Browsed by
Tag: Arrow

Talking ’bout a reformation

Talking ’bout a reformation

One of the things that I have enjoyed about doing the Arrow Leadership program are the number of ideas that bubble around in the back of my head in the weeks and months following one of the week long residential conferences.

Last week Senior Pastor from Barrabool Hills Baptist church, Graham Clarke, made the assertion, that we are on the edge of a second reformation.

This kind of talk is not new. In the late nineties a German church-growth researcher, Christian Schwarz, put forward the idea that we are in the era of a third reformation. He asserted that the first reformation took place in the 16th century when Martin Luther fought for the rediscovery of salvation by faith, the centrality of grace and of Scripture. He said the second reformation was around the 18th century when personal intimacy with God was rediscovered. In his view the third reformation is a reformation of structure, or how we actually do church.

I believe Schwarz got it wrong.

Read More Read More


One beautiful, colorful, challenging and confronting picture…..

One beautiful, colorful, challenging and confronting picture…..

I’m sitting in the Virgin Australia lounge at Melbourne airport watching planes come in and out and waiting for my turn to board one of them.

I have seen again today how important it is to step out of your normal world and engage with others.

Missiologist Ralph Winter identified two structures within the body of Christ, the mission group and the local church. Mission groups come in all shapes and sizes. In many ways a mums group is a mission group, and so is a business breakfast and so is an artists colony and so is an organisation like Fusion.

Most of us find our way into a mission group of some sort or other and the fellowship in them is great, and so is the sense that we are doing something important. They have a drawback though: people think like us.

Read More Read More


It’s good to hear from people who come from different worlds

It’s good to hear from people who come from different worlds

I was thinking this morning just how important Arrow has been for me. That doesn’t mean it has been comfortable. I find my paradigm regularly challenged and somehow at the same time I find myself encouraged.

You might remember I wrote a short reflection a couple of weeks ago on strategic planning and quoted Will Mancini who said:

Have you ever put the wrong document in the paper shredder? There’s no way to get it back. You just can’t put the strips back together, not amount of time or tape will fix it. A similar thing happens to vision when you develop a strategic plan. The assumption is that more information will produce clearer direction, but just the opposite is true. I call this the “fallacy of complexity”. Too much information shreds the big picture into so many small pieces that the vision is hopelessly lost. More information equals less clarity.

Last night and today we had Graham Clarke take us for three sessions on Strategic Planning.

My experiences of strategic planning have not always been positive… in fact the very combination of those two words brings up feelings of nausea. I was deeply encouraged though, by Graham’s approach.

Read More Read More


To grow we must confront our own immaturity, selfishness and lack of courage.

To grow we must confront our own immaturity, selfishness and lack of courage.

We have the afternoon off at the Arrow residential conference so I thought I would take the chance to catch up on a bit of email and record a couple of reflections about what I have been learning so far.

Arrow (http://www.arrowaustralia.com.au/) is a program for mentoring and encouraging emerging leaders in the Australian Christian church. I am now into my second year and have found it extremely helpful. The arrow process consists of four 5 day conferences over two years, as well as a list of books to read and a weekly journal to use as the basis of reflection.

The speakers at the conference are some of the best in the country and the material is very useful, but one of the other aspects of the program that is possibly just as important is getting the chance to engage with a group of people who are all in leadership positions in churches or Christian organisations and yet come from very different backgrounds.

I really enjoyed, for instance, trying to understand the heart of the approach taken by Sydney Anglicans through catching up with a couple of the guys here. I  come from a very different background and have different understandings, but it is great to be able to seek to understand people who are in a very different ministry context to me.

Karl Faase took us for Change Management today, and one of the most helpful parts of it for me was the first session where Karl pointed out that before we look to change an organisation we need to be ready to look at ourselves and face the things in us that might need to change.

He quoted Robert Quinn from the book Deep Change who wrote:

The problem is that to grow we must confront our own immaturity, selfishness and lack of courage.

Read More Read More

The point of influence

The point of influence

Well I’m back at an airport, readying myself for my favourite flight… the one home.

This week has been very helpful for me.

I have been with 29 other emerging leaders in the Christian church as part of the Arrow Leadership program. Arrow started in the USA and was brought to Australia in the 1980s. This week was the second of four residential conferences that are combined with reading, reflection and mentoring to make the 2 year arrow experience what it is. You can check out more info about it at www.arrowaustralia.com.au

There was a lot packed into the week and I’ll be processing it for a while to come but the major thing that hit me between the line happened in the context of a conversation in passing.

Read More Read More


Scheming Swindlers

Scheming Swindlers

I’m enjoying being here at the Arrow residential. I find that I am able to see myself and Fusion a lot more clearly in this context. There is something about being with people who love God but don’t come from the same background as you that is very important.

Peter Corney is leading the bible studies out of 2 Timothy chapter 2. He is talking about leadership development and I expect that you will see a few of the insights I gaining on this blog at some point.

Being with a bunch of other Christians who love God but are different to me is confronting because it challenges some of my fundamental ways of thinking. Many of them see parts of the bible differently to me and as I listen I find myself realizing just how settled I can be in my own way of thinking.

Read More Read More


Faith: Think different

Faith: Think different

It’s been a couple of days since I last wrote an article for the blog.

I’m now sitting in my little room in the retreat centre where the Arrow residential is being held. This week is focussed on developing personal vision, developing leaders and building teams.

I’m looking forward to the week.

It comes at an important time for me as I move towards finishing up the current leadership role I have with Fusion and explore with God what is next.

I’ll probably share more as the week unfolds, but for the moment I’m keen to keep reflecting on Ephesians 6 and the very practical approach Paul seems to take to spiritual warfare.

The pieces of armor I have already mentioned seemed to be about a general attitude or life position, whereas Paul now talks directly about dealing with attack:

Read More Read More


Don’t waste life waiting, cogitating, debatingthe best direction. Live the insurrection.

Don’t waste life waiting, cogitating, debatingthe best direction. Live the insurrection.

I am currently in Melbourne at a week long leadership conference as part of the Arrow course that I’m doing.

Today has been an unusual day. It has been a day of prayer, fasting and reflection.. It has been great for me to let the dust settle and just listen to my heart for a bit.. I want to do this kind of thing more often.

As I come to the end of the day, a poem has just found its way into my journal.. which is fairly unusual for me.

I didn’t like English much at school, and most of the poetry I read seemed boring or trite.

I really don’t profess to be a poet in any way shape or form, but because this blog is about my journey, I figure I will share it with you.

Read More Read More


Spiritual Battle plan

Spiritual Battle plan

I’m not really into talking a lot about spiritual battles.

I think my church background and my experience of some people who seem to always be casting demons out of things mean that I am a little suspicious of that kind of language..

One of the speakers at Arrow, though, gave me some real food for thought.

Read More Read More


Out of the box

Out of the box


I am sitting at Melbourne airport. I have been here since about 3pm. It’s now quarter to 8 and I’m here until 9pm.

I actually don’t mind the wait… its giving me a bit of space to process what has been quite a significant week.

I have spent this week rubbing shoulders with other leaders from Christian organizations and churches at our first of four conferences over the next 20 months.

It has been a very important time for me.

Read More Read More


Forgiveness as a basis for Leadership development

Forgiveness as a basis for Leadership development

I am enjoying the reading for my Arrow Leadership course.

I wrote earlier about my reflections on Bill Hybels’ book “Just walk across the room”, and how I agreed with much of what he was saying but was concerned about the motivation behind evangelism that seems to come through the book.

Another book I have just finished is “Growing Leaders” by James Lawrence.

Much of the book is written about the practicalities of leadership and I wish I had read it 20 years ago, because a lot of what he is writing about I have had to learn the hard way.

There have been a few good moments through the book, and one section particularly stood out. His thesis is that Forgiveness is a necessary precondition for Leadership development.

I thought I would share this highlight with you:

Read More Read More


Back on the Blog

Back on the Blog

It’s been a while

I am sitting on the couch at a holiday house in Orford. We have taken 5 days away as a family before school starts as a way of regrouping after quite a frenetic time in Poatina during January.

It was great to catch up on a bit of sleep (I woke up at midday!) and go fishing with the kids this afternoon (we caught 9 fish and one of them was big enough to keep!). It is also a great chance to take stock.

I’m not sure whether you have noticed, but I have been blogging a lot less lately.

This blog has been an important outlet for me as I wrestle with faith and life, however life seems to have been moving at such a pace that blogging has not been so high on the priority list.

That’s not to say that I have been learning less. In fact I feel as though the learning curve has been a lot steeper over the past few months.

Read More Read More


Effects Plugin made by Ares Download

%d bloggers like this: