In Conversation Former Zimbabwean test cricketer Henry Olongo talks about his faith and career. PAGE 12 >>
“Vision is ‘I have a dream’, and culture is ‘this is how we march’.” JOHN MAXWELL PAGE 13>>
4 Signal of hope Sonshine FM benefits from listener generosity >>
8 Halloween Photo: Riverview Church
How should Christians respond to Halloween? >>
Over 800 women were led in worship and encouraged by several speakers at the 2015 Fresh Conference.
Taking time to refresh Caitlin du Toit The 2015 Fresh Conference saw over 800 women come together at Riverview Church in September for two days of learning, inspiration and worship. The weekend featured encouraging messages from Hillsong Church Lead Pastor Julia A’Bell, Riverview Church Executive Minister Karen Wilson and Operation Mobilisation State Director Katherine Porter. Fresh Leadership day was held at Morley Baptist Church prior to the conference. Over 350 women heard from seven speakers on their experiences in leadership and the challenges they have encountered along the way. Women were encouraged to think about their leadership skills and how they can use these to bring glory to God and to help others. Julia A’Bell reminded the women present that God has given them gifts for a special
purpose. UnitingCare West CEO Sue Ash shared her personal leadership journey and the way God has led her over many years. The day also featured worship led by Cate Williams and her ‘allgirl’ band. Women of all ages and backgrounds joined together on the Friday evening for the opening rally to start Fresh Conference, where Riverview’s music team led the group in vibrant worship. A fun $10 giving moment saw over $6,000 given to aid the work of Teen Challenge in Cambodia. Vose Seminary student Sally Pim shared her journey of discovering Jesus and His call on her life to work in Mozambique. The women then
heard from Karen Wilson about loving extravagantly and with no strings attached. Attendees left the evening session with great excitement about what was to come on the Saturday. Several speakers presented on the Saturday, which ensured there was something for everyone. The main theme that flowed through the entire day was the importance of listening to God and acting on what He says, particularly in times of struggle. The speakers encouraged the women to focus on God and to think deeply about the world around them and the impact they could make. The room was filled with celebration and joy as the women left the conference feeling encouraged to bring change to their local and global communities. “I had such a wonderful time at the Fresh Conference this year,” conference attendee Melanie Gillis said.
“I left feeling inspired, excited and encouraged. I am already looking forward to next year!” Over $139,000 was given by those who attended to support the Vulnerable Children Fund administered by Baptist World Aid Australia. This fund supports projects that help to rescue children from vulnerable situations and also assists in the fight against human traffickers. There was a focus on Nepal to assist the Nepalese after the earthquakes shook their nation earlier this year, but funds will also be distributed across nine different nations who need assistance. The opportunity to give to this cause is still available via Baptist World Aid Australia. Along with other projects supported, there was a total of just over $150,000 given at Fresh this year.
15 For the children Check out the revamped intermission page >>
Generous hearts committed to building the Kingdom of God. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view OCTOBER 2015
For the glory of God ‘… whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ [1 Corinthians 10:31] The implication of Paul’s teaching is unambiguous. As believers, our lives should be lived ‘for the glory of God’.
Colin Lituri Colin Lituri is Senior Pastor at Woodvale Baptist Church.
But, what does that actually mean? Firstly, we often speak of those dying as going to glory and in that sense we mean being in the very presence of God. Secondly, the visible heavens declare God’s glory. John Piper puts this beautifully in his article ‘What Is God’s Glory?’: ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God [Psalm 19:1]. What does that mean? It means He is shouting at us. … I am glorious.’
If we could just catch a glimpse of God in the heavenly realms, as the old chorus says, ‘the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.’ Isaiah saw it [Isaiah 6:1-3] and John saw it [Revelation 4:25, 8b-11]. Again, in an attempt to make the idea of the glory of God clearer for us, John Piper asks: ‘What is the difference between the holiness of God and the glory of God? … The holiness
of God is, I think, His being in a class by Himself in His perfection and greatness and worth … When Isaiah 6:3 says that angels are crying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty”, the next thing they say is this: “The whole earth is full of His ...” and you might have expected him to say holiness. And he doesn’t say holiness. He says glory.’ I believe, when you or I do something ‘for the glory of God’, we are showing
His holiness, His character, His splendour, His worth, His importance to all who see our actions and attitudes. When they look at us, the world around should see the life of Christ lived out for the glory of God because God is using you and me to reflect himself publicly. So, dear friend, what are people seeing in you and me? In our homes, in our marriages, in our differences, in the stands at the football, in our care for others … in our very lives? Do our lives reflect the glory of God?
Without movies to distract ... Disaster looms. I’m on a flight back from Sydney – all five hours of it – and the entertainment system is on the blink. They’ve tried rebooting it twice, but to no avail. The screens are as dead as ... well, dead, and 300 passengers are not amused.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
Strange to be on a flight where passengers talk to each other. Not being distracted by another episode of Downton Abbey, we’ve noticed that there are people next to us. The volume of conversation is significantly higher than usual. Some travellers have come prepared. They know this carrier all too well, and have hauled out their iPads and headphones to watch movies carefully downloaded in anticipation.
They are looking sickeningly smug. I am not one of them. I contemplate what to do with the remaining hours. As a creature of habit, I work on the flight to Sydney, and then reward myself by watching movies on the way home. No reward this time. I trawl over my ‘to do list’. Advocate article due, blog posts to write, some talks to plan, a diary to prioritise, and a seriously dull book to read.
My neighbour has no trouble making his decision. He hauls out a motoring magazine and is reading it with rapt attention. We’ve spoken a few words, commiserated over the death of the in-flight entertainment, and then ran out of things to say ... perhaps we will find a topic of mutual interest later ... though it won’t be his motoring magazine. All the while the clock ticks on, life’s little moments passing.
Where is God in this? I know the biblical invitation – ‘Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.’ What does that mean when you don’t get to watch Downton Abbey? Perhaps it’s prayer time. It would be good to say to a host of people, “I was praying for you while on my flight back from Sydney.” Or perhaps I should pray, “thank you Lord that my greatest concern is what to do when the movie won’t show.” That is to be blessed indeed ...
Let it be Two of the Top 20 songs for 2014 were ‘Let it Go’ (ask a five year old) followed by ‘Shake It Off’ (ask a ten year old). Both are extremely catchy, and both tell a similar message: stop worrying about what other people think, and walk away from them and the relationship.
Jackie Smoker Jackie Smoker is a Senior Pastor at Como Baptist Church and BCWA Safe Church Consultant.
Whilst I appreciate the perspective ‘to forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead’ [Philippians 3:13b], and to aim to please God and not others [Galatians 1:10], I believe that to do so comes with a very big prerequisite: forgiveness. Forgiveness of what the ‘other’ has said or done, and forgiveness for our personal response to such an action.
The blame game of who did what can be like a severely tangled ball of wool. Simply trying to find a beginning can be a mammoth task that involves pulling apart the entwined mess as carefully as possible. You then begin to see how many twists, loops and knots there are – and you think about throwing the mess away! The reality is that each of us live with many knots, or scars,
in our lives. The remnant of an incident, even if resolved, can leave a mark, a bump, a perspective that influences other events in our lives. Jesus still bears the scars of the nails in His hands and it is these same hands that were stretched out on the cross whilst He cried out “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do” [Luke 23:34a]. Jesus links the sins, or debts, that we experience as ‘done to
us’ with the sin that we commit against others [Matthew 6:12]. Perhaps it is in seeking to untangle the mess to forgive the other that we might find the knots that we contributed. Surely it is easier to straighten out the loop or the twist before it becomes a knot. Are you willing to ‘let it go’? Not the person, but the expectations, the assumptions, the rightness of your position? Are you wanting to ‘shake it off’? Not the person, but the anger, the bitterness, the dismissal? The only way to really do so, is through the journey forgiveness.
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One church, two locations Tahlia Storms
A capacity crowd overflowed into the foyer for the inaugural service at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church’s new Coolbellup Campus.
representatives to pray over him. Peter then proceeded to give his opening message, based on Exodus 14:5-18 where God tells the children of Israel to ‘go forward’ in what the Lord is doing.
God is doing something new and we are privileged to be part of that. “That is the same message for us at Coolbellup. The past is history, God is doing something new and we are privileged to be part of that”, Peter said.
The congregation was a mix of many different groups of people. Many had come to support and serve from MPBC in Booragoon, others were former attendees of the old Coolbellup Church, while some visitors followed Christofides from Riverton to support him, along with many others from the surrounding area who came to find out what the new church is about. People stayed long after the service had finished, enjoying a celebratory piece of cake, bouncy castle, sausage sizzle and a chat. There was a great atmosphere, and this has continued in the following weeks with a number of about 80 to 90 people attending church, allowing room for growth.
Advocate wins For the second consecutive year The Advocate has been judged the Best Design Newspaper at the Awards of Excellence for the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) in Brisbane on 29 August. The Advocate freelance writer Jill Birt attended the annual ARPA conference and accepted the award on behalf of the design team at imageseven. Judges commended The Advocate as ‘a clear uncluttered newspaper’. The citation continued: ‘This attractive, very readable publication is characterised by the choice of an open font, consistent headlines throughout, bold header paragraphs, and careful use of colour and space. The banner
headline is a little quirky with a theme illustration cheekily included, different for each issue. Colour photographs are large and clear. Advertising is not overwhelming. From a design perspective it is a delight to read.’ Speakers at the conference affirmed freedom of the press and noted the religious press of Australia and New Zealand has a critical place to bring a voice that is often marginalised and even demonised by the mainstream media.
Photo: Nigel Harris
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church (MPBC) Coolbellup Campus Pastor Peter Christofides said that it was a wonderful morning, which was nothing less than a testament of the Lord’s faithfulness. “It was an unbelievable meeting of people giving praise and honour to God with much anticipation of what lies ahead,” Peter said. The service was set to start at 9am, but by 8.30am the car park was almost full and the foyer bustling with people. By the time the service began all 140 seats were filled, children sat along the rows on the floor, and people crowded in the foyer to hear the service. The congregation joined in songs of praise led by the worship team and listened to MPBC Senior Pastor Nick Scott’s commissioning to the new Coolbellup Campus. Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett and his wife Pat, and Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA) representatives Mark Wilson and Phil Bryant attended the service as special guests. Mark and Phil initially approached MPBC Senior Pastor Nick Scott with the Coolbellup Campus idea. Peter Christofides has joined the MPBC team from Riverton Baptist Community Church to pastor Coolbellup, and Nick welcomed him to the stage for the leadership team and BCWA
Photo: Brian Patterson
After much anticipation, work, prayer, and planning by many, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church opened the doors of its new Coolbellup Campus on Sunday 23 August.
Advocate writer Jill Birt receives the award for Best Design Newspaper from ARPA President Peter Bentley at the annual conference in Brisbane.
news OCTOBER 2015
Signal of hope for the future
of decades then that’s got to be a good thing.” 98five General Manager Bevan Jones said he is grateful for all the support the station receives from both listeners and local government members. “We’ve been able to go to the people with our station’s needs and the people responded last November. We said we need $72,000 for a new transmitter and ‘bang’, we had it,” Bevan said. “The people of Perth have just been amazing, which shows we don’t exist unless people donate.”
Hon Nick Goiran MLC, 98five and TX Australia staff celebrate the launch of the new 98five transmitter.
“I want to also recognise people like MPs Nick Goiran and Peter Abetz, and others who are full supporters of family-focused Christian radio.” Station listeners were given the opportunity to suggest a possible nickname for the
transmitter as part of the appeal. The name ‘Hope’ was selected as a way of symbolising the positive message the familyfriendly Christian Station will broadcast to the community over the next 30 years of the transmitter’s lifespan.
“When we asked everyone who donated last year during our ‘Hope for Christmas’ appeal, ‘What would you like to call the transmitter?’, we had all sorts of names like Gavin, Trevor, The Transmitter, but many people said ‘Hope’ because we transmit hope,” Bevan said.
Café for conversation Jill Birt Kalgoorlie Baptist Church volunteer Macharl Claase had a dream about the Church running the Alpha course to help people engage with questions of Christianity. In the dream the room was like an upmarket café – refreshingly inviting. Some weeks later Macharl spoke with Pastor Eliot Vlatko about running the Alpha program, a ten week course that introduces people to the Christian faith. Eliot
encouraged Macharl to gather a team of people who would prepare and train to run the course. The Church decided not to use its auditorium but to find more welcoming, friendly location for the weekly meal and discussion that is a part of the program. When the team opened the door of a building that had once accommodated a school and later children’s ministry, Macharl saw the café of her dream. Over several weeks, the Alpha team volunteered their time, talents and resources to transform the drab area into the vibrant Hope Café. “It has been amazing. People have been so generous and the café looks great,” Macharl said. Another group of people prepare and serve the meal on Wednesday evenings to
Photo: Jill Birt
Listeners were informed of the station’s predicament of relying on outdated radio equipment late last year, as part of 98five’s ‘Hope for Christmas’ fundraising appeal. The response from listeners was a generous one with the fundraising target reached and new equipment able to be purchased. The new 98five transmitter was officially switched on in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the transmitter site in the Perth Hills in September. Liberal Senator Nick Goiran, Member for the South Metropolitan Region, was given the honour of switching the station over to the new transmitter. The new transmitter provides coverage as far north as Lancelin, more than 120 kilometres away from Perth’s CBD, down the coast to Mandurah and Northam to the east. The previous transmitter was installed when 98five first commenced broadcasting on Australia Day in 1988 and operated continuously ever since. Mr Goiran said he was impressed with the generosity of 98five’s listeners. “We have to thank all of the listeners who have given all of those donations last year and all of the work everyone at 98five has done. Without that it wouldn’t be possible,” Nick said. “I think 98five is a station that’s good for little ears and for big ears.” “G-rated radio is what families are crying out for so we appreciate all of the work that 98five and the whole team put together and if this gets it going for another couple
Photo: Erin Tuckey
Generous 98five Sonshine FM listeners have provided the funds for a new $72,000 transmitter which will enable the popular Christian radio station to broadcast across Perth and Western Australia for decades to come.
Pastor Eliot Vlatko and his wife Sandy in the Hope Café where Alpha is run at Kalgoorlie Baptist Church
about 30 adults who attend the Alpha course. Each week people engage with Alpha pioneer Nicky Gumbel’s presentation on video as they enjoy eating and chatting together. The people of Kalgoorlie Baptist Church are praying that
many will take steps to continue exploring who Jesus is. Eliot’s wife, Sandy Vlatko, said the young people of the church are interested in running the highly acclaimed Alpha Youth program that explores life, faith and God.
digital church 03/09/15
moore.edu.au/resources/ thinktank … evangelism is not complex at all. The eyewitnesses have done the heavy lifting already. We simply repeat their word.
twitter.com/maxlucado Life has many unanswered questions, but God’s ability to save needn’t be one of them. Be settled about God’s faithfulness.
twitter.com/LouieGiglio Our success and our struggles are simply platforms from which we best tell people about Jesus.
desiringgod.org Prayer is a conversation, but not one we start. God speaks first. His voice sounds in the scriptures and climactically in the person and work of his Son.
joelosteen.com Let His Word be the anchor for your prayers. When you have an anchor, you won’t be tossed to and fro by every circumstance that comes your way.
twitter.com/rickwarren “When the world hates you remember it hated me first.” – Jesus [John15:18] Only those willing to be hated can change the world.
ronedmondson.com There are no perfect leaders – except for Jesus. For the rest of us, we each have room for improvement. Most of us live with flaws in our leadership and the more we mature the more aware we become of them.
Bill Hybels twitter.com/BillHybels It is true in life and in leadership environments: Love never leaves someone the way it found them. Lead and love well today!
twitter.com/CSLewisDaily “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.”
rickwarren.org You don’t come to your quiet time to choose what you will do or not do but with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants you to do.
Photo: Micah Challenge Australia
A new era for Christian voices
Christians from across Australia will again converge in Canberra to help raise awareness of global poverty at the yearly Voices for Justice event to be held mid-October.
Canberra will once again play host to hundreds of Christians from all over Australia as they gather in the nation’s capital for the annual Voices for Justice event in October. Micah Challenge’s Voices for Justice event was established in 2006 to influence Australia’s leaders to act against global poverty and to equip Christians to become lifelong advocates for the poor. A new era of campaigning will also begin at this year’s four day event when Micah Challenge relaunches as ‘Micah’ – a renewed advocacy coalition of church and Christian organisations raising a united voice for global justice and a world free from poverty.
Providing the opportunity to present the new Micah coalition, the 2015 Voices for Justice will be more than a yearly worship, conference and lobbying event, but will also present new strategies, networks and tools to enable Christians to continue campaigning and connecting in their local churches and communities throughout the year. “For the last ten years, Micah Challenge, has helped Christians and churches live out the biblical
mandate to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God by empowering them to hold our government to account for its promises to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and halve global poverty by 2015,” Micah Challenge National Coordinator Ben Thurley said. According to Ben, the global picture relating to poverty and sustainable human development has changed dramatically over the last decade and it is more important than ever for Christians to be intentional and strategic in campaigning for justice. “Over the past year we have seen the largest ever cuts to the Federal aid budget, and this September a new set of global goals – the Sustainable Development
Goals – which aim to end extreme poverty, tackle inequality, promote prosperity and well-being for all, protect the environment and combat climate change by 2030 [was] agreed upon by world leaders.” “In response to this new campaigning context, and building on the strengths and successes of working together as a powerful coalition, we have been working with all member agencies and churches to renew our vision, develop new strategies and powerful campaigns and refresh the coalition’s public identity,” he said. Voices for Justice campaigners will meet with politicians and appeal that they increase Australia’s contribution to a world free from poverty, with a particular focus
on a generous and effective aid program as well as Australia’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. Prayer is a key focus of their advocacy and hundreds of event participants will gather with church leaders and Christians from the Canberra area as well as some politicians in an evening prayer vigil on the lawns of Parliament House on 12 October. In support of the prayer vigil, churches and Christian groups throughout Australia are invited to join the Canberra Christians in prayer by hosting a prayer vigil in their local area on the same night. For more information, visit www.micahchallenge.org.au/ voices-justice
Former Zimbabwean test cricketer Henry Olonga urged participants to consider becoming part of God’s family at The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast held at the Crown Convention Centre in late August. The annual breakfast, now in its 23rd year, provides an opportunity for Western Australian leaders and the community to meet for fellowship, display unity across the denominations, and to express the needs and aspirations of the community.
Her Excellency The Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO hosted the Breakfast, her first since being appointed the Governor of Western Australian. Her address focussed on providing for the homeless in Perth, particularly in these financially difficult times with funding sources quite constrained. As keynote speaker for the event, Henry gave a testimony of his life and described how in his early years he experienced a battle of worldviews from what he heard at church on Sunday and science at school. This caused him some confusion but he came to a point of conclusion when he was introduced to the God of the Bible.
“I started to ask, ‘Who is this God who would send His Son to die for me?’”, Henry said. “If someone dies for us on our behalf, then you stop and pay attention and this is how I paid attention to God.” He stated that the concept of death is an uncomfortable one, but everyone is going to experience it and the truth happens when you meet God. He challenged the audience to consider God today because it is too late when you are dead – you have to make the decision to come to Christ when you are alive. Prayers were shared by key people in the Perth community focussing on five areas: justice and state, public sector, business and work, community and youth.
Photo: Lasting Joys Photography
Perth community comes together to pray
Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett joins keynote speaker Henry Olonga and representatives of the Perth community in prayer at The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.
news OCTOBER 2015
Jacqueline Outred The need for additional adult care and pastoral support in many primary schools throughout Western Australia is growing, in spite of recent cuts to chaplain programs. This has led to more WA schools seeking the assistance of Kids Hope Aus. Kids Hope provides one-to-one mentoring to children in need through a partnership with churches. Churches are given the opportunity to impact and serve the local community by providing mentors for the Kids Hope program in local schools. “The children that Kids Hope aim to reach with its mentoring program are those that would benefit from exclusive interaction with an adult role model. Kids Hope is designed for the kids that don’t fit in,” Kids Hope Aus
Program Development Associate Tim Smith said. “To have volunteer mentors coming in and helping the child with extra support – it’s a real benefit.” There is no religious teaching involved in the Kids Hope program. The program’s greater purpose is to provide an opportunity for churches to live God’s love by helping to care for the children within their community. Bunbury Baptist Church first became involved with Kids Hope back in 2009. “None of us had ever heard of it before,” Bunbury Baptist Church Kids Hope Program Coordinator, Holly, said. “There was a training session going on at Eaton Baptist. I remember thinking ‘Oh, that’s great, I’d love to be a mentor.” Now, Bunbury Baptist Church has around 10 to 12 mentors for the local Kids Hope program. “The FIFO lifestyle really affects some of the kids down here,” Holly said. “There’s no stability – for a certain period of time they
Photo: Kids Hope Aus
Working together for the kids
Kids Hope Aus mentors meet with children once a week to provide friendship and guidance.
just have mum, and then dad comes back and everything changes again.” “Most of the kids just need somebody to talk to – someone who is there just for them and isn’t distracted by other things,” she said.
Tim agrees that it’s this exclusivity that children in the Kids Hope program crave. “It gives them a special relationship. Just one hour a week has a massive impact on their development,” he said. The sessions take place
during school time on school grounds, like the library, and the children are able to participate until they graduate primary school. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqueline Outred Baptist Camping Centres Western Australia’s Busselton facility has been successful in their bid to obtain National accreditation. It is only the second not-forprofit camping centre in Western Australia to obtain National Accommodation, Recreation
and Tourism Accreditation (NARTA). Serpentine Camping Centre, also run by Baptist Camping Centres Western Australia, was the first. “We’re definitely ahead of the game,” Director of Camp Ministries Ross Daniels said. “In the eastern states, for example, schools can’t book camps at places that don’t have this accreditation.” The accreditation gives assurance to any group seeking to book campground facilities.
Photo: Baptist Camping Centres Western Australia
Camping centre accredited “Groups coming to us can be assured that we are complying with all the relevant legal operational requirements – that we’re not taking shortcuts on safety and standards,” Ross said. Dedicated Busselton Camping Centre staff have spent many hours over 12 months compiling all the required information to achieve the recognition. For more information about Baptist Camping Centres, visit www.baptistcampingcentres.org
Busselton Camping Centre provides a leading role in accreditation for Western Australia campsites.
Halo café glows with purpose Jill Birt
With his friend Amit Khaira, Josh founded Sonlife International in 2011 to help poor communities throughout Southeast Asia, India, Africa and Australia. One hundred percent of the profits from Halo Espresso support the work of Sonlife International. It is three months since Amit and Josh took over the running of Halo Espresso where they are planning to base office space for Sonlife International. Ryan Munyard manages the shop front at 84 Angelo Street with a team of 17 staff serving locals and business people from their early morning opening at 6am until closing at 3pm. With great coffee on offer and a menu that includes an extensive list of breakfast options, Halo is fast becoming a popular meeting place. A steady flow of customers range from the gym brigade grabbing coffee on the way home, to grandmas
escorting little children on adventures and local business people sealing deals. “Through Halo we’re practising what we, as Christians preach, pouring the profits into work that makes a real difference to people,” Josh said. “We’re investing in local initiatives that alleviate poverty, enabling poor people to own and operate their own business for themselves in Kenya, Uganda, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand.” Josh recently returned from Kenya where he was working with a local partner, supporting and encouraging local initiatives in microfinance. “We went to the village of Solai to run a training seminar and found the group had taken what they had initially learnt in 2006 to develop their own savings and loans group,” Josh said.
Photo: Angie Bond
Josh Bond hopes Halo Espresso, a funky café in South Perth, is the first of many businesses where the profits support sustainable enterprises to alleviate poverty in the world.
Amit Khaira and Josh Bond are pleased with Steve Browne’s artwork at Halo Espresso in South Perth.
“In 18 months they have taken seed money of about $140 to a savings pool of more than $3,800. They’re forcing each other to save.” The group charge ten percent on small loans and use 50 percent of the interest the group earns for community projects, including education costs, and food and
emergency care for families that are struggling. “We didn’t run a seminar that day. We sat and listened and learned from them,” Josh said. “They are building capacity and resilience right there.” “It is integral to build strong relationships marked
by humility and to learn from national workers.” Halo Espresso will be the venue for the Sonlife State Conference later this year. The focus of the conference will be on meaningful partnerships, something Halo Espresso and Sonlife International are a proven example of.
Photo: Paul Kyaw
Karen’s first year celebration
People from Bentley, Kelmscott and Katanning Karen Baptist Church communities joined the Albany Karen Baptist Church members to celebrate their first anniversary.
Jill Birt Albany Karen Baptist Church celebrated its first anniversary on 23 August, with many Karen people from Katanning and Perth travelling to the Great Southern city to celebrate the milestone. Almost 170 people attended the celebration at Albany Baptist Church. Groups from Hosanna Karen Baptist Church (Kelmscott), Perth Karen Baptist Church (Bentley) and Katanning Karen Baptist Church visited Albany for the weekend
festivities. Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson also attended the service. Hosanna Karen Baptist Church Pastor Rommel preached at the celebration and Perth Karen Baptist Church Rev. Eh Htee Kaw led the communion service. While several choirs performed during the service. The Karen group continue to worship with the congregation of Albany Baptist Church, but started a worship service one year ago to provide an opportunity for Karen people to worship in their own language with Karen cultural expressions. Gay Htoo Paw, a graduate of a Bible school in Burma, leads the congregation. He arrived in Albany with his family after an initial period in Sydney
and some time in Katanning. Gay Htoo’s family was the first Karen refugee family to purchase their own home in Albany. Karen refugees have moved to Albany over the past six years looking for work. Today there are ten families and several single adults working in a local abattoir, a piggery and on a school cleaning team. Their strong work ethic and community conscience is endearing the Karen people to the Albany community. Karen community leader Paul Kyaw from Perth Karen Baptist Church said the Karen community from across Western Australia is planning to gather in Albany to celebrate the Karen New Year.
An evening with Bruce Robinson Professor Bruce Robinson AM, lung specialist, Professor of Medicine, Director of the Fathering Project, 2013 Western Australian of the Year will share about faith, fathering, science and suffering on Thursday 29 October. The evening will be hosted by City Bible Forum at the Perth Town Hall, from 5.30pm to 8pm, with drinks and canapés to start. There will also be an audience question and answer time. For more information and to register for this event visit, citybibleforum.org/robinson
Ruby Ridden Ruby Ridden (nee Hall) passed to be with her Lord on 19 September 2015. Ruby was 106 years old and was the oldest resident at Gracewood retirement village. Ruby is survived by Russell, Gwendy, Norman, Ruth and Philip. Ruby will be remembered for her extensive involvement in Baptist work and the Bible Society.
New pastor Pastor Pa Hrang Hmung commenced as pastor of the Western Australia Chin Christian Church in August. Pa Hrang migrated from Burma to take up the position and has been in ministry for over 30 years.
Stamp collectors Global Interaction is looking for stamp collectors. Help raise funds for Global Interaction by collecting used stamps and sending them to the Baptist Churches Western Australia in Rivervale. Stamps are sold to dealers and collectors and the money raised (over $70,000 for the 2014-15 financial year) goes directly to life-transforming work. For more information, phone Pam Gallagher on 6313 6300.
Important dates 17 October BCWA Annual Assembly Morley Baptist Church 22-23 October Global Leadership Summit 31 October Friends of Global Interaction Morning Tea 6-9 November Global Interaction Just Prayer 18-20 April 2016 All Together Baptist Pastoral Retreat
feature OCTOBER 2015
A Christian response to Halloween Terry Hicks How should Christians respond to Halloween? Is it irresponsible for parents to let their children trick or treat? What about Christians who refuse any kind of celebration during the season – are they overreacting? Firstly, Christians should not respond to Halloween like superstitious people. Christians are enlightened by the truth of God’s Word. Evil spirits are no more active and sinister on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year; in fact, any day is a good day for Satan to prowl about seeking whom he may devour [1 Peter 5:8]. But “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” [1 John 4:4]. God has forever “disarmed principalities and powers” through the cross of Christ and “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them through [Christ]” [Colossians 2:15]. Secondly, Christians should respond to Halloween with cautionary wisdom. Like any other day of the year, Christians should exercise caution as wise stewards of their possessions and protectors of their families. Christian parents can protect their children by keeping them well-supervised and restricting treat consumption to goodies received from trusted sources.
Thirdly, Christians should respond to Halloween with gospel compassion. The unbelieving, Christ-rejecting world lives in perpetual fear of death. Christians should use Halloween and all that it brings to the imagination – death imagery, superstition, etc – as an opportunity to engage the unbelieving world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has given everyone a conscience that responds to His truth [Romans 2:14-16], and the conscience is the Christian’s ally in the evangelistic enterprise. Christians should take time to inform friends and family with biblical truth regarding God, the Bible, sin, Christ, future judgment, and the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ. There are several different ways Christians will engage in Halloween evangelism. Some will adopt a ‘no participation’ policy. As Christian parents, they don’t want their children participating in spiritually compromising activities – listening to ghost stories and colouring-in pictures of witches. They don’t want their kids to dress up in costumes for
trick or treating or even attending Halloween parties. This response naturally raises eyebrows and provides a good opportunity to share the gospel to those who ask. There’s another option open to Christians: limited, noncompromising participation in Halloween. There’s nothing inherently evil about lollies, costumes or trick or treating in the neighbourhood. In fact, all of that can provide a unique gospel opportunity with neighbours. Even handing out lollies to neighbourhood children – provided you’re not stingy – can improve your reputation among the kids. As long as the costumes are innocent and the behaviour does not dishonour Christ, trick or treating can be used to further gospel interests. It is also possible to use Halloween to benefit others and as a ministry, like the strategy outlined in this feature. Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honour God. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to demonstrate the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it’s a message that is the mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween? Terry Hicks is the Projects Consultant at Baptist Churches Western Australia.
feature OCTOBER 2015
Halloween vs '‘ A New Hello'’ Sarah Baggaley
avoid Halloween and any contact with our community during this time, I endeavour to teach them that we can instead ‘take back’ for Jesus what the world intends for evil. That we don’t have to lock ourselves up every year in fear, but instead we can go out and do something that is of benefit to our community, something that follows Jesus’ commands and something that gives us the opportunity to meet our community and engage in conversation. What we do is not Halloween. What we do is ‘A New Hello’ which is an anagram of the word Halloween. We have taken Halloween, mixed it around, recreated it and claimed that day back, in Jesus name! Instead of knocking on people’s doors in spooky costumes and saying “trick or treat”, we dress as angels and greet our neighbours with ‘A New Hello’. We greet them with a smile, introducing ourselves as being from our local church and explain to them that we are collecting non-perishable food items for those in need this Christmas. Instead of taking lollies and chocolates to satisfy our own fleshly desires, we collect food for those who need it. In return we give a small gift that is enclosed with our church details and a thank you note. This year is the fourth consecutive year that Austin Cove Community Church has run ‘A New Hello’. Each year has seen us attracting more ‘angels’, reaching more streets and in turn, collecting more food to be used in Christmas food hampers for those who need a helping
Austin Cove Community Church have a different way of engaging with the community during Halloween.
hand. Last year the initiative spread to new suburbs with Lakeland Community Church and Mandurah Baptist Church joining the band of ‘angels’. This initiative has enabled us to partner with other community groups, such as the local primary school who run a food drive on the church’s behalf in the lead up to ‘A New Hello’ and also with Bridge Builders Food Services who provide an amazing service to the community all year round. All food that is collected is delivered and distributed through Bridge Builders Food Services who, like all charity food organisations, experience higher demand over the Christmas period. If you are looking for an alternative to Halloween or even looking at a way to replenish your local food service’s cupboard, this is a great solution. People are already expecting knocks on their door and if you are out being an ‘angel’ then you are not home to be bothered by trick or treaters. Win, win! For more information, email Sarah at email@example.com Sarah Baggaley is the Lead Pastor at Austin Cove Community Church. A campus of 1church.
Photo: Sarah Baggaley
So, as was tradition, you either, answered the door to trick or treaters and explained the reason why you don’t ‘do’ Halloween; you put a sign on your front door that said, ‘No trick or treaters’; you closed your blinds, kept your lights off and did not, under any circumstances, answer the door; or you simply went out for the evening so as to avoid Halloween as much as possible. But now you are an adult. Maybe you are married; maybe even have children of your own. And now you have to make the decision on how your family is going to respond to this ever growing ‘celebration’ known as Halloween. There are so many things in this world that are dark, scary or deemed inappropriate for Christians to engage in, and Halloween certainly has the qualifications to make it to the top of some folks’ lists. I’m the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of ghosts, blood, guns and vampires, especially when it comes to my children. And so I can totally understand why parents more often than not, draw the Halloween boundary line. But I am also not one to be ruled by the world (to the best of my abilities and by the grace of God) and I don’t want my children to grow up fearful of such things. Rather I have made it my ambition as a mother and a pastor to empower them with established alternatives and give them permission to be creative in finding countercultural and, even more so, God honouring ways to combat the world and its traditions. Instead of teaching my children and my congregation to
Photo: Sarah Baggaley
Does this resemble your childhood? You grew up, having never been allowed to participate in Halloween; unquestionably trick or treating was beyond the bounds of possibility. It was difficult to understand why your friends were allowed to get dressed up and collect free lollies! You were from a loving Christian home, and as good Christians, you avoided such ‘evilness’ or ‘paganism’.
10 news OCTOBER 2015
Refugee crisis hits Hungary Jill Birt
Thousands of refugees choked the train station and the city centre, disrupting life for the Hungarian people. “It has been difficult for Hungary. Budapest already has a large group of homeless people who lived in the railway station and they were all sent away,” Gabi said. “The Hungarian people are sometimes frightened of so many Syrians.” “I was shocked to see so many young families in makeshift tents or (out) in the open trying to care for their little children.” “The people are tired and full of anxiety. They don’t now what will happen to them,“ she said. Since the chaotic days of early September the Hungarian government has put in place measures to stem the flood of refugees by erecting a high metal
fence along the 170 kilometre border with Serbia. In a 24 hour period just before the border was closed more than 4,400 refugees crossed into Hungary. Emergency powers, expected to come into force when the fence is complete, will allow Hungarian authorities to use live ammunition against those entering the country illegally. “Pray for our politicians and leaders to make the right decisions day by day. Pray for peace. It has been hard for the refugees but also for the Hungarian people,” Gabi said. Praxeis is planning to open an emergency relief fund for the refugees’ needs in Hungary. Other not-for-profit organisations, including Operation Mobilization, are also helping the refugees in Hungary by providing water, food, clothing and nappies for young
Photo: Gabi Haidinger
Gabi Haidinger, a church planter among the Roma people with Praxeis based in Budapest shared food and water with Syrian refugees as they flooded into Hungary from Serbia in early September.
Syrian refugees are living in makeshift accommodation in Hungary to escape the crisis in their home country.
children and sanitary supplies for women. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres has said that the Syrian Civil War has sparked the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era with four million people having fled Syria, half of which are children, with a further 7.6 million displaced within Syria. Since the beginning of 2015 more than 100,000 displaced
persons from Syria, Northern and Middle Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq have been registered in Hungary alone. The country is unable to handle all the needs of the migrants. The Australian government decided to increase the number of refugees it will accept from Syria by 12,000 within the next year. They will only consider refugees from the established refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey and
Jordan. None of the hundreds of thousands of refugees massing in Eastern Europe will be considered. World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello believes Australia has reached a pivotal – and heartening – moment in its refugee debate with the change in policy. For more information how to assist, visit praxeis.com.au
Adopting change Jill Birt Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) is making a difference in Russia and the Ukraine. FEBC is an international radio network that airs Christian programs in 149 languages. FEBC’s Russian Director Victor Akhterov was in Australia in August and visited churches and supporters to share the latest news regarding their programs. The broadcaster has stations in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, several other cities in Russia and one in Ukraine, which reach an estimated weekly audience of three million by radio and one million online many of whom have no other way to hear the good news of Jesus. “We have all kinds of people from all walks of life that we are trying to preach the gospel to, but in a way that’s relatable to the people, to reach them where they are,” Victor said. One of the big social problems the station has been
tackling is the phenomenon of social orphans. There is an estimated one million children in Russia whose parents are too addicted to drugs or alcohol to take care of them. Many of them wind up living it rough on the streets. In response, FEBC are encouraging people to adopt them. “It’s not very popular in Russia at all to adopt, so we decided to change the mindset of the country and talk about how as Christians we are God’s family,” Victor said. “And, people began to adopt – about 50,000 children have been adopted because of this churchwide effort.” “Russia is becoming more and more antiWestern, and evangelical Christianity is portrayed as not our religion because our religion is the Orthodox Church and evangelicals are like Americans.” “Unfortunately, it is becoming a little more difficult to be a Christian now,” Victor said. For more information, visit www.febc.org.au
news 11 OCTOBER 2015
Photo: Dave Lawton
Planting churches in India
Church planting movements have been permeating every level of Indian society at unprecedented rates over the past 20 years.
Hundreds of thousands of people are becoming Christians and being baptised each year in India. Networks of simple churches, usually meeting in homes, are
multiplying exponentially across the nation as people live as Great Commission Christians, totally committed to going into the world to make disciples of Jesus. Strategy, research and prayer permeate the movements from the leaders to the newest convert. There are a variety of structures for the movements that are exploding across the nation where there are 4,635
A chicken’s impact Esther Musili, from Baptist World Aid Australia’s Christian partner in Kenya, has witnessed first-hand the impact a gift as simple as a chicken can have.
If you would like to give the gift of a chicken, visit www. baptistworldaid.org.au/biggifts
Photo: Baptist World Aid
“In my country, women do not have a lot of access or control [of assets],” Esther said. In Kenya, the most valuable assets like land, cows and goats are controlled by men, while only smaller things such as chickens are managed by women. When a cow is sold, the final decision comes from the man. However, with a chicken, a woman does not need to ask permission. This makes a chicken a very valuable resource
for empowering a woman and improving a family’s income. “When you give a chicken and train the household with management practices, the productivity increases. More chickens are born!,” Esther said. “Some of the chickens and eggs are eaten and the family benefit from selling the surplus.” “And it continues on like this. When mothers sell the surplus, they use the income to buy other items they require in a household like oil and clothes and this really improves their living standard.” A gift of a chicken helps bring a lot of transformation at the household level. “Women are getting their dignity back,” she said.
Kenyan women are empowered by the gift of a chicken.
people groups, with funding from outside the country and others from within the nation. All are moving towards a selfsustaining indigenous work, yet many people groups still have no Christian presence. Spiritual warfare events frequently result in healings and deliverance, and usher in opportunities for engaging conversation and teaching. It is
not unusual to hear of tens and hundreds being baptised following such events. With the growth of the movements has come persecution for Christians. One disciple spoke of being suspended from a bridge and dunked many times into a fast flowing river. Men and women have been beaten, stabbed or shot. Some have been killed for following Jesus while others suffer excommunication from their families and lose their wife and children and home. The movements do not carry Western cultural baggage but are highly contextualised and indigenised, permeating all levels of society. Within the Hindu community there is not only burgeoning growth among the Dalit people (untouchables) but also significant growth among the high caste people where swamis connect with people through visiting ashrams and engaging in dialogue. This is a deeply contextual and indigenous expression of God’s Kingdom within Indian society.
India has 150 million Muslims and God is at work among them. Through dreams and visions some are meeting Jesus. For others the journey takes place as they engage with intellectually sharp Muslim background believers, highly qualified Muslim scholars who show them Jesus in the Koran and explain how someone can be sure about life after death. Non-literate women are changing their neighbourhoods and communities through networks of simple churches. “The champions include totally non-literate women as well as highly educated scholars and the non-literate peoples are bringing so many more to Jesus than the intellectuals,” said one veteran church planter. The impetus to make disciples is leading the Indian church to share what they are learning with other nations of the world with a strong focus on the ‘10/40 Window’ where there are 69 Muslim majority nations. Trainers are also visiting Australia, sharing these principles and strategies.
12 in conversation OCTOBER 2015
Appealing for Christ Former Zimbabwean test cricketer Henry Olongo, now a motivational speaker and singer, was recently in Perth as the keynote speaker for The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast where The Advocate caught up with him.
As a professional cricketer how did your Christian faith impact your career? I became an international cricketer at only 18, but I made it known very early on that my disposition lent towards the Christian belief system. This made it easy and difficult.
It made it easy because once people knew I was a believer it was ‘out there’ and I didn’t have to carry this ‘little secret’, but it made it difficult because they were now watching me like a hawk and teasing me. It was a good thing as it empowered me to try and be a good example and live a life in which hopefully through my words and deeds, that I’d be a Christian witness to them. Professional sport isn’t ‘a bed of roses’, although some may perceive it is the ultimate goal in life and zenith of achievement. I understood victory is sweet, but it isn’t everything. Defeat is ugly, but it’s not the end of the world. My faith gave me balance and perspective about what is most important in life. I enjoyed my sport, but it wasn’t what defined me. I happened to be a cricketer, but my life’s call, life’s vocation was to be a follower of Christ. I made a decision to His disciple and that gave me balance throughout my career. It made me treat victory and defeat as imposters. It also helped me deal with temptation, months on the road, and many other challenges. I’ve been saved from all sorts of troubles because of my faith, not only in my career, but my life. Ultimately, my Christian faith has kept me alive as well. In the 2003 Cricket World Cup you wore a black armband, with teammate Andy Flower, to protest against the policies of Zimbabwe’s government led by Robert Mugabe. Are you tired of being defined by this episode? No – it’s a part of my story. Many people will recognise it more or before my exploits on the field. I don’t mind. If you think of Nelson Mandela (I’m not comparing myself to him), and first that comes to mind is 20 something years in prison and the long walk to freedom. Barack Obama will be known as the first black President. He can’t shake that off. So, I’m defined as many things: The first black player to play test cricket for Zimbabwe. I’m also known as the guy who wore the black armband against Robert Mugabe. Did you anticipate that it would change your life forever? Absolutely. We met with many advisors that were involved in security, politics and the law, and many of them implored us not to do it. But secondly, they made us very aware of the potential ramifications and repercussions
of our actions. In spite of that we still felt the cause was so just. I could not in good conscience ignore this opportunity because I felt the Lord had placed it in my heart to take a stand against a lot of things that happened in Zimbabwe, injustice, human rights abuses, lots of corruption over the years and much more. We certainly needed to make the protest and many of the people who advised us made us aware of how just it was, but also how ‘foolish’ it was, but we were young, convicted about it, and we saw it through. You’ve since had a major career change, how did this come about? I’d consider myself a public speaker and singer. The transition obviously happened because I retired from cricket and I couldn’t do that anymore, and I didn’t really have the impetus and desire to carry on playing at the highest level. I ended up playing for a small English club, Lashings World XI, a collection of former cricketers. I was with them for a while, but music was something I fell back on. My public speaking encompasses many things, firstly it is speaking in schools on many topics, such as politics, sport and my faith. I share my testimony in churches and preach. I also do secular public speaking like award ceremonies at schools and universities, and cricket clubs. The public speaking works because people keep inviting me. I don’t have a website advertising me as a public speaker – it is generally by word of mouth. What do you think has been your greatest contribution to God’s Kingdom so far? I have no idea! I’m an evangelist so I tell people about the Lord Jesus Christ hanging on a cross pouring out his blood for them, and I try and make people understand what’s at stake. There is a real God that went to extraordinary lengths to free us from His judgement, which shows us how serious His judgement is. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed that if that there was a way that this cup could be taken from Him that His Father would do that, but the fact that God didn’t give Him a way out shows that sin is serious, most human beings are oblivious to that. I try to ‘shoot straight’ with the gospel and if that means that people have come to faith through my message then
Photo: Nick Laham
How did you become a Christian and develop a faith in Christ? It was a very long journey, it all began at a young age while musing the origins of life and arguing about which came first ‘the chicken or the egg’ with my mates in the playground, which led to deeper questions. I got answers in two different arenas and realised there was a conflict between them. In chapel I would hear that there is a God and He created everything through the power of His words. He then created human beings in His own image for the divine purpose of cohabiting with God. That relationship was broken in the Fall, then there is a plan of redemption throughout the Bible. I discovered this was in conflict with what I heard in my biology class, which explicitly said there is no God and there is no need for God. There was a big bang millions of years ago and all you need is a lot of time, and chance and mutations, and you can go from molecules to man. I realised that when it came to issues and matters pertaining to self-worth, purpose and meaning, the Christian message made much more sense to me. Over many months, years, God had been working on my heart and drawing me in and eventually I was converted at a Christian youth camp at 16. I heard the gospel, said a prayer, asked God into my heart and then begun the journey of becoming a disciple of Jesus.
Henry Olonga appeals during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
I’m fulfilling my call. I’m not counting converts because I really don’t know. I’m sowing seeds. For some people, it is the first seed that gets them on the journey, someone else waters, then someone else brings them to something, so I’m part of a team. It’s hard to quantify how big your role is in someone’s conversion, but if there is any contribution, it is the fact that I can partner with churches to share the gospel and be part of the chain. What are the biggest challenges in your Christian walk? One of the biggest challenges in my own walk is the battle with the flesh. I’m trying to get this life, body and heart to live right. We’ve all got stuff we’re not proud of and things we keep doing, which we know we shouldn’t be doing. We’re always struggling with stuff and I’m no different to anyone else. I also struggle to understand how people opt into ‘God side’. They say “I’m a Christian”, but don’t believe God and take His Word at face value. They put more value in what man says. Yet, when it comes to so many crucial debates we have in this
day and age, I think if you are a Christian you ought to take the ‘Bible side’ on most contentious issues because there are many – angels and the supernatural, evolution, whether the Bible is historically factual and accurate. There are many hot topics that I find Christians almost falling onto the side of the world and not understanding that the world is hostile to us, our message, our lifestyle and choices. You have a variety of interests, tell us about them and how you see God working through them. I’ve received feedback that I’ve sung songs that have encouraged people, comforted or blessed them. I try to use my gifts to bless people. Hopefully, my art points to our Creator. With public speaking, naturally, I’m trying to point people to God. What are you working on at the moment? An album that will hopefully be out by Christmas. Most likely music videos next year and then after that short films. All with a Christian theme. Possibly not ‘in your face’, but mind challenging stuff.
leadership 13 OCTOBER 2015
Culture vs vision Is it really either-or? John C Maxwell Culture seems to be the new emphasis for leaders these days. Five years ago if you would have brought up the subject, people would look at you blankly. Now, everyone recognises its importance. modelling a very specific culture to the participants for years: one of nonviolence and passive resistance. They demonstrated it over and over, and the culture of the movement spread, from lunch counter sit-ins to the March on Selma. Look at how vision and culture work hand in hand: 1. Vision is about ‘one day’, and culture happens every day. This means that the people in an organisation must be able to look toward both the future and the present. They need to know where they’ll eventually be and what to do every day to get there. It’s the leader’s job to articulate an inspiring vision for the future and make sure everyone in the organisation does the right things day after day. 2. Vision is described, and culture is modelled. Vision can’t be demonstrated because it’s not yet a reality. But culture can be modelled, and it needs to be, from the top leader on down. Have you ever started working in a job where the grand vision that was shared by the top leader has nothing to do with what anyone actually
Photo: Atomazul / Shutterstock.com
Recently at a conference, I stated that I believe culture eats vision for lunch. Afterward, someone asked me, “So does that mean vision doesn’t matter?” My answer: “No.” While it’s true that culture is very powerful, it works best in relationship with vision. Another way to say is that while culture is what gets you to your destination, vision determines the destination. If you articulate a great vision to an organisation without the appropriate culture, you’ll never achieve the vision. If your organisation has a wonderful culture, but no vision, then you might really enjoy your time together, but you’ll never go anywhere. I believe that the issue is not vision vs culture, but how to achieve vision plus culture. Vision is ‘I have a dream’, and culture is ‘this is how we march’. When Martin Luther King Jr spoke those words in 1963, he inspired people from all over the nation to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. But the movement was about so much more than listening to a speech. In fact, King and his leaders had been describing and
does – including that leader? A leader and his or her team must act every day in a way that takes the organisation in the direction of the vision. This is the only way the culture will infiltrate every layer of the organisation. 3. Vision aligns with values, and culture demonstrates them. This is where vision and culture can most easily diverge.
Most people’s grand visions align with equally grand values – for example excellence, honour, and follow-through. But there can often be a big difference between the values communicated by an organisation’s vision, and the values demonstrated by their culture. It’s helpful to regularly examine the values being acted out by your culture. If your value is excellence, do people’s daily
actions reflect that? Or do they indicate apathy? Culture and vision need each other, so it’s important to give enough attention to both. So when you share your dream with your people, make sure you teach them how to march. Used with permission from The John Maxwell Company, johnmaxwell.com
Where the evidence leads Andrew van der Moezel It sounds logical, and really it is, but the title of Dr Mark Harwood’s message ‘Where the evidence leads’ stood in stark contrast to what most of us are taught. During September Dr Harwood from Creation Ministries International (CMI) spent two weeks visiting churches in Western Australia, including, Lake Joondalup Baptist, where I pastor. As Dr Harwood spoke about a biblical and worldview regarding origins and where we come from we could see how the evidence showed the historical truth of Genesis and how it is fundamental to the Christian faith. The motto of CMI ‘Proclaiming the truth and authority of the Bible’ is applied
as they teach the relevance and scientific integrity of the Genesis account. “I don’t believe this just contains God’s Word – I believe it is God’s Word,” Dr Harwood said early on in his message holding up a Bible. He then went on to suggest that belief in the Bible’s account of creation takes a smaller step of faith then a belief in evolution. Evolution is a belief system and one that doesn’t hold up to what evidence we see in our world and science today.
That’s not what we are usually taught though. Our world says that something exploded and over several billion years of death and destruction, microbes became mathematicians. The Big Bang started it and evolution is the process that has randomly brought about all we know and see. This is touted as fact and stands in direct contradiction to biblical revelation and yet the evidence is in perfect harmony with what the Bible says. To some, that God made the world in six days some 6,000 years ago may seem unimportant to the gospel message, yet it is the very foundation, giving meaningful basis for Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross as the last Adam.
‘The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.’ [1Corinthians 15:45] With a biblical understanding one has answers to questions such as: Why am I here? What is the purpose of life? Why is there suffering in the world? Why did Jesus need to die? These are important for us to know, but not just us, but a dying world as well. After all, we who follow Christ are all called to ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone … for the hope that you have.’ [1 Peter 3:15].The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the gospel of Jesus Christ. So do we believe that the Bible is God’s Word? Is my belief system going where the evidence leads?
Andrew van der Moezel is the Associate Pastor at Lake Joondalup Baptist Church.
14 news OCTOBER 2015
Gospel at the quarry
Editor: Managing Editor: Subeditor: Production: Creative: Advertising: Distribution: Editorial deadline:
Terry Hicks Andrew Sculthorpe Maclain Bruce Vanessa Klomp Peter Ion Catherine Bartlett Sally Phu Sally Phu 5th of each month
The Joyful Noise Gospel Choir are looking forward to singing at the Quarry Amphitheatre in November.
whether they attend church or not. The Choir have had more than rehearsals at each practice, they have experienced revival. Almost daily, members share about how this musical production has encouraged them in their spiritual walk. “Being a member of the Joyful Noise has helped me get out of my comfort zone and embrace my relationship with Jesus,” Joyful Noise Gospel Choir member Sarah Stowell said. “Although there are forces against us, God does incredible things to strengthen us, through singing.” “After all, we were formed to praise Him and He wants to hear it!” “The theology behind the songs we sing has helped me understand more about God and how He loves me,” fellow Gospel Choir member Louisa Read said.
unique finished piece will then be auctioned with the proceeds going to a charity of Roslyn’s choice. All are welcome and guests are encouraged to bring a
picnic to share while they enjoy the musical talent. To book tickets, visit Ticketmaster at http://bitly.com/ gospelrocks
Countries united in rap
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PUBLISHERS GENERAL DISCLAIMER All the articles, comments, advice and other material contained in this publication are by way of general comment or advice only and are not intended, nor do they purport to be the correct advice on any particular matter of subject referred to. No reader or any other person who obtains this publication should act on the basis of any matter, comment or advice contained in this publication without first considering and if necessary taking appropriate professional advice upon the applicability of any matter, advice or comment herein to their own particular circumstances. Accordingly, no responsibility is accepted or taken by the authors, editors or publishers of this publication for any loss or damage suffered by any party acting in reliance on any matter, comment or advice contained herein. The Advocate is published on behalf of Baptist Churches Western Australia by imageseven. Tel: (08) 9221 9777 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This year the introduction of a live painting will occur when local artist Rosyln Annert creates a piece of artwork as she is inspired by the music, scene and energy of the evening. Her
Photo: Sean Middleton
Local, national and international talent will again perform a live soulful music show on Saturday 7 November. 98five Sonshine FM morning program announcer Tim Long will host this year’s show, which will feature the Joyful Noise Gospel Choir, the Gospel @ the Rocks Band and a host of supreme vocal talents. One of the producers and Director of Gospel Music @ the Rocks and local music artist Jade Crompton said it is a musical celebration that offers a unique blend of soulful harmonies, melodies, and rhythms. “We have so much talent in Australia and this event will be an opportunity to showcase these amazing vocal artists,” Jade said. “Gospel music has such a positive message, and is so much fun to listen to.” “This particular music genre generates hope and its message is timely.” “It’s [also] been a spiritually enriching journey for our production team and the cast,” Jade said. “We have seen firsthand how God uses music to work miracles in our personal and spiritual lives.” The Joyful Noise Gospel Choir will showcase music from the secular music charts that have been influenced by gospel music as well as music that the audience will recognise, regardless of
Photo: Dylan Wagland
Gospel Music @ the Rocks returns to the Quarry Amphitheatre in City Beach after last year’s successful introduction to the Perth Christian music scene.
Rap Artists Licy-Be and A-Realist have joined forces to release an EP this coming November.
Licy-Be and A-Realist rely heavily on social media, Nations will collide when Perth rapper Licy-Be and Instgram, Facebook and Twitter, to provide youth Californian rap artist A-Realist come together to and others to be inspired release their debut EP Universal at the Rejoice Music by their journey with God Festival in Perth this November. and get to know more about them. They also share at Both artists have come from tough Now both are chasing their youth and other events and backgrounds, Licy-Be facing dream of seeing youth empowered to welcome invitations. depression and overcoming some rise up and meet challenges. serious life struggles and A-Realist The EP is evangelistic in nature To purchase tickets for the has come out the other side of and they intend to use music to reach Rejoice Music Festival, visit some difficult family issues. those who do not know God yet. outix.com.au
intermission 15 OCTOBER 2015
Find the words listed below in the diagram. The words appear horizontally, diagonally, vertically and backward.
Aaron Adam Ahab Ananias Angels Asahel Boaz
Y Z L C S P M N T S O P U X H P U S F B
Z Z K R A M Y V S L E G N A C K E Q S T
D A A N A K W J D U S D B E Z A B J F B V O S Q D O P E D M K Z J Z J Z U S G N
Daniel David Eve Ezekial Goliath Isaiah Jesus
A H F K J Z O N O M I S V M F X Z O E Q
R S S L E T C M U J A M J P L U K E J E
O O A K D G F J E F K J I V K M C X L I
Joab Jonothon Joseph Joshua Judas Lot Luke
N Q R A I N H H E E G K R O E M G J V L W E W I L N G A WD M R M C F Z O F L L
L G A A A L H T A I L O G M U H P H L Z
O D N O X I T P H A R I S E E S T Z U M
A N A X W B A S N T W Z T H D U A D A M
Mark Martha Mary Moses Paul Peter Pharisees
L S O A R N O S L O Q F R B R O S E P F
H G S M Z R N B I Z H H I A B C A T T O
X R E C O S E R P E N T T H M U U J P J
S Y F L B L Y T U E S O O A G G L O P O
Rebekah Ruth Saul Serpent Simon Solomon
Q V I T B U O G E J H L R N G R V S N S
X C T V I Y WD M R O E R B S E A K P A C H T T NW N T O X V J H Z E P F I H U
Y R A M T X D I V A D U E B X V G H P A
Across 3. Who made the ark? 8. What type of bird was sent out first? 9. Who told the man to build the ark? 11. What did the second bird bring back? 12. How many days and nights did it rain for?
Down 1. How many of each kind of bird went on the ark? 2. How many of each clean animal went on the ark? 4. On what mountain did the ark come to rest? 5. How many of each unclean animal went on the ark? 6. How many sons did the builder of the ark have? 7. How did God show His promise of no more world floods? 10. What type of bird was the second one sent out?
Answers will be published in next month’s issue of The Advocate
Jesus and the Children
The Unveiled Wife
Chris Fabry An inspiring movie, War Room reminds us of the power of prayer to bring change to our circumstances and the lives those around us. Just when all hope is lost God brings a prayer warrior named Clara into Elizabeth’s life to show her how she can have power and authority over her life through the impact of prayer on the spiritual realm. What unfolds is truly remarkable and inspiring. Now available are the book, soundtrack and curriculum to enable you to bring this story home and make it your own. Don’t be a victim of your circumstances any longer, stand on the promises of God over your life.
Andrew McDonough Jesus and the Children is a colourful story book based on Mark 10: 13-16. It retells the story using modern pictures and language to relate to the modern day child. Andrew McDonough is an Australian pastor with a heart for children and brings an Australian flavour to his books. With numerous titles in the Lost Sheep series, including The Good Samaritan and Echidnas on Everest, there is a story for everyone. In the back of the book there is Cecil’s Page which is designed for children’s ministry or parents to get the most out of each book and encourage discussion with and among the children listening. Jesus and the Children really depicts God’s heart for the young and the point of the Lost Sheep series – ‘Let the children come to me and do not hinder them’ [Matthew 19:14a].
Jennifer Smith The Unveiled Wife is an open, honest reallife story of Jennifer Smith’s marriage and the relationship between God, her husband and herself. It is an encouraging book as the author exposes her own faults, the importance of being vulnerable in marriage and being honest in your struggles. It is also a challenging book as the author shares examples of how damaging the lack of communication barriers, misconceptions, doubts and insecurities can be in a marriage. As the author asks questions through her own story it prompts you to consider the different aspects of what she learnt to help you grow in faith and intimacy with your own husband and with God. The Unveiled Wife is a good reminder you are not alone in your struggles, and there is hope in every circumstance.
Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley Assistant Manager Dorothy Waddingham
Website: www.koorong.com Address: 434 Lord Street, Mount Lawley Phone: 08 9427 9777
This voucher entitles you to 15% off your next purchase in store at Mount Lawley The Advocate – October 2015
16 news OCTOBER 2015
Faith centred sporting star Australian Rugby League superstar turned professional American footballer Jarryd Hayne has credited God and his Christian faith as the key driver in his life and journey to international sporting success. Hayne shocked the National Rugby League fraternity in 2014 when he walked out on a lucrative multi-million dollar contract with New South Wales based team, Parramatta to pursue his dream of playing in America’s National Football League (NFL). In the months that followed Hayne faced criticism with many experts and armchair critics predicting he was unlikely to successfully transition from rugby to the highly competitive NFL.
Proving many doubters wrong it was announced in early September that Hayne had made the final San Francisco 49ers 53 man roster after impressing in preseason trial games, capturing the US and worldwide media’s attention in the process. Throughout the transition from rugby to gridiron Hayne remained confident and often publicly declared his faith in media interviews and via his social media accounts. In announcing his selection of the 49ers in March as the NFL team he would be trialling with, Hayne used the media conference to share about his faith in God and faith in making the risky decision to head to the US. “I’m the worst Christian I know,” said Jarryd. “I’m not perfect. I struggle with sin and temptation all the time.” “For me, they are the key areas where I want to improve as well. They’re part of that journey now.”
Photo: San Francisco 49ers
It’s not just about playing in the NFL. Christ comes before everything.
Jarryd Hayne has fast developed a huge following in the NFL but credits his faith for his sporting success.
“It’s not just about playing in the NFL. Christ comes before everything.” “That is why, when you make those decisions, if you don’t have Him to lean on or focus on, there’s going to be a lot of dark days over there. It won’t last. I won’t last,” Jarryd told the assembled media. While upon learning that he had made the final roster Hayne took to Twitter to again share his faith and adoration to his 171,000 followers and the world’s media.
“It always works out! I thank God for what He has done and going to do on this incredible journey!! I’m on the 53 man roster for the #49ers,” Hayne’s tweet said. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph in 2011, Hayne explained he came to faith whilst in camp with the Fijian team at the 2008 Rugby Word Cup and he has been a regular at Hillsong Church since then. In the same article Hayne’s manager Wayne Beavis shared
that he believed that his client’s faith allowed him to balance the demands of professional sport and the associated fame. “He has found a faith that suits him and gives him security and the comfort that he needs,” Wayne said. “I mean, you know what football is like. It can overtake people.” “It offers a lot of things.” “It offers competition, it offers personal challenge, it offers
financial reward but sometimes it can be a very hollow place to be.” “So I think the church gives him that balance and the exit from all the hype.” After it was announced Hayne had made the final 49ers roster his number 38 San Francisco jersey has rocketed to be the most popular selling shirt on the NFL’s online store, completing a remarkable rise to fame for the level‑headed Australian.
The Advocate October 2015