Singapore: Introduction to DMM with David Watson Leave a Comment
David Watson, catalyser of 64 movements amongst non-believers, will be spending a day in Singapore introducing the foundational concepts of DMM!
Want to know more? Want to come along? Click here for more info and to register.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Baptism in Outback QLD Leave a Comment
“Just got off the phone to Dan in Roma, he has a vision to reach the small towns that surround Roma. Last Sunday they had a baptism that occurred in Yuleba a tiny town to the East of Roma. He said the lady who was baptised invited the whole town to come, 200 people. 100 people turned up! Wow! Got the town talking as many had never seen or heard of an adult being baptised. Lots of conversations…please pray for Mary (name changed) who was baptised as she networks in the town. Also pray for the group that meets in this town that they will intentionally plant seeds of the gospel that will find fertile soil.”
Kingdom & Culture Workshop- Singapore Leave a Comment
April 8th, 9am-12 midday
Jesus promised that the harvest was plentiful. Yes, there is a shortage of workers and yes, some are closed to the good news, but *God is at work, and there are many who are open and hungry* (Lk 10:1-12). *Why aren’t more people coming to know Jesus?*
Part of the problem can be found in the observable parallels between contemporary Christians and the first generations of Jewish disciples as recorded in the New Testament and the confusion between culture and the Kingdom of God.
This 3-hour interactive workshop will look at the relationship between culture and the Kingdom of God, and how culture can become an obstacle to the Gospel. Bring your Bible and a notepad.
– look at the OT/Jewish context
– dig in to some significant cross-cultural interaction Jesus and the apostles had in the NT
– start drawing conclusions for our own cross-cultural interactions we have with those God has placed around us
Facilitator: Scott Crawley from Praxeis. Scott has spent 18 years directly involved in cross-cultural ministry and mission, including ten years based in East and Central Asia.
Venue: Near Botanic Gardens MRT. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Are we spiritual people? Leave a Comment
As disciple-makers we have a number of challenges. One challenge is how to be spiritual people. Many cultures around the world have experienced Christianity and had some form of institutional Christianity in society. The secular world knows our ‘rules’ and many have experienced forms of judgement. And people have been turned off Jesus by ‘religiosity’. This is tragic. So our challenge is… how can we be spiritual rather than religious? What does it look and feel and sound like to be a ‘spiritual’ person rather than a ‘religious person’? Perhaps more love and less rules? Perhaps less church meetings and more gatherings with people in their worlds? Perhaps more praying for people in their desperation and sin rather than withdrawing from them? Jesus was the perfect example of being spiritual in a culture and society that was saturated with religion. He loved, was inclusive, healed the broken-hearted and set the captives free, he touched the lepers and cleansed them. This is what we need to look like too! And then perhaps those spiritually hungry people will start to find us!
This story from the Singapore team is a simple example of being spiritual and how the family included others in their spirituality. Be encouraged as you read it to be spiritual in every day situations and watch the fruit of this. Jesus- help us to be spiritual people and show us how we need to change.
Two months ago, we met our son’s kindergarten teacher, TK. TK always dresses in very conservative religious clothing.
When we see this, it usually means either:
1) someone who is very religious, and therefore very resistant to spiritual things they aren’t familiar with, or
2) someone who is very spiritual – hungry for spiritual reality and reaching for God in the way their culture tells them to do that.
We had a number of conversations as our son has settled into kinder, and it is very clear that TK is a great educator who cares for her students and is prepared to put extra time and effort into their development.
The context was always school-related, but we touched on spiritual things during a conversation one day when TK and I were team coaching our son about an incident in the classroom that he didn’t handle very well.
“Is there anybody you could have asked for help?” I asked (thinking of his teacher).
“Yeah – I should have asked God for help,” our son replied.
“That’s true,” I responded – not looking at TK but wondering how she was reacting to this, “You can ask Him for help, and He has also given you TK to help you in that situation, so you should ask and obey her, too.”
Apart from nodding her agreement, there was no reaction from TK, and she never mentioned the conversation.
A couple of months later our son had his end-of-year exit interview. During the conversation TK asked why we had come to Singapore given how tough the education system is on kids. Instead of taking the ‘safe’ route (“For work.”), we took a chance and shared how it was the result of prayer – guidance through a dream which seemed to be confirmed by our community and others who were praying for us, and how we had come here trusting that God would meet our needs and the needs of our kids.
TK’s response was a simple nod, “I understand, because I am a spiritual person like you guys.”
This was so encouraging to hear, because that is exactly how we want to be known in our community – as spiritual people. This will help us find and serve people who are open and hungry to explore God.
Person of Peace- the one God has prepared in advance! Leave a Comment
We love this story of a Person of Peace. We have been learning this year about the importance of finding the Person of Peace in Disciple-making Movements. This person has been prepared by God in advance to act as an open door to communities. They are people who are spiritually hungry and open. They will often find us! But also, they share. They are people who will go back to their networks, households and communities and will share what they are learning and their journey of spirituality. Read on to hear about this Person of Peace that God has prepared in advance, before the workers had ever met him!
Dave came to visit us in Brisbane and we were able to get him onboard a ship stopping in the Port of Brisbane. The crew of the ship is all Filipino. I had been on this particular ship a number of times looking for a person of peace; someone who is spiritually hungry, open and who shares with their community.
One of my previous visits was with Ron, a few months prior and we had met the outgoing Captain. At the time, nothing of significance happened except that we both felt that there was no spiritual openness amongst any of the crew. So when I took Dave onto the ship, I was expecting a similar atmosphere. We met the new Captain, a man named Alberto. We had some general conversations with Alberto and some of the other crew members whilst in the mess room. After a time, all the other crew members left the room and Alberto changed the conversation to one of a more personal and spiritual nature. He explained that he had started to gather any of the crew who were interested, once each week, to pray and read the bible together, but admitted he was not much of a pastor. We were really excited to hear what God was up to on this ship! I was able to share with Alberto about the DBS process and we wondered if he would be interested in trying this with his crew. He was so happy to hear about Discovery groups. With tears in his eyes, he talked about his desire to see the crew be given help to genuinely follow Jesus.
We exchanged details and since then have been in regular contact as I coach Alberto in facilitating a discovery group. It has been a joy to hear of what God is doing on that ship and of more men coming to the group (around 12 regulars now). In our latest chat, Alberto said “we do continue on with our fellowship on board and God is really good. We have new members joining us on our weekly fellowship. Our (next) Brisbane call is cancelled. We do not have news when we will be back in Brisbane. Hope we will. Please continue to pray that more members to be added in our discovery group. God bless bro.”
Please pray for Alberto and the guys on this ship!
“I want to belong to you!” Finding a Person of Peace in Etes 1 Comment
Etes is an ex mining village in Nograd County in Northern Hungary, where we have prayer walked several times as a team.
The first time we went to Etes, we knocked on the door of a very poor house. A gypsy man around 45 years old came out and kindly invited us into his home. When we stepped in we realised that even though it was a big house, Jeno and his 3 boys only used 1 room. This was furnished with 2 big beds, a television, a metal oven, and a small table with 2-3 chairs. He had no wood to heat the other area of their house. We could not sit down because there was no space. We stood in the middle of the room next to a bucket which caught the water from the leaking ceiling. Jeno was very apologetic about his circumstances. His voice was so sad and without hope. He told us that his wife had left him and their 3 boys, when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He shared how difficult their life was without mum and wife. He struggles to really help his children because he can’t work or do repairs on his house due to his illness. His children were sitting on the bed and kindly smiling and telling us about their studies.
After he told us about his circumstances, we shared who we were and about Jesus who actually sent us to His home. We asked him if we could pray for healing and for blessing in their life. Jeno was very open with what we were sharing. When we started to share the story of the paralytic man who was healed by Jesus, the atmosphere and Jeno’s heart was filled with hope. After when we prayed for him he said with watery eyes, “I feel better. I feel warm inside and joy. Would you like a coffee?”
We were so happy and when we left they walked us out and waved, as family do after a Sunday lunch. We knew that we would have to come back. We went back several times and every time we talked about some story from the bible and prayed for Jeno and the boys. Gabor and Zsazsa also visited them and took some wood, food and some winter shoes that had been donated.
We went back again, and this time Dave and Colleen came with us. We did not plan to visit Jeno but God did. As we were prayer walking the area Jeno walked down the street with big smiling face as he recognised us. He was excited to see us.
He said, “I wanted to call you but had no number. I wanted to tell you that i want to belong to you. How can we belong to you? The boys want to belong to you too.”
We shared how we belong to Jesus first and then through that we belong to each other. He said he wants to belong to Jesus because he believes that God is good. So right there on the street we prayed for Jeno as he accepted Jesus as God. He invited us back to visit him and read the bible. He said he will tell the boys and others who wants to read and pray together to come when we come next.
We are so excited to find a Person of Peace in Etes. He seemed like the most unlikely person, but God had prepared him to receive the gospel for his family and community.
A tale of two seniors; a Paradigm Shift 1 Comment
My husband and I are in our 60s and have been part of Praxeis for a few years.
It all began with a dream…
“I was attending a banquet at Buckingham Palace. The setting was sumptuous, as you would expect. Just before the meal began I noticed a small door leading outside and went to investigate. It led to a dark, dirty area with cobblestones and rubbish blowing about, where two poor people were huddled over a small fire trying to cook some food for themselves.
I returned to the splendid banqueting room, and although none of the royal family were present, the meal started. Just before I was served I knew I had to go back outside. My friends tried to persuade me to stay but I went anyway. Outside I was surprised to see the Queen and her family had set up tables laden with food and were enjoying a meal with the poor people I had seen earlier. It was a joyful and intimate occasion, unlike the grand banquet going on inside.”
I think what God was showing me was that within the setting of the church we have everything to enjoy. Yet the place of greatest intimacy with God is out in the dark, dirty world where people are trying to feed themselves, but can’t. That’s where His heart is, and He invites us to join Him there.
We have spent many years looking for the fulfilment of this dream, trying to invite others into the church and being involved in church planting along more traditional lines. We love church!
Then a group started prayer walking Melbourne’s western suburbs, and we joined in; a team went up to pray for Western Sydney and we went along. This group, now known as Praxeis, captured our hearts- we wanted to be part of it. We felt irresistibly attracted to what God was doing – sending people out into the world to make disciples among cultures and communities who would not, or should not, be squashed into our complicated western church culture. Stripping the gospel back to an obedient relationship with God which can infiltrate cultures, bring about change and lead to multiplication.
We became more involved in praying for Praxeis but of course that led to change in us.
We are very “churchy” – it’s been woven into our DNA for decades. At times we felt we were doing the splits trying to hang on to our well loved church culture while also becoming more committed to this new wine skin of God’s. Gently but insistently we felt God prodding us to take a step of faith, to be willing to change and adapt.
So at the beginning of this year we stepped out of “big church”, and have been meeting each week to pray, to give thanks, to use the Discovery Bible study method to read through the book of Acts, and to start to obey what God shows us. It still sometimes feels a little crazy- but we believe it’s God. He has used this time to slowly but surely unpack the excess baggage we carry, that clouds the gospel we share with others. We trust Him and it has been a time of great intimacy with Him. We are changing and growing and learning lots. We are learning to pray. Learning how to step alongside people without judging or coming in as “experts” on faith. Learning to listen to others and how to look for a “person of peace” who will become an inside leader of their community. We have so much to learn- but suddenly the harvest field looks full of possibilities.
Friends have asked us: “what is Praxeis? Where can we find it?” I think Jesus fielded a similar question with: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). It’s a God- led, organic, evolving movement, continuously changing and adapting to what God is doing and saying- just like the early church in Acts. You could look for it and find it looks different in every culture. It’s the gospel as a guerilla movement, embedded and led within many different communities. God holds the master plan- all we can do is pray, obey, and trust God with the outcomes.
Someone once said “Faith is spelled: RISK”. We want to be people willing to take this risk. It’s never too late. We long for God to use us however he can, even and especially in our senior years.
Jill Price is the pray co-ordinator for Praxeis. Jill and her husband Dave, love to pray and have been really influential in helping us learn to pray and grow in our passion to pray. For someone reason, whenever Dave prays there always seems to be a big shout at the end of it! He blames the ‘Primitive methodist syndrome’. (Check out his book – Turning the world upside down.)
Discovery bible with non-believers 1 Comment
We were asked to do a DBS with a non-believer as part of our homework for MyWorld (DMM training). I prayed that God would open up an opportunity and give me the privilege to do it. For my job, I teach ESL and throughout the term I had felt particularly drawn to three of my students, a married Chinese couple and a Vietnamese lady and had spent time praying for them. At the end of the term, the students organised a lunch to celebrate. I turned up first and then these three students arrived next and sat near to me. As we were sitting there, I overheard the students talking, “How good would our English be if we could see teacher once a week”. I responded, “Well…”. One of the students quickly replied, “Do you have an idea teacher?” So I shared, “Well, actually my husband and I love to tell people about Jesus and read the bible together”. One student, the Chinese man got very excited and said “yes, yes, we would like that teacher”. The other, a Vietnamese lady, looked a little worried and said “But I am a Buddhist”. I said, “that is ok, it doesn’t matter”. She repeated after me “ok, it doesn’t matter”. We made plans to meet at the Chinese couple’s place in St Kilda. The following week we met up and read through the story of the Prodigal Son as a DBS. They all committed to obedience steps and one in particular felt led to forgive someone who had hurt him. For homework, I asked them to share the story with someone and ask what they thought about the Father in the story. We then enthusiastically agreed to meet up again in a fortnight and do another study (July 31st). We left praising God!!! Please pray for this new small group that they would encounter Jesus as they read the bible together.
From non-believer to a disciple
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During a Red Frogs gathering at Deakin Residence 3 months ago, I connected with a young Malaysian guy who had recently moved to Melbourne. I sensed he was interested in Christianity so I asked him if he’d like to read the Bible with me and surely enough he was keen! Since then, we have been doing DBS (Discovery Bible Studies) together starting with some of the Genesis stories. He has been regularly reading the bible and praying. He has been going through an amazing and speedy transition from someone who had never read the Bible to taking steps towards Jesus. He has been making obedience steps such as giving up gambling and learning to control his temper. He has also told his parents how he’s enjoying learning more about Christianity (who had initially disapproved this to some extent) and they now agree it is okay for him to follow Christianity if he enjoys it.
More recently, I discussed with him the message of the gospel again and shared what it means to follow Jesus, about repenting and believing in Jesus as well as the act of surrender and sacrifice. I asked him if he’d like to go through a prayer to invite God into his life and turn from his old ways and he said YES! He is now a follower of Jesus! So exciting to finally see some fruit from our hard labour! God is good!
It was also amazing how God had brought so many of His people around him within a short period. He had a Christian housemate to whom he was able to ask lots of questions and a Christian classmate (who he found out was Christian by asking “Do you follow a religion? I am interested in following Christianity”). It is such a blessing when God brings us those people he is preparing and whose hearts He is working in.
– Matt Pilcher (leader of the Deakin Uni team)
Lessons on making disciples from the front line Leave a Comment
Recently, Paula had being reaching out to a lady by the name of Amy*. Amy suffered from a lack of identity and and has huge addiction issues as a result. Paula felt led by God to ask Amy if she would like to do a DBS with her exploring stories that highlighted identity and purpose. Amy agreed but after a couple of weeks she was not keen to continue. Paula stepped back and continued to pray for Amy to respond to the Holy Spirit prompting. Three months on Flor, another believer in the church that meets in Blackwater, felt a strong urge to go and connect with Amy. Within a few minutes the conversation had turned to God and within an hour Amy wanted to follow Christ. Since then Paula has being meeting with Amy to do DBS on, you guessed it…identity and calling. Amy is in a battle against addiction and so Paula is also exploring scripture on spiritual warfare and resisting the devil with her.
So what have we learnt from this:
- Obedience to God is more important then immediate outcomes.
- Prayer is the most effective means of connecting people to God
- It takes a team for someone to journey towards Christ.
- Do not use a cooker cutter approach to discipleship but instead allow the person’s circumstances and the Spirit of God to guide you as you explore scripture with them.
– Ron & Paula Turner (Outback connections)
Training at the gym, training disciples! Leave a Comment
At the gym, I was chatting with a young Hindu guy. After sharing the Gospel with him, I asked if he would like to read Scripture and pray with me. He said that he would love to, so a couple of weeks later, we met up to read Genesis 1 and pray. After we had been reading for a bit his housemate, also Hindu, walked in and asked what we were doing. His friend told him we were reading the Bible. I then asked if he would like to join us, which he eagerly agreed to. After reading and praying together, I asked if they would like to do this again. We are now locked in for meeting together each week!
Scott is based in Melbourne’s East and has made it his mission to share the gospel with those he meets at the gym, training disciples and gathering like-minded disciples in church.
“Is that how you do it? I can do that!” Leave a Comment
For some the concept of discipleship and what it looks like in the harvest has been difficult to understand. On one trip recently one of our key people was struggling with this and God gave us an amazing opportunity to demonstrate what it means to share His story.
We were meeting to pray for the community we were in and as the three of us sat and prayed a father, his son and two young men walked towards us and started to engage in conversation. We naturally just shared as the Spirit opened up the conversation. Quickly the conversation went to what is a follower of Christ, which we spoke into. We had opportunity to listen, encourage, pray and be God’s fragrance to this group. Our key person had a real revelation of what discipleship looks like and commented “Is that how you do it? I can do that”. Praise God for His revelation.
“A year ago, I was harvest but now I’m a harvest worker!” Leave a Comment
[Jesus] told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. – Luke 10:2
“I’m moving to Queensland!” exclaimed ‘Miriam’, “My husband has a new job there and we leave next week.”
“Oh!” I replied.
Dozens of different thoughts and emotions were running through my head.
Miriam is from a Turkish Muslim background and began following Jesus less than a year ago. We’ve been privileged to walk alongside her as God has fathered her and drawn her into quite a dynamic relationship with Him. She is a key part of the team and community that is forming out here, is a passionate part of our weekly prayer times together and has played an important role in Katie’s discipleship journey (see below). In a short time she has become one of our closest friends. And all of a sudden, she was leaving. It would be fair to say we didn’t see this coming.
“Wow!” was the best response I could manage.
She continued, “When I heard the news I felt upset, like, ‘Why do I have to leave?’ But after praying about it I feel peaceful. I know I can trust my Father and I think He has a harvest field for me up there.” So cool.
She went on to tell me how she’d spent the previous evening talking past midnight about spiritual things with some Kurdish (Muslim) women she knows, and how she thinks they are wanting to start exploring Jesus for themselves. So cool.
A week or two earlier we happened to be doing a DBS (Discovery Bible Study) on Luke 10, and at one point Miriam commented, “A year ago I was harvest, but now I’m a harvest worker.” So cool.
We’re going to miss Miriam’s contribution to the community and harvest here, but it’s hard not to be excited when you see someone’s passionately loving God, their life being transformed as they follow Jesus, and sharing what they’ve learned and experienced with those around themselves.
We can also see God’s sense of humour in yet another answer to our prayer for more harvest workers. He doesn’t always answer the way we expect Him to.
Please pray for opportunities for Miriam to connect with people in her new area, and for her husband to experience God for himself.
Sevilla update and the power of prayer
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Our work to multiply disciples in Sevilla Centre continues, at the moment mainly through our house church. Several believers who regularly gather with us, have family members who are struggling with addictions to cocaine, and last week we had an amazing time of worship and trusting in God’s restoration power as we prayed together. This week a newer believer came along and shared with us his story of searching for and finding God. His cousin was murdered by her husband and for 9 years he hated him, and planned with other family members to kill him. Not long ago he came to the Lord and forgave him, however his family members are still battling powerful feelings of hatred and revenge. We felt strongly led to pray that he would be a tool that God would use in his family. A few days later we spoke to him and he told us that he had called all his family together including his aunty (the mother of the cousin who was murdered) to tell them about Jesus restoring us to the Father. His aunty was open to the gospel and is reading the bible he gave her. Thank you Jesus for her response, as well as his obedience!
The new Aussie Style Church? Leave a Comment
Andrew from West Sydney met ‘Johnny’ at footy training about a year ago. Johnny had a court case coming up and Andrew asked if he could pray for it. This led to more spiritual conversations during and after training at the pub and Johnny shared how he sometimes visits his Mum’s spiritualist church. Andrew had already started a ‘footy boys church’ that met in the pub and so Johnny came along to this and loved it. After a couple of weeks of Johnny meeting in the pub to do simple church, he asked if he could host the same thing at his home so his friend, Billy could come and feel comfortable. And so the footy church multiplied into two groups, one that met in the pub, just for the footy boys and one that met in Johnny’s home for his friends from his neighbourhood. Billy loved church at Johnny’s house and he now joins in regularly.
On Easter Sunday, Johnny visited a simple church gathering in Andrew’s suburb of Mt Druitt and decided to spontaneously get water baptised in obedience to Jesus. It was a ‘true blue’ Aussie baptism in the back of a ute which was filled with water!
Andrew is learning from Johnny what the new Aussie church can look like: meeting at footy training, meeting in the pub for church and jumping into a ute to get baptised.
God sets the agenda and speaks to open hearts Leave a Comment
God is active; He is working in the hearts of people. We look for the spiritually hungry people and ‘prepare the way for the Lord’ (Isaiah 40:3).
Recently we connected with “Rose”, a Chinese lady facing some hard challenges in life. She is very open to reading the Bible together. The second time we did a Discovery Bible Study (DBS), Rose’s “I will” statement was to spend more time praying and reading the Bible. A major conflict came up in her life and she responded badly. We prayed with her and sent her some Bible passages that deal with handling conflict. We were not sure what would happen next.
The next time when we met up for DBS, she said that she forgave the person who hurt her and had also asked forgiveness for her bad temper. Wow! There is power in the word of God – it’s like a two edged sword! The verses that follow Isaiah 40:3 say ‘every valley shall be raised up, every mountain made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged place a plain’ (40:4). These are the mighty acts of God!
Our next DBS together was on prayer in Luke 11:1-13. When it came to Rose’s turn to share her ‘I will’ statement, she said that would like to be more helpful towards others when she is being asked. I did not understand how she arrived at that application from that passage but she explained that she was unhappy that she had to pick up someone from the airport that day and God showed her that attitude was wrong. This is not an application point that I would prepare for her, but God tailored His message for her.
What we are learning from the Primitive Methodists – Part 4
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This is the last in the series of four reflections on what we are learning from the Primitive Methodists, through Praxeis.
We are learning to reach the whole nation
Like the Primitive Methodists, we seek to make followers of Jesus (disciples) in the “harvest fields” of the people of this nation. John Benton was a pioneer and Travelling Preacher, who believed that Primitive Methodism should be allowed to go through the whole of England. He had a passion for the nation.
In Praxeis we are grappling with the Great Commission of Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations (Mattthew 28:19). For us this means the vast continent of Australia and the nations beyond. We are sending evangelists into the harvest fields of this nation of Australia. So far we have workers in places
as diverse as Alice Springs, Perth, Melbourne, Western Sydney and regional Queensland, working with Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, as well as indigenous Australians and secular Australians.
Here is a video clip of Ron and Paula Turner, who are committed to the people of outback Queensland, an area larger than France and Belgium combined. Their talk is called
Please pray for us. One of the early Dutch explorers called this country “The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit”. Pray that this prophetic word will be fulfilled, and that the Spirit of God will move across our nation, just as Primitive Methodism did two hundred years ago in England.
What we are learning from Primitive Methodism – part two
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2. We are learning to make disciples who make disciples
For Primitive Methodist new believers their faith was more precious than gold.
These new believers in turn made many converts. In our terminology they were disciples, who in their turn made disciples. A disciple is an obedient follower of Christ. Like the Primitive Methodists, this means we are seeking to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ, who from day one can bring their friends and family to know Him.
1. For more details of the Primitive Methodists go to this website and blog
2. Book: Turning the World Upside Down