Who we are
The Baptist Union of Victoria (BUV) is made up of over 250 churches and communities of faith throughout the state of Victoria. We are a not-for-profit organisation, with a vision to be a union of flourishing churches with Christlike disciples that redeems society. Our mission is to encourage, equip and empower local church leaders to advance the Kingdom of God.
We are an egalitarian association that has been ordaining women to pastoral positions since 1978. Today, one in four of our pastoral leaders (including associate pastors) are women. The BUV’s position is that we want to affirm and encourage women leaders in their gifts and calling and empower them in their leadership capacity. We have together affirmed, as a union of churches, and believe the bible teaches us that both men and women are gifted and called to be pastoral leaders, and therefore should be considered for any leadership position in our churches and union.
We are grass-roots people, with a particular emphasis on the local church. Churches of all size and in all corners of our state make up the Baptist Union as a whole, as well as the Union Council, BUV Support Hub and other Baptist agencies and affiliates. Our local churches are self-governing and self-supporting, ranging in size from twenty or so members to several thousands. Although each Baptist church is an independent entity, Baptists nonetheless have always believed in associating with one another – and so churches come together in regional, national and international spheres to promote and support the fellowship of Baptists everywhere. Baptist churches historically have always affirmed a deep commitment to neighbouring sister churches, based on the apostle Paul’s many injunctions for the early churches to care for one another.
It is clear from scripture that creating a culture of unity within diversity; a culture of inclusion and of collaboration is an important value in the Gospels, building on a deep sense of community at the heart of the life of the people of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. But increasingly as the church becomes more marginalised in society, and the task of reaching our secularised nation becomes bigger, we need to be working together more intentionally in the mission God calls us to. When Peter was charged by Jesus to try to fish once again after a long fishless night, he was unable to bring in the haul on his own – he needed his friends and colleagues to pull in the heavy nets with him. This is a defining image of Together for Mission.
We work together because God calls us to do so; we work together because we are enriched in the process by different gifts, personalities, cultures and approaches; we work together because together we can better serve our communities and live out the nature of the Kingdom of God.
We are .. Together on Mission