Evangelism and Mission

Who have you been eating with?

One day Jesus was having dinner at the home of one of the top Pharisees (the religious leaders of his day). As always, there was some lively and interesting conversation around the dinner table. Near the end of this meal, this happened ... Luke 14:12-14. Jesus turned to the host. "The next time you put on a dinner, don't just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You'll be — and experience —... Read more →


A Call to COURAGE

ANZAC Day Tomorrow is ANZAC Day, a day when Australians and New Zealanders remember the beginning of World War I. This was Australia’s first major military encounter as a nation with the wider world as we joined Britain’s fight against Germany. Last year was the 100th anniversary of the ANZACs landing at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. This was supposed to be a quick knock-out battle but the wildness of the terrain and the fierce resistance of the Turkish defenders led to a stalemate campaign that dragged on for 8 months. Both sides suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.... Read more →


Jesus' Ministry

The Gospel of Matthew tells us this about the ministry of Jesus: Matthew 9:35-37. Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a d shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers... Read more →


Four Kinds of Churches

There are four kinds of churches in the world today: The Museum Church. They are old and beautiful but empty (like the picture above). No one goes there. They are showpieces of past. Sadly, there is no spiritual vitality within their ancient walls. The Maintenance Church. These churches are a little better. They are almost empty ... but hanging on. Their mission is to survive, to maintain amidst the many drastic social changes. They refuse to change, members are dying off. Sadly, they too will soon become a Museum Church. The Ministry Church. These churches pursue Christian ministry to people... Read more →


How's Your Cultural Intelligence?

The apostle Paul worked hard to relate to a wide variety of people. Have a read of this from his letter to the church at Corinth in the first century: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose–living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized––whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ––but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point... Read more →


Mars Hill - The Marketplace

Paul at Athens The apostle Paul gives us an insightful example as to how to engage with our culture during his time in the pagan city of ancient Athens as recorded in Acts 17. He spent time in the synagogue, in the marketplace and then was invited to the Areopagus to engage with the philosophers there. These places can represent three different environments or spaces in our own world today. The first space is the synagogue, which is where Jews and God-fearing Greeks gathered (vs.16-17). These are people who believe in God and share a common language, experience and belief... Read more →


Mars Hill - Engaging Culture

We live in a rapidly changing culture that often seems at odds with the character of God's kingdom. Some Christians choose to reject the surrounding culture, escaping to live separate lives. Others seem to embrace the culture uncritically and end up no different than the world around them. Could it be that a better approach is to engage with the culture - to be in the world but not of it. The apostle Paul modelled this exceptionally well during his time in Athens, especially at Mars Hill - a place full of idols, altars and pagan philosophers. Where is your... Read more →


Beyond the Walls by Brad Chilcott

Who would’ve thought that one photo could cause so much trouble? It wasn’t the first time I’d been criticized for my friendship and solidarity with the Muslim community, in fact I’d had some threats of violence when I spoke up about Halal certification but this one took it another level. Had I renounced the gospel? Sure, being friends with Muslims, but praying in a mosque? Did I even believe in Jesus anymore? The beard didn’t help any. Had I taken the instructions “love your neighbour as yourself” and “love your enemy” too literally? Too far? 1 John 3. This is... Read more →


Travel

I admire the many Christian mission workers around the world. Many of them work in some of the poorest, least evangelised and most persecuted countries in the world. Personally, I believe everyone should have a passport. We encourage everyone in our church to go on a short-term team to another nation sometime in their life time. It opens your eyes, enriches your faith, and makes you grateful for all we have been blessed with. Ever heard of 'first world problems'?? Here are a few quotes about travel that I love: “The world is a book and those who do not... Read more →


Embracing our Sentness

Here is a recently published book I'd like to recommend - Sentness: Six Postures of Missional Christians by Kim Hammond and Darren Cronshaw. From the back cover: Ever wonder why people fall asleep in church? It happens. We’ve all seen it. We shuffle into rows of seats that grow more comfortable with every new fundraising campaign. We slouch down and settle in for an hour or so, as singers and storytellers and preachers and teachers take their turns filling our ears. And almost without fail, at least one of us nods off while listening to the greatest story ever told.... Read more →


Indigenous Awareness Trip (October 2013)

In October 2013, my wife and I participated with a number of other church pastors in an Indigenous Awareness Trip, sponsored by the Concilia organisation. We began by flying from Melbourne to Alice Springs. It was my first visit to this iconic Australian town. It was not as big as I thought it would be - only 28,000 people. It was 41 degrees when we arrived - a very warm welcome. We began by visiting a number of the 20 Aboriginal camps around the town. Aboriginal people make up about 20% of the local population. We also visited some of... Read more →


Max Conlon - Aboriginal Artist

Last weekend, as part of our Australians Together focus, we were privileged to host Max and Tracey Conlon at CityLife Church. They are indigenous Australian church leaders who founded Walkabout Ministry. They travel and minister to many of the isolated indigenous communities across our nation. Max was raised amongst 14 siblings in the Cherbourg Aboriginal settlement in south east Queensland and is a descendant of the Kabi Kabi/Kullali tribes. Max is an established artist and has been painting for 35 years. He has travelled extensively with exhibitions of his work in Dubai, Japan, Korea and a number of European cities.... Read more →


Mission: The Work of God

Mission is the activity of God himself. It has its source not in the church but in the very nature of God. Mission is not just an activity or a department of the church. It is an attribute or a character quality of God. God is a missionary God. [The word “mission” is not used in the Bible. It comes from the word “to send”, which in the Greek language is “missio”] 1. God the Father sent the Son into the world. Jesus was the first missionary. John 3:16-17. … God did not send his Son into the world to... Read more →


William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions

William Carey was one of the main instruments in God’s hand for the restoration of mission into the mainstream of Protestant Christianity through his writing, emphasis on prayer for world evangelisation and promotion of practical structures for mission. He was not the first to preach on missions, but he was the one used by God to lift the lid of the church preventing it overflowing to the world. He was preceded by great preachers and theologians such as Jonathan Edwards, and also a few significant missionaries like David Brainerd. The month of May 1792 was a pivotal time for church... Read more →


Whatever Happened to Mission?

What Happened to Missions? D espite the clarity of Jesus' commission to his followers, we have seen a “marginalisation of mission” over the last 2,000 years. 1. Mission has been belittled in the church. Many Christians have inherited mindset in church that has almost excluded mission altogether or has pushed it to the sideline of what church is all about. For years, mission has had little importance to the average Christian. Our own needs are so great that we easily neglect the mission mandate, leaving it to the few “mission-heads” who feel the call. Mission’s reputation? Boring slide shows from... Read more →


The Biblical Basis of World Impact

The dominant theme of Jesus' last 40 days on earth was world evangelisation and included a Great Commission: Matthew 24:14. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. NIV Acts 1:8. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. NIV This is an incredible global mission given to 11 people! Minister locally in Jerusalem, their city (streets and... Read more →


Church Greeting Teams - The Search for a Friendly Church

When in the USA recently, one of our church staff members visited two large, well-known churches. The facilities and church services were first class, but at both churches ... no one spoke to him. Sadly, this is all to commonplace today. Have we become high-tech and low-touch? Here is a great article by Will Mancini called Smiling is Not Enough: Top 10 Mistakes of Church Greeting Teams. The team at Auxano enjoys playing the role of “secret worshipper” when we take a church through our visioning process called the Vision Pathway. We call it a guest perspective evaluation. As I... Read more →


Saint Patrick

In about a week's time (17th March), Irish people all around the world will celebrate St. Patrick's day, which has become both a religious and cultural holiday in Ireland. St. Patrick is also highly esteemed highly by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. Only two letters survive about Patrick's life and mission, although there is a host of other material containing various traditions about him. He was captured by a group of pirates as a 16 year old and taken to Ireland as a slave. He lived there for 6 years before escaping and returning home to Great... Read more →


International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

During the month of November, many churches around the world set aside time to prayer for the persecuted church. Believers in countries such as Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam face violence, imprisonment and even death because of their faith in Jesus Christ. There are other places in the world such as North Korea where acts of persecution take place, but we don’t see or hear of it. Brother Andrew of Open Doors once said: 'Our heroes are not with us simply because they are in prison.' IDOP is a time set apart for us to remember thousands... Read more →


30 Ways to be Missional in your Workplace

Many times it’s difficult to find practical ways to be a blessing in your workplace. Rapid pace, mounting deadlines, or co-worker conflict can often derail even the best of intentions to say and show the love of Jesus at work. Yet, it is important for us to know what it looks like to bring gospel intentionality to our jobs. Recently, Josh Reeves posted some very practical ideas for blessing others in the workplace. Hopefully this will help spark a few ideas for connecting with and blessing your coworkers. 1. Instead of eating lunch alone, intentionally eat with other co-workers and... Read more →