I enjoy putting words into sentences. A lot. I write blogs, articles, teaching guides and books. Both the nonfiction and the fiction variety. But … but I don’t enjoy writing an autobiography. I’m sure most people feel the same way. Trying to describe oneself feels contrived.
Anyway, I know the value of disclosing a little about myself on a website like this, so here we go.
I am on a journey. An amazing one. A challenging one.
I was a young senior pastor at the end of the last century. (Said that way, it sounds like I’m prehistoric. But I’m not old, wise or grey yet.)
Together with a wonderful group of elders, I was able to help the church I led to walk through a remarkable shift detailed here.
This led to an incredible thrust in church planting and missional work which took our team around the world. From humble beginnings in South Africa, we have worked in several different countries during the past decade and a half. From third-world countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia to first-world countries like Japan, New Zealand and Australia. And by the way, we’re still enjoying humble beginnings.
From these rich experiences — and many hard lessons learnt — I’ve put this site together. My goal is to contribute towards what is, in my opinion, the most important conversation today. A conversation that involves:
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God,
how we, as God’s people, are to advance His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven,
and how God’s idea of church functions within this Kingdom manifesto.
I want to spend the rest of my days resourcing and cheering on Kingdom-advancers as we catalyse Kingdom exploits around the globe—not in the least bit worried about who gets the credit.
We’re part of a grassroots, nameless army of Jesus-followers — without title, rank or office — upgrading the planet in the grace He so generously gives. Prepare for an uprising!
This is my small contribution to one of the most amazing moments in human history.
While I am now based in Melbourne, Australia, I walk in relationship with a number of men around the world. Tony Fitzgerald is based in the USA. Grant Willems in Japan. Christo Van Deventer in South Africa. Robert Willems in New Zealand. And here in Australia, Peter Steicke and Craig Joppich in Adelaide.
These men know me well. Very well. They know what I’m like on a mission trip in a foreign land, what I’m like at home, and what I’m like sharing my heart, whether it’s in a coffee shop or behind a lectern. Some of these relationships go back more than twenty years. Feel free to contact them and ask them anything you want about me.
VALUES I CHERISH
I think you can tell a fair bit about someone by the values they cherish.
Holding to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the following values are important to me:
The Father-heart and Word of God
The Primacy of Christ’s Kingship and the Gospel of the Kingdom
The Personhood and Essential Ministry of the Holy Spirit
The Body of Christ and Unity of the Spirit (reasoning from the whole to the part)
The Apostolic Wineskin (including missional church)
The Hebrew Mindset and Principle of Spiritual Family
The Missional DNA of God’s People (advancing God’s Kingdom into every sphere of society)
The Brotherhood and Priesthood of All Believers
The Restoration Plan of God (expressed in selfless and generous servanthood)
The Parousia of Christ (living as a hopeful, eschatological people)
DEFINING CORE PHRASES
Many of the articles on this site are grouped around these two phrases: simple church and apostolic mission.
Here is what we as a team have in mind when we use them:
By simple church, we mean a Kingdom-values based approach to viewing church essentially as relational, missional, organic and fluid rather than hierarchical, attractional, institutional and rigid—a Kingdom family, not a religious organisation or business enterprise.
By simple church, we mean a faith-based community, given to the simplicity and power of the Great Commandments and the Great Commission: a spiritual family; alive in God, in love with one another and on mission together.
By simple church, we mean a New Testament ecclesia who have discovered a communal way of life together not merely a new schedule of meetings. Receiving their cues from Father God, they do life together out of their sense of mission in the world.
By simple church, we mean a Kingdom family of spiritual brothers and sisters, served by parent-leaders who cheer others on further than themselves; a “safe place” for loving, living and learning, which doubles as a “launch” pad for Kingdom exploits.
By simple church, we mean missional church, relational church, Kingdom families, organic church, Kingdom communities, “church in the house” (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15 and Philemon 1:2), etc. We view these phrases as synonymous terms; in fact, none of them are sufficient in themselves. Together, they paint a picture of what we’re rediscovering of God’s heart for His ecclesia.
By apostolic mission, we mean a missional context in which we grasp the “big picture” of the Kingdom of God and how God’s heart for the ecclesia advances this Kingdom manifesto.
By apostolic mission, we mean a foundational grasp of the Ephesians 4:11 equipping gifts as they selflessly serve to initiate and support Kingdom communities, modelling the Father’s heart, measuring their impact—not by how much their egos are stroked—but by how fruitful they make others.
By apostolic mission, we mean a non-sectarian, radical commitment to relational and organic multiplication; making disciple-makers who make disciples … who make disciples, so that Jesus alone gets the glory.
By nature, I’m prone to idealism. Since I find it relatively easy to imagine the best, I’m overly optimistic at times. Through experience, having climbed out of a few ditches of cynicism to be honest, I think I’ve embraced a healthy realism. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!)
However, I find that in my writings, I tend to express my thoughts too often in black and white; hence, my tendency towards over-generalisations.
A good writer can communicate in word exactly what he intends. As an average writer, I have to ask for your grace to give me the benefit of the doubt when I simply cannot communicate accurately in word what I may intend. Perhaps the unintended idealism in my writings will challenge you to imagine, to dream, to believe. If you then factor in a good dose of reality into the mix of what I write, it may serve you well.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to work at improving the integrity and quality of my writing. Towards this end, I’d appreciate your constructive feedback.
I hope you derive much value from the content on this site. Enjoy.