Itinerary for Seattle

Sunday, March 8:
9:15am – be in the lobby for pick up at Hotel Nexus
9:45am – International Brunch and Meet-Up (Northgate Community Center)
11:15am – attend Mars Hill Church service in Ballard
1:30pm – Worship Teaching: Tim Smith
4:30pm – Visit Mars Hill | Downtown Campus
5:00pm – Dinner
~6:45pm – Return to Hotel Nexus

Monday, March 9:
8:30am – be in the lobby for pick up at Hotel Nexus
9:00am – Registration begins for Acts 29 Boot Camp (Ballard Campus)
10:00am – Boot Camp begins
12:00pm – lunch provided
1:00pm – Afternoon boot camp continues
6:00pm – pizza dinner at Ballard Campus
7:00pm – Total Church Conference with Steve Timmis
10:00pm – Return to Hotel Nexus

Tuesday, March 10:
9:00am – be in the lobby for pick up at Hotel Nexus
10:00am – Boot Camp day 2 begins (Ballard)
12:00pm – lunch provided
1:00pm – Afternoon boot camp continues
7:00pm – Dinner together at the Mars Hill | Lake City with Acts 29 planters
~9:00pm – return to Hotel Nexus

Wednesday, March 11:
8:00am – men in the lobby for pick up at Hotel Nexus
8:30am – menʼs breakfast at Lake City Campus
9:00am –International Church Planting Summit begins (men only)
10:00am – women who wish to spend the day through dinner with Grace Driscoll meet in lobby
and ride to the Driscoll home. Women who want to rest at the hotel can rest at the hotel for the
day, going to the Driscolls at 7:30pm.
6:00pm – Men go out for dinner
7:30pm – Dessert & Drinks at the Driscoll home (all)
~9:30pm – return to Hotel Nexus

Five reflections on the upcoming trip to Seattle

  1. Dan says, 'We're all envious of you, but actually, noone else really wants to go. It's too scary.'
  2. Even pastors of megachurches are mere mortals. Don't get bamboozled.
  3. Col says to Nikki, 'Be careful not to hurt their feelings. Americans are very positive people. They find Australians hard to understand.'
  4. Even pastors who go to international summits are mere mortals. Don't get anxious as if the fate of Australian Christianity is in our hands.
  5. Don't try to make myself or my ministry sound more impressive than it actually is. God's glory is seen in weakness anyway.
[Bonus reflection from Stine:
6. Be sure to make frequent blog updates while overseas at supermarkets and petrol stations using their free wifi. but not Starbucks. u have 2 pay.]

Workplace ministry in Launie?

Al is considering it. I think this is a great idea. We had something like it in Hobart for 2-3 years, but it never took off. I don't think that was because the idea was bad.

It's a blog, not a website

This is a blog not a website. And so I chose a template that communicates that. Same way Google is a search engine, not a website, and they chose a design that communicates that.

Primary way to energise your pastor

This changes, depending on the personality, gifts and experience of your pastor.

When I was serving as leading pastor, I was energised by lots of ideas, suggestions, feedback, engagement. This gave me freshness and enthusiasm, and it showed me that others in the church were brimming full of ideas about our ministry. I didn't like it was it had a slight tone of complaint or 'here's an idea, now I expect you to go and do it all, Mikey'. But this was generally not the case.

I suspect Dan is a different animal. I don't think a napalm bombing of new ideas energises him so much. It just sticks to him and burns. Instead, I think he is energised by social engagement and by having his current plans and projects reflected back to him positively. Buy him something sugary and tell him what you like about the current ministry and you will find him refreshed and enthused with new ideas to move the ministry forward.

How are you energised? How is your senior pastor energised?

Do you have a discipleship plan for your church?

Ed Stetzer lays out some sober reflections on the need to plan concretely for spiritual development.

Tassie church planter screening and mentoring

Vision 100 has begun drafting some guildelines for church planter screening and mentoring. Poor old Mick Elliott, ex-missio in Bolivia may be the first guy to have this stuff inflicted upon him...

What's your worldview?

Nathan, who liked Nirvana before Kurt Cobain killed himself, has a friend from the UK who produces this website.

I want to talk with Nathan's UK friend about how he has done various ministry things interacting thoughtfully with cinema.

We are planning to start a monthly cinema club for TBT. What's a good name - Toilet Block Cinema?

David Peterson says we do worship in church

David Peterson, author of Engaging with God has recently written an article arguing that Sydney Anglicans need to recognise the sense in which the church gathering is for worshipping God.

Photos from Oz29

Thursday was a crazy day. Steve posted some photos on Facebook that I thought I'd share here too.

Here's Steve interviewing me, and Guy about our upcoming visit to Seattle.

After the conference ended we bought Macdonald's and walked around the beaches of Sydney until 2am. At 7am Naomi, took this photos of us.

Tas29 Audio

At the start of February, The Christian Reformed Church of Hobart hosted a church planting conference for the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia.

Speakers from CRCA and Vision 100 Tasmania were invited to speak. Around 30 delegates came from WA, QLD, NSW, VIC and TAS. Vision 100 paid for two Moore College student couples to attend. There's so much I could say. One thing I enjoyed was that the Vision 100 thing has been going on long enough now that we have learned some lessons and have some stuff to give. That's nice.

You can listen to some audio here:


It was a Tassie boy who blogged about the Talk Into Action conference first, good job Bernie.

A more thorough update can be found on Michael K's blog (report and photos).
A great day. Me, Steve and Guy went out for cheeky Maccers and wandered along some beach near the airport afterwards. That was a nice end to it all.

This is building on the work of others over the past decades, and it is capitalising on The Visit (as Andrew Heard calls it). But what makes this opportunity unique, I think is that here we have three men whose gospel hearts and gifts of leadership command great respect (Andrew Heard, Al Stewart and Steve Chong) standing up as a rallying point.

This is what, I believe, we have been lacking. The next generation's rallying point. Judging by the fact that Phillip is still regularly speaking at national AFES events and MTS Conference demonstrates what a wonderful rallying point he has been. But we have been wanting for the next generation. God-willing, these guys will be it.

Models for sermon preparation

Waynes gives a list of good, bad and ugly ways to prepare your sermon.

Evangelistic deacons

Again from Roger Greenaway lectures at Calvin Seminary:

Make your evangelists diaconal evangelists
And your deacons evangelistic deacons.

Have you had a dose of Dale lately?

Paul Dale is the lead pastor at Church By the Bridge. We like CBTB. We like Paul Dale. When he's not preaching the gospel to upwardly mobile twentysomethings he does Iron Man competitions.

Here's a sermon on James 1:19-27.

Driscoll missed the mark and Phillip dean get it either

When he spoke at Sydney's cathedral last September, Driscoll said:

8. Many of you are afraid of the Holy Spirit. You don't know what to do with Him, so the trinity is Father, Son and Holy Bible. You are so reactionary to pentecostalism that you do not have a robust theology of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit calls people into ministry. He also empowers people for ministry. You don't have to be charismatic but you should be a little charismatic, enough at least to worship God with more than just all of your mind. The word charismatic here means prosperity, excessive, bizarre. In London, it means you're not a liberal. Don't get hung up on all the terminology. Do you love the Holy Spirit? Jesus says the Holy Spirit is a 'He' and not an 'it'." Ministry cannot be done apart from the Holy Spirit – I think that is in part leading to the lack of entrepreneurialism and innovation, because if it's not already done and written down, you're suspicious of it.

Phillip Jensen rightly says that Driscoll may have not quite understood the Australian scene:

It is not his fault that in his short visit to Sydney he did not learn that Cessationism has never had much of a foothold here. It is much more common in the USA. The barb of his "Father, Son and Holy Bible" is much sharper when aimed at the Cessationist target.

And yet Phillip says that he 'took umbrage' at Driscoll's words and will spend this year preaching about the doctrine of the Holy Spirit to answer Driscoll's claims.

I think Driscoll phrased things badly by focusing on the Holy Spirit in particular. But I think Phillip may be avoiding the full force of Driscoll's critique by taking the bait, and dwelling on the nature and work of the Holy Spirit. Why does God the Holy Spirit get lumped with all the subjective, emotional and miraculous stuff? Those things are the issue, not the person of God the Holy Spirit.

If I were writing a 'The Message' or 'Good News Bible' translation for the Australian evangelical peoples I would say:

8. Many of you are afraid of your emotions and of many of you are afraid of divine intervention. You don't know what to do with them. So, in practice, your Trinity can be caricatured as Father, Son and Holy Bible. You are so reactionary to Pentecostalism that you do not have a robust theology of emotions and of divine intervention. Part of being gifted for ministry is subjective zeal. Part of empowerment in ministry is emotional sustenance. It seems that often God even intervenes in remarkable ways to draw people into ministry. You don't have to have a charismatic style of church, or expect supernatural gifts in the church or be an over emotional person. But you do have to have a little of that, enough at least to worship God with more than just all of your mind....

Technophobes, mobiles and email

Old people, Moore College graduates and other technophobes need to hearken to this parable:

Treat your mobile phone less like a doorbell;
Treat your email more like a phone.

You don't need to jump to the ring of your phone: you are allowed to ignore calls, that's what SMS and Voicemail are all about. But you do need to respond quickly, regularly and constantly to your email: don't let it pile up over the course of a few days, after all, you don't need to compose perfect epistles.

Major letterbox campaign for TBT

You helped me proof read the letter. And now I've bought 3 000 sexy recycled paper envelopes and adhesive stickers.

And I've printed the letterhead on heavy, fancy letterhead paper.

And then the work begins.

Dominic Steele on the bushfires

Haven't heard it yet but I'm sure it's good.

Pimp Bernie's study

Post suggestions here.

International flavour to A29 Boot Camp

I'm planning on bringin it:

International Flavor

Over 30 church planters are attending the Boot Camp to participate in a World Church Planter's Summit (by invitation only). These catalytic movement leaders are from South Africa, Australia, England, Thailand, India, Uganda, Albania, Brazil and Quebec.

We will have these men to share small bites of their church planting in the world at each of the sessions.

 More here.

Wayne Grudem gets things done

As far as human advice and counsel, I have found the system described in Getting Things Done by David Allen to be very helpful—I am just now rereading that to try to get all of my "in box" items back under control again and listed in one place, and then processed. I should add that I find effective use of time to be a continual challenge and I keep making small modifications here and there.

H/T Matt

What actually is women's ministry? And what does a women's minister do?

Belinda asks the question over on the MTS Tas blog.

And later she unveils her new, pink Kingston CRC women's ministry blog.

Belinda is turning into a real tech-head.

Evangelism in the Channel

I was at a Vision 100 strategic meeting in January where we were reporting on the current churches. During his report on Kingston Christian Reformed Church (and its church plants), Brian Vaatstra gave two cool bits of data:

  • They have run Introducting God courses for all their congregations over the last 8 years. About 70 people have attended the courses and aout 20 people have been converted and established in their church as a result. Praise God for the man of Steele :-)
  • 'Bay Church' one of the Kingston church plants, has been the most evangelistically fruitful church in the whole Vision 100 network there have been well over a dozen conversions in Bay over the last four years since it began.

Mentone Baptist Church values statement

Murray has posted a great values statement for Mentone Baptist. Maybe you should go to Mentone Baptist. They have a pretty sign out the front.

New program to help practise paradigms

Sam Freney, a student at Moore College, has produced a groovy program to help you. It's only for macs at this stage because mac users are the only ones who matter.

H/T Con

Introducing Crossroads House

Dan explains more about his vision for Crossroads House in the Crossroads supporters@ monthly email, for our supporters around the world:

Feb Edition
Dear Crossroads Supporters,

This month I want our supporters news to focus on our newest service: Crossroads House (HSE).

  • HSE has been meeting in people's homes for almost 1 year now. After some coffee and chatting, we always have a time of prayer, bible reading, a children's talk and some community life news.
  • Just recently we have moved toward a more interactive style of Bible teaching: perhaps a sermon with discussion points interspersed, or a Bible study with sermonettes to begin and end.
  • Children's ministry is something we long to do well. Our philosophy is that the parents are the primary teachers of the children and we, the church, add important and vital support. The next few months will a crucial time for us as we sit down to plan and develop this ministry.
  • Alongside children's ministry we also face Q's/issues of legitimacy (is this real church?), logistics (venue, times?) and links (how do we fit into Crossroads?).

If you moved to Hobart why would you join us at this church?

  • We think it provides an excellent environment for extended families (mum, dad, sisters, cousins, married, single) to grow together in their faith.
  • We know that it allows you to 'hop in the deep-end' much quicker; both relationally and spiritually. This applies to both believers and unbelievers.

Thanks again for the various ways you contribute and support us from afar.

In Christ,


Crossroads Conference: The Body

Crossroads has a church conference every year. Even years we do a non-residential conference. Odd years we go away for a residential conference.

This year the topic is The Body. We already have 50 people registered, but we are praying for at least 60 people, not including kids.

Dan will be preaching three sermons on the topic 'The Body of Christ' and I have written two seminars on the themes of 'Ingrafting' and 'Incarnation'.

It should be a huge and exciting weekend. If you are from Crossroads you should register immediately. You can even pay on the day if you like. Just shoot an email to today.

Milk: a must-see movie

I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain and I don't plan to. No big reason, but it didn't strike me as super important. However I feel differently about Milk. Check out the Gospel and Culture Project review.

If you're too busy waging wars within the church over whether or not homosexuality and Christianity work together, you can forget to actually kindly minister to the homosexual culture itself. We should match our opposition to pro-gay Christianity with our devotion to our loving concern for people who live the gay lifestyle.

The missionary power of Paul: just borrow stuff

One of my best friends has always been a pretty mighty evangelist.

One of his secret powers is to borrow stuff from people he is getting to know. Books. Films. Articles. Stuff. Stuff that he can learn from the other person. Stuff that shows he cares about them. Stuff that adds another dimension to their relationship. Stuff that gives him the opportunity to respond to as a Christians at some later point. Stuff that gives him leverage to lend something back.

He shows interest. He borrows stuff. And he actually reads it.

Word of the week: Gestalt

Use it today instead of 'holism', 'integrity' or 'synergy'*.

*I know, I know that synergy means 'working together', but often its used to mean little more than 'unified'.

I'm sick of the word intentionality

I've just sat through a conference for two days. This word was a conference favourite. We were given coffee mugs, pens and stress balls with 'intentionality' written on it.


Help me write a letter to an anonymous angsty 17 year old

So I want to do a mailout to several thousand homes and a hand out to several hundred people to promote Tuesday Crossroads. I want nice envelopes, paper with a groovy letterhead, and an enclosed flier of what's coming up.

This service is for students and the student-at-heart. So it is really open to anyone who wants to come and I hope it will attract a whole range of ages of people who are alternative minded and deep-thinking. But I especially want it to keep a student demographic.

So I want this letter to be targeted especially to a 17 year old emo kid, while not being completely offputting to whoever else may end up reading it. Can you help me edit it please?

Dear reader,

I want to introduce you to 'Toilet Block Tuesdays', a church which got its nickname from the shape of the little community hall where we meet.

We are convinced that there is no unanswerable objection to the Christian faith and no single cultural expression of the Christian faith. There are actually strong reasons why all people should follow Jesus Christ.

So many people have dismissed Christianity with only a basic and inaccurate grasp of the issues - drawn from half-remembered snippets of studies in religion classes and Dan Brown novels. Sadly, others have had such lousy encounters of Christians that they have not been able to really see what the church should be like.

That's why we meet every Tuesday night from 7:30pm, to teach and live the Christian faith in a real way. We run stuff in a simple, lo-fi way. We are open to questions and criticisms, so you don't need to worry about offending or disagreeing with us. And we assume that many who attend will not share our beliefs, values and background.

I think you should come and join us. It will be interesting. It will be stretching. It may be confronting. And it is about the most significant issue you could ever discuss.

Enclosed is some more information about us and what we are up to. Hope to see you sometime soon.


Mikey Lynch
Crossroads Church

Why doesn't my church have this?

The Crowded House network in Northern Tasmania, Christian Connexion, has an 'About Tasmania' link on the front page of their website.

I wish we'd thought of that first.

*envious grumbling and muttering*

Stine reckons this book shares Xrds vision for family ministry

And I reckon she's probably right:

Phrase Christians often misuse: Deconstruction

This often gets used to mean: "Pull apart to analyse its consituent parts" or "Dismantle".

We've heard the word from our introductions to postmodern by youth speakers at conferences we've attended, and now we just like the sound of the word. But this is not what the word means.

Deconstruction means "to undermine something by showing it's contradictory assumptions". It's a postmodernist strategy that subverts existing languages/philosophies to show that there is no one absoulte and objective truth.

A feminist reading of Luke's gospel, or a queer reading of 1Samuel are both deconstructing scriptural texts.

Crossroads series on Nehemiah: More than a Wall

Dan preached an excellent sermon on Sunday on Nehemiah chapter 1. It is well illustrated, theologically textured, carefully exegeted, skillfully applied. This is why you send people to Bible College.

To be honest, I'd rather 10 million people around the world downloaded this sermon on Nehemiah than another famous sermon on Nehemiah I heard recently...

You can also download the Bible studies I wrote for our smallgroups from our website.