Thursday, September 23, 2010

Engage Care | Karen Garage Sale 2010

Yearly there has been a "Giant Garage Sale" in Brisbane to raise money for the work on the Thai-Burma border. It is happening again this year on Saturday 2nd October, 7am to noon. Please come along and spend up big!!!

Also, we need your goods. Toys that now sit lonesome, that breadmaker you swore would come in good use, that lamp you bought on impulse, anything you think is worth selling we would love to have at our garage sale. If you have things to donate to the garage sale you can leave them at Creek Rd Presbyterian Church building Monday 27th to Thursday 30th September (9am-4pm) or Friday 1st October (9am-9pm).

All the money will go towards education in 3 primary schools in Mae Hla Refugee Camp and 1 high school (Noh Bo Academy). This will help fund teachers' salaries, uniforms, health, toiletries, education needs, building maintenance and travel. Brochures will be available at Engage on Sunday explaining the work at the border. The funds will be distributed by our partner church, Christ Church Bangkok.

If you've got any questions contact me (Tim) on tim at

This is just another great way Engage City Church can partner with God's global work!

Written by Tim Iedema

Engage ate it’s way to educating a child in Zambia

It costs $12.50 per month to educate a child in Zambia.

That’s AU$150 per year.

With that in mind Tash, Dora and others set out on their great adventure to raise some, if not all the money required to help educate a child trapped in poverty. With help from many, and a cast of post breakfast stomachs they set out to see what they could do. There was little notice but a fair amount of “gusto”, Engage ate enough chocolate crackles/coconut slice/date slice/ chocolate slice/baklava/cheese cake (I think you get the picture) before lunch to raise AU$180.00 from the slice sale on Sunday, the 19th Sep. But wait, there’s more. Tash went to a desert night later that same night and sold some more, raising a total of AU$281.65. Nice!

So what happens now?

This is all part of Tash and Ryan’s efforts to raise funds for Eagle Wings (, which includes their 1500 km pushbike ride from Brisbane to Canberra.

Eagle Wings, founded in 2003, is a Zambian based organisation that builds schools and educates children in Zambia. Started by Lackson Matolokoshi, a church planter, who realised that there were many Zambians who could not read the Bible because they had never attended school. Lackson started teaching adults at his Grace and Truth Baptist Church, but quickly realised that many children wanted to learn, and started to attend. These children were learning so fast that he had to separate them from the adults.

Seeing a growing need to educate these children trapped in poverty, Lackson started Eagle Wings. And now with the contribution of many like Tash, Ryan, and you, Eagle Wings Australia is hoping not only to help build schools, and educate children, but are working towards sending two 20 foot containers, one from Brisbane and one Sydney, filled with educational resources to use in the whole School from Grades 1-12.

So well done Engage. With your stomachs full you can be content in the knowledge that you have helped educate a child and possibly help break their poverty cycle in Zambia!

Written by Rob Boynton

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Measure of a Man

"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
Samuel Johnson, 18th-cenutry British author.

Naw Eh Khu Moo, an ethnic Karen refugee boy waits for treatment with his father, a landmine victim at a refugee hospital in Mae Sot, Thailand, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007. (source)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Church planting in Northern Thailand

Peter, writing to the church persecuted and scattered throughout Asia, encourages them by saying, “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.”

Over the past ten days an Elder of my church plant and I had the privilege of visiting and spending time with the leaders of the Karen people, 200,000 of which are living as refugees on the border between Thailand and Burma. Brutally oppressed by the Burmese army as 'insurgents' and rejected by the Thai authorities these people live in appalling conditions, and yet are some of the most generous, faithful and joyful people I have ever met!

After arriving on the border, we were chauffeured around in a 4x4 by the personal body guard of one of the Karen leaders. It was weird being driven around the beautiful countryside by a professional body-guard bearing the nickname 'skinhead'. We visited christian orphanages, schools, churches and church plants scattered throughout the jungle, however the majority of our time was spent teaching the leadership from 1 Peter and Acts. We sweated, laughed, cried, ate and prayed with our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. And when we had to come home a bit of our heart stayed behind with these beautiful people.

Peter's message of joyfully standing firm in the amazing salvation of Jesus Christ in spite of cruel and oppressive persecution remains a message for the church today, especially for our brothers and sisters amongst the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand. Please pray for them. They are oppressed on every side and yet joyfully standing firm in Jesus. If you would like to find out more about supporting the work of planting and nurturing churches amongst the Karen people please email me at

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thai Border Trip Day Two

Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok is the mother of all markets... There was everything there. Overwhelming, exciting, amazing and sad at the same time. And the smells... Wow I thought working in a feedlot was bad...

Thia Burma Trip 2010 Day 2 Markets from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Thai Border Trip Day One

Thai Burma Trip Day One 2010 from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Last night in Bangkok it was encouraging to chat with Peter, a local Pastor, who together with his wife had moved from the UK to see good news of Jesus shared in this region. Though my eyes felt like they were falling out I was intrigued by their vision, passion and heavy burden for true discipleship. As we sat over coffee and filtered water our discussion focused on the need for long term investment in the lives of the people. Yes it is important for men and women to come and visit and see for themselves that “the fields are ripe for harvest,” but what is imperative is that some then prayerfully commit to return and make disciples over a period of three, five or longer years. It is only as deep relationships are built around Jesus that a movement will be unleashed... And for those who come for a visit and return to Brisbane, the challenge is the same. Will you commit to a community for 3, 5 or longer years? Will you commit to intentionally building and nurturing relationships centred around Jesus? Discipleship is not only powerful, it is Jesus' chosen way of transforming the world. Jesus told His disciples,
“O have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disiples to obey all the commands that I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tony Morgan on why churches fail to grow

Tony Morgan - author, church strategist, and pastor of ministries at West Ridge Church in Atlanta - recently remembered a conversation he had with a denominational leader about the attributes of a declining church. Morgan remarked, "When I work with churches for the first time, sometimes they're frustrated with me because I'm not willing to help them fix something specific...Churches can become convinced they know why their church isn't growing."

Morgan said these five foundational aspects need to be addressed first:
• Lack of mission and vision clarity
• Failure to define a concise strategy to help newcomers become fully devoted followers of Christ
• A complex structure
• Inward-focus with little connection to the community
• Weak leadership, especially in the senior pastor role

Morgan also said he was surprised by the number of churches that "would rather close their doors than make the necessary changes" to avoid decline. He concluded by saying churches unwilling to address these elements will not shift their decline, no matter how hard they try.
( 7/15/10, via Church Leaders Intelligence Report)

Also here is a interview Tony had with Will Mancini regarding 5 questions to clarify vision.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Engage City Church 6 Month Celebrations

Wow I can't believe that it is 6 months since Engage City Church launched publicly in Norman Park.
Here are a couple of videos that will paint the picture as to the journey that Jesus has had us all on together.
Thanks Rob for your work on the videos, you're help has been tremendous!

Engage's 6th Month Anniversary from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Engage City Church 6 months celebrations from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Acts 29 Sydney Bootcamp 2010

Been great to spend the past few days with some exceptional men and women in Sydney. It has been fantastic to gather around our Lord and celebrate the work Jesus is doing in and through us.

From Left
Andrew Heard, Dave Taylor, Donna & Mike Gunn, Wilma & David Fandey, Jeff Vandersteldt, Adam & Amy Witanowski, Steve Addison, Will & Nerida Henderson.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Engage Mission Teams - Engaging Brisbane

Since the launch of our Mission Teams I've been really excited about the impact that we're going to have on the people of Brisbane. Not only are our Mission Teams intent on reading and applying the Bible together, praying and encouraging one another, but our Teams will be intentionally serving the people of Brisbane and engaging them with Jesus. Here are just a few ideas we brainstormed how we can intentionally share the love of Jesus with our community:
* Give away free bottles of water
* Run a free BBQ at a local kids sporting event
* Host a block party for your street
* Buy boxes of chocolates and drop around to elderly shut ins
* Visit a nursing home and just listen
* Help out other like minded community based groups

Can you think of others?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Six Month Anniversary - Engage City Church

I'm so pumped up about Celebrating this Sunday our six month anniversary at Engage City Church!
Jesus has done so much amongst us since we launched publicly on Valentines Day past.
* Our launch team of 23 has grown to around 65 adults and 20 kids!
* We've launched four mission teams intent on engaging the people of Brisbane with Jesus.
* We had a blast with our first annual Easter Egg Hunt at Norman Park State School.
* Building renovations were unanimously approved.
* Men have been chosen for our Leadership Team; Rob, Sam, Tim and Ian.
* We've had our first baby born!
* We've been gifted with playground equipment by Norman Park State School.
* We've grown in our relationship with Jesus as we've worked through the books of Ruth, Luke, Psalms, 1 Thessalonians and now James.
* Had a mission team from Georgia visit and serve.
* Ran a bible camp for 200 Karen Refugee children.
* Rachel visited and served the Karen people for four weeks.
* Approved our first annual budget and building renovation plans/budget.
* Donated piles of blankets to refugees throughout Brisbane.
* and the list goes on...
Join us this Sunday and better yet bring a friend as we share some key announcements that will change everything as we seek to push forward in seeing people far from God engaged with Jesus and the life He offers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Will Jr meets the Hon Kevin Rudd

So pumped for little Will. Last night he received his award for excellence in Art, Ernie Adsett Award, by the Hon Kevin Rudd.
The initiative's aim is to encourage children to remember those who laid down their lives in war for the freedom we enjoy in Australia. Well done Will!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Acts 29 Partner shot dead in Pakistan

Please pray for the family and congregation of Pastor Rashid Emmanuel who was shot dead in Faisalabad, Pakistan, yesterday. Pastor Rashid, a partner of the Acts 29 Network, was shot leaving court after being exonerated from accusations of blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad. Pray for God's grace, comfort and peace.

Click here for BBC Newsreport.

Please also pray for those involved in murdering Pastor Rashid and the nation of Pakistan which is 97% Muslim. Pray that the love and grace of God will be revealed to them in the good news of Jesus Christ.

Pakistan’s blasphemy law has been critiqued for being vague and subject to exploitation by those hostile to Christianity:
Section 295-C: Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet. Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

Julia Gillard - Forward, Upward, Twirling

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's election slogan "Moving Forward" sounds suspiciously like alien Kang's election slogan from the Simpsons... Hmmm

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Engage Church - Refugee Care Push

It was fantastic to see the people of Engage come together yesterday to serve Refugees in Brisbane. It was so encouraging to see the pile of blankets growing at front of the room. If you missed out on being a part of it all yesterday and want to express your love for God by giving to those less fortunate, why not bring along a blanket to Engage City Church this coming Sunday.

Will & Fergus Refugee Care from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sunday Reflection

Today was amazing.
- We launched our brand new series 100% James. I talked about how everyone will face trails and temptations, what makes the difference is our decision to either trust Jesus and lean into Him OR disengage from Him and embrace sin. I think it went well. There was a fair bit of positive feedback and I'm pumped to preach again next Sunday on James' letter to the Church.
- Tim, Yoriko, Sam and Jess did a great job on music and Steve as usual made everyone sound sweet.
- There was a huge pile of blankets at front of the room as people kept bringing in blankets for our Refugee Care push.
- I got to have lunch with a visitor and it's always great to hear people talk about Jesus stretching and growing them
- My beautiful wife played the piano for the early service, she still has got it :)
- The kids had a great time in Engage Kids. They especially loved the game Lauren had them playing where they got to read out sentences from the Bible. It was cool to go and pick them up and they were all still sitting around in a circle quietly praying.
- Looking forward to Tuesday night and our first ever Mission Team get together. Exciting times.
- Archie wore his Pirate hat to church, he so wants to be a Pirate. So do I.

Hindu God's Can't Trade

I couldn't help but laugh when I read this article today that describes a recent Indian Court ruling. The ruling declares that Hindu God's including Ganesha are unable to trade in shares because according to Judges P.B. Majumdar and Rajendra Sawant "Trading in shares on the stock market requires certain skills and expertise and to expect this from deities would not be proper."

Duh, of course they can't trade. They're just statues and pictures... Good luck talking much less trading the stockmarket. Anyway the Judges go on to say, "Gods and goddesses are meant to be worshipped in temples, not dragged into commercial activities like share trading." Sound's like they're pretty impotent 'gods' really.

I'm glad that the Bible teaches us, "The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man..." Thank goodness for that :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Engage Mission Team Launch

Been up early this morning thinking and praying for the brand new Engage City Church Mission Teams that were launched last night. These groups of people are going to love and serve the people of Brisbane with Jesus in amazing ways.

Our Mission Teams are the 'Studs' of small groups. They are open welcoming groups scattered throughout the city. Each team gathers together during the week to encourage one another in Jesus and to engage together with Him. They also are intentional about serving and loving the people around about them and seeking to engage them with Jesus.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fergus defeats the CLAW

It was great to spend a few hours with the boys at DREAMWORLD on Saturday.
The boys wanted to ride the CLAW, and how could I chicken out if they wanted to ride the feakingly scary mind bruising stomach churning ride of pain. So we rode it. I had my eyes open for the first half but then squeezed them firmly shut only to open them at the end. I looked over to Will who was smiling. Turned to Fergus and his head was hanging down, eyes closed and spit dribbling out of his mouth. I said "You okay mate?" To which he slowly lifted his head, opened his eyes and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "Yeah Dad" he mumbled. We got off the ride and started shuffling around to meet Nerida and Arch.
Now this is the crazy part. As we turned the corner Fergus ran ahead and started punching the air whooping, "Yeah, that was awesome! That was awesome MUM!" Will and I looked at each other, we weren't one bit convinced, he is his mothers boy though.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

iPhone 4g Launch Madness

Hey, right up front I admit that I love all my Apple tech gear. The ways Apple is smashing the competition at the moment are too many to list, try googling it :) I also love to see my family members try, see and buy one too! But I can't understand the madness that I am hearing of geeks lining up for days to buy the new iPhone 4g. One simple reason:
You could have preordered the phone and already got it.
No phone is going to make me physically sick with weirdo googoo excitment. It is a phone at the end of the day, get over it boys and girls.

2 Timothy 2:2

Following Jesus must happen in the context of relationships. This is the way God has decided things will be. You just can't be a mature growing Christian outside of real gospel centered relationships (Ephesians 4).

Who are you engaging with around the truth of Jesus? Who is allowed to speak into your life the gospel? Is there anyone who really knows you? Our ability to engage with others as we follow Jesus will determine our growth and maturity in Him. It's just the way our Leader rolls.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Acts 29 Australia Bootcamp 2010

Excited to get the word out for:
Australia Bootcamp, Sydney, August 9-10 2010.
EIGHT reasons to attend:
1. Jeff Vandersteldt, Soma Communities will be teaching on the role missional communities can play in church planting.
2. David Fandey, The Fields Church and Mike Gunn, Harambee Church will be teaching on Gospel driven leadership, mission and community.
3. Steve Addison will be teaching on movements and Jesus' call for us to join Him in His Gospel movement.
4. A track for wives is available and taught by experienced church planter's wives.
5. Wives attend FREE! Jesus loves pastors wives a lot, so we do too.
6. At $149 for two days training, lunch and all the coffee you can drink - it is great value.
7. Sydney is always cool to visit :)
8. Interaction with other Jesus hearted Pastors and Church Planters over good coffee and around meals.

For more information go to
If you want to register - send an email to will at engagecitychurch dot com and we'll get you an info pack.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How is 'Christianity' relevant for today’s culture?

In August Engage City Church's Mission Teams will begin an eight week study lead by Tim Keller. I'm thrilled by the content of Kellers "Gospel in Life - Grace Changes Everything" resource. I highly recommend it to anyone following or considering following Jesus.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hearing for the first time

This is absolutely one of the best 'ahhaah moments' I've seen for a while. It's a clip of eight month old Jonathan as they fire up his cochlear implant and he hears his first sounds, specifically his Mum welcoming him. Hey men it's okay if you have a slight urge to squint and wipe some dust out of your eye when Jon's dummy literally drops out of his mouth. I love the significance of this moment. Fantastic.

Dragons are smokin in 2010

I love the National Rugby League table right now. St George Dragons are sitting pretty on the top of the table and though it is a long way to the final, I love the way the Dragons have matured under the steady hand of Master Coach Wayne Bennett. After a disappointing five years under Nathan Brown it's been great to see how Wayne has been able to coach the Dragons to a minor premiership in his first year (2009) and with just two losses this year I hope they go all the way. I love the Red and White.

The fact that my mate Ian White's team the Manly Sea Eagles are tracking a close second only makes the winter that much more fun. Go the Sunday arvo footie.

Engage City Church | Recycle 2010

This past Saturday Engage City Church cycled their way into history smashing the competition and winning the title of support raising champions for the Leprosy Missions ReCycle 2010. With all funds going to help people with leprosy, I’m so stinking proud and excited of the Engage Team.
You guys and gals ROCK!

Engage City Church ReCycle 2010 from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pre Launch Coaching with David Putman

Planting? Thinking of planting? Thinking of revitalizing an old work?
Well make sure that you get in on Pastor David Putman's Pre-Launch Tele-Coaching Network. In this coaching network you will discover how to achieve eight major milestones for launching a healthy missional church.

This Tele-Coaching Network is designed around David Putman’s resource Launching Large: Milestones for Planting a Church.
Milestone # 1: Preparation…Am I ready?
Milestone # 2: Context…Do I have the place?
Milestone #3: Resources…Do I have enough money?
Milestone #4: Team…Do I have the people?
Milestone #5: Vision…Do I have the plan?
Milestone # 6: Cultivate…Have I networked my community
Milestone #7: Launch…Am I ready to go public?
Milestone #8: Connect…Am I ready make disciples?

I can personally vouch for Pastor David's love for Christ and His Church. I spent twelve months being coached and prepared to plant Engage City Church under David and it was time very well spent. Preparation is crucial. More information? Click here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Fan - New series begins this Sunday

Hey, join us this Sunday as we kick off a new series "The Fan". Over the next few weeks we'll be laying the foundation for what Engage City Church is on about. As a new church we exist to see people far from God engaged with Jesus and the life He offers. We exist to see people become followers of Jesus. The dictionary says that a fan is "an enthusiastic follower." We exist to see people become raving fans of Jesus Christ.

The Fan from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hospitality - the power

Today we're so busy running here, there and everywhere I think we miss out on the power of simply slowing down. Slowing down and clearing our schedule to relax and meet with some good friends and enjoying a good meal together. I'm always blown away by the life change that I desperately pray for and desire in my own life most often comes over a meal with friends who I know love me. Similarly, the way Jesus most often uses me isn't through well planned 'classes', conferences, tracts... but from simply offering and sharing my life, my space, my food and the gospel with someone someone who is far from God. Jesus uses this simple offering, this simple environment and repeatedly engages and impacts people with His love and life. Worth reminding myself and Engage City Church about :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Am I a church planter?

"Every young man that considers church planting asks the question, Am I a Church Planter? It is the question I asked myself before planting a church. It is the question we ask every man who submits himself to our Acts 29 assessment process to be a lead planter in our network. Many times he is depending on our assessment process to confirm his calling. "
Scott Thomas on this subject...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Good News - God will call the game

This Sunday as we hit part three of our new series, The Gospel, we'll be journeying through the history of Israel from the time of King David. Sadly the kingship of Dave was really the high point of Israel's monarchy. After David died Israel as a nation slipped and slid into division, rebellion, exile and devastation. This Sunday we're going to see that God cares so much for His people that when we rebel He remains faithful and commits to disciplining us to bring us back from our path to self destruction.

Discipline. I don't think it's ever been a word or concept that's ever been real popular. Discipline rubs us up the wrong way. Discipline implies that we're in the wrong and we need another's correction to bring us back on track. Discipline is not popular but it is the loving thing to do when a loved one is engaging in self destructive behavior. I thank God that He not only lovingly disciplines when necessary but that Jesus has given us His Spirit that we might embrace His leadership and actually change and grow!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Planters - Be Clear About the Vision

Planter? Replant Pastor? Leader? You must be clear about the vision and your core commitments that flow from it. To be unclear or uncommitted to the vision you fail as a leader. At Engage City Church we are committed to seeing people far from God engaged with Jesus and the life He offers. That is our vision. And our core commitments that flow from this are to continually; Gather, Grow and Go for Jesus.

Being clear about the vision keeps us on track as we follow Jesus.
Being clear about the vision allows our church to say yes to some people and plans and no to others that would ultimately sidetrack us off following and serving Jesus and His gospel work.
Being clear about the vision allows us to clear in our direction and flexible in how we pursue it at the same time.

Dana's Journey

I’m totally blown away by the ongoing impact that people can have when they love each other with the love of Jesus. This past Sunday was fantastic as we continued our ‘Gospel’ series and celebrated Mothers Day. It was great honoring both our ’spiritual’ and ‘biological’ mums. I can’t stop myself laughing as I think about the way Ian spilt all the Ferrero Rochers, I’m sure there were a few blokes who stashed a few :)

Rachel, Ian and Jess did a great job with the music and introduced a new song. A real highlight was the thoughts that Dana shared about the way God has ministered to her at Engage City Church, here is the clip if you’re interested…

Dana's Journey | Engage City Church from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Gospel - New Series this Sunday

God has some good news for you. In fact it's great news! It's what followers of Jesus call the 'gospel.' The gospel or the good news of God is profoundly simple and extraordinarily complex at the same time. Though it can be understood and trusted in by a child : "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16) it is also the entire message of the Bible. Over the next four weeks join us as we set out to see how the big picture of the Bible centers around the promise, arrival, life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the subsequent pouring out of His Spirit to everyone who trusts in Him for forgiveness and life. The gospel... good stuff. Bring a friend, they deserve to hear this great news too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ANZAC Day Service

This Sunday we remember those who sacrificed so that we might have freedom. I cannot help but be reminded of my Master's words to His followers in John 10:17 "Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
It is good to remember the sacrifice others have made, but more importantly we embrace and engage with the result of their sacrifice. This Sunday is a day to say thankyou to the 1000's of soldiers who sacrificed for pursuit of freedom but most of all to thank God for the amazing sacrifice He made to finalize freedom in Jesus' death and resurrection.
We would love you to join us this Sunday at Engage City Church, 10.30-11.30am, 68 Longfellow Street, Norman Park.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Playing to your Strengths

As a team at Engage City Church we're committed to working to our strengths. I've personally found the book "Now Discover Your Strengths" by Tom Rath extremely helpful both personally and as I seek to equip and lead the Engage Team.
It's amazing that in a recent Gallup poll of over 1000 people it was found that among those who "strongly disagreed" or "disagreed" with the statement "At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday" NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON was emotionally engaged on the job! Rath goes on to point out that:
"In stark contrast, our studies indicate that people who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report an excellent quality of life in general."
Makes it clear that as a leader I need to be ensuring that my team is equipped and working in the area of their strengths.
Not surprising that God told his church a long time ago that we need each others unique gifts to be truly mature. Ephesians 4:7-13.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fergus has lost his two front Teeth!

There's something special about the day you loose your two front teeth. Fergus has stepped acoss that line today. Nerida and I are so proud of our boys. We love the way Fergus is now talking like Daffy Duck :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Jesus Counsels Through Relationships

When it comes to identifying gospel error and replacing it gospel truth I think of it along these lines:
1. Be a friend, someone people trust and will be honest with.
2. Listen. I mean really listen. You can only help if you have truly heard the heart pain that lies beneath the outward wound.
3. Resist the urge to speak. Instead try stopping and thinking about what they are actually sharing with you. Prayerfully ask God to help you to identify the assumptions they are living by.
4. Respond - for example: "So I'm hearing that you think that you're situation it hopeless, is this right?"
5. If they agree, respond lovingly with the good news and truth of Jesus Christ. For example: "Well I know that things feel terrible right now, and I'm not trying to minimize your pain, but Jesus tells us that no matter what struggles or pains we face He longs to lead us through. Jesus died and rose again so we can have hope in whatever circumstances we face. I've found that when I struggle with hopelessness I can draw fresh hope from Romans chapter 8, especially verses 28-39. Would you mind if I read them with you?"
6. Ask if they would mind if you pray for them and their situation. It is a very rare person who refuses to be prayed for. Pray for God to open our hearts and give us faith that we might believe Him and live by His word.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Way Jesus Counsels

A Pastor friend recently shared a thought that I have reworked. It has the power to change any life. It is mine.
"Listen for gospel error... replace lovingly with gospel truth."
Simple, Powerful, Transferrable. This is what Jesus wants His followers to do in their own lives and in the lives of others.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My little Sisters Blog

Great to see my sister Mary has started blogging. It's a great and simple way we Aussies can keep in touch with their amazing adventures in the U-S of A.
Tay-Bee in his new time machine.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Archies Easter Card

This is the Easter Card Archie drew for me at School this week. This is his explanation : "Up the top is God dying on the cross and below is us Dad."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Sunday - New Series

We continue to follow the ministry of Jesus in the Book of Luke. Jesus makes it clear when it comes to following Him: no perfect people are allowed. And that's good news for everyone.

No Perfect People Allowed from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Engage Church - Bigger OR Smaller?

At Engage City Church (I'm one of the pastors) we've determined we want to GROW BIGGER & SMALLER at the same time.
BIGGER - We actually believe Jesus meant it when He said, "I will build my church" and as His followers we are compelled by His love to go and share Him with their community and world. The Church will naturally grow as we serve others in Jesus' name. The Gospel compels us.

SMALLER - We also believe that there are no lone rangers when it comes to following Jesus. In fact to follow Jesus means we embrace relationships from His perspective and under His leadership. We need other followers in our life to encourage, stretch and grow us in our relationship with Jesus Christ. The Gospel compels us.

Tim Keller, the Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York makes this helpful comment on the "Big Church versus Small Church" debate:
"My conclusion is that –in the final analysis–neither approach to church is better at growing spiritual fruit, reaching non-believers, caring for people, and producing Christ-shaped lives. I said ‘in the final analysis’ because each approach to church–the smaller, organic, simple, incarnational church, and the larger, organizational, complex, attractional church–has vastly different strengths and weaknesses, limitations and capabilities. The two constants to effectiveness are: a) getting the gospel right (not moralistic or antinomian, not individualistic or collectivistic) and b) contextualizing the whole church to the culture around (not over-adapted or under-adapted.) To think that the key is in the methodology (organic/incarnational vs organizational/attractional) is a mistake that comes, I think, from a lack of experience. There are great and terrible examples of all these methods and models. All kinds are thriving and all kinds are failing."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vision - the role of the past

I don't think there is much debate about the role of Leadership. Leaders lead and by definition leaders take others on a journey towards a preferred destination.

Today I was reflecting on Andy Stanley's statement that it is okay for leaders to be uncertain. He points out that as a leaders we will be constantly dealing with uncertainty and if everything was certain we wouldn't need leaders. Instead of worrying and expending energy on the uncertainty of the day to day journey Andy wisely points out that leaders should instead focus their energy on being clear about the core vision or purpose and instilling a culture of flexibility in how it is realised. The role of the 'past' for a leader is therefore to clarify the vision as we celebrate how it has been realised and to be a foundation on which to continue to pursue the vision into the future.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Church Planter Essentials 3 - Get Disciplined

Wayne Bennett, legendary coach of the St. George Dragons reflecting on his time playing in the 70's said:
"I love the things that it (playing football) teaches you. It teaches you to be disciplined. I teaches you not to give in. It teaches you to be taken off, it teaches you to handle disappointment."

Discipline is not a 'cool' word in the world I'm living in but I'm convinced it's one the 'hinges' on which life swings. You see a man who can keep himself in check and you see a man others people truly respect. I'm not talking about being boring or 'perfect' but simply consistent, stable and honest in your relationships with others. John Wooden a famous US Basketball coach commented, "Discipline yourself and others won't need to."

Interestingly the word Discipline and Disciple are from the same 'word family' which focuses on training, balanced order and behaviour. As a follower of Jesus I understand that to be called His 'disciple' means to submit to His leadership and care. Jesus offers His Spirit that we might truly live lives that reflect His presence. As we daily engage with Jesus He lives in and through us reflecting His nature in the way we love God and other people. Hmmm I'm still chewing on this one but I'm appreciating the ongoing changes and stability Jesus brings to my life as a husband, Dad, Pastor and friend.

Easter Blast

So excited about our Easter Saturday Easter Egg Hunt.
With thousands of Easter Eggs, 1000 pancakes, Jumping castle, competitions it's going to be a great time for the whole family.
Where : Norman Park State School Oval, Agnew Street, Norman Park
When : 8am breakfast begins, 9am Egg Hunt, Saturday 4th of April
EVERYTHING IS FREE! See you there.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who's the boss & passing the buck

On Monday my Mum and Dad arrived to stay overnight. We always thoroughly enjoy having our family come to visit, there are inevitably some hilarious moments. Here are a couple from the last visit:
Who's the boss
The boys were arguing who was the boss. After a heated discussion it was concluded that when Pa and Nannie are here they are the 'boss'. When they're gone Dad is the boss. When Dad's gone Mum's the boss. When Mum's gone little Will is the boss. If Will is gone Fergus is the boss... but if it's just Archie home alone no one's the boss. Archie was disgusted. Needless to say the youngest gets away with murder and actually bosses everyone mercilessly.
Passing the buck
Nerida was cleaning the house and was furious when she found that 'someone' had forgot to lift the toilet lid and sprayed everywhere. She interrogated the three boys, "Who made this mess." After a group discussion the three amigo's agreed, "It must have been Pa Mum." Poor Pa. Needless to say he and Nannie use their own bathroom downstairs. The boys got bail.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Church Planter Essentials 2 - Get Coached

Let's face it, people do not grow in a vacuum. Growing people have others coaching them, and having coaches as a planter/replanter is crucial. It is a non-negotiable.

If you are a planter, be wise and get coaches in your life well before it is obvious you need them. I know most planters are the 'pioneer' type, but there is too much to loose just so you can get some satisfaction out of thinking you can do it alone. The great explorers and pioneers always did their homework as much as possible, prepared for the journey and took a team with them.

One last thought, I'm using the plural cause it is important to have more than one. Don't get tricked into thinking that you will get by with just one coach. It is too much to expect from any one person to be able to coach you in every area. Instead take the time to identify key areas, say three, you know are challenges for you and seek the best coach you can get for each one. Begin with an agreed time frame etc for the coaching relationship. Finally, thank your coach by expressing your gratitude to them personally and by passing what you have learnt on to someone else who is also facing the challenges.

BTW - Go the Dragons for 2010!

Archie preaches Easter

Yesterday I was working in my study when my youngest boy Archie wandered in with his oldest brothers bible under his arm. He walked up to me and declared that he was going to show me "the worst day ever." He then proceeded to walk me through the devastating events of Good Friday; the betrayal, flogging, mocking and crucifixion of Jesus. It was profound, a four year old reteaching me the terrible events that occurred on that dark, dark day in history. It was a re-revelation for me. However it was even more amazing when he went on to ask, "Do you want to see the best day ever Dad?" He then flipped over the pages to a picture of the resurrected Jesus standing in the garden with the nail marks in his wrists. Yep, Archie is right. That first Good Friday was the worst day ever, but the first Easter Sunday was the best day ever, and I live today in the light of it. Thanks Archie for reminding me of the finished work of Jesus, I needed it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Church Planter Essentials 1 - It's ALL about Jesus

Over the next few weeks I'm going to jot down my thoughts on some 'Essentials' when it comes to church planting or replanting.

Number One, for the record and so there is no confusion, make sure you daily nail this one down:
It all begins with Jesus, it is His vision we're being invited to participate in. Die to yourself and daily crucify that old man 'flesh.'
It all flows from Jesus, He is the author and sustainer of all things. Rest in Him and work with His energy and power.
It all ends with Jesus, He will return one day soon to an amazing throng of people from every nation on earth. Live today in the light of the future.
Rick Warren recently twittered it perfectly this way -
"Our path is a Person - JESUS is the Way. Our creed is a person - JESUS is the Truth. Our lifestyle is a Person - JESUS is the Life." John14:6

Why Acts 29?

I got involved with Acts 29 years ago as I sought answers to various questions as I launched a second congregation in a geographically separate area from the first congregation I was pastoring at the time. From initial interaction through blogs etc I eventually travelled to the 'States' to be trained and assessed in church planting by Acts 29 whilst interning at Mountain Lake Church, Cumming, Georgia.

The biggest benefits of being a part of A29 are the 'brotherhood,' the ongoing coaching and the amazing synergy that results from churches globally partnering together to see the gospel spread throughout the world.
The Story Continues...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Following Jesus... living in tension

A friend of mine recently commented that pondering Calvinism for too long tended to kill his 'spirit' and for him that was not good. I agree anything that kills our love for Jesus is certainly not good, but I find that the more I read the Bible the more I’m compelled to be uncomfortable with the truths that it reveals about God, Jesus, mans rebellious heart, the gospel and the tensions that remain in His truth…
Jesus is in control of everything… and I’m still responsible for my actions.
Jesus is the author and perfecter of my faith… but I’m still responsible to exercise that faith in relationship with Him.
Jesus does not desires that anyone be lost… but there will be people who don’t go to heaven but will end up in Hell.
Jesus' Spirit is the only power for life change… but I must walk in step with it.
Jesus' Spirit gives me life, hope and peace... but my sin nature wars against it continually.
Bottom line : I think it is okay to be ‘uncomfortable’ with the truth of God, to be able to say I don’t get it all is a good thing when it comes to God, He is God after all. Following Jesus means being willing to accept tension in my life. I’m glad to be able to admit I’m happy it’s not all about me and that I’m still discovering and rediscovering it’s really all about Jesus.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why do 'Calvinists' and 'Mac users' freak us out?

I just finished laughing so hard I cried. I was reading my bro in law's blog and was struck by his statement that being stuck in an elevator "with a 5-point Calvinist and a Steve Jobs disciple would kind of be like hanging out in Purgatory."
At first I was a little offended. 'Hey Matt,' I thought to myself, 'so that's what you really think about hanging out with me? I know I'm odd but a harbinger of purgatory is something I've never really considered...'
Anyway, after I thought it over for a while I couldn't help but burst out into laughter. Why is it that Mac users and Calvinists command such strong reactions in people? I guess it's because both are convinced they've finally discovered something that changes their 'worldview' and that passion makes people around about them uncomfortable...
Passion both draws and repels I guess? What do you think? Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Link Love Wednesday

Just thought I'd throw out a couple of links that some of you might be interested in... 2010 Conference FREE Sessions

Engage City Church on Facebook

My little Bro-in-Law Matt Smallbones new Blog, great stuff mate! (He's always been a bit of a late adopter :) )

Rules for Planting

Sometimes it's good to be reminded of the rules:

"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

"I will build my church." Jesus

Monday, March 1, 2010


Yesterday I travelled down to Northern NSW to attend my Aunt's funeral.
It was a happy sad day as we remembered and celebrated and cried together as a family.
I was encouraged again as the pastors shared the hope that Jesus offers.
He is the way, so that no one should be lost.
He is the truth, so that no one should be deceived.
He is the life that defeats death.
My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to her family and my Mum.
It is days like yesterday that remind us all of what is really important about life.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Nerida

Today is Nerida's 26th Birthday :)
I'm up early cause the three boys and I have a huge day of fun planned ahead to celebrate with Ned.
It's starting with a surprise family breakfast (in about 30mins) and opening some presents and then after the kids get home from school we're gonna continue to party. Anyway, I'm glad Ned's birthday only comes around once a year cause I'm not sure if I could handle being the sole party planner for any more than one. Another thing that Mums do that I just can't...
Anyway happy birthday Honey!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday in Review

I was so encouraged by our time together yesterday. Saturday evening to be honest I was feeling sick wondering if anyone would turn up but again I was blown away by the fact that not only did people come back but that there were new adults and families! Again the children's ministry was a huge success - thanks Lauren, Tim, Rachel and the Kid's Church crew! It was exciting to sit down as a team this morning and hear of their plans to run a creche parallel to kids church. Dan did a great job in teaching the early congregation and it was exciting to share more about the plans to serve the displaced Karen people in Thailand and Burma.
Great stuff.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Engage Worldcare - Karen Refugees

Engage Church really does care about taking the good news of Jesus to our world. With over 10% of our budget committed to various initiatives targeting church planting and gospel community transformation I'm so stinkin excited that Pastor Tim will be leading a team to the Thailand - Burma border in June. With a number of the Engage crew heading over for four weeks I'm looking forward to seeing what Jesus does in and through and to our church as we love and serve the Karen refugees. If you'd like to support the work amongst the Karen or if you'd simply like to find out more come along to the Karen Dinner next month. Details below:

Karen Dinner - 13th March, 6.30pm
Creek Road Presbyterian Church (cnr Creek & Fursden Roads, Carina)
$10 adults, $5 children (under 10 years)
"Come along and hear about the border refugees, eat authentic Karen food and enjoy Karen culture through dance and song. Money raised on the night will go to internally displaced people in Burma as well as supporting the new Bible school at Mae Plu." Book your tickets early. See Pastor Tim Iedema (

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Always Welcome"

This Sunday I'm so excited about week two of our Ruth series "Always Welcome." If there is one thing that we learn from the book of Ruth it is this: God is Gracious and always welcomes those who turn to Him. Ruth a young lady from the land of Moab gives up everything to join God's people in Israel. Though the Law demands that she be excluded, God pours His grace upon her and not only provides for her but Ruth is the Great, Great Grandmother of King David. God is a kind, compassionate and gracious God and we see this most clearly through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus offers forgiveness, reconciliation and new life for anyone who places their trust in Him.

Ruth - Always Welcome from Will Henderson on Vimeo.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Launch Sunday Review

Well after six months of praying, planning and gospel scheming Engage City Church officially launched yesterday!

It was absolutely amazing to meet so many new people, reconnect with old friends and to celebrate with the Engage Launch Team. As I reflect today on what happened I can't help but be humbled and thank God for what He has done here in Brisbane and that I get to join Him in His work. Honestly, I have the best group of Jesus hearted people around, no longer a launch team, but a church that exists to see people engaged with Jesus and the life He offers.

Mike and Lee did an amazing job of leading the time of singing. Tim and Lauren literally blew the kids ministry up - we will be undertaking urgent running repairs on the broken floor this week :) But the most amazing thing was to be able to see the way absolutely every member of the Launch Team got in and just served.

This Wednesday night with great gratitude I will decommission the Engage Launch Team. They have been a part of history, they have seen Jesus gathering His church and they have experienced the joy of serving our community with Him. We will celebrate what He has done and I will re-commission them as servants of Engage City Church! I have the best job in the world.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Engage City Church Launches Today

Just sitting doing a little praying and chillin over a cup of tea as I reflect over the past year and look forward to our Launch Service this morning.
* I'm so thankful for the amazing friends and churches that have got behind the vision of starting a new church in Brisbane, a church that exists to see people far from God engaged with Jesus and the life He offers.
* The support and encouragement we have received literally from all over the world just blows me away.
* I'm so excited that we have a 'place' that we can begin meeting weekly in. It is cool to be able to put our money into serving people and our community and not into the crazy rent being asked in this part of the City. I literally get goosebumps as I think about the plans we have for this building and the ways that we can love and serve our community from this location.
* I so humbled by the amazing team that Jesus has and is gathering. Jesus said that He will build His church and every one on the launch team not only get's the vision but believes it and is committed to it. I'm blown away that a group such as this has been gathered in such a short time since we returned from Georgia U.S.A.
* The plans for the Kid's Church are huge! After hearing what Lauren and Tim have in store I know the kids will not only learn about Jesus but they will have an absolute ball.
* I'd appreciate your prayers for not only today but the next few weeks, that God will draw people who are personally invited or received a flyer etc to come along and hear the truth of Jesus. Pray that lives will be changed, that marriages will be saved, that kids will grow up knowing the love and grace of Jesus.
* A final word to those who ARE Engage City Church... you guys are amazing. I can't believe that I get to be on this adventure with you all. Let's never give up Gathering, Growing and Going for Jesus!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Australia Day 2010

Australia Day 2010.
I'm thankful that I am an Aussie. I love living in a country that allows me the freedom to be me, to follow Jesus, to love God and seek to love and serve others.