Root Not Fruit

“The news that the prominent Atheist Richard Dawkins is now claiming to be a cultural Christian, should not surprise.

Many of us know parents who send children to Christian schools because they like the product of such schools, yet insist they don’t want their children to be religious.

In my first parish I would meet C.E. Christians. I was told I could only expect to see them at Christmas (C) and Easter (E). So called ‘cultural Christians’ see no need to believe the supernatural elements of the Faith, they are Christians without the C and the E. …”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook reminds us why we must keep on preaching the Word.

Photo: David Cook preaching at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in 2022.

Why share Jesus? You have the best news possible.

Mark Calder, Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst, reminds us Why we share Jesus. He turns to 2 Corinthians 5:11.

Part 2 in a 4-part series reflecting on the Diocesan strategic plan, “Sharing Jesus for Life”.

Week 1 – Compassion, Week 2 – Reverence, Week 3 – Love, Week 4 – Courage.

Encouraging – but also sobering.

Watch here. A very good way to start a new month.

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel’s sermon at the GSFA First Assembly in Egypt

Our thanks go to the Anglican Futures website for drawing attention to Archbishop Kanishka Raffel’s sermon at the final session of the GSFA First Assembly in Egypt last week.

The Archbishop spoke on Romans 10:1-10 – and you can see video of the sermon here.

“…the Anglican Communion will not be surrendered to leadership that denies the authority, truth and trustworthiness of the Word of God…”

Take the time to watch to be reminded of the great issues and the great responsibilities before every believer. Most encouraging!

Update:

A PDF file of the Archbishop’s sermon notes is available here, with thanks to Russell Powell. (Clicking the link may download the file to your downloads folder.)

The gospel in jars of clay

“Some years ago I was asked what the mission strategy was for the youth ministry at our church. What did we do for evangelism? How were we reaching the lost and proclaiming the good news to non-Christians?

I took the question in good faith, even though I detected a hint of haughty accusation underlying the question, i.e. ‘If you’re not running courses, holding attractive evangelistic events and presenting Two Ways To Live each week, then are you actually doing any evangelism?’ seemed to be the subtext. …”

– Mike Dicker, Principal of Youthworks College, writes in the current Southern Cross magazine – and at SydneyAnglicans.net.

What is relational evangelism?

“I was an ESL [English as a Second Language] teacher in Western Sydney before going to Moore College with the plan to be a missionary.

I had been involved in summer missions and church evangelism for years, though I’m not a naturally gifted evangelist! I now spend my time helping equip everyday Christians to be courageously speaking about Jesus.”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Dave Jensen asks Sarah Seabrook about relational evangelism.

King’s Birthday Conference 2024: A Post Christian Christ?

From Phillip Jensen:

“The annual King’s Birthday Conference is coming up… This year, I will be joined by my nephew David Jensen as together we will explore the question of ‘A post Christian Christ?’.

Together, we will look at the gospel’s message in a world that tries to bypass Jesus. Many Australians may have lost connection with organised religion, but Jesus, the Lord of heaven and earth, has not finished with them. How do we tell people, who do not want to hear, of the Saviour they are ignoring before they meet him as their Judge?

Please join us on the afternoon of Monday June 10th from 1:30-5:00pm at Moore Theological College, Sydney. There will a Q & A time after the sessions and afternoon tea will be provided.

If you are outside Sydney, there will be a live-stream option (Q&A not included), so why not gather a group of friends to join us together online?”

See all the details, and register, at this link.

Book Review: Honest Evangelism by Rico Tice

“Do you find evangelism hard? Why is that the case when we have the best news to share?

Here lies a common tension—we know people need to hear about Jesus, yet all too often we hesitate to tell them about him. Maybe it’s a fear of the consequences, that relationships might be broken, especially in a world that increasingly sees followers of Christ as the bearers of bad news rather than good. Or maybe this wasn’t always the case, but weariness has set in from repeated rejection when we have shared.

Guilt then sets in as evangelism begins to feel like we’re not doing enough. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Sarah Chew reviews Rico Tice’s Honest Evangelism.

How should we respond to the world as we now find it?

The Anglican Diocese of the Living Word’s Missions Conference and Synod was held in Pennsylvania over the last few days.

Dr. Carl Trueman was the invited speaker.

In his first talk, he focussed on the underlying things that shape the way we think today. Starting at 5:35.

In his second talk, Dr. Trueman speaks of the three things the church has to do in our present context. That address starts at 34:12.

(Prior to his address, Gafcon General Secretary Bishop Paul Donison is interviewed from 18:18.)

The previous night, the Rev. Yoel Ben David gave his testimony of conversion from Judaism.

At the start of the Conference, Bishop Julian Dobbs gave this address. This, alone, is well worth hearing.

The videos are available with thanks to Anglican TV.

Local evangelism and global mission: Maintaining focus on the ends of the earth

“I remember the moment clearly. For several years my wife and I had been weighing up the prospect of vocational ministry. I loved opening the Bible with people and helping them to know Jesus better, but I felt inadequate for the task of pastoral ministry.

Our perspective changed when we received a prayer letter from friends who’d just arrived in a new country for their first term of missionary service with CMS. …”

– Scott Millar writes at The Australian Church Record.

Related:

Dinner helps us pray for global mission – Tara Sing writes at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Hope25 Launch Video Pentecost 2024

Here’s a video to introduce Hope25.

You can learn more at the Hope25 website:

“Hope 25 is an opportunity for us to share the hope that we have in Jesus.

It is an intentional season of sharing hope in Jesus for every parish and community in the Australian Anglican Church.

We are asking each parish to commit to doing (at least) one thing to help share the hope that we have in Jesus during this season.

We aren’t going to tell you what to do, but we will provide resources and support so that each parish can act locally and contextually, sharing the hope we have in Jesus in a way that best fits your context. It may be that you have multiple different groups within your parish and a number of different events are needed to engage with those group. Or, you may choose to band together on one event, it is entirely up to each parish or community to choose.

Dates: Easter Day (April 20, 2025) to Pentecost Sunday (June 8, 2025)”

Meet Jesus: The Missiology is Right

“In 1959 the Billy Graham Association conducted Australia’s most successful evangelistic mission. Large venues, huge crowds, and compelling preaching. It was extraordinary. Six decades on, however, some features of that mission look quaint, even odd. …

It was a different world. Evangelising Australia now is a different sort of challenge. Consider the 2024 Meet Jesus campaign—the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students’ (AFES) effort to invite Australians to meet Jesus in the pages of Gospels. I think the missiology is right.”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Rory Shiner commends Meet Jesus.

Evangelism in Bathurst Diocese – Sharing Jesus for life

A very encouraging editorial from The Australian Church Record:

“Through the goodness of God, combined with the kindness and service of his people, the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst has experienced renewal in recent years. Fresh vision, boldness, and a firm grip upon biblical preaching and teaching has spread through its churches. Evangelism has been at the forefront of the minds of its leaders and very much within the hearts of its people.

Ultimately, there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to evangelism. It is simply sharing Jesus for life. Therefore, Bathurst Diocese has no new fancy technique to report. This diocese has modelled its evangelism from Scripture and has ‘just got on with it’.

The determination and drive of Bishop Mark Calder at the helm, consecrated and installed in late 2019, has given a very clear path forward which is bearing fruit in lives won for the kingdom, and the church of God is flourishing. Bishop Calder came to bring gospel change, has maintained this objective, and by the grace of God, many have joined with him in sharing Jesus for life. As I pause with others to reflect upon our evangelism, some key principles have emerged as being very significant for us. …”

Read it all here. Food for Prayer.

Working Together so More People Meet Jesus

“We believe that knowing Jesus changes everything. He alone can deal with our sins and failures. He is our saviour who rescued us and our friend who loves us. He is our Lord who graciously and powerfully rules all things. He is the source of our hope in life and in death. He is living and active and he is coming again as judge of all. Why wouldn’t we want other people to meet Jesus?

Across Australia a campaign is unfolding this year so that many more people might have the opportunity to meet Jesus. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Murray Capill reports on a recent gathering in Melbourne.

Related:

Australia: Meet Jesus! — Richard Chin and Rory Shiner.

How to get your church fired up for evangelism

“Evangelism is tough. Of course, you know that already. Telling people about Jesus presents a series of challenges and difficulties for Christian people.

Yet when it comes to evangelism, that’s not the most difficult thing. No, that title well and truly falls to ‘being responsible for trying to get other Christians to actually do it’. Studies from the United States indicate that although nearly 90% of professing evangelical Christians believe evangelism is something they should do, roughly the same proportion of them don’t do it. …”

– Dave Jensen writes with encouragement at The Australian Church Record.

A whirlwind interview with Rico Tice: on Chappo, the church and the gospel we preach

At The Australian Church Record, Micky Mantle (Rector of North Sydney) interviews evangelist Rico Tice.

Among other things, Micky asks Rico about the influence John Chapman had on him:

“Yeah, Chappo’s humanity. He was such a laugh. Chappo was so wonderfully himself.

Also, when he spoke to people, the tone was always one of such love. I suddenly saw someone I could – you know, he just was always for you, Chappo. And he believed in the Holy Spirit, and he taught the truth. And you just felt that tremendous sense of his personal warmth, and the humour.

And the ability to rebuke. So of course, one day driving back from Newcastle [UK] – I’d gone up to a church with him to hear him preach – and he said to me…”

Read the full interview to see what Chappo said, and what influence that had.

Image: Rico Tice preaching at an Insurance Service at DSt. Helen’s Bishopsgate in 2022.

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