Evangelism in Ordinary Life

“As you read this, your next-door neighbor is repairing his water heater.

It isn’t a difficult fix, but he’s going to discover that he’s missing the hex wrench that he needs to complete the job.

So, in about fifteen minutes, you’re going to get a knock on your door from your neighbor looking for the necessary tool – a tool you’re happy to loan him. You’ll exchange greetings and ask him how he’s doing. Because you’ve been neighbors for a while, he’s going to pause, skip the normal ‘Doing just fine,’ and give you an honest answer. …”

– At Ligonier Ministries, Joe Holland has some simple encouragement.

(Link via Tim Challies.)

Pray for Peaceful Proclamation

“On Monday 15th April, a teenager stabbed two Eastern Orthodox priests during a church service in western Sydney, in what seems to be a religiously-motivated attack. The chief target, Bishop Emmanuel, has become simultaneously popular and controversial by being outspokenly conservative in all manner of social issues, from sex to Islam to pandemic lockdowns. This, and the angry response of the crowd that gathered after the attack, have made the NSW Police and Government understandably concerned about the possibilities of an escalating spiral of retaliatory violence.

In this environment, we have an opportunity to pray for and work towards communal, inter-religious peace. Not just for the common good – for love of neighbour, but because that kind of secular peace is good for gospel proclamation. …”

Kamal Weerakoon has this Bible-based encouragement for you at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

“Brace Yourselves!“: The Reduction of Public Bible Reading

“It’s quite possible, as a missionary who has just returned from his first term in another country, that the old bugbear of ‘reverse culture shock’ has made me just a little bit tetchy.

On the other hand, as I’ve travelled to our twelve or so supporting churches (of various denominations) who support us in our work, I may have seen something of what many of us are prioritising as we meet week by week.

Usually I’m the guest preacher, and Revelation 7 (with John’s vision of a ‘great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language’) has been my text. And so, as Bible readings before the sermon, I’ve asked for Revelation 7 along with a few short paragraphs from the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. Now, these are not long passages. And they are certainly not boring! Yet, without blushing, one service leader politely asked me if the short Old Testament readings could be done away with, and Revelation 7 itself – not a long chapter! – be chopped in half. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Mike Fischer notices that something important is missing from some churches.

Bathurst Bishop Mark Calder thanks Sydney church for Kids Club partnership

From the Diocese of Bathurst Facebook page yesterday:

“Bishop Mark was up in Blayney early yesterday to thank the team of 40 people (!) who have come from Norwest Anglican to help run a holiday kids club with Blayney churches.

Pictured here with Pete the minister, Tom the leader and the Rev’d Bec Choi, local convenor. Please pray for their last day today with over 70 local children! Sharing Jesus for LIFE!”

We cannot help but speak — ACR Easter 2024

If you haven’t yet seen the latest issue of The Australian Church Record (Easter 2024), do yourself a favour and download your copy. (PDF file.)

The overall theme is “We cannot help but speak”, and Mike Leite’s Editorial has just been published on the website as a standalone post – but do download the entire issue for your encouragement.

How not to get flustered in evangelistic conversations

“My first job in Christian ministry was in the chaplaincy department of a private school in suburban Sydney. After the best part of a decade as an infantry officer in the Army my hope was that, in comparison, talking to teenagers about Jesus would be pretty easy.

It took me about 15 minutes to work out that, rather than this being a walk in the park, it was closer to a limp through the valley of the shadow of death. …”

— Encouragement from Dave Jensen – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Things that hinder and sins that entangle – with Dominic Steele

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Dominic Steele speaks to our hearts today as we engage in the battle of the Christian life. We get a call today to perseverance and resilience.

Dominic addresses, not just pastors, but young and old; healthy and unfit; wealthy and poor; busy and quiet; husbands, singles, divorcees and widowers; fertile and infertile, straight or experiencing same sex attraction; or struggling in addictions. …”

Watch or listen here.

Food, glorious food for the soul

“We live in a busy age where the temptation is more and more to be disconnected as we live our lives. Look around eating establishments outside the home and it is very common to see headphones cutting off conversation, and to see eyes glued to screens even among people seated at the same table.

The same kind of thing can creep into the family mealtime. What’s more, with the kind of schedules many of us have, the mealtime can be inconvenient, rushed and detached. Many spend their meal times around screens (common or individual) with very little opportunity for the kind of fellowship that sharing a meal can and should provide. …”

The latest Ministry Matters newsletter from CCAANZ (the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand) is all about food.

Bishop Jay Behan (pictured) writes on “Breaking bread together – The power of the family table”.

There’s also an article on how CCAANZ churches are using food to share the gospel.

Don’t give up on physical Bibles

“Last year, when my son went to college, I gave him one of my most precious earthly belongings—the Bible I used from the time I was in high school until I was almost 50 years old.

That Bible went through at least two rebindings, and most of its pages were creased, tattered, or coffee-stained. A few pages were even partially torn. It held almost three decades of markings and notes made from sermons, Bible studies, and personal devotions. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition (US), Chris Polski has some simple encouragement.

Latest edition of The Link from Armidale Diocese

The latest (Feb – March 2024) issue of The Link from the Diocese of Armidale is now up on their website.

Food for prayer.

March – April 2024 Southern Cross magazine

The latest issue of Southern Cross magazine from the Diocese of Sydney is now available for download – and print copies should have reached churches.

Many articles to read – but here are two –

Understanding the Cross – Archbishop Kanishka Raffel (page 22).

“At the centre of the Christian faith are the great Easter events – Jesus’ death on a cross, and on the third day his bodily rising to new life, victorious over sin and death and the devil.

Australians embrace these events as a holiday but most regard them with sentimentality. For Christians, however, the days could not be more weighty, for in Good Friday and Easter Day we glimpse hell and heaven. …”


Remembering Nicholas Ridley – Dr Mark Earngey (page 24).

“Many modern Christians have heard of Thomas Cranmer, some have heard of Hugh Latimer, but most have no awareness of Nicholas Ridley (c1500-1555).

This would have surprised his contemporaries – even his opponents – because of his centrality to the English Reformation. One of his enemies put it like this: ‘Latimer leaneth to Cranmer, Cranmer to Ridley, and Ridley to the singularity of his own wit’. It was thought that if Ridley could be toppled, then the prizes of Cranmer and Latimer would also be won. Evidently, Nicholas Ridley was a Reformation giant of his time, and we can appreciate much from his life and ministry in ours. …”

Download your copy here.

Getting the word right

From SydneyAnglicans.net:

“Dr Peter Ryan was a missionary with Pioneers in Namibia teaching at NETS (the Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary). He and his wife Paula returned to Australia in 2017.

Peter has completed his doctoral studies in Mark’s Gospel at Moore College and now serves as the (very able) director of Cornhill: a ‘Bible handling’ course to help people prepare for ministry – especially in communicating God’s word.

Cornhill has two centres – one at Moore College on a Tuesday and one in Rooty Hill on a Thursday. Peter and his wife Paula have two children. He talks to Simon Manchester, who is also one of Cornhill’s visiting teachers.…”

Read here.

Photo: Peter Ryan.

Latest issue of North West Network

The latest North West Network from the Diocese of North West Australia is now up on their website.

It’s the February 2024 issue, and is an encouraging glimpse into what’s happening in the North West.

(Copy available here.)

The Application Revolution – with Paul Grimmond

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“It’s like they got the exegesis spot on, then closed their eyes, fired an arrow randomly into the air, opened their eyes to see where it landed and said, ‘That looks like a good place to do application!’” – Theological College lecturer on student sermon application.

But are those of us who have graduated from theological college much better? For after all the students are just imitating what we have modelled.

Dean of Students at Sydney’s Moore Theological College Paul Grimmond has just completed a doctor of ministry project on improving application in evangelical preaching.

Watch or listen here.

The Bible Matters Podcast — an encouraging new resource

The Bible Matters Podcast – an initiative of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London – is sure to be a real encouragement – especially (but not only) to preachers.

Launched at the end of January, the first two interviews are with Dick Lucas.

See what’s been published so far at this link.

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