The Story of God: Preaching Old Testament Narrative
Annual Preachers' Conference

When: 21-22 August 2018, Two day conference, concluding at 3:30pm on Wednesday 22.

Venue: Ridley College

Speakers: Paul Barker, Murray Capill and Mary Lewis

This is the Annual Preachers’ Conference for Ridley College, a training conference on preaching God’s word to minds hearts, wills and lives.

The 2018 Conference will be held on site at Ridley College across two days.

About the Speakers

Paul Barker trained as an actuary before studying theology at Ridley College, and completed a PhD in Old Testament in England.

His church service in Victoria includes serving as a curate in the Parish of Cranbourne in Melbourne’s South East Growth Corridor, as Vicar of Holy Trinity Doncaster, an Examining Chaplain, Archdeacon of Box Hill and Visiting Lecturer at Ridley College.

He was with the Church Missionary Society based in Malaysia, teaching in Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, as well as being a Visiting Lecturer in Old Testament and Preaching in various seminaries in India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Thailand. From 2014-2016 he was also the Asian Regional Coordinator for Langham Preaching and Langham Scholar Care, training preachers throughout Asia.

Paul was consecrated in November 2016 as Assistant Bishop for Jumbunna, part of the diocese of Melbourne comprising the outer southern and Eastern suburbs.

Murray Capill is Principal of Reformed Theological College. He is originally from New Zealand where he pastored a church in Auckland for 10 years. He came to Australia in 2001 to teach part-time at the College and continue in pastoral ministry in the CRCA. Since 2006 he has taught practical theology full-time and in 2008 he became the Principal. He is the author of Preaching with Spiritual Vigour (2004) and The Heart is the Target (2014). Murray is married to Wendy and they have five children and one grandchild.

Evening Keynote
Mary Lewis is Dean of the Cathedral Church of St Peter and Paul Pt Pirie, and Parish Priest of Flinders Plain. She has spent most of her life and ministry in rural and regional South Australia and Nepal. Prior to ordination, she served in lay leadership and mission in the parishes where she lived, and worked as a rural GP in South Australia. Mary and her husband Owen served in medical mission and medical education in Nepal in partnership with CMS Australia, bringing their four children up in the cross cultural mission field. Mary taught mission studies at St Andrew’s Hall before being ordained to Parish ministry.

She has served on the CMS Australia Board and committees and in local outreach and children’s ministry initiatives as well as parish and diocesan councils.

2018 Program PDF


Choose 2 workshops to attend during the conference.

  • Preaching Abraham to Australians with Murray Capill (Tuesday or Wednesday)
    The person of Abraham is a key figure in the Bible and seen as a model of faith. How do we as preachers in the 21st century relate this man’s life and story to ordinary people today. In this seminar Murray will offer suggestions of sermon topics and series that will help Abraham come to life for your church.
  • Applying Old Testament Narrative with Mike Raiter (Tuesday or Wednesday)
    There are few tasks more challenging for a preacher than applying Old Testament Narrative.  With a focus on the book of Judges, this workshop will examine how to apply these narratives in a way that appropriately points to the gospel and provides wise counsel for Christian living. Mike Raiter is the Director of the Centre for Biblical Preaching which trains men and women across Australia and the world in expository preaching.
  • Preaching in rural and remote communities with Mary Lewis (Tuesday Only)
    There is a distinct approach to preaching in rural and remote communities – mixed demographics, mixed denominations, mixed levels of biblical literacy, mixed levels of education and general literacy, imbalance of gender. It’s a cross cultural exercise for most and it is vital for the spiritual health of these diverse but closely bonded groups of people.
  • What’s the big idea? with Karen Morris (Wednesday Only)
    If your sermons meander to a conclusion perhaps you haven’t developed a big idea. Without a big idea a sermon is a random collection of thoughts. This workshop will enable participants to develop a ‘Big Idea’ for their sermons and provide practical ways to do this. Karen loves telling people about Jesus and is keen to encourage others to do the same. She ministers at Monash University with the Christian Union, at her local church and in the local area (the gym, the shops, the school).
  • Preaching a tough OT Narrative with Anthea McCall (Wednesday Only)
    Anthea McCall will preach a 20 minute sermon on the tough passage of Tamar and Judah in Genesis 38. The sermon will be followed by discussion about her sermon and different ways this difficult narrative could be preached and applied. Anthea is Lecturer in New Testament at Ridley College.

Female conference delegates may also wish to attend the Monday night Women’s Preaching Network Event (20 August). Mary Lewis is preaching, and Karen Morris is training on Sermon Application. Click for more details and registration.

Rural and regional delegates can apply for a scholarship, to assist with attendance costs, donated by Bush Church Aid. For more details or to apply contact Jane.


Paul Barker
Session 1
Session 4

Murray Capill
Session 2
Session 3
Session 5


Ridley College
170 The Avenue Parkville, VIC 3052

We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built. Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E. © 2019 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.