THE NORMAN and Mary Millar Lecture at the 28th Synod was presented by Rev Dr Steve Taylor, a New Zealand Baptist minister who is now Director of Missiology at Uniting College for Leadership and Theology in the South Australian Synod of the Uniting Church.
He spoke on the word of mission as read in Acts 2 and asked the questions: Where does the hope come from?
Dr Taylor reflected on his time at a dwindling inner city congregation which grew into a vibrant church community and said it was important for people to be able to hear the gospel in their own language.
“When the spirit of God comes you get to hear it in your own language,” he said. “Is it just different cultures or is it also the sub-cultural of society who get to hear the word of God in their own language?”
Dr Taylor looked particularly at building healthy and effective leadership within a congregation.
“Leadership is a verb, not a noun,” he said. “Leadership is a process, not a person.”
"The task of leadership is to envision, engage and enact.”
Using may narratives, including children’s book Bodge Plants a Seed: A Retelling of the Parable of the Sower by Simon Smith.
“Most mission is simply the retelling of an old story in a new way,” he said.
Over the course of one hour Mr Tayor spoke about a number of leadership tools and encouraged churches to let people build effective mission tools by listening to those asking for them.
He recommended the NCLS leadership website www.leadwithyourstrengths.net as a way of pin pointing the skills people may have when it came to leadership.
Moderator Rev Bruce Johnson said the great thing about hearing someone else’s story was that it is not just tonight that we will benefit.
“It is the way in which the spirit will bring that back to us in the next days, months and years,” he said.