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Our Leaders

Tamworth Baptist Church is led by an eldership of trained pastors released to gospel ministry and elders from the congregation volunteering in gospel ministry.

Michael Hutton (Pastor)

Hutton Family

Michael and Meredith have been married more than twenty years and have recently entered the teenage years with Elizabeth, Claire, Katie, and James. Growing up in Wollongong and briefly a Mathematics teacher in Sydney, Michael has studied at Sydney Missionary and Bible College and at Morling College. The Hutton family were blessed with nearly a decade at Ariah Park Baptist Church, serving God in that small but special place. A love for rural churches brought the Huttons to Tamworth, despite the country music. Michael was called as a pastor in January 2011 to Tamworth Baptist Church to serve in the areas of preaching, prayer, leadership in terms of vision, direction, and discipleship, and the growing of small groups.

Jimmy Alley (Pastor)

 

jimmy-alley

After finishing two years of gospel ministry training (M.T.S), Jimmy is now a pastor. He loves Jesus, his wife Charmaine, being outdoors, 4wding, shooting, and most sports especially League and Union. Jimmy is mad keen about guiding young men to know and love Jesus and take their place serving those around them, leading their peers and families and reaching a lost world for Jesus.

Both Jimmy and Charmaine are passionately committed to seeing the next generation rise up to take their place as disciple making disciples. Jimmy is in the process of completing his theological training (Bachelor of Ministries) Jimmy was called as a pastor in January 2014 to serve in the areas of community engagement, one-to-one discipling and building up the youth in Christ.

Visit Jimmy's Facebook page.

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Our Congregations

The focus of both our Sunday gatherings is the public reading of the Bible. There are a lot of great things happening on Sundays but the best of them all is that God speaks his grace to us through his word.

10AM

Our morning gathering has a wonderful cross section of people of different ages, backgrounds, and languages. We seek to serve each other in love so we use a number of music styles in order to speak God’s compassion to the hearts of all attenders. Children begin the service with their families but leave part way to programs tailored to help them grow in Jesus. A Creche (0-3), Foosteps (3-5) and Kids Time (5-12) assist parents in their task of raising children in Christ. Congregational involvement is a key expression of our Baptist heritage in the morning gathering.

6PM

Our evening gathering is more informal, probably due to the majority of younger people involved. Of course it’s still all about how Jesus died to save us from the wreckage of a fallen world. So hearing the Bible speak to us about God’s faithful love and lavish forgiveness is the focus of our meeting. We tend to have more informal prayers and opportunities for hearing each other’s stories and on the fourth Sunday of every month we share a meal together because we desire to be real people working out together how to live life in the reality of God’s love.

 

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What Shapes Us

These are the ideas, the truths of Scripture, that shape Tamworth Baptist Church.

This is the shape of life, growth and ministry at Tamworth Baptist Church.

These are the plumb lines we use to measure our growth.

These are the bones of the skeleton that give the body shape.

These are the road signs we use to find our way.

These are the core values that we hold together.

#1 It's all about Jesus

The first thing John the Baptist says about Jesus is, “The Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus’ identity and his mission are both tailored to deal with our sin. Remember the paralytic lowered through the roof? His friends thought his greatest need was his illness but Jesus said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5)

Our biggest problem is sin and the answer is Jesus.

Our church has cherished as our motto a summary of the great commission, “know Christ, make Him known” (based on Matthew 28:16-20). At the core of all our ministry is the desire to grow in Christ and to introduce others to him and his saving grace. We remind ourselves that Jesus is the source and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He is the beginning and the end for us. He is also the middle.

This means that our ministries, our activities, our relationships, and our buildings-- everything shares the same purpose – to help us grow in the grace of Christ. If something doesn’t sooner or later bring people to Jesus, or grow them in Jesus, or strengthen them in Jesus then we don’t think it’s the best thing we could be doing. (Colossians 3:17)

This is what we mean when we say things like:

  It’s all about Jesus Jesus is our foundation  
  The gospel is our guide Keep your eyes on Jesus  
  Remember the cross Is it about Jesus?  
  Jesus is the answer
know Christ, make Him known
Can you see Jesus in it?  

#2 The Bible is our Bottom Line

God is a speaking God. Whenever he did anything important he spoke. From the “let there be”s of creation to the prophecies pointing to Jesus to the voice at Jesus’ baptism, God acts with and through his Word. Because this is based in the character of God and not in our ability we are convinced that God can speak to us through the Bible. (1 Peter 1:2 and 1 Tim3:16) That is where we hear God’s voice- in the independent, unbiased word of God. So what the statement of faith says we actually believe and live out, “The Bible is our authority in all matters of faith and practice.” We look to the Bible first, and then we consult others or consider contemporary wisdom or reflect on our feelings. We look to the Bible for the final decision too. It’s only through the Bible that we know the real Jesus.

So, when we come to our Sunday gathering we don’t want to hear what the preacher has to say, we want to hear God speak through his word. In a church meeting we don’t want a democracy; we seek God’s will by reflecting on his Word.

This is what we mean when we say things like:

  God speaks we listen The bible is our bottom line  
  The Bible is our boss God's word is enough  
  The answer is in the book The bible is our map  
  What does the Bible say? Show me that in the Bible?  

#3 People are Important

Church is not a building or a time slot it is a family. We are a family. Families are people connected to each other. God makes it very clear through the apostle Paul that each member of the church is important (1 Corinthians 12-14). This is not dependant on the person, but on their place in God’s family. Each church member is a child of God. People are important. They church exists to build people up- We are given gifts to build people up – in Jesus. (Ephesians 4) We firmly believe that people are more important than programs. It doesn’t matter to us whether something is official or unofficial, big and flashy or small and quiet, what matters is that people are built up in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We encourage people to meet with other people to read the Bible and pray. There’s not program, no obvious signs but people are valued and grow together.

Each one of us is here to serve others; together we reflect God’s fundamental truth that people are important.

This is why we say:

  People are more important than programs You can always say no
Busyness is not godliness
 
  Poeple are important We're all here to serve  
  Don't do what you can't do How are people built up?  

#4 Relationships Matter

Read any letter in the New Testament and see how many ‘we’s and ‘us’s and ‘one another’s there are. We don’t do this on our own. But more than that- everything is relational. Good relationships make things better and bad relationships ruin everything. Whenever we get together it’s about building relationships, not just doing things. We never make someone feel guilty for having good relationships. We encourage all members to get connected. Church isn’t something you go to, it’s a family- you are the church. This is why life groups and 1-to-1 meetings are such an important part of our church life. If you just come to church for an hour on Sunday and sit there you don’t understand what church is and you are not doing what the Bible says. You can’t love someone if you don’t know them. And once you get to know them you’ll probably have to forgive them – you’re obeying Scripture already. We will always ask people to follow Matthew 18 to reconcile relationships because relationships are everything.

In everything we do here we seek to help people build deep, lasting relationships that we might be built up in Christ together.

This is why we say things like:

  we don't make a splash we make a difference get connected, plug yourself in  
  Everything is relational You need a family  
  It's all about relationships We are a family  
  Relationships matter
elationships are everything
Who do you pray with?  

#5 We believe in the local church

Jesus said I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18) We do not believe the church is an accident of history or a side effect of salvation. The church is what God is doing. Read Ephesians 4, focus in on verse 10. The church is God’s victory parade. The church is where the wisdom of God is displayed. It’s not in some abstract eschatological outcome. God is glorified when his people cling to his grace and proclaim his gospel in the church.

So we are not ashamed of being all about Tamworth Baptist Church. We exist to glorify God in this church. What God is doing here is exciting, it’s eternal, it’s essential.

We are passionate about being the church Jesus is building. We will give preference to ministries and activities that build the local congregation, unashamedly. Before we support an event, an outreach, a ministry, an organisation we want to know how it will build people into a local church. Read 1 Peter 2, this is why Jesus came, to bring us back to him, together.

This is what we mean when we say things like:

  We believe in the local church We are God's workmanship  
  What is God doing here How does it plug poeple in?  
  We are Jeses' life work    
  How does that build the church    

Some other things that are importnant to us:

Training is important

If you are doing something important, take someone with you and teach them how to do it.

We start where they’re at

We might have a definite idea of where we need to be, but God seems to start where we are. Jesus came to the lost sheep. Paul became all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:22) we meet people where they are at and let them start there.

It’s only by grace

We know we are saved by grace. No one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) No one is better than anyone else. We know we have been forgiven and that’s why we forgive one another. (Matthew 18) We deal with sin and call for repentance, but we forgive those who are repentant and bear with each other’s failings (Philippians 2:3).

We walk by Faith

The Christian life is characterised by trusting Jesus. This is a daily practice of turning back to God and trusting his forgiveness, his promises, and his strength. Whatever bind we are in, whenever we look for a way to turn, we know it will always involve turning back to God and trusting him (repentance and faith).

It’s all about reconciliation

God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) God is not just reconciling us to him but also to each other. We will follow the Scriptural guidelines to work out differences and honour one another.

Family comes first

The family is the place where Christians are brought up. We will not undermine the family in our ministries and activities. We will sometimes not do things deliberately because we want parents to be with their families. We want parents to be thoughtful and biblical parents who are discipling their own children. We will make this easier, not harder.

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Our Ministry Priorities

Life Groups

Life groups are the primary ministry of the church. It’s where believers can pray for one another, deal with the reality of life in a fallen world and bear one another’s burdens and walk with each other in repentance and faith. Life groups are the engines rooms of growing in godliness and faith. We encourage life groups to put a high value on relationships and repentance, study and service, on the Bible and breaking bread.

1 to 1 Mentoring

There’s something exciting about a couple of people discovering the grace of God as it floods every area of their lives with the love of Jesus. The key work we are doing to prepare for the future is encouraging people to meet one to one to read God’s word, pray and put it into practice.

Life group and one ministries are routine, day to day ministries, but they are powerful. We do a lot of other ministries but these two areas are our priorities. Walking in Jesus’ grace together is the heart of what we do.

Other Ministries

Of course we have a host of other ministries, and God seems to find new ways for us to serve or minister every year, but at last look we had the following ministries:

  • Sunday School, Footsteps and Creche, Sunday Mornings
  • Ten:13 Youth Group on Friday nights
  • Girls Brigade on Wednesday afternoons
  • Young At Heart seniors ministry on Mondays
  • An informal multicultural fellowship
  • A pregnancy support and counselling service (new in 2014)
 
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Our Basic Beliefs

Although more could be said the Statement of Faith of the Baptist Churches of NSW is a good bedrock starting point to understand what Christians believe set out in a logical way.

The Nature and Unity of the Godhead

There is one God Who is eternal personal Spirit. He is infinite in power, wisdom, holiness and love. He is triune in essential being and revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Deity and Humanity of Christ

Jesus Christ as the second Person of the Godhead is eternally one with God the Father of Whose person and glory He is the accurate expression. To become man He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, truly God and truly man.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity is eternally one with the Father and the Son yet He is sent by Them to achieve the Divine purpose in the world and in the Church.

The Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures

The Scriptures, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, are the infallible Word of God. They were written by holy men of God inspired by the Holy Spirit and have supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

The Sinfulness of Man

Man was made in the image of God and for fellowship with Him. By transgression of God's command he fell from fellowship with God and his nature was corrupted. As a consequence, all men are spiritually dead under Satan’s dominion and control and subject to God's wrath and condemnation. Therefore, apart from God's grace, man is helpless and hopeless.

Christ's Atonement for the Sin of Man

In order to redeem mankind from the guilt, penalty and power of sin, Jesus Christ became man and died a sacrificial death as our representative substitute. By His resurrection, God's acceptance of His atoning death was demonstrated. This atonement is sufficient for the whole world but effective only in those who receive it. The sinner is justified and reconciled to God, not through any personal merit but solely on the basis of God's gracious gift of salvation in Jesus Christ received through faith.

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the acceptance of God's provision of salvation. The Holy Spirit convinces sinners of their sinfulness, leads them to personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and so brings them to spiritual birth as God's children and to fellowship in Christ. Working within the life of believers the Holy Spirit makes real the presence of Christ, witnesses to their relationship with God, leads into all truth, bestows gifts for effective service and produce graces for holy living.

The Church

The Church is the body of people whom God has separated from the world through faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. All regenerate persons are members of the universal Church of God which takes local form wherever groups of believers unite for worship, fellowship and service in accordance with scriptural sacrifices and sent into the world to be witnesses. The Church recognises such by ordaining pastors, commissioning missionaries, appointing deacons and other leaders, following New Testament practice.

The Baptism of Believers only by Immersion

Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a public declaration of a person's faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In accordance with New Testament Scripture it should be administered only by total immersion which symbolises the believer's identification with Christ in death, burial and resurrection, the remission of sins and the believer's dedication of himself to God to live and walk in newness of life.

The Communion

The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ instituted by Him to be celebrated with the elements of bread and wine by believers in Christ until the end of the age. It commemorates and declares our thanks for the Lord's substitutionary death. The celebration of the ordinance expresses our fellowship with and in the Lord Jesus Christ as members of the Body of which He is the Head.

The Return of the Lord Jesus Christ

At the end of this age, according to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in His glory to the earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom of God awaits His return.

The Resurrection of the Dead

At the end of this age, there is to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. After death the bodies of men return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God - the righteous to be with Him and the unrighteous to be reserved for the judgement.

Rewards and Punishments in a Future State

God has appointed a day of final judgement for the world. At that time Jesus Christ will judge every man and each will receive reward or punishment according to his deeds. Those judged righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment.