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…)
“Twas the night before Christmas and people were jaded
From hustling and bustling through malls they had waded.
They’d spent all their money and shopped till they’d dropped
But the meaning behind it seemed more and more cropped.
The joy and the laughter had gone from the season,
As media and retailers perverted the reason.
But for one group of people the light still shone through
The hype and commercialism they knew wasn’t true.
The jingles and trappings they chose to ignore,
For them, Christmas wasn’t something bought in a store.
Sure, the essence of Christmas is all about giving,
But God’s kind of presents – a quality of living.
For this group of people Christmas wasn’t about shopping
Or holidays and tinsel and food till you’re popping.
To them it was time to worship and recall
The fact that God gave them the best gift of all;
The coming of Jesus and the changes he made
In the lives of his followers and the debt he repaid.
Rather than copy others and try to compete
They resolved to become a new Christmas elite.
They shunned all the junk mail and specials unending,
Refusing to be lured by material spending.
To all of the pressure and tension they cried, “Enough!
We want to get back to the true Christmas stuff!”
That night before Christmas these people decided
To stand up for truth that their culture derided.
They cut through commercialism and retailer bluster
With all of its hype and its tension and fluster,
And paused to give thanks to the God they adored
For his mercy and grace and their lives he’d restored.
They put to one side all the presents received
The goodies that tempted and kept them deceived;
They turned their attention once more toward the Lord
To receive with both hands his heavenly reward.
The rest of their lives to Jesus surrendered,
And this Christmas became the best they remembered!
Brian Winslade, written 1998. Published Prac10.
In his latest book, Brian Winslade (National Director of Crossover) brings into question the ‘Baptist way of doing things’ particularly when it comes to how we organise ourselves and make decisions. Baptists are known for many things; among them their belief in the authority of the Bible, the priesthood of all believers, and their particular form of congregational government. The latter is often euphemistically referred to as the “Baptist way.” (more…)
I am a product of what is euphemistically called the charismatic movement that swept through a number of Western countries in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s. Along with my first steps as a follower of Jesus came wind gusts of renewal, blowing through the branches of the Christian family tree. It was a great time to come to faith: a rediscovery of biblical teaching on the Holy Spirit’s contemporary activity in the life of every Christian, empowering and enabling them with spiritual gifts (charismata) for service. Ministry was a prerogative of all, not just the professional clergy. (more…)
There is no rear-vision mirror in a pre-Christian society – only a front windscreen. The starting point in evangelism is very different.
In a post-Christian society, the church calls on its government to address lapses in moral legislation or inadequate care for the poor. Churches see themselves as political prophets provoking the conscience of a nation . . . In a pre-Christian world, the approach is different. We cannot talk about gaining back that which we never had . . . (more…)
When Christians make a splash in the media, the cause is often less than honourable.
We’re renowned for what we’re against rather than what we’re for, and perceived as several paces behind the leading edge. A court-reporter friend of mine once heard a police prosecutor say that when he hears terms like lawyer or accountant he immediately thinks “fraud;” when he hears the word clergy his first thought is “sexual abuse.” Ouch! Is that how they see us? Imagine for a moment that communities of faith caught the attention of our nation – for good reason. We believe the gospel is still relevant, right? It is still the power of God for the salvation of all who believe? (more…)
At the first Council in Jerusalem, a deliberate and profound decision was made: Gentile believers were free to develop their own distinctive expression of church without the imposition of Jewish cultural norms. For many Australians today, Christianity is just as foreign as Judaism was to the Gentiles. It is time for the Council to meet again. (more…)
It’s that time of year again! A few more weeks and Christmas will be upon us. What does this time of year represent for you? The answer for many, I suspect, is stress! So much to do and so little time to do it in.
This Christmas, you are likely to see some unfamiliar faces at your church events: people for whom “church” is a foreign experience. What will they experience? How welcome, how comfortable will they feel? I grew up inside the Christian “club” but a few years ago, my own taste of a foreign church culture made me much more sensitive to the experience of newcomers or “seekers” who might attend a church like ours.
This Christmas, you are likely to see some unfamiliar faces at your church events: people for whom “church” is a foreign experience. What will they experience? How welcome, how comfortable will they feel? I grew up inside the Christian “club” but a few years ago, my own taste of a foreign church culture made me much more sensitive to the experience of newcomers or “seekers” who might attend a church like ours. (more…)