Our Priorities - July 2021
How we want to be known
By the Community
We are valued contributors to this Community and known as a Church who cares, providing emotional and spiritual support, welcoming and inclusive of all. A place where spirituality can be explored without being pushy.
By the Church Family
We are a loving, welcoming, caring community who encourage me to grow in my relationship with God and enable me to express my faith in appropriate ways.
What we are on about
Disciples who make disciples - help as many people as possible to come into a relationship with Jesus Christ and grow to maturity in Him
- Honour God and join Him in His Mission in the World
- Helping people grow up into Christ
- Working with God in transforming the lives of those He puts in our path
- Culture which anticipates and stimulates spiritual growth
- Specific local and cross cultural mission
- Spirit transformed lives
- Church is to be a living example of what it means to be God’s Kingdom people
- We are a blessing to the community in which we live and meet.
5 key purposes
- Celebrative Family Worship – Exalts and Honours God’s Glory
- Discipling Growth Anticipated Culture – Shaped and Formed by God’s Word
- Welcoming Inclusive Community – Displays and Patterned by God’s Character
- Partnering with God to Bless – Recognises God is already at work in all places and we join Him in what He is doing
- Targeted Mission Activity – God’s activity in Jesus and work in the world is good news for all; as a result we are unashamed in joining God in His Mission
Why we do it
In response to Gods initiative and call in our own lives
We recognise that the core purpose of the Church is to continue the work of Jesus in the world, empowered by His Spirit within us, for the Glory of the Father who loves us.
How we do it (how the bits all fit in)
ROLE OF THE SENIOR PASTOR
- Equip the saints for the work of ministry
- Shepherd the flock
- Preach/Teach the Word
- Do the work of an Evangelist
- Model and facilitate what it means to live as a Child of God
- With key leaders (including other staff and the Elders), lead, manage and oversee the Church so that it can be all that God has called us to be
This is when the family gathers to celebrate God’s goodness, are shaped as a community by God’s Word and are inspired to serve Him in His world.
- The Gathered Family shapes how we do it
- The Glory of God is why we do it
- The Encouragement of the Saints is what we do
- The Blessing of others is for whom we do it.
Our gatherings are about the family getting together in the presence of the Father. Therefore we want to honour Him with our worship, encourage one another in our conversations and support one another in our experience of brokenness. We are relaxed and informal, inclusive and positive, expressive and accepting.
Doing life with others is foundational to be supported and equipped to live for God. The foundational place for these relationships in our Church is our Life Groups, which:
- Provide a place of welcome for all and be the prime means by which we provide effective pastoral care.
- Encourage us to be formed by God’s Word
- Explore what it means to Worship God in the whole of Life
- Enable us to be an effective Witness to God’s Good News in the World
Mentoring (through Intentional Relationships) is encouraged and recognised as the best means we have to help each other grow. This occurs when individuals (in clusters of 2 and 3) connect regularly to intentionally encourage each other in their relationship with Jesus, by reading the Bible, sharing and praying for one another.
Prayer is central to everything. God’s greatest gift to His children and His Church is the privilege of spending time in relationship with Him. This requires communication. As a Church we value prayer, give opportunities for corporate prayer and encourage the deepening of each person's prayer life.
As well as being an expression of and means to deepen our relationship with our Loving Father, it is also given as a means by which we may participate with God in His work in the world and the lives of those we love. We believe prayer changes things and so feel called to pray for God by His Spirit to work in the lives of those who don’t yet know Him and this world which needs His intervention.
EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP
We want to be known and experienced as a Church where growth in our relationship with God is normal and expected. That is true for any, irrespective of where they are at with God when we first make contact. As a consequence we want people to know how they can get to know Jesus and be encouraged to do so and to feel they are constantly growing towards maturity in their relationship with Him.
This happens through:
- Evangelism courses (Alpha, Christianity Explained, Introducing God, Christianity and Discipleship Explored, etc.)
- One on one sharing of faith,
- Intentional friendships to encourage each other,
- Reading the Bible together
- The expectation of faith conversations when we just hang out.
- Courses and seminars on how to share your faith or encourage others in their faith
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT (GrangeLife)
The Gospel is good news to all. As the Body of Christ we need people of differing abilities among us and so we employ a staff member to develop a thriving community ministry for this purpose and so fulfill our calling to be a blessing in the community. Our GrangeLife ministry includes:
- Share program – one on one friendships with people in the community
- Foster Support – Developing effective networks to support those involved in Foster Care
- Connecting Ministries – weekly activities which provide a place for people to connect with each other for friendship and support
- Resource centre – providing a safe place where people from the community can find specific professional support
- External Community Centres – partnering with those already engaged with the marginalised of the area
- Influencing us – helping Grange Baptist increasingly become a welcoming, inclusive, empowering community.
CHILDREN’S, YOUTH AND FAMILIES MINISTRIES
All of our programs for children and youth are predicated on the truth and relevance of the Gospel story and the importance of being a welcoming, inclusive, grace filled community. This is as a result of us wanting to be a Church where ‘Families Flourish’. One consequence of this is that we employ 2 part time staff for this area - one to support the Youth and Young Adult ministries of the Church and the other to support children and families.
All that we do is designed to achieve 2 primary purposes:
Support Christian families to disciple their kids
- Equip and encourage Christian parents as they seek to help their children understand the gospel story, how one comes to trust in Jesus and what it means to follow Him.
- Encourage commitment to Church. The multifaceted connections and relationships formed when actively involved in Church provide opportunity for children to grow in their understanding and experience of the gospel.
- Help children form friendships with other Christian young people their age. Real and lasting faith development is more likely to occur when children and their families spend time with each other outside of our programs. These are vital in helping kids maintain faith exploration during significant transition periods (commencing primary school, end of primary school, last few years of high school, work/uni) and in helping them stay engaged with the wider Church community.
- Provide appropriate programs. Our programs encourage our own kids and enable our kids to observe and be on mission themselves by inviting their friends from school etc, and seeing how children from non-church backgrounds can be excited about hearing the familiar stories for the first time.
- Teach. We encourage faith understanding and exploration in age and culturally appropriate ways. Depending on the children concerned, this can be through intentional times of teaching, discussion and other interactive learning activities, involvement in worship, provision of mentors, encouragement to attend Christian camps, seminars and small discussion groups.
Help non Church kids/families come to know Jesus
- Create a culture and environment that is welcoming, inclusive and facilitates community. Through the particular activities we want our children, YP and their families to feel valued, loved and comfortable and believe that as this occurs, they become more open to Christian faith and comfortable in asking questions and explore what it would mean for them to get to know Jesus for themselves.
- Help those involved to gain understanding of and experience the Christian faith through our accepting, loving, fun community and the communication of Christian stories and truths in ways which are helpful for their exploration.
- Facilitate the building of relationships between Church and non-Church children and their families. These enable the Church families to share their lives and faith with friends they make, praying that God will bring the non-church families to a living faith for themselves.
- Provide smooth pathways and transitions for children to move through our programs until their late teens, giving them plenty of opportunity to experience and discover for themselves the facts of faith and come to a place of deciding to follow Jesus and be transformed by Him.
We have clearly identified key mission agencies/people we partner with. We aim to build meaningful partnerships with a few key inter-cultural activities while wanting to ensure people in the Church can be involved in what it means for them to be active partners with what God is doing in the world.
Being strategic in our partnership has three primary outcomes:
- We feel a genuine connection and participation in the work our partners are doing. We talk about it as “our work” and actively participate in this work through informed and regular praying, privately and publicly, along with keeping informed and being financially committed.
- We learn from and grow in our own mission work through the lessons learned and skills used by our partners in their inter-cultural work.
- The Gospel is good news for all people. Being in partnership with people who serve God in a wide variety of ways and contexts help us see how big and powerful our God is and what He is doing in the world.
Our mission partners and priorities are:
- Partnering with Baptist Mission Australia…
- By supporting the administrative work at their head office
- In Cambodia, being particularly interested in (giving to, praying for and hearing from) Cate Rogers, Rob and Deb Griffiths, Hutchinson Family.
- In SE Asia among the BI and SI people groups, in particular with (giving to, praying for and hearing from) Simon and Widya.
- Partnering with Baptist World Aid in particular through…
- Project Chub Dai and FH in Cambodia including promotion of Child Sponsorship and Very Useful gifts at Christmas
- Having an Active Catalyst Group
- Encouraging Matching Grant appeal and disaster relief opportunities
- Developing a dynamic relationship with the Aboriginal Berean Christian Community for mutual benefit
- Working with Baptist Care (see above re Community Engagement) and West Care for the marginalised of this community
- Informed prayer for God to work among the Muslims throughout the world
We are also intentional about our local mission priorities. These are…
- Connecting and building relationships within the local schools, in particular Fulham Gardens and Grange Primary Schools
- People who live in the immediate vicinity of the Church (programs we run, letter box drops, special events, Christmas gifts…)
- Supporting our folk in being equipped to live out and share their faith with the people God has put in their lives. These are supported by our Life Groups and Church programs
All of the above would not be possible without good governance, property, finance and administrative support. While these are not actively involved in the core business of the Church, without them the core business could not occur. As a result, we highly value those who serve in the upkeep of our property, good mission focused finances and effective administrative support ensuring we meet legislated compliance in all areas from licensing to child safe policies. In particular we:
ARE CONGREGATIONALLY GOVERNED
Voting members are the final place of authority in the life of our Incorporated Church. They exercise this primarily through delegating to elected and appointed members the leadership and governance of the Church. At any time they can withdraw this delegated authority.
Up to 8 individuals are elected for a 2 year term to work with the Senior Pastor in providing spiritual and governance oversight of the Church. The Council of Elders appoint individuals to work under the Senior Pastor to fulfil the specific spiritual and governance responsibilities. This includes the paid staff, administrator, public officer, treasurer and property officer.
MINISTRY LEADERS (paid and unpaid)
Worship, Youth, Children’s and Families, GrangeLife Lead, Intercultural ministry partnerships, Discipleship and Life Groups have been touched on above. The support ministries are:
OFFICE MANAGER (Administrator) part time paid
This person is responsible to ensure the day to day running of the Church and fulfills its compliance requirements. They oversee a team of volunteers including the treasurer, property officer and hospitality ministry leader. In particular they are responsible for:
Child safe procedures
Compliance to government regulations, BCSA guidelines and internal policies
Day to day financial transactions
Manage the Church Office
Provides reports to Elders and members as required
Facilitates audits and other compliance requirements
Leads a team responsible for oversight of property maintenance and development. They faithfully care for the property in a way which honours and glorifies God and facilitates the ministries of the Church.
Supports and leads those involved in cleaning, welcoming, flowers (artistic expression) and morning tea. All of this is to ensure we provide a welcoming hospitable space which reflects God’s welcoming embrace of all.