Category Archives: Theology

So many church plants

There is a plethora of church plants occurring in Perth at the moment. It seems like every week on Facebook there is a new shiny church springing up at a community centre or high school near you. The websites look good, the worship team seems fully formed and the pastors are passionate about reaching our city for Jesus.

Studies tell us that percentage wise more people become Christians during the formative years of a church than at any other time. So perhaps this is a good thing.

Some in church leadership have the gifting and the charisma to be effective in church growth. One easy measure of effectiveness in ministry is people on pews. This measure is not to be disregarded. Generally speaking we count what is valuable to us. Indeed the early church was well aware of the number of people who came to know Jesus on a particular day (Acts2.41).

New churches springing up is something we should celebrate, just as we mourn the passing and closing down of churches. Unfortunately  in a dying churches history they have moved from vision and growth to management. Once a church has moved away from the upward scale of mission they plateau and move into the downward cycle of maintenance. Creatives move from such churches and are naturally attracted to the new, the fresh. They take their energy with them. Those who stay in dying churches decry this but only have themselves to blame. For them, the pain of change is too much to bear, so they choose the pain of slow painful death. Without change, a church will die. And the life will go elsewhere.

Likewise though, we cannot only keep moving from the new thing to the next new thing. That is exhausting and a waste of hard gained resource. Instead, somehow, the vision and the mission must be kept in the drivers seat. Creativity and passion must be stoked.

Character is actually the answer for balance. Character will cause you to make decisions which are contextual and yet have the same result. In some case, new life must rise from the ashes. In other cases strength will push new life out in new ways. In other cases the little strength you have will be able to be harnessed through deep painful change.

Loving Jesus. Not the Bible.

Provocative title. Yes. And of course we discover so much about Jesus through the primary source of the Bible.

Yes these words of Jesus provoke something in me.

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life…..”John 5.39

How much study do we do compared to how much time we spend just praying, listening, hearing, meditating.

How much scripture do we exegete before sitting down and thinking about how the Holy Spirit wishes to transform our lives, and the community around us. It is safe to study. It is safe to know the construct of the Greek words. It is not safe to be born along as the Spirit leads.

Seems to me there is a holy war going on at the moment. Some are worshipping at the idol of knowledge and attacking those seeking to know Him.