Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Hangover

Well I was so busy yesterday I did not have a hope of posting.
It all started at 6am with a phone call from Australia! So much for sleeping in! The crazy ossies...
Then I literally spent nine hours on the computer working on a church planting proposal for a Australian partner... I had received an email that had to be responed on Thanksgiving!
Please pray for our future, that God will guide us as we seek to follow His Son especially in where and with whome He wants us to serve.

The day was beautifully closed with the most amazing meal with our dear friends. What started out with me nervously going to a growth group couple of months ago has emerged into a group of friends that Nerida and I hope keep in touch with forever.

All that to say - I am so Thankful for Jesus. He has set me free to live a life that I never could have imagined, so rich, full and exciting that I can't begin to try and capture it in words at 7 in the morning.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Rebellion

Yesterday Pastors Shawn and Rodney launched a new series, "Christmas Rebellion - Taking Christmas Back."

As I sat in the 4pm service I was again confronted by the truth that as I follow Jesus my world will continue to be turned upside down. That's what Jesus came to do. To save us from ourselves. To save us from our self focused inward looking nothingness. And where the world screams at us to get more, more, more all for me, me, me... God, the creator of the universe GAVE. He gave to us. He gave His most treasured posession to you. He gave His Son so that we might gain forgiveness and new life with God.

And as I sat there with my 3 boys, with Archie asleep in my arms as Shawn preached, I was gripped with an glimpse, an insight of God's fathomless love. He gave His one and only Son, He sent His baby as a gift, a ransom-gift that we might be set free from the bondage of more, mecentred sin and death.

The best gifts cost the most. They cost you. God may your Spirit of love fill me this Christmas to love the people you've placed around me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day off hanging with the little men...

Hey hanging with the boys today and one of the things we love to do that cost $0 is watch some youtube together. Here's a couple that are always requested...
Archie - "Dad do the 'move it' one."
If you don't feel like dancin, there's something wrong!

All - "Dad the Cronodile Hunter snake one."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nine Years Married - WOW!

Today was a special day for me. Today Nerida and I celebrated nine years marriage. We hung out this afternoon. Went for a drive and talked. We had a nice meal of Bison (that was a first). And then just walked around the shops and we didn't even buy anything. We just talked.

Nerida, you are the love of my life. I thank you for being such a patient, caring and steadfast partner. Of all the amazing heists I've managed to pull of in life, marrying you was and always will be the biggest. God must have been distracted that night to let a pirate like me run off with one of his angels. I love you honey and look forward to many more years God willing of this journey with you. Love always - Will.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"No is not an option" - Jesus

Tonight at a Worldcare planning meeting Pastor David Putman shared that there are three key things that continue to stop people from getting involved:
1. I'm not good enough.
2. Time.
3. Finances.

My thoughts on each of these:
The first one was dealt with by Jesus Himself, His death and resurrection qualifies you. You think you aren’t good enough? Of course you aren’t, no one is. But God loves you enough to send His Son to die for you. And today Jesus calls you to come and follow Him and share His message of life and hope with people everywhere, worldwide. If you’re a Jesus follower you are called, qualified and sent. Sent by Jesus with his promise to be with you always, everywhere, wherever He leads you.

The second issue is really an issue of obedience and priorities. If you aren’t going and sharing the good news of Jesus with someone somewhere let’s face it you aren’t following Jesus. Following Jesus really requires letting Him lead.

The third is the one I continue to struggle with the most. It is a also an issue of continuing to trust Jesus at His word to supply my families needs each day. And that’s just it, if you’re following Jesus the journey is crazy at times and He tends to provide for each day in some amazing ways through amazingly generous people. The issue is to trust Him and His provision.
(BTW the 'Go Logo' is care of the reformed presbyterian church of Ireland - Go the fightin Irish!)

Nashville TN Trip

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Writers... Good Preachers

My mate and Aussie Planting Coach Steve Addison shared this...
Good writers have two things in common: they prefer to be understood rather than admired; and they do not write for knowing and over-acurate readers.
Friedrich Nietzche

I reckon the same thing can be said about pastor/teachers. Great preachers have two things in common: they prefer to be understood rather than admired; and they do not preach for knowing and over-accurate listeners.

The goal is not to please the nit pickers, the goal is that the humble of spirit will hear and see life change in their lives as they engage with Jesus and His gospel!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Planters - 3 things to consider

At last months October Coaching Roundtable Shawn Lovejoy shared three key things to consider when selecting a sight/suburb for a fresh launch:
1. Growth and changing demographics,
2. Must fit with planter and his family (unless you are a cross cultural missionary),
3. Ability to grow organically and within time make the transition to financially funding the ministry locally and from within.

Changing Area, Leadership 'fit' & Finances. Sounds simple.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Plant Visit – Cumberland Church

Yesterday we visited Cumberland Church a Strategic Partner of North Point Ministries. They are running two services (9.30 and 11am). We visited the 11am service. On pulling into the car park we noticed that the building was a refurbishment (an old Lutheran church). We were welcomed inside. We found our way over to the kids check in. After a few difficulties the four boys went into Waumba Land (their brand of kids church) and we had the last laugh as we walked away! Once inside we got a seat, it was pretty full, I’m guestimating aroung 200+ish adults. Nerida actually got a coffee and it was good coffee, nice and hot. The band was excellent, great musicians and clear leadership and times of prayer. Transition into the video message was great. Andy Stanley spoke and closed with prayer. The prayer time was the transition back from video to “live” leadership. Pastor Eddie then closed the service after making an announcement and inviting people to meet with him for coffee. Pastor Eddie Johnson also did a great job leading, welcoming and meeting people. Their notice sheet was a half A4, two sided, one colour. Series info in color on one side and notices on the other. Their guest “gift” was a message from Andy Stanley in a C’board sleeve with a welcome message from Ps Eddie inside. They only had two notices announced that I could remember - Youth and Children’s events.

• Building appearance is important, it doesn’t have to be brand new just modern, neat and cared for.
• There is nothing like having good greeters welcoming both outside and then again inside, offering help and guidance.
• Good children’s ministry is very, very important for mothers.
• Jesus Bible teaching is “central.” Hey okay that’s a no brainer but I’m noting it down. The Worship Leader talked about it in his time of leading and then Andy Stanley is an absolutely amazing communicator. He clearly taught and applied the bible from a Christ-centered perspective. He applied it to both seekers and believers.
• Keep announcements to two key ones.
• Great to have pastors meeting and greeting the people afterwards.
• Printed materials does not need to be much, just well done.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Jesus - Come Follow Me.

One of the books that have changed my life other than the Bible is Robert Coleman's "The Master Plan of Evangelism." Now ignore the title, I also cringe at the word "evangelism" and get a copy of this book and read it. It is a classic, short and easy to read and yet for me life changing. Here's a short snippet:

"Having called His men, Jesus made it a practice to be with them. This was the essence of His training program - just letting His disciples follow Him. When one stops to think of it, this was an incredibly simple way of doing it. Jesus had no formal school, no Seminaries, no outlined course of study, no periodic membership classes in which He enrolled His followers. None of these highly organized procedures considered so necessary today entered at all into His ministry. Amazing as it may seem, all Jesus did to teach these men His way was to draw the close to Himself. He was His own school and curriculum."

Robert Coleman, "The Master Plan of Evangelism." Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1964, p. 38.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Multi-Site Reflections - Ps Shawn Lovejoy

Hey if you haven't already read Shawn Lovejoy's post on Multi-Site you need too. He has some great insights as he reflects on Mountain Lake Church, One church - two campuses.

NewThing Multi-Site Practicum Takeaways 1

Hey all my brothers in arms in Australia. A few of my mates have emailed and asked about the NewThing Practicum. Here is some of the key takeaways.
• Think Mult-Site but not church (Restaurants, banks, hospitals etc). Now think church. One Church meeting in many locations; schools, community centers, coffee shops etc. Also think planting new churches in other places that will reproduce sites.
• Move One – The God Thing. Where is God at work & where is He preparing new things? Face it, we need to follow Him.
• Move Two – The Vision. It never changes. The problem is us. Our rebellion, sin and spiritual death. The solution is simply Jesus and the life He offers. The catalyst is a gifted leader who get’s this. They see the urgency of the situation and are motivated to get involved and lead a team to follow Jesus in His mission.
• Move Three – The Leader. The guardian of the Jesus’ mission. Encourager, voice, trainer, overseer, recruiter, point person.
• Move Four – The Team. It always takes a team.
• Move Five – Finances. Know and share the cost. Have moral integrity in your life with finances. Make sure you are fully funded in enough time.
• Move Six – Alignment. Consistent language and experiences. Constantly revisited in the leadership communities. One vision, one budget, one eldership, one staff.
• Move Seven – Unstoppable! Determination in the face of fears, doubts, warfare, failures to push forward. Remembering that no plan is perfect, and to work the plan. An unwavering resolve to do what needs to be done. Unstoppable.

Check out Dave Ferguson's blog for more great insights.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new Day, A New President

This morning we got up and America has a new President.
I think there are many good things about Obama being the new leader of the U.S.A. but that is another post and time will tell.

Anyway as I drove my eldest son to school this morning I said to him, "Do you know we have just had an election?"
He replied, "Of course Dad, I voted at school the other day."
Fascinated I asked him, "So who did you vote for?"
And without a word of a lie he declared, "Dad I voted for Obama."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I like him... and he needs my help to be the President."

I sat there in silence and let his words sink in. Someone who runs the publicity machine of the Democrats needs a raise. They got their message through. Even to 2nd grade Aussie ring ins.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Privilege

(l to r : Ps Shawn Lovejoy, me, Ps David Putman & Ps Dave Ferguson)

Last night as Nerida and I talked we agreed - It is a privilege to be built into by others and we never want to take that for granted.

We have both been overwhelmed by the input and encouragement we have received over the past few months from people that are Mountain Lake Church and also our friends in Australia. Today we finished the NewThing Multi Site Practicum and as I reflected on the people that have been speaking into my life over the last 3 months Dave Ferguson commented; "God must be preparing you for something big." Now I can't comment on that but it is true, God has been overwhelmingly generous to me and my family and I look forward to the adventure of following Jesus for the rest of my life.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Who does the inviting?

Quick update : Our car is at the mechanics getting the brakes fixed (they actually fell off) and the back window fixed (Nerida smashed it out in a fit of rage a week ago). Anyway David Putman has generously lent us his 'truck' and so this morning I drove over to his house to pick him up for work. And it's amazing the life changing insights God can bring when you're just sitting and chatting in a pick up truck.

For me it was a moment of clarity as we talked about why so many people openly say they're Christians but just aren't following Jesus. My thoughts on why are as follows:

As Christians we often talk about "inviting Jesus into our lives or hearts." We even tell others that they too should "Invite Jesus into their lives." But let's just stop for a moment. Doesn't that get things completely upside down? Isn't it Jesus who does the inviting? As I read the gospels I don't see Peter, James or John inviting Jesus into their lives. Come to think of it, neither did Paul. It was always Jesus who did the inviting. And He's still doing it today. Today no matter where you are (and I mean truely that) He is inviting you and I to follow Him. He's still saying, "You, come follow me. I invite you to enter into MY life." Now that's a completely different paradigm. He's the one doing the leading. He's the one who get's to call the shots. He's the one running the show, not you, not me. It's His life at the end of the day. And if you think you get to call the shots you're not following. It's really that simple.

NewThing Multi Site Practicum

Today and tomorrow I get to sit in with the Mountain Lake Crew and learn from Dave and Jon Ferguson as they lead the NewThing Multi Site Practicum.
I still can't get over the fact that God has enabled me the privilege and opportunity of learning and growing under leaders like this. And then there's the ongoing privilege of learning from Shawn and David and the rest of the Mountain Lake Team every week. It is absolutely amazing!

Angies Arrived

We are so excited!
Last night Nerida's younger sister Angela arrived safely in Atlanta direct from Australia (via) L.A.
Now Nerida gets to take her to Starbucks, Zaxby's, Walmart, the outlet mall, 5 Guys and all the other cool places.
All our Aussie family can relax now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008