Sunday, February 25, 2007

Stop the Traffik!

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It's time to stop the human trafficking. Spread the word, let people know about it. Check out:

http://www.stopthetraffik.org -> One of the main websites rallying against human trafficking.

Also, check out the armybarmy site, which has just recently got some youtube videos happening: http://armybarmyremix.blogspot.com/

stopthetraffik site says: March 25th 2007 will be Freedom Day – not just as a celebration of history, but a moment to be inspired by the champions of history of the past to help us fight for freedom from the bondage of slavery through people trafficking.

ANY IDEAS? What can we do stop the human trafficking? Comment now...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Form Vs Essence: Does style matter in Salvation Army Meetings?

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I have a cheeseburger. A beautiful, tasty cheeseburger, with only 12 grams of fat. If I take away the pickles from the cheeseburger, do I still have a cheeseburger? Did you say yes? Good. If I take away the pickles and the piece of cheese, do I still have a cheeseburger? No. I now have a hamburger.

What is it, that if we took it away from a Salvation Army worship service, it would no longer be 'Salvation Army'? Let me ask you:

* If we took away the contemporary band from a Salvation Army service, could it possibly still be 'Salvation Army'?

* If we took away the brass band, the timbrels and the songsters away from a Salvation Army service, could it still be run in such a way that it is still, 'Salvation Army'?

I would say yes to the above. What makes us the Salvation Army is deeper than the Form of our meetings, the style that we have. What makes a Salvation Army meeting truly 'Salvo' is the ungirding theology that makes up that meeting. These are the main fundamental attributes that I believe give us the Essence of who we are:


* Our doctrines (e.g. We believe in... the trinity, sin, redemption, etc.)
* Soul Saving. We are after all a SALVATION army.
* Warfare. We are after all a Salvation ARMY.
* Holiness. A holiness movement!
* Social Justice. Seeking to set the captives free, feed the hungry, etc.

If we have Salvation Army meetings (Worship Services) that are based on those fundamentals, then I personally believe let it be whatever style works, as long as it is reaching the community around them!

Final comment: If we want to see existing churches grow and also plant churches, then we need to allow freedom in worship styles, meanwhile sticking to the fundamental theology that defines us as a movement.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Empowering Revolutionaries to transform the World

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Empowering Revolutionaries to transform the World... That's the aim of Revolution Earth! Sounds a little ambitious. It probably is. I know deep inside however I have a burning desire to see people saved, become revolutionaries and transform the World.

Where do we start? First of all, lets face it. Many parts of the world are already experiencing this Spirit-led Revolution. We heard testimonies today of some Salvationists from both Zimbabwe and Kenya who now have over 100,000 soldiers in our Salvation Army. (Lets realise that we need these African Salvationists to teach us a little about Church growth and NOT the other way round!)

Lets be passionate about the cause of Jesus Christ! No more boring, pathetic sermons... please. Thanks. We need Spirit-inspired passion for Jesus and for the growth of God's Kingdom that drives us beyond the norm. Lets be sold out to reaching the lost. Let our Churches be more passionate about the musical styles of those not quite in the church yet, than the saved that are.

Everything about us needs to resonate with soul-saving and revolutionary-making. When people want to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour, give them a list of serving opportunities they can become involved in.

Send us some thoughts on how to empower revolutionaries to transform the World. I'd be interested in your thoughts...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pauline Cycle of Mission

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Have a quick look at this... I found this on the net, but I was reading it last night from a book from David Hesselgrave called, 'Planting Churches Cross-Culturally'. We first of all commission Christians to go and do ministry, then we reach people, share the gospel, people get saved, they connect with a community of faith, they become leaders, and mature believers and then we send them out to commission other believers.


Question: Do many of our churches ever get to STEP 2? Lets have the power of the Holy Spirit move and lets see this cycle become a reality. Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

CHURCH PLANTING TIME!

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Lets get it back on the map. Lets get it back on the horizon. It's Church Planting time.

Lets not spend all our days just trying to revamp the crusty. Wagner says its easier to have new babies than to raise the dead. We spend so much time and energy into bringing health into Churches that are dying, and I question about whether there's another additional, valid option: to plant new churches.

Churches that are struggling, have a choice. It's either "slow painful death, or deep painful change" (Paul Borden). Although Churches that are healthy, they need to arrive at a point, where they are ready and willing to plant new congregations, new communities of faith, that reach people that were untouchable/unreachable in their original setting.

I really want to plant churches. I don't want to maintain the status quo, and I'm not satisfied with Christians just swapping churches every couple of years when their needs aren't being met, and they're challenged to grow. It's time. New Churches, new Christians, new solidiers and new officers. God is doing a new thing and his Spirit is beginning to move in power.

So what time is it everyone?? You guessed it... It's Church Planting Time!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Welcome Meeting: Witnesses for Jesus

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What a night! It maybe started a little weird for Jo and I, as we had to march in and sit up on the platform. But last night (Sunday) at Waverly Salvos was a great time to come together as a larger Salvation Army and give thanks to God for what he has done and will do... I've found out a little trick. If you're able to sit on the platform, apparently you don't need to take part in the offering... (don't tell your friends).

There's a fine line between acknowledging Christians and Salvationists for their calling into ministry before it maybe becomes idolistic. I hope last night found a nice balance of empowering those that have stepped into Salvation Army specific ministry but then glorifying the God of who we do ministry for.

Acts 1:8 writes about having power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. Commissioner Jim brought a powerful message about needing to be filled with this power in order to minister effectively. He also said, it's not good enough to be a witness OF Jesus, but we need to be a witness FOR Jesus.

Well guys, the welcomes are over. Hallelujah! This morning we started to get deep into study, as we have a two week intensive on Worship and Preaching. Hopefully I will stay focused on Christ and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as I learn and grow. Hopefully I don't get too agitated about not being able to do a heap of evangelical ministry...

Remember, be a WITNESS FOR CHRIST! (Don't just talk about the Army, don't just talk about Church; Talk about Jesus!)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Biblical Preaching

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Any preachers in the house?

I've been reading some things about "expository preaching". Here's a definition:

"Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, and literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through the preacher, applies to the hearers." (Biblical Preaching, Haddon W. Robinson, 2001: p.21).

If you're a preacher, why don't you reflect on how often you preach an expository message. I found for myself that I have preached many topical sermons that choose to take a little bit of scripture to fit what I'm trying to say. Why don't I use passages of scripture and then preach from then? Maybe its harder. Maybe some of us don't believe in the power of the scripture we are reading, therefore we don't preach from it. Hard self challenge to do. Maybe the reason I do so much topical preaching is because I need an even more powerful revelation of the power of the Word of God. Hmm... probably very important for me to have, considering I am studying to become an officer in the Salvation Army.

Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The purpose of a Salvation Army Officer

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Commissioner Jim Knaggs came and spoke to the cadets today about the purpose of a Salvation Army officer. Did you want to know the most important thing? The one thing that is above the rest. The one thing that far outweighs anything else...

Well among some of the usual thoughts, Jim said, we need to be Christians that fulfil the Salvation Army's mission. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We should not just see ourselves as pastors, but more than that; as people called to serve suffering humanity, to serve with the sleeves rolled up. He also shared that we are called to reform society by being prophets, and that we need to be advocates for change (e.g. within Government) even if that affects the income streams of The Salvation Army.

So what's the greatest thing? What's the greatest purpose of a Salvation Army officer?

The greatest purpose for Salvation Army officers and for any Christian needs to be and ought to be:

Saving Souls for Jesus Christ.

That's it. That's the greatest purpose and as a Salvation Army WE WILL keep this at the forefront of everything we do, because nothing else is more important.

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