Is your church achieving it’s GDOs? God Desired Outcomes? Or are you behaving like the third servant in the parable? (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…)
Australia is increasingly multi-cultural. Immigration is changing the look and sound of our local demographic. Last year, international students numbered 400,000, and that was in addition to the hundreds of thousands of new immigrant workers who entered the country. Some immigrants come as refugees, fleeing appalling situations in their homeland, others come as highly trained professionals: doctors, nurses, accountants, solicitors, town planners, plumbers, electricians, and so on. And one of their greatest felt needs is the ability to speak English. (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…)
Jesus’ prayer in John 17 was that his followers would be in the world but not of the world. But how do we balance cultural relevance without tipping over into syncretism? (more…)
“Tom won’t be our youth pastor from tomorrow; we don’t think he fits into our plan for the future.” That’s how a local congregation was told the news, which Tom had received only six days earlier. James went to his church leadership to present his resignation. He had received a better offer from a bigger church. What had happened to their youth pastor? “Umm, I think he burned out…or something.” I know of countless similar stories and I’m sure you know of some too. The associate pastor has been overworked to the point of burn out, or ran out of ideas and, without support, bailed.
My journey over the last few years has been an interesting one. On the one hand, I’ve achieved a lot; I’ve been stretched and challenged, and I’ve grown as a person. On the other hand, I have made sacrifices, lost friends, and been judged by fellow Christians. All this has happened through my work with coffee. Having been named “World Latte-Art Champion” and “Australian Barista Champion,” I now consult to cafes and coffee roasting companies around the world as a barista and sensory expert. (more…)
As Christians, we believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is relevant today and is so in every age. We know Jesus is the answer to our world’s hopelessness and yet, too often, church is not the place people turn to in times of deep need. How do we turn this around? (more…)