Saturday, 29 March 2014

The World's 5 Biggest Problems

The World's 5 Greatest Problems
March 25th 2014
The world is increasingly becoming a global village. We now have entire media networks dedicated to potentially delivering news as it happens from anywhere in the world. Sadly, those of us in the more affluent parts of the world usually don't get the most important news offered to us. Instead, we often get dished a diet of celebrity appearances, entertainment updates, political scandals, media commentary and sporting match results. To quote Neil Postman, despite the potential of our News media to inform us and even call us to action, we are "amusing ourselves to death."

There are several websites which list the survey results of what people think are the world's greatest problems. The major problem with such surveys is that they are largely Western and almost always fueled by how the participants have been informed by their media sources. Here's a summary and ranking of the word's greatest problems, and possible solutions to them.

5. Religious Fundamentalism and Terrorism
The word "Fundamentalism" has come to mean those who think they are right and everyone else is wrong ("Us and them"). Added to this, Fundamentalism has come to mean that Fundamentalists feel not only justified in attacking those who disagree with them, but morally obliged to do so. In it's worst form it looks like murderous terrorism. In it's more subtle forms it looks like slander of those who disagree with them. Religious Fundamentalism adds the dimension of claiming that they alone are endorsed by God to carry out these acts of terror and oppression. Typically women and children suffer under the shadow of Religious Fundamentalism. Thus, girls are treated as objects (so-called 'female-circumcision' is often inflicted on these girls and even genital mutilation is performed - this was highlighted in the movie about Waris Dirie, Desert Flower), denied an education, 'married' off as young as 13 (when their bodies are incapable of the physical implications of marriage).

TerrorismFundamentalists are not prepared to defend their positions. Rather, they merely assert their positions are right and true and resent any challenges to them. Questioning is not allowed. Other views are maligned and misrepresented. This leads to hatred of others who do not agree with them.

Dialogue is the solution. To foster the kind of international dialogue necessary to counter religious Fundamentalism and the subsequent threat of terrorism, trade, tourism, and educational exchange programs are needed.

Christians are also prone to a kind of Fundamentalism. The solution to this is found in First Peter 3:15.
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 
First Peter 3:15
While dialogue is the starting point toward a solution, truth is the goal of such dialogue. This needs to happen at cultural, political and religious levels.

Click here to continue reading this article

Friday, 28 March 2014


(Hint: try the kitchen then the lounge-room.)

The last few days had been harrowing. Their brother deteriorated slowly and painfully. In his final hours he struggled to breathe and was in obvious agony trying. Their only hope refused to help. His final minutes were unbearable and even more unbearable to watch.

Four days after Lazarus had died and been buried, Jesus finally arrived. Of the two confused and grieving sisters, it was Martha who went out to meet the arriving Jesus. Only months before Jesus had been the dinner guest of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. At this dinner Martha had been rebuked and this rebuke was public and, to add to her potential humiliation, recorded in the sacred annuls of Scripture for the entire world read of.
¶ Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42
Please don't think that I am being dim, but what did that rebuke sound like? You may look at me quizically and read these verses to me again. But all you'd be doing is telling me what words Jesus used not, how they were used. Words are an important component of communication - but they are still only a component. When you've been publicly rebuked what did it sound like to you? There is the highest possiblity that when Jesus appeared to rebuke Martha for being pre-occupied with the necessities of life, it had a deeply therepeutic effect upon her. The major clue that this was the case is her greeting of her Rebuker-Saviour when arrived "late" to attend to her brother Lazarus recorded in John 11.

But I sincerely doubt that Jesus was rebuking Martha for being concerned about food preparation more than Bible teaching. The rebuke seems to be for her more-or-less accusing her sister Mary of wasting time. Mary, we read in the above passage, was transfixed on what Jesus was teaching her, rather than being in the kitchen with Martha. Some overly practical bods have lept to Martha's defence at this point and pointed to other people who were commended for their practical mindedness. But this misses the point. Jesus wasn't rebuking Martha because she was bearing her responsibilities as a hostess - Jesus is not against being responsible or practical - rather, His rebuke was about misplaced priorities and unwarranted judgmentalism.

We now live in an age where it is the easiest it has ever been in human history to be distracted from preserving divinely warranted priorities. For example, I now mostly read my Bible on my iPad. But my iPad is a perpetual source of temptation away from my spiritual disciplines because the same iPad which has the world's most powerful Bible software also has Email, Twitter, Facebook and world news. None of these things are wrong, but if they become a higher priority than spending time in prayerful Bible reading, they become wrong.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:33
Even though we are a tech-friendly church, this is not our priority as a church. The story of Mary and Martha is a timely reminder for us not to be so caught up in the practical matters of life at the price of being in the wrong room of the house when Jesus is our guest. And even as a church, with all our valuable activities and programs, we must know which room Christ is in. There are times when Christ is in the dining room - not dining, but washing feet! There are times when Jesus is in the "kitchen" preparing to feed 5,000. The issue for us is not about getting a 'balance' between spiritual and practical matters, rather we must see all that we do as a spiritual activity - even if it is preparing a meal for Christ 'in the kitchen' -
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
Matthew 25:35 - 40
- or in the 'lounge-room', in the midst of the congregation lifting our hands in songful worship. Everything we do should not only be for Christ, it should be with Christ - where He is. Which room is Christ in, in your life - and are you in that same room like Mary was when Jesus came to her home?

Ps. Andrew

Friday, 21 March 2014

Here We Go Again

When The Past Keeps Presenting Itself

The Past has power. It defines. It reminds. It hurts. It invades the present. Like a trendy ageing rock-star’s weirdly tinted glasses, the Past colours how we see our present and discolours our future. As a result, we often treat others based on our past experiences with them. We also treat our present problems based on how we’ve dealt with similar past problems. But the Past, just a little more than the present, and quite unlike the future, has the unavoidably bad habit of becoming out-of-date and even obsolete. Have you allowed the Past rent-free occupancy in your life?
In the Past when a patient was suffering from high blood pressure, physicians would use leeches to “blood-let” their patient ( This practice started with the ancient Greeks and continued up until the 1800s. Someone had the courage to examine the Past and realised that patients got worse and not better as a result bloodletting. Have you ever considered that what you’ve been doing in the past hasn’t worked? Like the person who grew up watching their parents fight whenever they had a disagreement and then faces a problem in their own marriage and is almost instinctively guided by the Past, resorts to this futile strategy to solve their own crisis. Just as the end of ancient medical bloodletting came when courage was used to realise that this strategy didn’t ever work for their parents and it has never actually worked for them either! 
The Past has a cousin called Nostalgia. Nostalgia loves talking about his cousin but does so in a very distorted fashion. Nostalgia magnifies the good times and attempts to convince us that these good times were far better than they actually were, and at the same  time tries to tell us that the bad times weren’t that bad! It’s hard to spot Nostalgia - after all, it always creeps up behind us and begins with a whisper in our ear with a pleasant memory. But there is a kind of Nostalgia that is closer to sorcery than Remembering because it takes a damaging past event and reinvents it as the present solution to a similar difficulty. For example, I know of a person who was introduced to drinking. Initially they felt somewhat guilty for accepting the introduction but as time went on that drinking session became a Nostalgic memory which helped them relax. They then experienced some unwelcome stress and Nostalgia whispered in their ear that a drink would help them to relax. They struck up quite a friendship with Nostalgia and accepted Nostalgia’s suggestion that they now “needed a drink” in order to feel happy, gather their thoughts, and cope. Meanwhile Nostalgia is sniggering behind their backs as another victim is now fully duped.
When the Eternal Jesus came to redeem mankind His atoning death had the effect of reaching into the Past, changing the Present, and redirecting the Future. This was illustrated on the night He was betrayed when He took bread and said, “Do this” (Present) “in remembrance of Me” (the Past) “until I come” (Future). Christ’s Cross transcends time! He deals with our Past, aids our Present, and gifts our Future.
Because of the Gospel (the supernatural life-giving message of Christ’s work and offer) we can break free from our negative Pasts, live an overcoming Present and have a brighter better Future. The Gospel shows us that people change. You may think that you have no hope. But the Gospel gives us hope. It teaches us that the angry can become easy-going, the downcast can become joyous, and the despairing can become optimistic. The next time you find yourself saying, “Here we go again” remember the Gospel you have accepted - and remember that the Gospel has delivered you from your Past, given you guidance for your Present, and invested you with hope for a better future.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Second Corinthians 5:17

“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old. 
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-19

Andrew Corbett

Friday, 14 March 2014


Talent Show JudgeHave you ever watched one of those "talent" search TV shows where someone who is convinced they are a world-class singer gets their big break to sing to the world and when they do, despite the desire and determination to be a pop-star, they obviously can't sing?!

Before millions of people watching on television they are then humiliated and made the object of YouTube mockery! But I wonder how people can go through so much of their life and not ever have someone tell them the truth about their dire lack of singing ability? Or maybe some did...
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 
Ephesians 4:15
Simon CowellSome people are convinced that they are good (even great) at something (such as singing) when, in fact, they are not. I suspect that some people, not wishing to offend, will simply tell someone what they want to hear becuase they want to encourage them. I love people like this! They are encouragers through and through. Thank God for them. I suspect that there are some other people who form a judgment about someone's lack of ability and say nothing. These people are not naturally encouragers but neither are they liars - they can't tell someone they are good at something they are clearly not. Then I suspect that there are some people who just tell it like it is. Their primary motivation is to be truthful - not to be encouraging or even caring.
Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.

Proverbs 12:17


So I've been wondering: How do you tell a bad singer that they are a bad singer? After all, singing is a window into the heart of the singer and criticising a singer is therefore an injury felt in their heart. But as these various Talent TV shows prove, if no one convincingly tells a bad singer that they can not sing, they are going to have their heart hurt even more painfully and this time on national television before millions of mocking crtics. However we answer this important question, it will probably be done best when we do our utmost to apply Ephesians 4:15 - speaking the truth in love.

Speaking the truth in love rarely means being rude, blunt, or harsh. But neither does it mean lying. The fact that I am thinking out loud about this important problem should probably indicate to you that I don't do this well. Therefore anything I say about this has come about not becuase of any great wisdom I pretend to possess, but from the hundreds of times when I have got it horribly wrong. In this light, interpret my advice as a confession of my many mistakes.
  • TRUTH SOUNDS LOVING when you have developed a relationship of trust with the person you are speaking to.
  • TRUTH SOUNDS LOVING when you get permission to say it.
  • TRUTH SOUNDS LOVING when you separate the person from the problem.
  • TRUTH SOUNDS LOVING when highlight positives while pointing out the negatives.
  • TRUTH SOUNDS LOVING when you haven't told everyone else before you've said it directly to the person you're talking about.


As tricky as it is to speak the truth in love, it is no where near as tricky as hearing the truth in love. In fact, based on my random guess, I would say that hearing the truth correctly and accepting it is about 63% of the determining factor involved in the Truth With Love equation. In all probability, many of the bad singers who audition for these TV Talent shows have more than likely had several people try to tell them that they can't sing. But what if they hadn't? This was a topic of discussion for our small group this week when our Bible Study group was considering the verse in Romans 12 about forming a "sober judgment" about yourself and not "thinking of yourself more highly than you ought." The question was asked about such talent show contestants whether others had tried to tell them the truth about their lack of talent. "Surely", said someone in our group, "surely they have people who care about them?" The question presumed the Truth With Love principle is going to be best practiced by those who care for the person. But this question also makes another presumption: that the person being told the truth will receive it in love.
¶ For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Romans 12:3
Receiving the truth requires hearing well. As difficult as I have found it to speak the truth in love to someone, it pales dramatically compared with my general thin-skinned lack of ability to hear the truth with love from someone. Sometimes I just don't want to hear the truth. Sometimes, although I know that what I am being told is true, I won't hear it because I don't like it.

The follower of Christ is commanded in Romans 12:3 how to think and therefore, by implication, how to hear what others tell them. How well do I do this? How well do you do this? Our truth-targets may not be our singing. It may be our attitude. It may be our punctuality. It may be our level of sacrifice for our family, for our church, for our State. It may be our workmanship. Our ability to hear the truth and our attitude about hearing it from others is a large factor in whether others even attempt to love us with the truth.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Second Timothy 4:3-4
Sermon illustration
¶ Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 
James 1:19
How we speak to others is a refection of how we love others. But how we hear others is a reflection of how easy we are to love. James links listening with speaking and getting angry. I imagine that he experienced what many of us have experienced when we've tried to talk to someone we love about something that needed to be said because it was true. In our attempt to say something true to them, they get defensive and do more talking than listening - and then eventually get angry with us. [Sigh] And while I find this frustrating in others, I am far less able to hear how others might find it frustrating when trying to be truthful with me. The sober judgment of Romans 12:3 calls the follower of Christ not to be defensive ("I can't change now ... This is who I am ... If others don't like the way I do it then they can ... I'm too old to change now ... Who do you think you are to talk to me like that! ... Well that's just your opinion - there are many others who love my singing!" ... ). Can we hear the truth? Hearing the truth is one of the first steps in letting others love us. And as strange as it sounds, there are many people looking for love who actually make it difficult for others to love them because they don't hear well - if you hear what I'm saying?

Ps. Andrew

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

5 Mistakes Pastors Make

There's a lot about life which is counter-intuitive. There's more about pastoring (than many other professions) which is even more counter-intuitive. This is why many pastors commit mistakes that actually hamper their ministry. Here's five common mistakes that many pastors make that don't necessarily sound like mistakes.
The pastor regards himself as the minister to his church.
Most pastors I know are plagued by guilt about their pastoring - Am I doing enough? … Am I caring enough?… What more could I do for my congregation? … and so on. It is one of the most common mistakes that pastors make. The problem is it creates a bottle-neck in the church and stifles individual congregational members from growing.

The pastor delegates too quickly.
It sounds like the remedy to Mistake #1, but it is the second most common mistake that pastors make. Delegating quickly involves selecting someone not trained or qualified for the task. It then abandons the ill-prepared person to whom the task/project has been delegated, with little to no support or supervision.

The pastor is threatened by the initiatives of others.
It seems like strong leadership to ensure that the pastor initiates or approves of every ministry endeavour in his church. The pastor who insists on everyone going to or through him before they take initiative is creating a rod for his back and ensuring that his church can only grow to a certain size. Insecurity causes a pastor to feel that others who take initiatives are undermining his leadership authority.

The pastor is not predictable.
I know that many of the Pastors' Conferences have mega-church pastors share that the pastor has to be continually surprising and innovative. But the reality is that all of the mega-church pastors are highly regular and predictable. When a pastor is all about something one day then preaching against it the next, it creates more than confusion in those he's trying to lead and shepherd - it creates serious questions. When a pastor announces a vision for the church then changes it each week for the following four weeks, it undermines his people's ability to have confidence in him. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the pastor's ministry regularity, predictability, and consistency all provide social and emotional security for a church.

The pastor owns the problems of the people in his church.
Most people's problems don't last. Most pastors carry other people's problems more intently than the person with the problem. It sounds counter-intuitive, but pastors need to discharge their pastoral duty toward those battling with problems using wise and appropriate Biblical counsel and then not own or carry that particular person's problem(s) by leaving that person to accept and act on that counsel. People are more resilient than even they realise. Pastors have to deal with more life problems than most other professions. Marriage breakdowns, bereavement, illnesses/injury, job losses, wayward children, relationship dysfunctions, all take their toll on the pastor who inappropriately carries his people's problems.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014


How does someone become "successful"? Whatever your field, you probably know of someone doing what you're doing, who is, to your bewilderment, far more successful than you. How many of us can make a better hamburger than McDonalds? Probably most of us!
Ronald McDonald...But how come Ronald is the richest clown on earth and we're scratching for parking-meter money? In studying the successful, one thing becomes clear: Success is not the domain of the most educated, the most beautiful, or even the hardest working.
¶ I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. 

Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT
Success is not a matter of luckSuccess means different things. Despite what many think, attaining "success" is not merely a matter of 'luck'. Success nearly always has its reasons. The Successful know what these reasons are and how to implement them. But when the reasons and causes of success are not obvious, often survival takes precedence over success.
For example, I see this too many times with parents. They end up feeling frustrated that their kids won't do as they're told. No matter what bribes are offered or apparent levels of discipline exercised, these parents just don't seem to succeed with their kids. Similarly with some people who go into business and end up working long hours and losing money. They often blame the economy, their staff, or the government in their frustration. And we've all met people who tell us how they are trying to lose weight, but instead, put more on. These people are unsuccessful at losing weight. The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is not simply effort.
¶ Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
Ecclesiastes 9:11


Strategic planningIf you've ever attended a leadership or success seminar, you will undoubtedly hear that in order to succeed, you have to have a "Strategic Plan". A Strategic Plan is developed after a process of discovering the vision, the mission, and the goals a person or organisation has. The Successful have all done this formally (or at least informally). This includes successfully married couples and parents. This is why when I prepare a couple for marriage, I take them through a strategic plan process(although I don't call it this). But this is not the formula for success. It is one of the mistakes that people striving for elusive success make when they go through the process of Strategic Planning and think that the process itself is the formula for certain success. For a couple preparing for marriage, who want to succeed in their marriage, they need to answer the 'why' question (agree on their marriage's purpose) and the 'where' question (where is their marriage going to end up?). Parents need to do the same. But, to repeat myself, it is a mistake to think that this is all they need to do to succeed. Planning is considered by many to be "the key to success". It may be the 'key' but it only works if it's put into the right door-lock! It is a mistake to think that having the "key" is the same as being successful.
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
Joshua 1:7
It is not uncommon for this mistake to be made even bigger when Christians are involved! Here's why…

All too often Christians generally make a simplistic series of mistakes when it comes to achieving success - thinking that they are being "faithful" Christians. Attend most Church Leadership (Success) Conferences and you'll hear why Vision is important, and Mission is equally important, and Goals are necessary. But the biggest mistake many Christians make is to think that they themselves play no part in whether they are successful or not (believing that God - and God alone - determines whether someone is successful). Of course, they don't call success: "luck" (they call it "being blessed") but they way think of "blessing" they might as well call it "luck"! The fact that Scripture commands believers, surely means that believers have the privilege to make choices and play a role in the direction of their life.
And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him.
First Samuel 18:14
The third biggest mistake that Christians often make is to think that every problem is solved by prayer. "I guess all we can do is pray about it", they say. But this is rarely "all" we can do about it. Parents might pray that their pre-schooler learns the alphabet. They might pray really long and hard. But this is not all they can do in order to see their prayer answered! Similarly, pastors who want to see their church grow, should not think, "All I can do is pray." Pastors. like everyone else need to ask and answer the "how" question. Under the Old Covenant when God told Moses to construct the Tabernacle, Moses selected skilled and intelligent men who knew how to build. No one would accuse Moses of neglecting to pray, but praying isn't all that Moses did.
¶ "Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the LORD has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded."
Exodus 36:1
Babolat WiFi tennis racquetThe fourth mistake about success, that is in risk of being worn-out, is that any success can only come about with the latest technology. Bear Grylls catches fish out in the wild with a long shoelace and a paper-clip, yet our local boating/fishing store advertised a fishing rod on our local TV station last night for $499! Hollywood has at times spent millions of dollars to produce viral YouTube clips and flopped more times than they care to admit. Yet some bored bloke with his $40 flip-phone, videos himself tickling his kitten and it gets 24 million views overnight! My racquet company of choice, Babolat, has just released a tennis racquet that is WiFi connected to a player's iPhone via an app which is allegedly going to help someone to play better tennis!


Parents need to ask the 'How?' question in order to learn the skills necessary to foster happy, disciplined, polite, teachable, cooperative children. The Bible is replete with "How" advice for parents (such as, train, teach, counsel, discipline, establish boundaries, model the fear of the Lord, demonstrate reverence for God's Word and God's House, and so on). Business people need to also ask the "Yes, but how do we do it?" question. The Bible has things to say about this as well (invest appropriately, do your research, work diligently, treat staff well, sell at a fair price, remember the poor, and so on). But the Bible does not restrict the answer to the "How?" question merely to its own pages. The Bible encourages us to find wisdom and understanding beyond its pages in nature, in others, and in the writings of others.
¶ Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.

Proverbs 6:6
When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.
Second Timothy 4:13


Discovering how to do something is a two-stage process. The first stage is learning. It involves being instructed. It takes humility. It means acknowledging and discarding poor practices and adopting new ones. Thus, answering the 'how?' question demands change and it will not negotiate our terms of surrender. As difficult as this first stage of answering the 'how?' is, it is a walk in the park compared to the second stage: implementation. To implement a correct (but different) strategy requires great courage. The person who has tried and failed to lose weight is shown how to actually lose weight and is then expected to be at a friend's birthday party that night. It takes great courage to implement the proven plan in the midst of great temptation to do other.
¶ So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale.
Second Corinthians 8:10 MSG
The Pastor who learns 'how' to lead his church into growth must change what he has been doing (or what has been done), and then have the courage to wisely pastor his church through this period of change. Most pastors realise that for a church to grow past 200 people it must do several things better (AKA: "different"): train the church to care for each other, develop gifted leaders who are able to lead and exercise decision-making, connect everyone into a small group, shift the focus from 'meetings' to spiritual growth and health, phase-out insecurity and phase-in 'team' and, develop a "How" Strategy that everyone in the church knows and implements.
...we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:15b-16

For a church to grow in this manner it too must get the 'how?' answer. This is called being strategic. It's one thing to want something, but it's another entirely to know how to get it, and an utterly entirely other thing to have the courage to persist in doing it - even though in the short-term it looks like a complete failure! Parents will experience this when they introduce long-overdue boundaries for their children. Businesses will experience this when they implement new management structures and systems. Churches will experience this when they begin to implement the above list. And those trying to lose weight may even find they initially gain weight as their body-fat converts to the heavier body-muscle!

If you have ever discovered how to do something after a time of frustration in not knowing how to do something, you'll know the sheer joy and delight that comes with it. Finding out "how" comes from finding someone who does know how, and asking them to share their 'know-how'. It also comes from reading books written by people who know how. And one of the most accessible ways to discover 'how' is in a good church where teaching things relevant to living well are frequently addressed directly and modelled by many indirectly.


There is a holy problem which causes all Christian leaders to continually ask: "How?" It is referred to as The Great Commission. Christian leaders who think deeply about this sacred problem, ask "How can we fulfil the Great Commission of discipling nations?" It soons becomes apparent that the answer is far bigger than one local church. It encompasses the health of churches in a community, the level cultural receptivity to the claims of the Bible, the way the media and arts portrays the claims of Christ and His followers, how these churches engage with the broader community, and the means used to communicate the Gospel with the world. Even the Apostle Paul asked the "How?" question about these issues. And so should we.
¶ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
Romans 10:14-15


As one of these Christian leaders who does continually ponder "How?" we can fulfil our part of the Great Commission, it is my hope that more and more followers of Christ will learn how to succeed individually, in their marriages, in their families, in their careers, in their businesses, and in their churches -- so that this kind of success becomes the training ground for the realsuccess that we must somehow find when it comes to discipling the nations of the world. This is why I have always told my children they can have whatever they want - we just have to figure out how.

Ps. Andrew