Nathan’s June/July 2022 Update

It’s been a busy two months! Here are a few snapshots of what the past two months have looked like for me:

Leadership Training Day & Leadership Pipeline

Early in June we ran a church-wide leadership training day. We were so encouraged to have over 100 church leaders attend a full day of training! Together we reflected on the book of Ephesians; what it means for our Father to be bringing all things under Jesus, how his imminent return generates gospel urgency, and what it looks like to be a church that reflects Christ’s body.

We were able to partner with Reach Australia, who ran workshops on developing a leadership pipeline in our different ministry teams. What this means is clarifying the different ‘levels’ in our ministry teams (i.e. team member, team leader, area leader, etc.), so all our serving members may be better cared for, and intentionally trained.

This training has helped me see how raising leaders at every ‘level’ means that we are able to better disciple our congregations while also being able to grow our capacity to evangelise, welcome, and disciple newcomers to St John’s as well. Please be praying that St John’s will be successful in developing a robust leadership pipelines so God’s people may get better better at proclaiming the gospel and making disciples. 

Preaching at Normsby ISCF

Last month I had an incredibly joyful time opening God’s Word with Normanhurst Boys and Hornsby Girls Inter-School Christian Fellowship (Normsby ISCF) group at their camp. I gave talks on the same series I preached at Camp Engage last year – The Torn Identity. It was a good opportunity to sharpen talks that I had given six months ago, and think through how I could present it to a more academically-minded group of teenagers. I left this camp with a tinge of sadness however – while it was clear that these students clearly loved Jesus and the gospel, COVID these past couple of years has meant that their ISCF group has struggled to meet. Please pray that this ministry endures – so more and more kids in high school can learn of the love of Jesus. 

Mental Health Training

Also in July I had organised Mental Health Training for our growth group leaders, youth group leaders, and kids church leaders. It was a great opportunity to partner with Trinette Stanley from Anglicare and learn from her expertise in this area. We learned about mental health, how to identify symptoms of mental illness, and how to care for someone who has mental health struggles. A big takeaway for me learning to be patient and present with someone who is struggling; not to assume or being quick to tell them what to do, but how to listen, pray, and refer them on if needed. Please be praying that this training will equip myself and our church leaders in caring for those with mental illness in our church family.

St John’s 220th Anniversary

[Me passing on the torch and standing to the side]

A couple weeks ago we celebrated our church’s 220th anniversary. Not very many churches can say they’ve been around that long in Australia! It was a good day of giving God thanks for his faithfulness to his people over the past two centuries. 

I had used this opportunity to step back a bit and allow our other music ministry team members step up. I am very thankful for their faithfulness and hard work! There were also some very good learning moments for me along the way – namely communicating more openly and being willing to ask for help! All in all, I think the future of music ministry at St John’s is in good hands. Please pray for our music ministry team, that they will continue to encourage God’s people to sing the truths of gospel with great joy!

Other Reflections

There have been many other things happening these past two months – running an evangelistic course, directing a beach mission, playing drums for a conference, and finding a student ministry position for next year. Some of these things have strengthened and grown me, while others of these experiences have left me weak and discouraged. Yet in the busyness of it all, God constantly guides me back to the same truth: Jesus is coming, so hold fast and stand firm. Would you please pray that above all else, I would be found standing firm in his grace on that last day. Come, Lord Jesus. 

Prayer Points:

  • Give thanks to God for the great training that our ministry teams received at our leadership training day. Please pray that St John’s will be successful in developing a robust leadership pipelines so God’s people may get better better at proclaiming the gospel and making disciples.
  • Please pray that the students at Normsby ISCF will not give up meeting to pray and read God’s word.
  • Give thanks to God for the ministry of Anglicare, and pray that the mental health training will equip myself and our church leaders in caring for those with mental illness in our church family.
  • Give thanks to God for his faithfulness to the people of St John’s for the past 220 years! Please be praying that as I hand over music ministry responsibilities, there would be a smooth transition.
  • Pray that I may never lose sight of Jesus’ return. Please pray that he will return soon!

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