Do you have questions about Hamilton Baptist Church? If they’re not answered here please send us a message using the contact page .
When and where do you meet?
What can I expect If I come to a service?
When you arrive you’re likely to find people casually dressed, engaged in warm conversation, and possibly sipping a coffee they’ve made from our espresso machine. By the time the service begins there will be anywhere from 40-70 people ranging in age from newborns to retirees. You will worship alongside people who are straight and gay; single, married, divorced and widowed; employed and seeking work; able-bodied and people with physical and mental disabilities; and people of diverse cultural backgrounds.
The service will run for about 75 minutes and include the singing of contemporary worship songs, announcements, prayers, and a learning period such as a talk followed by Q & A. People will operate from the assumption that it is OK to ask questions and hold different views. You are welcome to join in boots and all or to quietly observe. Children of infants and primary school age are welcome to join our kids program that will commence 15-20 minutes into the church service. At the conclusion of the service the kids join us again as we all share in morning tea.
I've heard Baptist churches are...
There are close to 1000 Baptist churches in Australia, and no two are exactly alike. Some feature choirs singing hymns written centuries ago, while others resemble something more like a rock concert. Some have very elderly congregations, while others may have lots of young people and families. Some are very large (Australia’s largest Baptist church has around 5000 members) while others are very small (with less than 20 attenders). Some have very strict belief systems, while others value diversity. Some have a very conservative approach to social justice issues, while others are very progressive. So whatever your experience of Baptist churches may or may not have been, there’s a good probability Hamilton Baptist Church will be altogether different.
The best way to find out what we’re like is to come along and take a look for yourself.
What makes you different from other churches?
We differ from many other churches In a number of ways:
1. We recognise that following Jesus is different from believing particular things about Jesus. The various beliefs and attitudes Christians hold are a combination their reading of the Bible and their cultural heritage. For this reason we’re quite happy to review and reframe the things we believed in the past, and we are not so concerned with what you believe as with how you are going on your journey to grow in your experience and knowledge of God, Jesus, yourself and life.
2. We welcome people who are LGBITQ and celebrate the formation of lifelong intimate partnerships whether same-gender or opposite-gender.
3. We see care for creation as integral to our faith.
Are you a "Bible believing" church?
“Bible believing” is often shorthand for churches that have a very conservative outlook on social issues, a fundamentalist approach to truth, claim that all their views are the clear teaching of the Bible, and see conformity to all those beliefs as the basis of their community life.
That is not the type of church you will find at Hamilton Baptist. We’re bound together by a common conviction that we want to be followers of Jesus and to love and support each other on that journey. We very much value and honour the Bible and look to the story it tells to enable us to understand who God is, who we are, and how we should live in this world. We recognise that interpreting the Bible is not always simple and that there is room for significant difference of opinion. We have also found that the values of the Biblical story, and particularly of Jesus, need to be applied afresh in every generation. Sometimes this means continuing past traditions and sometimes creating new traditions.
I am LGBITQ. Will I be welcome?
Yes you will. We have a number of same gender couples and transgender people who participate fully in the life of the church. We are grieved that many LGBITQ people have been led to think that God hates them or that their sexual orientation is incompatible with being a follower of Jesus.