Tuesday, October 13, 2009
making news: Director of Missiology appointed: updated with pic
The following is a write up from the Uniting Church of South Australia, in regard to my new role. It even includes a picture of me, taken a few weeks ago, of me beside a gum tree!
It was with great excitement that Uniting College for Leadership & Theology announced their latest appointment to staff – Rev Dr Steve Taylor as Director of Missiology. Many in South Australia will remember Steve from Presbytery and Synod meetings held in 2007 and 2008. Steve lives in New Zealand with his wife Lynne and two daughters. They will move to Adelaide in 2010 when he begins the position.
With 15 years of ministry experience (planting and leading congregations) under his belt along with a PhD and a passion for writing in the area of contemporary missiology, Steve brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to this role.
Steve took a few minutes out from his schedule to share a little of who he is with us: Could you give readers and idea of your ministry background? I first pastored at Graceway Baptist church and then became Senior Pastor at Opawa Baptist. I’ve always done this congregational ministry part-time, while lecturing, first at Carey Baptist College then Laidlaw College, in areas of being Christian at the interface of church and society.
What will you do as as the new Director of Missiology? The role will include lecturing, writing, building a team of lecturers, serving the wider church and formation of leaders, both ordained and lay. My wife and I see this as a missionary call, a season in which our talents might serve God’s mission work in Australia. We consider ourselves Baptists on loan!
Why did you accept the position of Director of Missiology? At Pentecost this year, I preached on the theme of being surprised by God. That week Andrew Dutney phoned, asking me to consider the role. As I talked with Andrew, I sensed that my gifts and life experience could fit what was needed. I sort of had to take my sermon personally!
So we talked about it with our children, asking them to pray with us over the week. Each of us built a list of positives (Cibo, Ikea) and negatives (leaving family, friends and a great church). When we met a week later, our youngest suggested we read the lectionary text for the day, which was John 1:43-50. Closing the Bible, our oldest announced, “To me it sounds like God is calling us to Adelaide.”
Over an hour, as we talked and prayed, there was an overwhelming sense that we needed to trust God into a new adventure. We’re scared and nervous, worried we won’t find any friends and that everyone will laugh at our accents. But as a family we sense we need to practice what we preach; to follow God’s voice – to risk, adventure and trust.
What do you look forward to most in your new position? Listening. I come as a stranger to a country in which God has been at work. So I want to listen, to indigenous peoples, to those outside the church, and finally to those inside the church.
When you’re not directing Missiology or writing on your blog site, where can you be found relaxing? In my vegetable garden. I make a great vegetarian lasagne, often with up to seven types of vegetables from my garden. So I am keen to see what will take shape in the gardens of Adelaide.
Rev Dr Steve Taylor, self-confessed enjoyer of coffee, art, ‘dub’ music and lover of vegetable gardens, will commence his role as the new Director of Missiology at Uniting College of Leadership & Theology in 2010.
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