The war zone of the Pastor’s Heart – with Peter Orr

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Peter Orr says there is a crisis among pastors. He says a fight is on for our hearts, ministry and joy.

Pastoral work will only be a joy and sustainable if the congregation self consciously reciprocates the love and encouragement that is extended by the pastor to the congregation.

Peter Orr, who lectures in New Testament at Sydney’s Moore Theological College, is the author of a new book ‘Fight for your Pastor’…”

Watch or listen here.

Fight For Your Pastor

“Sometimes a preposition makes all the difference. We do not need to look far to find examples of Christians who fight with their pastor. If you speak to just about any one of them I expect he will be able to tell you of people who have fought him tooth and nail over some peeve, some cause, some perceived slight. But much rarer are those who fight for their pastor, those who honor him and his position by battling for his success, for his joy, for his encouragement. …”

Tim Challies reviews Peter Orr’s book “Fight for your Pastor”.


‘Wokeness’ used to be amusingly eccentric – now it’s an authoritarian bid to re-write the history of Western civilisation

“That political use of the term ‘woke’ still has many Australians puzzled.

It’s probably the word I’m asked to explain more often than any other.

So, let’s see if I can give a definitive account of the word’s origins, history, development, and how it’s being used now.

It first appeared in print in America in 1891. …”

– Broadcaster and word expert Kel Richards introduces mystified Australians to the meaning of “woke”.

Mental health and the Pastor – with Keith and Sarah Condie

On The Pastor’s Heart this week:

“How is God’s power at work in human weakness?  What does it mean to say ‘True health is about being in right relationship with God?’

How do we affirm human worth and recognise the complexity of functioning?  What is the connection between our inner and outer life?

How do we distinguish between sickness and sin?

What difference does a Christian community make?  And how can God’s compassion and care be expressed in the midst of difficulty?  …

Sarah and Keith Condie are directors at the Mental Health & Pastoral Care Institute, which is part of Mary Andrew’s College in Sydney.”

Watch or listen here.

On the Giving of Gifts

“Back in the 90s the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman came out. The ideas in that book are something I still hear people talk about today.

The premise is that people express and receive love in five key different ways. They include words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.

I remember first reading this list and being a little bit repulsed by the receiving gifts one. It seemed to me such a selfish, materially focused way of wanting to be loved. Yet as I read the book and reflected on the ways that I have most felt loved, I was shocked to discover that receiving gifts actually was my primary love language. Yikes!

I think many of us feel a hint of this same repulsion at the gift giving that goes on at Christmas …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Jocelyn Loane explains why she is seeking to embrace gift giving this Christmas.

How to Change Your Church

“Pastors often ask me, ‘How do we get our churches to change?’ Too many ministers have alienated their churches trying to bring change. Some have even been fired.

Still, as shepherds, we must lead our churches to change, even though such change will often be difficult. Here’s a few suggestions about how to bring change: teach, stay and love. …”

– In this brief article at 9Marks from 2010, Mark Dever writes about long-term change in a church. Much encouragement.

Quiz Worx Christmas video for 2022 — The Saviour of the World

The wonderful team at Quiz Worx have released their Christmas video for 2022.

“What do a Surf Lifesaver, a Firefighter and a Dr have in common? They all save lives! 

This Christmas join Aneeka, Cosec and the Quiz Worx team to discover what the Bible teaches: that Jesus is the greatest lifesaver ever because Jesus is the Saviour of the World!

This 17-minute video is ideal for use in SRE (NSW) and RI (QLD) classes and assemblies. It is recommended by the creators of Beginning with God, Connect, Big Questions and GodSpace, and supports the learning outcomes of these curricula.”

See the promo video – and register to see and download the full video resource – here.

They also have lots of other very helpful resources on their website.

Christianity: Weird and Wonderful — Rory Shiner on ‘The World Next Door’

Recorded in August 2022, Glen Scrivener from Speak Life in the UK speaks with Rory Shiner about his new book, ‘The World Next Door: A Short Guide to the Christian Faith’, which he co-authored with Peter Orr.

It’s a fascinating interview with very helpful insights into sharing the gospel in our culture.

Watch here. The book is available from Matthias Media.

Put on your glasses

“On our recent trip to the UK we went on two Christian Heritage walking tours, one in Edinburgh and one in London. Both were excellent.

In Edinburgh we followed the path of the Reformation and the brutal treatment of the faithful Covenanters.

In London we visited John Newton’s church, St. Mary, Woolnoth, as well as many other significant evangelical centres in the square mile which makes up the city of London.

I was struck at the value of having a guide who can give so much extra background information. …”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook draws attention to the importance of knowing history.

(David mentions this book.)

What to do with Santa?

“Personally, I have been thinking about how I should relate to the character of Santa for many years now.

As a child, I was taught that Santa was real. I believed that he lived in the North Pole and on Christmas Eve he somehow entered our house (we had no chimney) and gave me presents if I had been a good boy. I would even leave him cookies and a glass of milk, and the proof of his existence was the fact that these had been consumed by Christmas morning. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Simon Camilleri (author of “When Santa Learned the Gospel”) has some simple advice for Christian parents.


New song for Christmas from Emu Music

Emu Music has released a beautiful new song for Christmas – Jesus is His Name.

Watch at the link – and audio tracks and sheet music are also available.

Expository Preaching Trust opportunities in 2023

“Lord willing, the EP Trust is planning the following opportunities in 2023…”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook shares what they hope to be doing to promote preaching in 2023. Lather and Shave Preaching Clubs, Mentoring, Preaching Workshops.

Take a look and register interest.

Photo: David Cook speaking at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, August 2022.

Launch 2023

From Phillip Jensen:

This Sunday is the vital time to invite your Year 12 students to join us at Launch 2023.

The final exam will be over, they are thinking about what’s next and this is much more important than schoolies.

Launch starts with a Launch Day in December.

Launch Day

– Tuesday 13 December at Moore College
–  meet other year 12s and leaders going to Launch camp
–  a great Bible talk to focus priorities before the long break
–  fun, friends and food provided

Launch Camp
–  30 January – 2nd February 2023
–  Katoomba, KCC and CMS sites

Launch camp has been an enormous help to so many students as they begin uni days with Christian friends and enfolded in uni Christian ministries.

The aim of Launch is to work out together what it means to live for Jesus in the transition to post-school life – years that are likely to be the most formative years of life.

Details and registration. And download a flyer.

‘Sexuality and holiness’ – a review

“An excellent new resource on a faithful Christian response to sexuality and gender controversies courageously goes further than many standard evangelical treatments of this challenging topic.

Sexuality and holiness: Remaining loving and biblically grounded in a rapidly shifting culture’ is written by Mike Williams, the senior minister of Reigate Baptist church, and it is rooted in a pastoral heart, as well as clear biblical understanding and also unusual spiritual and prophetic insight. …”

– At Anglican Mainstream in the UK, Andrew Symes reviews a new and very topical book.

In his review, Symes writes,

“There is a need for widespread repentance – again, for all sin not just homosexuality – as we recognise the right of God to send tribulation. Will faithful women and men stand in the gap, in intercession, pleading for God’s mercy on the nation and the church, hoping for revival?”

Image: Christian Concern.

A breakdown of the Australian National Church Life survey – with Peter Mayrick and Ruth Powell

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Sunday Church attendance across Australia is down, but decline has slowed.

The Australian National Church Life Survey results are out.  Worryingly the key newcomer indicator has dropped to 5.7%.

While evangelism is down, engagement in church based service groups is up. Mid week small groups are up.

We take a hard look under the bonnet of the top level results.

Ruth Powell is National Director for the National Church Life Survey.

Peter Mayrick is with Partners in Ministry and the Center for Ministry Development at Sydney’s Moore Theological College and is a board member of the National Church Life Survey.”

Watch or listen here.

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