The Pastors’ Pen

Over the weekend our Leadership Team [1] went ‘on the road’ to Tamworth for their annual planning weekend.

The continued success of this weekend is multifaceted: personal accountability through story-telling on our life over the last year, short- and long-term planning (1 year and 5 years), input from an experienced Christian leader [2] and the chance to visit a church family in a very different setting to our own (and to be encouraged and to steal ideas)!

The vision for our one-year planning will feed and fuel our Vision Sunday (Nov 26) – please come! For a couple of hours we spent time talking and praying about the vision for our church family over the next 12 months. Ritchie did an excellent job of chairing this meeting last Friday night.

A central theme to the discussion was this – after a season of such challenge and heartache how do we have renewed vigour? What is in our heart at SCPC? So, some questions we were trying to think through were:

  • What makes Southern Cross, Southern Cross?
  • What is important to us?
  • What are our key priorities?
  • What is our mission?

After years and years of contingencies through the pandemic and flood, we really wanted to know how do we plan with purpose? Included in this thinking was the importance of SCG combining in Feb 2023. We desperately want a united partnership with SCG.

How did we go? I think we must have come up with a dozen different phrases! Then, late on Friday night we feel like we came up with a phrase that captured these ideas. Hooray!

On Vision Sunday we will aim to present that theme through the Bible teaching and also through our Church Family News. We are excited that SCG can join on Vision Sunday as well, which will double as a mini transition day for SCG. Please pray for SCG that the real anxiety of joining a large room of people wouldn’t deter them from joining on this important day for our extended church family. For those from East Lismore, please be welcoming without being overwhelming.

We are very excited about the theme for 2024 and feel it is a very appropriate theme to guide us forward as we combine together in mission and community in 2024. Please pray for Ritchie, me, members of our staff team and LT as we prepare for Vision Sunday. Please ask our Father God that he might give us wisdom to know how to say the right amount and be clear (without trying to say too much that we lose people). It is an incredibly difficult balance.

On the way back from Tamworth we listened to Sunday’s talk from John 14:15-31. What a stunning reminder it was of the remarkable ministry of the Holy Spirit; advocate, helper, comforter, counsellor. Better still, our ultimate friend.

As a member of Leadership Team, I am so incredibly thankful for the ministry of the Holy Spirit, that we are not alone in this world. Therefore, as we go about our plans, we can be assured we will never be deserted in our challenging leadership. For, even as Scott Dunlop reminder us on Saturday, Christ is with us. Jesus will not desert us. He remains with us through the ministry of the Spirit. Therefore, may Vision Sunday achieve its goal to align with the transforming work of the Spirit; that wishes to conform all of us; kids, women and men to mirror our Lord Jesus.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts
knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the
will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to
the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he
predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Romans 8:26-30

SP on behalf of LT

[1] The denomination’s language for a team of elders is a churches ‘session’.
[2] Scott Dunlop, an evangelical Anglican Pastor with 20 years of experience in the Armidale diocese, shared with LT how to endure as leaders from the Apostle Paul’s last words in 2 Tim 4. It was soooo confronting, yet refreshing.

Posted in Pastors Post