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August 2013
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October 2013

The Prophetic Ministry

The ministry of prophecy is to be an important part of the local church and the development of every church leader. This is a biblical concept and was used often in the appointment of leaders to various roles and ministries in the early church (see Acts 13:1-3. 1 Timothy 1:18-19; 4:14). The Prophetic Ministry A prophet is someone through whom God speaks His heart, mind and will. The Old Testament concept of a prophet is “one called (by God) to speak for God”. God spoke to and through prophets. A prophet was not independent. They spoke God's message, not their... Read more →


Knowing God's Will for Your Life

Knowing God's Will for Your Life God communicates to us in many ways, but all through the Spirit. These include: 1. Prayer. God wants to speak to you in your personal time with him. Take time to listen (tune in) to his voice. What are the desires of your heart and the gifts he has given you? There is a lot of freedom in God's will and knowing his will for our life. 2. The Scriptures. The Bible contains God's will for you and the principles and keys to success and fulfilment. These are outlined and illustrated for your instruction.... Read more →


Responding to the Prophetic Word

Last week we had prayer and prophetic ministry over 430 of our church leaders. It was a terrific time of encouragement, challenge and ministry. This was the culmination of a season of prayer and fasting in our church. For those who received a prophetic words, here are some suggested steps for following that up: Responding to the Prophetic Ministry It is important that we respond properly to the prophetic word. Paul was intent on seeing the church have a proper attitude and a mature response to prophetic ministry. Two extremes must be avoided - unbelief or rejection of prophetic ministry... Read more →


For Parents with Young Children in Church

A friend pointed me to a very good article recently in the Huffington Post religion section by Jamie Bruesehoof to parents with young children in church (especially relevant when kid's church is having a break during the school holidays!). Here is it: You are doing something really, really important. I know it's not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring. I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling the infant car seat and the diaper bag ('nappy bag' for the... Read more →


Reaching Millennials

Research in America shows that 59% of millennials (also known as Gen Y) drop out of church after attending regularly as a teenager. For the past decade, Barna Group has been working to understand this important age group. After interviewing more than 27,000 millennials and conducting 206 studies of this group, they have amassed a significant body of knowledge on millennials. Now they are sharing that knowledge via a special section of their web site that contains research, articles and carefully curated information on this elusive and often confusing age groups. Check it out at barna.org/millennials. In many ways, Australia... Read more →


Quiet: The Power of Introverts

There has been an interesting amount of discussion recently around the differences between extrovert and introvert personalities. Susan Cain's best-selling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking kick-started the topic quite considerably back in 2009. This was given further momentum in 2012 when her TED talk on "The Power of Introverts" was released. Have a listen. It is a real conversation starter. Could it be that we have replaced a character ethic for a personality ethic, especially in leadership selection? Adam McHugh explores this and more in his book Introverts in the Church: Finding... Read more →


How to Find Time for that Important Project [by Michael Hyatt]

Here is a very helpful recent post on productivity by popular BLOGGER Michael Hyatt ... Almost everyone has some important project they can’t seem to get to. Maybe it’s starting a blog, writing a book, or launching a new business initiative. You just can’t seem to find the time to tackle it. Whenever I speak on the topic of Platform, the first question I always get in the Q&A is this: “How do I make time for building a platform? I am so busy; I don’t know how I could possibly add one more thing to my schedule.” I totally... Read more →


Sugar - Why We Can't Resist It

A recent National Geographic article by Rich Cohen entitled Sugar Love - a Not So Sweet Story reveals that the average can of soda (everything from cola to ginger ale) contains around 10 teaspoons of sugar. Not only that, the average American eats around 22.7 teaspoons of sugar a day - without even dipping into the sugar bowl, due to the amount of sugar in processed foods. Excessive sugar isn't just extra calories, it's toxic. The article goes on to say that most Westerners are fat because they eat too much and exercise too little. But they eat too much... Read more →


The Lonely Pastor (by Thom S. Rainer)

Here is a thought-provoking article on The Lonely Pastor: Nine Observations by Thom S. Rainer ... The conversation took place just yesterday. A young man told me his dad, a pastor, recently committed suicide. He talked about the pain his father experienced in ministry as well as the intense loneliness. Though suicide is not an inevitable outcome, I do know the number of pastors experiencing loneliness is high—very high. I hurt for these pastors, and I want to help in any way I can. Perhaps my nine observations can be a starting point for a healthy discussion on this important... Read more →


World Beard Day

Did you hear? Yesterday was World Beard Day! Yes, the first Saturday of September is the official day to celebrate great facial hair. This is timely for me, as I returned from my recent holiday sporting a beard that ties me to my Scottish roots (see picture to the right of my great, great grandfather William Michael, born in Ullapool, Scotland in 1828). Here are some unusual World Beard Day facts: * In southern Spain, many townships gather to witness a boxing match between a bearded man a beardless boy. The bearded man, normally armed with a sharp pike, is... Read more →


A New Australian Prime Minister: Mr Tony Abbott

Congratulations to Mr Tony Abbott who was elected today as the next prime Minister of Australia. He succeeded Mr Kevin Rudd, who will not contest the leadership of the Labor Party. This election campaign has been somewhat of a circus, but in the end the Australian population voted, and the Coalition has taken government, with a strong swign in their favour. Results for the Senate are yet to be finalised. Regardless of how you voted and who you voted for, now is the time to get behind our new Prime Minister and his elected government, as we move forward as... Read more →


Religion and Politics is like Ice-Cream and Manure: They Don't Mix (Jarrod McKenna)

Here is a very thought-provoking article about tomorrow's election, by my good friend, Jarrod McKenna. "Mixing religion and politics is like mixing ice cream and manure. It doesn't do much to the manure but it sure does ruin the ice cream", my friend Tony Campolo likes to say. Yet this election, like many before, there is an unpleasantly nutty taste and many politicians have their finger on the blender. Don't get me wrong - as a Christian leader who has studied the Bible since I came to faith, it's clear that central to the Christian tradition is a story of... Read more →


Engaging Culture

When it comes to culture, including media (TV, movies, etc) and politics, there are three different approaches that Christians tend to take: 1. Reject Culture. Some Christians see the world as ‘evil’ (and at times, rightly so) and therefore all culture is to be rejected. Christians are called to be ‘holy’ which means to be ‘separate’ from the world. Christians end up living in their own sub-culture – with Christian communities, Christian bookshops, Christian TV, and even Christian jewelry! The danger with this approach is that Christians end up very ‘different’ from the world but because of their isolation they... Read more →


Happy Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day, a time to honour all of our dads. I am thankful for my own father and the positive role model he has been for me, despite that fact that he was an orphan and never had either a father or a mother his entire life (see his biography This is my Story for more). He has done his best to be the kind of father to my sister and me that he never had. I would also like to thank our three amazing kids - Josiah (and daughter-in-law, Shelley), Ashley (and daughter-in-law Malisa, if there is... Read more →