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.

Posted by steve at 05:43 PM


  1. Hey Steve, Congratulations on the new job, all sounds exciting! ben

    Comment by Ben Edson — October 13, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

  2. Steve: I can’t tell you how many times I frequent your blog and am inspired by what you’ve written…yet this is my first comment (i think!) As a pastor in the US, trained in mission and leadership, I was greatly influenced by your OOBC book, using it to create a class on Postmodernism and the Church, as well as to inspire many other practical applications. Great to read about your new adventure – and once again inspired by your transparency – specifically, how your family discerned where the Spirit was leading. Many blessings on your new adventure!

    Comment by Jen — October 14, 2009 @ 7:33 am

  3. thanks folk. Jen, i would love to know more about your class and what you have done with my book. it is humbling to think that you have taken my work in this way.


    Comment by steve — October 15, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  4. Congratulations Steve!

    Nice one. Will be praying.

    Comment by michael volland — October 15, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

  5. I’ll make it to adelaide occasionally, my house is about 10ish hours east/northeast of adelaide on the way to sydney. i pop back to adelaide occasionally to see the folks (dad’s a minister in the uca in pt pirie) and catch up with people like mr mitchell.

    i know that one day we’ll meet 🙂

    one day…

    seems that the gig you’re doing with craig, sandy and mark is a bad time of the year for me so probably won’t be then…

    when’s the move?

    Comment by Darren — November 8, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  6. thanks darren. i do look forward to meeting you.

    not sure what you’re talking about re the “gig with craig, sandy, mark”.

    we move mid-january, flying about 17/18. settling kids into school and then heading into Uniting College about 1 Feb I think. Trying to have a bit of hol in NZ and a bit of hol in Aussie.

    it’s a big move – a lot of grief in leaving the NZ end


    Comment by steve — November 8, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

  7. Hi Steve

    Congratulations – our loss is Aussies gain (though I hope you’re still going to be known as emergent KIWI!

    Comment by Paul Gardner — November 8, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

  8. thanks Paul. not really sure what to call myself in aussie. emergent exile perhaps? flight of the emergent?


    Comment by steve — November 8, 2009 @ 11:54 pm

  9. ahh, so you’re not in on the “gig”

    i’ll post it in a couple of minutes, i thought you were a part of the fun 🙂

    we’ve got a ex-NZer running as favourite for Idol on TV at the moment…

    what has the world come to?

    Comment by Darren — November 9, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

  10. ahh. http://blog.digitalorthodoxy.com/?p=1422 – that. yes, i am part of that. it looks like fun. my part is putting the some framing to the event so that it serves as a Master in Ministry course option for those interested. I mean there are precious few training options around Leadership/imagination/Spirit/mission – and so my role is helping offer those within a reading/grounded praxis approach for ministers from around Australia.


    Comment by steve — November 9, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

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