Archive for March, 2011

Mission New Zealand and Australia

On Wednesday I leave the UK for 2 weeks in New Zealand and Australia. I
had planned to base myself on the New Zealand leg of the trip in
Christchurch whilst I conduct 4 Seminars across that part of the South
Island. Due to Earthquake I am expecting the Seminars to be cancelled, but
have left it open for the decisions to be made locally. I have attached
some photos from Christchurch from where I will be staying.

The region of Australia and New Zealand have been hit by floods, fire and
earthquakes over the past few months. Whether we are a nation that
considers itself safe or a nation facing difficult circumstances I still
think there are people just waiting to be invited into a relationship with

In the flood zone of Victoria Australia in a place called
Bendigo. Four church buildings and hundreds of homes have been destroyed
in the past couple of months.

I had a great response to the Seminar in Melbourne where around 60 church
leaders were in attendance. One vicar said “I came away feeling really
excited and empowered to lead my church forward.” Whilst another church
leader said “I found the seminar very helpful, instructive and stimulating
(having been a mite sceptical beforehand)”

We have a generation of church leaders who have not experienced massive
numerical growth of the church. Many are worn down, struggling to keep up
with the demands of servicing a congregation and an area. The Seminars
often act as a defibrillator. A defibrillator delivers a therapeutic dose
of energy to the affected heart.

I flew to Christchurch into a city of the earthquake where both
the people and the ground is still in shock. I led a Seminar in Timaru north of the city
After a very difficult beginning to the New Zealand leg of the tour with a
visit to Christchurch, the week is ending on an extremely high note with
near 300 church leaders reached across Wellington, Hamilton, Cambridge and
Nelson. A real mix of denominations were present and all appeared to go
out with the possibility of envisioning doubled congregations through

In Christchurch I felt my first earthquakes, a 3.6 and a 4.4 on the
richter scale. I was with friends in their house and it was like a high
speed train had passed by outside the house.

The people of Christchurch are in my view in a bad way psychologically
grieving the loss of loved ones, and facing 40 aftershocks per day. There
is only one subject in town.

The visit to Australia and New Zealand has been in my judgement effective
as church leaders leave being encouraged but challenged to be all the God
has created them to be. I trust this is God’s word being living and
active. Pray that it will not be a momentary work of God but that it will
live and impact the lives of the thousands they represent.

14 flights
12 Seminars
spoken to 450 church leaders and 250 congregational members