Monday, 28 February 2011

Youth Service

Last night the youth took over the PM service at City North Baptist Church.  It was incredible!  The way the youth ministered to the church through welcoming, taking up the offering, leading the service, leading the congregation in singing and music, facilitating worship, sharing testimonies and reading God's Word was amazingly encouraging.

I feel very humbled to be working with such passionate young people, in whom it is evident that the Holy Spirit is working.

I don't know if my sermon was on par with their effort - I felt under prepared and I'm not sure it flowed as well as my other sermons, but I had many people tell me that they heard God speak so I can simply attest that to his grace, taking my words and making them His.

Youth Band

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Good Youth Interaction Resources

Dan and Suzie (Duzie) Potter were the main speakers on last year's Teen Street Camp.

They have some great resources for youth work and some good teaching and training ideas for leaders on their website ____________________ (which I will now post later as it seems their site has been hacked and is spreading viruses - I have contacted them so hopefully it will be fixed soon).

Tune in for more and the link later then I guess...

Being a Relevant Youth Bible Study Leader

**This is the workshop I facilitated in Townsville yesterday

Build a relationship

  • Youth probably won’t just sit down and listen to you talk about the Bible. Youth Group isn’t school and you don’t have (nor do you really want) that authoritative role of their teachers.
  • Get involved in other activities. Play the games, talk to them at church, grab an extra drink at supper time and take it to someone in your group. Build a relationship based on respect rather than work from a relationship of authority.

Have a plan

  • Whether you’re writing your own studies or using a book, make sure you know the material that you’re going to try and communicate. Preparing for studies is vital. It takes time (I find usually at least an hour) but if you are well prepared then you should be confident even if there are some off topic questions

Be flexible

  • Don’t let your plan get in the way of good discussion.
  • Have boundaries (or maybe time limits for off topic discussion), but allow the thought processes of the group to move forward.

Don’t worry if it is short.

  • As long as the main point of the study comes across and there’s some application to that point then don’t worry too much on time.
  • Sometimes it’s great to have a whole story from the Bible to study, or a chunk of a letter with great application. But don’t be afraid to find one or two verses that are easy to understand and simply have a few application questions to draw out the essence of the text.
  • Don’t keep talking and adding ideas just to fill out your time frame, because the group will probably loose the main point amongst everything else.

Use handouts.

  • If you’re using a study book that’s great. If you’re writing your own then come up with a few application questions and put them on a handout. Having something physical will focus your point.
  • Use pictures, comics, cartoons, puzzles to draw the youth into the topic.
  • Someone an extra challenge handout, or something to take home can supplement and extend the ideas in study books.

Be interactive.

  • Ask simple questions that require something more than a ‘yes/no’ answer.
  • Find a physical activity that might highlight a point or application (especially with guys)
  • Find a craft that creates something to highlight a point or application (especially with girls)

Don’t be afraid to teach theology

  • Teens can handle deep Biblical doctrine. We shouldn't think them too young to process it – though we need to present it in a way they’ll understand
  • Teens love learning big words.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Townsville tomorrow

Heading to Townsville with Queensland Baptist Youth for the day tomorrow.  Long way to go, but we're sharing with the Townsville Baptist youth leadership team.  It should be a good day.

I'll post some of the stuff I'm talking about when I get back.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Personal Code of Ethics

Here are some notes from a class I'm taking at college.  Integrity and ethics is something I'm dwelling on a bit lately, and as part of this course I have to write my own personal code of ethics, which is a very interesting task.
One of the essential aspects of a pastor’s relationships is to always relate with integrity. The character of pastors is fundamental to their leadership function. Paul emphasises the character qualifications of pastors in his instructions to Timothy and Titus on the selection of elders (1 Tim 3:1-7, Tit 1:6-9). He uses words like, “above reproach,” “respectable,” “good reputation,” “blameless,” “upright,” “holy,” and “disciplined,” to describe the character of the pastoral leaders in the church. Moral behaviour is paramount.
We live in an era in the West when opportunities for immoral behaviour have increased through the proliferation of overt temptation and the relatively recent possibility of complete privacy. Both the church and community are aware of the deeply flawed character of some pastoral leaders through the media attention that has been given to immorality among church leaders. It is essential that the church makes every effort to insist on and preserve the character of their pastoral leaders. Moral behaviour in pastoral relationships is vital.

So as a Pastor have you come up with your own personal code of ethics? Do you see it as an important task to fulfill? How do you go about actually abiding by that code?

Just some questions that I've had looking at this topic.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Good Sermon Illustrations

I'm wondering if God is using just a little of that mighty sovereign hand of his to place me in some incredibly embarrassing situations... solely for the fact that in years to come they will make great sermon illustrations.

Seriously, since I've begun acting on God's call to pastoral ministry I have found myself embarrassed over and over... much more than usual.  Though not too painful these things seem quite funny, and I can always see where they might be relevant in a sermon if I ever preach on certain topics.

This morning's situation was a doozie :-p (those who were at church know what I'm talking about)

Who says God doesn't have a sense of humour?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

College 2011

Lectures started again this week, kicking off my final year of Bible College.  Must admit I'm a tad daunted by the amount of work I have to do, and praying that God gives me the determination to be disciplined and get it all done.

This was a path I started 2 years ago which I kind of never saw myself seeing through to the full three year completion.  I just wanted some knowledge and study.  Now I feel God leading me to full time pastoral ministry, but he still needs to change me so much before I'm ready for that.  The study focus and discipline is the start of that... and I want to see change.

But still hanging myself out there on the faith that God's plan is going to be seen to fruition.

Are people who don't have a faith in Christ still part of our churches?

Here's a confronting and challenging post from Joe Khan over on the City North Young Adult blog.  It's something I'd been thinking about recently in regards to our youth group and our 2011 vision to be a Christ Centred, Servant Hearted, Outward Focused Youth Community.   Are those who aren't saved still part of that community?  What then is the defining point of being in community (either youth group or Church)?  Is there a difference between the City North Baptist Community, and the City North Baptist Church?

Here's some of what Pastor Joe has to say

The main challenge is what to do with unsaved folk who are absorbed into the life and community of a church fellowship without actually converting to Christianity. The problem is that the longer they are part of the community, the harder it becomes to distinguish whether or not they have faith in Christ. It is natural for people to become like the communities they spend time in, so an unsaved person can through simple attendance begin to undergo a transformation of character and begin to have a lifestyle that resembles many of the other people in a church. But you can't get saved by osmosis! Every person needs to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ... 
Therefore the question must be asked: Do people need faith in Christ to be considered part of a church community?

Read the rest on the Young Adults blog

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Importance of good relationships in ministry.

This is the prime way we can encourage City North Youth to be a Christ Centred, Servant Hearted, Outward Focused Youth Community this year.

...transformation of the community comes principally through relationships. If relationships are not strong, then there is likely to be little development or change. For God’s church to be strong and God’s people to work effectively together, relationships must be healthy and intentional. Healthy relationships are actually a visible sign of God’s community (John 13:35: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another").

New Paul Colman Trio Single.

PC3 is about to release it's new single 'I Don't Know Why' in Australia tomorrow. Click here to listen to it online now.

I think it's pretty rocking!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Actually Praying

I must admit that many times when I am 'in prayer' my mind is going 100 miles an hour organising and planning stuff coming up.  With youth group ramping up and college going back I find my mind is constantly dwelling on those things and any moment with my eyes closed is time to get some of that stuff sorted.

I find I have to really focus on prayer to pray.  That might seem weird, but I have to remember the privilege we have in being able to communicate with God, and I have to remember who I am talking to - someone who deserves our respect, to the point where He is someone we are not worthy to commune with; except for his allowing it.

I was taking prayer for granted - now I'm trying not to.  Any other tips?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Prayer for consistency

Should we regularly ask God to bring consistency to our prayer and Bible reading lives?  Does continually asking God for this, in some sense, assist us in actually bringing the consistency we need?

Or is it just a crutch to fall back on when we can't seem to get out of our rut and find the discipline to spend time in prayer and reading?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Alone in a crowd...

Have you ever found yourself completely surrounded by people you know, yet feeling completely lonely?

It's a strange situation - and one I'm not sure how to rectify.

City North Youth - Week 1

Well the first night of youth for the year went well.  We've had a heap of time planning this term and I'm so happy with the amazing bunch of leaders we have this year.   Everything feels quite organised and ready to flow. Yet still with a spontaneousness to allow for God to work through both the leaders and the program when He chooses.

We kicked off 2011 with some games and a time spent looking at our vision.  We hope to become a Christ Centred, Servant Hearted, Outward Focused Youth Community. I admit it's a vision we used at Whitehill but   after talking to Ben about it we thought it could be used elsewhere to focus a group on the community they should be striving to be.  I'm really looking forward to how this all pans out!
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