Friday, July 8, 2016

Why Apathy is Killing the Church


Why Apathy is Killing the Church

It's easy to be disillusioned with the global nature of everything ranging from politics, the environment, economics and terrorism.

On the political front, Britain doesn't know what lies ahead following the Brexit vote, Australia barely knows what politician to vote for and the U.S.A. could be heading towards its first orange President.

Environmentally, the climate is changing faster than the global leaders are willing to change, and no one understands how switching off their lights and using organic vegetables makes any difference.

Economically, first-world countries are looking like third-world countries with lip-stick on, and no one knows how to bring any particular country into a strong economic position.

When it comes to terrorism, we feel helpless in the fight against ISIS and others, and can't reconcile a belief that moderate Islam is moderate and that is distinctly different from militant Islam.

Even the Olympics cannot go ahead without the threat of violence and disease!

We are confused as a people and Christians are in the midst of that confusion.

We wonder whether we can do anything to actually make a significant difference.
Though, this is where we need to be reminded of an old quote attributed to Edmund Bourke, 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'

It is unacceptable as people of God to throw our hands up and merely swim with the tide of indecisiveness and apathy. We must follow the ministry of Jesus that ushered in the Kingdom of God. Let me remind you, where the Kingdom of God is, there is hope, joy, peace and purpose. Where the Kingdom of God is people are reconciled, creation is drawn back to its creator. That Kingdom is found through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Therefore we have something to do: To love, to give, to preach, to befriend, to house, to help, to encourage and to smile.

Though it appears at times, that apathy is at risk of killing the church. Why? We look around at the global picture and it appears glim. Instead then of mobilizing, we fall asleep. We prefer to stay within the safety of the confines of our church walls and homes and fail to embrace the unique opportunity the Lord has given us to create history.

In fact, in the midst of economic uncertainty and political disappointments, God is healing the sick like no other time in history. Prayer meetings are springing up in churches. Evangelical gatherings are still witnessing hundreds of thousands committing their lives to Christ. Remember, in the last days, God will indeed pour out his spirit upon all people!

So, we must do something. We cannot give up or give in to God's calling for us to change the world.

And let me say, the churches that will grow in today's context are churches that embrace ambiguity, learn to live in chaotic times, release innovation and empower courageous leadership irrespective of the swell of uncertainty around them. 

As I say to employees, soldiers and friends of The Salvation Army in my local context, 'Fire up!' We say it to each other. Don't allow circumstances drag you down, but pray in the power of the Spirit and allow God to change the circumstances.

Don't allow apathy to kill your church.

Fire up. Do something.


Benjamin Franklin once said, 'If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.' I aim to do both. 
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Holy! - Why the Launch of my new E-Book is Turning Heads!

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It has finally arrived!

Grab your hands on the new E-book of Holy!

Co-authored with Stephen Court, we've taken a tired topic and given it some life. See, holiness has not always been a widely read topic. People envisage old ministers with brown sweaters and 45 minute intellectual sermonizing. People think of holiness and quickly equate it with 'boring', 'bland' and even 'irrelevant.'

We turn heads when we write a short, provocative, catchy book on the most radical experience you've never lived. Find out what you might be missing out on!

People are buying it from right around the world, including the United States, Indonesia, Australia, the UK and South Africa.

If you love reading blogs on can I please encourage you to write a quick review for me on Amazon.

God bless and spread the word!

P.S. - If you want to be like Jesus, start by loving people.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How to Deal With Post-Red Shield Appeal Depression

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If you're part of The Salvation Army in Australia or New Zealand, you'll know what Post-Red Shield Appeal Depression is. I'm calling it PRSAD.

PRSAD hits us all this time of year. You've worked hard. You've tried to raise as much as you can. You've given it all you've got. You've called out for volunteers. You've rang volunteers. You've booked in shops. You've stood at shops. You've slept at shops.

It's been a big opportunity to raise funds for the work of the Salvos. And whether we did well, or struggled this year, we need to know some things:

The Symptoms of Post-Red Shield Appeal Depression

Now, let me be clear. I'm not speaking about depression in the medical sense. Put that aside for the experts to speak on. I'm speaking about the feeling you get a week later when you think about the fact you could've done better. The concern about what people in leadership might say. The cold and flu that kicks in because you were standing at the railway station for too long. Other symptoms include:

- Wondering why some people didn't sign up to help
- Wondering why some people gave lots and others ignored you
- Wondering why some volunteers were passionate about the Red Shield Appeal, and others in your church avoided you this time of year.
- Wondering why the rain seems to fall every May at the end of the month.

How to Deal with Post-Red Shield Appeal Depression

I wrote on facebook this statement following the main Red Shield Appeal weekend:

You are not your Red Shield Appeal Total.

Think on that for a moment. Whether you raised more than previous years, or had a year that you'd like to forget, the fact is, success in fundraising does not define you. We personally had a good year at Craigieburn. And guess what? PRSAD still kicked in. Hmm.. what if we had collected at the railway stations on a consistent basis? Imagine if we were not stifled by rain? I wonder what would've happened if we had extra volunteers to fill that shopping centre? Why do some Corps still raise so much more than us?
Success in ministry is not necessarily defined by numbers in your congregation or tallies depicted on a Red Shield Appeal database. To see a church grow in a spiritually-dry kind of area, is far harder than witnessing a church grow in the midst of a bible-belt. It is all about context.

You deal with post-red shield appeal depression by looking at whether you did the best with your time and energy and then thank God for the result.

We can always be better leaders. I understand that. We can always pull in a better result. But the goal is to do your PB. Now, that's not to say you should do a Pete Brookshaw. I don't think you should be copying me!! I'm saying do your Personal Best. Then be ok with that.

There is probably a bigger point to make here. In ministry in general, you need to know yourself. You need to understand when you've done your absolute best. Then you can look back and give all glory to God, fully understanding that that is all that God requires of you. 

God bless you as you deal with PRSAD.

Hebrews 6:9b-14 – ‘We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and patience.



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