Nic’s January 2023 Update

Hello Gospel partners,

These past few weeks have seen me kick off MTS training and ministry, which has been possible because of your generous partnering in prayer and financial support – thank you!

During January, before my regular responsibilities at St John’s amped up, I served on a mission team in Singleton – which was comprised of an eclectic ensemble of 24 Christians from Sydney churches. In partnership with the local Singleton Evangelical Church, we spent 9 days telling the community about Jesus, which included running a 5-day kids holiday program.

Singleton Alive 2023 Mission Team (or pirate crew)

We had a blast teaching kids from K-12 about “Who is Jesus?” packaged with a pirate theme, culminating in a key teaching point: that king Jesus is our greatest treasure and it is the greatest joy to live his way. During the program I helped with the Minis section, for kids in Kindergarten to Year 2. It was heaps of fun to spend the week with the 17 kids who visited this group, as we taught from the Bible about Jesus’ love for them by dealing with the brokenness of sin on the cross, and what it looks like to serve captain Jesus!

Although it was a hectic week (I crashed on Saturday after a 5km morning run and breakfast), it was a great gift to speak to the kids who attended about our faith, and to see the maturity of a number of them who have already heard the good news! On the Friday we fielded an interesting question from a child who “did not want to go to hell” but wondered if he could “jetpack up to heaven”. One of the Year 2 girls piped up with the story of the Tower of Babel from Genesis 11, wherein a band of humans arrogantly pitch a tower to heaven to achieve greatness on their own terms, before God frustrates their efforts and sends them all out speaking different languages. It was a reminder of God’s great power over all things, and that it is only through acknowledging Jesus and what he has done, and choosing to follow him, that we can be saved and have assurance of life in heaven with him!

Guest star Superman, assisting with our Thursday talk on witness evidence for Jesus’ resurrection
Concert time preparation with team leader James and Private Pillbug

After returning from Singleton, I’m now settling in with the St John’s Staff team and am getting my head around my day-to-day duties. I am constantly absorbing wisdom and experience from the team and all their God-given gifts. It has been a learning experience for me to observe how gospel ministry consists of a careful balance between face-to-face people work, administrative and logistical planning, and regular time spent in the scriptures and prayer in submission to God. I have now met with Bruce my trainer a few times, and have enjoyed diving into the rich gospel statements of Romans 1:1-6 as we cross reference with Old Testament passages. I look forward to being imparted with the theological, pastoral, and administrative wisdom of Bruce and the staff over the next 2 years!

Our weeks begin with Sunday, which are always busy with back-to-back services and other trainings. This flows into Mondays with an ‘all-in’ staff meeting, where we launch into the week with a study of the coming Sunday’s preaching passage and catch up on pastoral and administrative matters. My ministry responsibilities will easily fill up the remaining time in my week! This year I will be focused on music ministry, growth group leading, 1-2-1’s, SRE (scripture) teaching, organizing welcoming teams, and assisting with our Explore course for those investigating Christianity – amongst other things. In lieu of going on too long here I’ll write more on these ministries in future newsletters, so watch this space!

Prayer and Praise Points

  • Praise God for Singleton Alive and the chance to share the gospel with 50+ kids, parents, and others from the community. Thank God for the hospitality and generous help from church members during mission week. Pray for follow-up of attendees by Singleton Evangelical Church.
  • Thank God for the opportunity I have to be trained through MTS this year, and for being able to settle into work with St John’s church staff. Pray that I will grow in character, conviction, and competency as I am trained by Bruce and the team.
  • Thank God for many attendees to our Term 1 Explore course, including one of my high school friends who has been visiting St John’s! Pray that he and the other attendees would clearly see Jesus’ promises of Hope, Peace, and Purpose and come to a personal saving faith in him.
  • Thank God for our church training session last Sunday on “Balancing Self-Care & Service in Ministry” and the attendance of over 100 members! Pray that those who serve at St John’s will be equipped to care for their spiritual and physical needs and “fill their tank” as they serve God as living sacrifices.

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