Monthly Archives: July 2011

Misguidance…

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One of the coversations I seem to keep having with a small number of people is when they come to seek “guidance” for their life choices.

They present their case and then inform me of the choices they have made and then spend a whole lot of time tyring to justify those choices.

The problem here is that what they are seeking is my approval for their poor choices.

Poor choices either are or often lead to sin.  And those seeking my approval for these choices often leave quite disgruntled when I won’t give my approval…(not that my approval for poor choices should matter much anyway, they’re still a poor choice and my “approval” will not change their outcome).

They confuse approval with acceptance and often accuse me (and other leaders in our church) of not “accepting them as they are“, when in fact we do accept them as they are, but we don’t approve of their choices to stay as they are.

Because we love people, we want them to make good choices and to grow in their spiritual maturity causing their lives to become more fruitful and profitable in every way.

Contrast this with those that come and explain a situation and present some options they are considering and ask for perspective.  This is a far better way to handle choices.

Elders (pastors/bishops/ovseers) or deacons can, and will happily give their perspective with regard to your life choices and situations, but we cannot give permission or approval (or disapproval) if your choices have already been made.

A perspective is simply a different point of view.

We may be able to see your situation from a different point of view (an external one to the situation) and be able to point out some benefits or issues and obstacles that you can’t see from your point of view.

This new perspective may assist in the actual making of a decisionwhich obviously can’t help if decisions have already been made and we are just being informed.

As far as seeking approval for poor choices goes, Proverbs 21:30 says “No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord“.

This simply means that if the decision we are trying to justify contradicts the word of God, no amount of “wisdom” or prayer or counsel or advice or opinion of your leaders is going to make that choice right or acceptable or change the outcome of it.

What God says stands regardless of anything anyone else says.

Life would be so much simpler if we would just honestly and openly weigh all our decisions in light of God’s word even before seeking the counsel or perspective of others.

Remember too that Proverbs 21:2 says that “Every way of a man seems right in his own eyes“.

This is a good reminder that once we have determined some options that don’t violate God’s word, it’s a good thing to have a look at our situation and possible choices through the eyes of another.

I cannot tell you how many times the perspective of one of my leaders has saved me loads of money and saved me from doing something dumb that I will regret for years to come.

It all comes down to being humble enough to ask before we make a silly decision and then go looking for someone to rubber stamp it and make it “okay“.

Read and study Proverbs and teach it to your kids, it is a well of life!


How Will They Know?

Extreme Life is an amazing church!

It is not like any other church in Warrnambool and is even unique in the wider spectrum.Image

God is doing something that is meant to be different because there are many different kinds of people thatALL reflect something of His image.

We are not all the same, and can not all do church the same.

We are not trying to be different, we just are because it’s who we are.

In this difference, we face something of a publicity crisis.

Most people outside of church life, hear the word church and picture an old, gray haired minister with steel rimmed glasses who is utterly boring, has no style or charisma whatsoever waffling on inside a big, old, cold building that echoes his waffling for what seems like eternity.

They think that walking through a church door involves a time warp, stepping back to at best the seventies and and worst the eighteen hundreds.

Yet strangely, Extreme Life has a facility that is utilizing some of the latest technology in ventures like web streaming our services around Vicotria and to Hong Kong every week, video presentation with multiple plasmas, HD projection, a state of the art HK Audio PA system that out shines anything else in Warrnambool (including in all the pubs and clubs) and our lighting is always improving as budget allows.

Our kids are some of the happiest church kids I’ve seen anywhere inthe world.

Steve and his JaM team do an amazing job of educating our kids in the ways of the Lord in a relevant and fun way that is inspiring our kids and causing them to not want to miss a single week.

They LOVE it!

They also have live worship, integrated video messages and encouragement as well as real Bible instruction.

And they are learning the same sutff we are…they don’t follow a “kids program” they follow the preaching that we are hearing in the church.  How good is that!  They will be grounded in some great truths and miss many of the life mistakes we had to make learning how to live the hard way.

BUT…

How will anyone in Warrnambool know any of this…UNLESS WE TELL THEM?

We need to be letting people all around town know about what an amazing church we are.

Encouraging and inspiring them to come and have a look and see for themselves.

Let’s not take it for granted and keep it to ourselves, let’s let everyone know.

We even have meeting options for those who don’t like it loud, smoky and with moving lights etc.

That all happens in our 11am meeting, but our 9am meeting is probably one of the quietest times of worship in any church in town and yet still has the fullness and professionalism of an awesome worship team.

And yet, if we don’t tell anyone…they won’t know!

I really want to encourage you to let people know how good Extreme Life is!

Most of them already know that Jesus is amazing and have no problems with God…

Their issues lie in those that represent Him…the church.

We need to let them know that ours is well worth their time to come and have a look.

Good luck, I look forward to meeting some of your friends and family.


Glaze Is For Doughnuts!

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I have recently been hearing a lot of comment about our church.  Much of it from people not actually in our church.

Something I encounter very frequently when speaking to people in Warrnambool that aren’t in our church is “Oh I used to go there“.

As soon as those words start coming out of a mouth, you can see the glaze forming over the speaker’s eyes.

The glaze of disconnection, the glaze of “I am no longer interested in this conversation“.

The problem is that there are so many people around town that used to come to what we used to be, but they still think that we currently are exactly what we used to be.

Well I have news for them…WE ARE NOT!

A church by it’s very nature of being a group of people being lovingly transformed into the image of Jesus Christ, cannot stay the same as it always was!

If we are the same as we always were, we are actively resisting the transforming work of Jesus in our lives.

And if we aren’t resisting Him, we are changing.

If we are all changing individually, then as a group the same must also be true.

We are changing, we will always be changing until we are transformed completely into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ.  The passion lies in the desire to be just like Him.

I would sincerely like to encourage the many in town who “used to go to that church“, to examine yourselves instead of assessing us based on years old information and opinions.

We are not what we used to be, and in the future we will not be what we are now.

We have grown and developed, matured and have continued in the process of transformation.

And will continue to do so until the transformation is complete.

Have you?

Isolation from the body is NEVER God’s answer to our problems.

Healing is found in a healthy body not in isolation from one.

Imagine if our organs decided to remove themselves from our bodies because they considered the body to be unwell…the organ would wither and die because it was designed to function inside the body.

The body is one of the descriptions Jesus used frequently to describe His church and you as a believer in Him are designed to function within it.

I would like to invite all those who “used to go to that church” that are currently going to no church, to re-evaluate your position of submission.

If you realise that you have given up the regular meeting together as some were in the habit of doing and you would like to rectify this situation in your life, please feel free to phone our church office and ask Steve for an appointment to meet with one of the pastors here to evaluate whether you can walk this amazing life journey of Jesus following with us.

I look forward to meeting some of you soon.


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