Partnerships, People and Progress

Wednesday 28 Sep

Scott shares highlights from three months around the world.

Over the past three months I have visited seven countries and it has been wonderful to connect with Baptist Mission Australia team members, leaders from our global Baptist movement and humble, passionate followers of Jesus in back-block villages and towns across Africa and Asia. 

With the opportunity of travel opening up, it has been great to be sit with team members, global colleagues and faith communities face to face, rather than on a Zoom screen.

In July, I attended the Baptist World Alliance gathering in Birmingham, USA, joining more than 400 Baptist leaders from across the globe. Rev Dr Darrell Jackson, the Director of Research at Whitley College, and I presented a position paper on behalf of a BWA steering committee that I am chairing, aimed at developing a polycentric, polyvocal global missiology for Baptists. 

The 'Many Places – Many Voices' position paper was the first step in a process aimed at developing a shared polycentric, polyphonic missiology, which leads to new, innovative expressions and partnerships that impact the world for Christ. You can access a copy of the position paper here >>

Given that by 2030, 70% of all followers of Jesus will live in the Global South [non Western countries], we live and minister at a time of significant change in world Christianity and the international mission landscape. It is exciting and humbling to be working with a small international steering group that will foster global conversations around this key missiological issue, as well as establish a new Global Baptist Mission Network aimed at harnessing new missional partnerships across our movement.

In August it was a privilege to be on the ground with our Mozambique and Malawi teams and see God at work through our faithful intercultural team members. 

Sitting in towns and villages with our team members, as they model the incarnation of Jesus, and embody the good news by word and deed, was an inspiring experience. And our team members can only do what they do with your generous prayerful and financial support. I will share some more stories from Africa in my next ED Update in News & Prayer. 

It was also wonderful to spend time in Zambia with our Africa Intercultural Advisor Rev Dr Roger Kemp, looking at both our historical mission connections as well as new partnership opportunities. I will share more next in my next update on a new partnership proposal we are developing with the Central Baptist Association of Zambia.

In September I attended the 10th Asia Pacific Baptist Federation [APBF] Congress in Seoul. It was a joy to join with followers of Jesus from across the region and celebrate around the theme 'Stronger Together'. I had the opportunity to present an integral mission workshop at the congress, as well as share on a panel on a similar theme. In advance of the congress, I joined with 30 other APBF affiliated mission leaders to renew our commitment to partnership. You can read the consultation resolutions here >>

Following the congress I joined our Baptist Mission Australia Global Roundtable Conference in Chiang Mai in Thailand. This was the first time in three years that our team leaders and global specialists have been able to come together in person. It was a very encouraging week of connecting, praying, learning, laughing and growing in relationship with each other. 

Our Board Chair, Rev Beth Jackson, Associate Executive Director Susan Campbell and I stayed on after the conference to visit our Thailand team members as well as share in fellowship with two Northern Thailand faith communities.

This was a beautiful experience as again we saw our incarnational model being fleshed out in the lives of passionate, humble women and men in a country where Buddhism remains the dominant religion. 

I look forward to sharing some other stories from Thailand in the months ahead. 

As I look back on my recent travels, I celebrate God at work across the world through our people and partners. I was reminded again of the privilege we have as Australian Baptists to bring the hope of Jesus to people in ways that make sense to them in their unique location, language and culture.

As we celebrate this partnership and the vital importance of prayer, can I invite you to share in our new Walk the World initiative over the weekend of November 11-13. Walk the World is an invitation for churches, families and people of all ages to get out in your local area and pray for your neighbourhood and the world. 

Across the weekend of November 11-13, commit to praying as you walk, run, wheel, cycle, imagine or drive around your local neighbourhood. Pray for God to be at work in your community and in communities around the world. As you do, our teams in Africa, Asia and Australia will be praying for you too!

You can find out more and register for Walk the World here >> 

Please join me and unite in prayer across our country and the world as Baptist Mission Australia partners and team members.

Grace and peace
Scott « Back to News