Mike Crudge works at the Baptist National Support Centre, helping connect the ‘Team of 40,000’ in the Baptist’ tribe’ of Christians in Aotearoa. He has had ten years being on the staff team at Carey Baptist College in two five-year stints over the last two decades. He has a PhD in Communication and is part of Royal Oak Baptist Church.

Three weeks ago, I was walking to work listening to a bootleg (not officially released) recording of a chapel sermon from our Carey Baptist College. It was Jonny Weir preaching from 1 Timothy 2:8-15 – you know, where Paul-the-Apostle writes, “...I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man...” At the start of the sermon, Jonny preps the listeners sitting in the chapel at Carey with: “Severe weather warning, people. These verses are forecasted for lightning and significant thunderstorms.”

I’ve never preached on this text myself, so have never had to open myself up to that challenging process many people go through every week before they stand up in our local churches to preach on Sunday. As I clomped my way through the suburbs that morning, I realised how much I was paying attention to what I was hearing. I heard stuff I had never thought about before, such as the women Paul was not talking about in that particular church where Timothy was – For me, that point alone reframes some of the tension around this passage.

My office at the Baptist National Support Centre is on the same site as the Carey campus. When I arrived at work, I marched straight to the principal’s office. It was early, and John Tucker was either asleep or praying – I suspect the latter. “I just heard the best sermon since I worked at Carey!” I said. “This needs to be shared wider in the family than just Carey students!” I said with my Baptist Union comms hat on, wanting the best content for the ‘Team of 40,000’ Baptists. “Can these Carey chapel sermons become a podcast?”

And here we are: Carey is the college of the 250 Baptist churches and faith communities throughout New Zealand – the’ 40,000’ people that make up these churches now have an opening into their college to hear our world-class biblical scholars and theologians preach short biblical sermons.

The podcast is called CareyOPEN.

This year, Carey students gather each week during teaching time to hear lecturers and guests open up the scriptures on the theme ‘Mentored for Ministry’. They are working their way through the New Testament pastoral letters of Timothy and Titus. There will be at least 20 of these sermons preached and now dropped onto the CareyOPEN podcast for us all to learn from.

The line-up so far

1 Timothy 1:1-11 – Jonathan Robinson: Lecturer in New Testament (30 minutes)

1 Timothy 1:12-20 – Christa McKirland: Lecturer in Systematic Theology (22 minutes)

1 Timothy 2:1-7 – George Wieland: Honorary Research Fellow in Biblical Studies and Mission (24 minutes)

1 Timothy 2:8-15 – Jonny Weir: Director of Ministry Training (33 minutes)

1 Timothy 3:1-6 – Michael Rhodes: Lecturer in Old Testament (29 minutes)

Never before has there been such an opportunity to binge-listen to so many Carey lecturers preaching from the bible. ‘Follow’ on Spotify or Apple Podcasts so you know when future/weekly sermons become available.

5-star biblical preaching

I’ve listened to them all so far, and from me, this podcast gets a 5-star rating – I’ve even written a review for Apple Podcasts – as we often hear at the end of podcast episodes: if you write a review, it helps the algorithms get this in front of more people.

With one-in-five New Zealanders listening to podcasts, my hope is that the fifth of people in our Baptist churches who are listening to podcasts will find CareyOPEN for this taster of what our college produces every week. Please share this in your church’s Facebook groups and newsletters. I reckon it would even make great small-group material. I might suggest it to my own Lifegroup: listen to the sermon before we meet up and use it as the basis of a group bible study.

How to listen

Listen on the Baptist NZ appbaptist.nz websitecarey.ac.nz websiteSpotify or Apple Podcasts.

Thank you, Carey Baptist College, for the work you do for and among us, as your website says:

“Studying with Carey will transform you from the inside out, deepen your understanding, widen your perspective and energise you to make a difference in your community…”

This new podcast lets all of us experience something of this transformation.

Carey also produces a podcast called Word, World, Work that highlights research that weaves together God’s Word, the World we live in, and the Work we are called to do.

Photo by Charis Fotheringham: Mike walking down the road listening to a podcast.

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