Council in November that explored the ways in which we relate as a movement and the ways we relate as charitable bodies, we gained greater clarity about the purpose of different groups, the creation of a new Core Leadership Team (CLT) to enable our ‘movement’ way of being, and what the pattern of gatherings might look like for 2020 and 2021. I shall be feeding back to Council in March. There a desire to get on and experiment with this approach, knowing that we can adjust and tweak things as we move forward.
Richard Wilson, Steve Finamore and Beth Powney brought us up to date with progress on forming a working group to explore options around Funding for Ministerial Formation
. Names of those who we would like to serve on this group were agreed and will be announced soon.
Richard Wilson also shared that tickets sales for our Assembly
in May were brisk. We also looked at the provisional seminar programme and plans for developing the Networking Zone this year. Richard, being a great advocate for our Assembly, took every opportunity to encourage guests to come to Assembly to see the bigger picture of what God is doing across Baptists Together and to book their tickets as soon possible! Don’t forget to book your ticket too
The Revd Lynn Green is General Secretary of our Baptist Union
Baptist Steering Group offers collaborative leadership through co-ordinating the effective development and implementation of the broad strategy discerned by Council.
The purpose and role of All Team Leaders (Regional, College and Specialist) is to work together to develop and shape policies and plans to enable us to achieve our overall vision and strategy.
The Accompanying Group to the Baptist Steering Group provides prayer support and shares in spiritual and missional reflection with them.
Please share these messages with your church