The aim of the BUV’s Mission Catalyst Team is to realign our churches for mission, and develop and communicate a vision for multiplying Christ-centred, Kingdom-oriented communities of faith. There is a great need within our state to become more aware of our neighbourhoods; the place, people and parish where our churches are planted, and forus to embark on effective connection and meaningful encounter. Our intention is to help churches to follow the call of Christ to go out into the world and make disciples, and in doing so increase the Kingdom of God through the planting of new churches.
Melbourne and Victoria are growing in population every day, so our dream is that new churches will emerge in a variety of shapes and sizes and that their forms and functions will be influenced by biblical values and the needs of the community. We also believe that they can be led by ordinary people who have faith in an extraordinary God and seek first His Kingdom. We need churches to be planted across our State, but we have prioritised certain areas and communities, especially greenfield sites within the Melbourne growth corridors that will soon see large population increases. Our second priority centres around churches that aspire toreproduce in low socio economic areas, in under or lightly-churched areas, and among sub cultures and non English speaking people. Please contact Brett Mitchell, our Mission Catalyst New Churches if you are interested in further details.
The Baptist Union of Victoria’s aspirations for the next five years is to have 100 new communities of faith birthed within our state. These communities of faith are identified as having:
- Twelve or more people who connect with an identifiable rhythm and regularity
- At least three people who would self-identify as members of the Baptist Union of Victoria
- A group that is designed to give people in the community access to the kingdom of God – “there is a danger that they may meet Jesus”
- A group that has some definable and nameable leadership
- Intentional discipleship integrating with the word of God
The BUV Mission Catalyst seeks to serve these pioneer church planters and their teams through assessment, training, coaching, prayer and the skills necessary for ongoing neighbourhood immersion. Often a pioneer is supported by a sending church. We believe that churches planting churches is a theologically valid model, resulting in better health and mission for both the sending church and the new community of faith. We aspire to work collaboratively with these individual churches or cluster of churches, in order to provide support and advice..
Pioneer Church Planter Assessments:
It is proved extremely helpful for the prospective church planter to undertake a Church Planter Assessment Tool in order to understand their strengths and growth areas. The Mission Catalyst Team now provides this assessment for the pioneer, in order that he/she and the sending church become more aware of formation gaps and to increase effectiveness.
Church Planting Teams and Steering Groups:
We provide advice about best practice and contextual models for building effective teams to provide healthy foundations and enhance mission.
Seeding funds, primarily in the form of support for training and pioneer stipend subsidies are available for some newcommunities of faith initiatives. This short term financial assistance is designed to assist the communities of faithbecoming self-sustaining. Grants are administered and assessed by the Mission Grants Panel. For details contact the Mission Catalyst Team or download the forms from the Mission Grants page.
Training and Events:
In addition to general BUV events, specific training and development opportunities are provided for church planters and their teams. A condition of receiving a Mission Grant is that a pioneer must attend at least two mission workshopevents per year, one of which being our annual SEND Conference. BUV Event Registration
Administration, Finance, Insurance, and Safe Churches:
Compliance in these matters is an important part of being a safe, ethical, and healthy church. Support and resources can be accessed from our Finance & Administration Team
The BUV is a family within the wider family of God and we believe that we are “Better Together”. We are healthier and more effective when we relate meaningfully to other Baptist Pastors and Churches. Pioneer church planters are encouraged to be part of a pastor cluster in their area. For more information, contact one of the Regional Pastors or fill out the Join a Cluster form below.
This is the situation in contemporary Victoria. Our population continues to grow, but we are not keeping pace with it in terms of sharing faith. Our cities and regional centres are expanding but many of our growth corridors are devoid of churches. We need to be catching a vision of God’s heart for the unreached and then equipping and releasing our people to go into the under-churched areas of the state and to begin the transforming work of the Spirit.
We have partnered with City to City Australia to identify, train, and release church planters across our state. We are also continuing to curate the most helpful pathways of formation that will raise up innovative, engaged, and effective Kingdom workers for the task of mission in Victoria.
Please contact our Mission Catalyst Team with any questions and for specific consultation about how you and your church can be Together On Mission.
Below are some resources that might help begin this process.
Ask Anything, an evangelistic resource produced by Dale Stephenson, Crossway Baptist Church http://www.crossway.org.au/watch-listen/ask-anything/
Hear how one person responded to hearing Dennis Pethers challenge us about not simply serving the community but also sharing our faith
Organic Evangelism – Dennis Pethers
Alpha, an evangelistic resource that continues to effectively build bridges http://australia.alpha.org/
Alpha has a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/runalpha/) specifically for Alpha leaders to share ideas and support each other. You are encouraged to join them and post your own suggestions or questions so we can build a community exchange where we can learn and help each other. You would be a great asset with your experience.
The Exponential series of free ebooks is a treasure trove of resources for evangelists and church planters, this series specifically in the areas of discipleship and evangelism. https://www.exponential.org/ebooks/
Understanding your community: These two highly accessible websites are excellent sources of demographic information:
- http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/communityprofile/0?opendocument&;navpos=230 – Australian Bureau of Statistics Census information – reports can be customised and downloaded.
- http://profile.id.com.au/ – suburb-based already prepared community profiles by local council area – downloadable.