2020 Regional Mission & Our Renewed Vision

In 2020 our Bishop Peter Hayward has invited all the Parishes to again work together in mission – the same theme will be used that many engaged with last time ie. “Jesus is …. ?   An open question that provoked conversation last time but this time we won’t have the young Moore College students to rely on for encouragement!  This mission sits well with our renewed Values for our 2019-2021 Vision ie. Evangelism – Discipleship – Adaptability.

I love us all to be thinking … “what’s one new step I can take and my group can take in evangelism in 2020?”  and ask the same question of ourselves and our groups regarding discipleship.  It may be seeking to add an extra 5 mins per day to your prayer time or praying weekly for 2 people you want to invite to church in 2020.  It could be your life group trying some evangelistic invitation eg. a Q & A dinner or deciding to do a short training course in your group to hone your skills in some area of Christian life.  It could be deciding as a congregation that you want to run a fortnight or more of guest Sundays.   It could be for your group to run a lunch for our Mobile Pantry clients or ESL?  It could be for your group to offer to do a good Samaritan backyard blitz and clean-up a church member or neighbours yard or take adopt an SRE class or a Katoke student and commit to praying and giving for them for 2020? 

What’s one new step you and / or your group could take in Discipleship and Evangelism in 2020

Natural disasters” Jesus got it right, but sadly Israel Folau got it wrong.

That’s my view.  I don’t just mean Folau was insensitive, though he was that.  As our PM rightly said, now is not the time to play a blame game and Christians dedicatedly praying and caring for those poor victims of the bush fires.   But I mean Folau misunderstands God as he has revealed himself in Jesus and the Bible.  Folau is selective in the sins he believes God is punishing ie. homosexuality and abortion.  Why not materialism, greed, covetousness or neglect of the poor, since these sins characterise ALL Australians?

The Bible does say that since humanity have ALL rebelled against God, then our world is a broken place. Jesus says – disasters, disease and death ought to remind us of this.  That’s why in Luke 13:1-6 Jesus doesn’t say the tower fell on the people because they were worse sinners.  He said ALL of us should heed the warning of the natural disaster and ALL should repent.  In John 9, Jesus rejected the popular notion (common also in Buddhism) that the man was born blind because either he or his parents were especially sinful.  The Bible does NOT teach us that God’s justice is worked out on earth, nor do people face proportional justice here and now for their sins.  That’s the point of the Book of Job and of so many Psalms including Psalm 10,13,22,37 & 42. Ultimately God’s justice happens beyond the grave Hebrews 9:27.  Final justice is delayed by God so more can repent and find grace and forgiveness in Christ. 

Unless God raises up another Isaiah or Habakkuk to tell us that a specific disaster is linked to a specific sin (and God hasn’t or they would be included in a new updated Bible), then we MUST NOT behave as if he has or that we have a hotline from God making such a link. 

   Your brother in Christ Graham Crew