Category: management


SUNDAY MEETINGS are an exciting time for Christians.  It’s a time of adjustment from the weekly activities.  It’s a time of focussed worship and reflection.  It’s also a time of hearing the Word and a time of fellowship.
These ingredients are to not only bless the Christian but to impact and prepare the heart of a possibly unsaved person that may come through the doors.
Sunday meetings are a challenge in some aspects as they are designed for the Christian (Believers Service, growing and maturing the body) but also must be a place where the unsaved can find God.

Here are 3 aspects of a one and a half hour “Sunday Meeting”

1. Worship

Sadly, many Christians do not come to church in the right frame of mind.  There are numerous possibilities for this – from having a fight with the spouse to the kids playing up.  There are masses of distractions that have the ability to hinder a believer from walking into the facility with a heart full of worship and praise.
We, as the singers and musicians, assist people in coming into a meaningful dialogue and adoration for God.  To make it easy, we need the songs to be simple and to the point. Complicated songs and difficult phrasing sometimes work against the worship leader as the congregation is trying to get their lips around the tune and even the key of the song.  Worship lays out the “Red Carpet” for the communion message and the preaching of the word.  Worship softens the heart of those who do and even those who do not participate in the worship or singing.  Consider also Matthew 13:  “A wise man brings from his storehouse, treasures, little of the old and little of the new.”  Sing a new song to the Lord, but don’t discard the older songs.  You’ll keep the mature/older members of your congregation in harmony with your leadership.  It shows that you value them as important members of your congregation.  We must be generational.

A.  A scripture reading in a song service is very powerful, bringing the congregation to attention to the word of God.  A carefully chosen passage stirs faith and lifts the people’s hearts to worship God.  Getting their eyes on Jesus instead of their circumstances is the goal of every part of the service.

B.  A well thought out prayer brings the God factor into the mix of a service.  Our public praying needs to be powerful, fervent and Jesus centred.  Welcome the Holy Spirit!  Invite Him to be a part of the service.  Declare the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  Speak of His goodness and sovereignty. Proclaim the greatness and majesty of God.  Use the wonderful name of Jesus.  Always keep your heartfelt prayers based on the word of God. eg “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.”  Be yourself and pray from your heart.

C.  Let there be a time of silence – don’t be afraid of allowing a time for reflection.  After a minute or two of silence, you may like to encourage the prophetic gifts to operate.  We must not lose our Pentecostal distinctives and prophecy is powerful.  Pastors need to bring instruction for each expression of worship for the least experienced member of the church – it’s important that visitors are able to understand what is happening in a service.  Bring a brief explanation to the people of what is occurring. eg “Be still and know that I am God” can invoke great peace over the congregation.  Speak peace or even sing it over them – we don’t always know what our church is going through on the inside.

D. Include the Children in some way.  Maybe get a little one to sing a verse of a song or read a small portion of scripture.  Interviews are well received and kids love a microphone.

E.  Testimonies lift people’s faith levels.  This needs to be a deliberate part of the meeting.  Good leadership pre-empts the one who is testifying, and encourages them to keep it short and sweet.

F.  If it is the beginning of a school term, exam time or graduation time, bring all the students and teachers out the front and lay hands on them.  Our teachers and students need to know they are special and we care about what they are doing in their lives.

G.  Pray for the sick!  The power of the laying on of Hands must not be underestimated. Remember you are imparting God’s healing virtue.

H.  Keep the service multicultural, bringing different aspects of the cultures our wonderful friends from other countries into the mix and including a variety of people throughout the up-front rosters.  Hold an International Day or various other events throughout the year that focus on inclusivity.

I.  The time for announcements and offerings is light hearted and up-beat.  Welcome your visitors and ensure that you have something to remind them of their visit – a welcome pack with information about the church including a contact form is a great start.
Tithes and offerings: Share an encouragement on the heart of generosity. (Don’t push tithing down people’s throats week in and week out).  Remind people that God loves a cheerful giver, it’s better to give than receive, He gives seed to the sower, etc.  Then leave it up to them and see God bless the ministry and the givers themselves.

J.  The Communion message is our central focus and needs to be placed in high priority in the meeting.  We don’t need ‘throw away’ communion messages.  Three to five minutes is sufficient to bring home the powerful message of the Cross – forgiveness of sin through His shed blood.

2.  Sermons

The Pastor’s sermon must be seen as the key word of the Lord for the week.  Pastors must create this expectation in the people.  It’s Moses (the set man) going to the mountain and bringing that NOW WORD!  The altar call needs to be as powerful as the message itself.  We need to spend a lot more time on this aspect as it is a salvation, life and death moment.  Remember PASSION is the great persuader!

Make your sermons relevant and age appropriate – you might not be 25 years old, but your message doesn’t have to be 25 years old!  The Sons of Issacher knew the signs of the times and it’s important to be able to relate to your whole congregation.

Keep your sermons dynamic – utilise all the tools available to you.  Use media, sound, people and props if necessary to illustrate and bring home your message.  We live in a society that is visual and entrenched in media – let’s not miss the boat, but rather set the pace and lead the way.

3. Fellowship

Fellowship is as important as worship.  It is just as spiritual as any other part of what we do in our lives.  The greatest 2 commands that Jesus gave us are…”Love the Lord your God (Worship) and love your neighbour (Fellowship).
I believe that we need to be deliberate about this. Create an atmosphere of fellowship with light music playing, nice food, coffee brewing and strategically appointed people that have the gift of hospitality.  Additional extras – The room maybe dimly lit with a flat screen TV if possible showing a “Hillsong, Paradise, Edge or Planet Shakers” DVD.  If you don’t have access to this, have music playing in the background instead – it creates an atmosphere that fills an empty space in a room.

Conclude the meeting with a prayer of blessing!  Speak it over the people and send them on their way with an uplifted heart.  Let them know that you value them and that you value being able to bless them.
In Dueteronomy 28 talks about the abundant blessings of God; the prayer of Jabez says “Oh that You would bless me; Jacob wrestled with God -“I’m not going to let you go until you bless me”; Matthew 5 has the Beatitudes that talk about the blessings based on who we are.

All things considered, enjoy the journey.  In other words, “Serve the Lord with Gladness!”
Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Remember it’s a journey and it is God’s Church.  He said He will build it and He does.  We just need to be sincere, authentic and obedient to His call on our lives.

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Ted and KylieHow to get under God’s protection

As a Pastor, I am constantly concerned for people and their understanding of Kingdom principles.  It’s one thing to know them, but it’s altogether another thing to be able to correctly and fruitfully apply them.  I believe that submission and obedience to authority is a Kingdom Principle that needs to be re-established.

In a world where authority is disrespected and disregarded, our only hope is to trust what God has told us from the very beginning.  God is our ultimate authority and the Word of God is the ultimate written authority, spoken by God Himself.

We have television shows that make parents and social authorities look inferior, worthy of disdain and mockery.

We have people in rebellion in every walk of life – our own politicians, for right or wrong motives, find it difficult to submit and support their own leaders and instead publically refute their support and the loyalty due their leader.

We have people of all ages changing jobs frequently or not being able to hold down a steady job for long because the boss is always wrong and the employee knows better.

We have a generation of people that not only want their silver platter handed to them, but they want it lined with 18 carat gold, crusted with diamonds, with a money back guarantee that lasts a lifetime regardless of how poorly it is treated and then they want it handed to them only to desire that it is carried around for them too!

God’s plan has always involved authority and being submitted to authority.

We fool ourselves if we think that we can escape or that we are somehow exempt from authority.

God’s absolute authority was passed on to us in different aspects and Paul outlines this very clearly in Romans 13:1-2:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

God has instituted 4 forms of delegated authority under His divine authority.

Whether it is liked or not, there is a very clear pecking order and we can choose either God’s blessing or the consequences that result from our choice of whether to be under authority or not.

The 4 delegated authorities are:

Family

–          Husband, Wife and then the Children

Ephesians 5:22 – 6:4

Government

–          National & Local Leaders and then the Citizens

1 Peter 2:13-14

Church

–          Church Leaders and then the Members

Hebrews 13:17

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

Employment

–          Employer and then the Employee

Colossians 3:22

1 Peter 2:18-19

There are very clear and basic purposes for God’s authority and the ways that He has instituted it.

The basic purposes for authority are 3 fold:

1. To Grow in Wisdom and Character
Luke 2:49-52

2. To Gain Protection From Destructive Temptations – Incomplete Obedience

1 Samuel 15:23

3. To Receive Clear Direction For Life Decisions

From those three basic principles comes protection under authority.  When we learn to submit and then actually do submit, there is protection for us under authority.  God is a good God.  He knows how things are supposed to work because He created them to work perfectly in perfect unison and harmony.  He knows that we need to lean submission in small steps which is why the very first authority that we come under is the authority of our family.

Children need to learn to submit and obey their parents.  If this first and most basic step is not implemented correctly, each other authority institution and authority figure will be a challenge for that child as they grow and develop.

If we want our children to grow up with a God instituted and healthy respect for authority and have the ability to submit and be obedient, we need to train them from birth.  Their protection in life begins with us.

We need to teach our children and those around us to understand the balance of power.  That is, we need to understand that coming under the delegated authorities means that we are coming under an umbrella of protection.  Like when we step out in the rain, if we have an umbrella we won’t get wet.  It doesn’t stop the rain, but we are protected.  If we don’t have that umbrella and we go out in the rain, we are at the mercy of the weather and we will get wet– we have no protection.

We need to discover how God is using authorities in our life

It is imperative that you determine correctly who your authorities are.  That doesn’t mean that we can pick and choose whom we submit and obey, it means to be aware of and willing to be obedient to every authority that God has instituted.

God has promised you direction, provision and protection through 4 structures of authority:

Family

Strong families produce strong churches and nations.

It’s in the family that we should learn:

Obedience

Submission

Right style of relationship

And how to appeal to authority

Government

Not only are we as Christians given instructions to honour and obey our King, but we are given illustrations on how to do it

Church

To its leadership is given the responsibility of the spiritual care and welfare of each member

Employment

Bosses and managers are in place to be responsible for the welfare of the company and the employees as well as the clients and customers.

It is important to discern how God is using authority in your life.  The purpose is to be conformed to Christ’s personality and His likeness – He humbled Himself and was obedient even unto death.

Lastly, we need to identify situations in which you must appeal to authority

Appealing to authority means that when you don’t agree with a situation or a decision, you respectfully and calmly approach your leader or the person concerned and speak with them.  This can take the form of either a verbal conversation or you could write to them.  Either way, there are attitudes that need to first be checked.

1. Do we have an Independent Spirit which is the basis of Disloyalty?

2. Do we have a condemning spirit which is the basis of self-righteousness?

3. Do we have an ungrateful spirit which is the basis of pride?

4. Do we have a lazy spirit which is the basis of dishonesty & poverty?

5. Do we have a bitter spirit which is the basis of selfishness?

6. Do we have an impure spirit which is the basis of self-indulgence?

Sometimes we can fool ourselves or be fooled into thinking that we are more than what we really are or that we know more than what our authority does.  It’s difficult to admit sometimes, but the people that are in leadership over us are there for a reason.  Children find it difficult to believe that their parents actually know what they are talking about and if this is not handled correctly, this type of attitude can go with them all through their lives.  Through their schooling years where they think they know better than their teachers, through their sporting interests where they think they know better than their coaches, through their working lives where they think they know better than their bosses and through their married life where they think they know better than anyone.

This type of attitude is very unteachable and self detrimental, often resulting in broken relationships and job changes and a poor reputation.

On the other hand, for the person that hears and learns how to appeal to authority and understands that God has put people and positions of authority in our lives for our safety and benefit, to bless and honour us not control and restrict.

God can use authority structures even if they are hard to bring change in our lives – Change into Christ likeness is our goal!

My prayer is that you will be blessed on your journey into Christ likeness and healthy and fruitful connections.

P9130215Jesus is building HIS church!

Over the years of my time in ministry, I’ve come to realize a few things about people and church life, Christianity and the world. These are a few observations I’d like to share with those who are willing to read and maybe take on a new way of approaching life and ministry.

1.) Don’t stress or worry especially if you cannot control the situation. Give it to God. Sleep on it. Time is a healer. 12 hours makes a huge difference and it gives an opportunity for God to move. People panic and I put myself in that category in the past, but what for? Why do it? Why allow yourself to go through all that pain? Isn’t life itself a gift? Look for the good in little! I find most people operate their lives on rational, most times making choices out of an irrational and an emotional mind set.

2.) People will do what people will do! As a pastor you can preach till the cows come home or till you’re blue in the face, but in most cases nothing changes except for a Holy Spirit encounter or revelation. Crisis does not even guarantee change in people’s lives. Counselling doesn’t change people unless they choose to change and adhere to the advice given.

3.) Church attendance! A pastor can visit his flock and can encourage them to be in church, but even then I have found that people will do, what people will do. Sunday morning comes and depending on how they are feeling at the time, a decision is made not to go or to go! Values are not considered anymore and children will be the recipients of our values, or lack of values, as parents. Incomplete obedience will be the next generation’s disobedience. On any given Sunday a third of your congregation may be away. People come into church and go! Should I say people grow or people go! Anything can set people off from a misperception to a pastor not shaking their hand at the door. It’s time for the church to grow up and develop some backbone! Maturity must be a priority! Paul said meat, not milk!

4.) We want the church to provide this program and that program but do nothing about it ourselves. Instead of getting motivated and involved with church life people get involved the clubs and activities the world offers. Where is the desire to come together to worship and have fellowship? Where are Kingdom values instilled? It must come from firstly the family then the church. You’ve got to get your family there if those values are to be taught to your children.

5.) Some times as a pastor you’re dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. I have come to the conclusion that you can’t please everyone! Pleasing God should be our aim.

Through many years of ministry, watching and relating to people I have come to the realization that “Unless God builds the House we labour in vain”.  The scripture is so true!   You can have all the bells and whistles, good preaching, beautiful worship, a coffee shop experience after and before church but some will come and some will stay at home. The sleeping giant needs a shaking. An awakening! A revival! You can have the best programs in the world but people are led by their feelings. Sadly they feel their way out and think their way out of their destiny! There is a permissive will but people should desire and seek after the perfect will of God! The permissive will tends to be average and mediocre. God has so much instore yet we are happy with the status quo and just getting through. Too many people are just making it and call themselves survivors rather than living in the best God has got to offer.

Some final thoughts.

Be faithful to what God has called you to do! Make every post a winner! Look for the best in people. Be an encourager! Remember to see the glass half full and make a way to help fill it right up! God is on the throne. He hasn’t stepped off and He’s not having a sleep. He is intently interested in you and is constantly reaching out to us. Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your might! Let God be God and “Seek 1st the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you”.

Being vs Doing!

IMG_1290Living in victory each day is being!

Walking in the light of His love and acceptance is liberating only if you know His truth and know this truth in your heart.

We tend to do and do and do and then do more!  Rather, we need to acknowledge that we are who we are and that’s how God made us.

Simply be.  “Be.”

We are made in His image, growing from glory to glory, faith to faith.

Being is relaxing in who God says you are…

Not trying to be something or someone that we are not.

God says that His “mercy is new every morning” – it’s a new day, a fresh start, a new beginning and therefore we are to live today as if it is the first day of our lives.

Contentment is the key to being.  Doing represents running around, stress, deadlines, etc.

Don’t allow small things to be blown out of proportion and become more important than they need.

Think about it – in 1 week, will it still be this urgent or this important?  If not, then relax a little more and give people around you a break!  They’re probably feeling the brunt of your stress and frustration.

Being is plodding along vibrantly or relaxing for easy power.

My encouragement is for you to declutter your life.

Keep the main thing, the main thing!

Enjoy the journey of life and learn to stop and smell the roses.

Inhale and then exhale.

Slowly.

Get the full benefit of the scent, not just a whif.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

His rest will create our best.

Is Your Head On Right?

My TedIS YOUR HEAD ON RIGHT? (Helping people help themselves)

Why do people get messed up with false doctrines, conspiracies, and end up confused and distracted in their faith?

It deeply saddens me and it concerns me greatly when good people are thrown off course.  Well meaning saints of God who have potential beyond their own understanding sabotage their future by silly thought patterns, ideas and beliefs they form from unreliable sources.  People take in the spin of others rather than the word of God in its true context being the foundation of their life.  People not under authority, not submitted!  People submitted means that they are SUPPORTIVE STRENGTH UNDER LEADERSHIP!

Some people are not accountable, doing their own thing, their own way.  These people God cannot use because they cannot be harnessed.  They have talents and abilities but unless you can pass the test of submission, they are just like a lightning bolt across the sky.

– Whatever they touch blows up.

– It explodes

– It sets on fire.

These people cannot be used for anything because their power is out of control!

People need a voltage regulator!

In my own experience there’s a frustration of wanting to reach out and help but knowing that my help will fall on deaf ears as people continue to do as people do.  And so the cycle goes on and on.  Crisis after crisis!

I want to give you signs of a person with their head on God’s way.

  1. They accept responsibility for their own behaviour and learn from failures.  They don’t repeat past errors (or repeat them easily).
  2. Are pleased to receive constructive criticism and are sincerely glad to have the opportunity to improve.
  3. Don’t expect special treatment.
  4. Meet emergencies and crisis with poise.
  5. Are not impatient with reasonable delays.  Realizes that the world runs to its own pace.  Expects to have to make reasonable compromise.
  6. Wins without gloating.  Endures defeat and disappointment with grace.  Tries to learn from every loss.
  7. Harbours no jealousy.  Are sincerely pleased for others when they enjoy good success.
  8. Are considerate of the feelings and options of others.  Are careful listeners.  Don’t become defensive, close-minded, and argumentative when discussing opinions.
  9. Plans for the future, rather than trusting the information of the moment.

Through right decisions and responses to scripture a pillar person becomes faithful and are vital parts of the house of God.

They are:

  1. Born Again.
  2. Water Baptised.
  3. Filled with the Holy Spirit.
  4. Faithful to corporate church gatherings.
  5. Faithful to connect groups.
  6. Joyfully give their tithes.
  7. Love to pray and worship God.
  8. Have a heart for winning their city to Christ.
  9. Vision for world missions
  10. Commitment to uphold family values
  11. Love for God that is expressed through all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength EVERYTHING!

This is what I believe makes up a mature Christian.  This is the person that will be sustained and successful in life.  Not confused, not distracted, and not taken up by sensationalism.  A person with their head TWISTED ON RIGHT!

oneLife doesn’t always go the way we plan.  Over the last few years I have experienced something that never in my wildest imagination thought I would go through.  Divorce is a killer and God hates it, but it’s a tragic reality that is in epidemic proportions in the world.  The stats say that 1 in every 2 marriages ends in divorce and 75% of second marriages end in divorce.

It has only been of recent times that I have been able to speak openly about my situation and how I have been able to dig and scrape myself out of the deep hole of rejection and pain that was brought about by divorce.  There is no other description that I can think of that can describe the immense emotional trauma that divorce brings into your life.

Children are the ones that suffer the most and the lawyers are the only people that gain from this destructive and devastating, demonic attack on our families.

I have a few brief suggestions on how I was able to overcome and get through.  I don’t think you can ever get over it completely but you certainly learn to live with it and in my situation God has given me an incredible wife that understands and loves me.  Kylie has shown unconditional love and companionship throughout this journey. 

Everything starts and ends in your thinking.

The bible says to cast down imaginations.  Bring into captivity every thought. Renew your mind daily. It is easier said than done but very possible in God.

1) Control. 

Control your mind and how you think so that you can interpret the situation and respond effectively to the crisis.  A crisis will reveal the true leadership and character in you.  True leadership plans and manages and does not lose control.  We are given the Holy Spirit to guide us and grow us – the fruit of the Spirit includes self control!

2) Opportunity.

Crisis is an opportunity to draw on potential. No matter what it happening, see it as an opportunity not the end of the world.  God gives us opportunities to grow, to overcome and succeed.  In short, He gives us the opportunity to become like Him and draw on His divine strength in every situation.  In this, He is glorified!

3) Perception.

Controlled perception is not denial, but how you think about your circumstance!  Rise above your circumstances.  Don’t allow your thoughts to become ‘victim’ in nature and a product of your circumstances, but control your thoughts so that you become self-controlled and maintain a positive outlook and attitude no matter what is happening in your life. (Don’t allow your thoughts to spiral downwards, take on the mind of Christ.)

There is no quick fix to anything.  But, give yourself time and remember your response to the situation is what matters.  Pick yourself up, give yourself a treat, shake of the self pity, look the crisis in the eye and say…”Today is going to be a better day”, “I will get through this”, “The sun will shine again”. 

Remember, every day is a better day and the best is yet to come!  Christ in me the hope of glory!