New Mission Field For Crossover Director

Crossover is losing its National Director – Brian Winslade.  Brian is moving to a new challenge in a new mission field – Marin County, San Fransisco.  In this unique new setting Brian will need to be on his toes as he leads a church seeking to be a witness to the Gospel in a very post-modern setting.  (more…)

Breaking Down The Walls Of Racial Separation In Our Churches – Michael Frost

At face value, Australian churches seem to be fairly racially divided. There seems to be distinct, racially separate churches for a multitude of racial groupings and cultures from Afrikaaners through to Zulu’s. Well not quite, I haven’t spotted a Zulu Baptist Church yet but just about everything else seems to exist. This seems to suggest a range of things, the least flattering being that we don’t mix very well interracially. But is this true?, or is the face value picture not telling the whole story? Michael Frost explores this issue in the Tinsley Papers Summer Edition and asks “If the kingdom of God is multiracial then why aren’t our churches?” (more…)

The Church Planter – What Does This Elusive Animal Look Like?

My experience is that we talk a lot about church planting and most of the time we tend to focus on such areas as the needs, strategies, style, demographics, personnel etc. A concern that I have long held is that of how we identify potential lead church planters so that we can guide, support, equip and mentor them.

From my experience church planters have come from all walks of life and a variety of experiences. So much so, that I am reluctant to try to define their characteristics for fear of stereotyping, which is not helpful or realistic and in some senses could open me up to being accused of denying the action of the Holy Spirit in the whole enterprise. However, be that as it may, I have taken the liberty of listing a few characteristics that I have noticed as being common in, for want of a better word, “successful” church planters. These are meant as discussion starters and not to be definitive. I fully recognise that there may be other characteristics that may be present in a lead church planter but the following are some to consider. (more…)

No More Cookie Cutter Churches

This weeks gathering of church planters from around the country has wrapped up and everyone has gone back home to put their shoulder to the wheel after a few days out of the fray connecting with other pioneers. There’s a few things I learned about what is happening at the front line of church planting in Baptist churches throughout Australia. (more…)

Improving the Supply Side of Church Planting

It’s tempting for Church Planting strategists to approach it from the demand side – to identify “gaps on maps” and write recommendations for what sort of church would be best in that context. It’s the fruit we want to see. And it’s exciting to dream about. I’ve read exciting reports recommending X number of churches be planted by 20YZ. But let’s take a break for a minute from marking “future fruit locations”, and look at our roots. If they are healthy, might not the fruit look after – and indeed locate – itself? (more…)

Getting Smart About Church Planting

Crossover is sponsoring an important gathering in Sydney of some of our brightest minds in the field of church planting across our church movement. The gathering on March 8-9 will see representatives from all our States meeting to add more fuel to the growing fire of church planting which is growing in importance within our churches.  The imperative of church growth through new plants and new expressions of church is being embraced by Australian Baptist churches with great enthusiasm which is leading to exciting new church developments. (more…)

The State Of Australian Churches

Is church growth in Australia more about the movement of Christians between churches rather than conversion?  How is the Baptist movement of churches doing when it comes to church growth through conversion growth?  What common themes are there with churches that grow through conversion? What’s best: missional or attractional?  (more…)

Australia’s Top Three Churches

The top three churches in Australia for conversion and retention growth make for an interesting study.  So interesting in fact that Ian Hussey is doing a Phd on them.  If contemporary ideas about the missional church in a post-modern age are entirely accurate we would assume that these churches are all based on highly incarnational models with little attractional activity? Ian’s findings turn contemporary wisdom on its head to some degree.  This interview is from the latest edition of Crossover’s iDeas DVD, Volume 6, 2011. (more…)

So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore

It’s not often I am mistaken by a fellow traveler at an airport for being a New Age type but the title of this book beside me led the person next to me to imagine that I would be interested in staying over at her retreat where I could engage in mud baths, reiki, card reading and massage. The book found its way into the cover of my newspaper for the rest of the trip before just in case someone else invited me to their establishment to get my fortune told and my energies re-centered. The last book along these lines I read was ‘Exiles’ by Michael Frost but this one is purely fictional. For many people, not wanting to go to church any more is not fictional at all. Read some sections of the book for a preview here. (more…)