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MAY 2015

In Conversation Senior Minister of CityLife Church, Mark Conner talks about awareness and attentiveness to God. PAGE 12>>

“What kind of environment are you in? Does it help you grow or is it holding you back?” JOHN MAXWELL PAGE 13>>

Oxford offer for dux 3 Discovery mission WA pastors walk the streets of Melbourne during the Capacity Builders’ visit >>

Vose Master of Divinity graduate Vicki Lorrimar has been offered a place at Oxford University with direct entry to a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) program.

I particularly hope to combine my theological studies with my background in genetics and medical research ... Vicki is waiting to hear if she will receive a scholarship which will provide living expenses for her further studies. “ACT is always very excited to see our best graduates undertaking further study at a premier institution like Oxford University,” ACT Associate Dean and Director of Research Rev. Dr Graeme Chatfield said. Vicki said that she could not have chosen better than Vose. “Not only have I discovered a real love for grappling with theological questions, but the staff and students have set a wonderful example of uniting intellectual insights with practical application.” she said.

“I particularly hope to combine my theological studies with my background in genetics and medical research to consider theological responses to emerging issues in bioethics.” Vose Seminary Principal Dr Brian Harris said Vicki is a high achieving student and her academically strong student peers must also be acknowledged. “[This year] we had the largest number of students ever graduating which is wonderful,” Brian said. “The service was a celebration of students’ commitment to on-going learning and God’s goodness.” The diversity of the courses studied has expanded Vose Seminary’s influence in theological training. Seventy-two students graduated from a variety of courses during the graduation ceremony. The keynote speaker on the night Pastor Karen Wilson spoke passionately on the topic ‘Let the Adventure Begin’. Dr James Lee presented awards to the first group of Korean students to complete their studies entirely in the Korean language at Vose’s Bentley campus. More than a dozen students travelled from their homeland to study at Vose this year. Students from Vose Equip’s Vocational Education and Training program were also presented with their awards. Vose offers highly practical, deeply biblical training through its Certificate IV and Diploma

8 Chronic lack of awe Stop and say ‘thanks’ on 30 May >>

15 School Scoop Emmanuel Christian Community School students write for The Advocate >>

Building healthy churches.

Photo: Sarah Wickham SJ Creations

Vicki received the honour of the Janet West Prize for the top student of the Australian College of Theology (ACT) for 2014 at the Vose Commencement and Conferral Service at Riverton Baptist Church in March. She also received the prize for the highest marked thesis at Masters level and the dux of Vose Seminary.

Vicki Lorrimar is waiting to see if she will receive a scholarship to help her further her studies at Oxford University.

courses. These are delivered in the combined contexts of active service in a local church or organisation and Vose Seminary, or distance learning. Twenty students enrolled in Vose courses through

Morling College in Sydney also graduated and three students graduated in Mauritius with Certificate IV level qualifications. The evening was the highlight of the new academic year.



my view MAY 2015

Visionary seniors inspire change Being a ‘senior’ still seems a bit strange, but it’s not because of my age. When my grandson asked, “Poppie, is your hair painted that colour?” I loved it.

Graham Mabury Graham Mabury is 2015 WA Senior of the Year and a Pastor at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.

Admittedly, when his little brother added, “Do you have a baby in your tummy?” it wasn’t quite so much fun. In the words of Ogden Nash “When I jog, I joggle”, but I’m thankful I can jog and for so many other blessings. Recently I had the joy of conducting the first wedding where I had also married the bride’s parents. How is that possible? How can 2014 be the 50th anniversary of The Beatles Australian tour? The years have flown but ‘senior’ hasn’t taken me by surprise. Jim

Fiebig accurately observed, “Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone”. We are not constrained by labels like ‘senior’. Life bursts out of all labels, but that’s not it either. It is because of my elders at Mount Pleasant, and elsewhere, who followed Jesus, not their own preferences. Living and breathing mission, they resisted the temptation to control. They lived authentic faith in triumph and tragedy; in stepping out

when God calls, and sorting out when conflict crashes in. In age appropriate ways, they are still doing it. To me they are the real ‘seniors’. Some years ago for example, our young people proposed something new and strikingly different. Throughout a lengthy church board discussion a highly respected foundation member remained thoughtfully silent. When asked for his view, it was our turn to listen intently. “In my day this would have been unthinkable”, he said.

“Despite my discomfort, however, I can’t think of one Biblical tenet that would be violated. I trust the Holy Spirit, and my fellow leaders, I trust you.” What a radiant portrayal of the vast difference between what wrinkles the face and what wrinkles the soul and spirit. ‘Senior’ saints everywhere; I honour every one of you. In the words of scripture, “I thank God for you … your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus … has given me great joy and encouragement, because you …have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” [Philemon 4-5, 7]

On a granddaughter’s birth ... Well, after seven years of marriage, my oldest son and his wife have presented us with our first grandchild, a girl, Maya-Rose. Her welcomed arrival has seen us swamped with good wishes from far and wide.

Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.

I have been touched and delighted by how positive they all are. I expected that people would say, ‘You’re a grandfather – welcome to old age.’ Instead they assure me that I have joined the best club in the world. There is something about the birth of a child that touches even hardened hearts. It is easy to see why. As I gazed at MayaRose, I saw innocence, fragility, trust – and great sleepiness. Indeed, she dozed through my

many affirmations of her, and when she opened her eyes, was content to gaze at me with calm but bemused curiosity. Statisticians report that a female child born in Australia today is likely to live for around 85 years – which gives MayaRose a fighting chance of making it into the 22nd century. Will that be a world she tut-tuts about in her old age, or one that she affirms with satisfaction? Will it be a world she helped to

form, or will her primary role have been that of an onlooker? There is history waiting to be made, and even if her name is not the one forever mentioned, I am quietly confident that there is a Maya-Rose shaped difference that she can make, as indeed there is for each of us. I am so glad she was born just a few days after Easter. So good to be on the resurrection side of those transforming events. She arrived with the

memory of Christ’s victory over sin, death and the devil firmly etched in our minds and hearts. I long that she will allow those events to shape and direct her life ... actually, that is my deepest longing for her. She is now carried in the arms of loving parents, family and friends. I am forever grateful that she, like you and I, is also carried in the loving arms of grace.

Engaging the outer skin I am sure you know it is better not to peel an apple before you eat it. Why? Because much of the goodness is stored in the skin. The skin is a thin boundary, the place the apple interacts with the sun and the rest of the environment.

Steve Ingram Steve Ingram is the Director of Deep Well Leadership.

You also know that you can kill a tree by taking a ‘ring’ of bark from its outer most layer – the boundary that interacts with the rest of the world. For most living things and groups, there is defining and unique work done at the boundary where the organism interacts with the rest of the world. We have long understood that the church is an organism, a living thing, but we may not

have given enough thought to the boundary where it interacts with the world. Perhaps where the most important and defining work is done by the church. We put a lot of work into our worship services, publications, branding and websites oblivious that the boundary of our church is better defined by the places that our individual people go, and the things that they do and say. Every time a member of the body

of Christ interacts with the rest of the world our church boundary is being redefined and activated. Surely there is a place for us to give greater focus and discussion as to how we can better resource and supply the outer boundary of the church? Most churches have worked out how to ‘do’ stuff with people at the boundary, such as evangelism and welfare, and yet very few seem to have worked out how to ‘interact’ at the boundary.

As individuals we know how to interact with the tax department because they give us the forms that translate our lives into data they understand. We know how to order at a restaurant because they give us a menu that helps us ‘speak their language’. What does a church need to think about to interact well with the community around it? That is the task in front of us, we need to think deeply and act bravely as we develop a new and innovative outer skin.

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 editor@theadvocate.tv by the 10th of each month.



MAY 2015

Discovery mission for pastors

During these three days in Melbourne the group visited three large Baptist churches: Crossway Baptist, New Hope Baptist and Syndal Baptist. As well as touring the church properties, the group had significant question and answer time with the key pastors from each church. The pastors the visiting group met all exuded vision, hope, a deep spiritual life; and all are highly disciplined. The visitors were struck by the longevity of pastors who are dedicated to their churches – hardworking, knew difficulty and reality, but love Jesus, the church, their church and communities. Topics of conversation were wide-ranging and included staffing, change management, conflict management and resolution, emotional intelligence, systems, and empowerment of staff and

Photo: Monica O’Neil

As part of the Capacity Builders program, ten Western Australian pastors visited churches in Melbourne in March on a discovery mission.

Capacity Builders team members talk about the day’s meetings in Melbourne.

volunteers. Practical ideas ranged from building design to parking and retractable fencing. Director of Vose Leadership Monica O’Neil was among the group who participated in the program. “Mostly there was a deep sense that spiritual life was

more important than anything and that the pastors of the large churches were focussed on their spiritual life,” Monica said. “Structure, savvy and hard work were there, but under the Lordship of Christ.” Baptist Pastors Phil Beeck (East Fremantle), Aaron Bradfield

Photo: Mike Bullard

Global opportunity

(Bentley), Mark Edwards (Inglewood), David Kilpatrick (Carey), Craig Lydon (Parkerville), Craig Palmer (Riverton), Anthony Palmieri (Lakeside), Aash Parmar (Ellenbrook), Karen Siggins (Lesmurdie) and Jackie Smoker (Como) travelled with Baptist Churches Western Australia’s Director of Ministries Mark Wilson, Pastoral Consultant Rob Furlong and Monica O’Neil for the outstanding opportunity for growth in pastoral leadership. Capacity Builders started in June 2014 and runs until the end of 2015. A group of invited pastors meets regularly to stretch and grow their leadership skills and experience to lead larger churches. The course is included in the ongoing development requirements for Baptist pastors, with the trip being an integral part of it.

“I think the time we had together as pastors laughing, learning, sharing and praying was very significant,” Mark Wilson said. “This group of Capacity Builders has the potential to set up a crop of pastors to lead in Word and deed.” Vose Leadership is committed to building skills, confidence and resilience in pastors. “We expect the pastors who participate in the Capacity Builders program will build strong supportive relationship networks that will bring great encouragement to them in their calling,” Mark said. The course is already seeing visions renewed, ideas fuelled and questions answered for some of WA’s pastors.

Girrawheen Baptist Church is seeking an

Associate Pastor (Youth and Children’s Ministry Portfolio)

Western Australians in the Global Interaction team in Mozambique enjoying Pastor Mike Bullard’s visit.

Pastor of Riverton Baptist Church Mike Bullard had the unique opportunity to travel to Mozambique in March to join the Global Interaction team at their annual spiritual retreat at Lake Malawi. “It was a special time where we wrote psalms – mostly of lament, shared about leadership, and prayed for one another about the challenges and opportunities of being Christ’s ambassadors in a

different country and culture,” Mike said. The predominantly Western Australian team asks for ongoing prayer for the Spirit’s guidance and strength, registration in

Mozambique, visas, living arrangements and increasing connection and impact with local individuals, families and villages. Several of the families on the team will be on home assignment during 2015 with opportunities to be refreshed and recharged. This will assist their preparation to return to Mozambique and help people develop their own distinctive ways of following Jesus.

5 days/week overseeing youth and children’s ministries in the church, including-

Chaplaincy work in our growing Christian School

Providing pastoral care, leadership and coordination of youth and children’s work

Developing youth leaders and community connections

Applications Associate Pastor (Youth & Children’s) Pastor Paul Price 3 Salcott Rd Girrawheen 6064 Ph: 0413 994 793 Email: pstrpjprice@gmail.com

Applications Close 1st June 2015


news MAY 2015

A decade of community service Organising Committee Chair and Lesmurdie Baptist Church Pastor Karen Siggins presented Roger and Lilian with a pair of silverplated candle sticks as a reminder of their decade of work with the Kalamunda event. As a local resident, Roger was the Organising Committee Chair for five years until Karen Siggins took over the role recently. He spent another five years as treasurer for the group. Lilian was Promotions and Publicity Secretary and produced the Stirk Park Carols sheet for several years. “It’s been a wonderful event to be part of,” Roger said. There was also a presentation for Lindsay Goodwin who recently retired from the committee after eight years serving in various capacities, including secretary, stage manager and vice-chairman.

More than $3,000 was raised by selling glow sticks and programs at last year’s event and at the gathering the proceeds were presented to Youthcare to help support school chaplains in the district. The Stirk Park Carols by Candlelight commenced in 1969 and continues to be a well supported event on the community calendar with between 3,000 and 5,000 local people attending each year. In 2014, recently retired 6PR radio host Graham Mabury was Master of Ceremonies. Kalamunda Community Radio transmits the event live and replays it on Christmas morning each year. Volunteers from churches within the Shire of Kalamunda plan and coordinate a varied program with choirs and musicians from local primary schools and

Photo: Jill Birt

Roger and Lilian Jennings were honoured for their ten years of volunteering at Stirk Park Carols by Candlelight by the committee and friends in Lesmurdie early April.

Kalamunda’s St Barnabas’ Anglican Church Rector John Ward, Kalamunda Church of Christ Pastor Steve Hall, and Lesmurdie Baptist Church Pastor Karen Siggins congratulate Roger Jennings on his contribution to the Stirk Park Carols over ten years.

churches, as well as guest artists and bands every year. “Early in 2014 the organising team was quite small and a little weary. There was not much support from local churches and it looked as if the carols event may have needed to become a more secular concern in order for it to continue,” Karen said. As Chair of the Committee Roger visited the local pastors

during one of their monthly prayer meetings and asked for help. Pastors from Baptist, Anglican, Catholic and Church of Christ churches offered their assistance and the event gained some new inspiration. With Roger, Lilian and Lindsay retiring, new committee members include St Barnabas’ Anglican Church Rector John Ward as Secretary, Kalamunda Church of

Christ Pastor Steve Hall as Vice Chair, and Christine Ferguson from Kalamunda Church of Christ as a member of the team. “There is deep respect among the pastors for each other and the community we serve, so it is good to work together on a combined community event,” Pastor Steve Hall said. Planning for the 2015 Stirk Park event is already underway.

Natalie Coulson is the new Insurance Officer at Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA). Baptist Insurance Services (BIS) is a ministry of the Baptist Union of Australia and operates as a delegated body of its National Council. It is a national insurance scheme insuring property and other assets in excess of $3.4

billion and on behalf of over 1,200 constituents. “Natalie brings an ideal mix of knowledge, skills and a kingdom heart to the role,” BCWA Business Manager Greg Holland said “She has completed both a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting and Business Law from Curtin University and a Graduate Diploma of Divinity from the Sydney Missionary and Bible College.” “This fits well with the BCWA view that while we offer an exceptionally good insurance

scheme we do so with a ministry and servant focus,” he said. As well as property claims, Natalie deals with risk management processes for events and other claims, including public liability issues through BIS. There are more than 100 churches and 11 schools and several other ministries within BCWA that are insured with BIS. “I see this role as a way to serve the wider church family with their insurance needs

and look forward to getting to know many more of the people in our churches and schools,” Natalie said. Natalie also deals with Workers’ Compensation renewals and claims, and the renewal of several BCWA group licences, including the Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) licence, Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) licence and the Big Studio Movie License. Natalie replaces Jill Birt who was the Insurance Officer for the past four years.

don’t have to pound gavels, point fingers, or cast blame. All you need to do is share your story. The beautiful thing about sharing your faith story is that nobody can deny it. No one can argue with your own personal experience. When you share personally, it touches hearts deeply. What is most personal is most universal.”


Photo: Jill Birt

Changing of the guard at BCWA insurance

Natalie Coulson is looking forward to her new role with BCWA.

digital church 24/03/15


lifeway.com/pastorstoday “Easter is hope because Jesus experienced sorrow, sickness, pain, suffering, and death. Then on that first Easter Sunday morning, he emerged from the grave victorious. Ultimately, Jesus is our hope.”

thinkingofgod.org “His [Jesus’s] death to pay the penalty for our sins. His resurrection to prove His victory over death and establish lordship over all. It is the basic message of our faith since that very first Easter morning – and it is the basic message that continues to challenge, confront, and transform lives.”

Chris Hefner


Max Lucado twitter.com/MaxLucado “ ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ Why did Christ scream those words? So you’ll never have to.”

Steven Tran


Todd Rhoades toddrhoades.com “Your role as a Christ follower is to simply be a witness. You


Louie Giglio twitter.com/LouieGiglio “A seed may seem harmless, but what you plant today will become the life you harvest in seasons to come. Plant well.”

Andrew (Hamo) Hamilton backyardmissionary.com “Allow Jesus to define life and priorities.”


Tim Challies challies.com “For all the good things my parents did for me, I believe that the most important was simply living as Christians before me. I don’t think anything shaped or challenged me more than that.”


JD Greear jdgreear.com “The church needs more Deborahs. We need those godly, strong women to step up and use the gifts God has given them. We need Deborahs in the home, speaking courage into their family’s lives. We need Deborahs in ministry, calling us to give and pray and go and sacrifice. We need Deborahs in society, women who lead with wisdom, courage, and faith.” Compiled by Breege McKiernan



MAY 2015

Importance of a healthy soul

Photo: Ray Brown

More than 180 pastors, leaders and spouses with various Baptist ministries of Western Australia met in Mandurah for the annual Pastoral Retreat in April.

Candles highlighting the Baptist ministries in Perth at the Pastoral Retreat held in April.

People travelled from as far as Derby and Esperance to attend. The theme, A Deeper Well, flowed through the three days. Individuals and couples had opportunities to learn through the teaching of Senior Minister at CityLife Church, Melbourne, Mark Conner, as he encouraged pastoral workers to grow in awareness and attentiveness towards God. (See page 12 for an interview with Mark Conner.) “I so appreciated Mark’s sharing of his personal story, personal vulnerability, and gentle nudging towards engaging with God,” Riverton Baptist Church Pastor Mike Bullard said. For the first time the meetings were held at The Lakes Theatre on the campus of Mandurah Baptist College. Heart-felt times of worship gave opportunity for people to engage deeply with God through music and prayer.

Challenging TV codes

Jesus on trial real expert witness and a current Perth judge presiding,” CBF Perth Women’s and Training Coordinator Léni-Jo McMillan said. The jury deliberations will run as discussion groups following the event.

This mock trial will examine Jesus’ reported resurrection ...

Jesus on Trial is a City Bible Forum (CBF) event coming to Perth on 21 May at the Riverside Theatre, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, to consider if Jesus rose from the dead. For 2,000 years Christians have laid claim to a historical event. This mock trial will examine Jesus’ reported resurrection using the standards and procedures applied in contemporary secular courts. Ian Davidson SC will argue the case for the resurrection with reference to ancient documents and by calling historian Professor Edwin Judge.

A second barrister and Treasurer of Australian Skeptics Inc. Martin Hadley will cross examine Professor Judge and call an expert witness of his own. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Martin will instruct the audience on how to assess the case. “We hope people will bring their friends along to hear the evidence from real lawyers,

The team that organised the Retreat recorded video interviews with pastoral couples Andrew and Danelle Hamilton from Quinns Baptist Church, and Josh and Marnel Thomas from Inglewood Community Church, that highlighted some of the pressures of pastoral life for couples. Andrew’s story is that of a ‘recovering workaholic’, learning to live life at a gentler pace. While Josh and Marnel have been learning much about themselves and God through suffering that has come into their lives. A powerful video greeting from the Global Interaction team leader in Mozambique, Jonno Crane highlighted the cost of keeping your ‘well’ clean. A mud-encrusted Jonno emerged from the family’s backyard well to speak directly to those at the Retreat, encouraging them to keep their ‘wells’ clean.

At the final session, Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries Mark Wilson gave a powerful message that highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy soul. At the conclusion, a significant time of ministry took place as people came forward for prayer, followed by every person present placing a candle on two giant floor maps to represent the geographical location where God had called them to minister. One was of the Perth metropolitan area and the other of the entire state of Western Australia. As the lights in the auditorium were dimmed, the impact of the ministry of Baptist churches across the state shone brightly. People lingered and openly wept as Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Senior Pastor Nick Scott and Vose Leadership Director Monica O’Neil lead everyone present in prayer. It was one of those Godinspired moments. The annual Pastoral Retreat was incredibly valuable for all who attended.

“We will run a group in the city and encourage churches to also run groups in their local communities in June,” Léni said. The mock trial will follow a timetable with allocated time for Counsel’s opening statements, evidence, cross-examination of expert witnesses and closing arguments. The evening will be recorded by West TV who have recorded and screened some of CBF’s previous events, such as Cosmic Chemistry with Oxford University Professor of Mathematics John Lennox. For more information or to purchase tickets ($30), visit jesusontrial.org.au

Proposed changes to the Australian Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice were challenged by national lobbyists FamilyVoice Australia in their submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority review in late March. Free TV Australia is calling for the abolition of all G time zones, and for moving the M zone (and M rated advertising) forward to 7.30pm, when many children watch TV. MA15+ programs would move forward to 8.30pm. Extremely violent audiovisual programs would be reclassified as MA15+, thus allowing them to be screened at 8.30pm. “The complaints process would be tougher and more drawn out,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said. The FamilyVoice research team also identified retrograde changes to wording in the TV guidelines that most people would not have noticed. “Some changes may seem minor, but taken as a whole they could result in misleading classification changes,” Ros said. “In the guidelines for the M category, for example, suicide

may now be shown in realistic detail at 7.30pm. Currently such a program would be rated MA15+.” “Illegal drug use in M programs cannot be shown in detail at present, but could be shown in detail under the Free TV proposal.” Details of proposed guideline changes are available on request from FamilyVoice Australia. The increasing commitment to Pay TV, which has far less stringent regulation, is putting increasing pressure on Free TV Australia to lower its standards in an effort to maintain market share. Results of the Australian Communications and Media Authority review will be publicised later in the year.


news MAY 2015

Camps call for discipleship

The first group that attended the Easter camp held at Busselton.

Photo: Liz Winning

For the first time an Easter camp was held at the Busselton Baptist Camping Centre. The Albany Easter camp at Camp Kennedy, Perkins Beach has been a highly regarded annual event for many years. Ninety-eight campers from Albany, Busselton, Esperance, Perth, Pingelly, Mukinbudin, Wagin and other country towns attended the Camp Kennedy gathering while 32 campers were onsite at Busselton. Baptist Churches Western Australia Youth and Young Adult Consultant Craig Palmer said the two camps gave valuable options for young adults across the state to meet with peers and friends at a special time of year. Busselton Baptist Community Church Pastor Paul Colyer spoke at the Camp Kennedy event, while Quinns Baptist Church Pastor Andrew Hamilton spoke for the group of 18 to 25 year olds at the Busselton Baptist Camping Centre. Paul focused on the condition of people without God, why people need God and how to accept God. “A highlight of the camp would definitely be Paul’s sermons. Not one person left camp without being convicted and encouraged by the gospel,” organiser Rachel Goodall said. Other highlights included the Easter Sunday dawn service, a large bush dance and

Photo: Brooke Sheehan

Two successful camps have engaged young adults at Busselton and Albany camp sites over the Easter weekend this year.

Campers at the Albany Easter camp held at Camp Kennedy.

live sheep mascots for sports team-building exercises. Each team marked their sheep using coloured hair spray paint before the sheep participated in a ‘sheep trial’ competition. In Busselton, Andrew Hamilton spoke on the topic, ‘The Road Less Travelled’, calling young adults to costly discipleship by intentionally following Jesus as the centre of their lives rather than

as a convenient ‘add on’, as experienced by followers of recreational Christianity. “Statistics show only 60 to 70 percent of the group at camp will be following Jesus in 20 years’ time,” Andrew said. “Some will give up on Jesus, others will lose their way and some will wander off and reject faith.” Andrew outlined some life disciplines that can help

people stay connected to Jesus: pursue simplicity, choose fellowship, develop healthy spiritual rhythms, deal with your demons, expect disappointments, choose to marry a Christian and find someone to confess your sins to. All the campers at Busselton declared the experiment a success. “Being the first Busselton Easter camp it was always going

to be a bit of ‘taste and see’ but it was a great camp with a strong feeling of getting away in a beyond words beautiful location,” Craig said. Planning for Juniors and Inters at Serpentine Camping Centre during the mid-year school holidays is already well advanced. To register for the camps, visit www.baptistwa.asn.au

Cung Uk Lal left Myanmar in 2001 to start a new life in Australia. Today he is the Assistant Pastor at Myanmar Baptist Church and recently graduated from Vose Seminary with a Bachelor of Theology. Cung (29) started studying a Certificate IV of Christian Spirituality focusing on personal development of people from cross-cultural churches at Vose Seminary in 2006. An adjunct lecturer at Vose Dr Marc Chan was a significant person in Cung’s academic journey, helping him unravel the systems of academic learning. “Everything was very difficult for me – language, ways of thinking, concepts,

culture, food and many other things, and I enjoyed every bit of these experiences,” Cung said. Training at Vose has deeply impacted Cung’s life. “Vose has taught me to become a lifelong learner so I will continue to learn more and more as I serve God wherever He puts me,” Cung said. “Vose has enhanced my thinking, understanding and doing.”

“It has humbled me and taught me to trust and rely on God more than ever.” Forty-five people from Cung’s church, including his pastor Zaw Win attended the Vose Commencement and Conferral Service at Riverton Baptist Church in March. His mother Sui Ci Chuntoi and Cung’s two sisters also attended. Cung is one of the first migrants from Myanmar to graduate with a bachelor degree from Vose Seminary. Cung’s father died when Cung was eight years old. He was adopted into his aunt’s family and migrated to Perth with them.

Photo: Sarah Wickham SJ Creations

Life change for Cung

Sui Ci Chuntoi stands proudly with her son Cung Uk Lal after he recently graduated with a Bachelor of Theology from Vose Seminary.



MAY 2015

Phil Beeck from East Fremantle Baptist Church is deeply committed to helping men become better dads. Phil is the President of the P&C at his local school and has been an integral part of the Fathering Project in his local area for about six years. The group helps fathers realise how important they are in a child’s life and offers advice on how to encourage their children. “I run an annual dads and kids camp in our local school and help a few other schools with their Fathering Projects,” Phil said. One hundred and thirteen dads and their children camped overnight on a local school oval in mid-March as part of the P&C group’s involvement in the Fathering Project. East Fremantle Baptist Church members are also involved in the project and volunteers arrived at 6am to cook bacon and eggs for the dads and kids’ breakfast.

For many men being a father does not come naturally and they need to learn the skills. Founder of the Fathering Project Professor Bruce Robinson started the group after repeatedly hearing from terminally ill patients in his work as a lung specialist that men regretted not spending more time with their children. “For a lot of blokes their dad was either not around or was not a really good guy, so they don’t have a role model for how to be a dad,” Bruce said. “Even if they had a good role model, pretty much every dad has to learn what to do.” “No one ever teaches you how to be a dad,” he said. Phil believes changing how men function as the father of their children has the ability to change a generation.

Over the years of being involved in the East Fremantle community Phil has seen some subtle and not so subtle changes in the school community. “We have stories of dads quitting their busy jobs to do things that make more time for their kids,” Phil said. “I hope in the future that I can say that the big beneficiaries are the kids who grow up with active dads in their lives, who know they are loved unconditionally, they are special and can say that dad was there for me.” Another visible change is that dads are more involved in the community. The school has seen a 30 percent increase in the number of dads dropping and collecting children. Previously there were only three or four. This has created a huge cultural shift and advanced community spirit. Phil continues to connect men with the Fathering Project resources and is already planning this year’s camp for dads and their sons at The Paddock in Pingelly during spring.

Photo: Phil Beeck

Fathering building community

Dads caught more of the vision of being fathers to their children when they camped overnight on the oval at a local school in East Fremantle.

Training for mission teams

Photo: Christa Smith

Short-term mission trip personnel will have the opportunity to receive training by Missions Interlink at Perth Bible College on Saturday 27 June.

Christa Smith from Stacey College, Perth and Pioneers WA with a group of Chinese students in her English class in China last year.

The one day event offers a unique opportunity for pastors, team leaders and others to prepare for cross-cultural short-term visits for two to six weeks. Broadly understanding God’s plan for missions and how a group’s

briefs Sport celebration West Coast Eagle Nic Naitanui, Perth Wildcat Shawn Redhage and the How Ridiculous guys Brett, Derek, Kyle, and Scott will be at St Mary’s Cathedral, 17 Victoria Square, Perth for the Celebration of Sport service on Sunday 17 May at 2.45pm. Western Warriors Coach Justin Langer will be the speaker. This annual event is hosted by Christians Together in Sport.

Prayer gathering Wesley Church in the city was full on Saturday 11 April as Christians gathered to pray for the persecuted church. A focus for prayer during the meeting was the church in Kenya, particularly the families

mission fits into God’s plan sets the stage for further learning. Team dynamics and utilising team members’ personalities on mission, as well as maximising personal missional and relationship impact will also be addressed. The group of trainers have over 80 years combined missions’ experience. Trainers include Missions Interlink Western Australia’s Neil Anderson; Vose Mission Director and Operation Mobilisation State Director WA Lloyd Porter; Pioneers Australia – WA and Stacey College’s Christa Smith; Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ’s(WEC) Jim Dawson and Denise Rhodes.

“With more churches than ever before sending short-term teams on mission, this is a great opportunity for churches to help prepare team leaders and pastors to learn from people with a lot of practical experience,” Neil Anderson said. Missions Interlink is an association of mission-focused organisations, colleges, churches and individuals that are committed to high standards in practice and working together to maximise Australia’s contribution to global mission. The training program costs $30 and to register contact Peter Warren on 0417 916 323.

POSITION VACANT of the 148 students killed at the Garissa University.

Cross-cultural event Cross-cultural churches are planning a combined worship event celebrating Pentecost at Morley Baptist Church, 33 Hanwell Way, Bassendean on Saturday 23 May from 2pm to 5pm. Choirs from some churches have already commenced rehearsals. For more information, phone Pastor Victor Owuor on 6313 6300.

Romanian anniversary The Romanian Baptist Church celebrated their 25th Anniversary on Sunday 26 April with a special lunch following their morning

service. The church meets in one of the earliest Baptist churches built in Western Australia at 451 Guildford Road, Bayswater.

Winter camps Juniors camp for children in Years 4 to 6 will be held from 6 to 10 July. The cost is $270 for early bird registration by 8 June and or $290 by 22 June. David Smith is the speaker. Inters for young people in Years 7 to 9 runs from 13 to 17 July. Earlybird registration is $280 by 8 June or $300 by 22 June. Chris Field is the speaker. Both camps will be conducted at Serpentine Camping Centre in Jarrahdale. For more information and registration, visit www.baptistwa.asn.au

Church Administrator Lakeside Baptist Church (P/T, 0.6 FTE) Situated in the southern suburbs of Perth WA, Lakeside is a unique church serving the community through a Recreation Centre. It’s a vibrant church that is passionate about seeing people say “yes” to Jesus. An exciting opportunity is available for an enthusiastic and experienced person to join the team at Lakeside in the role of Church Administrator. The successful applicant will need to have excellent people and communication skills, good computer literacy, strong administrative and co-ordination ability and the capacity to develop and maintain systems. The Church Administrator is responsible for the overall management of all church administration tasks as well as providing administrative assistance to the Senior Pastor. The successful applicant would be required to attend Lakeside Baptist Church. For more information or a copy of the selection criteria, contact Anthony Palmieri on (08) 9310 7111. Please send written application addressing the selection criteria to church@lakeside.asn.au. Applications close Friday 22nd May 2015.



Photo: Ken Duncan

MAY 2015

A chronic lack of awe By Ken Duncan Have you ever wondered why days seemed to last forever when you were a child … and now it feels like we blink and another week is over? The pace of life is faster than ever and we can trip over just trying to keep up. We have all this technology to make life easier, yet no invention that can slow down time. A 2012 study published in Psychology Today has revealed the real problem … We are all suffering from a chronic lack of awe. During the study, some volunteers watched imagery that was funny, while others watched ‘awe inspiring’ imagery. Surprisingly, those who watched the ‘awe inspiring’ imagery felt like they had more time, as if time had slowed down.

And it makes sense. I’m sure that like me, during childhood you spent countless hours outdoors looking up at the clouds, or the magnificent night sky. But as we get older, we can tend to stop looking up and spend more time looking down at computer screens and smart devices. My basic philosophy is best summed up by these words: ‘For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.’ [Romans 1:20]

I consider myself an average photographer, with a great God – I’m merely an interpreter of God’s creation. My ‘office’ is the lush rainforests of the Daintree, desert wonders like Uluru and our magnificent, endless beaches. I’ve travelled the world, interpreting God’s creation and I’ve come to realise that the only appropriate response is an overwhelming sense of ‘gratitude’. Gazing into crystal clear water at the foot of a glorious, roaring waterfall is like staring into the face of God – truly comprehending His creative nature and His rich blessings. ‘Walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.’ [Matthew 6:29]

Take a moment to really stop and smell the roses; lie on your back and stare up at the stars, like you used to when you were a child. Perhaps over the years, it’s not just your childlike sense of awe that’s left you but also your childlike faith. Maybe it is time to recapture that too. ‘Enter with the password: ‘Thank you!’ Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him.’ [Psalm 100:4] When we truly immerse ourselves in God’s creation, we cannot help but feel thankful. It creates a certain sense of perspective – the same God who created the Universe is taking care of each one of us. I believe God has an incredible destiny for Australia and for us as Australians. As we start to say ‘thank you’, He will start to open up those doors even more. At a time when there is so much fear and anxiety around

Ken Duncan is an award winning Australian photographer and an ambassador of the National Day of Thanksgiving.

the world, what is the answer? I believe the answer is faith and thankfulness for what God is going to do. Our help and our hope is in Him. The National Day of Thanksgiving is on Saturday 30 May. It is an opportunity for us to stop, as a Nation, and say ‘thanks’ to God and to each other for the blessings we all enjoy. For more information, visit www.thanksgiving.org.au Reprinted with permission.

news MAY 2015

Get involved The National Day of Thanksgiving gives Australians the opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for our God given heritage as a nation, and to thank one another for the contributions each makes in our communities. The uniqueness of the National Day of Thanksgiving is that it gives every congregation a way to creatively reconnect with their community. Many churches across Australia have grasped the concept with outstanding results, and are now effectively connecting and engaging with their community to the benefit of all. It is a Christian based initiative endorsed by government and supported by numerous community groups. It provides churches in Australia with the opportunity to give leadership in drawing local communities together to


celebrate the values that bind us together as a nation. How can your church be involved? 1. By outreaching to your community with acts of kindness to those in greatest need. Involve your local council and ask businesses to support and/or sponsor larger scale projects that will impact the wider community. For greater impact, join with other churches in your area and make a combined witness to your community. 2. Organise morning teas or lunches in the week leading

4. 5.


up to the National Day of Thanksgiving for those working in the community groups who are being thanked this year across the nation. Order and distribute Thanksgiving Day cards and ribbons for all church members – five to six of each item to each member of your congregation – to distribute to those they wish to thank throughout your community. Cards and ribbons are available from Koorong books. Take a group of disadvantaged children on a day outing. Get your youth group washing cars, mowing lawns or undertaking other chores for free for those unable to leave their home, disabled or disadvantaged people. Organise combined services of worship and celebration to God, ‘Australia Worships’, on the evening of Saturday 30 May as we give thanks to God for our great nation.

Turn Sunday services into Thanksgiving Services and honour and thank special people in your own congregation who work and serve in the areas chosen to be thanked and honoured this year – fathers, father figures and mentors; and people working in the finance departments of not-forprofit groups, bookkeepers, accountants, bank staff,

treasurers of sporting and social groups, people working in financial support areas and debt counselling. For a free Church Infomation Pack with more information and ideas, visit www.thanksgiving.org.au Source: Australian Prayer Network


10 news MAY 2015

Kenyan university attacked to support the Kenyan government as it responds to the ongoing situation and formulates policies to address this heinous threat.” Al-Shabaab attacks in Kenya have increased since October 2011, when Kenya’s army joined international efforts to stabilise Somalia following the cross-border abductions of foreign tourists by the group. The group formally aligned itself with al-Qaeda in 2012, although reports of foreign fighters amongst its ranks predated this announcement. A Kenyan born member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International

Garissa Universtiy was the target of Al-Shabaab, the Somali-based Islamist terror group, in early April.

Ministries in the USA John Njoroge was asked where God was in the horror of the Garissa attack. He recounted a story that emerged from the University which offers a powerful analogy. One of the students, Hellen Titus, told the Kenyan media

how she was able to escape from the tragedy as the shooters hovered over her and her fellow students. She covered herself with someone else’s blood and was thereby mistaken for dead. “That is exactly what Jesus has done for us; He invites us

to be covered with His blood so that we can live,” John said. “When we are thus protected, we may grieve, but we do not grieve like those without hope, and we do not fear those who can only kill the body but cannot touch the soul,” he said.

Four million flee Syria violence World Vision continues to work with Syrian refugees desperate for safety and stability after more than four years of civil war. A staggering four million people have fled across borders to escape the violence – equivalent to more than the populations of South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT combined. Another 7.6 million people – more than New South Wales’s entire population – are displaced inside Syria. Some of these people have chosen to stay, others cannot get out.

World Vision is working with 1.2 million refugees in Lebanon where they are installing water tanks and toilets in makeshift settlements to ensure access to clean water and sanitation. They are also distributing food vouchers and essential supplies like nappies, cooking equipment and winter clothing. In Jordan they are reaching more than 260,000 people by providing basic supplies such as food and clothing. They are constructing water and sanitation facilities to meet the urgent needs of more than 50,000 people in Azraq, the new refugee camp built to support the overflow at Za’atari refugee camp, where they are rehabilitating road and

Photo: thomas koch/Shutterstock.com

Local reports say the militants launched the attack at 5.30am by throwing explosives at the University’s main gate before storming the facility, firing indiscriminately and gaining access to the student hostels. The assailants separated the students based on their religion. They released Muslims and killed many Christians. Stories of survival emerged over the Easter period. Student Cynthia Cheroitich told how she hid in a wardrobe for more than 48 hours, covering herself with the clothes, eating and drinking body lotion before she was rescued. “I was just praying to my God, saying that if it has come to my day, it has reached, but if not yet, let God decide whatever He likes,” Cynthia said. “We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and injured in this attack,” Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said. Christian Solidarity Worldwide said the separation of hostages according to their faith echoes previous AlShabaab attacks and highlights the group’s deadly and divisive sectarian motivations. This was particularly poignant on the eve of the Christian celebration of Easter. “We welcome the statement by President Kenyatta assuring the nation of the deployment of the necessary security apparatus,” Mervyn said. “We call upon the international community

Photo: Public domain

Al-Shabaab, the Somali-based Islamist terror group, attacked Garissa Universtiy in north-east Kenya on 2 April killing 148 people and injuring many more in the attack.

Millions of Syrian children seek safety due to over four years of civil war.

drainage to keep families safe and dry. More than half of those caught up in the conflict are children. Many have lost family members and their homes. They have witnessed or experienced

violence and are scared and frustrated. World Vision is providing remedial classes and childfriendly spaces, helping children catch up on lost classroom time and restore a sense of normality.

Anti-Christian violence

Christians across India urge the Prime Minister to take positive action to prove the sentiment.

international briefs Vietnam trouble

Still missing

Boy set alight

Mennonite Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang was recently assaulted for the second time in two months. A mob of about 25 young men are reported to have attacked Pastor Quang and his son, Nguyen Quang Trieu, at their church in Ho Chi Minh City. Both suffered facial injuries and Nguyen Quang Trieu suffered bruising to his body after being kicked repeatedly. Two other pastors who tried to intervene were also injured. Police reportedly failed to stop the attack and are said to have filed a report accusing Pastor Quang and his son of ‘disturbing local residents’.

Tuesday 14 April marked the one year anniversary of the abduction of 273 Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram. Although Nigerian Presidentelect Buhari has vowed to defeat the Boko Haram militants, as well as continue all efforts to find the captive Chibok girls, he said in a statement that he is not hopeful of finding all of them. He has declared his resolve to find the remaining captive girls if possible. Many events were held around the world by Chibok girls’ supporters to remember them and support the efforts to rescue them.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported that a 13 year old boy sustained burns to 55 percent of his body after he was set alight by two men on 10 April. Noman Masih was in a market in Gulshan Ravi, Lahore when he got into a conversation with two men on a motorbike. When they found out he was Christian they assaulted him, threw petrol on him and set him on fire. CSW urged the Pakistani Government to ensure the attackers are apprehended and that the right to freedom of religion or belief, guaranteed in international treaties to which Pakistan is party, is upheld.

A group of 20 Christian missionaries distributing leaflets to local residents in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan in northern India were detained by police on 25 February. They were taken to the police station where they were hit and kicked before being released. The Christians were from the Indian city of Hyderabad. The incident took place only days after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on anti-Christian violence, stating that his administration “will not allow any religious group … to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly.” Although his statements were welcomed,

Kazakhstan censorship Norwegian Forum 18 News Service reports a Baptist in Kazakhstan, Nikolai Novikov, could face up to three years in jail for refusing to pay a 2013 fine for offering religious literature on the streets, which had not been censored by the State. Nikolai refused to pay the fines, as he states they are unjust. Prosecutor Aydin Rashidov described the crime as ‘middling seriousness’ and if convicted he would escape imprisonment but live under restrictions, including being subject to a curfew every night.

news 11 MAY 2015

Freeset campaigns for gateway

Within a few square miles more than 10,000 women and girls stand in line selling their bodies ... At the heart of the Freeset Gateway Campaign is the acquisition of a 20,000 square foot building in Sonagacchi which will provide ample space for the Freeset businesses and community to grow. The building is strategically located at the gateway of Sonagacchi, allowing the Freeset team’s efforts and the women’s freedom to be visible to all who enter the district. The broader vision is to build on Freeset’s experiences and success, and for this to be a catalyst for the growth of new businesses, providing women with an array of vocational choices. “Our timeline is short. The owners of the property will close on the sale by the end of June 2015 so $2 million of our $3 million goal needs to be achieved by that date,” Freeset co-founder Kerry Hilton said. Within a few square miles more than 10,000 women and girls stand in line selling their bodies, trapped in the sex trade in Sonagacchi, one of the largest red-light districts in Asia. Many are trafficked from Bangladesh, Nepal and rural India. For others poverty has left them without options.

Today Freeset provides employment for 205 women. Many hundreds more can be brought to freedom through the Gateway Campaign. The campaign will provide holistic social services including healthcare, childcare, education and counselling. Through Freeset women gain financial independence, access to healthcare, literacy education and other social services, transforming their lives, their families and their communities. People are invited to partner with Freeset to help build freedom for women in India. To make a donation to the Gateway Campaign, email trust@freeset.org and the team will send details of how to contribute in your area.

Freeset has launched a campaign to buy a property in the red light district of Sonagacchi, Kolkata, India.

Anzac saved In October, Western Australians will have the opportunity to see a Bible that saved the life of a gallant young soldier at Gallipoli and still cradles the bullet in its pages. The Bible will be part of a national touring exhibition, Their Sacrifice, conducted by Bible Society Australia to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landing. The Australian Defence Force is taking the Bible on a pilgrimage to the Lone

Pine Memorial at Gallipoli to be part of its ceremonies marking the 100th Anzac Day. The Bible belonged to Lance-Corporal Elvas Jenkins who was hit directly over his heart by a lead shrapnel bullet under intense bombardment at Gallipoli. The bullet penetrated the pages of the

Photo: Bible Society

For 14 years, Freeset has provided a vocational alternative to the sex trade for at-risk and trafficked women in Kolkata. Freeset trains and employs women who produce fair-trade bags and apparel which are sold online around the world. The model is a sustainable program that produces real results and frees women – but it needs to get bigger. Finding space in Sonagacchi is difficult, but the Freeset work must be in this area where the women live. Being part of the neighbourhood is key to building the relationships and trust required for the women to join the Freeset team.

Photo: Freeset

Freeset needs US $2 million by June 2015 to purchase a building at the entrance of the red light area of Sonagacchi, Kolkata, India to expand their work among women trapped in the sex trade. The Freeset Gateway Campaign was launched in March.

The Bible that saved Lance-Corporal Elvas Jenkins’ life at Gallipoli will be in Perth as part of a Bible Society Australia touring exhibition in October.

French New Testament and stopped at the gospels, saving him from instant death. Jenkins was one of the first to land at Gallipoli and one of the last to be evacuated.

Tragically he went on to become the first Anzac to die on the Western Front. The exhibition will visit Westfield Carousel from 19 October to 1 November.

12 in conversation MAY 2015

Awareness and attentiveness Mark Conner is the Senior Minister of CityLife Church, a diverse community of Christ-followers meeting in multiple locations in Melbourne. Mark has a genuine love for people and a passion to help them grow and change. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Mark is married to Nicole and they have three young adult children.

How important do you believe it is for a pastor to lead the people in exploring intimacy with God? It’s absolutely crucial. Personalities differ and give expression to great variety in life. How do you encourage a variety of expressions of intimacy, giving different personalities freedom? I think it’s really important to build a leadership team that

has variety. It flows out and embraces others. So look for people God is working in. Don’t be afraid of difference. You know if you just have the same type of people in a group it gets flat, one-dimensional and you miss so much. Yes, you have to work harder when there’s a wide range of personalities and styles, but it’s worth it. What do you see as the major hindrances to personal awareness of God? I think busyness is a huge issue. I use the analogy of a kid playing with their toys. You don’t talk to them until you have their attention. I think as adults we all have our toys. It could be email or … and while we’re playing with our toys I don’t think God is going to speak. It’s Samuel saying, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” What do awareness and attentiveness to God look like in the context of community? That’s one of the roles of the leader – to collectively lead the congregation to sense what God is saying to us as a community. At the beginning of every year when we have our vision weekend, we avoid ‘God told me’, but say, ‘I sense God speaking to us as a church’ and naming the moment. Last year, in Term 4, I had a message about re-digging the wells. You remember Isaac – the Philistines filled up the wells of his father Abraham and Isaac re-dug the wells. He then dug some new wells. I just said that I sensed there has been a bit of clogging of the wells and we need to re-dig the wells of our spiritual vitality. Then for three or four months, we had small groups talking about redigging the wells. That was just me enabling something and it ‘took off’. There’s the ‘logos’, the written word and the ‘rhema’, the quickened or now word. It’s a bit like time. There’s ‘chronos’ time with time just ticking away and then there’s ‘kairos’ time … that moment of opportunity. Like when you catch a wave when you’re surfing, quickened and alive. It resonates with people. Our job as leaders is to create environments where

Photo: Jill Birt

Awareness and attentiveness; please explain what you mean by these two terms. Awareness is being tuned in to God. We don’t need more of God’s presence, we need to be more aware of God. Like Jacob in Genesis 28:1-10, “surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it … this place is awesome.” Busyness is a real problem – we’re so busy doing we can miss the opportunity to see and know God. We rush around so busy doing that we miss opportunities. This is a learned posture. It’s closely connected with attentiveness, growing in listening to God and looking for Him. You’ll remember Moses and the fire bush: “I will go over to see … when the Lord saw that he had one over to look, God called to him.” [Exodus 3:1-4] Who opens up to an inattentive person? No one. Slow down, take time, meditate, muse, ponder. I take regular time each week and month to cultivate this. A couple of years ago during a time when I was consciously focusing on learning to be attentive I went on my morning walk and I noticed the pathway battered and eroded, worn and exposed. I’d walked that pathway hundreds of times and never really noticed, but that day God said, “that’s what your soul is like. I want to repair and restore”. I love the story John Ortberg tells. He phoned his spiritual mentor Dallas Willard just after he’d accepted a job as Teaching Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, and asked his advice heading to the new role. “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,” Dallas said. John wrote that down and said, “Okay, what else?”

Mark Conner with Steve Ingram at the Baptist Churches Western Australia Pastoral Retreat in April.

we’re always encouraging listening to what God is saying. Like prophecy. Again in its distortion, it’s like, ‘Thus says the Lord’, but I don’t think we need that. We need more of ‘I sense God may be doing …’. We do a lot of that in our community. We need more of together listening to hear what God may do in our churches. How can a church grow in this? If I was leading a community where I wanted to lean more into this awareness of what’s God saying to us, I’d be spotting the people in the church who might be wired that way. I have a Punjabi woman on my staff. She has a very sharp ability to sense God. I’d push her forward. Ask her to lead the staff prayer meeting. Take evangelism. If your church is not reaching out, what do you do? You find your naturally wired evangelists and get them telling stories, giving testimonies. It’s Ephesians 5. These gifts are for equipping the saints for ministry. Find the

prophetic people and give them a voice. You come across as a man of God who is confident in this leadership role. You’re not threatened by others giftedness or ideas. Is that a learned thing? I grew up under good, secure leaders, so I had environments where I thought that was just normal. But I truly believe that no one has all the gifts and I believe that leadership is team leadership. I believe that the leaders’ role is to create an environment where all gifts are being utilised. What have you been learning about God recently? Awareness and attentiveness are two things, it’s so easy to drift back into busyness and not be as attentive as I should be. Learning about God and His patience with us and His grace. God’s grace is amazing. Do you sense His smile of approval? I do actually. To me God is Father. To me God’s presence can be special. I sense God

looking over my shoulder with a smile and approval. For some God is up high, for some He is far away. For me I sense God here with me, not looking over in a judgmental way, but encouraging. Can you suggest a couple of books that may help our readers explore this area of life? Present Perfect by Gregory Boyd. It’s a re-work of the Brother Lawrence book The Practice of the Presence of God. At a health level, Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath is a very good book on healthy living. I reckon it’s a very good book for pastors. I’ve just started Soul Keeping by John Ortberg, a very good book, and a business book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown about priorities. It’s a very challenging book. What are you reading at the moment? I’m reading a book by James K A Smith called How (Not) to be Secular. It’s a fascinating book on the secular age. I’m also reading N T Wright’s latest book called Simply Good News.

leadership 13 MAY 2015

Is your environment holding you back? – Part 2 By John Maxwell Last month we learnt about five characteristics of a growth environment. This month John Maxwell will discuss the remaining five characteristics he has identified. 6. You wake up excited. No, not every day. Everyone has a bad day sometimes. But overall, in a growth environment, you feel so positively challenged and affirmed that you are eager to get up every day because you expect to keep growing and learning. 7. Failure is not your enemy. By focusing on solutions rather than blame, a growth environment gives you permission to make mistakes, admit them, and learn from them. Failure is such a big part of growth, that people don’t fear it. 8. Others are growing. In addition to those who are ahead of you, are the people around you growing? Moving together toward a common goal can be exhilarating, like being on a winning team. In a growth environment, people almost can’t help growing because it’s emphasised and affirmed.

9. People desire change. Growth equals change. If the people around you don’t desire it, or worse, if they resist it, then your environment is not one of growth. In a growth environment, change is encouraged and celebrated. 10. Growth is modelled and expected. In a growth environment, the willingness to grow is demonstrated at all levels. Leaders expect it of themselves as well as their people. They hold themselves and others accountable when it is not occurring; and they celebrate growth when it happens. Writing my list had a great effect on me. It gave me clarity on my then-current situation, as I became more aware of how it was slowing down my personal growth. It also showed me what kind of situation I needed to look for in the future. Soon afterward, I made a difficult change, getting out of my comfort zone and stepping into a new environment where I could thrive and grow again. What kind of environment are you in? Does it help you grow or is it holding you back? Are you a leader? If so, you can make your organisation into a growth environment. Use this list to check your progress. Are you a team member? If so, you may not have much

input into your environment. Use this list to see what kind of environment you might want to be in. If you are in a bad environment, it may be time to move. If you are not able to move as easily as I did, here is some good news: you can grow in a non-growth environment. It is just harder. Are you a parent? It wasn’t until after I wrote my list that I realised that I had basically described my home environment

growing up. My parents did a phenomenal job of nurturing and encouraging our personal growth and learning. Use this list to create a growth environment in your home. You’ll give your children a gift that they’ll use the rest of their lives, as I have. Personal growth is challenging. It involves mistakes and failure. A good environment certainly makes it easier to grow. But whether you’re in a good environment or

not, you can learn and improve where you are. I wrote my book, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn, to help people like you to turn mistakes and losses into opportunities. Even the most challenging situation can lead to incredible growth. Continue to keep your eyes on that prize. Used with permission from The John Maxwell Company, www.johnmaxwell.com

By Wayne Field It’s often said that the best kind of mistake to learn from is someone else’s. No one likes to admit their mistakes, but doing so is cathartic and enables us and others to grow. I have made plenty of mistakes in pastoral leadership. I offer just three of them here in the hope that they bring reassurance that no matter how stupid our actions have been in the past, progress can still be made. Mistake #1: Allowing an opponent into leadership. Even writing that sounds stupid now. However, I had every good intention. In the face of an ardent opponent, I mistakenly believed that by keeping him close I could disciple him and win him over as a brother and friend. It didn’t work

and after a tumultuous season he and his family left the church. “Not quarrelsome” is one of the requirements of church leadership given in 1 Timothy 3. I overlooked that and our church and the family involved paid the price. Mistake #2: I once started a ministry when I had no one else to lead it. Pastors are so keen to build bridges and see people come to Christ that they will sometimes do anything to make it happen, even if it means having to do everything themselves.

This is not sustainable, as I found out. Had I discipled someone else into leadership that ministry may well be continuing and bearing fruit today. The apostles spoke about this issue when they said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program” [Acts 6:2].

... give preference to the lost before the saved. Mistake #3: Choosing the ‘in-crowd’ over the ‘out-crowd’: Pastors choose who will take priority in their ministry; will

it be the community or the church? Both ought to receive the pastor’s attention, but who will be the primary ‘customer?’ Who will get served first? Even Jesus prioritised whom He would serve [Matthew 9:11-12]. When I have to prioritise I endeavour to give preference to the lost before the saved. One case where I did not was the time I chose to attend a church camp over solemnising the marriage of an unbelieving couple. They had been slowly making their way into the fellowship. However, after I declined to conduct their wedding they never came back. Maybe I’m being harsh on myself, but I do regret my choice on that occasion. I sometimes make another mistake and that is to let my faults get to me. However, I take heart from the fact that I’m not alone

Photo: Operation Mobilization

Leadership mistakes I have made

Wayne Field is the International Training Officer with Operation Mobilization.

in my imperfection. The church is not perfect and the world we live in is not perfect either … not yet anyway. While we wait to enter into the fullness, His perfect eternity, let’s leverage our mistakes as opportunities to learn, to grow and to become more like Christ.

14 intermission MAY 2015

A minute with ...

read When Jesus Wept

Photo: Jill Birt

Bodie and Brock Thoene When Jesus Wept is book one of a series by Bodie and Brock Thoene. Their easy but expressive style evokes your imagination, paints a vivid picture and takes you on a journey into the times of Jesus and the Jewish plight at that point in history. With scripture woven in, this book expands on what little we know of Lazarus and his sisters and builds the story of their friendship with Jesus. It brings greater insight into some of the metaphors used by Jesus, especially those relating to the vine. So often we forget how different the times and the culture were, but understanding them helps us understand more of God and His word. I am looking forward to reading book two Take This Cup and book three when it is released in 2016.

If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat John Ortberg Centred on the scripture where Peter walks on water, John Ortberg thoroughly unpacks it, giving us insight into how it applies to our everyday lives. John Ortberg’s use of personal and friends’ experiences to example the do’s and don’ts will help us to see how we apply or don’t apply this scripture to our lives. He challenges us to make the changes to live the way Jesus would have us live. At the end of each chapter there are points to ponder on and prompts to change our personal habits. An easy to read, teaching book that will build your faith and help you to make the changes to live more like Jesus. This title is also available on audio and as a group study.

Perth Chin Baptist Church Pastor James Tin Kung What led you to this role? I was a pastor in Myanmar for 18 years before I was sponsored by the Western Australia Chin Christian Church to move from Myanmar to Perth in 2008 to be the pastor for them. A year ago we started Perth Chin Baptist Church. Where is the church located? We meet at Maida Vale Baptist Church, 24 Edney Road, High Wycombe. What time are services held? Sundays at 2.15pm.

The Prodigal Brennan Manning Written in conjunction with Greg Garrett, The Prodigal is the last book Manning wrote before he died. A retelling of the parable of the Prodigal Son, it really screams of Manning’s total absorption with the absolute love of God poured out on His undeserving children. Jack Chisolm is the pastor of a megachurch who fails morally, and in the blink of an eye finds himself without his wife, daughter and church. His estranged father turns up at his lowest point to take him back to his childhood home; this is where his healing begins. A very easy read, focussing on the grace of God and its power to restore and change any prodigal. It is suitable for Christians of any spiritual age, but also as a good evangelical tool.

How and when did the church start? The church started on 4 May 2014, formed by Baptist members. Who makes up the ministry team? Pastor James Tin Kung and Executive Committee members. What is a feature of your church or ministry you’d like to share? The entire worship program is done in Hakha – the Chin language. A final thought … Our church meets the needs of Chin people from Myanmar who have come to Australia to find freedom to worship and work.

Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley Assistant Manager Dorothy Waddingham.

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school scoop 15 MAY 2015

Each month a school highlights news from their campus through the writing and photography of students on the School Scoop page.

Emmanuel Christian Community School Through the teaching of God’s Word we will bring people to Christ and help them to grow in Him. Kindergarten to Year 7 www.eccs.wa.edu.au

Emmanuel Christian Community School was established in 1982 as a ministry of the Girrawheen Baptist Church. In 2015, it commenced the first year of high school with Year 7.

High school here I come

Step by step

By Jasmine Huynh (Year 7) Photo: Emmanuel Christian Community School

As I walked into the next step of my education I marvelled at how God had helped me to reach this stage of my life. It’s amazing really. When you get to this stage of life, it is like a new beginning, a new start to a great adventure that is going to unfold in our next six years of life. So many stories to come. So many things that God will help us through. As I ran into the Year 7 classroom I saw so many opportunities for my future, so many future friends, such as my good friends Joel and Gabriel. The first day of high school was great. I was introduced to lots of new subjects, Philosophy with Mrs Davis and Latin with Mr Cruz for example. We have so many great teachers and the sport at Emmanuel is very extensive. Our sport teachers, Mr Gabrielson and Mr Leathard are always pushing us to do our very best, which will most likely help us in our future endeavours. I may not be perfect, I may not have the best grades, but this school has still accepted me, and even though none of us are perfect God still accepts us. That is what we need to do to others.

Photo: Emmanuel Christian Community School

By Nicholas Borbil (Year 7)

High school is revealing a whole different side of me. I, Jasmine, have been in this school since kindy. Who would have known that time could go by so quickly? Year 7 started with a quick assembly introducing the Year 7 foundation class. The day started with a prayer to our Heavenly Father. We were trusting that the Lord would help us throughout the year and the rest of our high school lives.

I always pictured being bullied as depicted in the Hollywood movies. Thankfully, that’s not my experience. The people here are kind and helpful. They support and encourage me. Things do get hard every now and then, but God has helped me through these difficult situations. We honour Him for what He has done for all of us. We know that all good things come from Him and we hope what good we have done will bring a smile to His face. That is when we have to realise that we need to take things slowly, step by step.

New kid on the block

Photo: Emmanuel Christian Community School

By Gabriel Fleming (Year 7) Half way through the term I became the new kid at Emmanuel. My name is Gabriel Fleming and I am proud to be in room 7. I moved to Emmanuel from a high school where I was not doing so well, but I am doing really well at Emmanuel – so far, so good. When I first arrived, the teacher for the day had no idea I was coming so she had to quickly give me the work that the other kids were doing. I settled in and made some new, really good friends.

The next few days were a bit overwhelming – I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do sometimes, but people were patient and helped me through the week. I guess it was a good week to start because swimming lessons had just begun. It was fun. It is now the end of Term 1 and I can honestly say it is a really great school. It is a brand new experience for me. I did not know time could go so quickly. I cannot wait for Year 8!

16 news MAY 2015

Photo: Sheryn Hack

Young ambassadors of faith

From their humble backyard beginnings to internet sensations, the How Ridiculous team – Derek Herron, Scott Gaunson, Brett Stanford and Kyle Nebel – are taking on global poverty with the weapon they have in their hands, usually a basketball.

Four young men from Perth, a basketball and hoop, and a drive to make a difference. Add them together, and what do you get? More than 15 million YouTube views, trick-shot world records and a lot of children released from poverty. The How Ridiculous team — Scott, Brett, Kyle and Derek — are known for their incredible trick shots and athletic stunts. They have broken several Guinness World Records,

including the record for the ‘greatest height from which a basketball is shot’ — a massive 91 metres. They have filmed themselves sinking basketball shots from the light towers at

the WACA, the grandstands at Domain Stadium and the Narrows Bridge, to name a few. Known for their steady arms, quick reflexes and enthusiastic celebrations, the boys are doing it all for a good cause: to show Jesus’ love to children in need. Over the past few years as Compassion Australia Ambassadors, How Ridiculous have helped hundreds of children get sponsored, and supported mothers and babies

at a child survival program in the Philippines. “I’d love it if our legacy would be [inspiring] Christians to be really passionate about seeing everyone in the world cared for,” Brett Stanford said. “We’ve tried to model that as How Ridiculous.” The awesome foursome recently travelled to Manila in the Philippines where they met their sponsored children and found themselves caught in a typhoon. While they still found the time to

play basketball with children from the local community, Derek said it was a confronting trip. “We stayed in some pretty nice places and when we visited Jefferson, my sponsored child, I asked him where he slept and he pointed at the floor, it just hit me.” “I really struggled with the disparity in wealth there and I felt kind of lost by that.” In all their travels and stunts, Brett said they try to remain focused on their main goal: sharing the good news and helping children. “Our eyes have been lifted and lifted [by God],” Brett said. “If God can take the random things we do and use them for good … He can actually use anything and anyone.” “Our message for anyone who sees our videos is that God can use you.” “He’s created you and gifted you. If you’re open to it, He can use whatever you’ve got.” “Even if it’s a humble basketball.” For more information about How Ridiculous visit, www.howridiculous.org, and for Compassion Australia visit, www.compassion.com.au Thank you to Richard Miller from Compassion Australia for this story.

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