Previous month:
January 2008
Next month:
March 2008

Evangelism for Non-Evangelists (Part 4)

4. Keep the Passion Alive Priorities can be easily replaced by other seemingly urgent or pressing matters. As we become busy with so many things in church life we can begin to drift from our mission. That’s why the work of an evangelist also involves keeping the evangelistic passion of a church community alive and bright hot. There are a number of ways to do this: · Have new Christians share their testimony with the church. There is nothing more impacting than congregations hearing stories of changed lives. · Preach and teach about evangelism every year. Good Bible teaching has... Read more →


Evangelism for Non-Evangelists (Part 3)

3. Create Evangelistic Opportunities The third thing that evangelists should do is to create evangelistic opportunities for people. The Great Commission involves both “Go” (Matt.28:18-20) and “Come and see” (John 4:29). In other words, believers are to go and share their faith out in the world and they are to invite their friends to come and see the activity of God within the church community. The church is not to be a castle surrounded by a moat to keep all of the unbelievers out. Each local church should create as many entry points and bridges as possible so that people... Read more →


Evangelism for Non-Evangelists (Part 2)

2. Equip People to Share their Faith The second thing we must do if we are to do the work of an evangelist is to train people to share their faith. One of the tasks of an evangelist it to “equip” the entire church to do the ministry of evangelism (Eph.4:11-12). God wants every Christian to be a soul winner. Jesus told his disciples, “I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). The Holy Spirit comes to give us power and boldness to witness for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). The apostle Peter told all believers to “be prepared to... Read more →


Evangelism for Non-Evangelists (Part 1)

Many years ago, when I began a new role as senior minister of a large church, I knew that God was calling me to help the church become more outward focused. The evangelistic passion and effectiveness of the church needed to lift considerably. My main spiritual gifts are leadership and teaching. Evangelism is not a strong part of the way God has made me. After all, God gave “some” to be evangelists, so not everyone has this spiritual gift (Eph.4:11). However, I sensed the Lord challenging me that although I was not an evangelist I needed to “do the work... Read more →


Parenting Teenagers

You may or may not have a teenager in your life right now but these years are often stereo-typed by rebellion and relational difficulties. This can cause a lot of parents to experience a great deal of fear as their children approach the teenage years. Nicole and I are the proud parents of three teenagers – aged 19, 17 and 15. We can honestly say that we have enjoyed the teenage years as much as any of our years of parenting. Obviously, they haven’t been without their challenges, but then all relationships need work and wisdom. Last year, Nicole led... Read more →


Information Overload

One of the challenges we face today is 'information overload'. Knowledge is increasing at such a frenetic pace and it's just so hard to keep up with everything. It is estimated that human knowledge is now doubling every 10-15 years. We can so easily feel overloaded and stressed by it all. Here are a few thoughts and tips on handling information overload: Focus on reading and meditating on the Bible. Never forget: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects... Read more →


Recommended Newspapers and Magazines ...

In addition to reading the Bible regularly, and a variety of other books (see Recommended Reading and The Art of Reading), I also like to browse through various newspapers (online) and magazines from time to time. Here is a list of my favourites ... Newspapers ... The Herald Sun - Melbourne's most widely read newspaper. It sells more than 554,000 copies a day (February 2006), reaching 1.5 million readers. The Age - Melbourne's other popular newspaper with more indepth articles and editorials. The Australian - Australia's best newspaper for keeping touch with what's happening around our nation. USA Today -... Read more →


MARGIN

‘Margin’ – every book has one. Margin is the space between the words and the edge of the page. It helps the book breath a little. Unfortunately, most of us live our lives without any margin. It’s a modern day problem: margin-less living. We fill our lives to capacity. There’s no space, no room to move. We’re stressed and overloaded. Our limits are being challenged. Margin has been lost … and if something unforeseen happens, suddenly we’re over the edge. Limits aren‘t the enemy … overload is. What we need is a re-establishment of margin in our lives. Author and... Read more →


FAMILIARITY

One of the most dangerous yet subtle enemies in our lives is a thing called familiarity. It is so easy to take things in life for granted - to become familiar with them. When things are new and fresh they often have a lot of excitement linked to them. Here are a few examples ... We start out at a new job … how cool. We fall in love with someone … how romantic. We have our first child … how exciting. We move into a new home … how fun. We make a new friend … how wonderful. But... Read more →


OPENNESS

I’ll never forget having lunch with an influential leader a while back. I asked him how he was doing and he went on to tell me how great things were and about all the good things happening in his life. He then asked me how I was doing. I paused for a moment … things had been a bit tough for me at that time. Would I take the safe route and tell him things were ‘fine’ OR would I open up and tell him the truth? I decided to share some of the difficulties I was facing. Interestingly, the... Read more →


REJECTION

Have you ever felt rejected? Pretty much all of us have at one time or another. Maybe you were teased during your school years – just because you were different than everyone else. Maybe you were laid off from your job for no good reason – they said you were ‘redundant’. Maybe you were an unwanted child, who grew up without ever feeling love from one or both of your parents. Maybe you have been abused – verbally, physically or even sexually. Experiences such as these can be very hurtful and can tend to leave wounds in your heart, whether... Read more →


LEADERSHIP

We live in a world in desperate need of more and better leaders. Leaders are people who can see a picture of a better future and then motivate other people to work together to make that vision a reality. Leaders create movement. They’re always pressing forward to bring about positive change. In a sense, we’re all called to be leaders. Each one of us can catch a glimpse of a better world. Then we can work together to take steps in the right direction. Each one of us can influence someone else in a positive way. That’s what leadership is... Read more →


RESPONSIBILITY

I’ll never forget when our kids were much younger, one of them running into our bedroom on a Saturday morning while we were sleeping and saying, “Dad, someone wet my bed”! I said, “What?” “Someone wet my bed”. I said, “Well, no-one’s been in your bed but you; it must have been you”. “No, no, it must have been somebody else, it wasn’t me!” Isn’t it amazing how we tend to rationalise and justify ourselves so quickly and then blame other people for what’s happening in our world? I guess this goes way back to Adam. When Adam sinned, God... Read more →


FORGIVENESS

Many years ago I was on a building site and I was cutting through a piece of wood with an electric saw. Unfortunately, I cut through the wood and then took a chunk out of my finger. There was blood gushing everywhere. It really hurt. I rushed off to hospital and got some stitches. Thankfully, the body went into a healing process and over time the pain went away. I have got a scar there and I remember what happened, but it no longer hurts. You know it is the same in our emotional world. Sometimes things happen that hurt... Read more →


ENCOURAGEMENT

Someone once said that “encouragement is like oxygen to the soul”. Each one of us thrives in an environment of affirmation and encouragement. No one likes to be in an atmosphere where we are being torn down or ridiculed. So think about what you are doing to those around about you. Are you encouraging them? Are you lifting them up with your words? Occasionally, I’ll sit at a funeral and listen to the eulogy or the tributes that are given and often think, “I wonder if that person knew those things when they were alive?” Don’t wait until someone dies... Read more →


Saying 'Sorry' to the Stolen Generation

As the first act of business at the opening of Australian Parliament on February 13th, 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will give a formal apology on behalf of the government to all Indigenous Australians for the so-called 'stolen generation'. This is a controversial issue, as the previous Prime Minister, John Howard, refused to offer an official apology on this matter. The 2002 film Rabbit Proof Fence, based on a true story, vividly portrays some of the pain and hurt thrust upon Indigenous people back in the 1930s here in Australia. However, there are conservatives such as Andrew Bolt who have... Read more →


LOVE LANGUAGES

It is very important that we let people in our world know that we love them. But how do you say ‘I love you’ in a way that people understand and sense our love? In many ways, love is like a language and there are a variety of love languages that we can use to communicate the love that’s in our heart for someone special. Gary Chapman has written about five different love languages we can use to say 'I love you' to those special people in our world. We can use: Encouraging words. Words have a powerful way of... Read more →