From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

In addition to preaching, Adam leads the Young Adults ministry as well as providing oversight for the Student and Children’s ministries. When not at church Adam can found enjoying a good book & a good coffee with his wife, working towards completing his Masters of Divinity or supporting any Queensland sporting team.

How to pray with others

I’ve done it many times. More times than I’d care to remember if I’m being honest. Picture the scene: I’m talking with someone and in the course of our conversation they share with me a burden, a need, or a grievance they have. And before I’m fully aware of what I’m saying I hear the words, “I’ll pray for you”, escape from my lips. Now of course I mean what I say; I do intend to pray for that person. It’s just that sometimes my intentions have failed to match my actions. Maybe you can relate?   My failure in such instances has convinced me of the need to not just offer to pray for someone (as great as that is), but to pray with them. Right there and then. The process isn’t that much more complicated or difficult. It just means when I feel God leading me to pray for...
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How should a Christian use social media?

Somewhere in the last couple of decades this thing we call ‘social media’ crept into our homes, onto our screens, and took its place in our calendars, our conversations, and our consciences. Indeed, for most of us, social media is a regular part of our day-to-day lives. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Nor is it automatically a good thing. But because social media has taken such a dominant position in our lives and in our world, we would do well to think intentionally about how we should engage with it. There are obvious benefits—connection and creativity, information and inspiration—but there are also many potential pitfalls. In the article, A Social Media Heart Check, Kim Cash Tate proposes 4 questions that should guide the way we engage with social media. Let me offer them to you.   Am I Walking by the Spirit? In Galatians 5:22–23 we’re told the fruit of...
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Bible Reading Resources for 2017

In his classic book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney says: “No other spiritual discipline rivals the importance of the intake of God’s Word. No other spiritual discipline can compensate for the lack of it. Without feasting on the food of Scripture, no one will enjoy a growing, healthy Christlike life.” And of course, he’s right. If we want to hear from God we must read, mediate on, and feast upon His Word. Here are some resources to help you do that in 2017. Bible Reading Plans Bible Reading Plans for 2017 from Ligonier Ministries A variety of different Bible reading plans The 5-Day Bible Reading Program Through the Bible in one year with readings 5 days a week Read Scripture Plan Through the Bible in one year and praying through a psalm each day Three Year Bible Reading Plan by Tim Chester Through the Old Testament once...
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The Wonder of Christmas and the Humility of God

Now, before I say anything further, let me be clear; I’m no humbug. In fact, I love Christmas! I love buying (and receiving!) gifts, I love spending time with family and friends, I love singing Christmas carols, and I love eating Christmas food. But with that in mind, I’m also painfully aware of the potential for these activities to distract me from the wonder of what we truly celebrate at Christmas: the truth that God became man in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the midst of buying presents, attending parties, preparing food, writing cards, and visiting relatives it’s easy to forget the world-changing, life-altering truth that in Jesus Christ God has come to us.    In fact, this is part of the reason I love the opening verses in the Gospel of John (one of the accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry). The Gospel of John does not begin with the...
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The ‘E’ Word: Reflections from Organic Outreach

Evangelism. That one simple word can send shivers down the spine of many Christian’s. That one simple word can conjure up memories of awkward conversations and angry interactions. And yet that one simple word also encapsulates the mission to which God has called us to be busy with in His world. Call it what you will—evangelism, outreach, mission, sharing the gospel—the goal is the same: to reach people far from God with the great news of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ. Recently, as many of you would know, I attended the ‘Scatter: Organic Outreach Conference’ in Monterey, California. The 3-day conference was hosted by Shoreline Community Church, led by Kevin Harney, and included a great line-up of speakers and breakout sessions on a number of helpful topics. In addition, for the 2 days prior to the conference I attended Intensive Training around how to imbed outreach into the life of a...
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The most repeated command in the Bible

Last weekend we kicked off our Term 4 sermon series, ‘Faith in a Secular World: Daniel 1–6’. I hope and pray it was instructive and inspiring for you to learn from Daniel’s example about how we can live and thrive in a secular world like ours. I know personally it was good for my heart, soul and mind to be reminded of the truth that in spite of present appearances, God is in control. And, we see this reassuring truth not only in the book of Daniel but throughout the entire Bible. One example is in Isaiah 41:10 where God says: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Or in Luke 12:32 where Jesus says: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's...
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Pondering the Plebiscite

It is an issue that has seemingly divided the nation—and one that is not going away any time soon. Should the Marriage Act (1961) be revised to include same-sex couples? In more recent times the debate has centred on whether a plebiscite (a national poll) should be held on the issue. Some are opposed to a plebiscite because they claim the debate will engender hatred and abuse towards gay and lesbian Australians. Others say it will cost too much. Some, like former High Court Justice Michael Kirby, oppose a plebiscite simply on the grounds that national polls rarely come back in the affirmative. On the other hand, advocates for a plebiscite argue that such a momentous change to the definition of marriage should be put to the people, rather than being decided within Parliament. In any case, whether the plebiscite goes ahead or not, one thing is for sure, the social,...
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Jesus, The Beatles, and Rest

In 1968 The Beatles released a self-titled album that eventually came to be known as ‘The White Album’. On this influential album is a song titled: “I’m So Tired.” Though it was recorded almost 50 years ago, it could easily have been written about us today: I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink; I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink; I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink. I'm so tired I don't know what to do; I'm so tired my mind is set on you; I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do. You'd say I'm putting you on; But it's no joke, it's doing me harm. You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain; You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane You know I'd give you everything I've got; For a little peace of mind...
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Has God got your attention?

Last Sunday we explored the story of Moses’ life-changing encounter with God at the burning bush in the wilderness of Horeb (Exodus 3:1–10). After 40 years of exile in Midian, God captured Moses’ attention with a strange and inexplicable sight—a bush that burned but did not burn up. Perhaps this extremely significant encounter got you thinking: Does God still reveal Himself to us in this kind of eye-catching way today? Now, on one level the answer is obviously no, because “…in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Heb. 1:2). Jesus Christ is God’s enfleshed, final Word to humanity. And what a Word He is; a Word full of grace and truth (John 1:14). And yet, at another level, there is little doubt that God still uses metaphorical ‘burning bushes’ to capture our attention and turn us aside. Think about what the burning bush actually was. It...
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Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life?

Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life? This is the question that Michael Wittmer asks and, I believe, persuasively answers in his excellent book, "Becoming Worldly Saints: Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life?". If we're honest, this is probably a question that many of us have wondered privately, but never articulated publicly. Perhaps we think it's blasphemous to wonder if following Jesus will really lead us into the best that life has to offer? And yet if we don't really wrestle with this question we may go through life with the damaging, and often imperceptible, assumption that following Jesus means we miss out on the good things in life. For this reason and more, I believe "Becoming Worldly Saints" is worthy of your time and attention. So, in the hope that you may be sufficiently intrigued (or provoked) to go out & read it, let me...
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Can a Christian be demon-possessed?

Any time the topic of spiritual warfare is raised—as it was last Sunday in the sermon on Ephesians 6:10-13—good and plentiful questions are sure to follow. One question that often comes up is: Can a Christian be demon-possessed?    Now, at one level, this question is relatively simple to answer. If by “demon-possessed” we mean that a Christian is so controlled by Satan they are unable to worship God, obey Him, or control their behaviour, then the answer is clearly ‘no’. Scripture is gloriously clear about the radical change that occurs when someone becomes a child of God. In short, believers are indwelt by God’s Spirit (John 14:17; 1 Cor. 6:19-20), they are united with Christ (Eph. 1:3-10; 2 Cor. 5:17), all of which ultimately means they are “rescued… from the dominion of darkness and brought… into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col. 1:13). Or, in the words of...
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What old buildings can teach us about the Church

In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit—Ephesians 2:21-22   I don’t know about you, but I love old buildings. I love structures that have stood the test of time and remain for us as reminders of a bygone era. A couple of years ago, Molly and I went on a holiday to Tasmania where we took the opportunity to visit the Port Arthur Historic Site. Some of the sandstone buildings and old homes from the 18th and 19th century convict settlement were simply remarkable. Last year, when I was in the historic U.S. city of Boston, I visited King’s Chapel; a church building constructed in 1754. Considering the First Fleet did not arrive on Australian shores until 1788, that is...
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The Priority of Church

Is it important to attend church on a weekly basis? Should believers make the weekly gathering a priority in their busy schedules? This is—in our day and age—a loaded question. And one in which there seems to be a variety of opinion. Perhaps part of the confusion stems from our understanding of the word church. Many people instinctively understand the church to be a building. The church is somewhere you go. But in Scripture the word ‘church’ comes from the Greek word ekklesia, which means “assembly” or “called out ones”. The church, then, is a people you belong to. This means, if you are a Christian, you don’t so much go to church, as you are the church. You don’t attend church; you gather with the church. The distinction is important because I believe it is the deficient understanding of the church as a building or a service that leads many...
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What is Organic Outreach?

On Monday the 14th of March, from 10am to 4pm, we are hosting—in conjunction with the Reformed Theological College—an ‘Organic Outreach’ seminar led by Kevin Harney. Kevin is the Lead Pastor at Shoreline Community Church in Monterey, California, and has written extensively in the area of evangelism and mobilizing churches for effective outreach—most notably in the book from which the seminar derives its title, ‘Organic Outreach for Churches’. But what is organic outreach? Well, as Kevin succinctly defines in his book; organic outreach is “…not simply about sending money and prayers to missionaries or having a committee that plans occasional events to reach out—although these things are good. Organic outreach happens when evangelistic vision and action become the domain of every ministry in a church and the commitment of every person in a congregation.” In other words, organic outreach is about building and fostering a culture of evangelism in a local...
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Compassion Sunday

Well, it’s finally here. Today we officially launch our church partnership with Compassion! As I’m sure you know by now, Compassion is a child advocacy and development ministry that partners with local churches in over 26 developing countries around the world, in order to see children released from poverty in Jesus’ name. And we at BPCC have the great opportunity and privilege to join Compassion in this mission. Did you know that of the 2.2 billion children living in the world today, more than half are living in poverty? Did you know that poverty affects every area of a child’s well-being and life? Poverty not only causes frequent illness, chronic malnutrition, and impaired physical and mental development, but it denies children access to basic health care and education, weakens a child’s protective environment, and exposes them to abuse and exploitation. It robs children of opportunities and choices and steals from them...
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What makes for good preaching?

What makes for good preaching? There are any number of potential answers to that important question. It could be that a sermon is clear and well-organised. It could be application that speaks to the heart. Or it could just be the presence of enough stories and jokes to keep your attention. Of course, all of those things contribute towards good preaching, but there is one thing above those things that distinguishes good preaching as truly ‘good’. It is, quite simply, to say what God says. If Scripture represents the very words of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21), then when we open the Book in order to open our mouths, we want to say nothing less and nothing more than what it says. Our sermons may be clear, well-organised, incisive, and engaging, but if they are not faithful to the biblical text, then they cannot truly be regarded as ‘good’....
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Stop, Pause, and Reflect

Considering the rate at which the month of November is disappearing, I think it is safe to say that we are officially in the end-of-year busy season. In no time at all 2015 will be done and dusted, lost in a haze of Christmas lights, car park rage, and hot summer days. Crazy, I know. If you are like me, in the midst of this end-of-year craziness, you too experience the temptation to simply hurtle ahead, carried forward by a combination of caffeine and what your calendar tells you is next. If you are like me you are more fixated on what is coming up than what has been. If you are like me, you rarely take time to stop, pause, and reflect. And this, I think, is to our detriment. One of the repeated refrains of the Old Testament, particularly the book of Deuteronomy, is to “Remember what the Lord...
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Wisdom for Wealth

“Money, get away, Get a good job with more pay and you're O.K. Money, it's a gas, Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash New car, caviar, four star daydream, Think I'll buy me a football team” —“Money” by Pink Floyd “Greed… is idolatry”—Colossians 3:5 “There is great gain in godliness with contentment”—1 Timothy 6:6 Money has, without a doubt, a peculiar and particular hold upon the human heart. The well-known adage— “How much money is enough? Just a little bit more”—is, unfortunately, all too true. Now, of course, money is not inherently evil. It is the idolatrous desire for money and what it represents that Paul tells us is evil in 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils…” Not money itself, but the love of money. Unfortunately for us the love of money is a common, perhaps universal,...
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Wisdom for Gender

It seems like an obvious truth: God made us male and female. One human race, differentiated into two different, but complementary genders. It seems simple, and neat. But in the hard realities of life in a broken world, it is anything but. Increasingly so we are confronted by fluidity and intricacy within the cultural conception of gender. The somewhat recent “transformation” of athlete and reality star Bruce Jenner into Vanity Fair model Caitlyn Jenner brought the issue to the forefront of our collective mind. In reality, however, this is not just an issue in the hills of Hollywood but also in the suburbs of Australia. Indeed, if we are to engage wisely and winsomely in this area we must go some way towards understanding phenomenons such as gender dysphoria, intersex, and transgenderism. To be sure, these phenomenons are undeniably complex and present us with a labyrinth of pastoral, theological, and ethical...
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Wisdom for Abortion

The issue of abortion is profoundly complex. Its implications are far-reaching; invading realms as diverse as science, biology, theology, psychology, politics, and ethics. But more pointedly, abortion is complex because it is personal. It affects the lives of any number of individuals in deeply profound ways. And, more importantly, because it is an issue that gets at the very heart of what it means to be human, it is an issue that God cares deeply about. And thus, one that we must care deeply about. Because this issue is particularly intricate in its implications and effects, we have decided to post links to a number of different articles from Eternal Perspective Ministries—the ministry of Randy Alcorn—rather than write one simple blog. Randy Alcorn has written extensively about abortion and its attendant issues, and has much wisdom to teach us. So, can we urge you to take the time to read the...
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