Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt - Part One

Last week I had the privilege of meeting and learning from Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt of Soma Communities, Tacoma WA. Jeff shared some great things with me and I wanted to share the core with you. I will share Part Two later this week.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vail Colorado Acts 29 Retreat 2009

This past week Nerida and I had an amazing time in Vail Colorado with the Acts 29 Leadership Retreat. We truly thank God for this amazing few days, relaxing, being refreshed, encouraged and meeting so many men and women who are passionate about following Jesus and seeing His name being made famous throughout the nations.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pastor - Keep Yourself Healthy

Lead Pastors, if we are going to position ourselves to see maximum impact for Christ in our community/world we need to understand that there are five things that you must focus on (repeatedly):
1. Leading and equipping the team.
2. Casting the vision.
3. Financing the mission.
4. Being the primary communicator – constantly growing in delivering the multifaceted good news to lost, hurting, discouraged people in a clear, honest, gracious, hope filled and inspiring way.
5. Nurturing your personal vitality – You will only reproduce what you are.

This is your job description and five sweet spots you as the lead pastor need to be constantly positioning and repositioning yourself in as the spiritual leader of your church. Anyone can build a organization but it takes a disciple to be a channel for God to build a community of disciples. It really does begin with the lead man. It is your job and it is your second in charge’s job description to be your man at arms in guarding and helping you to get into and keep in these 5 areas.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How do I follow Jesus? - Part Two

Yesterday I threw down some thoughts in response to the question I was asked by a Christian: "How do I follow Jesus?"

When we're seeking to explain what following Jesus means I reckon it's very helpful to say what it is not. Here's just a few. Following Jesus is not praying a prayer asking God to forgive you and committing to follow Jesus THEN:
* Trying to earn your way right with God by daily ticking off a bunch of rules and laws.
* Living a lifestyle where you judge how good you are going by how bad you think everyone else is.
* Thinking it's all about you, about you always getting ahead in life materially and financially etc.

Pastor Matt Chandler from The Village Church shares some good thoughts on this below:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How do I follow Jesus?

How do you follow Jesus? That was a question I was asked earlier this afternoon. And as far as I'm concerned it is the question that needs to be answered over all others. You see, when Jesus began His ministry 2000 odd years ago He did so by simply inviting a bunch of ordinary fishermen to 'Come follow me'. They did and history records that they ended up "turning the world upside down." I also believe that Jesus continues to invite people today to 'come follow'. So it is really, really important that we understand what Jesus means when he says, "You, come follow me."

My Thoughts:
LEADERSHIP : Firstly, it's Jesus who's leading not you or me. Jesus invites us to follow Him as we walk through life. That means Jesus is the 'leader' not me, not you. It's Jesus who is calling the shots.

TRUST : It's about an ongoing trust relationship. To follow Jesus' leadership I need to continue to place my trust in Him and in His direction and ways.

MOTIVATION : Religion tells us, "Do these things and God will accept you or like you." Jesus on the other hand says, "I accept you as you are AND I invite you right now to place your trust in My leadership, the forgiveness I offer and My power to live a life that honors God." Where religion demands I strive to be good enough Jesus accepts, forgives, leads and empowers you to actually live a life of practical love, a life you never would thought was possible.

What do you think? Let's nail this down together for the sake of Jesus, His Kingdom and those who don't know Him yet.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


We can't believe it. It is only literally weeks before we
arrive back home to begin a new church in Brisbane!

As I look back over the last year there is one word that best describes my feelings: THANKFULNESS. I am moved with thankfulness to God for this time of growth as a person, leader and as a family. I am thankful to Pastors' David Putman and Shawn Lovejoy for investing in me and this new church. I am thankful for the people who are Mountain Lake Church, for their love and generosity to my family. I'm thankful for the vision and generosity of the Presbyterian Church of Qld, Australia and the relationships forged with various other churches and organisations who are encouraging this new church. I am also deeply thankful to God for the grace and generosity that YOU our friends and family have shown by supporting us during this time of training. Your prayers, letters, cards and support have been so encouraging to my family and I. They have been God's grace at work in our lives. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thoughts from the past week

Here are some of the things that I have been chewing on as I've spent time thinking, praying and reflecting this past week.

God : "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing right." James 2:8.

"God measures people by the small dimensions of humility and not by the bigness of their achievements, or by the size of their capabilities." Billy Graham.

An emerging vision for Brisbane : A new church where people's lives are marked by Jesus' presence expressed in actions where small things done in big love change the world forever.