We’re a family…on mission!

We’re a family…on mission!

Let me start this week’s blog with a confession: I am not a family counselor nor a family psychologist…but a servant of Christ who is responsible for a family. The dynamics of family life have always been a complex reality. Even in “normal times” people go through stages of growth, phases of life, seasons of change, and individual difficulties…all under one roof! And then you add the abnormality of steering them through a pandemic…. Each personality type represented in my family engages differently on these challenges. Sometimes one individual needs to draw close…while another needs some space. There are occasions where we need a collective endeavor and times when individual pursuits are to be encouraged.

How do you keep your family together? These days it seems the appropriate adjectives for family life would be: reactive; scattered emotionally; frantic; stressed; exhausted; conflicted. As you read these adjectives you may think it only describes households over-represented with toddlers. Great was my surprise when a friend of mine took issue with me when I suggested these descriptions are irrelevant if you have young adults…or even adult children. The question then remains: How do you keep your family together?

As we welcome the easing of restrictions as announced on Sunday 17 October…the opportunities to catch up on all that we missed during lockdown beckons! This will introduce contextual complexity for every family…even our faith family – your church! Without understanding the new set of circumstances one can easily rush forward only having to retract later due to the unintended consequences of engaging in a changing world not properly understood. (I know of someone who has been saving up for a visit at a specific chocolatier in the city…and I fear the lack of restraint will manifest as the doors open for the first time again). So, how do you keep your family together in a season of transition?

‘By wisdom, a house is built, and through understanding, it is established; through knowledge, its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures ‘

Proverbs 24:3-4 NIV

We will do well to answer and act on three big questions in a season like the next couple of months as things normalize (I do believe that we as Melbournians will be in a ‘transition’ until at least February next year):

  1. What is God’s unique purpose for our family? If you can answer this…you have a rallying cry that can unify and direct all members involved.
  2. What are our highest priorities for this season? This helps steward capacity and protects us from the confusion caused by “everything being equally important”.
  3. How will we connect, talk and apply these priorities in our day-to-day living? The application of the answers to the first two questions needs some form of execution in order to be fruitful.

When the board of elders put our “spiritual father/mother” caps on recently we had great discussions that could be well expressed in answering these three questions.

What is God’s unique purpose for our faith family?

This is without a doubt to be a light in the darkness. We express it with the phrase “being His presence in every place”. We see a community transformed by the power of the gospel because we are part of that community and act as missional individuals in that community. Ours is a community in need of healing on spiritual, mental, and social level and we will soon start another series wherein we will discuss biblical truths on how God brings healing to our lives and our land.

What are our highest priorities for this season?

We discussed this at length after a time set aside for prayer and waiting on God for this. As we discussed the promptings of the Holy Spirit and guidance in the scriptures we decided to focus on:

  • Ministering to the need for healing and restoration in a post-lockdown environment. Rebuilding resilient and healthy hearts and homes. We trust that God’s peace and wholeness will change more lives than ever through our ministry.
  • Creating a broader and deeper culture of prayer. A passionate relationship with God will always manifest in fervent prayer. Prayer takes on many forms and we will establish various ways of engaging with God through this in the coming season.
  • Rekindling relationships to support an intensive pastoral care initiative. We would like to see our people connecting for the sake of making friends and caring for one another. One of the best ways to restore a community is facilitating healthy relationships and we will have various initiatives to foster this.
  • Serving our teams well. We have so many marvelous ministry teams (from the Food Pantry to creative arts) that make our movement strong! We would like to invest in the health of these teams and give them time to connect, care and celebrate each other.

We will share how all of this will take place in greater detail on this Sunday’s online service. Let’s build with wisdom and fill the house of God’s rooms with treasures!

Fuse Youth | Friday 22nd October

This week for FUSE Youth we are all joining together on ZOOM from 7-8pm (yup, everyone on the same ZOOM!) for a massive “All In: Tournament”!! There will be games, more games, laughs and good chats! Invite all your mates and we will see ya there!

ZOOM details | Meeting ID: 709 039 1325 | Password: Fuse

Kids Church | Sunday 24th October

This week Elfie comes to Kids Church with Gazza for the first time ever! He is blown away by how fun it is, and the joyful atmosphere. Soon he is sitting up the front listening to Ps Kevin speak when the unthinkable happens. Tune in to find out what happens? Included in the teaching video is an ‘Activation Prayer’ and an ‘Activation Exercise’ for the kids to immediately apply this week’s teaching.

Click here for links to Berwick Kids TV and Wonderkids to Grade 6 programs starting at 9am Sunday.

Sunday Service | When you hit the wall

What does it mean to ‘hit the wall’ during an endurance race? The Americans call it ‘bonking’, and by any name it’s a pretty awful experience. When you hit the wall, it feels like you have run face-first into a stack of bricks. Your legs start feeling like concrete posts, every step is a triumph of will and you seriously doubt that the race actually has a finish line. In general, hitting the wall refers to depleting your stored energy and the feelings of fatigue and negativity that typically accompany it.

When you run low on energy, even your brain wants to shut down activity as a preservation method, which leads to the negative thinking that comes along with hitting the wall. Most of us must have felt at some stage in the past season we’ve hit the wall. How can we respond to this experience?

Watch live stream this Sunday at 10.00am via YouTube and Facebook.

Boys Brigade | Monday 25th October

Be part of the action! For over 20 years the Boys’ Brigade has advanced Christ’s Kingdom among boys. We are currently meeting online due to Covid restrictions. Please contact Andrew Sidebottom on 0415 721 943 or email [email protected] for details.

Visit the Boys Brigade page for further details here.

Thank you for being His Presence in Every Place! 


Senior Pastor