Sunday, May 16, 2010

Monday morning recap 17/05/10

• We had our first newcomers lunch. It was awesome. Arnaldo did an awesome job of organising it and his amazing wife Katherine cooked the most incredibly church meal I've ever had. Thanks guys!!!! We had a bunch of people crammed into our tiny living room and it was just so encouraging to see that. Thanks to all who came. Here is what someone who came said:
• We had a bunch of new people at Resolved last night, invited by Resolved people. Great job at inviting your mates guys. Keep it up.
• The set up boys did an amazing getting set up. Thanks to James, Nick and Bobby. Awesome job guys. Thanks!
• I preached on Job 38-42:6 and asked people to make sure their view of God is the one in the text. The one who is the creator, who is in control and yet who cares. If you want to listen to it you can podcast us through ITunes or you can listen to it here
• I was so encouraged by this conversation about the podcast from last nights sermon from guys at Resolved on Facebook!:
Person 1: Wishes the podcast was up tonight.. 20 weeks on suffering... Man we must be crazy..
Person 2: Lol dude! I checked at 5am and was like damn!!!! I wanted to listen to it on the way to work... Seven steady wil do with a jolt of ji packer reading :)
Person 3: you lied!!! I'm on @ 9am and it's not on!!! *cries!*....
Person 4: Hey Guys, the Podcast is up!
Person 5 :sorry guys. my fault it wasnt up by 9am. It's there now :) no more waiting necessary!
Person 3 :LOL!!!.... na! it's not ur fault Person 5!!! I didn't even know the sermon goes up @ 9am until Person 1 told me last night and then i got excited! esp since i missed out on most of the talk!!!....
• I love my church!
Hey Guys Just pray for me as I have been sick for 5 weeks now and It is really annoying!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What kind of person are you?

I think one of the things some Christians (or some people for that matter) don’t do is ask questions about themselves. But you are probably saying “Hans we live a in a world of self centred people who think about nothing but themselves!” True, but the questions I think we should ask are not the “What can I get?” questions. But the “Who am I?” type questions.
Here are some of the questions I ask myself constantly:
• Am I a generally positive or negative person?
One of the great things about some people is that they are positive people. Positive people are great to be around because they have so much energy and life! They are people who you can rely on to pick you up when you have had a bad day and are always good for a laugh. Negative people on the other hand are hard work. I can’t stand when a person who doesn’t have depression is always looking at the world and saying all of this sucks. (If you do have depression I totally am not talking about you here. People with depression have a courage that I wish I had!) If you were to take a survey of your friends what would they say? Would they say you are positive person or a negative person?
• Do I take constructive criticism well?
Criticism is always hard to take. It is never fun or easy. But one of the things I was taught when I was younger is that if a person will come and give you honest feedback that is generally a sign that they love you. One of the qualities I try to have (this quality is not always there though) is to be a person who accepts criticism because good criticism, administered lovingly, accepted graciously and put into practice wisely will always make me a better person/leader/Christian.
• Am I humble or narcissistic?
As a musician I have met so many narcissistic people. I am afraid to say I have narcissistic qualities too. I want you to read this blog, I want you to come to my church and think it is cool; I want you to tell me how good my preaching is etc. I have found that I need to keep coming back to Philippians 2 and see the humility of Jesus and that I need to learn to be far more humble than I am.
• Have I learnt to love Jesus more over the past year?
One of the things I want as a Christian is to love Jesus more and more each day, each week, each year etc. I have found that unless I grind it out day after day reading my bible and praying this doesn’t happen. I have found that unless I work hard at it my relationship with Jesus gets pushed into the background. I want to love Jesus more and more and I need to make this my number one priority!
• Have I learnt to hate sin more in the past year?
I remember when I was new Christian I felt like I was almost sinless! Now that I have been a Christian for almost 15 years I have seen that the sin I have is far more deep rooted and prominent in my life than I wish it was. I see pride in every thought, decision, action and conversation I have. I hear myself saying things that stretch the truth so I look good. What is very scary is that some of this sin I have grown comfortable with! So, with that in mind, I read the book that Justin Taylor edited called Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen. It is my prayer that I would hate the sin and love my saviour more and more each, day, each week, each month and each year!
• Where is my security?
Is my security found in what people think of me, how big my church, how hot my wife is, how great my guitars are? Or is my security found in Jesus and what he thinks of me? When I find myself having issues with pride or arrogance (which happens so often!) I can see it is a security issue. I need to pray that God alone would be my security and that I would love him the rest of my days and that he would be the one I glorify and not I!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Training vs. Coaching

One of the things I love about the culture of Sydney evangelicalism is that there is a massive emphasis on training. This is because training is so important. In any field, people we lead must have the best training. But one of the other things I have recently been convinced of is our need for great coaching too. Here are my definitions of training and coaching
Training: showing or teaching someone how to do something so that they can do it in the future.
Coaching: Observing a person doing a set task and giving them specific feedback on how they are doing and how they can improve.
At Resolved, I have given people leadership in areas and what I have noticed of late is that I need to coach them if they are to get better. I have started coaching more of late and I have been noticing that people are really enjoying getting specific feedback.
Here are things that I go over in every coaching session:
• How are you doing? I care for the people I coach and so knowing how they are doing is paramount for me to being their coach!
• How do you think your chosen area is going? I want to get their mind in the game because I know they are closer to the action and therefore their insights will be more significant.
• What things I have in their leadership and/or area of leadership that I have loved. I had a guitar student who told me that critiquing was only saying the negative things. This is untrue critiquing is giving critical feedback. Saying what a person has done well is so significant because you want to be balanced and you want the person to know that you see them doing a great job!
• The things they can improve upon. Here is the area that we have to tread with care. Un-thought out words here can be damaging. Help a person see what needs to improve by asking questions, getting feedback etc. But there will be times to give direct specific feedback so I have to make sure I have thought through how I will say it not just what I will say.
• Is there anything I can do to make your job easier? This is a crucial one, make sure you ask this question. It makes them know you are on their side and makes them know you want to help them.
• Final encouragement. Especially if you have been talking about areas of improvement you need to encourage them. I always let the person know that I am I am there for them and I am glad they are in this position of leadership.
• Pray. Commit their leadership and ministry to God in prayer
• Follow up. If you have set goals or standards for their leadership see how they go and have another meeting and repeat the steps outlined above.

I have never read a book on coaching per se. Does anyone know of any good books on coaching?

Monday, May 10, 2010

What I have learnt about God in the past year

I am not sure I have learnt anything new about God intellectually in the last year but I think I have had old things come to me in fresh ways. These are some of the things I have been taught:
• God is Sovereign
I have seen God bring people to know him in the last year in the most unlikely circumstances and it has confirmed to me (again!) that God is sovereign. I have seen people come to Resolved and when they tell me how they ended up at Resolved I am left speechless! I have seen how he has used 5 young men (the Resolved Elder Board) in extraordinary ways in people’s lives. I have seen pastoral issues resolved (including some which there didn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel)!
God’s sovereignty has been comforting for me as I have seen my dad battling with cancer, it is awesome to know that God is in control of all bad things that happen including my dad’s cancer! I love to know that God is sovereign in everything!

• God uses people and circumstances to humble me
If we haven’t met I am a man with a lot of pride. But God has been using people to humble me. Some days after church, when I feel like I have preached an “awesome” sermon and I am waiting for Piper to call me to invite me to speak at the next Desiring God Conference, I ask someone what they thought of the sermon and they will be like, yeah it was good but..... And then they give me a bunch of stuff I need to work on. But what God was really doing was humbling me. Then there are other times when I preach a sermon that is so bad that not even the Holy Spirit can do something with (joke!) and that is usually the week where I get a bunch of people say how much God did through the sermon. That just teaches me that God doesn’t need me! I love having friends around me who will point out pride in my life and humble me by pointing me back to Jesus!

• God builds his church I merely deliver the mail
Following on from the last two points, seeing people come to know Jesus or come to Resolved in a variety of circumstances just shows me that God is building his church. I need to pray, work hard and point to Jesus in every sermon and God will bring people to himself! I am happy being a person who delivers Gods mail every week, it is such a privilege!

• God Loves people more than I do
I spent over a year preaching through Luke and I was reminded week after week how much Jesus loved people. Whether through conversations or through the healings Jesus‘ love for people came out in every page, in every paragraph. When I look at Resolved and I look at the people who are here, the people that have come, the people that I want to know Jesus and the people who are hurting, I am convinced of the fact that God loves these people more than me. Knowing that gives me confidence to tell them about him knowing that he loves them and wants them to come to him. It also should drive me to my knees in prayer and ask the God who loves them so much to open their eyes to him or help them praise him through pain or learn more of what it is to be a passionate follower of Jesus! So pray for me that it would drive me to pray!

• God has cursed the Golden State Warriors: The Golden State Warriors are my favourite basketball team in the NBA and I am sure God has cursed them! Okay, I don’t know this for sure but they suck! I mean, they need to fire their coach and get a new one and they need to get a new owner. I hope Larry Ellison buys them! It is plain embarrassing when I talk basketball with some people and they are like “Who do you go for?” and I say “The Warriors” and they are like “They suck” and I say “Yeah I know”. Sometimes they were so bad they couldn’t even throw a tennis ball in the ocean! How long oh Lord will my team suck?

Hey guys I started this blog up again because a lot of people said they got stuff out of it. If there are any questions or topics you want me to blog about email me at

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Monday morning Recap

• Even though it was Mother’s day we had a great turnout. People are still pumped to hear about suffering and as usual the volume at which we sung to Jesus was amazing!
• As part of our series we have been preaching through Job, yesterday we looked at of Elihu (Job 32-37). Elihu is a young man who is and arrogant fool. Out of his youth he loves to say what he wants to say and like a lot of young men he is absolutely wrong! We saw how what he and Jesus say about suffering is totally different. I have already been told how God used this message to powerfully impact people’s lives! Praise God! If you want to listen to the talk either grab the podcast through iTunes or listen to it here:
• Under our Men’s Pastor Pete Hodsdon’s great leadership we have trebled the number of men coming to our Men’s weekend away compared to last year! We are looking at not wasting our lives and I am unbelievably pumped about this weekend! If you go to Resolved and you want to go to the camp email Pete at ASAP!
• I was amped to see new people serving on welcoming and setup! Thanks guys for your service at Resolved!
• We sung an amazing new song by Phil Wickham called “Because of your Love” You can listen to this great song here:
And this is the songwriter teaching the song here:
• Andrew Sellen gave us an awesome financial report and it was great to hear how God has sustained us financially and it was great to be reminded what we are trying to do with our future financially. We are so blessed to have a talented young man Like Andrew looking after our finances. If you are at Resolved and looking to contribute financially please email Andrew at and he will give you the details you need. If you are not at Resolved please pray for us financially.
• I was pumped when I saw this status update on Facebook from Mez: Had the best night at resolved and Kellys afterwards for chips,pool and just awesomely amazing people :) I love to read stuff like this on Facebook!
• Make sure you check out tomorrow when I will be blogging about “What I have learned about God in my last year.”
Cya tomorrow!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What have I learnt about myself in the last year as I have lead Resolved?

This last year has been great for me as I have sought to lead Resolved as best I can. I have learnt a lot about ministry and God in this time but I think I have learnt most about myself. Here are only a few of the things that I have learnt about myself:
• My chief sin is pride. I have found that a lot of the times this year when I have sinned, it has been rooted in pride. When I am ungrateful it is because I think I deserve more. When I am jealous of another person’s ministry it is because I think I need more success or deserve more success. I think, in the end, these are matters of pride. One of the evidences of God’s grace I have seen is that I have a church full of people either keeping me accountable or helping me not to take myself too seriously by humorously by ripping me off! I have seen these two things weakening my pride. But I know I need to live for Jesus and His glory and not my own - I guess that is the true answer to my pride issues.
• I may be a Calvinist in my theology but I find that hard to live out. When I preach a crap sermon I find myself thinking ‘What was the point of that?’ I need to see that God has, and will, call people to himself regardless of how winsome my sermon is. I preach the doctrines of grace but I find it hard to live out practically in my preaching.
• I hate playing the bad cop. As a leader, I need to hold people accountable and sometimes, in rare occasions, I need to ask some people to step down from ministry. I have found this hard to do, not because I hate confrontation but because I want people to like me. This in the end is pride!
• I am disorganized, but getting better in that. As a leader, I need to be organized and I find that because of my spontaneous side, I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of guy. I have seen how damaging this can be for my church and for people around me who need things to be organized and communicated well. I have been getting better by keeping a diary, making sure I come through on stuff, etc. Also my wife has been helping me get organized!
• I need to be far more thankful for what God is doing in other ministries. I sometimes find myself looking at other people and their ministries and being bitter. For example, I see the way God is blessing the whole RICE Movement, and early last year I was very bitter - so much so, I joked about how I am going start an evangelistic movement just for white kids and call it ‘Cracker’! I need to keep reminding myself that it is not MY TEAM or BRAND that I am building, but God’s team and therefore when God is doing amazing things in other ministries, I need to give thanks to God for the way He is working!
• I am thankful that I have read so much theology! I read heaps and I have seen the benefits of that this year. When I have sat down across from people who have significant pastoral issues, I have had a theological background on which to call when needed. I have been called back to God’s sovereignty in salvation when either there have been heaps of people at Resolved or there haven’t been as many as I would have liked. I have been comforted by the sovereignty of God when I have seen my dad struggle with cancer. I know God is in control of my dad’s cancer and so I can trust Him.
• I am a saved sinner. Preaching week in and week out, I have seen my constant need for a Saviour, and how Jesus and His death is far more glorious and far more worthy of glory. This year, I have seen the cross as far more glorious as I have been seeing my own sin more clearly!