News Slacktivism – What is it and how it can be a good thing. PAGE 12>>
“To face the greatest challenges of life, we need to cultivate creative thinking.” JOHN MAXWELL PAGE 13>>
3 Sexuality Baptist Churches Western Australia puts the topic on the agenda >>
4 Medical miracle
Photo: Terry Hicks
Barry Knowles’ remarkable journey >>
Mark Wilson and Brian Harris get to work on the site of a new facility at Vose Seminary.
Vose breaks new ground In a significant development for Vose Seminary, Director of Ministries Mark Wilson joined Principal Brian Harris in June to break the first ground and mark the commencement of a new construction project. The new facility will significantly increase Vose’s seminar space and enable conferences of up to 200 to be held at the campus. In welcoming people to the event, Mark Wilson highlighted that the Seminary student numbers were growing, as well as the programs on offer. He also noted it would be the first new building on the campus for many years. Dr Brian Harris gave a brief history of the project mentioning that further to the extra teaching space, will be the addition of much needed bathroom facilities. He also explained that lectures were
now being held on Saturdays due to the current space limitations, which will no longer occur on completion of the new building. In closing he thanked those who had contributed towards the build and acknowledged God’s hand, not only in this project, but the quality across all of the offerings at Vose. It was also announced that there had been a generous donation for air conditioning in the campus library. The Vose library is recognised as the most significant theological library in Western Australia, and there has been a real need for air conditioning to control not
only the temperature but the humidity levels. Approximately 50 people then proceeded outside for the soil turning ceremony. There was an air of optimism and excitement as Mark Wilson and Brian Harris dug their spades into the soil. The project was committed to prayer by Dr Noel Vose and Mark Wilson. The tender for the new building has been awarded to Lansdown Constructions and the Project manager Ross Daniels stated that he was looking forward to working with them and the architect Ian Anderson in making the plans a reality. It was indicated that one of the delays in commencing had been the need to have Western Power provide a solution to relocating the overhead wires underground, as well as increasing the supply of power to cater for air conditioning in the library. This is now well on the way to being resolved
and construction will be able to commence soon. Significantly both former Principals of Vose Seminary (formerly Baptist Theological College) were able to attend the ground breaking ceremony. Dr Noel Vose (Founding principal), Dr John Olley and Dr Brian Harris represented the whole life of the Seminary. This added a special touch to the occasion, with each having made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the Seminary. All three were excited at this new development and the announcement of air conditioning in the library. Generous donations have provided almost enough money for the total cost of the project, but funds are still needed towards furniture and fit out. Tax‑deductible donations can be made to the Vose Building Fund through Baptist Churches Western Australia.
8 Prayer walking Having an impact on local communities >>
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BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view JULY 2015
What does it mean to care? Renowned Catholic Priest and Professor Henri Nouwen poses the question that has always been central to the mission of Jesus, and all those who follow in His footsteps within the Christian church – what does it mean to care? And how do we do it in a way that is pastorally appropriate for those in need, and not just an expression of our own expectations of what care looks like?
Jenni Ashton Jenni Ashton is Manager Pastoral Services, St John of God Murdoch Hosptial.
One of the greatest challenges in providing pastoral care is to have the courage to empty our hands, close our mouths, and open our hearts – allowing our grace filled presence to provide the space for honesty, empathy, compassion and ultimately, healing and wholeness. Sickness and death confront our fundamental beliefs about ourselves and our relationships. An unexpected diagnosis
or prognosis challenges our ability to control, change or maintain power over our lives, and reminds us of our frailty and vulnerability. We respond to these realities in ways as diverse as the situations that cause them in the first place. Often regardless of, and in spite of the depth of faith we bring to our experience. For some, in the midst of despair, it can feel as if the questions, fears
and doubts are just too big to be held within the framework of our belief. For others, our faith doesn’t answer the questions, it formulates them. Life can at times bring us to our knees, and what we need most from those who offer us pastoral care, is an acceptance that it doesn’t matter where the pain of life has taken us – what questions we have cried, what doubts we have whispered or
what despair we have known – we are not alone. Nouwen states, “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Dangerous prayer I recently started a message at church by asking: “So which of these three do you think is the most dangerous: skydiving, motor racing or prayer?” I could see that although most guessed that prayer would be the answer (this being a sermon), they doubted I would be able to justify it. After all, since when has prayer been hazardous for your health?
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
What they didn’t know was that I had been asked to write a commendation for Darren Cronshaw’s not yet published book Dangerous Prayer. It’s an excellent and challenging read. So why is prayer dangerous? Well what if God expects us to be the answer to some of the things we pray about? “God, please end the child sex trade.”
“Sure – I’d like you to be a part of that answer. Prepare to relocate and change your career so you are in a better position to do so.” Or, “God, I am really troubled about the 50 million refugees who have no place to call home.” “So am I. Start befriending some who have recently relocated to Australia, and champion their cause.” After a while our courage
might fail and we could edit our prayers so that they always fall into the safe category – “God bless me, myself and I.” So do you pray safe prayers, or do you sometimes launch into dangerous prayer? Cronshaw suggests that even the Lord’s prayer is potentially hazardous, and invites us to view it both as a prayer to pray and a creed to
live by. Perhaps you can sense what he means. You start at the beginning of the prayer, and pray ‘Our Father’ – and suddenly realise how many are included in the ‘Our’. We have to radically include those we usually overlook. And you can’t pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” unless you are willing to live by the radically different standards of heaven. It’s then that the prayer becomes a creed to live by. The book comes out next year, but why not risk praying dangerously now?
Fall from grace I recently received an email from a colleague who I’d not seen for years, explaining how they had fallen on hard times and it contained a request for money. A follow‑up email included bank details and the hope that I might be able to help out.
Rhidian Brook Author of The Aftermath, Rhidian Brook is an award winning novelist, screenwriter and broadcaster.
I assumed that their email address had been hacked so I ignored it. However, when a further email arrived, explaining a little more and leaving a phone number to call, I began to see it as a genuine, desperate request for help. Before calling I went through the list of reasons not to help, all sound, all sensible. That same day, with irritatingly apt timing, I read the bit of scripture where Jesus says: ‘give to one who asks you,
and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you’. When I went back to the text and searched for get-outs and caveats I couldn’t find any. All my ‘uming’ and ‘ahing’ was rendered redundant when I actually spoke to them. They had indeed fallen on hard times. Their life had seemed secure: they’d had steady work, a good relationship, a decent flat in a nice part of town. Then suddenly
they’d fallen off the edge of a cliff. Poverty, as it says in Proverbs, had fallen upon them ‘like an armed man.’ As I listened to my colleague’s story, the reasons for their descent seemed not to matter so much; it was the ‘this-could-be-you-ness’ of their plight that struck home. The thought that it ‘could have been me’ wasn’t just a platitude; it was and had been me over the
course of my life had I not been on the receiving end of other people’s financial help and generosity. The widening gulf between rich and poor, makes it seem likely that ever more people will fall off the cliff and not get up again. As my colleague’s story shows, the contingent, fragile nature of life is a reality for all of us. It’s a failure of imagination not to be able to picture yourself falling off the edge, but one we all should picture because, in the end, the thing that catches someone’s fall from grace – is someone else’s grace.
letters to the editor send us your letters The Advocate welcomes your letters to the editor on topics of concern to you and the community. Send your letters of no more than 100 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 10th of each month.
Sexuality and the Church In his book, Sex and the iWorld, Dale Kuehne states that:“The challenge for Christians in the 21st century is not to use the same old arguments to try to persuade the West of the truth of the traditional teaching on sexual ethics. If these arguments were still persuasive, public opinion and behaviour would not be what they are. Yet neither should Christians blindly or reflexively adjust theology to accommodate the sexual revolution without adequate scriptural support.” A question heard regularly from pastors, Christian leaders and people in the pew is, “How do we minister to people who come to our churches with such differing, and in some cases, quite confused ideas of sexuality and sexual expression?” Marriage has been dramatically affected, given a recent statistic from the United States. Depending on which data you read, between 40 percent to 65 percent of married women are having affairs. And a website that arranges dates for single people with more traditional beliefs asked its members between the ages of 18 to 59 “Would you sleep with your partner/date before marriage?” A staggering 65 percent of respondents said yes! It is for this reason that Baptist Churches Western Australia are hosting the upcoming “Sexuality and
the Church – Ministering in a Confused Landscape” seminar at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Wednesday 12 August 2015. Speakers on the day include Vose Seminary Principal Dr Brian Harris, Morling College NSW Principal Dr. Ross Clifford, CEO of Olive Tree Media Pastor Karl Faase and Forensic Sexologist and lecturer at Tabor College Perth Sandra Basham. Pastoral Consultant for Baptist Churches Western Australia and coordinator of the day, Pastor Rob Furlong, said that the speakers “are well qualified to speak on this subject and will bring a breadth of experience, theological understanding and practical wisdom to one of the greatest challenges facing the church today – how do we welcome people into our churches in the name of Jesus without affirming their lifestyle?”
The value of prayer
“We live in a confusing landscape when it comes to sexual expression today,” he said. “So how does a church welcome and love the transgender person who starts attending their services, while not affirming their lifestyle, and is that purely a lifestyle choice or are there other issues that we need to consider?” Topics to be covered on the day include the biblical, theological and philosophical underpinnings of human sexuality and what it means for a church to care for the most vulnerable in the community. “It will be a challenging and informative day. We are
Sexuality and sexualisation is apparent everywhere in today’s modern society – Baptist Churches Western Australia is putting the topic on the agenda.
extremely pleased to be able to host this event which we believe will be of enormous benefit to our own churches and to the wider body of Christ in Perth,” Pastor Furlong said.
The seminar is open to church leaders and attendees of all denominations. For more information or to book, visit www.baptistwa.asn.au
Wednesday 12th August 2015 MOUNT PLEASANT BAPTIST CHURCH 497 Marmion St. Booragoon WA
9am - 4pm Cost: $50.00 Includes lunch, morning and afternoon tea
If you are like me, you have heard of people crying out to God in times of trouble or stress. Often they have come to the end of their own efforts and resources, and instinctively feel that they have nowhere else to go. Maybe you have done this yourself! Prayer has been defined as ‘communication between God and His special creation, human beings’. If we follow the example of Jesus, it is a time that we set aside to communicate with God. This involves both listening to God and talking with God. At Baptist Churches Western Australia, we are aware that many people in our churches pray. They have personal times of prayer, small group prayer and congregational prayer. It is not often that we have the opportunity to get together to pray as a denomination. Yet there were times in the Old Testament when we see the whole nation of Israel came together to pray. Solomon called his people together to dedicate the temple in Jerusalem. After the prayer and
celebration finished, God came to him at night and said ‘I have heard your prayer … if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ [2 Chronicles 7:12-14 NIV] Among other things, it is evident that when God’s people come to Him corporately, with an attitude of humility and repentance, He acts. The world, our nation and churches are facing many challenges. Baptists Churches Western Australia recognise that and are inviting our people to come together to pray at Morley Baptist Church on Saturday 22 August from 10 am to noon.
MINISTERING IN A CONFUSED LANDSCAPE
DR Ross Clifford Ps Karl Faase DR Brian Harris Sandra basham For further details: 6313 6300 or email@example.com register at: www.baptistwa.asn.au/view/events
news JULY 2015
Cultures unite in worship
The purpose of the event was to nurture unity ... The event offered a rare opportunity for multicultural churches around Perth to join in fellowship and develop friendships between congregations. Organisers hope that the event will support multicultural churches in the unique challenges they face when crossing cultural barriers to proclaim the gospel in Australia and beyond. Pastor Zaw Win of Myanmar Baptist Church, Perth was the main speaker for the event. “Zaw encouraged the congregation to trust upon the presence and power of the Holy Spirit who imparts life wherever He goes, while using believers as witnesses of his divine salvation,” Owuor said.
Prior to this year’s celebration, only two combined worship services of this type have been held; a combined multicultural Easter celebration in 2013 and the Judson Bicentennial celebration in July of the same year, which drew the largest multicultural congregation in one sitting. With such a positive response, Owuor says he intends to organise similar gatherings annually. “This year’s celebration has created excitement among many who are now looking forward to next year’s event,” he said.
WA Chin Christian Church, Perth Karen Baptist, Arabic Church, Matu Christian Church and Kenyan Fellowship congregations came together to worship in May.
Mesothelioma patient a medical miracle
Diagnosed with the asbestos-related lung disease, mesothelioma in February 2010, Parkerville Baptist Church’s Barry Knowles was given six to twelve months to live. Barry has defied the odds and lives on determined to help in the battle against this fatal, but largely invisible disease.
Barry Knowles and his family at the launch of his book Reflections
Barry’s autobiography, Reflections Through Reality, was officially launched at an event hosted by Slater and Gordon Lawyers at the Harry Perkins Institute last month. Guest speakers included one of the world’s leading experts in lung disease Professor Bruce Robinson and Managing Director of the ABN Group Dale Alcock.
and don’t want to waste the time I have been given,” he said. Unique in the fact that most victims don’t live long enough to do so, Barry wrote down his story to provide hope and support for other victims. “I feel that my remaining time is valuable and want to do what I can to help others in the fight against this insidious disease,” he said.
Barry and his daughter Jo have gone on to establish a not‑for-profit charity. The proceeds from his book will fund medical research into asbestos-related diseases.
whether you are attempting to find counterfeit joy and satisfaction in the things He forbids. At any moment, your heart has a purpose for your phone. Yes, thank God for your smartphone, plead with Him for wisdom to use it well, and guard your heart.
In his book, Barry shares his family’s darkest hours – the shock of his diagnosis; his subsequent battle with ill health; his fight for compensation, and his hope as he faces an unknown future. After diagnosis, the progress of the disease was rapid and by October 2010 Barry was facing his final days. “Through nothing short of a miracle, I am still here today
Photo: Knowles family
The event held in May saw a dozen different ethnic groups represented at host venue Morley Baptist Church. “The purpose of the event was to nurture unity among multicultural churches,” Cross Cultural and Indigenous Ministries Consultant at Baptist Churches Western Australia Rev. Victor Owuor said. “The value of holding it during Pentecost is to emphasise the universal church’s task of proclaiming the gospel to all nations.”
Photos: Victor Owuor
In a unique event congregations from 12 multicultural churches gathered together for combined worship at the ‘Pentecost Celebration: A Gathering of Nations’ service.
For more information, or to purchase a copy of the book, visit www.reflections.org.au
digital church 4/6/15
desiringgod.org When it comes to remembering God’s faithfulness, we can be especially forgetful…“Don’t you remember what God just did for you? God brings us through a trial, answers a prayer, and within a few days it’s almost forgotten. We’re already looking to the next struggle on the horizon and finding reasons to gripe and complain… Let us not forget. May we be people who fight spiritual amnesia with Godgiven means of remembrance.
twitter.com/louiegiglio Our mess is the canvas on which God paints His story of redemption.
realised that suffering assures us of God’s presence, bearing His mark of love upon us and displaying His sovereign control over every detail of our lives?
thegospelcoalition.org Often, we think of suffering as proof of God’s absence or as displaying a flaw in God’s person, such as a lack of love (“If God loved me, he wouldn’t let this happen”) or a lack of sovereign power (“This is disastrous. How could God let this happen?”). But what if we
twitter.com/NilsSmith [Genesis 9:16] When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.
Steve Dilla twitter.com/stevendilla In hearing and praying through the Psalms we find spiritual vitality in a world austere to the divine.
Tim Challies challies.com But where your heart is, there your technology will be also. The way you use your technology reveals your heart. It shows whether your heart is oriented toward God and toward finding true joy and satisfaction in Him, or
Craigg Roeschel twitter.com/craiggroeschel ‘As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more’. [Psalm 71:14] Compiled by Breege McKiernan
Did Jesus rise from the dead?
Both sides of the argument presented their case in May to an audience of over 500 ‘jurors’, in a replica courtroom in the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Using the standards expected from a modern judicial enquiry in Western Australia, two experienced barristers took on the monumental challenge of representing both sides of this question, in a condensed three hour session. Atheist barrister and Treasurer for Australian Skeptics Inc. Mr Martin Hadley served as the counsel for the Defendant and called Associate Professor and teacher of Philosophy at UNSW Peter Slezak as his expert witness. Mr Ian Davidson SC served as counsel for the Plaintiff, calling on Emeritus Professor and second chair of History at Macquarie University Edwin Judge AM as his expert witness. “[The question] has been debated for 2000 years, there’s nothing new about that history,” Judge said before the event. “I intend to advance the argument beyond the simple,
Photo: Jacqueline Outred
It is a topic that has been debated for generations: ‘Did Jesus rise from the dead?’
An audience of over 500 listened to two opposing sides present their case on the topic of ‘Did Jesus rise from the dead?’
but important, question ‘are the gospel writers actually telling what they saw, or are they just making it up?’” Judge has written on this topic before, at the start of his career in 1968. A frontpage article in The Australian newspaper on Christmas Eve titled, ‘Where is the history of Jesus?’ discussed the likelihood that the resurrection, as reported in the gospels, was true from an historical perspective.
The article was read by both sides of the debate in preparation for the event. Perth Director of City Bible Forum Paul Whitfield organised the event. “Jesus’ resurrection is the reason for Christian hope. We don’t have to guess what the future holds, God has shown us in history and in a way our courts can assess,” he said. The event was attended by Christians, atheists and
Photo: Sara Birt
From writing to discipling
Jill Birt has left The Advocate’s team for a ministry role making disciples of Jesus.
After more than five years working as the subeditor of The Advocate, Jill Birt has returned to pastoral ministry. Jill has commenced working with Praxeis, a church planting group that develops networks of small groups of followers of Jesus. “My plan is to work with migrant workers in the Victoria
Park area and beyond,” Jill said. There is a large population of migrants who come to Western Australia on 457 work visas, with many working in the hospitality industry.
“I’ve been meeting with a group of Nepalese people for about 18 months. Due to their work rosters, they cannot go to church on Sundays, so we do church on Tuesdays to facilitate them,” Jill said. Seeing God in the scriptures and in answered prayers has brought spiritual vitality to the group and the expectation that God can do similar things for other people. Networks of family and friends make ideal connections for more sharing of the good news about Jesus and engaging with God’s Word. “We’re praying regularly for family and friends, neighbours and people in local communities, for opportunities to build friendships and learn from one another. I sense I am to be an encourager of people through the networks God has given me to share the Good News of Jesus, to pray boldly asking God to work and to help multiply communities of Jesus’ followers,” Jill said. Praxeis has workers all over Australia, as well as Spain and Hungary.
those who identify as neither. An atheist attendee, James, was excited to witness a debate on the subject. “At the event, James plied Christians with his questions and is keen to pursue answers further,” Whitfield said. City Bible Forum has a history of facilitating the interaction between the Bible and the community. “The City Bible Forum is actually an evangelistic organisation,” Judge explained. “It aims to
bring the gospel of Christ actively into context in an environment where they’re out of context, maybe in the great CBD area where people live their [day-to-day] lives.” City Bible Forum Perth held forums throughout June to facilitate deliberations and help the jurors arrive at a final decision. For more information, visit www.jesusontrial.org.au
For the sake of the world
I recently heard someone say that “life has to be more than just the next best coffee,” and I couldn’t agree more. We are so accustomed to meeting our own needs we can sometimes forget that there is a world that needs us! I am challenged by the words of Jesus when He tells His followers: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”[John 15:13 NLT] So you have to ask the question: “What would it mean to lay down our life?” For most of us that is not going to require the ultimate sacrifice, but for all of us it means changing our focus. It means finding what matters to God and putting Him first in the daily choices we make. Imagine a world where we embrace a life of generosity and make a difference in the lives of others. It has always been God’s plan to use us to be a blessing to others and
September’s Fresh Conference is all about doing that. The conference is for women from all over, and highlights speakers who teach from scripture, who have a heart for justice across our planet and who can convey God’s heart to each of us. Women gather, learn, are inspired, are mobilised and see God move through this event each year to touch the lives of those who attend and then others all over the world. The Fresh Conference will be held on 11 and 12 September at Morley Baptist Church. For more information or to register, visit www.freshconference.net
news JULY 2015
Youth combine for Jesus
In response to the service in excess of 70 young people expressed a desire to learn more about Jesus, and almost 50 wanted to get baptised. The event runs biannually, with one service held north and the other south of the river. “The idea of the event is to show the youth we’re all in this together. Groups of all different shapes and sizes can be part of it. It brings unity”, Riverton Baptist Community Church Youth Pastor and Youth and Young Adults Consultant for Baptist Churches WA Craig Palmer explained. The night brought young people from Baptist Churches across Perth together. Attendees came from Bentley, Carey, Como, East Fremantle, Eaton, Harmony, Mount Hawthorn, One Church, Riverton and Rockingham. The night began with activities, including games of dodge ball, roasting marshmallows around a fire pit, gaming machines, and a
free sausage sizzle. “While the young people tend to stay with their own youth group, some of the brave ones step out of their comfort zones to meet new people”, Palmer commented. Palmer and the Riverton Youth leaders decided to begin the service with images of all the Youth Groups that attended. It was followed by worship music led by the Riverton youth music team, a collection of young people and leaders. One of the original coordinators of Combined Baptist Youth Chris Green gave the message. “Chris told them about the Kingdom of God, [how] it has funny expressions [such as] the first shall be last, it’s better to give than to receive. The kingdom’s we create for ourselves are temporary, but we can access God’s eternal Kingdom through Jesus”, Palmer explained, “Chris gave them the invitation to come into God’s Kingdom.”
Photo: Riverton Baptist Community Church
Over two hundred and ninety young people came together for the first Combined Baptist Churches WA Youth Service of the year on Friday 5 June at Riverton Baptist Community Church.
Hundreds of young people gathered at Riverton Baptist Community Church in July for a night of worship and fun.
The first invitation was for those who had never accepted Jesus as their Saviour before to which over 12 responded to. The second call was for those who wanted to recommit their lives to Jesus and many came forward. “This is the biggest crop we’ve sown from a night like
Christians in business
this”, Palmer remarked, “we didn’t know how big the response was until we read the response cards”. Forty-nine declared they wanted to get baptised, and 72 wanted to follow Jesus. Each church’s Youth Group will be following up on those who responded from their group.
Regional recommitments Photo: Jacqueline Outred
An exciting new initiative saw over 40 Christian business professionals gather in June to network and compare notes.
A new initiative for Christian business professionals to meet and network with likeminded individuals from a range of different industries has been launched. Over 40 people gathered at the inaugural ‘After 5’ Business Sundowner on 28 May 2015, in the foyer of 98.5 Sonshine FM radio. The free event was organised by Business Edge, Perth and Western Australia. The firm’s Executive Director James Benjamin said he started the event to facilitate relationships and camaraderie among Christian business leaders.
“Business ownership and leadership is often a lonely place,” he said. “The ‘After 5’ Business Sundowner is designed to be a fun gathering for members and prospective members to fellowship, network and chat over a wine, beer or soft drink.” Helium Digital Marketing, a Perth-based company providing online marketing services to small businesses and start-ups hosted the event. Its Director Scott Ingram is himself a young, Christian
business professional, quickly emerging as a leader in his field and among other business professionals in Perth. Scott participated in a Q&A session on the night, allowing attendees to ask their questions about marketing in the digital age. “I jumped at the opportunity to host the first ‘After 5’ Business Sundowner,” Ingram said. “It fills a huge need amongst Perth business leaders – evident by the turnout and duration of the event. It was great to see over 40 Christian business leaders in the same room, sharing their values and business knowledge.” For more information about upcoming events, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Riverton had a number of their young people who wished to get baptised, 12 of who will be baptised in a fortnight as part of their Youth event. The next Combined Baptist Churches WA Youth Service will be held at Inglewood Community Church on 27 November.
The first Great Southern High School Youth Rally event occurred from 15 to 17 May and brought 50 youths, 15 leaders and volunteers together. Coordinated by Tania Severin and the Katanning Baptist Church Youth Group, the Youth Rally brought groups from across the county together for the weekend. Young people came from the Baptist churches of Albany, Broomehill, Collie, Cranbrook, Jerramungup, Kojonup, Mt Barker and Tenterden. The Youth Rally was held at Kobeelya and was filled to capacity. Prior to the camp, most of the young people did not know each other. The Youth Rally was designed so that there would be plenty of opportunity for them to build relationships and connections, especially with those in the same school year. “This will help them when they move up to Perth to go to University,” Severin explained, “but the most exciting thing was the 13 recommitments to God that took place after the second message. The kids are inspirational. They are hungry to hear more about God”.
The Rally speaker Craig Sullivan centred his messages on the Gospel message: Christ, the Cross, and the Commandments.
The most exciting thing was the 13 recommitments to God that took place after the second message. While the weather was windy and rainy, it didn’t hinder the young people’s enthusiasm or enjoyment of the Rally. When asked if they will host another Youth Rally in the future, all Tania could say was that “we certainly would like to! Yes, definitely!”
Parents learn for a good cause Jacqueline Outred
Renowned parenting expert and author Maggie Dent was the special guest at a seminar looking at the topic of ‘Building Resilience and Self Esteem in Today’s Children.’ Riverton Baptist Community Church played host to Maggie with the 2 June event attracting a large contingent of parents looking to learn and grow. Maggie’s seminar explored 10 essential building blocks for building resilience and selfesteem for all children from birth to 12. These building blocks improve the cognitive, psychological, emotional and social health of children for life. Organiser Jennifer Smith said “Maggie’s presentation was engaging, uplifting and hilarious, with guests describing it as ‘a joy to listen to’. Maggie focuses on giving parents the tools and confidence to tackle the challenges of parenting.”
The event was held as a community fundraiser for Living Child Inc., a notfor-profit, non-government charity that aims to reduce the maternal and infant death rate in the remote villages of Papua New Guinea. “We were very excited to raise over $8,000 for Living Child Inc.,” Jenifer said. Living Child Inc. representative Sara Daviv said the funds raised on the night would help deliver highquality training to Village Birth Attendants, Community Health Workers and Midwives working in remote villages of the East Sepik Province. “The funds will go towards transport costs associated with getting these people
to the village where we are conducting training, and towards supporting our Living Child PNG Midwife, Rhondy Ktumusi,” she said. Living Child Inc. works within the community to provide support to young mothers and education on safe motherhood practices. “[We teach them] how to look after a newborn immediately after birth and for the first few weeks. [We give them] knowledge on how to assist a woman giving birth and how to stop heavy bleeding,” Daviv said. “Already the women are telling us that since Living Child has been visiting them in the remote villages, they have hope. They have told us on many occasions that they believe that God has heard their prayers and has sent Living Child to help them.” Living Child Inc. will continue to look for opportunities to serve the people of Papua New Guinea
Photo: ImaJE Photography
Hairdressers in training – Martu women learn new skills.
Earlier this year Newman welcomed a team of visiting hairdressers to the region. From 26 April to 9 May, a team of five hairdressers and three support staff provided training and services to the Martu community. The Martu people are traditional custodians of the Newman area. The remote community faces some of the common issues of isolation and cultural conflict, meaning that access to basic services is difficult.
“The need for a Martu salon became quite evident whilst we were in Newman,” said Jennifer Quartermaine from EmpowerAID. “They don’t attend the hairdressers for a range of reasons, including a shortage of
qualified hairdressers in the town. There are issues with affordability of services, racism and the shame associated with chronic head lice.” “Many of the Martu girls are bleaching their hair with a variety of unsafe products, to achieve looks that they have seen online,” she said. EmpowerAID provides training for women in these remote communities so that they can provide vital services like hairdressing. “Our pilot courses are designed to help establish what training needs there are in disadvantaged and marginalised areas, both locally and overseas. There are a number of communities where training needs are not currently identified and or provided for a whole variety of reasons. EmpowerAID volunteers want to serve women in this gap,” Quartermaine said. “For the Martu women, the [hairdressing] course was about social wellbeing, and an introduction to the hairdressing and personal services industry and what that might look like for their community,” Quartermaine said. For more information, email email@example.com
Photo: Vibrant Imaging
Author and parenting specialist Maggie Dent spoke at a special seminar in June held at Riverton Baptist Community Church.
with essential health services for families. “We’re gathering data from households to assist us in identifying where the greatest needs are, and currently assisting and mentoring leaders in the village of Bunam to get
the Health Centre open again having been shut for 10 years,” Daviv said. For more information on Living Child Inc., visit www.livingchildinc.com
briefs SPORTSFEST Sportsfest is a great opportunity for young people aged 15 to 28 from metropolitan and regional areas of Western Australia to come together for a fantastic weekend of sport, ministry and fellowship. Riverton won the overall competition in 2014, with Parkerville taking out the
small church competition – who will take the title in 2015? If your church hasn’t registered a team yet, think about it now. There are some exciting changes planned for this year. Sportsfest will be held over the weekend from 25 to 28 September. For more information, visit www.sportsfest.org.au
A challenge to refocus Many people are disengaging from the church. Those who still attend only turn up every second or third week. This and other challenges were presented to 65 people from 24 Churches who attended an all day seminar at Yokine Baptist Church on 17 June 2015. Dan Paterson and Karl Faase provided information, a challenge and options on how to relate to our communities and present the Gospel message in a pertinent way. More attended a seminar that night to continue the discussion and explore these issues. “Churches have always been at their best when word and deed are involved,” said Karl. So why has the church in many ways superseded the word with deeds? Discussion focused around such reasons as if church is seen as culturally appropriate, if it is popular and the concept
that like concrete, deeds can be seen and measured. The speakers emphasised that leadership in our churches need to be committed to ”not ditching the deeds but also reclaiming the Word.” They also need to live a lifestyle committed to it. Those who attended were presented food for thought as well as ways forward to reach our communities with the challenge of the Gospel, being confident in the gospel message. Baptist Union (BU) Church Consultant Rob Furlong said “the day was extremely challenging and presented a much needed message of getting back to proclaiming the Gospel in a clear, thoughtful and caring way.”
news JULY 2015
Prayer Walking takes time, effort and commitment, but it makes a vital contribution to teams that are intent on impacting their local community with the Kingdom of Heaven.
There is something Biblical about walking the land. In the first few verses of Joshua it says, “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates - all the Hittite country – to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.” Joshua 1:1-4 Twenty years ago a team of 25 young adults left the comfort and ease of the church they had worshipped with for several years and headed to an area of Perth’s developing southern suburbs to plant a new church and develop a Christian school. Pastor Steve Izett led that group as they started Carey Community Baptist Church and Carey Baptist College. There was opposition and frustration, but also many opportunities to see God at work as he answered prayers with timing that confirmed his blessing and provision. At one stage, when permission to subdivide a parcel of land was rejected again, the whole team came together several times and walked the boundary of the block, asking God to intervene. They were putting their feet where they longed to see God come and reign. Prayer walking teams continue moving across the globe, seeing results as they pray for God’s kingdom to come. The national director of 24-7 Prayer in Great Britain Brian Heasley refers to the physical act of walking an area as a prophetic gesture in preparation of a spiritual reality. “Possessing the land can sound almost colonial and a little arrogant. But it’s not about my land or our land – it’s God’s land, God’s earth. We are just his
representatives here on earth asking for a shift in the spiritual and physical atmosphere. We don’t want land to impose our ideals of what Christianity should be like upon it, we want His kingdom expressed in His way, in a way that is most conducive to change happening in the lives of the people and lands we love. It is about us as servants treading gently and walking humbly throughout the land asking for our King’s kingdom to be established in whatever way he chooses,” Brian says. The practicalities of Prayer Walking are not complex. Jill Birt lives and works in the Victoria Park area of suburban Perth.
We’ve found prayer walking to be a great way to start understanding the spiritual climate and demographic makeup of an area. “Prayer walking takes time. You can work as a team of two or three, or multiple groups. As you walk, you need to look and listen so keep your eyes open. Make notes at the end of your walking about what you see, hear, smell and the impressions God’s Spirit gives as you walk. It’s not a highly recognised activity that brings public recognition and praise within some parts of the Christian community, but it is significant in learning about the area where you want to see God’s kingdom come. Many of
the people movements of the Kingdom of God can trace their beginning to saturating prayer by faithful Christians.” “I’ve been learning some things about myself since I started praying in my local area. I’m learning to linger – to engage with people rather than keep to my schedule. It almost feels like wasting time, but it’s ‘being’ in my community. It’s smiling and engaging people. I’ve learnt that I see different things if I walk early in the day when the aroma of fresh coffee starts to permeate the morning air. That’s when you see the homeless as well as the early workers. I’ve discovered you see different things when you reverse your route too. It really does make a difference seeing the sun push the shadows back at a different angle,” Jill said. Brian Heasley has some practical tips for Prayer Walking. 1. Find out the history of your area, go to historical places and pray. 2. Go to gateways such as roundabouts, major intersections ports and other entrance points to your town. 3. Pray outside hospitals, schools, local government buildings and any other centre of influence. 4. Keep bible verses that come to mind whilst walking. Pray them back to God. Find some specific bible verses and pray them over your town. Brian Heasley believes it is probably better to talk about redeeming the land rather than possessing it. “(Church planter) Floyd McClung once challenged me to ‘concentrate on blessing not selling,’ which makes me very conscious of blessing the land, not invading it,” Brian wrote recently in an article titled Prayer walking and the salvation strategy for your city (www.24-7prayer.com/ features/2490). For readers unsure what that type of prayer might look like Vice-President of Global Strategies and e3 Partners Ministry Dr. Curtis Sergeant suggests a helpful prayer acrostic for praying for God’s blessing with people:
B – Body L – Labour/work E – Economics S – Social S – Spiritual “This prayer acrostic is very effective in prayer walking. “Bless” people you pray for and see how God uses your prayers to open the hearts and lives of people you encounter during your prayer walks,” Curtis Sergeant says. Praxeis church planters Andrew and Mindy Pyman recently returned to their home in Sydney after seven weeks of prayer walking in Western Europe. “We’ve found prayer walking to be a great way to start understanding the spiritual climate and demographic makeup of an area. When you have a limited existing network of contacts in the community, it is an effective way to connect and share the gospel with new people,” Andrew Pyman said. “You can build a team through both finding ‘workers for the harvest’ (Jesus wanted his disciple to pray for this when he sent them out in Luke 10:2) from the place you are prayer walking and through training current team members by going prayer walking to find open, hungry and connected people from the community. Jesus called these people ‘people of peace’ in Luke 10,” he said. Andrew and Mindy believe that vision is caught in prayer. “God speaks to us about his heart for an area or group of people. This happens in new areas and in areas we have walked regularly,” Andrew said. The need for more workers to work in the harvest often comes to the fore when teams are prayer walking. “We often find ourselves praying for ‘more workers for the harvest’ – a prayer Jesus commanded his disciples to pray in Luke 10 as he sent them out. We pray this prayer over and over, and find God answers us by raising up new workers for the different areas and people groups we are praying for,” Andrew said. During their recent time in Germany, Andrew and Mindy met a young man who was an answer to this prayer. “I jumped onto a tram in Leipzig, East Germany to go
Andrew and Mindy Pyman with their young so
prayer walk an area of the city I had heard was a very needy neighbourhood. However on the tram I met Josua, a Christian Uni student who was interested in what I was doing. Unknown to Josua, we had prayed the day prior to meeting him for ‘workers for the harvest’ of Leipzig Uni.
Photo: Jeremy Chan
on Gideon met Josua, a Leipzig University student while they were prayer walking in the city earlier this year.
Unknown to me, Josua had been asking God to help him in his struggles of unbelief after starting to study Physics at Leipzig Uni with a class of atheists. We were both answers to each other’s prayers!” Andrew said. “Josua and I spent the afternoon praying for the Uni,
his classmates and for God to give Josua more boldness to share the gospel with his fellow Uni students.” “A few days later, Josua joined us to prayer walk the original neighbourhood I was intending to prayer walk the day I met him on the tram.”
Today, Josua is continuing to pray for the lost regularly with others in Leipzig and he is starting to share the gospel with others at his University, something he never did before he met Andrew and Mindy. “It’s amazing how God keeps answering the prayer Jesus once
commanded his disciples to pray back in Luke 10...for more workers for a harvest which is plentiful!” Andrew said. Praying for God’s kingdom to come and for workers to engage in the harvest is part of the ongoing task of the church. Prayer walking is a very practical step
to start a new ministry or continue a strong foundation of an ongoing engagement with a local community in any location in the world. It is not merely a way to bring change in a community, but also in those who dare to pray as they walk.
10 news JULY 2015
Nepal battling child traffickers
the next few weeks and many areas do not yet have temporary shelters for thousands of families. TEAR Australia, alongside International Nepal Fellowship and their partners are working in the Gorkhar region, co‑ordinating training for village teams to build temporary dwellings. They have distributed more than 30 water filters to communities where safe drinking water is a major problem. Development Effectiveness Officer with TEAR Australia,
Tents on a football pitch in Kathmandu provide emergency shelter for people whose homes were destroyed in the 25 April earthquake in Nepal.
Perth Phil Lindsay spent two weeks in Nepal in May. “I was so pleased to see how our partners are working so strategically and well together to help meet the needs of the Nepalese people. It is
going to take a very long time for the Nepalese people to recover from these earthquakes,” Phil said on his return to Perth. So far the team in Gorkhar has distributed more than 6,000
kg of rice, almost 6,000 kg of dahl and 900 sheets of corrugated iron. There is a national shortage of corrugated iron which is inhibiting the process of building temporary shelters for village people.
Helping HIV affected children in China
Inglewood Community Church’s Melinda Edwards recently returned from a short-term ministry trip to China where she volunteered at a rehabilitation centre called Elimkids. The organisation provides HIV affected children with love, care and hope through family, medication and education. With a strong sense of call from God to make the visit, Melinda had to face some personal ‘giants’ as she prepared to go, including her fear of vaccinations. “I distinctly remember saying in my head as I entered the doctor’s surgery, ‘I will be obedient and take a step toward this call. I can do this with your help, God’,” Melinda said. Preparation for the trip included extra work to financially support Elimkids and fund special,
fun activities for the children while she was there. Melinda acknowledged she didn’t give as much attention to preparing spiritually for the visit. “During my time in China there were times when I experienced spiritual conflict. I underestimated the spiritual opposition I was to experience and I was very thankful for those quiet moments between activities where I could focus
Photo: Melinda Edwards
Followers of Jesus in Nepal who are already overwhelmed with disaster relief work are pleading for Christians to pray to stop child traffickers taking advantage of vulnerable situations to lure children into slavery. Traffickers are drawn to natural disasters because they know children are separated from their parents and wander the streets along with thousands of other people who are suddenly homeless. Law enforcement, military and childcare workers, who would normally pursue traffickers are totally focused on disaster relief. Child trafficking has long been reported as a big problem in Nepal. Bhuvan Devlkota is president of New Light Nepal, an antitrafficking ministry based in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. “Traffickers are becoming even more active and are trafficking people by offering help,” Bhuvan Devkota said. Diana Scimone, president of the US-based Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking is partnering with New Light Nepal. “When a disaster occurs, child traffickers can operate right in broad daylight and most people won’t even know they’re there. Traffickers even disguise themselves as aid workers and claim they’re ‘rescuing’ children. In the midst of a disaster, who is going to stop them and ask for credentials?,” Diana said. On-going relief work continues across the nation. Basic needs of food, sanitation and shelter remain at the top of the list in cities and villages. The monsoon rains are due to bring a daily deluge within
Photo: Phil Lindsay
Child traffickers are blatantly targeting the chaos of Nepal’s broken cities following the major earthquakes that shattered the Himalayan nation on 25 April and 11 May.
Melinda Edwards plays ‘dress-ups’ with children from Elimkids on a recent visit to China.
and pray. There were times when the Holy Spirit buoyed me and I knew, there were people praying,” Melinda said. There were many lessons for Melinda including learning to be comfortable with ‘uncomfortableness’ as she grew
in her cultural understanding and accepting how things are done. “The uneasiness I felt when I returned was a challenge. I am becoming more mindful of how I live and serve God in my every day. It took a visit to China to prompt this,” Melinda said.
music’s greatest purpose may be to connect people, not only with one another but also with God, building bridges between heaven and earth. The conference will explore the roles and functions of ‘heart music’, provide opportunities for friendship and collaboration across the globe and use resources, strategies and models from various contexts for God’s Kingdom.
name, but they are learning a trade like shoe and clothing manufacturing – marketable skills for earning money and serving others, whether in the garbage slums or elsewhere. Many of the staff of Stephen’s Children were once kids in the ministry. Seven of the 21 Egyptian Christians killed by ISIS in Libya in February 2015 were involved with Mama Maggie’s ministry.
international briefs Ramadan Prayer The Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, runs from 18 June to 17 July 2015. During this season, millions of Muslim people around the world will not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset for 30 days as a spiritual discipline, and in hope of hearing from God. Many Christians focus their prayers for Muslims during this time asking God to reveal himself through dreams and visions to Muslim people. Ramadan is an opportunity for Christians to make friends with Muslim neighbours and learn about their culture and beliefs. Prayer resources are available at www.30days.com.au.
The 30-days Prayer for the Muslim World began in 1992 when a group of Christian leaders were praying about the Islamic world during a meeting in the Middle East.
Mali trouble News reports a spike in violence towards civilians and humanitarian workers in northern Mali, which has driven the number of people displaced in the country above 100,000. Many of these people urgently need food, water and shelter as time runs out before monsoon season begins. The situation is worst in the northern Timbuktu region, where an estimated 23,000 people have been driven
from their homes in a matter of days, fleeing a marked upsurge in attacks by rebel coalitions and government-controlled militias. Many key players did not attend a peace signing ceremony in Bamako in mid-May with the government, militias, Islamist groups and Tuargeg rebels.
Global Worship The Global Consultation on Music and Missions is planned for July in Thailand where attendees will explore how God is drawing the nations to Himself through music and related arts. Musicians without borders reports that war divides and music connects. They suggest that
Mama Maggie Egyptian Mama Maggie started Stephen’s Children, a ministry to help children in the garbage slums of neglected areas of Cairo. Some of these children have never been called by their
news 11 JULY 2015
Headed Beeck from Mozambique
The Beeck family returns from their first term working with Global Interaction in Mozambique in mid‑July. Departing Perth in April 2012, Cam and Kath Beeck and their children Jack, Tilly and Sydney have immersed themselves in the community and culture of the Yao people living in Lichinga in northern Mozambique.
Photo: Kath Beeck
Being away from loved ones has been by far the most difficult thing about being in Mozambique. Cam and Kath Beeck and their children Jack, Tilly and Sydney will be in Perth from July 2015 to re-connect with family and friends after more than three years in Mozambique.
teammates they work with who are like family to them. “I think we might also miss the limited choices. We’ve become quite used to only being able to get hold of certain things. I’m a bit worried that we’re going to be a bit overwhelmed with choices of food and activities!” Kath said. Spending time with their family and friends in Australia will be a high priority for the Beecks. “Being away from loved ones has been by far the most difficult thing about being in Mozambique,” Kath said. During their time in Australia, the Beecks plan to do some training with Global Interaction in Melbourne as well as some further
study. The family’s financial support team has dwindled to 75 percent over the past three years so they will need to increase it to 100 percent before returning to Africa. When the Beecks return to Mozambique in early 2016, they will move to Massangulo, about 90km from Lichinga, where Portuguese is not spoken and fine‑tuning their use of Chiyao will be a top priority.
More information is available at beeckbrief.wordpress.com. Bookings for appointments with the Beecks can be organised by phoning Pam Gallagher at Global Interaction’s office in Perth on 6313 6300.
Photo: Jill Birt
Cam and Kath have spent a significant amount of time learning Portuguese, the language of the civil administration of Mozambique, and Chiyao, the language of the Yao people. “We both speak Portuguese well enough now to do everything we need to around town, including important official business. We can also have some pretty deep conversations about spiritual and cultural issues. Our Chiyao is not quite as advanced yet but we’ve made a really good start on it,” Kath said. Preparing to leave Mozambique brings some similar challenges they experienced when they departed from Perth more than three years ago. They’re leaving close friends and
Muslims are finding peace and hope in Jesus.
Missionaries to the Islamic world say more Muslims have converted to Christianity in the last 14 years, since 9/11, than in the entire 14 centuries of Islamic history. CBN News reports that ‘the terrible deeds of ISIS, done in the name of Allah and following the violent example of Muhammed, have horrified Muslims who are now questioning their faith’.
Some ex-Muslims became atheists. But some, often through dreams and God’s Word discover a God who loves them. In Sweden, Pastor Fourad Rasho of Angered Alliance Church, himself an immigrant from Syria, has baptized more than 100 ex‑Muslims. A British college student from a Muslim Pakistani family, Imran, is investigating Christianity. “Every week I meet one or more persons who come to me and want to know more about Christianity and the Bible because they are very angry about being a Muslim. They don’t want to continue to be Muslim,” Imran said.
12 news JULY 2015
The power of slacktivism
I love to help people take baby steps. You know, like moving from “I truly detest foreigners” to “I’m not terribly fond of foreigners.” That’s a win! Granted, it’s a small step in a journey like the one from here to Saturn, but it’s a step. I think that’s why I’m a fan of “slacktivism.” You’ve heard of it, eh? It’s a made-up word, combining “slacker,” a person who avoids work or effort, and “activism,” vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. I love Wikipedia’s take on slacktivism: “The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes ‘feel-good’ measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it take satisfaction from the feeling they have contributed.” So you click, like, share, or retweet, but you don’t really do anything. Or at least so it seems.
Sometimes that step is as simple as liking a status, nodding and thinking, “Yes, this is the kind of thing I’m into.”
Three reasons to give this a try I would like to see us, those who carry a torch for the nations, provide a gazillion opportunities for the people in our networks to like, share, and retweet. Here’s why:
Four things to do So how can we put this into action?
1. It works. Consider the biggest slacktivist campaign so far, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Despite the stunning observations that not everyone donated, that the campaign wasted clean water so much of the world desperately needs, and that money spent on ice and such might have been given to ALS research instead, and you’ll find this equally stunning point. You probably already know that donations to ALS research rose from the typical US$3 million average to over $100 million! I don’t know about you, but I can come up with a plan or two that would benefit from a 3000% increase in funding! 2. Baby steps (can) lead to bigger steps. To be honest, this point is debatable. A frequently cited study on slacktivism questions whether or not clicking, liking, and sharing actually lead to donating and volunteering. I know my own journey toward commitment to the world looked more like tiptoeing into the pool than cannon-balling into the deep end, but some people will take the plunge. I certainly want to pitch opportunities for people to move to Karachi, but I also want to help thousands of people take their next step, however small, toward blessing the nations.
3. Big nets catch more fish. While the work of clicking “like” on a Facebook post will not change the world, it does help spread the word. As awareness spreads, the likelihood of connecting with someone who is ready to take action increases. As Caitlin Dewey, writing for the Washington Post, says, “Despite the oft-repeated claim that awareness does nothing, it almost always does something something small, perhaps, but something measurable.”
1. Offer easy ways to respond. Commenting on the 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study, Alexis Petru says, “Organisations should still continue to offer individuals more passive online actions, including ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ content, but they should also suggest more action-oriented activities like giving feedback and committing to change their behavior. The survey data demonstrates that most Americans want to do more to help their favorite causes, Cone Communications said, but they need organisations to channel this desire-to-help into specific actions that make an impact.” 2. Encourage creative engagement. Elsewhere, Jacqueline Herrera adds that far more important than a simple ‘like’ is inspiring individuals to upload their own photos, thoughts and shares on social media in order to emotionally connect with others, thereby creating engagement and organic word-of-mouth in a domino effect. 3. Learn from those who’ve seen it work. As you think about how to activate your slacktivists, keep in mind some of the key points which Clicktivist.org says made the Ice Bucket Challenge go crazy: “The timing was right: It landed as a piece of good news in the midst of a summer of depressing global and domestic events. It provided
Many people questioned the actual effectiveness of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but Shane Bennett demonstrates what slacktivism is and how it can have a big impact.
a fun and kindly counterpoint to a sober season. “It used peer pressure, (mild) humiliation and guilt. By tagging you in the post the challenge calls you out in front of your friends. You can ignore it but then you’ll look bad. So you’re peer pressured and guilted into participating. Some people would prefer to call this social proof. “It was authentic. This is the one that would be the hardest to replicate. The ice bucket challenge just felt authentic and not like it was cooked up in the back room of an office or that it had been focus grouped. I mean that’s because it wasn’t but still, you get the point. It was simple enough that anyone could have thought of it or started it and that’s something that people liked. They were on an equal playing field and not being directed by an organisation.” 4. Don’t forget about the most powerful response, prayer. One final thought. As followers of Jesus we have the opportunity to converse with the one who’s running the universe about how things are going. On the one hand, C.S. Lewis reminds us, “It is much easier to pray for a bore than to go visit him.” So prayer is slacktivism, but then Oswald Chambers asserts, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” Somehow, in kindness and
mystery, God invites us to join him in shaping the future. As we ask people to retweet and share and like, to give and send and go, we can also offer the immediate response of prayer. Watch a video and pray. “Like” an Instagram picture and pray. Retweet word of a humanitarian crisis, pray and invite all your buds to pray as well. The growing Syrian Circle is a brilliant example of this. It mobilised thousands of people to pray for Syrians during the past month. Check it out for ideas and further prayer.
What about in your church? Your organisation? How can you provide “right now” response mechanisms that will potentially lead slactivists to greater involvement? Shane Bennett is the Practical Mobilization columnist for Missions Catalyst. This article has been re‑printed with permission of the author. It was first published on 15 January 2015 on the Missions Catalyst website.
Ministry Vacancy: Pastor up to full time Ballajura Baptist Church Located 13 km from Perth’s CBD and based in Malaga in Perth’s Northern suburbs, Ballajura Baptist Church is a small and vibrant Christian community ministering to Ballajura and surrounding suburbs. We are seeking a Theologically qualified/trained person to take on the role as Senior Pastor of our Church, encouraging growth through our various ministries. If your desire is for ministry including evangelism, mission, leadership development and worship we would welcome your interest.
For further information and a fact sheet, please contact: Paul Mewhor - Mob: 0414 549 508 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Ballajura Baptist Church | 7 Townsend Street Malaga WA 6090
leadership 13 JULY 2015
Cultivating creativity in times of crisis
John C Maxwell
Like everyone I know, I was horrified to learn of the tragic devastation that occurred in Nepal and the surrounding region when an earthquake struck. I lived in California for many years, where earthquakes were a fact of life. But I never experienced anything like the quake that hit that region last week. The destruction and loss of life are heartbreaking. I won’t attempt to give advice to the people affected by the tragedy. What they most need from us is prayer and relief efforts. But one thing I do know is that they will need to be creative in overcoming the difficulties they are now faced with. And we can all benefit from learning more about that topic. On that note, I’d like to talk a little about creativity. To face the greatest challenges of life, we need to cultivate creative thinking. In times of crisis, you need to tap into every good idea you have. And of course, the best time to increase your creativity is before the crisis occurs. This can be done by establishing the discipline of creative thinking. Here are a few ways we can do that: 1. Spend time with creative people. Make a habit, both inside and outside of work, of spending
time with creatives. Let their way of thinking challenge and influence yours. 2. Look for the obvious. When problem-solving, many of us make the mistake of looking only for the ‘big’ solution. Creativity means exploring all ideas, even the obvious and seemingly insignificant ones. Often the simplest solution is the best solution. 3. Be unreasonable. Logic and creativity can work together quite well, but sometimes rational thinking gets in the way of being creative. Be willing to look at unreasonable ideas. Often they expand your thinking and lead to breakthroughs that you might otherwise miss. 4. Practice mental agility. Creativity requires flexibility. Rigid, bureaucratic thinking is in direct opposition to innovation and creativity. So make a habit of considering every idea, no matter
how difficult it might seem to implement or how much change it may require. 5. Dare to be different. Being creative means standing outside of the norm. You must cultivate a willingness to challenge every rule and assumption. 6. See problems as opportunities. Sometimes the only difference between a problem and an
opportunity is the word you use to describe it. Whenever you face a problem, take a step back and ask how it could be described as an opportunity – to innovate, build, and improve. The discipline of creative thinking will change you – and for the better. As jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.”
My prayer is that people who have spent years cultivating creativity are already at work in Nepal – and the Middle East, and around the world – to serve people and bring solutions to hurting nations. May we find creative ways to offer relief, and keep them in our prayers. Used with permission from The John Maxwell Company, www.johnmaxwell.com
An effective school holiday ministry How does a church best run a school holiday program for children? Rob and Robyn Douglas of Maida Vale Baptist Church have many years of experience in this field and share some of their knowledge. The annual holiday ministry, “Fun Factory” is in its sixth year and will be held from 6 to 10 July and over 100 children are expected to attend. We have one name, Fun Factory. It’s not a holiday club or kids club. We are meeting a new generation of children and putting a new spin on a program that engages the children in a fun environment. The highest commendation a child can give is that it was fun, and when they say that, you know you have
engaged with them and they have experienced a positive Christian environment. Each year there is a different theme. We have maintained consistency with the name and the logo, but use exciting new artwork each year to promote it. This year the theme is Heroes, but in previous years we have had themes such as Circus, Monkey Business, Aussie Outback, Treasure Island, Space, and Around the World. Bible stories are woven into
these themes in a natural way. Volunteers are encouraged to dress up to support the theme. This helps them lose their self‑consciousness and have fun with the program, and the kids love it. We go to a lot of trouble to decorate the building around the theme. Create an atmosphere that is fun, exciting, creates memories and inspires the imagination. The five senses are used to help children engage and remember their time at the Fun Factory. Stimulating senses helps to maintain great memories that are part of their learning experience. This includes a choice of craft they can take home and keep, music, food, games and stories. Advertising includes emails and personal letters to previous attendees; street banners; notices
in school newsletters; and brochures handed out at schools, libraries and other locations in the area. By building a database we are able to maintain regular contact with families throughout the year and can follow up with targeted promotion closer to the event. It is important volunteers have the opportunity to use their talents. While some people are good at working with children, there are others who work best in the kitchen; some are responsible for administration; or just love to clean up the mess afterwards. The more volunteers you have the easier the workload is for everyone. As well as Bible stories and themes, we support our children to be good citizens. For example, this year we will have Constable Care come to talk about how we
can be heroes. We’ll talk about bullying, caring for each other and supporting people who are different to us. Make sure all your Church Safe issues are in place. Volunteers all require police clearance and Working with Children’s Checks. Conduct a risk assessment prior to the event. Make sure there is something happening in the Church to invite attendees to after the holiday activity. We run Messy Church, a program for the whole family on a Saturday night once a month and we tell the children about it. This information, along with other information about the church is provided in take‑home bags. For more information on Maida Vale’s Fun Factory, visit www.mvbc.org.au.
14 news JULY 2015
Room for colour and noise which to position itself. I think I agree with him. When you stop to listen to a CD on a good sound system, it is amazing. A good sound system will make you stop, and say “wow”...
Music has become a background soundtrack to other activities. It’s just not important anymore.
I read a blog post the other day from a person who has a stereo system in his house worth $58,000. Moreover, it is comprised of second-hand equipment. The “audiophile” blows me away with the investment he has made to listen to quality music. His blog post addressed the issue of falling music sales. He writes: “I’ll close with a theory of mine - crappy sounding music is killing the music business. Mp3s are subversive because they
have apparently stopped people from really listening. Music has become a background soundtrack to other activities. It’s just not important anymore. So if the music isn’t moving you, maybe,
just maybe, it’s the sound that’s turning you off.” You see songs that are saved as mp3 files have gone through a process called “compression”. Compression means that up to 90% of the original recorded sound has been removed. The logic behind this technique is, the missing information isn’t audible, so let’s get rid of it. Someone figures if you don’t know what you’re missing then you will never know the difference. These files are called “lossy file formats”. These files differ from the large
files called “lossless”(i.e. nothing is lost in the codec). The “audiophile” surmises that people are not buying it because it actually sounds rubbish if you really listen to it. It sounds rubbish not because of what is in the music, but because of what is not in the music. Even if we can’t hear what is technically not there, I think it makes a difference. I think we do notice. Somewhere in our heads, we tune out a little because of it. The colour and noise left in the music doesn’t have any space on
Everything in our lives is geared towards less downtime, higher productivity, staying in contact, being available 24 hours a day. A new gadget comes out every week promising to make you more productive or efficient. We are slowly compressing our lives into a lossy format where we cut space and silence out of our lives. In John 10:10 Jesus says “My purpose is to give them [his sheep] a rich and satisfying life.”(NLT) He doesn’t offer a loud, compressed or efficient life but a life that has colour, has not been compressed into lossy format. He offers a life that allows us to stop and really listen to not only the obvious noise but what is not always heard; a life that when we pause and hear the music we say “wow”. Perhaps I need to start living my life in a lossless codec, or leaving more empty space for colour and noise to rest in?
Leadership star jets in James Bryant
Riverview Church will play host to internationally renowned speaker Hank Fortener as part of the lead:different conference in July. Hank hails from MOSAIC, a multisite church based in Los Angeles, California and will speak at lead:different on Saturday 18 July from 9.30am to 1pm. Hank is an globally recognised speaker in the areas of creativity, brand, culture, team building and driving bottom line performance. He recently spoke at the world renowned TED conference in May. Hank has been an integral part of shaping MOSAIC
LA’s reputation as a creative community full of artists and activists dedicated to healing the world. Millions of people around the world listen to Hank speak via podcasts each month. As the teaching pastor of Los Angeles’ thriving MOSAIC Church alongside Erwin McManus, Hank also divides his days between consulting to global brands and leaders, and driving a worldwide push to help orphaned children find a home.
At lead:different Hank will address a number of key topics including, building teams that won’t let each other fail; three laws of performance and how to break through barriers; and Hunters, Gatherers and Foragers – how to identify and empower each group. Hank said he was looking forward to making the trip to Perth and to share on the important topic of leadership. “I am so excited to come to Perth! Looking forward to spending time with so many of you at lead:different. Thank you for inviting me into your conversation about leadership!” For more information and to book your tickets, visit www.31media. net/leaddifferent/hank
Photo: Hank Fortener
Hank Fortener will share his insights on leadership and creativity at the lead:different event in July.
intermission 15 JULY 2015
A minute with ...
read The Reason – Lacey Sturm
Photo: Jill Birt
Growing up loving Flyleaf and Lacey Sturm being one of my favorite female vocalist, this book brought much revelation to her thought provoking lyrics I had immersed myself in as a teenager. I felt a deep connection to her story as I had grown up listening to her songs often about hardship, but always filled with hope. Lacey has written an incredibly inspiring biography recounting her deep depression all through childhood, her close encounter with suicide and the light of Jesus’ saving power that completely transformed her. She also covers her time in the band, her marriage and being a mother. For any Flyleaf fans it’s a must read and also an excellent resource to gift those in your life with depression and anxiety. This book is absolute proof that there is a God who cares.
Heart of a Lioness – Irene Gleeson
Chuck Barrett came to WA from the USA several years ago and is a pastor at Harmony Baptist Church.
The Heart of a Lioness will captivate and challenge you. At thirty‑seven, Irene Gleeson was a broken woman. Her marriage had crumbled, her children were out of control and she had spiralled into a deep depression. Her life changed when she walked into a small beachside church and encountered God. Many of us feel stirred by God to do something radical for Him, but Irene acted on the compulsion and lived it. She used her negative experiences as stepping stones to a future that was used powerfully by God. An exciting and compelling read for everyone.
Where is the church located? Harmony Baptist Church meets at 34 Fairlight Street in Mosman Park. What time are services held? Our services are 9am Sundays and 7pm Wednesdays. How and when did the church start? Cottesloe Beach Baptist Church began in 1914, when a small group gathered with a burden for the spiritual wellbeing of the community. Sunday School started almost immediately, and in 1915 funds were raised to buy the stand (three lots) for the church at a price of $250.
One Uncommon Woman – Dulcie Lampard
Who makes up the ministry team? Our ministry team consists of Alan Wright, Alicia Barrett, Chuck Barrett, Cliff Wright, Darren Smith and Mike Brown.
Dulcie Lampard has written not only her mother’s biography, but a moving testimonial to the love which can exist between mother and daughter. Dulcie tells her mother’s story with a welcome objectivity and a keen eye for the rich canvas of everyday life. Set in Western Australia (WA), the biography traverses almost a century of history and most of the WA countryside. We read of two World Wars and how they affected the Hill family; the wider WA society; the 1983 flooding of Gogo Station; the falling to earth of Skylab; and the plight of Lindy Chamberlain, to mention only a few events recounted by Dulcie in her telling of her mother’s story. This is a work to rival AB Farcey’s ‘A Fortunate Life’.
What is a feature of your church or ministry you’d like to share? This year our church will be celebrating the centenary of Baptist outreach in Mosman Park! The church has been known by several names over this century. It was started as Cottesloe Beach Baptist from 1915 to 1926. In 1926, the name was changed to Buckland Hill Baptist and held that name until 1935. It was then changed to Mosman Park Baptist and held variations of that name until last year when we voted to become a church plant under BCWA and we chose a name which is not only a descriptor, but also a goal for us to help guide us along our journey of faith together.
Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley Assistant Manager Dorothy Waddingham.
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16 news JULY 2015
Curry and Christ Drafted in 2009, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry immediately began to make an impact on the court with his accurate shooting and off it with a passionate desire to share his faith in Jesus Christ. The Golden State Warriors have just capped off a remarkable season to win this years’ NBA Championship over the LeBron James lead Cleveland Cavaliers, with Curry playing a major role in the series. Curry was also recently crowned the 2014-15 NBA Most Valuable Player and shared his Christian faith story in the pages of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ (FCA) magazine.
My dad may have been playing in the NBA at the time, but the best basketball games I remember from my childhood were the ones between my little brother, Seth, and I on our backyard basketball court in Charlotte, N.C. We’d play for hours and hours, oftentimes well into the night with the use of a bright stage light shining on the court, until our mom would yell out the window for us to come in. Those games would get pretty heated, but that was the norm for brothers as close as we were. Our whole family was very close in fact, even when it came to school. My mom started a Christian Montessori school when I was in first grade, so we all went there together. Mom was in charge as the head mistress, our aunt was our teacher, and our grandmother was the cook. My brother, sister and I were blessed to have such great influences in our lives, and I can honestly say that my mom and dad were the best. They raised us to believe in God, and we were at church every Wednesday for youth Bible studies and every Sunday for services. I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I gave my life to Christ. I was in fourth grade, and I recall hearing and understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ and walking down the aisle to give my life to Him. My parents continued to pour into my faith from that point on, making sure I understood the commitment I’d just made. Starting in middle school I attended Charlotte Christian School, which allowed me to hear the gospel on a daily basis. Looking back, my childhood was filled with the Lord’s presence.
Photo: Keith Allison
“The Holy Spirit is moving through our locker room” says NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
Wanting to follow in my dad’s footsteps on the hardwood, I had my sights set on Virginia Tech during my high school years. Unfortunately, the Hokies and other ACC schools weren’t interested. I was confident the Lord had blessed me with the talent to play the game, and I just wanted to go where He wanted me to be. That place became as clear as day to me once I met Bob McKillop, Davidson’s head coach. He explained his vision for my career at Davidson and how he could help me achieve my goals. Plus, he was a man of God, so it was an added bonus to play for a leader who was grounded in faith. The entire recruiting and signing
experience taught me about patience and seeking God’s will, because He had a plan all along. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I trusted He knew what was best for me. During our Cinderella run to the 2008 Elite Eight, I knew the Lord was preparing me for a bigger stage to represent and be a witness for Him on the basketball court. I remembered my mom telling me from day one at Davidson that God puts His people in different areas of life so that they can reach more people for Him. I tried to use that time for His glory. Then, in 2009, it was a surreal moment and a dream realised to
be sitting in the green room with my family hearing my name called as the seventh overall pick of the NBA Draft. Fast-forward to now and my faith continues to be my driving force, God’s blessed me with an awesome support system in Oakland. We also have about 10 guys on our team who attend our pregame chapels and pray together. The Holy Spirit is moving through our locker room in a way I’ve never experienced before. It’s allowing us to reach a lot of people, and personally I am just trying to use this stage to share how God has been a blessing to my life and how He can be the same in everyone else’s.
God’s given me talents to play basketball for a living, but I still have to work hard to improve every day. I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is just a game that can be taken from me at any moment. But I love that basketball gives me the opportunities to do good things for people and to point them towards the Man who died for our sins on the cross. I know I have a place in heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top. There’s more to me than just this jersey I wear, and that’s Christ living inside of me.
The Advocate July 2015