Welcome to everyone joining us for Op-Shop Community church. One of the things I love about our new format is hearing from a diverse group of people and embracing others' perspectives. I am also really thrilled with the growing confidence of our open prayer time. It seems pretty straight forward, doesn't it? Just ask God for what you need.
Mar 11:22-24 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. (23) "Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. (24) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Sometimes the answer is only as far away as the request. Recently, some of us were praying for one of the parents from Tate Street, at the request of the Principal, Terry Scott. When I asked him this week how she was fairing, he told me she had an amazingly fast recovery! I reminded him of the request . . .
Last week, Chris Crook, Jeanenne Thomas, Jo van der Schoor and I were at a learning community held at Crossway Baptist. This was the fourth in our two year commitment to the 3dm program. Malcolm and Cheryl Potts were there along with Andy Goodacre and a hundred or so others. it s such a blessing to be able (now) to mix, compare notes, encourage and pray with others who are using the same model of discipleship and mission. On the Thursday, I helped facilitate a further workshop for another group of churches now considering the model. On the same day, this was happening in Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Launceston. The previous week it had all just begun in Wellington, NZ.
Friends, what began 12 years ago with a phone call from Malcolm to me, (asking which churches he should look at whilst in the UK), is finally unfolding as we envisioned twelve months later in a restaurant overlooking the Yarra. But that Vision has had to be tested and worked out, in the first instance, mainly by you good and brave folk. Your tenacity and courage to persevere, even when we doubted, is bearing fruit not only in our own context, but increasingly right across our country!
When I tell stories of how our Missional Communities - like the Op-Shop - are transforming lives in big and small ways and how ordinary Christians all have a role to play in the mission; people's eyes light up. We are actually reaching ordinary Australians with the Gospel. And others are influenced by our example. There's always going to be a long way to go but the journey is worth it!
Oh, and Happy Mother's Day! God bless, Ian.