AUSTRALIAN BAPTIST MINISTRIES
Rev Dr Steve Bartlett – NSW & ACT Representative
The Australian Baptist movement includes over 1,000 churches plus a number of agencies and bodies that work in cooperation with local Baptist churches, in extending God’s Kingdom in Australia and across the world. Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM) is the key body for the conferencing and cooperation of the various expressions of this Baptist life and witness at a national level.
Significant changes occurred in the leadership of ABM in 2021, with Rev Keith Jobberns concluded as National Ministries Director. Keith has made an enormous contribution to our national movement through his service in this role over the past 9 years and was farewelled at a dinner in May. His commitment to Australian Baptists as a mission movement has been an influential and inspiring legacy.
Also in May, Rev Mark Wilson was inducted as the new National Ministries Director. Mark was previously Director of Ministries for the Baptist Churches of Western Australia and brings a long and rich experience of leadership within our national movement. He was also already active both in the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation and the Baptist World Alliance where he serves as a Vice-President. The ABM national office moved from Sydney to Perth during the year.
Other staff changes included Rev Andrew Turner commencing as Director of Crossover Australia, based out of South Australia.
The National Council normally meets twice per year in May and November and the November meeting was again moved online due to COVID. We were grateful to be able to hold the May meetings in person at the Ministry and Learning Centre in Macquarie Park.
ABM also facilitates collaborative meetings of state and territory leaders in key areas including operations, children & youth ministries, cross cultural ministries, ministry standards managers, pastoral development, mission and evangelism (through Crossover Australia) and the state leaders group. These took place online again this year.
In July the Baptist World Alliance Congress was held, being postponed from 2020, and was a rich opportunity to experience the diversity that is our global Baptist family. For the first time it took place entirely online due to the ongoing pandemic conditions.
Finally, we are excited to announce that the 2025 Baptist World Alliance Congress will be held in Brisbane! See initial information at https://bwabrisbane.com/ This will be a once in a generation opportunity to gather alongside Baptist sisters and brothers from around the world and will take place on 9-12 July, 2025.