The partnership model

Australia has become the second most cosmopolitan nation in the world. 1 As immigration has increased, Australian communities have become culturally more diverse. In the U.S., Harvey Conn, in his introduction of Manuel Ortiz’s book One New People, points out that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week because Christians tend to gather in ethnic groups.2  Our churches must respond to these changes in the particular contexts in which they are situated. There are doorways for welcoming and engaging in multicultural mission. (more…)

Slow Cooked Evangelism

The mission of God is concerned with alerting people to his universal reign through Christ. One of the ways we join him in that enterprise is through the verbal announcement of that reign. We must see evangelism in this broader context, but we need to be careful not to assume that unexplained action is evangelistic. (more…)

Mutual Benefits: Church planting

Jane does not have a lot of time for Christians, and she made that pretty clear from the start. But the offer of free pancakes meant that at least she would talk to us. She is typical of the thousands of students attending Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley where Inglewood Community Church has launched a campus service. (more…)

Unity in diversity: a different model of church

We believe that God is calling us to be a healing, serving, international, Christ-centred community; maintaining unity, valuing diversity, and growing in maturity in Christ. (WRBC vision statement). (more…)

Why the reluctance to call for a response?

There’s a popular saying often repeated by Christians. Maybe you have even uttered these words, commonly attributed to St Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel. Use words if necessary.” As Christians, we should live in such a way that our lives point to the person and work of Jesus. However, good intentions cannot overcome two problems with this quote. One, St Francis never said it, (more…)

Who, us? We could not possibly plant a church

This weekend our little church is commissioning a family to go and plant a church 300km away. We can’t afford to do this. Not them – two of our best leaders, best givers, and best friends. Not now – as we’re still recovering from two other recent plants and as two of our interns also leave to become pastors elsewhere. Not us – a little church of perhaps 50 on a Sunday. What are we thinking?! Well, I’ll tell you. (more…)

Who moved the finish line?

You’ve just about reached the finish line of your ministry life, two years away from retirement in a Melbourne church that you have pastored for 18 years. Another two years will make a nice round 20 and you can finally retire and take your foot off the pedal of life. Darrell and Pam McKerlie were in exactly that position but they chose a totally unexpected option. (more…)

Crossing borders

Multi-cultural and ethnic churches face a number of communicate challenges.  How do we engage in a bilingual congregation? What about second generation youth who don’t quite fit in one culture or another? How do we cross the border and minister effectively in these contexts?  (more…)

Where will you go when you die?

How do we use evangelism tools helpfully in a culture that is post-Christian in attitude, but pre-Christian in understanding?

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Out of the Box

An invitation to move into new forms of mission and ministry. “In the story of God’s people, it is often those who dared to imagine a different reality who were crucial in helping their community to move in God’s new direction.” These words introduce Out of the Box, a fresh CD resource to help churches dream up a storm of new ways to express worship and prayer, mission and community. (more…)