Have you ever been on a road trip with Kevin in his ute? I have, and let me tell YOU it is exciting! Kevin, Mark, Robin and I drove to Lower Hutt for the annual Baptist LEAD conference and Jess flew down to meet us. The conference is usually just for the ‘big wigs’ or as Kevin calls himself – senior chair movers, but this year they opened up the gates and let in the rest, and even yours truly.
It seems like we are pretty Baptist here at HBC, we seem to be on brand with what the leaders are promoting. Appreciate diversity, build up young people, have women in leadership roles, spend time in prayer, spend time adoring God. Baptists are part of the wider body of believers, but in a post-denomination world there is still something good about us. Charles Hewlett simplified it to 4 points: We love the word of God, we love Jesus, we believe that everyone matters – that together we can discern the will of God, and we believe in freedom of belief.
One great thing about the conference was hearing the many pastors speak, a diverse group of men and women and different ethnicities. One pastor spoke about her experience as a new convert leading a home church in China. She would study her Bible for 6 hours a day so that she could teach others what was in it. She said that we can only give people what we have, a shallow faith means we have a shallow faith to share, a deep faith will mean that we can share a deep hope. That ‘deep calls out to deep’. Jesus is what we have to share… how can we share him if we don’t know the bible or spend time with him?
One thing that I will be working on is spending time reading my bible. When pastors speak to each other they use scripture like shorthand.
“I was dealing with [insert tragedy], then I remembered: Isaiah 40:31, Romans 3, and Galatians 5”. And all the pastors murmur in agreement. Yes. Amen. That’s #biblegoals.
There’s plenty more to share and some funny stories from our trip, if you want me to tell you about it give me a call or catch me after the service.