Thursday, April 30, 2009


I love the new series at Mountain Lake Church - 'Potential'. Looking at the book of Genesis and specifically the life and calling of Abraham. God promised Abe that his descendants would be uncountable like the 'stars in the sky.' A promise ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. Through His life, death and resurrection Jesus has and is continuing to gather an amazing family from every nation called to be blessed by God's grace and to be a blessing to the earth.

People who Jesus has blessed me through:
My wife Nerida.
My three boys; Will, Fergus and Archie.
My Dad and Mum.
My four sisters, their husbands and their amazing kids.
My Pastors and Coaches - David and Shawn.
My Aussie Pastors - Mike, Wayne, Roly, Bob, Mark, Steve and their wives.
My Aussie mates - Dan, Jens, Phil, Ben, Tim, Sam, Chocko, Michael... Hang on I'll be blogging all day. I've been blessed by more than I can count let alone write down here!

Bottom line - Mountain Laker? Get to church this Sunday we're going to celebrate the Collective Potential that as followers of Jesus we have to change the world for good.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Andrew Smith & Derwin Gray

Hey it was great to meet Pastors Andrew Smith and D-Gray from The Gathering Church, Charlotte, North Carolina at Exponential last week. D-Gray was actually a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers and just talking to these guys on the flight and at the conference made me sure that The Gathering would be a church I'd be keen to check out if I moved to Charlotte. Great to see men like Andrew and Derwin leading the charge forward for Jesus.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

THR3E Conference Event - Elevation Church - Session One

Today I had the privilege of attending the THR3E Conference Event put on by Pastor Steven Furtick and the Elevation staff. It was a great day of teaching, encouragement, insight and in Pastor Steven's own words 'impartation.' Here's some of what was shared...

First Session - Casting Vision, Creating Culture.Three words Elevation is to be known for:
1. Audacity - it is a 'spirit', an attitude, not a set of actions. It takes audaciousness to start something from nothing but that is the essence of God present in our lives. He spoke into the nothing and created and now He speaks into and through us and makes that which was dead and 'not' alive and a new creation. Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no revelation (from God) the people cast off restraint." Audaciousness comes from knowing clearly what it is that God is calling you to do. Humble yourself. Pray, fast and be secure in who God is in YOU. Don't try to be everyone else.
2. Honor - Honor one another and especially the leadership God has placed over you. Do not entertain a divisive spirit for a second. Respect is earned, but honor is freely given by honorable men. Pastors should allow others to not only respect but honor them, for their sake. Pastors should also honor down. 1 Samuel 24; David honored Saul and didn't steal what God had promised.
3. Generosity - 101 is the tithe. Lead by example. If you want the congregation to bleed you and the leader must go first and haemorrage yourself. Have the courage and confidence to call your congregation to grow in the gift of generosity for where their treasure is there their hearts are also. God doesn't need their money, they need to grow in generosity. Consecrate yourself to the Lord and purge the fear, deny and break the power of the flesh. Pray, fast and challenge them to give in the Spirit of Jesus.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Scott Hodge

Great to meet Pastor Scott Hodge at Exponential last week. Scott has in effect taken over his fathers established church and transitioned it into The Orchard, a healthy, growing 21C Christian community. I have learnt alot from Scott by just reading his blog over the last couple of years, check it out here. I also appreciated his advice for pastors considering a revitalisation work in existing 'flatlined' or declining church.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Matt Chandler

Pastor Matt Chandler from The Village Church gave some great advice for church planters. I really appreciate the way God is using Matt to encourage and equip planters and pastors. He is by far my favorite communicator at this season of my life. Check out his blog here.

ANZAC Day 2009 - Lest we forget

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shawn & Tricia Lovejoy on Church Planting @

Pastor Shawn and Tricia Lovejoy share with Pastors Troy Gramling and Heather Palacios (Flamingo Road Church) about their journey as church planters and pastors of a church planting church.

I love each one of these four people and what Jesus is doing in and through them in their communities.

Listen in CLICK Here.

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Efrem Smith

Great to meet Pastor Efrem Smith at Exponential's Post Launch Track that ran this past week.

Church Planter Advice - Jan Greigo

Exponential - Monday April 20, 2009.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe - Larry Osborne

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity of reading Pastor Larry Osborne’s new book, “10 Dumb Things Smart Christian Believe.” Firstly right up front I loved this book, it was an easy read and Biblically solid. I recommend it as a great tool for opening conversations about Jesus with seekers and also for encouraging Jesus followers to be discerning and continually seek to search God’s Word when it comes to the things we 'just assume' about God and what it means to know and follow Jesus.

In this book Pastor Larry succeeds in not only identifying ten sinister “spiritual urban legends” but clearly counteracts their claims with sound Biblical teaching. A few examples include the beliefs; “Faith can fix anything”, “A Godly home guarantees Godly kids”, “God brings good luck” and “Dead people go to a better place."

With this book Pastor Larry continues to deliver the goods as a Pastor-teacher. I am forever in debt to His earlier work “The Unity Factor” pick it up. You will not be disappointed with either book. Happy reading, and remember true life change comes only when we lean into Jesus and seek to apply His Truth in our lives.

Advice for Planters - God

" ...your fruitfulness comes from Me."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Brisbane needs Jesus

Over the past few weeks I've had the privilege of sharing at five Mountain Lake "Backstage" vision casting events. I love the way everyone at MLC loves Jesus and His vision of reaching those who are the least and lost. Fires me up all the more for sharing the truth about Jesus with the people of Brisbane. A quick snapshot:

Greater Brisbane Area has a little over 2.5 million people.
1800 people are moving in every week.
If only 2.5% make it to church on any given Sunday in the next two years we will need:
31 new churches of 150 or
10 new churches of 500.
That's not even taking into account the 97.5% who don't know Jesus.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Perfect or Not?

I love that my Lord and friend Jesus came, lived, died and rose again for that which was lost. That includes me. I thank God that it matters not what others think about me or what I think, what matters is what God thinks about me because of what Jesus Christ has done for me. This clip of Matt Chandler sums it up well.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nerida V's Vanessa Branch

Gotta love this clip James Rodder pulled together for Mountain Lake Church's Easter Saturday/Sunday Services. For me Ned beats Vanessa hands down... FABULOUS! What do you think?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday Afternoon - Braves Game!

Thanks to our special friends and fellow Aussies the Henderson family got to have the experience of a lifetime, we got to attend a Braves home game at Atlanta's Turner field.

The boys loved every minute of it. Indian 'chopping' and whooping, general cheering, hotdogs, red ice, seeing a home run and booing Washington. Highlights of the day for the boys (and shy Nerida) was getting on the Jumbo-screen. The Braves WON! And for me to see all three of the boys getting to run around the bases (and got a certificate and a Braves T'shirt) after the game. Thanks Jason and Michelle, it was a day we will all remember for a lifetime.

Easter Sunday at Mountain Lake Church

What an absolutely amazing day to be a part of the church family that is Mountain Lake Church. Woke up to a beautiful clear crisp Spring morning. Along with all the last minute finishing touches I got to help set up an Outside First Time Guests Check-in station. What a great idea. With Heidi's canopy decked out with Pam's helium balloons it was a hit with all the nervous first time parents. We got to walk them right through to their kids rooms and then make sure they got a coffee and a seat. Every one I got to lead thanked me repeatedly. Another simple way MLC is changing the way people think about Jesus and His Church in Forsyth County.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday 2009

Woke up to 6 boys running riot.
Cuppa with Mum and Dad and then Cracker Barrel for Breakfast.
Then back home to enjoy the Tornado warnings, rain, hail and lightning with the family.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Aussie Men

Today I was remided of those who gave all... and never came home.

Think Team - Part one - Shepherding the Flock

Last Thursday Pastor Shawn Lovejoy lead our Coaching Network through 1 Peter 5:1-5. Here's a few insights:

Over and over God through His Word exhorts and reminds Pastor/Elders to shepherd His flock the people of God. To shepherd means to be diligent to care, tend & exercise oversight. Peter points out a few things about this oversight;

Determine to Shepherd.
Not under compulsion but voluntarily, willingly and according to the will of God. Eagerly provide oversight. Bottom line: This passage gives you permission: lead the church. Lead it well and do not succumb to the temptation to give the leadership away.

Humble yourselves
In verse five Peter makes it clear that the younger men are to humble themselves and subject themselves to their Pastors. Likewise the Pastor/Elders and indeed the entire church are also urged be humble when relating to one another as “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Bottom line: God’s grace flows through humble Jesus centered people.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Eyes on the prize

Growing up learning to play backyard cricket my Dad would often tell me and my sisters, "Keep your eye on the ball." Simple advice when it comes to slogging a ball over the back fence. Real hard when it comes to life. Today I remind myself of the prize that I must keep my eyes on - to know and follow Jesus Christ.

Jesus came not to be served but to serve. He came not to take what was His but to give Himself. He came to love those who hate Him. He came to seek and save the lost. His call remains; "You, come follow me." A challenge that has profound implications for you and me today, tomorrow, next year...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor David Putman

This past year I have had the once in a lifetime opportunity to be coached by one of the best church planting coaches around - David Putman. I love David's heart for gathering and developing men. The result - a growing movement of leaders who love and follow Jesus and are planting churches around the world.
David's books - click and try a sample chapter, you might get hooked.
Breaking the Discipleship Code
Breaking the Misssional Code

St George Illawarra Dragons beat Brisbane Broncos

ONLY Wayne Bennett could have pulled it off.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Think Team -

Today I have the privilege of being a part of the monthly onsite coaching network. It's simple really. 12 planters sitting in a circle discussing "best practices" with Pastors and Coaches Shawn and David. Today we're looking at the core component that is : "Thinking Team."

"Leaders who experience significant breakthroughs are always thinking team. It is one of their primary responsibilities. They have the ability to identify and raise up teams out of their organization. However, it doesn't end there. They also have the ability to attract high level team players and coach them to play at their greatest capacity. The best leaders spend lots of time with their team. The best leaders understand that entrepreneurship is not leadership. Entrepreneurship plus teamwork is. Are you thinking team?"
For all my American mates the picture is of Wayne Bennett, greatest football (Rugby League) player-coach that has ever lived. A hero, inspirational leader and fair dinkum Aussie Legend.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Trading the Vision for Success.

If the primary aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. - Thomas Aquinas

I keep seeing that the greatest enemy to true leadership is to achieve some success pursuing the vision. Once some success has been achieved the stakes are indeed raised. There is now a choice between continuing to move forward or to stop and guard. True leaders do take into account the added responsibility they now have to care for the success achieved but they also remain committed to leading forward. That is leadership. To decide to stop and guard the 'success' means decay, appathy and ultimately to loose both the vision you started with and the success you stopped to protect.

Jesus challenged His church about this very issue in Revelation 3. Have you traded pursuing the vision for a success achieved on the way? Beware it is pure folly and unless you return to the vision you risk loosing everything.