Wednesday, February 28, 2007 & Impotent Leaders…

I’ve just been reading some interesting blogs tonight from some different church planters and pastors who attended the recent conference (by the way the podcasts are worth listening to if you’ve got time to get a different perspective of things).
From a brief scan of the blogs it seems like the conference would have been a great time to stretch thinking when it comes to what a church plant’s ‘job’ is. I’ve always thought that if you’re going to plant a church it should primarily be aimed at reaching the lost with the good news NOT just stealing or gathering up the disgruntled from other churches.
Now I realise that with any new work there will be the arrival of Christians and God does send faithful servants along to partner with the vision and serve in His work… However I reckon it’s good to regain a refreshed perspective of what Jesus was really on about in Acts 1:8. It’s quite clear that Jesus wants His church to go and reach out to the ends of the earth with the good news about Him. Why is it that when we plant new churches that we end up just catering for disgruntled Christians who really don’t want to follow Jesus and “go”?
With that in mind it would’ve been great to hear Perry Noble and Gary Lamb give their perspectives on the challenge that is planting new churches that reach the lost. But since I’m in Australia I reckon I’ll have to settle with the notes that Tony Morgan has here. By the way Perry’s blog on ‘Impotent Leaders’ hurts but it’s true. Perry you wrote that for me. I don’t know how often have I bent for people who aren’t with the vision. It’s hard to say ‘No,’ but the spiritual mavericks will never really be happy, they aren’t interested in partnering with the gospel vision. All they want to do is criticise. So for what it’s worth Perry, I take your challenge and I am going to say ‘No’ from now on.
Also for what it’s worth check out Tadd Grandstaff as he has some interesting notes from Shawn Lovejoy’s talk. Shawns the lead pastor of Mountain Lake Church and his blog is also an interesting read.
Blogging, it’s a good way to unwind late at night if you don’t have a rippin book.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Are you working out?

"Get fit. Work it out. Grow it. Stretch it. Use it. No pain... No Gain."
Yes it does sound a lot like something you’d hear in a dodgy Austrian accent from Big Arny Swartznegger… but in fact working out your faith is actually one of the things James is really passionate about in his open letter to the church.

For James (and Jesus for that matter) working our faith out is core. You can’t say you have a living faith if it’s not alive and active. Make sure you join us this Sunday at Newlife as we take the time to really chew over the relationship between faith and works.

If you’ve been thinking and praying for a friend or family member, why not invite them along. They’ll get a very real and balanced presentation of what it means to step out in repentance and faith and follow Jesus.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Nerida!

Well as I mentioned a few days ago Nerida had her birthday today. It was a busy day for me but it was great to actually have some time together tonight to celebrate with some of the family. We’ve been married seven years now and I reckon Nerida is even more captivating as the day I married her. Honey, you are the one for me and I pray that God will grant me the blessing of sharing the next thirty with you. Love you Ned, happy birthday… hope you liked the wheelbarrow and the other bits and pieces. ;)

Weekend Wrap Up

Phew what a weekend! Numbers wise it was by far the biggest weekend I’ve attended at Newlife with 129 adults and 19 kids over the two services… and it was a weekend when so many of our regulars were away. God certainly knows what’s going down cause we just wouldn’t have fitted everyone in for the first service if all the regulars were there.

Again God’s continuing to amaze us with what He’s doing at the preview services for the International Congregation. Momentum is really starting to kick in. It’s amazing to think that there were 55 adults there on the weekend. I really want to thank the international team. You ladies and gents who served on Sunday know who you are, and from the bottom of my heart I say “thankyou” for using your gifts, talents and abilities to build up Jesus’ Church.

It was great also to talk to the 8-10 unchurched people, they really liked the service. They ‘got’ what was going on and they really connected with the music style… to let’s keep it up team. LESS that THREE weeks to go till our fourth and final preview service on March the 18th. You’ve gotta be there. As I said before history is being made, be a part of it.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Building Stuff with the Boys

One of the things I enjoy every now and again is building stuff (that is if you don't count church leadership building stuff... but then again I'm really passionate about building people up in the gospel... anyway where was I?) Oh yes, I like building things and one of the latest projects was to build Nerida's birthday present. She wanted a wheelbarrow. So on my day off I went to Bunnings got one and Archie and I spent about 3 hours putting it together.

Now all I can say is that little bloke is a born builder. He worked out how to put the wheel assembly together by himself... no kidding. Anyway one of the highlights was when I'd almost finished and the barrow was upside down and Archie was sitting on it spinning the wheel. I was watching him spin it when all of a sudden he had a brain implosion and decided to put his tounge on the spinning wheel. It wasn't pretty. He didn't cry but let's just say he won't try and lick a spinning tyre again. Reminds me of me... sometimes we just have to learn things the hard way.

P.S. By the way ladies, I am getting Nerida some other stuff so it will be a surprise.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Hey Myspace here we come!

Well it's our day off but Ned and I couldn't help but share this with you all. Holly has launched us into our next assault on the e-world. Check us out at our new Myspace site here. If you know nothing about Myspace then you need to take classes like us. Even our boys little Will and Fergus know about 'Myspace' (Nerida and I are lucky to have boys who keep us up with these things.)
Anyway where were we… oh yes, one of our Newlife friends Holly has built us a spot on Myspace (yes) and we want to thank her for her excellent work.
Thanks Holly.
And it’s interesting that one of the first to post on our site outside of Newlife is United. Hey I was always sceptical about that 6 degrees of separation thing until today. But it's TRUE!
Anyway check out our new spot here on the web, looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What do Blogs, Churches, Blokes have in common?

Cory Miller of has recently released the results of the 2007 Christian Bloggers Survey. It was a joint partnership undertaken with Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox
I was interested to note that when it came to the list Newlifebrisbane MADE it!
Here are just some snapshots of the survey:
Total Number of Blogs In Survey: 367 blogs
Most Popular Blogging Platform: Blogger with 184; WordPress was next with 77
Length of Blogging Tenure: 122 blogging for one to six months; followed close by 121 who have been blogging one to two years
Frequency of Posting: 175 indicated “one to 10 times a month”
Gender: 309 were males
Age: 136 are between 31 to 40 years old
Ministry role: 128 respondents were “senior pastors”
Interested? Read Cory Miller’s full report on here.For a list of bloggers who participated in the survey, click here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

You’re Invited!

Newlife International Preview 3

Join us this Sunday for our third preview service for our NEW city congregation!
Come along at 11.45 for a BBQ lunch.
Service begins at 1pm.

For directions click here.
PS Don’t forget to join us as we launch the new congregation on Easter Sunday, history will be made and we want you to be a part of it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Calvinism, Arminianism and Crazy T-shirts

I was checking out Ben Arment's blog and I couldn't stop laughing when I saw his post on this crazy crazy t-shirt that’s messin with people’s head.
But to be fair to John C it really should go something like this…
“Calvinism… I chose this shirt”
“Arminianism… this shirt thinks it chose me”
And if that’s all just gone over your head and you still love Jesus that’s OK, just stick with following Him. :)

My life’s ROCKS, what about you?

With key leadership meetings last night, tonight, and another scheduled for Saturday morning I’ve been rethinking through what we do and don’t do at Newlife (now for some of you the thought that I think might be a bit of a brain drain but let’s not go there).
On a more personal level I was recently challenged by another Church Leader to make sure that when it comes to me that I keep it simple. And by keeping it simple he said, “leadership at whatever level is simply knowing what to say ‘yes’ to SO you can say ‘NO’ to everything else that comes along. These things might be good things but you confidently say ‘no’ to them because you have already decided what you’ll say ‘yes’ too.”
Now stick with me. For instance if I’ve truly made the decision in my heart that Nerida is the girl I’ve said ‘yes’ to before God it then makes it heaps easier to say ‘no’ to everything else. A simple illustration but it can be applied to other areas of your life.
The Pastor went on to say that keeping it simple is something that Leaders at every level must do. He said it’s like you have an empty jar that represents your life. If you don’t fill up your jar intentionally life will fill it for you. And to fill your jar well you need to first fill it with the big rocks, the core things. For instance for me some of my rocks that have to go in first are:
Time to nurture and grow in my relationship with Christ.
Time to nurture and lead my family in their relationship with Christ.
Time in the Word and Prayer so I can equip and lead the members of Newlife forward in their relationship with Christ.
Time spent training faithful and teachable men who will then be equipped to do the same with others etc…

Then after the rocks have gone in, you might still have some time so you can fill you ‘jar’ up with other things… the gravel and sand etc. But because you’ve already decided what you’ll say ‘yes’ too, you can now freely say ‘no’ to a bunch of good things that just aren’t the BEST.
Just some random thoughts, bubbling away in my brain tonight cause I can’t sleep.
Trusting your life rocks too.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ipods, Internet & Church

Was reading an interesting article on the Sydney Anglican's website here and it's got a bunch of things for church leaders to consider about how we might keep up with things in taking the unchanging good news of Jesus to our generation. Here are just two examples of churches that are a bit ahead of the rest when it comes to this sort of communication; LifeChurch and Newspring.

Take a read, take look at the websites and let me know your thoughts on these issues facing the church today.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Henderson's rippin day off

A couple of Newlifer's have asked us what do we do on our day off...

Well it's been a huge day in every sense of the word.

It all started off with a hangover from LOST. What the heck happened last night? All I can remember is the bears were faster than Sawyer at figuring out how to get food. And Nerida was a little disturbed at the way Jack and Kate were handled, what's the go with those wrist burns? Overall it's got us sucked back in just like the new Mcleods Daughters. I have to let everyone know my Dad is even into McLeods and he's on record as saying Stevie should be careful about Alex... now that's saying something.

Back to our day off. It all started off with breaky, and I was delighted to hear my second boy child Fergus tell me that Vegemite on toast was "Yummy for the inside of my tummy." Don't kids have a way of saying things.

We then dropped Will off and fought the traffic in towards the city. It's a part of our ritual on our day off that we go and have a Coffee at Gloria Jeans. It's a great habit we learnt from Bob and Wendy at the Sunshine Coast. Bob you are awesom man. If you're ever on the Sunny Coast drop in to Grace Christian Church.

Well where were we... oh yes, the coffee was good but the breaky was bad 'cause the pancakes Nerida had were hit with mould. Yes that's what I said, 'Mould.' Anyway she was suitably freaked out and took it back and she was justifably given some fresh ones. It made even my junk food heart break.

After that we headed home to sort out a few household chores. And the afternoon has been finished off with listening to the United DVD and playing indoor Soccer with the Three Amigos (see photo above).

Trust you all are having a great day. Family rocks!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What I do to unwind…

Well I’ve just been reading an interesting article here about Pastors and stress, burnout and keeping fresh in frontline ministry. For me Friday is my “day off”. I’ve usually basically finished the bulk of my work before Sunday and I’m ready for a break before launching into the weekend. I love what I do and so I have a tendency not to stop working, in fact I have to work at having a rest. One of the things that has worked well for Nerida and I is having Thursday night as our “family night” a night when we all stay home and focus on encouraging the members within our Home Church. God’s word points out that leaders in the church must be dedicated and devoted to pastoring their family first and foremost (1 Timothy 3:4-5). And this truth coupled with my personality type means it is something I constantly have to watch and nurture.
Things I do to unwind…
1) Have a Gloria Jeans Coffee with my wife.
2) Watch LOST.
3) Play with the boys.
4) Sit and watch the cricket or footie.
5) Read a book.
6) Ride a horse/go hunting (not so often).
At the end of the day I find that it’s not so much what I do, but that I stop doing work that counts. I get refreshed and my tanks are refueled for the next week!
Here are some other ‘destress’ ideas… I haven’t been game to try them yet!
1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point A Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks . Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

7. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

8. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Wisdom of a Child

It’s funny isn’t it how little kids have a way of viewing life in a simple and yet profound way. Our youngest boy Archie is well and truly getting past the dummy stage but Nerida and I are really finding it hard to take it off him ‘cold-turkey.’ So we’ve just been giving it to him at night so he can get off to sleep (and so we get some sleep too).

Anyway as we were reading the bible with the boys before lights out the other night we were all talking about how Archie is going to soon have to do without the dummy. Archie’s also been cutting teeth and chewing the dummy, which has resulted in him popping the last one he had (before the one he has now). We were talking about this when little Will suddenly looked at Archie with a very serious look on his face and said, “Archie you pop that dummy, and there’s no more… you’ll have to be a boy.” A lump sort of lodged in my throat, I thought to myself “You’re right Will, it won’t be long before Archie pops that dummy and becomes a boy but till that dummy pops he’s my little baby.”

New Series – Travelling Light (James)

Well on Sunday we launched into our new series ‘Travelling Light.’ It’s a 6 week series from the book of James. The Sunday past (11 Feb) we just took some time to get the context right from the book of Acts. We especially looked at Acts 2, 4 & 5 to get a feel for what was happening in the early church and the issues that they were excelling at and wrestling with back then. Essentially the issues are still the same.

If you missed out on the talk from last Sunday why not download it from the Newlife website and catch up (it should be up by Wednesday). Also next Sunday we’re looking at James 1, the title of the Sermon is “Coping with Crisis.” Come along and better still bring a friend. Please also join with us in praying for the Sunday service, that it will be a time of growth, encouragement and new beginnings.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Newlife Legend(s) of the Week

Hey there, I want to take the time to honour a couple who actually keep setting the bar when it comes to being legends for Jesus... Elder Gil and His awesome wife Lyn.

Lex was right when he pointed out your service to Newlife Church today. You both Rock and that's a good thing. We need to realise that they don't even have a computer much less internet so let's keep encouraging them as they serve and love people at Newlife. But Gil and Lyn you are forever imortalised as the first Newlife Ledgends (my wife is pretty awesome too).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I EAT my hat...

Well I don't know how the English ended up winning the cricket last night but they did.

What can I say but "Well done Pommies, good to see you can play cricket."

Little Will's confidence in the Aussies side is seriously shattered, what went wrong? Read the Courier Mail... there's sure to be heaps of stuff flying around about that batting collapse.

All I can say is that there was even luck on both sides, all that it really came down to in the end was the Pom's outplayed us on the night. Enough said. Check out Cricket Australia here for more of the wrap up. See ya Sunday.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Ray you're FIRST commentator!

Ray, I just want to say, thanks for being the first person to comment on the Newlife Blog. what can I say... but You Rock! Go the Korean Soccer Team!

Day Off Watching the Cricket... Matty Hayden Driving one!

Well Friday is my day off and it has been a pleasant delight to not only have a quiet cuppa with my beautiful wife at Gloria Jeans but I've also had the excitment of watching the first final of the one dayer series between Australia (of course) and a flat English side. Now this is not a shot at the many dedicated Pommie Church Planters... but what has happened to the side that beat us in that ashes series?

England you and I both know you shouldn't really be in the finals, but oh well.

Comiserations to all my New Zealand Church Planters and Pastors. You were well and truely ripped off. But let's look forward to a New Zealand - Australia Final at the Word Cup. Cricket is certainly going off this summer.

Anyway I'm glad Matty Hayden posted a good total today, it's good to see one of the nice guys make a dent every now and again. Go Matty, you're a ledgend (born 29 October 1971 in Kingaroy, Queensland)! Go Queenslanders GO.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Interesting Articles from Tim Keller

Here's a link to a couple of articles written by Rev Tim Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian, New York).

Church Size Article

Emergence Theory - A Vision for Church Planting

I reckon they're worth a read for anyone involved in Church Leadership. You might have to got to the hassle of signing in, not sure, but there's other resources on Church Planting Resources worth checking out.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Small Group TONIGHT!

Hey it's small group night already. I'm getting excited about a new year of learning, growing and sharing life with a bunch of Jesus followers. If you're not in a small group and want to be email me, you'll have a ball.

This Sunday... Travelling Light - Don't be deceived

Don't miss out on the start of our new Series from James this Sunday 9am at USQ Springfield, it will be a time of encouragement, challenge and growth for us as a church family.

Planning to Plant

Just wanted to share with you all the upcoming conference being run by Gospel Outreach Ministries. The day conference is being held on Thursday the 15th of February.
The basics will be covered, the key steps in preparing to planting a new church or stating a new congregation. Should be good. Cost $85.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

International Music Crew YOU ROCKED!

Hey in case you weren't there on Sunday I just want to say to the crew of Muso's who served at Newlife International last Sunday, you guys were fantastic. Keep up the practice. I was blown away by the effort and quality of the music, and the way you worked hard to keep our eyes and hearts on Jesus and His gospel. I'm so looking forward to Sunday the 25th of February. By the way Seong I forgot your name on the post below, sorry and you sang great - keep it up.

Wanna Go Lion Hunting?

Hey I know in Australia we're a little laid back about things so when one of my Church Planter mates from the USA put me onto this book I thought I'd give it a read.

Now I haven't finished it yet, but so far it Mark has hit it out of the park.

Now this book is written for BLOKES. And for that alone it's worth a read. But if you're simply passionate about following Jesus this is simply a book aimed at encouraging the members of Christ's family to follow the King and be ruthless about living the gospel. I'll give you a taste of Mark's thoughts on the issue from his blog.

Yesterday I preached about Jonathan climbing a cliff while Saul sat under a pomegranate tree on the outskirts of Gibeah. I love Jonathan's modus operandi in I Samuel 14: Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. It took guts to climb that cliff. But a little bit of guts saved the nation of Israel.
It took guts for Benaiah to chase a lion. For the normal person, the gut reaction would be to run away. But Benaiah made a gutsy move--he chased the lion. And it changed the course of His life.

Great leaders are gutsy! It takes different shapes in different arenas. But gutsy leaders dare to be different. Gutsy leaders challenge the status quo. Gutsy leaders refuse to play it safe.

And no one was more gutsy than Jesus! He wasn't afraid of offending Pharisees; touching lepers; washing feet; defending prostitutes; or befriending tax collectors. In the words of Dorothy Sayers:

To do them justice, the people who crucified Jesus did not do so because he was a bore. Quite the contrary; he was too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have declawed the lion of Judah and made him a housecat for pale priests and pious old ladies.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Check out the Newlife Website

By the way if you haven't dropped by the Newlife Church Website, do so. It's a great way to connect friends you might be wanting to invite to Church one Sunday.

Administration Nightmare

Right now my desk is covered in the hair that I'm pulling out.

I really need someone who's willing to help with sorting out some of the basic day to day administration for Newlife Church.

All they need to be is teachable, faithful, literate and an eye for detail. Oh yeah and a heart that loves Jesus and longs to serve him and His church.

Please join with me in praying for this person, God knows them, I just haven't connected with them yet. I don't want to be bald by 34... not that being bald is a bad thing...

If you're it, please contact me on

Preview No 2 Went OFF!

Wow, what a weekend.

Man am I pumped, God is doing some awesome things!

Yesterday we had our second Preview Service for Newlife International Church and I was blown away. We had 41 adults and 2 kids. Sure there were some hicups with the tech stuff but OVERALL I was blown away by the roll up. We've deliberately just encouraged word of mouth invitations at this stage cause we're still sorting so much out as a team. I can't wait until we really jack things up for P4 and the Launch!

Nerida - you are the most awesome Pastors wife ever. Full stop. I love the way you love God and set the standard when it comes to loving, serving and caring for people. I'm still amazed you said "Yes," woohooo!

Tim - You are an awesome Pastor! You rock at caring and serving people.

Sam - hey Nerida and I don't know what we'd do without your partnership with the music and your leadership and encouraging people - you rock too, not just on guitar!

Jessica, John S, Hee Suk, Yvonne, Annie, Sonya, Sam J, Ray, Bill C, Zig, and the list goes on and on - I couldn't think of a better team to work with in reaching out to the people of Brisbane with the good news. Thanks for serving and inviting your friends. If I've not included your name, it's only because it's Monday and my brain is fried, completely.

I'm so tired, becasue I'm so excited I hardly slept a wink last night.

Thanks God for using us.