I love it when those who are far from Christ get raised into a new life with him. Taylor is one pastor that was far from Christ who is now living a radical life for Jesus.
Real Pastor Taylor Forward
Hi, I’m Taylor Forward and my family has only just begun I have been married for almost 4 years to the amazing Danielle Forward, and hopefully in the next few years our Forward family will grow.
I pastor the rock community church (the one in Tas) with my mother in law Louisa De Bruyn
Why did I become a Pastor?
I ask my self the same question quite often hahahaha.
There are a few big contributing factors to why I decided that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The main one (super corny) is that I truly feel like it is a calling on my life + I just LOVE seeing young people make good life decisions weather that be to follow Jesus for the 1st time or to continue to follow him.
I have had A LOT of amazing moments in ministry but its really hard to top the moments when the Holy Spirit shows up and lives get changed in a physical, mental and spiritual way. Camps and special events are a good one for this!!! We have a youth camp coming up in the next few weeks and I’m believing of this one to be the biggest highlight to date!!
Favourite spot, hobby, movies or food?
By far my biggest hobby is drifting! (If you don't know what it is google it, but its a form of motorsport.) If I'm not doing something to do with church or youth the chances are I am doing something to do with drifting, whether it be working on the car or racing the car!
– I like all kinds of movies and all kinds of food.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am currently reading a few books (I just need to finish some haha). I’m reading a book on Paul from Beth Moore. Paul is by far my favourite bible character (apart from Jesus obviously), and Counter Culture by David Platt and the Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton
Taylor , What is your vision or hope or dream for 2016
To stick at it!!! I just want to continue to facilitate an environment where leaders can be bought up and new believers can grow, where people that are far from Jesus can meet him for the 1st time!
I have a crazy dream to see 1000 young people per week coming through one of our 3 youth ministries, and as I type that it still seams like a some what stupid dream but one thing I have learnt with God is that I can never set the bar too high for him!!
Tim pastors at the Tailrace Community Church in Launceston, Tasmania with his wife Sharon.
Let’s meet Real Pastor Tim O’Neill:
I’ve just celebrated my 28th year of marriage with my wife Sharon. It was Sharon, a former missionary kid, that resulted in me coming to faith 30 years ago. Sharon is not only my wife, best friend and inseparable soul mate, but my invaluable ministry partner.
We have three wonderful children Jono (25), Michael (24) and Rachael (20) with Erica a precious daughter in law, married to Jono.
Our church is called Tailrace Community. Until recently it was known as New Directions Community Church.
The church is named after the geographical location where we are located (the Tailrace) and the building that we own and have met in for nine years (The Tailrace Centre). We built the Tailrace Centre as a way with connecting with people from the community who wouldn’t normally go to church.
It’s a church that Sharon and I (along with a few others) started in Launceston Tasmania 22 years ago. We had a burden to establish a church that would reach out to people who didn’t have the incredible and eternal blessing of knowing Jesus in a way that made them part of God’s family.
This was brought home to us in the year that we started the church when we knew seven people who took their own lives. We so much wanted them to find the peace and the transformational faith that we had and that I not long before had discovered. This faith had changed my life, and given me hope and purpose and we desperately wanted others to be assisted in going on their own faith journey.
I never intended to become a pastor. I was an ambitious, young Chartered Accountant who was embarking on a successful business career. But God did two things that I didn’t expect.
The first was to call Sharon and I to pioneer a church to reach the unchurched, which we did in April 1994. I was going to be the business person who helped fund it and help with leadership. And so we set Sunday April 17 1994 as the date for the church to be started. We started looking for the pastor God surely had for us, but the the trouble was that we didn’t find one! And so I, along with Sharon, ended up being “it”!
The second thing that God did was to change my heart. A few years before starting the church I had walked away from the opportunity of being a partner in an accounting firm. Then some years later (after we had started the church) I felt the very clear, very precise and very compelling call of God to devote myself fully to the work of the ministry.
I loved my work in the business world.
It stimulated me, it taught me much and it was very good to us, but I had been listening for the call of God, placing my future in His hands even if it meant something other than pursuing further business success. By the time I heard that call, my heart was already there.
What’s your highlight in ministry?
That’s a simple one. It’s seeing someone come to faith, seeing their eternities and their lives being transformed, and seeing them walk into the fullness of the call God has for them. It doesn’t get any better than that! That’s the focal point of everything that I do.
God doesn’t call us to build organisations or ministries, but to see His Kingdom expanded by every person who identifies themselves as being a Christian growing in the way that they follow Jesus, and then seeking to reach others and help them grow as disciples. That’s got to be the WHY behind why we lead and serve churches and ministries.
My focus is not to build the church I lead; it’s to nurture, build, equip and mobilise the people who I meet and who become the church.
I love seeing how a number of people we have discipled have gone on to start churches that then repeat the process. I also love seeing how people of influence, whether politicians, business people or leaders in other realms have gone on to bring a godly influence to their spheres of influence. I want to do all that I can to cheer them on and to help them however I can.
What are your hobbies, favourite food and favourite film?
My favourite hobby is fly fishing. I’m an introvert who loves getting away and surrounding myself with the beauty that nature provides. For me there is nothing better than being on a river somewhere, surrounded by beauty, having time to contemplate and at the same time being focused on finding trout and tricking them into taking my fly.
I also love the beach and am blessed to have a holiday place on the coast where we can retreat to and where I can take long walks with Sharon.
My favourite food would have to be steak that I cooked over a BBQ, but there are also many other foods I enjoy.
As to my favourite film, I’m not sure about that. I generally prefer to read novels than watch a film. I really enjoy historical novels.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve recently finished 2 magnificent books that are both inspiring and equipping. They paint a picture of what church can be like; not what the current forms of church in developed countries look like.
I’m also privileged to have been involved in the leadership of a movement for 14 years (similar to those described in the books), where we have seen approx. 20,000 churches planted mainly amongst 172 previously unreached people groups. Going there is like going back to the book of Acts, and brings me to ask “why can’t this happen in Australia”, and to realise that it can!
What is your vision or hope or dream for 2016?
2016 is a year of transition for me. It’s an exciting time as later in the year I’ll formally take on the leadership of A2A as President.
It’s a time for building on the great foundation that has already been established in A2A by Phillip Mutzelburg the founding leader of A2A, by Trevor Chandler who saw CLCI birthed, by the National Leadership Team and by the leaders of the churches in the movement.
The mission of A2A is to raise enduring leaders to build prevailing churches. That’s my focus. Why? Because our country needs this to happen!
There is a mission field on our doorsteps that is waiting for the love of Christ, His wisdom, His forgiveness and His leadership to be released so that people can be brought into His family, experiencing His grace and transformational power.
The starting point is looking for young people (and not so young!) with the potential for ministry and leadership on their lives; to envision them, to equip them and to stimulate them to seek God not as to whether but what He is calling them to be and do. And then to assist them to walk in His call.
2016 is a year that we will be building fresh foundations upon the foundations already so carefully laid. We will do this, with the hope and desire of seeing leaders raised who will see new churches pioneered as well as existing churches revitalised, so that we become a movement of healthy churches that reflect the church in Acts 2.
The end result that we wish to see is that multitudes throughout our country and beyond will come to discover Jesus and become authentic followers of Him.
Who can’t help but love this bubbly warm couple who Pastor at New Hope Brisbane.
Let’s meet Real Pastors Matt & Carol Prater.
Why did you become a pastor?
I felt called to become a youth pastor in my late teens, and after about 10 years as a youth pastor, I thought I’d be one forever. Then when the opportunity came up to Pastor at New Hope, I was really shocked. I thought maybe one day I might be able to do that, but I didn’t feel equipped. I’d done Bible college, and I’d worked in Christian radio, & I thought I was way too under-qualified. So Carol & I sought the Lord, & threw out fleeces, and everything pointed towards Pastoring. And even though I didn’t feel ready, sometimes the best training is on the job training. And what a journey the last ten years have been.
What do you love about the church you are pastoring?
I love New Hope. We are an inner-city church with a great mix of people. We have over 35 nationalities, heaps of Uni students, families, and homeless people. One of the favourite things we’ve launched is a weekly Soup kitchen, I go around & pick up people from the homeless shelters & we give them a 3 course meal & some clothes and a bag of goodies to take away with them. We’ve seen a lot of people come to Christ, & we just saw 6 baptisms from this group last week!
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are going to the beach & the pool with the kids. Walking along the creek near our house, searching for treasure with the kids, watching movies and date nights with my bride.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently reading “Positioned for Miracles,” By Dr Jerry Stott (Area Missionary, Foursquare churches) “Faith Under Fire” By Andrew White – Vicar of Baghdad, & “A Joyful Pilgrimage” by Emmy Arnold about the Bruderhof Christian community in Inverell.
Eggs Benedict with Salmon.
What is your 'Why'? What gets you excited?
What gets me excited about ministry is to see souls saved. The Lord challenged me about the Parable of the Kings Banquet. We need to go out to the highways & byways & compel the lost, the sick, the crippled and the lonely to come & be saved. I felt challenged a few years ago, that if New Hope was taken out of our city, who would notice? We need to impact our community, we need to shine a light in this dark world.
What is your hope for 2016?
My hope for 2016 is to raise up more connect groups to disciple our new converts. We went from 3 connect groups to 7 last year, & we want to raise up more this year. Every believer should be discipled in a connect group, and each connect group should raise up new leaders, to launch new groups. This is one thing we are focussing on now.
I love it when I see young people hear the whisper of God to full time pastoral work. I often think of Samuel as a young boy hearing the whisper of God. How exciting must Samuel have been. He fulfilled his calling faithfully throughout his entire life and this is my prayer for this younger generation. That they will hear the whisper, find the courage and make it to the finish line. I think they are going to have to have the courage and stamina that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had. But if they can leave the same kind of legacy how amazing will that be.
Today we head to South Australia to Almond Grove Family Church where Real Pastor: David Busby and wife Olivia are pastoring.
David, Why did you became a pastor?
You could joke that I’m ‘continuing the family tradition,’ as my Mum and Dad were my predecessors – but I became a Pastor because I believe that I was called. If that sounds lofty, believe me when I tell you that it was not something that I sought out, or chased specifically. Having seen the ‘behind the scenes,’ I was somewhat of a reluctant leader. God, however, has a way of making Himself pretty clear when you continue to chase after His plan for your life. That, paired with the fact that I like helping people thrive, goes a fair way to explaining the ‘why.’
What do you love about the church you are pastoring?
I love the people in my church. I love their heart to worship God, I love their willingness to display their love by their generosity and I love their passion to display what the Bible calls God’s lovingkindness – that is, ‘grace’ and ‘mercy.’
What are your hobbies?
I love eating out with friends – food has always been one of my passions. I’m also a fan of anything sport related – name a sport, I’m probably into it. I also enjoy noodling around on my guitar, and going out for coffee dates with my wife and 2 beautiful little daughters.
What are you currently reading?
I’m actually re-reading Brad Huddleston’s excellent book called Digital Cocaine. I’ve got kids, so the issues in that book are really timely for us as a family.
What is your favourite movie?
I wish I had a more classy answer to this, but I love anything from the Marvel Universe.
What is your favourite food?
I love all sorts of food, but always find it hard to go past a chicken parmy (‘parma,’ for my eastern states friends!)
What is your Why – or what gets you delighted in ministry?
I love to see the lights go on. It’s a total privilege to hang out with someone and help them find a truth, or an expression of truth for the very first time. To give people the tools they need to be able to stand, and live a fulfilled, successful and resilient life is all sorts of tremendous.
What is it that you hope for in 2016?
Our church has been built on such a strong, steady foundation over many years, owing to my parents, who have been (and continue to be) fabulous. In 2016, my hope for our church is that we would begin to see the results of what we’ve been talking about over the journey.
Our challenge is to find effective ways of reaching the community that we love so much, and that is growing at a rapid rate of knots. We still feel, after all these years, that the key to our area lies in the name of our church.
We are called ‘Almond Grove Family Church.’ In a world that seems to have an ever-changing concept about the true meaning of the word ‘family,’ it seems to me that there has never been a more important time to show what God’s family is like, and what it’s like to feel at home in God’s family. It’s supposed to be a place you can safely grow, and a place where the rest of your family have your back.
I hope to inspire Almond Grove to not only demonstrate God’s idea of family, but also draw others into His family.
On a personal note, we are having our third child in August – so mostly, I just hope for a few good nights sleep before then…