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Proof – A Six Track Sampler Album From Sojourn Music

a3262088546_2To mark the publication of Proof, Sojourn Music have released a six track sampler album which is available for free for a limited time.
Give a donation if you want.


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Seven Habits Of Outwardly Focused Churches (via Thom Rainer)

Thom Rainer keeps turning out helpful numbered lists.
This isn’t meant to be exhaustive or proscriptive, but it is a helpful observation to consider.
We make a point of praying for the other churches in our city, as well as that people who don’t know Jesus would be come to know him as Saviour.
We also continue to point out that outward activity, such as ESL, helping another church grow toward viability, and cross-cultural relationships are not second-mile activity, but all intrinsic to our life as a healthy local church.
This list has some areas we could pay attention to, particularly guest events.

Here’s Rainer’s list.

  1. The church takes time during each worship service to pray for the community. Prayer is powerful; and the church members become more focused about their communities.
  2. A volunteer or staff person is accountable for the outreach ministry of the church. If no one has leadership responsibility, it does not get done.
  3. A regular report is provided to church members about outreach and ministry efforts in the community. What gets reported gets done. Have you noticed most churches provide financial reports to the church members? That says the money is important. We need at least equal emphasis on the importance of outreach ministries.
  4. Churches have regular “mystery” guests come to the worship services. One church leader told me that his church asks someone in the community to be a mystery guest every quarter. Those guests are always first-time guests, and they share their experiences with leaders later that day or week. The church members thus get to see the worship services through the eyes of a community member.
  5. The church gives obsessive attention to their websites. A church website is the new front door for churches. It’s almost always the first place prospective guests go. These websites should be designed in a very guest friendly way.
  6. The churches are intentional about scheduling ministries, events, and activities for reaching the community. One pastor told me that his church always focuses on one key community outreach ministry per month. The church’s attendance is less than 80, but it was under 40 two years ago.
  7. Churches are intentional about connecting with their communities through social media. It is mindboggling that we have the most pervasive form of communication in history, but very few churches use it strategically. I know a pastor in a rural community who worked with a Millennial and asked her to lead the social media outreach. It has been a great success because someone is responsible for it.


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On Refugees (via David Cook)

David Cook, moderator-general of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, shares the opinions, concerns and desires he expressed to federal immigration minister Scott Morrison at a recent reception.
Read his post here.


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Footy Tipping 2014 – NRL Round 12 / AFL Round 11

Great game of rugby league in the State of Origin only tarnished by the team I didn’t tip winning.
Similarly last week’s tips were only marred by teams which should have won demonstrating their habitual inconsistency.
NRL has another shortened round because of SOO, while AFL returns to a full fixture.

NRL (last round 4/5; season tally 46/85)
Paramatta
Easts
North Queensland
New Zealand
Manly
Souths

AFL (last round 5/6; season tally 55/81)
Geelong
Collingwood
Port Adelaide
Carlton
Essendon
Gold Coast
Fremantle
Hawthorn
West Coast


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Before Anyone (Or Everyone) In My Church Forwards This Post To Me, I’ve Already Read It

This post from Brian Croft about pastors taking their holidays was in my feed reader this morning.
I read it.
I’ve noted it.
So you all don’t need to forward it to me.
Just thought I’d save you the time.
Thanks,
Gary.

PS, as a token of faith, following my wife’s advice, today is a previously unobserved Monday.


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So, You Want To Express Polite Interest In State Of Origin (Game 1 Result, 2014)

Whenever the opposition win and play a superior game you congratulate them.
Queensland seemed to sleepwalk through the first half, and lacked composure at key times in the second half.
No particular weaknesses, but no compelling leadership.
The player with the largest question mark over them going in, Darius Boyd, scored both Queensland tries.
New South Wales showed some individual brilliance (Jarrod Hayne) but largely a consistent, disciplined team effort.
If you didn’t know better you’d think the team in the blue jerseys were the long-standing combination, not the maroons.
The halves combination finally delivered for NSW.

So, on to game two.
Well played New South Wales.
Well played.