Inspire Summit is an initiative of the GEN1K church planting vision of the Baptist Churches of NSW/ACT. Its focus is providing church planters, leaders and those interested in pioneering work a space to be equipped, coached, recharged and inspired towards the goal of building new communities of disciples.
This year participants were challenged to be intentional in our response to Jesus’ Great Commission call to “Go & Make” disciples (Matthew 28:19).
Pastors, new church planters, planting teams and guest speakers from around Australia came together to pray, share our stories, learn together and dream of the new beginnings ahead.
Recapturing our missional imagination
Andrew Turner is Church Development Facilitator with Baptist Churches of SA. He is the author of the SacredAgents.net blog and his new book Fruitful Church: a manifesto for Sending. He generously shared from his experiences in pastoring, church planting and reinvigorating churches to regain their missional heartbeat. Andrew challenged participants to create faith communities that desire not just to be healthy and growing but to multiply good fruit in new disciples, new missional activity and new churches!
What is God calling us to?
New to the Summit this year was the Pastors Track. This was an opportunity for pastoral leaders to take time to wrestle with what it would look like to plant new things out of their churches. The track’s facilitators, Andrew Cole and Paul Whiting, co-planted New Vine Baptist almost 20 years ago and have seen a number of churches planted from it. Participants in their track dialogued on how to create and maintain a culture of multiplication and innovation in their current church communities.
People realising and living out their sentness
One of the joys of Inspire is to hear stories from the frontline from people pioneering new gospel work. Ken and Peta Natanielu were sent by God and Hosanna City Church to plant in Minto in Sydney’s southwest. Out of their own personal tragedy God spoke to them about his love for lost people and his grief when he misses out on personal relationship with his children. Hearing his heart they responded to his call and are following Him as He seeks to reconnect with this community. From sporting days to personal conversations, they are truly “sent” as his hands, feet, love and voice into their neighbourhood.
In a Canberra wine bar a simple church community called SHIFT gathers on Wednesday nights to share and help one another process life’s challenges and joys, as well as to discuss how to live the way of Jesus together. Amongst various group members there are hundreds of relational connections with people who as yet don’t have a relationship with God. Group members are living out their sentness by prioritising their connections with these friends and seeking to gather together in a way that will make sense to them. For the large percentage of young people across our state who have never set foot in a church service, meeting in a relaxed environment with friends after work for discussion and dialogue makes a lot of sense. Through this group people who have never before considered following Jesus are meeting him for the first time.
God has a mission and His mission has a church
Connecting together is always a joy, as is interceding for one another, new churches and neighbourhoods. Prayer is an essential part of the Summit to help us stay on track with the big plans God has for our Association and for the millions of people across NSW & ACT. Sorubi Thavaratnam and the team of Gen1K intercessors pray for the plants and the Summit, and participants joined together to cover one another’s dreams and communities in prayer. Each year we look forward to hearing how God has moved in response to the previous year’s prayers.
The Inspire Summit is already locked in for August 4-6 next year. Why not put the dates in your diary and plan to be part of the experience in 2016?
Do you want to find out more about Gen1K?
Please email Steve Bartlett for more information or to get a copy of Gen1K Church Planting information booklet. email@example.com If you would like to pray for church planters and the Gen1K church planting vision, contact Sorubi. firstname.lastname@example.org