Friday, May 30, 2008

Take the Plunge - Officership


In Commissioner Knaggs vision, outlined in the book One Day, he says, 'I have a dream that... our officer training programs would be taxed by the unusual response of the called to serve as officers in The Salvation Army. '

God needs warriors. He needs people willing to say, 'I'm here to serve', 'I'm here to lay down my life for the cause of Christ'. We are each called to follow Jesus, and I know many are called to step into a life The Salvation Army calls, 'Officership'. I'm believing for more than just the typical 10-20 Cadets to go into Training College. It's time for a new generation to understand their calling in life and then take the plunge. Scary, I know, I've been there. But 17-18months into Training, I'm feeling more and more equipped to be a leader in this Army... Lately, it feels as each day passes, God is cementing my calling in my heart...

For those attending Cadidate's Weekend in Melbourne AUS, I hope God blesses you heaps, and that God leads you and guides you to the place set for you...

1,000 CADETS IN 2009?!!!
All things are Possible through Jesus!

KENYA: 1,000 Cadets!
CANADA: 1,000 Cadets!
CHILE: 1,000 Cadets!
UK: 1,000 Cadets!
USA: 1,000 Cadets!
AUSTRALIA: 1,000 Cadets!
INDONESIA: 1,000 Cadets!
SRI LANKA: 1,000 Cadets!
INDIA: 1,000 Cadets!

Every Country, Every Territory. (Dream and organise big, and then we'll move forward faster than if we didn't dream at all!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

'Too many Indians and not enough Chiefs'

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I heard recently the common known phrase, 'Too many Chiefs not enough Indians'. I thought on that briefly, and thought, in many Salvation Army contexts we have, 'Too many Indians and not enough Chiefs'. I mean this, not in relation to having authoritarian leaders, or arrogant, proud leaders, but rather people who are merely touching the surface of their potential might need to step up and become a leader.

Leaders can either build followers, or build more leaders who will build more leaders. There are people in our Church congregations who have a spark of potential, if only there was someone to ignite the spark, and empower these people to step up to the next level.

For example, the garden in the church needs to be maintained. We have one person who faithfully caretakes for the garden most days of the week, but unfortunately she can never keep up with all the work. What do we do? Do we merely encourage this lady to work harder and more effectively? Possibly, but what it we empowered her to become a group leader of a gardening team? She would recruit volunteers. She would delegate jobs to them. She would encourage maybe one of the helpers to become the co-ordinator every Wednesday, as this is her day off. You understand the point.

Jesus had twelve disciples. Three of which he mentored closely. Then came Paul, who mentored Timothy to be a leader as well, among many others.

The church needs good leaders, not just great volunteers.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Private Faith


Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was on the hot seat last night, on ABC1's new show 'Q and A'. He was asked about his religious beliefs and he said that he keeps his religious beliefs private. Someone else said that to me recently; they said, 'I like to keep my faith to myself...'

I believe that a private faith, is not a biblical faith. The Bible calls us to go. Isaiah records God saying, 'Who will go for me?' Matthew writes of Jesus, 'GO into all the World...' We are told in the New Testament to be ready to give a testimony about our Lord. We should have such a close relationship with Jesus, that others need to hear the good news.

By keeping our faith to ourselves:
(1) Christianity will be dead within a generation. How does anyone ever hear about Jesus??! (It's kinda like every couple choosing never to have Children! The Human Race goes extinct)
(2) We are really showing our own selfishness. We have a message of hope, of redemption, of full salvation, and we want to keep it to ourselves!
(3) We highlight a fear/decision of not wanting to share the message of Jesus.
(a) because the message of Jesus hasn't really impacted us much in the first place...
(b) We are afraid of the consequences of sharing the faith we have
(c) We've never really thought of what our testimony about God actually is, and so we are unsure what message we are sharing.

A public faith, is a passionate faith. It makes us vulnerable. It relies on God for protection, and personal self-esteem. It does not let fear hold it back.

Do you know one of the greatest things The Salvation Army in the Australia Southern Territory struggles with? Is sharing its faith with other people (NCD results 2006/7).

The tide is turning though. Go from private to public (and I'm not talking about healthcare!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Knock, Knock!

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Knock, Knock.
Who's There?
It's the Salvos!!

You guessed it. It's time for the Red Shield Appeal. I know you're busy... but is it worthwhile? Definitely. Put on your two pair of socks, and your tracky pants. Have your collecting bag ready to go. What an opportunity!

We could see it as a chore. Sure. We could choose to see it as a hindrance. If you like. I prefer to see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to talk to people on the streets. A chance to rally together teams united and striving after a common purpose. A moment when The Salvation Army will not only raise $8 million or so nation wide, but when differing cultures/organisations intersect, and excitement is paramount!

Play it up. It's an exciting thing and a great blessing from God. Praise Jesus.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some comments/thoughts...

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* Happy Birthday to my Dad! Hope you've had a great day...

* A good leader turns followers into good leaders.

* 'A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defence than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom' (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

* Even if we are unfaithful, God is always faithful! (Good preaching Jo!)

* Dave Collinson has some things to say, check it out:

* 'Let your roots grow down into Christ and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth' (Col 2:7).

* Part of the Soldier's Covenant:
'I will be active in God's work both in sharing the gospel and in serving the needy, and will contribute financially to its support'.

* Thanks to the anonymous donation given on my Red Shield Appeal site (Link on right). Don't forget to make a donation and donate some time collecting. Use this as an opportunity to connect with people from the community...

* Congratulations to my mate Shaun Featherston, on his new job at Point Cook (Snr) Secondary College. Bless ya mate!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Your Mission, if you choose to accept it...


I may be a little weird, but I enjoy reading Mission Statement's of Churches and businesses. Whenever I walk into a church, I seek out their mission statement. Why? It defines what the group is on about, its purpose, its direction. So what is a good Mission Statement for a church?

I have read some that go similar to this:
* We aim to provide a friendly place where believers are loved and supported and where we care for those in our community.
Do you see that this statement is missing some things? It seems this church is more interested in merely loving and supporting its members, than empowering them to achieve something greater. What if the mission was something like this:
* Our corps aims to lead people to faith in Jesus, making committed disciples of Jesus, and reconciling the World to God through justice and grace.

Our Mission Statements are there to empower Church members to fulfil a purpose. To reach a dying world with the dynamic message of Jesus. To bring justice to the afflicted.

Revolutionary Mission Statements are not about self, they are about transforming the lives of others, and not are not just about 'reaching the lost', but about helping the lost become followers of Jesus, and about reforming society.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Time for Everything

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I've thought lately about the complexities of life. The joy we have when good news comes around. The grief we experience when there's a sudden lose of life. The anxiousness we feel when a job needs to be done and the satisfaction we gain from seeing results blossom from hard work.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 says some words I wish to remind us about this day:
'There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.'

God bless you as we journey the path Jesus has set for us.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Vision Worth Sleeping Through?

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Wake Up! Jesus is alive! The Revolution is happening. We need volunteers who will stop living in comfort, and live in commitment. We need soldiers who won't sleep their way through the next revival, but will jump on board with what God is doing. We plead for officers to be sold out to sharing a VISION of the potential of their communities of faith...
There is a VISION worth dying for...

Monday, May 5, 2008

115 Countries and more to go!


Salvation for the whole world! The message of Jesus must infiltrate every part of our world. The Salvation Army has begun work this year in Mali and Namibia. There are still many northern parts of Africa that need to be reached.

Have a passion for the world. Start a new small group. Tell someone about Jesus. Bring fairtrade coffee to a local supermarket. Collect $1,000 for the Red Shield Appeal. Support a TACO Trivia Night (Coming in September).

Start a Revolution!

The Characteristics of Missional Leaders

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Here's some characteristics of leaders who are mission-minded:
* Commitment
* Big Thinker
* Positive Thinker
* Decision Maker
* Self Control
* Enthusiastic
* Visionary
* A Man/Woman of God
* Can use Humour
* Open to Change - Creates change
* Ability to delegate and build teams
* Servanthood
* Know where they are heading
* Stick-ability

There's a list I found recently. How do you stack up with this list? See, we aren't called to just be servants, but I believe servant leaders; not just visionaries, but team-builders to implement visions; not just enthusiastic people, but one with a purpose; not just open to change, but drives change.

Bring justice to the oppressed. Bring the gospel to the lost. Lay your life down to God's Mission in the world.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

SALVO Purpose

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Well I said I would outline my acronym, and what it means to me. Just to recap:


Speaker - I want to ask God to use me to communicate the message of Jesus to people more effectively and to use me to open up God's word into people's lives, so that they understand the gospel of Jesus.

Apostle - I believe that from Ephesians 4:11 - that some are called to be Apostles, some Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teaches. An apostle is someone that is sent from God, and someone God would use to Plant new communities of faith, innovate new expressions of ministry, etc. I ask that God would use me effectively as an Apostle, through his empowering presence!

Leader - I don't want to merely be a follower. Jesus is the ultimate leader, and I believe I have an obligation to lead other people to him. To lead teams that will fulfill the visions placed on their hearts, to lead congregations to fulfil God's Great Commission (Go into all the World and make Disciples). To multiply and not merely add (or dare I say subtract).

Visionary - Nehemiah had a vision of the walls of Jerusalem being rebuilt. David, the vision of a Temple. Paul, saw a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Daniel had a vision of the end times. I ask God help me work towards fulfilling the visions he places on my heart. Without vision the people wander aimlessly (proverbs 29:18).

Organiser - I enjoy examining the effectiveness of Church structures, and the times taken to make decisions, improving the local churches structures to facilitate and encourage growth and innovativeness and not to supress vision, or empowerment of leaders.

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