The Aussie Church – Can we survive our hostile enviroment?

The Australian outback is often described as harsh and unforgiving. Many Christians would claim these words not only describe our land but also our spiritual environment. Recently an acquaintance commented how friends of hers, newly emigrated from South Africa, were amazed at how ‘uncool’ it is to be a Christian in Australia and, further, how …

Reach One . . .

But some of us will ask, how do I tell someone about Jesus? What do I say? Where do I start?

I’ve always enjoyed the story about the disciple Andrew. He was Peter’s brother, and the first thing he did when heard about Jesus was to was to find his brother and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” and brought him to Jesus (John 1:40-42). The results of that encounter are significant: while Andrew remained in the background as a disciple, Peter became a major leader among them.

Over the past few weeks at Hobart Baptist I’ve talked about our program Reach One. Reach One is an encouragement for each one of us to connect with one person who does not yet know Jesus, just like Andrew did.

An initiative of 2020 Vision, “Reach One” aims at encouraging every person attending a Baptist church in Hobart to be involved connecting with our community. It is not a major undertaking, it just asks each one of us to befriend at least one person who does not know Jesus and reach out to them in love, service, and prayer. It is not a program, but a journey where we each develop a relationship over the coming year. Then later in the year there will be events where we can invite our prayerfully gained friends to get to know others and hear about Jesus.  

Hobart Baptist is not alone in this. Baptist Churches from across Hobart are working together trusting God will reach out through us into our families, schools, work places and communities.

It is not a new idea. Writing to the Corinthian church Paul says, “God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20, The Message Bible). It doesn’t matter whether we are young or old, God has given us a task: to share with others the hope we have in Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). Imagine what could happen if every one of us took this challenge seriously and began to pray asking God to help us reach out to at least one other person.

But some of us will ask, how do I tell someone about Jesus? What do I say? Where do I start? The story of Andrew is a great example and our series on the book of Acts gives us some pointers. While we don’t know everyone, we all have a circle of relationships including friends, neighbours, or family. Among them there is no doubt somebody whom we could get to know with the hope that one day we’ll be able to share about our personal experience with Jesus. It is one person introducing Jesus to another.

My prayer is that God may encourage and inspire you to pray and ask, who is Jesus prompting me to get to know? Who does Jesus want to reach out to through me? Imagine what the outcome could be if we all were inspired to Reach One.

Mentoring and Coaching

For 20 years I have mentored or coached leaders in ministry, business, and not-for-profit positions helping them through transition and life questions, as well as business or relational issues. I am convinced this is a critical element in our development as leaders. I know because it is true for me. Not only am I a …