It's been an absolute privilege catching a glimpse of so many great things happening across A2A churches as we recently conducted Leaders Together (LT) days in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Building A Discipling Culture
One of the hi lights of the days was having Tim Piesse from “Building A Discipling Culture” (BDC) with us at all four events. Many thanks to Tim and BDC for coming along and giving such great input. It’s encouraging to hear that quite a few A2A churches have already or will soon be in contact with Tim exploring how BDC can help their churches be more effective at reaching and making disciples.
Jesus cast the vision for what the church was to be when He said that the not even the gates of hell would be able to hold back the church. It was to be prevailing church, or in the words of Erwin McManus, an “unstoppable force”.
Just think about that for a moment; an unstoppable force. That’s what the church is to be when the people of God, empowered by the Spirit of God, are led to walk in the love of God, as they follow the teachings of the Son of God and take His good news to a world that doesn’t know Him. Powerful isn’t it!
I want to make special mention of two A2A churches and their leaders that are doing great things.
In Brisbane we were hosted by Sean and Annette Woods at The Rock Christian Church. They had only just moved into their new building the week before. The vision that they and their team has shown and what they have accomplished with their new building has been outstanding.
In South Australia, I was a guest at Fleurieu Family Church (formerly Covenant Family Church) in Port Elliot. The joy and vibrancy that I experienced there was amazing.
Michael and Kathy Ridley have only been leading the church a short time, but what hey have done with the assistance of their team has been incredible.
As I look at these two churches I catch glimpses of the unstoppable forces that Jesus calls His church to be, and it’s exciting! Especially when we look around the movement and see other churches in the five states we are represented in also doing great things.
Vision and Direction
The National Leadership Team (NLT) met together for a few days Retreat to once again seek the Spirit’s leading for the movement and to conduct our board meeting.
From doing this, we reaffirmed the Mission of A2A as “raising enduring leaders who will build prevailing churches.” This is a continual and ongoing theme of critical importance that we seek to sew into. At the LT days we spent time on “Leadership Pathways” in a workshop put together by Marcy Paynter.
After 10 years, we have revisited and revised our Vision Statement, which is now to be:
This is reflected in our Playbook Strategic Plan which we have revised so that the single most important focus for us as a movement over the next period of time is to help “grow missional churches”.
We have a number of strategies that we will be working on to be able to implement to help A2A churches grow as missional churches.
Taking from Ed Stetzer, we regard a missional church as being one that is lovingly engaged with their local community whilst holding a high view of the teachings of Jesus and adhering to them, and thats what we want to help A2A churches become.
In line with this at the Retreat the NLT spent time considering the main issues that churches in Australia faced that prevented them from becoming all that God calls them to be. Ultimately we want to be able to assist A2A churches in this regard and bring even greater clarity to who and how we can assist.
We are delighted at the high uptake amongst senior leaders of entering into mentoring relationships. To bring a little structure to the mentoring relationship, we have produced a 1 page Mentoring Agreement where you can specify the frequency of mentoring, any financial arrangement and the duration of the agreement.
A copy of the agreement is can be downloaded here. Alternatively email Liz Jesson and we will send you a copy. We would like all mentoring arrangements to have an agreement such as this in place.
Emerging Leaders Initiative.
Great feedback continues to come in from the ELI participants. One aspect of ELI is that the candidates visit different churches to gain different ministry insights. You can watch feedback they gave after visiting Tailrace in November here.
This year we will be taking a mid year intake into ELI, so if you are an emerging leader, or if you have potential emerging leaders in your church, contact Mark Ansell at Gateway and he will be able to provide more details.
If you haven’t already seen it, the short video of our keynote speaker, Oscar Muriu from Nairobi Chapel in Kenya is really worth watching.
Seven weeks out and we are delighted at how registrations have been pouring in. Last year we had 200 registrants. This year we are hoping for 250, and are half way there already. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so here. More information about the 2019 National Conference can be found here.
Here’s a video promoting the 2019 A2A National Conference that you are welcome to show in your church.
Pastors in Transition
There are currently a number of A2A churches where transition to a new senior leader has or is taking place. And there are a number of churches where pastors approaching retirement are looking for possible successors.
We are always looking out for men and women who are open to exploring a call to ministry. Perhaps you may be a good fit for one of the churches where the current pastor would like to pass on the baton? If you would like to explore this as a possibility, talk to one of the NLT members or contact me.
What are You Reading?
As John Maxwell says, “leaders are learners”. Here are 3 books I’ve found particularly helpful over the last few months:
Back to the Book of Acts
When you read this, Sharon and I will be heading to, or already in Asia with Empart. I love these trips! They are like going back to the book of Acts and seeing the Holy Spirit moving with people being healed and saved, leaders raised, churches planted and communities transformed.
Every time I come back, I have fresh hope for Australia and fresh hope that A2A will truly become an alliance of innovative missional churches transforming Australian lives.
Carl Mutzelburg at Catalyst will be acting President in my absence should you need urgent support. I will be returning to Australia at the end of March.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit moves in our country, that our churches grow as healthy missional churches and that many young men and women are raised as workers for the harvest.
The Acts 2 Alliance.