Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bring on the Summit

Am really looking forward to next week as Sarah and I attend our first ever Get Smart Youth Pastors Summit. This year we have Ps Wayne Alcorn coming to share. What make summit unique is it is limited to a group of approx 100 people. This should be a great week of input and impartation!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Broken Windows

About 3 times a year I get to write an article for our local rag (BOP TIMES) which appears on the Church page of the paper. Thankfully I have Andrew who is a fantastic editor to cast his eye over my work and make the article much more interesting. Here is my what was published two weeks ago

It’s the soccer world cup final, the game has gone into extra time, and now it’s come down to a penalty shoot-out. Argentina leads Italy 3-2, and the expectations of the crowd and the hopes of the team rest on the shoulders of 9 year old from New Zealand. I take a deep breath and run in for the decisive shot.

Smash! The crowd instantly disappears, their cheering suddenly replaced by the frightened chirps of a few alarmed starlings. Guilt and fear rush over me as I look at the shards of glass on the ground and a giant hole where a pane of glass used to be.

Then a ray of hope flashes into my mind – technically the soccer ball and not me had broken the window. As my 9 year old brain processes the logic behind this excuse I realise that technicalities are best left unmentioned when dealing with angry parents.

In the absence of a good excuse, I decided it was time to take an extended visit to my friend’s house and high tailed it from the scene of the crime. Unfortunately you can’t stay at your friend’s place forever, and eventually I had to go home to face the music.

I’m now 28 and still break windows. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not a vandal with a taste for shattering glass. But I still get it wrong, I still make mistakes. The Bible calls this “sin”, although that’s not an overly popular word in today’s culture. I have never had a problem accepting that I’m a sinner – I know I do stuff wrong, far worse than smashing windows: things like pride, selfishness, anger and more. The Bible teaches that our sin hurts God.

We are left feeling like a 9 year old child who has just broken a window. We’re scared of God’s reaction, so we make excuses to attribute blame and justify ourselves. Or we just run from Him, often even denying His existence.

But if we get brave enough to come home to God and face the music we will find something amazing about His nature. While our actions may hurt Him, similar to a parent who is upset over broken glass, He is also like a window repairman. His desire is not to punish us for the broken windows in our lives but rather to repair the damage – to heal and restore.

The window I broke when I was 9 has been fixed. The mistakes of our past can be restored if we face up to things with God. He knows where we’ve gone wrong and He can repair the damage.

Pastor Aaron More and Andrew Killick

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Broken Dvd player

I preached at our main Church service on Easter Sunday which was a huge privellege.

I shared with the congregation about when we moved from Christchurch to Tauranga my dvd player got broken. The idea of getting it fixed wasn't even an option, in fact the cost of fixing is so high compared to cost of buying new I don't even know anyone who is in the business of fixing dvd players, after all brand new ones only cost $59. So it endud up in the trash and a better one was purchased (which included a hard drive!!!)

When God viewed our broken world he knew that he wanted something better. The cheaper option for God would have been to "throw out" current creation and start again with something new. But God is not the God of the cheaper option. He decided to pay the ultimate price and give of his Son. The price was not paid just to take something old and put a few new bits into but that we would be made new and transformed into the image of his Son.

As the song says

"He's making all things new, He's making all things new
He's not making all new things, He's making all things new"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Giuliani - Leadership - First things first

I first read Rudolph Giuliani's book on leadership a few years ago and since then it has been a book that I never tire of. Giuliani was a two time mayor of New York and was mayor during the September 11 terror attacks. The book will not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you have an interest in politics (and leadership) then I am sure you will find the book very interesting. While I do not agree with Giuliani on some political and moral issues, I have come to admire him tremendously as a leader. The book is jam packed with fantastic leadership principles and examples of how these principles worked in changing New York City. So for the next few days I will discuss a different chapter of the book.

#1 First things first

"Every morning at exactly eight o'clock, I make my mother very happy. Throughout my childhood, she would lecture me on the virtues of finishing my schoolwork before I went outside to play ... That's why I've begun every single morning since 1981 with a meeting of my top staff"

Giuliani goes on to explain throughout the chapter that as mayor of New York City the task could be completely overwhelming. So to ensure he dealt with the vital things first he met with his key leaders first thing every morning. This would give the opportunity for key issues to be dealt with in a timely manner. He credits this meeting as one of the keys to his success as mayor.

While this may be leadership 101, in rereading the book it has challenged me afresh. Often I find myself getting drawn to what appears to be urgent rather then what is truly important. The other challenge is to avoid tasks that while important are not exciting and instead rush to tasks that are exciting regardless of importance.

As a Christian leader (or even just as a follower of Christ) the first things first principle means that time with God needs to be the first part of your day. One of the things I have discovered is that you never know who you are going to encounter on any particular day. As a Pastor, people will ask you for advice and they are hoping for more then just your opinion Рthey are looking for Godly wisdom. If I am regularly connecting with God and putting him first, there is a much greater chance that I will be able to have an informed perspective on a situation rather then just regurgitating clich̩ answers.

The first things first principle is all about living life according to priorities and doing the right thing at the right time. Jesus constantly lived by this principle – His life was driven by his mission, not the agendas of other people. In Luke chapter 2, Jesus as a 12-year-old boy goes missing and when his parents eventually find him he is in the temple. When they question him about where he has been he replies, "Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"

Later in John Chapter 4, prior to Jesus meeting the woman at the well, the Bible says that "Jesus had to go to Samaria". The interesting thing is that he was taking a journey to Galilee, which would not usually necessitate going through Samaria. The reason he had to go to Samaria was that he had to visit the woman at the well. His life was ordered by his mission not convenience, and he knew the principle of completing everything at its appointed time.

In John Chapter 11 Jesus finds out his friend Lazarus is sick, this seemed to be an urgent situation. It would appear that the first things first principle would dictate that you would go and visit your friend. However as Jesus knew what he was going to do, he knew that this was not the time to visit Lazarus. Instead he waited until Lazarus died and then visited. When Jesus arrives, Lazarus’s sisters say, "Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died". In other words, “If you had just put first things first then we would not be in this situation”. But Jesus was looking at a bigger picture than their agenda. Jesus wanted to raise Lazarus from the dead but to perform this great miracle he had to delay what other people deemed to be urgent. I am not suggesting we leave our friends to die! But the first things first principles does mean not being ruled by others’ opinions and agendas but always acting out of true priorities

Friday, July 06, 2007

Our new house

I have not been blogging much recently due to us moving into our new place last weekend. As you can see from the pictures the place has an amazing garden, this is going to be a big challenge for Sarah and I to keep in order.

In other news next week we take 17 young people to Get Smart Conference in Auckland, should be an awesome time!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


A few months ago Andrew asked me to be a contribute to his review blog intraspace. It has taken a couple of months for me to actually contribute but you will now find a review of the book Leadership Excellence by Phil Pringle. Check it out

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

World youth culture dominated by Asia

In visiting Steve Taylors blog I was fascinated to find a link to this blog about how Asia has become the dominant trend setter in World youth culture. In particular the video link in the blog has some very interesting facts.

The technological changes are already well and truly effecting the face of NZ youth culture and subsequently NZ youth ministry. However it will be interesting to see how other Asian youth trends effect our culture.