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Lynn Green - a Profile 

Lynn Green, who has just been appointed the first female General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, will draw on a varied involvement across Baptist life as she embarks on her new role

 
Her long association with the denomination began when she attended Winchester Baptist Church as a child. Although she stopped going, an encounter with God as a teenager, after being given a Gideon New Testament, brought her back, and she was baptised there in 1981. She studied theology at Manchester University where her halls of residence was the Northern Baptist College. She served as president of the student body there.

Lynn, 48, trained for ministry at Regent's Park College in Oxford, and on leaving in 1994 became associate minister at Wokingham Baptist Church. Subsequently serving as the team leader, she joined the Southern Counties Baptist Association as a regional minister in January 2011.

Lynn Green- A profile 05 May 2Her presence and service in wider Baptist life has been extensive.  She was secretary for Mainstream, the word and spirit network (now Fresh Streams); is a member of Baptist Union Council (and has served as chaplain); served as moderator of the BUGB Staffing Committee, the General Secretary Nominating Group in 2006 and the BU Mission Executive; she was chair of the BUGB Youth Ministry Working Group and, with her husband Stuart and others, has co-led marriage and ministry days at Spurgeon's College.

She is enthusiastic about the potential of Baptists, and says that our historic principles connect effectively with contemporary culture. 'There's lots about being a Baptist that is quite clearly relevant to today - the sense of gathered community, of belonging, discerning together. We need to seize the moment.'

As well as being fully immersed in the denomination, she has also had much experience outside it. On leaving university and prior to training for the ministry, Lynn worked for Royal Mail for a number of years, firstly as a marketing manager in the international parcels business, then as Corporate Identity Manager. Here she was involved in a multi-million pound, three-year project. 'It was a most brilliant job,' she says, 'enabling me to gain experience across the whole organisation'.

Nevertheless, the call to the ministry wouldn't go away, and finally, a conversation with a deaconess at Spring Harvest one year encouraged her to take it seriously. She took voluntary redundancy to pursue it.

She has always tried to follow God's call on her life, and at times this has meant a departure from what may have been seen as the usual way of doing things. For example, she describes most of her working life as bi-vocational, 'combining the calling to ministry with my vocation as a wife and mother', which has led to flexible patterns of working. This experience of a new ways of doing things, she believes, will stand her in good stead and will also help our Union to develop and embrace a new culture. 'I've always tried to be true and faithful to what God has called me. I've always stuck to my guns, and have been fortunate that people have been willing to be flexible. There are times when I've not fitted how it has been done before, but it has worked in a new way.'

Indeed, Lynn has felt called to this role. A number of people have had a prophetic word for her as she has visited churches as a regional minister. This sense of calling, experience of numerous aspects of Baptist life, together with the Baptist way of doing things, has given her a 'humble confidence' about the future.

'I have a humble confidence that God is at work in us and through us. There are so many amazing stories of what the Lord is doing out there.' Humble, because there 'must be an utter dependence on God'. She endorses and wants to build on Jonathan Edward's focus on the centrality of prayer. And confidence because of what she has seen.

She says this is a new era, with increased collaboration. Now is the time to release the energy generated in the last 18 months of soul searching, she says, a period often referred to as the Futures Process. Lynn 'longs to see local churches being encouraged and supported to transition beyond inherited church into vibrant mission communities,' and for Baptists to be known for 'our profound and rich diversity in unity.'

As well as the centrality of prayer, her deepest longing for us as a Union is that 'we would truly become a team. By working together in trusting partnerships I believe that we can maximise our Kingdom potential,' she says. 'WE are the Union.'

'I feel massively excited,' she adds. 'I believe that when God calls, he equips. Obviously it's a huge role. At times I feel just an ordinary person, how can I do this? I'm very aware of my own ordinariness. But I feel we are ready for generational change - we are really poised for exciting times. I hope that we will be adventurous, take more risks and above all, be Kingdom possibility thinkers.'
 
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