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AUTUMN 2019

unveiled


IN THIS ISSUE

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Extending the Invitation

Raised to Life

Delving deeper into the significance of baptism.

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The Days Ahead God’s vision for our church.

12 #janfam

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Let’s Raise a Hallelujah Life-changing lessons in approaching God through worship.

The exciting return of an epic camp.

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Easter: The Covenant Plan of God Unveiled Embark on a journey of intimacy with Christ this Easter.

The heartwarming testimony of a man invited to Alpha.


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One Heart. One Prayer.

Praying for our city gains momentum.

30 Fostering Healthy Environments Tackling the issues of our hurting generation.

28 Seeking his Face

Encountering His presence with Tom Jones and Global Awakening.

Financial Summary Tracking Riverlife’s financial progress.

32 In the Spotlight – Robyn Robertson

Get to know Robyn Robertson, our new Missions Pastor.


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In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.. M AT T H E W 5 : 1 6 ( N I V )

Welcome to the second edition of Unveiled. When I turn on the radio or watch a news broadcast there seems to be very little attention to ‘good news’ stories. Most of our news reports are filled with the disastrous and negative things going wrong in our world today. While we don’t want to live with our heads firmly buried in the ground, I do think there is room for us to be shouting about the good things that are being done in the world around us. Jesus said our lives are here to bring light to the world, so don’t hide your light. He went on to say, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your

Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). This edition of Unveiled is filled with ‘Good News’ stories that we trust will bring God glory and lift your spirit up wherever you are. My desire is that Riverlife stands out like a city on a hill – shining forth God’s glorious light in all its radiance. That’s not just the campus at 17 Mile Rocks; that’s you, His church as you go about your everyday life. As you read through the pages of this publication you will be reading testimony of what the Holy Spirit has done among His people. I trust you will be inspired to let Him tell a story through your life as well. God bless, John Robertson Senior Pastor


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The Days Ahead: UNVEILED AUTUMN 2019

We believe prayer and worship builds the fireplace where the fire of God’s presence dwells, not only in the heart of every believer, but also in the corporate identity of His church.

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Our Vision for 2019


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I believe that the world is longing to see the unveiled glory of God through His church; they just don’t know it yet. The world doesn’t know what they are looking for and the church has yet to fully realise what’s at stake if we present anything less than the glory of God.

the power of the Holy Spirit, He makes us more and more like Jesus as we are changed into His glorious image. However, it also takes two to outwork this dance. We must come prepared to have unveiled hearts whereby we give unvetted access for the Spirit to have His way.

The Bible says that what is required is a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9) that would display the unveiled glory of God as we each undergo the transformational work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:16-18). In fact, it has always been God’s plan to have a holy people set apart to Himself who would testify that there is a God who longs to be in intimate relationship with His people (Exodus 19:5-6).

Last year I had a vision that I believe is for us as a church.

Riverlife is being called by God to be a church that displays His glory. We are to be a people transformed from glory to glory. I believe that if we make our highest priority that of embracing God’s presence, then He will be able to display His glory through us in ways we are yet to even imagine or dream of – an unveiled church, revealing the ongoing glory of God.

Many people were attracted to the fire because they could see it from a long way off. When they came near, it sanctified them from their sin and freed them from things that bound them and consumed them to the point where they were filled with the Spirit and His mission. Some were coming with torches they carried and would light their torch from the fire and leave to go back where they came from even other nations!

This of course is a two-way relationship. God by His grace does what we cannot do. By

I saw a column of fire over our church that was so large it could be seen from other countries, not just our city or nation. The fire was fuelled by a thick stream of oil coming down from heaven. As it came down, it filled what looked like the Brazen Altar of the Tabernacle (a big bronzecovered fire pit). Fire was travelling a part way back up the stream coming down.

And I can remember that the cry


When I asked the Lord what do I do? I felt like He said it’s only by His power (represented by the oil and fire), but we are to make sure we build the fireplace of worship and prayer.

We have a long list of what we would hope this results in if we as a Riverlife family were to prioritise God’s presence in prayer and worship and were committed to the cause of Christ. But I truly believe God’s list would be bigger and more outrageous than we could ever dream. The only way to discover what that might look like, is to commit ourselves in these ways to being unveiled and behold His glory so we might be transformed into His likeness.

This year at Riverlife, prayer and worship are going to have to be our priority in order that we might see this vision come to pass. It’s our belief that prayer and worship build the fireplace where the fire of God’s presence dwells, not only in the heart of every believer, but also in the corporate identity of His church here at Riverlife. It will require that all of us are committed to this vision so that the full potential of Riverlife can be realised and we are a beacon of light and fire together for the glory of God. As a church leadership we are creating lots of opportunities for our church to be involved both together as a family, as well as individuals, to grow in the areas of prayer and worship. As we take up these opportunities, we must do so with a burning

John Robertson Senior Pastor Click here to watch the message

or listen to an extended Going Deeper podcast here

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hunger for His presence and a commitment to joining in every opportunity with a completely surrendered and unveiled heart. We need each person who calls Riverlife their church family to give of themselves to this end.

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of my heart was that the Lord would again let His eye fall on us and let another world-wide revival, not just of gifts and power, but a revival of sanctified, fire-filled revivalists that would go to the nations!


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Let’s Raise a Hallelujah! Our Worship Pastor shares his thoughts on living a life of worship in all seasons. I don’t know about you, but my decision to follow Jesus was certainly not one of the lighter choices I was faced with in my lifetime. I remember the time spent weighing up the cost in my mind… and deciding what this Jesus meant for me. If I was wholeheartedly going to give myself to Him at the expectant age of 18, what would that mean for me and my future? I’ll never forget the moment when I decided I was ALL in, that HE was the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and the One I would give my life to know and follow. On 18 November, 2007 I made that everlasting covenant with our God that He alone would forever receive my worship, love and adoration for all that He is. This is what it all still boils down to for me – a life of worship, a life lived ‘as unto the


Lord’ (Colossians 3:23). Whether that’s in the way I set out to treat people, the way I embrace what I don’t understand, the way I love my family or the way I give praise and worship – both at home or when I’m gathered with His church corporately on a Sunday. I’ve made that steadfast commitment to Him and my praise and worship in every season stands as a physical declaration of this covenant relationship I have with Him. I’ve learned over time not to hold God ransom over final outcomes, not to base my heartdriven response to Him on circumstances, feelings or on the very outcomes I’d indeed like to see. I’ve learned to take away the power of outside influences that rob God of getting the worth due to His name. These attitudes war against the very purpose of our worship. Preferences can so easily hold weight they should never get the permission to, in our lives. So quickly, these perspectives bring ‘self’ as the focus and we forget the bigger picture. I felt the Holy Spirit say one morning when I was reflecting on the preferences and

expectations that arise in us that, ‘approaching worship in this way is like needing every circumstance to align in order for you to come and successfully love your wife.’ It was a reality check and I knew deep in my heart relationship was never designed to work this way. Love is always a choice and it isn’t based on whether things unfold the way you want them to. It was a reminder to me that worship is wholeheartedly about MY coming to love Him. Full stop. The argument over my unveiled and heart-felt response to Him was settled on that day back in 2007. Even if He did nothing else in my life (amazingly His grace and goodness and mercy follows me every day… but even if it didn’t!), He has already given me the highest offering in laying down His only son. Furthermore, He has given me the gift of His Holy Spirit who is with me always. With every chance I get and no matter the setting, I will raise the hallelujah that only I can, because I believe it is a weapon no enemy can stand against. Nick Riddel Worship Pastor


#janfam

We launched 2019 for youth and young adults by resurrecting the legendary Jan Camp! This Australia Day weekend camp began 42 years ago with a few families going away together and grew into a gathering of 300+ people. The testimonies of long-lasting friendships, fun, God-encounters and salvations at Riverlife were an inspiration for what we believed God would do again. This year we took our group of 250+ youth, young adults and adult support crew to a new camp location near the Sunshine Coast. The theme of the camp was ‘family’ as we wanted to pull

from the original DNA of the camp being family-focused. So, we gathered at family tables for meals, had large family teams for game times, and kicked off mornings with group workouts and devotions. We also gathered together (with the ceiling fans on full blast) in the hall for powerful times of worship and started the year coming back to the foundation of our identity in Christ as children of God with our sessions. In these teaching times, we celebrated the truth that through Jesus’ blood we have right standing with our Heavenly Father and belong at His table


Change layout, new photos

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to the point that it was hard to tell the difference of where their sweat stopped and their tears began.

Over the course of the weekend, we saw God faithfully answering prayers for the testimonies of old to be realised again. Young people grew in their friendships, had wild times of games and encountered God’s love for them,

We look forward to the fruit that will continue to come from our time away together across the church family.

We are so grateful for everything that God did, and all the help we had from our Riverlife family to make Jan Camp possible. A special thanks to Jo Mills and her catering team, as well as the Jan Camp Committee for months of advance preparation.

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that covers our brokenness. Furthermore, Pastor John shared with us Saturday night that we have a great inheritance as the children of God when we take our place at His table. One of peace, joy, confidence, provision, love, guidance, acceptance and so much more! Some took their seat at this family table, receiving salvation, for the first time!


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Raised to Life

Reflecting on baptism as a signpost for something bigger.

“For a long time, I struggled with the concept of baptism as I felt that it was something that only new Christians did and that it wasn’t something that I personally needed, as I had been a Christian for almost all my life. It’s crazy how we sometimes believe even the most ridiculous lies that Satan tells us, and for probably the best part of three years I held on to this lie to the point where I believed that baptism for

me would be a step back in my faith journey rather than a step forward. It wasn’t until quite recently that God really opened my eyes for me to see just how much I had let my pride get in the way of what God has in store for me. So today I declare that God’s power is so much greater than pride, and that for the rest of my days I will seek to be obedient to all that He is calling me into.” Lachlan Pennell, 19


read about in Romans 6:1-7. It represents the open way for life in the Spirit, the way that God designed us to live. This parallel speaks to what God has done for us as “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).

However, it’s not just a signpost. Baptism also vividly expresses our covenantal commitment to Christ and His church. Jesus shows us covenantal faithfulness by giving up His life for us. So too, baptism is a way that we show Him that we are entirely devoted to Him and His kingdom here on earth, as it is in heaven. Just like a wedding

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At a basic level, baptism is an instruction that Jesus left for the church. It is a process of being ‘washed’ with water and is one of Jesus’ teachings for Christian living. The intention behind baptism is that we are identifying with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, which is at the centre of the Christian gospel. We see the parallel as people go down into the water (death), are fully submerged (burial), and then emerge out of the water (resurrection) as we

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Lachlan’s story is one of many, recounting how God has unveiled the truth of baptism to His people at Riverlife. In fact, over the past three months, we have had more than 25 people baptised after coming to a revelation of this command. How awesome is that!

Baptism is an outward marker or symbol of an inner change of the heart. It’s like a signpost pointing toward the incredible gospel message, in which we each participate. A signpost on display for the world that says “even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace…” (Ephesians 2:5-7).


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ring symbolises a commitment of marriage to a partner for life, baptism represents a similar commitment to the entire universe. Those who have been baptised are genuinely participating in the life that God calls us to live as new creations, living with new perspectives as resurrected believers. If you want to engage with God through baptism, feel free to contact the church office to get a copy of the ‘Raised to Life’ baptism booklet. But perhaps you fear sharing your testimony, or maybe you think you are too old or even too mature a Christian to be baptised. Our prayer is that you would allow God to unveil the truth of baptism to you. What is He saying? Maybe it’s that you have been baptised already. Why don’t you spend some time right now thanking the Lord for all that He has promised through this ordinance or praise Him for the freedom that you have received as a new creation? After all, “the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)!


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Easter: The Covenant Plan of God Unveiled As Easter draws near, what does it mean to live a life transformed by the gift of God’s Son?


Easter is such a pivotal time in the Church calendar. In fact, to even say that is a gross understatement! Tom Wright, a New Testament and Early Church Scholar, puts it this way in Surprised by Hope: “Take away the stories of Jesus’s birth, and you lose only two chapters of Matthew and two of Luke. Take away the resurrection, and you lose the entire New Testament and most of the second-century fathers as well.”

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Many of our denominational cousins do prepare themselves well for Easter. Many higher church traditions than our own will observe Lent, a period of forty days that leads up to

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Yet, for most of us, our preparations for Easter pale in comparison to our preparations for Christmas. I know that in my house, the decorations and tree go up as soon as possible. I get accused of scroogy grinch-ness when I suggest that we wait until it’s at least December! However, when we turn the calendar a few pages over, we pay almost no attention to the lead up to the most crucial point in our Christian year. Sadly, the people most prepared for Easter are the supermarkets: they’ve got hot cross buns out by New Year’s Day!


Easter Sunday. Forty days, to remind us of the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness. Traditionally marked by fasting, repentance, denying one’s self, prayerful reflection and material generosity, the forty days was also to remind us of the lead up to Christ’s suffering on the Cross. It comes as an interesting turn that many younger, millennial Christians are re-examining these ancient traditions and liturgical practices, searching for meaning and markers that give significance and insight to life and the passage of time. That’s all well and good but practising religious traditions and ceremonies for the pure sake of making sure we do them, is not something on which we place a high value. Empty religious practices got the temple officials and priests in trouble in Jesus’ day (have a read of Matthew 25:23), and we know that simply trying to be ‘spiritual’ for the sake of being spiritual doesn’t yield lasting fruit. Finding the deeper invitation to intimacy with God is always the preferable way of observing such practices. But what should we do? And how do we find a way of preparing for and celebrating Easter that reflects our desire for covenant relationship, and living unveiled

before our great God? We shouldn’t be so presumptuous to reject what has been good enough for a few thousand years of church history. We should also not fall for the trap of thinking that participating in a liturgical drama will automatically deepen our personal intimacy with God. Instead, we can come to Easter with a sense of joyful anticipation, preparing to meet with our Saviour in a personal and special way, knowing that there is power in the process. However, we can also come in a way that reflects the life that Jesus has poured into our community – a unique blend of tradition, innovation, reflection and passionate pursuit of God’s presence. We start by acknowledging the centrality of the Cross to the entirety of our Christian life. Without the death, burial and resurrection, there would be no way for us to enter covenant relationship. The events of Easter rendered the old Jewish temple worship obsolete, and the destruction of the temple less than 100 years later ensured there was no way back to it if we wanted to go there. Hebrews tells us that the sacrifice of sheep and goats was sufficient to cover over sins for a period of time, but not sufficient to deal


Let our minds be humbled by the sheer love of God

with sin once and for all. That was the sacrifice that Jesus’ made on our behalf. Taking time to reflect on this, to allow the gravity of the price that was paid for each of our lives, should be both a sobering and joyous occasion. We should let our minds be humbled by the sheer love and extravagance of God, in the sacrifice of Himself on our behalf. It should capture us in a way that we can’t even quite put into words. It should quiet our anxious thoughts and wayward desires, knowing that everything that seeks to break down relationship, intimacy and life, all these things were dealt a death-blow on that hill two thousand years ago. Likewise, with our minds humbled, our hearts should leap and shout with joy, like a lame man who has been healed, because the promise of the One who would bring life has been realised! The hope of the ages has come, and the way was made to live again! Our hearts should be bursting with knowledge of the love of the Bridegroom, the One who is coming for us, who has prepared a place for us. This requires us to take time; probably more than a 90-minute service on Good Friday or Easter Sunday. It should sit in our hearts and


minds like a looming iceberg and an anticipated commemoration, at once both sinking our brokenness and celebrating our new life. I think that each one of us should weigh up what that process of gratitude should be like. To do anything less with the Cross would be to tear the heart out of our faith. However, I think to fully grasp the covenant faithfulness of God that was revealed at Easter, and to engage with the offer of an unveiled life toward our God, we can’t stop on Good Friday or even Easter Sunday. To do so would betray the body that the beating heart of the Cross brought to life. The events of that weekend were in a way a precursor to what would come next. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were both a unique act at the central point of history, but also the first event in a long line of those who would follow. His redemptive work was unique to Hais life and nature as the Son of God. He was also the first fruits of the new creation, the ‘to-be-resurrected’ ones, the anointed ones, the covenantparticipating, face-to-face with the Father talking, kingdomempowered priestly living ones. Us! However, that wasn’t all fully played out on that first Easter weekend.

The Cross was the door that opened the way for this to happen. With the curtain torn, with the veil between God and humanity removed, the way was made for all of us to come into His presence with boldness, confidence and assurance. But the way was also made for God to dwell with humanity. The Cross shows us the way back to God and God with us, but the day of Pentecost showed us the way God comes to the world through each of us! Because of that, I think a powerful way that we remember Easter isn’t simply a fortyday fast leading up to Easter Sunday. By all means, jump into the season of Lent with all you have, I know you will be blessed. But to live out an unveiled life of radical surrender, generosity, service and love, then let Easter take you on a journey into intimacy with God through life in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit came as the ongoing Emmanuel, God with Us. Holy Spirit is now the marker of the new covenant; He is the one that marks those who belong to the people of God. Paul made it clear to us in 2 Corinthians 3, that the way people know God, keep His commands and live out His covenant promises, is by the Spirit.


The Spirit was the person who led Jesus through His life: Jesus was the first person on whom the dove remained. So, Holy Spirit is the one who will empower the unveiled life that we are called to live. If we attempt to reach God by our own best efforts, we will fail miserably. However, if we pursue wholeheartedly the one whom Jesus said would come to teach, comfort, guide and remind us of all that Jesus promised, then we will not just act out the traditions of Easter, but we will live out God’s desired plan of Easter. Easter made a way for us to be with God, and Pentecost made a way for God to come to all people in all nations. Pentecost birthed the Church that would take the reality of the crucified Messiah, that is, the reality of Easter, and bring a visible demonstration of the freedom that it bought. Easter without Pentecost gives Christians life everlasting in God’s presence, but Easter with Pentecost sees God’s presence break into the here and now. So, don’t worry if this is the first time you’ve thought about Easter this year. Worry more if you’ve spent any time living out the reality of what that first Easter provided for us. And when you realise that there’s no point worrying about it, invite

Holy Spirit to fill you afresh with His presence, the presence of God. Let prayer and worship be your response this Easter, and let Pentecost be your daily experience. Jo Leutton Pastor of Spiritual Formation Click here to listen to a podcast with Jo Leutton and Scott McKinnon discussing the heart of Easter


The next Alpha at Riverlife runs from 2 May to 27 June 2019.

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Extending the Invitation

God is a missionary God. He came to this earth FOR US in the person of Jesus. For us to be ‘all in’ is to beat with that same heart beat for those who are yet to experience His love. What does that look like? Well, for Rob Mahony it looked like a very close friend inviting him along to Alpha at Riverlife in 2018 to learn about God and witness firsthand what faith looks like on a daily basis. Here’s some of his story...


Q1. What do you do Mon -Fri? I work as a technical officer at a local water authority.

Hollow. Lonely. Meaningless.

Q3. What was your experience of Alpha?

It has changed the way I communicate with God and given me a new view on the purpose of my life.

I found that God was willing to be a part of my life, where previously I had thought that was not the case.

Q6. Why would you recommend people invite someone along to Alpha?

Q4. What motivated you to become a Christian at Alpha and subsequently, be baptised?

It is a great way to be introduced to or clarify questions that you have about Christianity. Alpha was very relaxed, informal, open and had a welcoming atmosphere.

To feel the presence of Jesus and know I am loved.

There are so many ways for us to share our faith and the gospel with those around us. Sometimes we may feel that we aren’t up to the task and hold back. Good news! The pressure is off! It is God who saves and all we need to do is extend the invitation. The rest is up to Him.

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Q5. What difference does Jesus make to your life now?

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Q2. How would you describe your life before you met Jesus?


One Heart. One Prayer. Our heart for Brisbane continues to grow, as the momentum of city-wide prayer starts to spread. On Sunday 5 January Riverlife proudly hosted our third City Prayer Gathering (CPG) at King George Square, with more than 200 in attendance. Our vision of seeing followers of Jesus praying for our city continues to gain momentum! There are at least three things worth celebrating. Firstly, unity. Although Riverlife hosts CPG, it’s clearly a bigger movement than any one church. Christians from all over the city gather for worship and prayer regardless of age, tradition, or background. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to witness the sounds of worship echoing through the city square with so many accents, yet a unified heart for one name—Jesus Christ. In our time of public prayer, representatives from Riverlife and other churches passionately prayed for our city’s businesses, governance, families, health and salvation. But perhaps the best part was watching as people

who were just passing were drawn into the time of worship and more prayer in smaller groups. The unity of having one heart and one prayer for our city provides both strength for the churches of Brisbane and offers a powerful witness in our city. Secondly, impact. Every year we hear of fantastic stories of how God uses CPG to touch lives in so many ways. The positive impact has won us favour with the city administrators, event coordinators, and local police who are quick to support our efforts. Perhaps best summed up by one city hall organiser, “We remember you guys and are glad to see you back!” One security officer excitedly said, “I wasn’t sure about you guys at first but now I just have one question: where can I hear more?” After a brief gospel message, we saw several people come off the streets for prayer and one person made a firsttime commitment! Thirdly, momentum. Each year more and more churches are represented in the audience. The National Day of Prayer


team is now promoting it and we also saw the launch of City Prayer Gathering in Ipswich this year. Our vision is that our desire to pray and worship would spill out beyond the walls of our church, resonate other believers in our city and impact our city as people see the love

of Jesus in a real and tangible way. We pray that you would in turn, be prayerfully thinking about those around you in your own community and asking God for ways in which you can demonstrate His love to them on a regular basis!

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Click here to listen to a podcast with Brian Heasley about the importance of praying for our city


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Seeking His Face

Tune in to our recent podcast with Tom Jones to hear more about ministering in God’s presence and his thoughts for churches in 2019.

Click here to listen to a podcast with Tom Jones

or

Click here to listen to a podcast with Charity Cook

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Tom reminded us that if we are serious about pursing revival, we need to honour our covenant with God and intentionally pursue His presence in all we do. We’re so hungry for His transforming power in our lives and long to see whole cities turn to Jesus! Real change starts with us prioritising God’s presence in our personal lives, right here, right now and we’re so excited for the season that lies ahead.

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On Saturday 16 February, more than 500 people came together to seek God’s face at Presence Conference. We were delighted to host Tom Jones, Paul Martini, Charity Cook and the team from Global Awakening over the weekend and hear their hearts for revival throughout the world.


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I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. JOHN 10:10 (NIV)


Fostering Healthy Environments Healthy families and healthy communities are at the heart of what we do here at Riverlife. We believe Jesus calls us to live life to the full (John 10:10) and that fullness extends to every person, at every age.

Together we believe we can make a change and work towards providing a safe, shame-free culture where we can actively empower people to walk in the plans God has for them.

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As a result of the Royal Commission into Historic Institutional Child Sex Abuse, a National Redress Scheme has been set up to recognise past wrongs by church communities. It provides a process to enable survivors of those past wrongs to seek redress so they can move forward with their lives. The Queensland Baptist group has offered each church the choice to opt into this scheme and Riverlife unanimously voted at a recent members’ meeting to do so. We were able to spend time in prayer lifting up the needs of our community and praying for healing.

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As a result of our commitment to foster safe and healthy environments, we are tackling the issue of pornography this year. With more than 100 million daily visits in 2018 to the world’s most popular pornography site, almost 70 per cent of boys and 25 per cent of girls in Australia have seen pornography by the age of 13 or younger. It’s clear that pornography usage in our country is prolific and its unrealistic story lines and addictive natures are destroying marriages, families and communities at large. We are working with several educational consultants to deliver a churchwide approach to the issue that includes training for all staff, kids church leaders, youth leaders and key ministry leaders. We will be hosting guest speakers throughout the year at our

women’s conference and men’s breakfasts, as well as providing seminars later in the year that will be open to the general public.


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Robyn Robertson We’re excited to welcome Robyn to Riverlife as our new Missions Pastor! Here’s a glimpse into her heart for reaching NATIONS. What will your role here as Missions Pastor entail?

Where were you before Riverlife?

I am passionate about cultivating the missional heart of the church. We are the workforce God has entrusted for reproducing communities of authentic disciples who aren’t simply content to take up space in the community, but who are equipped, willing and determined in every situation and context to bring the transformational influence of Jesus Christ into their everyday world.

For the past two years I worked for World Vision Australia, Australia’s largest International Non-Government Organisation (iNGO). I held the role of Manager of New Business in the Field Impact Group, which had a programming design and implementation reach across Asia, Africa and Pacific with a vision for every child, life in all its fullness; our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.


Tell us about your favourite mission trip memory. In 2004 John and I left Brisbane for India, for what initially was an indefinite period, but ended up seeing us home in mid-2005 when Jake arrived on the scene. Living and working in India really accelerated and developed

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Before that I worked for At Good Return, an Australian iNGO as Lead of Innovation, Training and Capability Development focusing on Responsible Inclusive Finance for the lowest socio-economic communities in Solomon Islands, Cambodia, Nepal and Philippines.

different aspects of my faith journey that would not be as rich had we not had the opportunity for service or stretching over an extended period. There was a deep realisation that in any and all situations, Christ was and would always be my allin-all. This was especially true during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that, among many nations impacted, hit Tamil Nadu coastline including Chennai where we were living at the time. The loss of life disoriented and separated children and the tsunami decimated belongings (including income-generating assets) and resulted in a strong sense of insecurity for those poor communities we were working with. It was a season of service I will never forget - there’s nothing like doing disaster zone assessments in Indian slum villages when fourand-a-half months pregnant! It was during this time, that I could see in full HD the importance of understanding what it means to bring the Gospel as Deed through demonstrations of love, meeting material needs and service; the Gospel as Word announcing our motivation and introducing people to Jesus (a person not a set of propositions); and the Gospel as Power through the miraculous signs,

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Prior to World Vision, I worked with a small team to establish an Australian Social Enterprise called Global Sisters. We brought Global Sisters into existence to provide a genuine alternative for women unable to participate in or excluded from mainstream employment, removing the barriers to make self-employment a viable option (including refugees, documented asylum seekers, those reentering from incarceration and those generationally dependent upon social security). I held the role of Head of Strategic Leadership, Business Education and Social Impact.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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healings and spiritual warfare. As we designed our interventions and led the field staff through the crisis and into the months that followed, we wanted to make sure that there was such a tangible difference to how we lived our lives and conducted our work, that it raised the question as to what we believed. We knew we had to be intentional, to ensure that what the communities saw at the centre of our response efforts and rehabilitation program, would be what they could put their faith in at the end. We made sure that it was our Christian witness therefore, not our money, relief packs, resources or expertise that was glorified.

Where do you believe God’s heart is for mission at Riverlife? We seek to partner with God in His mission – as a sign, foretaste and instrument of what life is like under the reign of God. Ultimately, it is about realising that our local mission is God’s Global Mission – wherever our ‘local’ geography places us – Jesus is found through ‘relationship’.

Today, some of our church’s best opportunities to reach the nations, will come from getting involved in our own 'backyard', in reaching into the diverse communities of first nations, refugee and migrant, international students, enterprise and business people from multicultural backgrounds. The diversification of the corridor we have been placed within, from Logan to Toowoomba, has a strong representation of more than 70 nationalities and some of the most disadvantaged, excluded, and isolated peoples crying out for good news to impact their lives and existence. Riverlife also has amazing relationships with individuals, organisations and networks internationally, that we will continue to support, train and equip and actively engage and partner with. God is never constrained by our geography and His singular mission requires both local and global engagement. Finding the right balance will require much prayer, discernment, humility and grace.


What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved in missions? Come in and let’s catch up, pray and see how we can engage with you as you seek to obey God’s prompting on your life in the area of mission!

35 UNVEILED AUTUMN 2019


These additions to our facility continue to support the ministry use of the facility and have been an incredible blessing. Thank you.

Actual Income

% of Budget

Budget Variation

December 2018

101.3

$3,894 -$6,694

January 2019

-$32,454

89.5

Pastor al

29%

Mis

18%

s ini

try

19%

M

34%

Administratio n

e r ty op Pr

Co sts

nd

Expenditure by Expense Category

2018 year (12 mths) 99.8

so n a

Financial Summary

Congratulations church! Through your incredibly generous gifts we have completed nearly all the things on the Breaking New Ground list. Some of these include sound in the foyer, the new Dive Kids Ministry room, AV in the Kids Ministry rooms, signage at the roundabout, boom gates for the main entrances, stage curtains, a ride-on vacuum cleaner and conferencing furniture for the Hall. A big thank you to Keep Active for sponsoring the sports court surfacing in the youth area, which is such a generational blessing!


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also M AT T H E W 6 : 2 1 ( N I V )

Per annum

Per week

$11M

Per auditorium seat

$2,422

$47

$7,333

Per regular attendee (18+)

$1,557

$30

$4,715

16

20

2018

2015

0 .75

0.8

2017

0.7

Income vs Budget

0.85

0.9

0.95

1

1.05

1.1

UNVEILED AUTUMN 2019

Income Budget Debt

37

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec


MORE TESTIMONY Have more testimony on what God has done at Riverlife and the surrounding community? We’d love to hear about it! Please email your testimony along with your name and contact details to church@riverlifechurch.org.au

By submitting testimony you are giving Riverlife Baptist Church your permission to share this testimony verbally in messages or sermons and in written form in reports and email newsletters.


Unveiled is a publication of Riverlife Baptist Church If you have any further questions about anything you have read, please visit the information desk in the foyer on Sundays, call the church office during business hours or visit our website. Our regular service times are 9am and 5pm every Sunday.


riverlifebaptistchurch riverlifebaptistchurch

E P

church@riverlifechurch.org.au 3378 3595 W riverlifechurch.org.au

Jennifer Street, 17 Mile Rocks Qld 4073

Profile for Riverlife Baptist Church

Unveiled - Autumn 2019 - Presence  

An important part of Riverlife's culture is to celebrate the testimony of what God is doing among us. Unveiled is a quarterly digital magazi...

Unveiled - Autumn 2019 - Presence  

An important part of Riverlife's culture is to celebrate the testimony of what God is doing among us. Unveiled is a quarterly digital magazi...