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…)

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…)

Jesus everyday

One thing we all have in common is that we live life in our own little corner of the universe. I know that at times I feel insignificant and need to be reminded by God that my little corner and my place in it is remarkable. He has gifted each of us with a unique group of family and friends, with a specific gifting to be the best person to be Jesus to those around us.

(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…)

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…)

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…)

Pioneering Imperative

Yesterday was a milestone day at New Vine Baptist Church. For the first time we gathered the staff of our three congregations together for ministry to God and to each other. Later in the day we asked ourselves the question, “What is it going to take to grow into a network of 20 ‘New Vine-y’ churches in the next dozen years?”  (more…)

The antidote to ‘ennut’

Every now and then to impress people I slip in a Latin or French expression. My favourite is a little French word ennui, pronounced ‘ahn-wee’. It describes a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from lack of interest. In other words: boredom. I’ve experienced this state of being at times and I don’t think I’m on my own. I’ve always detected that a not insignificant part of all the congregations I’ve been in, to be suffering from this sense of boredom. On every Sunday morning that I preach, without fail, there are people asleep before I’ve even started my opening lame joke! (I feel comforted by people asleep before I’ve started rather than afterwards.)  (more…)