Thursday, February 6, 2014

AccessTheStory


(Continued from previous post)

"WHERE ARE YOU UP TO WITH YOUR NEW ORGANISATION?"

Well before we began with Youth Ministries Australia, I developed a way to engage with the Bible story using the brand AccessTheStory. We have made the decision to utilise this name for our new organisation.

OUR VISION: to see a story-formed generation released into communities of faith for the mission of God.

OUR MISSION: to engage people in story-formed discipleship so their understanding and proclamation of the gospel is changed.

WHAT WE DO: Bible engagement and discipleship through the lense of STORY.

WHAT WE VALUE:
  • The scope of story - engaging with the whole story of God provides a greater context for following Jesus.

  • The power of story - storying through the biblical text provides a greater opportunity for personal and community transformation.
  • The pathway of story - a genuine space for discovery provides a greater sense of ownership of learning.
INCORPORATION
As of the 19th December we became an incorporated body after submitting our constitution to the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs on the 18th of December.

OUR BOARD
On Saturday the 11th January we held our first board meeting. The members of the board are Grant Burgess (WA), Steve Byard (SA), Ellen Beasy (SA), and Tim Beeck (WA).

TRANSITION
We are currently in the midst of seeking to finish well with CCCA, while we establish the logistics for AccessTheStory - our prayer is that transition might be as smooth as possible.

LAUNCH
We are aiming to launch AccessTheStory formally on the last weekend of March in 2014. Our hope is to confirm some other members of the team by that time as well. We would love it if you could mark 7.30pm, Saturday the 29th of March in your diary!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

COFFEE WITH A MATE ON THE GOLD COAST



(Continued from previous post)

"AM I BEING STUPID?"

"Am I stupid for entertaining the idea of birthing on organisation around Story-formed Discipleship?"

That was my next question. It was helpful to be able to say it out loud, and Rowan isn't unfamiliar with this kind of territory. Both he and I are avid supporters of the local church, and we both have asked the question more than once around the numbers and necessity of ministry organisations.

But as I told the story, and shared with him how I'd made enquiries with three other alternatives and none of them seemed to fit, he gave me a great picture that helped clarify things.

"God's kingdom is like a rainforest." He went on to explain that God will use different people and organisations at different times to provide the environment for kingdom growth. He also encouraged me to take responsibility for what I believed God had given us, and if that meant starting something to see it further in its scope, then that's what we should do.

My conversation with Rowan was one of number at the National Youth Ministry Convention on the Gold Coast late in October 2013 - ministry leaders - all of them affirming of what I believed God was calling us into.

So I returned home from Queensland, confident that God was leading us to start something new - we will most likely be doing the same activity, but from March 2014 it will be under a new banner.

(More to follow)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A YIROS WITH MY NEW BOSS IN MELBOURNE






(Continued from previous post)

"AM I IN THE RIGHT PLACE?"

This part of the story is when the ball begins to curve - we never saw it coming - we weren't to know that my questions we're bringing us to a point of stepping away from Campus Crusade for Christ Australia, and birthing something new.

My next question to wrestle with was: "Am I in the right place?" If God's calling on our lives was to see change in how the Australian church understands and proclaims the gospel, then it was right to query the context in which we were serving.

At the same time I was wrestling with this question, CCCA announced a transition of National Director, and after a series of events and conversations I found myself in Melbourne enjoying a Yiros ('kebab' for non-South Australians) with my new boss, Allan.

So I popped the question, “am I in the right place?"

After asking me what I meant, I explained to Allan the journey of the few months prior, and suggested that my personal calling might complement the focus of CCCA, but may not be aligned with the stated organisational objectives.

We talked further - it was a long lunch - then we eventually came to a point where he agreed with my assessment of the situation.

I didn't want to be hasty, but for the benefit of all parties involved, we needed to be decisive, so Pixi and I resigned from CCCA, and therefore YMA - giving 4 months notice.

Not an easy decision - but as we begin to reflect, it was the right one ... and Allan and others have been incredibly supportive as we navigated the pathway of finishing well.

(More to follow)

Monday, February 3, 2014

BAPTISMS IN A WESTERN AUSTRALIAN DAM



(Continued from previous post)

"AM I ASKING TOO MUCH?"

The answer to the question, "what do you want?" kept bugging me as I led a team from Adelaide to WA for YMA's annual IMMERSEWEST event in July.

Another question had formed, "Am I asking too much?"

Surely the stated goal of being a part of equipping a generation for a broader gospel paradigm was overstating the perceived need, if not, then perhaps it was just plain arrogant.

Then Ethan showed up with the words: "we should do that baptism thing."

Ethan was a young man with very little grasp on the Bible or the person of Jesus before his IMMERSE experience. On the second last day as he walked with some friends by the creek, after having made a first-time faith decision the night before , Ethan suggested that he and his mates should do what he'd heard in the story that morning - demonstrate his faith through baptism.

No-one told him that's what Christians do - he initiated the idea through what he'd heard and experienced.

The next day, after some conversation with the local youth pastor and phone calls with parents, five young men were baptised in the freezing cold waters of a dam in Logue Brook, Western Australia.

After seeing this kind of transformation, I had an answer to my question, "am I asking too much?” What was the answer?

"No - Bible engagement and discipleship through the lense of story is bringing significant transformation ... The sort that needs to be released into a broader scope."

But this answer raised another question.

(More to follow)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A PLANE TRIP TO SYDNEY





(Continued from previous post)

WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?"

The words of a good friend rang in my ears as I travelled the familiar flight path to Sydney, "what do you really want?"

It was a 'calling' question - and it bugged me - not because I didn't know the answer, but because I didn't want to name it.

By the end of the flight, the answer was clear, "I want to see change in how the Australian church understands and proclaims the gospel."

The grandiose nature of the statement still gives me shivers, but the impact in people's lives through IMMERSE and the timeliness of this kind of impact amongst a generation who resist institutionalised religion are both undeniable.

Something else that's been hard to deny is the timeliness of the subsequent events and conversations.

(More to follow)



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Clarity comes through a curveball ...




Every year, Pixi and I have a theme that shapes our thinking for serving in God's work - our theme for 2013 was CLARITY. As we look back, clarity never really came until the last minute with the decision to step out and initiate the birth of an organisation around Story-Formed Discipleship.

"Are you guys out of your minds?!”

No-one has asked us that point blank, but we've asked that of ourselves ... And we'd probably think that if friends of ours said that God was calling them to birth a brand new mission organisation.

So, this series of posts is an opportunity for you to decide whether or not there's a sheep loose in the top paddock, as we see AccessTheStory become a not-for-profit organisation.

Our hope is to answer the questions we would ask of friends of ours if they were doing the same things as us!

Stay tuned for the next few days as we tell the story of the last few months ...

(More to follow)