Help, I have to launch a Youth Group!

When I arrived in Childers, I found myself asked to take on the Youth ministry. Like many small country towns, the fellowship suffered from an ageing congregation and Young Adults moving away to the big cities. The previous youth team had faithfully kept a small group going but were tired. I personally am in my late fifties and have a “patched up” back so I have to be careful. This is what we did.

First I prayed. Then I called a meeting for any interested folk to help with Youth Group. As the time drew near, God placed on my heart a model that was a little different. Some folk offered their place to use, which had a fireplace, a food hut and a large area for night games.

Due to unexpected delays, I found myself on Monday still needing to promote the Youth Group launch on the coming Friday. Again, I took a step of Faith. Picking up my church directory, I typed in every email address I could find, even if the folk were 80 years old! All I added to the actual Youth program was these comments. “Hi everyone, if you know anyone who has High School aged youth, could you please forward this Youth Program to them?”

On the first night, we had about 7 folk interested in helping out…A few more folk have since joined the team. So I was able to get some to run the games at the start, others to provide supper at the end and one wise older man to do campfire stories in the middle.

But the real difference was that we invited the parents to stay as well! (They love the atmosphere and get to listen in on the campfire chats). Some parents came back to pick up their youth at Supper time and we put on coffee for them also, but most STAYED and were keen to meet other folk.

On the first night we had 18 youth, plus leaders and parents. That meant around 30 folk were at our welcome BBQ. When finished at 9:00pm everyone kept talking until 9:30. Since then we have had up to 25 youth and a community of about 40. Some of our other church folk have visited and spent the night chatting to parents as well.

As we finished for Easter Break, we gave Surfer Bibles and a copy of “One solitary life” to all the youth including some folk who had never had a Bible of their own.
It is a relaxed model where everyone carries the load, and I get to chat to parents and teens one on one as the opportunities arise.

I have included our Youth Program, to show you what activities the Youth enjoy, and we run an 8-week program per term.

Hope this encourages you,

Pastor Alan Brown


10/2/17 Sausage Sizzle: Be on time as sausages and drink will be ready at 7:15pm sharp. (Look for the glowing balloons on right at 128 Rainbows rd)
17/2/17 Chappy Shane and his amazing mechanics trailer: A great chance to catch up with Shane and to have him share at the Campfire.
24/2/17 The Big Pancake Challenge: Wow you get prizes for cooking crazy pancakes and then you get to eat them! Life’s good.
03/3/17  The Cryptic Treasure Hunt: Be part of the winning team that can solve the clues first. An exciting adventure awaits.
10/3/17  Campfire Relax: Sometimes we just need to enjoy a bit more down time.
17/3/17 The Green Night: Dress green, green food, even the grass is green!! It will be a St Patricks day of green
24/3/17 Marshmallow burning and other cooking fun: Perhaps you can cook better than Chappy Ralph, but it will be lots of fun either way.
31/3/17 Campfire relax: Just Chillin in Childers!!

Posted in Sth Qld District

Ministry To Men

For the past 3 years I have been the director of and speaker at Man Camp. At these 3 camps I have seen every day blokes give life changing teaching, I’ve seen men set free from bondages such as alcoholism, sexual confusion & addiction, fear and anger, I’ve seen men give their lives fully over to Christ and others stand a step deeper in to their faith. The Man Camp experience for myself has been amazing with much teaching and refining from God, deep relationships being built and the pure joy of being an instrument of the Lord.

The focus has always been on setting men free from worldly issues and setting them on a path to understanding their identity in Christ. From the vision God showed me about 5 years ago we have stayed true to that calling and the impact has been amazing and the revelation of God in these men’s lives has been miraculous.

This year, on 3rd June 2017 (08:30-16:00), we are running Man Camp Express at Axis Church, North Lakes. This is a compressed version of the real camp bringing together the most impactful teaching from the last 3 camps into a single day event: Legacy, Identity, Peace & Contentment, Love, Priorities, Son ship, Courage. Designed to be both impactful but also to give a broader audience the chance to see what Man Camp is about. With powerful teaching, a BBQ lunch and connection with other men, this day will be a unique event within our church and will most definitely be an encouragement to all men who attend.

We would love to see as many men as possible attend this event. Please encourage your church, your mates, your husband, your sons and brothers to attend. Register here:

Please contact me if you need any information for newsletters.

Stephen Ellis
District Director for Wesleyan Men
Director – Man Camp
M: 0415 806 649

Posted in WMCA

Kingsley Update

Kingsley Community Training
Kingsley training in 2017 has begun well. Many lay people from Wesleyan churches and other fellowships are learning and growing in confidence through the Kingsley classes. Ministerial candidates can be found in Certificate IV classes (just beginning), studying the Diploma, Advanced Diploma and the Graduate Certificate (the final step to ordination).

Please be praying for Kingsley students and trainers this year. Pray also that God would call many more men and women into a variety of ministries. In the coming weeks- consider how you could encourage someone in your local church or community to begin Kingsley study in semester two, 2017.

Professional Development Opportunities
Each year Kingsley College offers subjects that provide excellent Professional Development for existing leaders. Pastors and leaders are welcome to join a subject for one seminar or for several- at a very reasonable cost. All seminars are available for web conference connection.

Seminars in Christian Education are available on the 24th April, 22nd May, and 19th June.
Seminars in Doctrine of Holiness are available on 1st, 8th, 15th and 29th May, then the 5th June. On the 8th May Peter Lam will lead a study on- Preaching Holiness Today.
The 15th May will see Susan Lee lead the discussion on- Experiencing the Holy Life.
Contact the College office in Broadmeadows for more details- 0423 127 199.

PD opportunities for the second half of the year include;
Church Planting and Development (first week in August)
Mentoring Leaders
Christian Apologetics

Rev Kevin Brown
Kingsley Australia

Posted in WMCA

World Hope

World Hope’s ministry in Cambodia began in 2005 in our effort to combat human trafficking. We worked alongside other faith agencies in a consortium to rescue, restore and reintegrate under-aged girls who had been trafficked into sexual slavery. Over the years of caring for these girls and restoring them we also ran training and education programmes for the community and government officials such as the police, social services etc. In 2013 we closed our centre because we were no longer getting the rescued girls, this is a good news story because our community education had worked. But we still saw a need to help rural Cambodians out of their poverty and so we began the Mushroom House project.

Chany is just one woman whose life has been impacted by her mushroom house. Chany, her husband, and their son used to live in a small house that was in poor condition in the Kompong Siem district of Cambodia. Her husband migrated outside their village for a job cutting wood, but he had to spend a lot of time away from home and often wouldn’t get paid and it was illegal work so the danger of being caught was there.

Even though they didn’t have the financial resources to invest in a business endeavor, Chany was able obtain a mushroom house. Over the past year life has completely changed for Chany’s family. Using the revenue from their mushrooms, Chany and her husband built a much-needed new home. Her husband no longer needs to travel for work. They have an ongoing source of income that not only provides daily food but enough earnings to improve their livelihood. All this with one simple investment—agricultural waste.

They use agricultural waste from one annual planting of rice and mung beans to create an environment for the mushrooms to grow. Since they already have the materials necessary for cultivation, startup costs are cheap—people without credit, opportunity, or savings can participate.

The results of this project have been amazing! Farmers sell their mushrooms at markets in Phnom Penh where their organic product garners twice as much revenue as its chemically-treated counterpart. For more information check our website.


Ruth Thomas

Posted in WMCA

A Year on Prayer

I am known for preaching year-long series. I do this because I believe my role as a pastor is to make disciples, and while I have sometimes grown in an instant, most often I grow by a steady progression towards truth and a new way of doing things. I have also discovered that when I am given too many topics from the pulpit, I get confused as to which ones I should work on. If I am asked to share my faith one week, and work on my marriage the next week, and to read my Bible the next, I find that it is almost as good as an injection inoculating me against taking up any one of the many challenges. I know this is probably because of my personality, but to help my church along a slow and steady journey towards truth, I use a method of preaching I have come to call incremental preaching.

In this method I take a major overall topic and add a small bit of truth to it each week. Using this process I have taught a variety of discipleship topics including A Year on Jesus and A Year on Community. My current theme is A Year on Simple Faith. I plan to spend the year developing principles and tools that help me and others, live faith in a simple but profound way. I’m trying to take away any confusion on the matter and leave people with confidence that they are living the life that Jesus taught.

One year I taught A Year on Prayer. My tag line was “a journey into the meaning, purpose and practice of prayer.” When I announced to my church that I was going to preach the whole year on prayer, besides some thinking I was mad, others wondered how I would fill the year up. They asked me “what will you do after the first week?” Well, all that is history now, and I actually ran out of year before I ran out of material.

These days I get asked the question, “What is one thing you learned out of teaching for a year on prayer?” And my answer is always the same. I learned that prayer is more about aligning my will with God’s will. It’s more about finding out what he is on about and praying for that. It more about his will than my will. It is submitting to what he wants to do in my life and in the world. This does not mean that I stop praying for him to intervene in things over which I have no control; I must still petition him. But when I start recognising who he is and what his plan is, then my prayers change to being less about myself and more about what he wants. This simple truth has changed my prayer life and helped my discipleship life. I find that my recent prayers are much more submitted to Him and what he wants, and they are much more powerful. Now I am more able to pray with integrity the words, “may your will be done on earth as in heaven.”

Lex Akers



Posted in NSW District

Club Solo Turns 35!

After the Rev Bill & Daphne Foster married they felt a calling to mission work overseas. In the middle ‘70’s the Fosters meet the Rev Dr Jim Ridgway of the Australian branch of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, who was studying in America at the time, and persuaded them to come to Australia. In 1974 the Fosters arrived in Australia and took up the pastorate at the Sunshine Wesleyan Methodist Church in Melbourne. Not long after Bill returned to America to complete his Master Studies in Adult Education.

Whilst there one of the areas he looked at was singles ministry. It was at this point that the idea for Camp Solo (as it was originally called) was born. Once they arrived back in Australia he tried to convince Youth For Christ, and other Christian groups, that a singles ministry was valid but no one was interested or saw that there was a need.

During one of the YFC camps on the Gold Coast that Bill would often speak at, some of the leaders and campers were now too old to be at YFC youth camps. They came to him and asked where they could go for a singles group as they were lonely and wanted something suitable for them.

The ‘final straw’ for Bill was when some of the singles in Bill’s church at Sunshine Wesleyan in Melbourne complained about doing everything on their own and didn’t like to go on holidays by themselves.

So in 1982 Bill & Daphne begin preparations for Solo’s first camp. They financed the initial one and ‘Camp Solo’ was born. Bill went into partnership with YFC where they supplied the cook and food and he supplied the people.   The first advertising was made in the July ‘82 issue of ‘New Life’ and announced that Bill Foster would be the speaker.

So on the 10th to 16th January 1983 Camp Solo’s first camp at the Tallebudgera Recreational Centre was a complete success. There were 82 that attended that camp and a lot of people were blessed and came into a new relationship with God because of the ministry given.

The current director, Rev Steve Mitchell, was introduced to Club Solo by Bill Foster one day as they were going to see a football match in Melbourne. I was studying at Kingsley College at the time and was serving at Bill’s church at Sunshine Wesleyan Methodist Church as worship leader. As they entered the ground Bill asked would he be interested in doing worship leading at the next Camp Solo camp at Log Cabin Lodge, Creswick. As it meant a free camp and a chance to get away for a long weekend from college I readily agreed.

Little did I know that 31 years later, after also being registrar and cleaner, I would now be the director. After the early days when I thought it was only a free camp and that would be all, I now know that God was grooming me to take over when the time was right. Steve took over the directorship of Solo in 1997 and has held it ever since. It became a National Auxiliary of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Aus. in 2006.

I was born into a minister’s home and so know well the Christian life within the church. I was also married at a young age of 21 and divorced some 6 years later. After spending 12 years as a single I met my wife through Club Solo.   I do know how singles think and feel, as I have been through marriage, divorce & remarriage, so I know what it is like to be single and Christian.

There have been a lot of great times in his life that revolve around Solo’s ministry and the best of those were finding his wife Michelle at Solo as well as having two wonderful kids.

But probably the most fulfilling thing about Solo for me is to see folk who come to camps and events and you can see them change and become a better person because of the ministry given to them. Even though I am the director I rely heavily on the voluntary committee that help out at functions and camps to make it the best it can be so the ministry to the folk who come is the most effective.

In 2017 Club Solo, as it is now called, is still ministering to single adults around Australia but in a better way since email, internet and websites have developed. More Christian singles are each year are getting ministry through Solo, as well as those that have been coming back for years, and in some cases, decades. They see Club Solo as their family and me as their pastor as the church that they go to doesn’t have anything for singles.

We have regular monthly events as well as camps and holidays away. Our next camp is at the Norval Conference Centre, Halls Gap over the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend in June & then one in NSW in September at Bethshan Conference Centre in Wyee. Our weeklong Gold Coast Holiday follows in January 2018. If you would like any information about these camps and holiday then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

If you would like further information as to how Club Solo can best serve the singles in your church then please don’t hesitate to contact me on the email or website or phone number below.

Thanks for reading

Rev Steve Mitchell


Posted in WMCA

Surrender – Prayer

As I think of prayer & surrender two pictures come to mind, the Stone Mason and the Potter. Have you ever watched a stone mason turn a stone block into a work of art? It is a process of careful intention by both heavy and gentle blows and by scraps to form a beautiful object. It is an aggressive process on the stone that is rigid, resistant and unbending, but the master mason slogs away until the desired outcome is realised. I am reminded of 1 Peter 4-5, “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

The other picture is of a potter at his wheel with a lump of clay. As the wheel spins, the clay within the master’s wet hands is moulded into something useful. The clay is soft, pliable and does not resist the masters touch. Isaiah 64:8   Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. (NIV)

Where can I see the journey of prayer in these two pictures?

Mistakenly we come to the journey of prayer at times with an attitude of wanting to change the world around us with little understanding that we ourselves are part of that world that needs changing. It is to look at the key characters in scriptures seeing the difference they made without seeing the change that happened in their own lives. Joseph when he came to prominence at the age of 30 in Egypt was no longer the spoilt child of 17, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. (Genesis 37)

Discipleship is a journey of change, maybe at times it is feeling the hard blows of the chisel and hammer or the heat of the furnace of the potter’s kiln as the trials of life confront us. It is in these moments that we often cry out to God to intervene or to help us find a way out, and in those moments God may appear quite unresponsive to our immediate pleas. We can empathise with the disciples on the boat in the storm, Mark 4:38, “don’t you care if we drown” NIV. The development of the nature of prayer is the surrender and trust that says yes, I know that you care Lord, even though I do not understand what your plans are. It is to say as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 (NIV) This is prayer/surrender.

I have seen the work of the Mason at the stage when much has happened but still there is no clarity concerning the end product. But the master sees the final piece even before he placed a chisel upon it. I think of Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” NIV

I should note that we all need those that stand with us in prayer, in acts of compassion and in wise counsel as we face the hard knocks of life. For through the prayers and counsel we may find that we need to remove ourselves from those unhealthy situations.

At the other end of the scale there is the temptation to run when we need to hang in there. The journey of prayer can guide us in knowing the path to take, even if that path is just to stay put, to preserve and to grow through the process.

Saying yes to God is not easy when the yes requires sacrifice and surrender. This brings us to the second picture, the Potter. It is to say yes submitting to the potter as a lump of clay on the potter’s wheel, as his hands take a hold of us, moulding us into the people that he wants to be.

Prayer is a journey with God, that in part affects us, in maybe the chiselling away of our misguided aspirations and ideas through the process of seeking His will above our own, that is at its heart surrender. For we long to be transformed a stone before the master Mason or as a lump of clay in the potter’s hands, which can only happen as we journey into a life of prayer that has at its heart an attitude of surrender.

O’ God transform our world, O’ God here am I, transform me.

Rev. Rex E Rigby

National Superintendent


Posted in A Word from Rev Rex, Sth Qld District

Ministry to Men

Or did I mean Men’s Ministry? Simple semantics, but with a big impact. Men’s Ministry being a ministry for men, or Ministry to Men being a ministry focused on Men. It’s a little thing, but it certainly impacted the way I have thought about this ministry.

If the ministry is focused on having men, our efforts will be focused on the numbers of men. If the ministry is focused on raising men, then our focus will be on training and enabling men.

There is no doubt, it’s getting harder to get men involved – we’re busy, have too many competing commitments, a lot of demands on our time, and if you’re like me you still need to find that time to clock off and do, well, nothing. If you were to invite me to an event, a course or a camp, I would need to know that I’m going to not be wasting my time; i.e. how is this going to improve my current situation?

The ministry to men that I have led for the last 4 years, has focused on ministering to men and raising leaders. Prayer and a plan came first.  Praying that God would bring leaders, men to be trained, followed by our first course which not only dealt with restoring a man’s heart but also provided the opportunity to teach small group facilitation to potential leaders.

The one thing I believe in for ministry leadership is passion – God centered passion for the ministry, a calling. The skills, resources and ability will be gifts for some and learnt or developed for others.

In 2017 you have the opportunity to learn these skills and get equipped. We want to support and train leaders to create and run a ‘ministry to men’ in your church as we start to share our learnings over the last 6 years. We plan to run workshops on Creating and Facilitating Ministry to Men as well as Man Camp Express (TBA May 2017) being a 1 day experience of the highlight talks from the past 3 camps and then on 27-29 Oct there is our official district mens camp: Man Camp

God has called me to raise men up and he’s called you to be a leader, an influencer, a light unto others. Please join us as you see these events advertised and feel free to contact me to discus or assist in your church.

Stephen Ellis
Director – Man Camp

Posted in Sth Qld District

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Walker. 

On the 22nd January Daryl Walker, the pastor of Box Forest Wesleyan Methodist Church, married Karen Banting. It was a very special afternoon for the happy couple- but also an exciting day for the church. After the service, the brand new Mr and Mrs Walker (just left of the cross) captured the moment with some of the church at the front of the church building.
Congratulations Daryl and Karen- we trust that God will make you an even greater blessing to others then when you served Him apart.
Posted in WMCA

Congratulations Dorothy!

Congratulations to Dorothy Haaksma who was awarded Citizen of the Year for 2017 at the Childers Australia Day Awards.
Posted in Nth Qld District

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519 Mt Petrie Road
Mackenzie, Qld 4156

PO Box 5436
Alexandra Hills Qld 4161

Ph: 07 3211 0066