Jun 26, 2008

Definitions of Worship & Evangelism

"Worship is bragging about God to God.
Evangelism is bragging about God to others."
Ps Mark Batterson

Jun 25, 2008

The New Stained Glass

As I'm surfing the net the sound of thunder is rolling over my house. I love it! Back in South Africa we would have the meanest thunder and lightning storms. I find them so intriguing.

I have a wonderful post for you to read that was written by Pastor Mark Batterson of NCC church. I know that it will inspire you to get into the Word of God and challenge your thinking about the Word of God. Click HERE to give it a read.

How do you 'get into' the Bible? Please comment and share your methods, struggles and victories in reading the Word.
By the way, if you haven't got an electronic Bible then click HERE.

By the way, I have literally just joined twitter. You can follow what I'm up to by checking me out on twitter by clicking:
http://twitter.com/clivesmit or you can follow me on my personal blog HERE. Just another way we can stay in touch. I'm going to give it a 30 day trial.

Till next time...
Godspeed & Kaizan

Jun 16, 2008

Do You Carry the Vision?

Without realizing it... us churchies are truly so blessed a people... in countless ways really. But the one way that I want to focus on today is vision.

The majority of people today really are just floating along in life... could I even be so daring as to say dead from the neck up? So many are just going through life... they are just part of the grind, going round and round the empty hamster wheel.

"Is there anything worse than being blind? Yes, a man with sight and no vision."
Helen Keller.

But as churchies we come to church and are blessed to know that we have purpose and that our churches have vision. We are not just here to use up O2... we are here to Win people to Christ and to Develop them... to see Christ's Kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven.

We get to spend our lives investing in God's Kingdom... in the lives of others. We truly get to live the blessed life.
The troublis is though that we can become familiar with this great blessing... we can get used to the vision messages at church... we can grow cold and hardened to these messages.

Here are 7 Signs that you truly have the vision (I got this from a message I heard from Ps Michael Pitts):

  1. If you have the vision you can carry it in the absence of the visionary.
  2. If you have the vision you should be able to communicate it to others.
  3. If you have the vision you ought to be thinking about it even when you're not at church.
  4. If you have the vision then you find ways to further it.
  5. If you have the vision you rejoice at the accomplishment of it.
  6. If you have the vision you see the importance of it (the eternal consequences).
  7. If you have the vision you seek to establish it ( to make it permanent and perpetual).
So here is the challenge... do you have the vision of the Eastside community?
If not... what steps will you take to truly owning the vision?
If you do find yourself lacking... why not give one of the managment team a call, lets sit together and lets chat and dream together of what could... and must be.

Godspeed & Kaizan

PS: Have you checked out my personal blog yet? Click HERE if you want to check it out.

Jun 11, 2008

Are You Close To God?

What an exciting past 2 weeks we've had at Eastside. Over the weekend of the 1st June we had 10 baptisms in our services and this last weekend over the 7 & 8th June we had another 11 people commit their lives to Christ. And I just heard hot off the press that 2 of our Reverb (Uni aged) boys led 2 people to Christ on Tuesday!
There is definitely a growing sense of momentum as God smiles down on us at Eastside.
Mat 9:37-38 ESV (37) Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; (38) therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
Mat 10:1 MSG
(1) The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives.

The truth is that people are ready to hear about Christ... people are open to God.
The harvest is NOT the problem.
The problem lies with us Christians who are not investing our lives in lost people. The problem lies in us Christians who are too timid to verbally share our faith.
The problem lies with our mindsets... we think that people don't want to hear about Jesus... but the truth according to Jesus is that they are ready!

Let me encourage you to share your faith this week. Weather you do that socially, confrontationally, sharing intellectually, sharing your testimony, inviting someone along to a service or life group etc, or even through serving their felt needs... whichever way you choose to do it... intentionally plan and commit to do it this week!
As a management team we have committed to have a 'story' each fortnight of how we have reached into the world of someone far from Christ.

We are called to be salt... and salt was never meant for the salt shaker! I love the quote below... may it challenge you:

If you aren't close to someone who is far from God you may not be as close to God as you think."
Vince Antonucci

One of the greatest barriers we face are the internal voices in our heads telling us that we aren't good enough or qualified enough etc. etc. May the below video encourage you as you determine and commit to reaching out to lost people this week!

I look forward to your comments : )
Godspeed & Kaizan

Jun 5, 2008

A Few Thoughts From Rico

Hi I’m RiCO

I run the Fuel the 11-13’s ministry here at Eastside.

A few weekends ago I had the privilege of being able to attend KIDS LIFE 08 as a guest leader, a 1 day conference for kids in years 5-6 at Life Church in Mt Eden.

I was slighty apprehensive as I drove up to Auckland, considering the conference was for kids and not even with the age group that I work with but I had heard that Rob Bradbury (Planetshakers Melbourne) was gonna be there and was keen to meet him.

When I arrived at 10am I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly staff and over 100 screaming excited kids getting dropped off by there parents. We were moved into a room where a man dressed up as Uncle Sam, was getting the kids all excited and ready to go into the auditorium. I new nothing of what to expect but was quickly amazed at the days proceedings.

I followed the kids into the Auditorium where I a full band was playing and the kids were all up the front going hard worshiping God, hands in the air, singing and loving it, its looked kinda like a mini Hillsong, but with young kids.

After about 3 song the Children’s Pastor, Stephanie Sewell got up and gave an amazing talk to encourage and excite the kids about what they can do in there world. She told storys of amazing young Christians throughout the world.

As I can remember:

Her first story was about a group of children living in a closed country where you will be put in prison for learning about Jesus, cos it is illegal. One day a group of kids climbed up into the attic and found a radio, turned it on and there was a Christian Radio show. They would sneak up into the roof and listen everyday after school, until one day he gave them the opportunity to ask Jesus into there hearts. So together they all prayed and asked Jesus into there Hearts.
A while later on the radio the man said that Jesus was the great physician and that through him people can be healed. On hearing this the kids immediately thought where are the sick people…”in the Hospital they thought” so they snuck into the hospital, and made there way to the 3rd floor where the sick people were.
They found a man sick, hardly being able to breath seriously ill. The laid hands on him and he was healed and began to walk around the hospital floor. The continued to pray for people on the 3rd floor and when they were finished the whole floor was well.

Another story of a young six year old Evangelist living in the slums of Indonesia who was preaching to his friends and neighbours and seeing them saved. One day he was kit by a bus as he crossed the road by his house. At the funeral the children were not aloud in due to the culture, but when the aid workers arrived the first 3 rows were full of 50 small children, they said
“what are you doing here, you are not aloud to be here!” The kids replied
“how could they not, this boy was the only one who told us about Jesus.

By this stage I was getting pretty excited myself, and wanted to sneak into Waikato Hospital and heal everyone. These stories all showed young kids standing up for Jesus in there lives and leading the way, often before adults. This is when I found out that the Conference was a LEADERSHIP conference for yr 6-7. Then I knew I was in for a treat. You can’t go wrong teaching leadership skills to young people, especially super young people.

After a quick break we had Rob Bradbury, a absolutely crazy mad Kids Pastor from Australia come and talk to us about dreams and how important they are for our lives and as Christians. His way of communicating with the kids was amazing and hilarious, doing voices and acting out silly skits and telling stories from his life. He shared his dream and one of the things was that he had a dog called RiCO. I was like yeahhhhhhhorr then he said it was a dog. But I didn’t care cos it was a great conversation starter.

After this message and lunch we came back and I saw what I really went up there for. I saw the leaders heart for kids to get connected into God and to truly experience him for themselves. Their Pastor Stephanie and Rob Bradbury began to minister to these kids and I saw the true unashamed passion for Christ which a rarely see in adults displayed in such young children.

It excites me from my head to my toes to see people getting excited about God, being filled with the Spirit, praying, seeing people healed and ministering to each other.

May it continue and increase to all the ages.