Category Archives: ministry

Digging Deeper Bookclub

We’re trying something new for St Paul’s this year. It’s a bookclub.

Now, that’s not new in itself. But its not quite the typical ‘Jane Austen’ style bookclub.

Here’s how it works:

– I pick 4 books for the year, 1 per school term (since that is the way the church year is generally structured). The aim is to cover a range of topics and interests, including 1 which is a ‘classic’ author. People can choose to opt in for 1,2,3 or 4 books.
– people sign up, and we source the books for them. The bookclub members pick up their books from our College of Ministry table after church, or from our office during the week.
– once people have the books, they can interact with each other in 2 ways
* a Facebook bookclub group. It is a ‘secret’ group, so all members know that their
comments can only be seen by others in the bookclub’.
* 1 supper during the term at someone’s house. This provides both an avenue to interact
for those who aren’t online, as well as an opportunity to explore theology together in
face to face relationships.

The idea behind this initiative was to provide another opportunity to stretch people who may have been Christians for a while, in a self-guided educational model. It also serves as a means for people to get into reading Christian books. Lots of people have said to me that they have wanted to get into reading, but didn’t know where to start. One the advantages of this system is that someone else has chosen the book for you, and you have the extra incentive to read it in that you know that others are reading it with you and you can chat with them about it.

The books for this year are:

Term 1 – 666 and all that, Greg Clarke and John Dickson
Term 2 – On Christian Liberty, Martin Luther
Term 3 – Living with the Underworld, Peter Bolt
Term 4 – The Reason for God, Tim Keller

We had 75 for the first term. A few teething problems with te Facebook and the suppers, but a pretty good start.

Thoughts, comments, questions, suggestions?

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Filed under bookclub, ministry, theology

great link added

I’ve just added a link to the Tyndale Tech blog.

Wonderful stuff, giving updates on technology and mining the riches of God’s word.

Its already been added to my Google Reader – why not yours?

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Filed under computers, ministry, technology

the ministry of kicking

Heard a great line from Tim Keller the other day.

He likened so much of pastoral ministry to ‘kicking a Coke machine’.

People are the machines, and the gospel is the coin. The coin goes in. Its in there – the people are Christian – but there’s no appropriate output! No ‘fruit’.

Ministry then is kicking the machine until the coin drops. (I don’t think it actually involves feet…). In other words, helping people to see how the gospel affects and transform how we think about every single aspect of our lives, so that we end up with spiritual fruit, gospel shaped lives, for the glory of Jesus who died to make it possible.

I’m praying that it drops in me, pray I can help it drop in others. Better get my boots on…

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First day at St Paul’s

Well, the first day has come and gone.

It was weird to come back to a place where I was student minister 8 years ago. Much has changed, but it was nice to see a whole bunch of faces that were familiar (and even remember some names – not bad after 8 years!). People were very friendly and welcoming, which was great.

What a mixture of messages that were preached over the 4 services – 2 Chronicles, John 17, Hosea 13-14, and 1 Corinthians 15-16! That much hasn’t changed – people here are still people of the Word. I look forward to the privilege of opening the word with them in the near future.

Thanks to those who have prayed for us in the transition. We are feeling settled in our new house, and ready for this next chapter in the Baker family lives to begin.

Grace and peace.

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Filed under life, ministry

‘Calling my replacement!’

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Filed under ministry, moving

A Brother Steps Up

Last night, I had a ‘back to the future’ experience. I had the great privilege of attending the ‘Commencement Service’ for Raj & Nicole at Toongabbie Anglican Church in Sydney’s west.

Raj is a brother of mine. We went through College together for 4 years.

Toongabbie Anglican is my home church. Its where I grew up, learnt about Jesus, understood what it meant to be Christian, learnt how to lead bible studies, services, do music, do puppets, do dramas, met my wife, married my wife, learnt how to preach, and heard the call to full time ministry.

Last night was great. It was wonderful to see people at Toongabbie who were influential as I was growing up. And it was great to know that they are in good hands, as Raj and Nicole lead TAC into its next phase of living for the glory of God.

May God bless you guys and his people through you.

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