Friday, April 27, 2007

Time to Dream. Time to Prophecy. Time to Vision-Cast.

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What's the time Mr. Wolf? I caught up with a mate today and we spent some time writing down ideas, strategies, and thoughts for how effective Youth Ministry could be done in the surrounding community.
I believe, it's time to dream! It's a time to think BIG! It's a time for the prophets to rise up and speak boldly and positively into the Church. It's a time for leaders to rise up and cast visions that the Church yearns to follow.
No more struggling churches. No more aimless programs. No more management mindsets. No more of the status quo...
I dream of churches thriving. Churches reaching the lost with the message of Jesus. Churches connecting with communities to reform society. The Kingdom of God expanding into the Western World just as fast as in the East! Will you join this radical pursuit for God's love to impact the lives of the nations we live in? Will you not just talk the talk, but will you be challenged to walk it? Will you step into the calling God has placed on your life? No, I mean really... Will you step into it?
Just think... God called Abraham many thousands of years ago to take his son Isaac up a mountain to sacrifice him (Genesis 22). Abraham obeyed God, but just before he killed his son, an angel of the Lord stopped him. Then the Lord provided a Ram for the offering.
If the Lord calls you, he will provide. Dream big. Don't just talk it, transform it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Whose the Revolutionary?

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I'm thinking of someone. This man has turned the world upside down. The 20th/21st centuries, especially in places like Africa and China have seen a radical growth in the number of passionate Christians in their Countries. We need teachers like this man. Preachers that keep people guessing. Teachers that unveil a new way of thinking...

I'm not thinking of Billy Graham, Rienhard Bonnke or T. D. Jakes. Someone even more revolutionary than these. This man, 'attracted and infuriated his contemporaries, mesmerized and alienated the ancient world, unleashed a movement that has done the same ever since, and thus changed the course of history forever' (Meier 1990). I'm thinking of someone greater than Aristotle, Mandela, or William Wilberforce.

Whose the Revolutionary? Jesus Christ. The ultimate Revolutionary. Both man and God. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:17)! If there is any leader that I would follow above any other, it will always be Jesus, for he came not just to lead us towards life, but he is LIFE! He is transforming the World in which we live.

Lets follow him... the Revolutionary.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Five Levels of Leadership

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Leadership expert John C. Maxwell says that leadership happens on five levels... Stick with me, lets learn some things...

Level one: Leadership is based on position. 'People follow because they have to'. At level one, you merely lead because you are appointed to a position!

Level two: 'People follow you because they want to'. You do more than just lead because of your position, but you lead more effectively out of the relationships you have built with others.

Level three: 'People follow because of what you have done for the organisation'. Production. Bring in the results and people will follow you. Read Developing the Leader Within You (John C. Maxwell) for more teaching on this.

My point today!!! If you are just beginning to try and lead others, begin by investing in building strong, trusting relationships with those that are following you. Then get some runs of the board, empower people, let God bring in some Kingdom results, and then lead people from a deeper level, even to level 4, where 'People follow because of what you have done for them!'

You want to see a Revolution? Then realise everything rises and falls on... LEADERSHIP!

Monday, April 16, 2007

The False Dichotomy of Mission

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Have we understood the message yet?

God wants us to have holistic mission? An integration of both evangelism and social action. Reaching lost souls, and serving humanity! I probably wouldn't do this topic justice, so to read more about integrated mission, check out www.urbanarmy.blogspot.com for some great blogs about this...

For those who can't be bothered clicking on the link, here's a quote:

'Those who would limit Jesus to the saving of souls and those who see him merely as introducing new ethical principles are both wrong. The purpose of God in Christ is neither simply to redeem individuals nor merely to teach the world some new thoughts. Gods purpose in Christ is to establish a new community that points to the plan of God for the world...the living witness of the Christian community is intended both to demonstrate and to anticipate the future of the world that has arrived in the person of Jesus Christ' (Jim Wallis)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Worship that shakes the foundations

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I remember a time, when on a Sunday night meeting, we were singing, 'How Great is our God' and we sang it over and over and over, each time the intensity rising. Ever been worshipping God in an atmosphere, where you feel like something is going to happen? My hands were literally burning with the presence of the Holy Spirit. The foundations of the place felt like they were going to shake!

Here's my thought... Passionate worship births effective ministry. Following this time of worship, my hands were hot, and I said to God, 'I GOTTA PRAY FOR SOMEONE!' I started chatting with a mate who owns a farm up in Horsham, and he was saying that things were tough. I said quickly, 'Can I pray for you!?' I prayed with an unknown passion, like a deep intercession that groaned in my stomach and heart for change to happen into the situation I prayed for. Passionate worship was birthing effective ministry. In this case, pastoral ministry.
I sat down, and my hands were still burning!! I sat at the front of the church after the meeting and said to God, the next person who comes to me, I'm gonna pray for... No kidding. A guy sitting up the back of the hall, immediately stood up and walked straight towards me! It was so weird! He didn't say much when he got to me, but I offered to pray and again, interceded strongly into this guys life.

What's my point... We need to encourage passionate worship, that will inturn birth effective ministry.

When's the last time you immersed yourself into God's presence when you worshipped?

Monday, April 9, 2007

The gift of Hospitality

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The gift of hospitality was shown to me this Easter.

Some of us travelled down to Rosebud, both Good Friday and Easter Sunday to share in church services there. Following both services we were taken to some people's houses for lunch. We were overwhelmed with the hospitality shown by those looking after us. What a blessing, to have Christians that simply love others, that simply care for others and want to simply bless others. Praise God!

We also spent some time at Melbourne Central Division's Easter Camp. What a great time! Lives were being transformed as people connected with the RISEN JESUS CHRIST! Again, Sandra and Mim (DYs) showed us wonderful hospitality and welcome (Thanks heaps guys!!)

So...

This Easter holiday, why not invite someone over for dinner or lunch? Show them some hospitality. I've been in the midst of it lately, and its both a blessing to the giver and the receiver!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Simple Faith?

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Everything's so theological! Well, for me anyway, at the moment. I study hard, discuss the ins and outs of how people truly get saved, what the Holy Spirit means for us, what The Salvation Army should be like in mission...

My head is about to explode. Don't get me wrong, I kind of enjoy the debates and the long-winded ever-circling talks on particular theological issues. There is just one question I have?

Do we have a simple faith? Do we believe that God can heal people? Yeah, yeah, through the doctors, God can use them... But do you simply believe God can heal people instantly? Do we believe God could deliver someone of deep, deep depression? Do we believe post-modern, 'no absolute Truth' wandering young people, could hear the gospel of Jesus ONCE and fall to their knees begging for salvation??

I'm ready and believing God may want to move in the miraculous. At least, I want to be very open to this possibility. God will never do a miracle in someones life if we never step up in bold faith, with the power of the Holy Spirit and ask in the name of Jesus. He won't. He probably can't, unless a bold Christian asks him.

Simple Faith... Simple really...

(Mark 10: 13 - 16)

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