Principles of Prayer

Recently, we viewed the War Room movie at our evening service at Banyule Wesleyan Methodist church. Miss Clara has a special little closet, which she dedicates to praying, and she calls it War Room. While watching, my mind wondered back to my house in search of a closet possibly to be cleared out for dedication as a spiritual prayer room! That was how captivated I was! The word of Jesus came to me: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Mather 6:6) However, the main theme of War Room is not so much about praying secretly in an enclosed area. Miss Clara had firmly encouraged a young wife and mother, Elizabeth, is to pray, pray, and then pray some more, preferably in seclusion for complete undistracted focus, in a battle against Satan, not against her husband. The film director of this American Christian drama, Alex Kendrick, says “we called it War Room because, like the military, we should seek God for the right strategy before going into combat. By combat, I mean daily issues we face in our culture.” The film initially received negative reviews but then it became a box office success and a sleeper hit, with CNN’s report: “some might call it a faith-based David versus the secular Goliaths in the entertainment industry.”

I was moved by the faith-based drama because of my own personal experience in my very first prayer. I had talked desperately to a God whom I did not know then. That prayer led me to my conversion. From then on, needless to say, prayer ranks the top in my list of spiritual disciplines. I thought I knew a fair bit about prayer and know the true meaning of this spiritual discipline … until I spent two months researching and reading more for the development of the new Kingsley Community subject, “Principles of Prayer.” This journey has enriched me to value my prayer life differently. There are so much more to learn from those people whose prayers have changed history and the world; from those committed people of God whose lives greatly honour His holiness; and to learn on the meaning of the effectiveness of biblical principles of prayer.

Kevin Brown and I have spent two months in May and June on the development of this subject. Our desire is that Kingsley Community students, as well as other pastors and leaders, will be encouraged to develop further as people of prayer. Still further, we pray that this subject will inspire a revival for His church.

The preparation for the subject has changed my prayer life. Please be praying with me that God would use this subject, now and in the future, to equip our leaders as men and women of powerful prayer.

Rev Susan Lee

susan-lee-27-4-16

If you would like to join any of the class dates as Profession Development- over web conference- please see the schedule below and call the College office on 03 9357 3699.

 

 

 

Mondays – 10 am to 4 pm: (In the Broadmeadows Training Centre or via web conference)

01 Aug   Seminar 1             An Introduction/Can prayer be taught and learnt? / Exploring with Tozer

29 Aug   Seminar 2             Prayer that changes History and the World / Exploring with Tozer

3 Oct      Seminar 3             The Effectiveness of Prayer / Exploring with Tozer

24 Oct   Seminar 4             The Biblical Principles of Prayer / Exploring with Tozer

21 Nov  Seminar 5             Spiritual Formation: Going deeper into prayer / Exploring with Tozer

Posted in WMCA

Celebrating a Milestone

Maise and Bill Greenlee celebrated Maise’s 90th birthday with their church family at Box Forest Wesleyan Methodist Church.
Bill and Maise have been long standing members of the church and have blessed that local fellowship with their Irish humour and godly walk. Over the years many Kingsley College students who attended Box Forest church were treated to Sunday lunch at Bill and Maise’s. Maise and Bill continue to be a great encouragement to all of their friends at the retirement home and their local church. They are also a role model for many of the teens at the church. In short, they set a great example of a godly marriage and faithful walk with Christ.
maise-90
Posted in Southern District

Celebrating 50th Wedding Anniversary

Dennis and Keren Carnell were founding members of Box Forest (originally College Church) Wesleyan Methodist Church, were married in that church building and have now celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with their church family.

Dennis and Keren have been a great blessing to their local church and to the wider Wesleyan Methodist church over many years. Keren and Dennis celebrated this milestone with friends and family on the Saturday and then their church on the Sunday. They have set a great example to their friends, workmates, neighbours and church of a good marriage and faithful serve to Jesus as their Savior. No doubt God will continue to make them a blessing to others in the years to come. dennis-and-keren-50th-wed-ann

Posted in Southern District

Southern District Conference Report 2016

This was my first time attending one of these conferences and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be boring? Would I know anyone? Will I enjoy it? How does it work?

My initial fears were allayed as I was welcomed with love and enthusiasm by smiling faces on Friday morning.

Through the banterous leadership of our National and District Superintendents we navigated the administration of running a Church/District. There was a healthy balance of unanimity and lively debate as delegates had a say and motions were passed.

On Friday night we had praise and a sermon and we were introduced, with spectacular singing and dancing, to the newly formed Wyndham Samoan Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Saturday morning brought the remainder of our business agenda, with voting on various positions interspersed with reports from some of our Pastors. The Pastors’ reports were a great insight into some of the work being done in the Churches across our District.

Saturday afternoon was a chance to break into smaller groups and learn a bit more about different issues and events relevant to the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Rev David Collins gave a missions update from the Solomon Islands whilst elsewhere Mr Rob Ward and Rev Lindsay Cameron led a discussion about the interface between church and politics. Rev Beryl Baker and Mr Fred Watts talked about ministry to the disadvantaged while Rev Kevin Brown ran a session on interpreting the Bible.

During this time, and despite being delayed by a humorous entrapment in the wheelchair lift, the younger kids went for a trip to the aquarium. Quite a few of the older ‘kids’ tagged along too!

Saturday night was an opportunity for various auxiliaries to gather and hold their own conventions, with one for youth, women, and men. The women worshiped together and heard testimonies from Amy and Taina. I was not privy to the men’s or youths gatherings but others tell me that Rev Lindsay Cameron shared something of the history of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Australia and the Pacific region.

On Sunday morning the Doveton congregation led us in a polyglot praise session and the Upper Room worship team led the worship during which we got to hear and sing some original songs!

The big event of Sunday was the Ordination of Rev Taina Vea and the official receiving into the denomination of Rev Len Calhoun. This was followed by communion.

After the service ended, the youth started jamming and conference drew to a close over the sound of praise and hearty lunchtime conversation.

It was my first conference, but after a weekend of fellowship and praise, conviction and learning, I know that it will certainly not be my last.

Cecelia Tyler

Posted in Southern District

A compassion that gives

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. * (1 John 3:17-18 NIV)

As giving is a part of compassion, so too is compassion a part of who we are as Christians. In our western culture we are taught to stand on our own two feet, it is entrenched in the philosophy of individualism. While its benefits are about being self-sufficient its weakness can be a resistance to being responsible for those around us.

This week on Q&A, Ms Grace Collier, a News Corp columnist, said

“governments did not owe workers any favours. Nobody has an entitlement to a job. Society doesn’t owe you a job. The Government can’t get you a job. The Government shouldn’t have to get you a job. There’s no such thing as Government money. There’s your money and my money.”

While the intent may be to encourage people to not be reliant on others, I have a problem with the idea that implies, you are on your own, or as she says, “there is your money and my money.” Her statement is a Capitalist statement, based on the philosophy of individualism.

At the other end of the extreme is Communism that might have said that there is not your money or my money it is our money. But I do note that this idea of communism is nowhere to be see today. And as someone once said, “the difference between communism and capitalism is that everyone know that communism does not work.”

But for Christians it not my money or your money or even our money it is God’s money. We are stewards as the story of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 reminds us, or as Peter challenges us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” * (1Peter 4:10 NIV)

Ms Grace Collier went on to say in response to being told there is not enough jobs out there. People can start their own businesses”, Now I guess that she would have like to qualify her statement, However I don’t know many people who are unemployed who have the ability or resources to start their own business.

Acts 20:26 give us the response we are to have to this issue, “to work hard, and to help the weak.” for not everyone has the ability to make it without a hand up or a hand along. And the truth is most of us if not all of us have had a hand up at some time in our life, maybe way back when we were children learning life skills that enable us to survive or succeed in this world today.

I come back to the words of Jesus, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” * (Matthew 25:35 NIV)

The word of God calls us to a compassion that gives.

Added to this I look around at those who led the way in the acts of compassion. I could start with Mother Teresa who cared for the poorest of the poor. I see the couple in Port Headland who in their spare time with their own resources are helping the local community of Indigenous Australians. I see Rev. Beryl Baker and the Boronia Congregation that ministers acts of compassion to the homeless and the disadvantaged people in the Melbourne CBD. I see the Nanango church that has what we could call a soup kitchen and foodbank and as does the Life Church in Maryborough. I see Ken & Leanne Baker involved with “Love makes a way” calling the government to deal with refugees with compassion. I could share endless stories of churches, of people across the country that are rolling up their sleeves in regards to acts of compassions. They inspire me.

The example of others calls us to a compassion that gives.

If this is not enough to move us, we need to remember our Heritage.

John Wesley said “gain all you can, save all you can give all you can.”

How are we doing living that out today? The early Methodists were living it out in the prisons, in the schools, on the streets, in the hospitals and in parliament changing the laws, as acts of compassion. They made a difference, through their actions, the broken were being restored. Just as Jesus walked the streets of Israel touching lives with compassion, Jesus was touching lives through the actions of the early Methodist, who is Jesus wanting to touch with the acts of compassion through us today.

Our heritage as Wesleyan Methodists calls us to a compassion that gives.

May we together hear the call of compassion to give of our time, of our resources and of our presence.

Rev Rex E Rigby

 

Posted in A Word from Rev Rex

The Anointed Life

A Message to North Queensland District Conference from Rev Stuart Hall District Superintendent, 26th September 2016

One of the things that came together for our DBA was the sense that we need to be about Making Disciples. Recently in Townsville church, we spent time in the TSM Personal Discipleship course seeking fulfil that mandate of Jesus to Make Disciples. We really need to go back to that first Easter morning.

Remember how the women went to the tomb on that first Sunday Easter morning and discovered that it was empty and were told, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He has risen …” and then appeared to Mary who lingered at the garden tomb. Then John and Peter ran to the tomb, confirming it. Then Jesus appeared to two as they walked to Emmaus, then the eleven without Thomas, and a week later to all eleven. He appears to the disciples who have returned to do some fishing, and particularly to Peter at that morning breakfast to restore Peter, and finally he comes to that moment when he has to leave them. On a mountain somewhere in Galilee, Jesus utters these final words to them.

Matthew 28:18-20

All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go[-ing]
(and) make disciples of all nations,
Baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

And the church has been doing that ever since … to lesser or greater degrees.

Clearly, the church explodes numerically during the first Pentecost, as recorded in Acts, but it becomes complacent about going until persecution forces the church out of Jerusalem first by Jews, such as Saul who became Paul, and then after the generation of the Disciples who mostly died as martyrs, a succession of Roman persecutions, including the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. until the 3rd century.

The church gained a great deal of respectability under Roman Emperor Constantine; 7 church ecumenical councils guide the church until 800s, with the church continuing to expand into Africa, Europe and Asia. About 1050 A.D. the church split into East and West and a period known as the Dark ages followed, with crusades for about 200 years (1090 – 1290), yet God had his “7000” hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal.[1]

The Reformation era began with Luther in the 1500s in Germany, Calvin in France, Zwingli in Switzerland and Henry VIII’s challenge in England to papal authority, leading to much disruption, but a return to putting the Word of God back in the language and hands of the people.

The Wycliffe, Hus, Zinzenforf, Moravian heritage, returning to the Scriptures and the Great Commission, influenced Carey, considered “father of modern missions”[2] and the Wesley brothers, who after their “heart-warming” personal experience are used by God to transform England, which then overflows to America and the Methodist church is born.

Various denominations spring up, seeking to return the church to the Great Commission. The Baptist church emerges in 1845, the Pentecostal church begins in 1916, many other churches spring up during the 1900s, including the Wesleyan Methodist church of Australia, beginning in Glenroy, Victoria in 1946

But the reality of the last century is that the main-line churches of the West have been in decline. Once vibrant, their form tended to replace their function. At this point, a movement has lost its purpose, its way and its impact.

Where do we go from here?

There has a been a number of emerging groups. There was the rise of the “mega-Church”, which centralises the power, and to which the average church does not have the capacity to birth. More recently a movement called the “emerging church” which was a nebulous reaction against institutional formalism, but in the words of Alan Hirsch, one of its own proponents, it produced a club of trendy consumerists, but not disciples. A “missional” movement has followed, which is seeking to embed the church’s identity back into the mission of God, a formal missional “glory” of the early church restored to the church today.[3]

This is a good thing and it is pushing us back to examine our most primary and defining story of who the church is, that of the New Testament Church. But beware of all sorts of extremes, including the power-hungry New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), who have been seduced by the ancient yet subtle lust for power.

It is recognised that the greatest force to refine the church is persecution, when everything is on the line, and no-one takes up following Christ who isn’t also ready to die for their faith. That will sort out the sheep and the goats … and I believe that is why the Lord has allowed what is taking place in the spiritually declining West … it’s part of the natural cycle of things … spiritual vitality à affluence à materialism à spiritual decline à desperation à prayer à revival à spiritual vitality.

So we have come back to the focus of this conference, the Great Commission.

As Rick Warren said some years ago, A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment – to love the Lord with all … and love one’s neighbour as oneself … and the Great Commission will produce to a Great Church.

And he is right.

I love the Wesley’s focus on Love and Discipline – it’s Scriptural, it’s formative, it picks up these same vital ingredients to build a great church.

The TSM Personal Discipleship course fits right in here, as we consider “What kind of disciple do we want to produce?

At this conference, we want to keep that balance: not the formless emerging church reaction that produced very little, nor the formalism that deadened the church in the first place.

As I reflected on our theme, it occurred to me that we could so easily be led down a discipleship path of KNOW and DO, like following a formula, the very problem that has dogged the church over the years – form taking over the function of the church.

I was reading through the letter of 1 John, and found myself confronted by a simple word.

“Anointing”

We can be great followers of Jesus, but without anointing we will lack the power to transform. And I believe that it is a timely word for us as we who love the Word and seek to be students of the Word and disciplined in our obedience of it.

1 John 2:18-29

18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But their gong showed that none of them belonged to us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist, denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us – eternal life.

26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.   27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you remain in him.

28 And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has be born of him.

In an age where John is writing several antichrists have arisen who have lead the people of God astray and get lost. The answer was the anointing. Let’s consider what the Scriptures mean by this.

The theme of knowing the truth links the anointing to a work of the Holy Spirit as we refer back to John’s Gospel. [14:26] But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

This anointing is a working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

If we dig back to the Old Testament we discover things about anointing that is really significant, which will link back to the John passages.

A few Scriptures:

When the children of Israel were setting up the tabernacle of worship, special anointing oil was prescribed.

Exodus 30:25 –27, 35,37

6kg liquid myrrh, 3kg of fragrant cinnamon, 6kg cassia, about 4 litres of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the Ark of the Covenant law, 27 the altar of burn offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so that they will be most holy and whatever touches them will be holy.

35 then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices – gum resin, onycha and galbanum and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred … 37 do not make any incense of this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord.

Beauty of Fragrance

The first thing that is spoken of here is that of fragrance. This was described as the work of a perfumer, which is designed to lift those who smell it into a whole new realm. The aroma brought something beautiful, attractive, pleasant, that made you want to linger in its presence. When someone is anointed, there is something attractive about that person that makes you want to spend more time with them. Here the attraction is a beautiful life that brings you into the very presence of God Himself. When you are with this person, something wonderful and almost mystical about the presence of Christ is with you.

Late in the year about 1979, I recall a visit by Rev Kingsley Ridgway the founder of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia to the Joyful News Wesleyan Methodist Church, in Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, a place known for its low life. Rev Ridgway was a fairly senior man, His speech was a little slow, almost a monotone. His demeanour was plain and his presentation was simple …

… but as the words flowed out of his mouth, each word seemed bathed in the love of God. Each sentence dripped with the Father’s heart for his lost son, aching, longing, patiently waiting, and then suddenly bursting forth when the son arrived home from his long journey. Here the Father’s actions were full of restoring, healing power as the son discovered the greatest treasure of all, His Father’s heart, which had been there all the time.

And oh how the love of God touched the heart and moistened the eyes of that 19 year old young man. What I witnessed was the unction or anointing of the Holy Spirit in a life that was dedicated, given over, anointed by God himself.

The beauty of a fragrant life is power and God wants that for every one of his disciples.

Transforming the lives of others

There is an expression which stands out against most of the Old Testament teaching; “and whatever touches them (the burning altar with its utensils) which are most holy, WILL BE HOLY. [Ex 30:27]

When Jesus ministered in Israel, Pharisees ruled the people with their lists of regulations about clean and unclean. If someone touched an unclean thing, then they had to bathe and make an offering in order to be cleansed, which extended to their rituals of washing of hands. This meant that a section of the community was untouchable, those with leprosy and infection skin diseases. They were relegated to be outside normal society. You couldn’t touch them, because you would be unclean. So they lived in their seclusion, in their isolation and loneliness unable to be touched by the very God who wanted to touch them. We know that because the scripture tells us that when a leper came to Jesus, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you? The leper replied, “I want to be clean!” The Scripture says that Jesus reached with his healing power out and touched him! Something more than physical healing took place that day, as the untouchable became touchable again. That which was defiled was now cleansed. Jesus was not defiled by touching by touching the untouchable. The untouchable was cleansed by a touch of an anointed person. Those who are anointed are not defiled by touching untouchables. Instead there is something powerful and transforming because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life.

Sadly, the holiness movement lost sight of that at various stages, and rules about associations sometimes meant that those who needed the healing touch of God missed out, because we didn’t want to be see associating with the unclean. Was Jesus not accused of this very thing, hanging out with the wrong crowd? Don’t you know that this person is a sinner? How can you call yourself a prophet? Yet that is exactly where the prophet needs to be; where the people are hurting, where the people are defiled. Yes, there are dangers, but the anointing protects.

Jesus Christ wants us to touch the untouchable with His anointing. Yes, you and me, his hands and feet. He wants us to go. He wants us to touch. The anointing is an anointing of God to bring transformation.

  1. BELONGING / ADOPTION
    37 do not make any incense of this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord.

The anointing oil was something that was set aside. It was sacred, and for God’s use exclusively. It’s a clear picture of how God wants to take us as His own, for His exclusive and wonderful use.

This is not just a belonging like I own a car or a computer. I owned a Volkswagen Combi, used it and then got rid of it, replacing it with a Toyota Hiace. I had a Samsung Galaxy S4, and it got a bit worn out, so I replaced it.

God’s belonging is not like that!

The anointing oil was smeared over the surface of the object, not necessarily the entire thing, but symbolically it covered the whole thing. It transformed the whole thing into something sacred. The sacred oil also separated the item apart for God’s exclusive use. The possession BELONGED to God.

This is the picture of adoption, like Romans 8:15

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry “Abba, Father,” the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if children, then heirs.

A beautiful picture of Adoption the Lord has taught me through the welcome into our home of Ana Mae. This is not another “servant” or work unit in our home, but another child. We don’t threaten Ana Mae with, “well, if you can’t get this done, we’ll trade you in for another child!” We have entered into a relationship where we are a Father and Mother, and our house is a home, Ana Mae’s home, a place of permanent belonging, where she will ALWAYS have access. We are constantly speaking out this truth. “Ana Mae, you are our child and we love you and always will. You belong with us and our love for you will never stop. We belong together.”

To be anointed is to be owned by God, to dwell in a place of safety, connection and love. Through the anointing, the Holy Spirit speaks to us, telling us that we are His and He is ours. His love for us will never cease.

Assurance / Authority

Romans 8:14-15 speaks of Assurance, and it is this assurance that gives us another important gift that comes from his anointing – his Authority.

I can come and speak the words of God to someone and they have divine authority, not because I am God, but because these are His Words and as His representative, they have the authority of God Himself. I know that as one anointed, speaking His words, that I am saying what He wants them to hear through my mouth. These words have power in their lives because of the anointing. The child of God who rests in the authority of God, who has not only the assurance of their salvation but the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives through the words that they receive, day by day can face any situation that come against them, even those set up by Satan.

God’s authority allows doors to be opened to us, because we represent the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but the authority is only there under the anointing. As soon as we remove ourselves from under the anointing we do not have His authority. When we step into the pulpit, called by God to feed the flock, with His anointing, we will have his authority. If we do not have the anointing, we should stop filling the air with words that lack power. Walk in the anointing of God!

Truth
The John passage reminds us that the Holy Spirit will lead us into the truth.  Jesus said, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”[4] “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”[5]

As we submit to the Work of God in our lives, as we submit to the Word of God spoken to us, He will reveal truth to us – the truth about sin.

He is not playing games with us. Truth is revealed so that we might adjust our lives. This is wrong. This is less than what God wants for you. Set this aside. This will damage you. The Holy Spirit is faithful to speak to us and he will convict us of our sin.

The Holy Spirit is faithful to speak to us and convict us about the righteousness of God, because He is absolutely righteous. And then the Holy Spirit convicts concerning the fearful judgement of God that will come because of the first two – our sin and His righteousness. It is the pleading work of the Holy Spirit that is yearning for our return for our repentance.

It is the Holy Spirit that is yearning for the salvation of the lost that they might come to repentance.

Leading
A further flow-on from the anointing is what Romans 8:14 tells us. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

The anointing allows us to be lead, because the Holy Spirit will speak in that moment the things that need to be said. He will speak let you know when something needs to be done.

We began this year in Townsville with 21 days of prayer and fasting, which the Lord prompted me to do after telling me to listen to my wife one day. “Sit and listen to this. This is important.” So I sat and listened. That door opened the door to the 21 days, which opened the door to a monthly prayer meeting since Easter, open to all the churches of Townsville, coming together to seek the Lord and His anointing on the churches of Townsville for the sake of the gospel.

Where did that come from, but a leading of the Holy Spirit, on the part of many of God’s people.

It was also that sense of God’s leading that urged Pastor Zane Herrington to pick up the phone to call me, and for me to call our NS Rev Rex Rigby who put me in touch with the Tongan Wesleyan Community in SQ/NSW who were meeting over Easter and the same holy Spirit who spoke to Rev Rachael Tonga to put up her hand to go to Tully going against family advice, but in answer to God’s plan for the Tongan seasonal workers to be properly cared for by a Tongan pastor who knew their culture, heart language and who shared that anointing, so that they will take back that anointing to their own people of Tonga, where tradition has stolen some of the hearts of their people.

Isn’t it true that our District’s church plants have been the result, not of the work of man, but by the leading and anointing of the Spirit of God? Consider the Afrikaanse Christelike Kerk, where Pastor Neels and Marlene Prisloo were led by God to contact Rev Jake Gerber, also from South Africa, the led to their joining our District.

Isn’t it true that the leading of the Holy Spirit raised up Pastor Sanaila and Feasi Bolaqace to step into the ministry training stream and to call the Fijians together to reach other Fijians in Rockhampton and beyond?

This is the anointing that will build the church. This is the anointing that the disciple of Jesus Christ needs to be able to be used of God.

So I want us to see that it is the Anointed Life that has fragrance, beauty and attractiveness for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is the anointed life that has the power to touch the untouchables and bring transformation.

It is the anointed life that experiences the belonging of God through adoption so that we have an eternal family, and an assurance that we belong as the anointing cries out “Aba, Father!” into our hearts.

It is the anointed life that moves with authority to speak and to do what He calls us to do, even in places where the enemy roars like a lion, but we have peace, because He is with us.

It is the anointed life that is the Spirit-led life that tells us when it is God’s time, so that we do not need to be anxious about when things need to happen. No matter the mountains, the deadlines, the threatening situations. We don’t get pressed into offering the sacrifice like Saul, who should have waited for Samuel the prophet to act. God will show up. He will not foreclose on us.

You and I need the anointing of the Holy Spirit, if we are going to be effective as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Am I saying we don’t need discipline or training? Of course not. Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs no to be ashamed.[6] But if we lack the anointing, we have just created a mere institution.

Hindrances to the Anointing

The Scripture says in Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.

We grieve the Holy Spirit when we spoil relationships with bad talk, when we allow the flesh to speak into our lives instead of the Spirit. When we move independently of the anointing, under our own control and not the leading of the Holy Spirit. Instead of walking in the anointing, we substitute our own knowledge, our own wisdom, our own authority. We are pushing aside the Holy Spirit. We are resisting and usurping the Holy Spirit.

Do not quench the Spirit

In the context of praying, giving thanks, rejoicing, Paul says to the Thessalonians [1Thess 5:19] do not quench the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live holy lives. Obey the Word. Obey His promptings. Do not reject His work in your life, his corrections, his directions.

The anointed life is a powerful, soul-satisfying, other-giving, God-glorifying life … we cannot afford to limit God in any way.

Keep close account with God.

Listen for the still whispers of His love for us

Delight in His corrections.

Love and trust his leadings.

 He will make your life fruitful, joyful, powerful.

 [1] Rom 11:4

[2] http://www.crossroad.to/heaven/Excerpts/books/history/hand-of-God/moravian.htm

[3] Location 1608, The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch, Brazos Press 2006, 2016

[4] John 8:32

[5] John 14:6

[6] 2 Timothy 2:15

Posted in Nth Qld District

Nth Qld District Conference Report 2016

This September (26-29), Camp Kanga, Proserpine, hosted our 24th District Conference in North Queensland.

We are on our way to a healthy Provisional District with 188 Covenant Members and 10 churches, 3 Established churches, and a new Tongan Pioneer Fellowship (Tully), stretching from Cairns to Woorabinda (13hrs drive).

Rev Stuart Hall opened the conference with a focus on the anointing that is needed for every disciple to produce a healthy movement as we fulfil the Great Commission. Rev Gary McClintock followed this up with practical challenges from the life of Lot – “Where are you pitching your tent?” and Daniel – Discovering that God partners with true disciples to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!”

District Conference was a real family event this year, with 20 kids and the ministry of Rev Melissa George, our National Children’s Director investing creatively and biblically into their lives and blessing us on our final night with a dynamic worship song. Parents were grateful for morning and evening sessions, so that they could attend the conference sessions and evening rallies.

We were also blessed to have NS Rev Rex Rigby call us to align with the missional heart of God, by Crossing the Road culturally with the good news of Jesus Christ. Rev David Collins updated us on the latest developments at the Noro Training Centre in the Solomon Islands; Rev Kevin Brown brought information about how Kingsley can partner with local churches and Rev Gary McClintock explained the training opportunities with TSM.

The pastors’ forum opened the idea of breaking down goals into smaller measurable steps, discussed ways to engage those who have a called to keep moving in their calling and considered the use of interns and the importance of professional development.

Electives: Rev Melissa George challenged us to take our children’s ministries to a new level by building relationships with parents; Rev Gary McClintock promoted the goal of Christ-like transformation as the object of our small groups.

Doris handled our registration needs; Rev Bert provided transport for our guests, and Kerryn kept us smiling and on time. Chris Leong and Pastor Jazmine (plus team) helped us connect with God in worship each night.

Ministerial students were recognised for their completed studies, Pastor’s reports celebrated, District Officers elected and Pastors stationed to move us into an effective new year in the North. Overall the Conference was a very encouraging time of gathering together to share the challenges and exciting ways that God has been at work throughout the past year and to inspire us to be making disciples for His glory.

Stuart Hall

DS NQDWMC

Posted in Nth Qld District

NSW District Conference Report 2016

What an exciting NSW District conference!!! And exciting for all the right reasons – our DS and his wife have moved into the neighbourhood, we have 3 new church plants in NSW, Rev. Jackson Gill’s ordination credentials were officially transferred to the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia, and Pastor David Eco is back in the land Downunder……

All the praise and glory belongs to our God who is still very much alive and at work in NSW.

Rev. Rex Rigby opened the conference with a vision for the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia, a message of embracing the diversity in our nation and cross cultural ministry focus.

The African Congolese church plant in Wollongong lead by Pastor David Runezerwa and his team, Somoan Faith church in Liverpool lead by Pastor Martin Sua and his team and a new Filipino fellowship in Parramatta facilitated by Rev Arestedes Balatan.

There were a number of presentations at the conference, we welcomed new people who were attending the conference for the very first time, we heard a presentation from Rev. Kevin Brown about the number of different study options that Kingsley College currently offers and we were encouraged by the missions presentation that Rev. Dallas Thomas facilitated. He requested prayer and support for Richard Soto and his family as well as for Alister and Elaine Moss who will serve in the Solomon Islands.

Neville and Linda Osborne from the Pittwater church told the conference about their mission trip to PNG with the Floyds. They were amazed and blessed to see just how much the Floyds do in PNG and how respected they are by the locals – what a witness for Jesus!

It is fantastic to see such enthusiasm and growth in NSW and we are excited for the things to come.

Please keep the pastors in your prayers, holding them up before God for strength and courage to continue to build His Kingdom.

Rev. Lex Akers spoke about implementing Head, Heart and Hands development. He has a wonderful vision for this district which he shared with us and will continue to share over the coming months but he needs your help and support. Please keep Pastor Lex in your prayers as he leads the district.

Posted in NSW District

GO Maryborough: South Queensland District Conference 2016

From Thursday 22nd to Saturday 24th September around 180 people from all over South Queensland District of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia met together at LifeChurch Maryborough for the 2016 Conference. The conference focused on the theme ‘GO’ introduced by our National Superintendent Rex Rigby at the 2015 National Conference.

Here’s an A to GO of what went on in Maryborough:

A: ALL TOGETHER: We worked, shared, prayed, listened, ate and worshiped together – young and old, from city and from country, children, youth, delegates and visitors, lay people and pastors, from different cultures and ethnic groups – blended for three days of being the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

B: BUSINESS: Each morning the business sessions were held, with presentation of reports, discussion of current and new directions, and election of office bearers and members for various positions and committees. Rex Rigby was re-elected District Superintendent, with Rob Simpson as Assistant DS. But the business sessions each day were preceded by a time of worship, and fervent prayer in small groups, as we sought God’s guidance and peace to surround the day’s proceedings.

C: CHILDREN AND YOUTH: While the adults were in Business and Elective sessions, around 25 children enjoyed Pearls, Pigs and Parties – a program that focused on some of Jesus’ parables, with songs, stories, craft, games, memory verses, and even a Master Chef afternoon. Prepared and led by Kathy Eddie, Kerri Burton and their team, life in the Children’s program was hectic but enjoyed by the participants. Meanwhile about 40 Youth, working with Rachel Mayer and her team, learned that you don’t have to be an adult to be in ministry – and that you can GO without necessarily leaving home. On Thursday they wrote cards of encouragement for each of the delegates (pastors and lay people). On Friday they extended their ministry to pray for themselves and others, including churches and missions, using the Lord’s Prayer as a model. But it wasn’t all work – one afternoon they enjoyed a Scavenger Hunt in Maryborough. The youth also joined in the Conference worship sessions each morning.

D: DEVOTIONS: On Thursday and Friday mornings, before the business sessions, we began our day with devotions focusing on the GO theme. On Thursday Rev Rob Simpson helped us reflect on Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (John 4) and the choices Jesus made to GO through Samaria, to speak to the Samaritan woman, and to offer her life. On Friday morning Rev Risatisone Taufao spoke from Hebrews 11:1-7, encouraging us to GO with faith that perseveres.

E: ELECTIVES; EVENINGS: On Thursday and Friday afternoons from 1.30 to 3.00 it was time for Electives. Topics included Pastoral Care of Children, Finding Purpose in Your Retirement, Marriage and the Family, Multicultural Ministry in the Local Context, and Inspirational Worship.

Each evening we enjoyed a time of worship, with our guest speaker Rev Clint Ussher, pastor in Christchurch NZ (but back at the church he attended as a child!). Thursday evening Clint spoke from Genesis 12:1-9 about Abram’s call to GO with God. Friday night’s focus was on Jonah, and his attempts to GO away from God.

F: FOOD; FUN; FAMILY; FRIENDSHIP; FELLOWSHIP: LifeChurch members took care of all our needs for food each day, with a sumptuous spread for Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner. After Electives each afternoon there was free time to catch up with family or friends, have fun sightseeing around the Maryborough and Hervey Bay area, or just catch up with some needed sleep.

G: GOING OUT: During our final service from 11am on Saturday our District and National Superintendent Rev Rex Rigby spoke on Rediscovering the Missional Heart of the Gospel. He challenged us to GO out to minister to people of all cultures, backgrounds and experiences, especially those who are different from ourselves. At this service Rev. Doug Baigrie and Rev. Anamani Logo were welcomed as Commissioned Ministers within the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia.

So on Saturday afternoon 24th September we went out refreshed, revitalised, and renewed, and enthused, enriched and encouraged to work in our churches and ministries in South Queensland District for the next 12 months.

Pam Reed
Coochiemudlo WMC
Conference Reporter

Posted in Sth Qld District

A Church Plant Twenty Years in the Making

Goldfields Wesleyan Methodist Church in Heathcote began services in our home on the 19th of May 2016.

However in God’s scheme of things it began one Sunday evening in September 1998.  How, you may ask could a new church plant begin eighteen years before the first service. Let me explain.

Gayle and I had been worshipping at another denomination for a number of years where we were in charge of the Sunday school.  After a service one day, the senior pastor came to inform us that our services were no longer needed as it has been reported to him that our baptism was not in accordance with the theological principles of that denomination. “Unless you are willing to be rebaptised, we would have no place in the life of that church.”

We felt hurt and unwanted. Where were we to worship? What would we do? There was no other suitable church for us in the area. In desperation Gayle told me she had heard of a Wesleyan Methodist Church about half an hour from where we were living. She asked would I like to go there and see what it was all about.

“I will go next Sunday” I said and added, “that will be the last time I set foot in a church; I am tired of the in fights and squabbling. All they want is their own way and can’t see that other people may have slightly different ideas on what I consider to be noncore theological issues”. Begrudgingly I went.

“Wonderful” I thought as I entered the service, “about twelve people here, this is obviously not a successful church. I guess I can put up with it for a service then it will be all over”

How wrong I was! The people in front of us turned and spoke to us.  Not a casual hello, but a genuine interest in who were and where we came from. The pastor came and made herself known she took a great interest in us and invited us to the church tea after the service. We felt accepted, we felt loved, and we felt wanted for ourselves not for what we could do for the church. I was overwhelmed by what I found – a church that genuinely loved people and didn’t use them for its own ends or major on minor theological differences.

As time went by we were introduced to Kingsley College courses leading finally to ordination and a parish for us.

Move on to 2016. Again we were in a quandary. I had completed my time at the Uniting Church and we needed another place to worship. There was none. Two choices were available to us, move or travel a long distance. Neither was appealing.

A person approached me saying, ”Churches don’t need walls we could worship anywhere. Why not start a Wesleyan Methodist Church in Heathcote?” “Yes”, I thought, “a church planter I certainly am not.” Saying nothing to anyone I laid my plan before God.

“If three people come with a similar suggestion, I will arrange for a monthly fellowship type activity in my own home”. I left it there. Three people came, in fact seven people made similar suggestions.

We had no choice. God was really in this work. On May 19th we had a service in our home. Thirty seven people came. Many of those were friends from Bendigo who came to support us. It was a wonderful time of sharing followed by a barbecue lunch.

As one person was leaving I was asked when the next gathering would be. Out of my mouth fell the words, “Next week here same time, but no lunch” What have I said! Next week up early clean up the family area and set up a church meeting. This time seventeen people were present. After six weeks we have Thirty three people on our contact list – all who have been to a service at least once and four others who have indicated interest but are currently on extended vacation.

The suggestion was made we move to the Guide Hall. We did and since then we have had an average of twenty people attending, transfers from other local churches, but more marvellously some from the local area who have had no connection with a church of any type. Each Sunday we have had one new person attend.

God has been so wonderful. All our needs have been supplied, both material – we bought a Communion Set from a local Op Shop for five dollars – and human resources.

Among our highlights has been an infant dedication giving us the opportunity to preach the message of salvation to many who had no church connection at all.

We praise God for the marvellous things He is doing in our midst and know that we must keep faithful to Him and seek His plans, not ask for ours to be blessed.

How has all this been possible?

  • We acknowledge it is God’s work not ours.
  • Praying friends have supported the work.
  • Living in a small country town the people know the leaders personally.
  • Care has been taken to follow up each new person.

Please remember Goldfields Wesleyan Methodist Church began in the heart of God almost twenty years ago when He led two hurting Christians to a loving fellowship led by Rev Beryl Baker to be cared for and carefully nurtured.

As a church our challenge is to show love to each person that God brings into our congregation that perhaps sometime in the future someone else will be able to say “I have been able to do a work for God because I was nurtured in the loving Wesleyan Methodist congregation at Heathcote.

Perhaps it is your challenge also.

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Posted in Southern District

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