by Tim O'Neill
Yesterday will undoubtedly be remembered as a historic day, the day that the right to marriage was changed. No longer is marriage defined as being between a man and a woman, but between two people.
Whilst the result of the marriage debate is not one that the National Leadership Team of A2A wanted, we do congratulate the “Yes” campaign on winning the postal vote and getting the result that they worked for. We also congratulate Lyle Shelton and those who led the “No” campaign on the campaign that they have waged.
Just a few points that you need to be aware of about the legislation that has been passed:
How we conduct ourselves in this new era will be important. Let's take the road of loving our neighbour whilst sticking with the convictions that Christ follower will have.
It's important that we always act with love and grace, because as they say, love is love!
The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 put before and now passed by Parliament to become law may be viewed here: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/bills/s1099_third-senate/toc_pdf/1725720.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf
Disappointed as we may be by the changes to marriage, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that God is still God, life goes on, and we have much work to do.
In broad terms there are approximately 25 million people in our nation. Of these only about 3.75 million (15%) are reported to be connected to a church and only 1.25 million (5%) are in church on any given week.
To put it another way, our country has between about 21 and 24 million people who we would consider “lost” in terms of the good news that Jesus gave His life to bring.
Can our country be reached? We can take inspiration from the Apostle Paul who we are told saw all who lived in the Roman Province of Asia hear the good news in just 2 years (Acts 19:10,26). This was a region about the size of Victoria with a population of about 10 million. How amazing is that!
How did Paul do this? By making disciples, training them and sending them.
At the recent Leaders Together days, we spent time learning a handy disciple making tool called “411”. Here’s a 17 minute video you can use in 411 training
Just a reminder that the 2018 conference for leaders and teams is drawing closer. We are excited to have Mark Connor and Steve Addison joining us as our key speakers. The Conference will be held at the Watermark Hotel on the Gold Coast from Monday (evening) 30 April to Thursday (noon) 3 May.
At the following link you can register for the conference and also find information about how to book your accommodation with the Watermark Hotel: http://www.a2a.org.au/conference.html.
This is an important time for us as a movement to come together and connect and share with each other. It’s also an important equipping and culture shaping time. Please tell your church about the conference and encourage your leaders and teams to come and join in the fun!
Domestic Abuse Policy
We now have in place a Domestic Abuse Policy. This is a critical area where we must ensure that we act in the correct way at all times. It’s an area that we believe is likely to come under the spotlight, potentially with a Royal Commission addressing this issue.
We encourage you to ensure that your key leaders are well acquainted with what the policy says. The policy can be located at http://www.a2a.org.au/resources.html
One of the things that we are passionate about is seeing churches throughout A2A grow in developing a leadership development culture. At the recent Leaders Together days, Carl Mutzelburg gave an excellent session on how to raise leaders. Here’s a video of what Carl presented (20 mins). We encourage you to take this video back to your leadership teams and discuss it with them.
Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI)
It is exciting seeing the number of young and emerging leaders putting up their hands to take part in ELI, which will run for the first time in the new year.
If you may be an emerging leader, or if you see someone in your church who is, have look at the ELI details following: http://www.a2a.org.au/eli.html
Thanks to Mark Ansell and the team at Gateway for all that you are doing to put ELI on the ground and make it a success!
Phillip Mutzelburg and Mark Ansell have been working hard to get our mentoring program up and running. If you are a leader and aren’t in a mentoring relationship, I’d encourage you to enter into one.
Information about the mentoring program will be posted here:
If you have any questions about the mentoring program, you can email mark at
If we are to raise up healthy people for ministry and potentially church leadership or church planting, we need to create ministry and leadership development pathways. Internships are a great way of doing this.
Every church will probably do internships in different ways, and that's fine. They need to be tailored to fit your context.
As we are soon to commence a new year, I’d encourage you to put in place an internship program and promote it throughout your church. As an example, here’s what we are doing at Tailrace Community, and yes, we have “borrowed” the ideas from others and then tinkered with them.
Internship programs don’t need to be complex. They just need to be intentional.
Other Equipping Events
I will be running 2 workshops in January. They are:
Let me know if you are interested in coming or would like more information
The National Leadership Team has taken the important and visionary step of putting aside what we consider to be our surplus financial reserves and allocating these funds to a reserve that will be available for future development.
The reason that we did this is that we do not agree that movements should continue add to the money they have in the bank without a plan and an intentionality to invest it for kingdom returns.
The result of this is that our profit and loss statement will reflect a loss this year. We are on track to make a small but healthy surplus (profit) this year, but the decision to put aside funds in a provision for Future Development will knock about our reported profit and cause a loss to be reported in our accounts for this year.
The important thing is that we are taking action to ensure that as a movement we are putting aside funds for future development rather than just allowing the bank account to keep growing. You are welcome to contact me if you would like me to explain further how this works.
Reflection and Seasons Greetings
As we come to the end of the year, it’s always good to reflect on what God has been doing throughout the year.
I know that for some of you, it’s been a hard year. Some have had illness and death to cope with. Others have had issues in their churches that have sapped hope and energy.
And yet, others have seen breakthroughs and good things happen.
Either way, God has been at work, through the good times and the bad. I encourage you to look beyond the circumstances and events of 2017 and instead spend some time asking
“What was God doing? Where was God in all this? Where is He leading me in the coming year? What is He saying to me?”
I wish you, your families and your churches all the peace and joy that Jesus brings and hope that the coming year will truly be the best one yet.
Thank you for the privilege that I have of serving you as President.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13