The Gwent Baptist Association’s Spring Event – which focussed on the themes of Preaching and Children/Youth Work – held at Tabernacle on Saturday, 24 March proved to be a big success.

Continuing its drive to create additional training opportunities for various aspects of church ministry and leadership, the Association  now plans to make the Spring ‘get-together’ a fixture in its annual calendar of events.

More than 30 people, representing nine Baptist churches and other denominations, took part in the interactive sessions while 24 people attended a pre-event fellowship meal at Cefn Wood, Rogerstone on 23 March.

The new additional facilities at Tabernacle enabled the two main seminars to run alongside each other at the same time. The Preaching seminar was led by the Rev Dr Peter Stevenson, principal of the South Wales Baptist College, Cardiff. Among questions considered were:  What is preaching? Why is preaching under fire in Wales? and How to best respond to current negative criticism? Various approaches to preparing a sermon were considered using the text of Hebrews 2: 5-18 as a case study.

The Children/Youth Work seminar was led by Scripture Union Cymru development worker Matt Lewis who supports, helps and advises schools and Christian groups in South Wales to deliver the teaching of Jesus Christ and what it means to be a Christian today. The theme of the seminar was “Reaching the 95” because a recent survey indicated that 95 per cent of children and young people do not attend church on Sundays. Various imaginative approaches to mission were discussed and then how to convert the positive ideas into action.

Dr Stevenson reflected on his recent visit to India at the enjoyable Friday evening fellowship meal.

Association secretary Geoff Champion said: “We are continuing to pursue the goal of encouraging churches in our area to become far more interdependent rather than independent as they seek to serve the Lord in these challenging days. We are hoping to follow up the good  work done in these seminars with some more training opportunities linked to various aspects of church ministry and leadership.”