• What is Your Church Doing to Raise and Train up the Next Generation of Leaders?

    Below is a photo of the Catalyst Crew and I taken a few weeks ago. Catalyst is a program that we run at Resolved for university students to train them to be next generation of leaders of the church.

    Catalyst started because I was challenged by Mark Dever (sorry to name drop) to start training the next generation of leaders. When He challenged me to start some kind of training program I said “I don’t have time right now.” To which he replied “You’ll never have time.” After this conversation I  felt compelled to start training the next generation of leaders. So I planned out what we were going to do, I got some guys together and we started at the start of this year.
    All we do at Catalyst each week  is read a section of the Bible (we went through Romans this year), talk about a section of a book or an article that we have all read during the week and work on a ministry skill i.e. how to have a pastoral conversation. (If you want the program of what we did this year email me at hans@resolved.org.au) There was some legwork in planning all this out and putting it together but I am glad I have done it and I am looking forward to Catalyst starting again next year.
    What is your church doing to raise and train up the next generation of leaders? What if you got some young keen beans together for a few hours each week and you read a section of the Bible together, you talked about a section of a great book (maybe Knowing God by Packer)  and you trained them in a ministry skill?
    Would it take time? Sure but what are you going to do with your time? Read more blogs?
    Would it be hard work? Well if you call reading the Bible and great books with people hard work I guess so.
    Would your church reap the benefits in the future? Definitely!
    What are you doing to train the next generation of leaders for the church?
    This post is dedicated to Rachel, Coen, Hannah, Alie and Steph for being the first Catalyst group. You guys are awesome and I am so looking forward to next year! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through you both next year and into the future!
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  • An open letter to Resolved

    Hey Guys,

    I just wanted to say I was so encouraged last night as I saw us all band together to make our opening week at Golden Grove a success!

    So many of you gave up most of your day to come and help out or make sure that things were just right for our first night. That is really pushing the flywheel!

    Thanks to all of you who brought someone new. It was great to see so many new faces at Resolved last night.

    I can’t wait to see  what God is going to do in our midst as we attempt to impact Sydney with the love of Jesus For God’s glory!

    Your Brother in Christ,


  • Resolved is moving!

    After about 18 months at The Roxbury Hotel in Glebe, Resolved church is moving to Golden Grove, which is at 5 Forbes Street, Newtown. We are very excited to move but I’m sure some of you are asking, ‘Why the move?’ I mean, when you’re at a cool pub why not stay there? Here are the reasons for the move:

    1. Space. Right now at the Roxbury, if we hit our average for the year the room is feeling full. This is an issue because we want people to feel like there is always more room for new people and there are always seats for their friends that don’t know Jesus. Right now a semi full room is not allowing us to grow. Golden grove has an auditorium which can seat over 100 people. This will allow Resolved to enter into its next stage of growth.

    2. Crèche. Over the past little while there has been an influx of new life at Resolved and we therefore need a dedicated room for Creche. We did make do at the Roxbury but to move forward we need a room where kids can be taught about Jesus and play safely, and Golden Grove has ample rooms for this to happen.

    Other than room for growth and crèche, the Golden Grove site has many other things going for it. Here’s a sample:

    • Very close to public transport
    • Great parking
    • Beautiful grounds
    • Close to great food on King Street in Newtown,
    • Very close to Sydney University, which will help our outreach to the university.
    • Very close to government housing blocks, which we can seek to impact with the love of Jesus

    In short, I’m very excited about the move and I’m hoping that you are, too! Please pray that God would use to Resolved to impact the city of Sydney with the love of Jesus, for God’s glory!

    Click here if you want to come to the Resolved Prayer Night at Golden Grove.

    And here, if you want to come to our First Service at Golden Grove!

  • Training the next generation of leaders

    “What are you doing to raise the next generation of leaders in the church?”

    This is the question that Mark Dever put to me least year when I was over in Washington. He said that all pastors should be working hard at raising the next generation of leaders of the church because if we don’t who will?

    So what is your church doing to raise the next generation of leaders? Are you doing anything at all?

    This month I read a book called The Leadership Pipeline by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter and James Noel. In the book they talk about how there is a leadership drought in corporate America. That business leaders havent developed their people to be skilled at the different levels of leadership required of them, as they go up through the corporate ranks. What companies need is a leadership pipeline which is a strategy for developing leaders from the ground level right through corporate management to CEO.

    This had me thinking about Resolved and how we are doing with leadership development and whether we should have a leadership pipeline. I think we should but what stages would be in it?

    What leadership programs have you been in? What do you think?

    What do the leaders of the church need to be trained in?

    How should churches train the next generation of leaders in the church?


  • I am so excited about what God is doing at Resolved!

    I am so pumped to be the pastor of Resolved!

    I Love the people!

    I love our vibe!

    I love our vision!

    This past weekend we Unleashed our new mission and our Vision for 2012.

    Our New Mission is:

    To impact Sydney with the love of Jesus for God’s glory.

    We are not a church which will go quietly into the night, no we are a church that wants to leave a mark. We will only leave a mark if we share the love of Jesus which we do primarily by preaching the gospel! But when the history books are written we hope that Resolved is not mentioned but that Jesus is the one who we hope is written about!

    For this year we have set the following Goals. We want:

    80 People coming to Resolved every week

    20 People to come to know Jesus this year

    6 Community groups

    All these are huge targets but I have been so encouraged by what people have been saying and doing in response to these huge goals! I have already seen people bring their friends to church, I have seen other plan out when they will bring particular friends to church based on which sermon series we will be doing. I have heard people say that the vision is the kick in the pants they needed!

    I love my church!

    Please pray that many people will come to know Jesus at Resolved this year!

  • 12 things I want to achieve in 2012

    1. I want to grow closer to Jesus. By reading my bible and praying every day.
    2. I want to grow closer to my wife by finding two ways each week to romance her and being more intentional about our relationship
    3. I want to build stronger and more loving relationships with my friends and family.
    4. I am praying to see 10 people I love come to know, love and serve Jesus
    5. I am determined to see a Jesus centered culture of love, encouragement, execution, evangelism and discipleship to be instilled at Resolved
    6. I am dedicated to read at least 50 books
    7. I am planning to spend 5 hours a week practicing guitar
    8. I am planning to spend 5 hours a week working out
    9. I am going to finish the two books I have started writing
    10. I plan to be on time for everything
    11. I am determined to always do what I say I will do
    12. I am endeavouring to enjoy every moment and make every moment count

    What do you want to achieve in 2012?


  • Vibe part 4: What are we doing to get the vibe we are looking for?

    Three months ago Resolved’s vibe on Sunday was down. People found church tiring, we found relationships hard and the services weren’t at the standard they should be.  But things are slowly changing. Here is what we are trying to do to get the vibe we are looking for:

    1. The leaders are working hard at showing their love for people. Sometimes at church we get distracted. We focus more on things then people. We focus more on the seating, lighting, sermon, music, etc then the people. This is one of the things we were doing.  Now what we try to do is make sure that we show how much we love everyone who comes in the door. In this we are letting what we feel about the people come out in our conversations and our manner.
    2. The leaders are working hard at being excited to be at church. We are reminding each other of the gospel and what an amazing thing it is to meet together and what an amazing privilege it is to serve at our church. With this in mind we seek to take these ideas and make them realities on Sunday when we meet. We want to be excited when we meet with Gods people because we do not know what God is going to do when his word is preached!
    3. We are becoming more organised. Being organised means less stress and more thought. This helps us work hard at the things that get forgotten (i.e. people and relationships) when we are not organised.
    4. We are asking the question “How does the gospel spring out of this text to inspire people to live for Jesus?”  I don’t want to inspire people I want the gospel to inspire people. All I want to do is to show them how to the gospel inspires them. I think this has changed my preaching so that people hear about the gospel elements (creation, sin, judgement, cross, resurrection, heaven, hell) in ways that they can see the connections to their lives and also how it inspires or encourages them to live for Jesus.

    Are you working on the vibe of your church service? If so what are you doing to create the vibe that flows out of the gospel?


  • What I learn from Christians with mental illness/anxiety issues

    My church has recently started up a ministry to people with mental illness/anxiety called Eternal Hope. It is a simple ministry where we read from the bible, share how we are doing and then pray for each other.  But here is the thing.

    I feel like a fake when I am there.

    If we have never met, I am stupidly optimistic and positive and so when I go to Eternal Hope and I hear their pain and struggle I feel like a fake.

    I feel like a fake most when my brothers and sisters at this group talk about heaven. They talk about longing for heaven and how this life is a struggle. Then I think about my life, beautiful wife, child on the way, awesome church and I think “Man I don’t want to be in heaven yet!!!”

    But that is the point my brothers and sisters at Eternal Hope see reality more than I do. They see that their home is heaven and I see what is in front of me. What I learn from my brothers and sisters at Eternal Hope is that I need to be more in love with where I will be spending my eternity.


    What about you do you long for heaven or are you content with earth?


  • Live your life for what counts

    I read an article today called The top 5 regrets people have on their deathbed.

    It was a sobering read.

    When I think of regrets in life I always think of the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. If you have never heard of the resolutions, they were written by Edwards in his late teen years and they are well worth taking the time to read them. Each of the resolutions is a decision that Edwards has made to improve his life in the light of the gospel. Of the seventy resolutions, some resolutions deal with his thought life, some with his actions and some deal with how he used time. If we take them all together we get the bid idea that Edwards wants to live every minute of his life for Jesus.

    Here are my favourite of Jonathan Edward’s resolutions:

    4. Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God, nor be, nor suffer it, if I can possibly avoid it.

    5. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

    6. Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.

    7. Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

    16. Resolved, Never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

    17. Resolved, That I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

    24. Resolved, Whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavour to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

    28. Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

    41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.

    52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, That I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

    Read Number 52 again

    52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, That I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

    We all know of old people with regrets who wish they had done things differently. If we were to ask Edwards what he thinks the key to living life in such a way as to die knowing that you have live life to the fullest I think he would say two things:

    1. Live every moment for Jesus

    2. Be in every moment

    When I think about these two things I ask myself the following questions:

    1. Am I taking my cues about who I am from Jesus or something or someone else?
    2. Are there things in my life that I know Jesus wouldn’t approve of?
    3. How am I using my time?
    4. Am I coasting through life or attacking it?
    5. Of the moments in my day am I really there or am I punching the clock?
    6. Are my relationships where they need to be?

    How are you doing with your life?

    Are you living every moment of every day for Jesus?

    Are you in every moment?

    Are you in every conversation?

    Or are you just punching the clock waiting till death or the return of Jesus?


  • An Open Letter to Resolved

    What are we on about at Resolved?

    One of the things any organisation, whether it be a church, a company, or any other conglomeration of people, must ask is “What are we on about?” This is crucial because this question defines and controls everything the organisation does.

    If you were going to answer the question “What is Resolved on about?” what would you say? In the last month I have heard Resolved described as:

    • “The cool church”
    • “The church that meets in the pub”
    • “The church filled with angsty, young 20-somethings”
    • “The ‘out there’ church”
    • “The Musician/arty church”

    I think, to differing extents, these descriptions are true (except the cool part!) but I wish we weren’t described as these things. I wish we were described as:

    • The church which is on fire for Jesus (Acts 4:23-31)
    • The church which is passionate for those that don’t know Jesus yet (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
    • The church where people are lovingly confronted by Jesus in a real way (Acts 17:16-33)
    • The church where people really love like Jesus (1 John 4:7-11)
    • The church where people want to change because of what Jesus has done for them (Acts 19:17-19)

    You know what? I think I have seen all of the above at Resolved. I have been encouraged to see and hear of people praying for friends to know Jesus. I have been excited as I have seen people grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus. I have seen people come to Resolved who don’t know Jesus and they have come to know him!

    See, what we are on about at Resolved is Jesus! We want to glorify him and make him known! I pray that you are on board with that vision too! I pray that you are praying for your friends to know Jesus and that you are inviting them along to church or your community group. I pray that you are seeking to change in response to what you are hearing at church and studying in community group. I pray that you are growing to love the people at Resolved more because of the love that Jesus has poured into your heart!

    What is Resolved on about?

    One word……. Jesus!

    Are you on about Jesus too?