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.

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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Wisdom for How to Vote

This blog post is written by Dr. John Dickson. John is the Senior Minister of St. Andrews Roseville, near Sydney. He is also a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity and lectures at Macquarie and Sydney Universities. The post originally appeared on John’s blog (www.johndickson.org) and is used here with permission. - - - I am the true ‘swinging voter’. In the numerous elections of my life (beginning with the Federal election of July 1987), my personal votes have been fairly evenly split between Labor and The Liberal, or Coalition, parties. In what follows, then, I have no agenda. The last thing on my mind is to influence which party you vote for. I do, however, want to insist that people who identify themselves as Christian should vote in a way that is informed by their faith, whatever decision they finally make. While Christianity is not party political, it...
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Wisdom for the Refugee Crisis

Wisdom for the Refugee Crisis

The plight of asylum seekers and refugees is one of the most polarising issues of our day. On the one hand, there are those who argue we should open wide our borders and our communities to the displaced and the fleeing. On the other hand, there are those who argue we must slam the borders shut in order to preserve our culture and our way of life. And there is seemingly very little middle ground. Media outlets portray the situation in a certain light depending on their political leanings, social media engagement is often little more than ideological propaganda, and organised rallies descend into violent shouting matches. Even the labels we use—asylum seekers or illegal immigrants—leave little room for nuance, and give a window into our feelings on the matter.

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Wisdom for Same-Sex Marriage

What is marriage? This is, perhaps, the million-dollar question in our modern, Western culture. The shape and form of marriage, more than any other issue, has dominated the metaphorical news-feed of popular conscience. At the heart of this fixation is the desire to redefine marriage as not simply a male-female union, but as a male-male, or female-female union. 

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Wisdom for Life

The conviction that lies at the heart of our current sermons series—Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World—is the simple fact that we all need wisdom. Wisdom, of course, is the right use of knowledge. It is the proper application of God’s truth to every area of our lives. And we need this. We need wisdom if we are to navigate the complexities of life in this broken world.  It is painfully obvious that this world is broken, and it is full of complex, broken situations. On a daily basis we are confronted with issues and problems where a wise and proper response is not always intuitive. For instance, what should we make of the push to redefine marriage? How should we respond to the pressing issue of the refugee crisis? How are we to engage in politics? What about issues surrounding gender? How can we be wise when it comes to...
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3 Lessons Learned in Haiti

Last Saturday at 6am, after far too many hours crammed into a flying metal tube, I returned home from a 3-week ‘Compassion Insight Trip’ to the USA and Haiti. Compassion, as you I’m sure you know, is an organisation working to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.” And so, the goal of the Insight Trip was for pastors and leaders to see first-hand the plight of children living in desperate poverty, but also to see the way in which Compassion partners with local churches to meet the needs of these children and release them from poverty. As I reflect on the experience, and the myriad people I met and the myriad things I saw, it is exceedingly difficult to distill the trip into just a few lessons. I have a sneaking suspicion that the full impact of the trip will continue to be felt in my life and ministry many...
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Reasonable Faith and Unreasonable Grace

Currently, the Bible Reading Plan I am working my way through (www.bibleinoneyear.org) has me reading, among other things, the book of Acts. As I have read the story of how the early church spread throughout the world, one particular word has stood out to me. Perhaps it has something to do with my ‘Type A’personality (see logical and organised; or, according to my wife Molly: fussy), but it is the word “reasoned”. Over and over again, Luke (the author of Acts) tells us that the Apostle Paul, in his missionary endeavours, would “reason”with people regarding the faith. He “reasoned with them from the Scriptures”(Acts 17:17). He “reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks”(18:4). He “entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God”(19:8). He “took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus”(19:9)....
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What about those who have never heard the gospel?

Perhaps one of the more difficult questions facing the Christian worldview is: “What if someone has never heard the good news about Jesus? Are they condemned to hell?” Usually in mind when someone asks this question is the remote villager, someone deep in the jungle completely isolated from modern civilisation, unaware of who Jesus is or why he matters. Or, perhaps in mind are the generations of indigenous peoples who lived in Australia and America prior to European settlement. Or, the great number of Chinese people who lived before the first missionaries arrived. Or, the countless civilisations of pre-Christian Africa and Europe. Are they all lost for eternity? Are they condemned to hell simply because they haven’t (or hadn’t) about Jesus? Obviously this is not just an academic or theological question. It is a question of compassion, because it concerns people. People like you and me. And, it is a question...
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What is the millennium?

I was only 13-years-old, but I can still vividly recall when the clock ticked over from 11:59pm to 12:00am, and the calendar ticked over from December 31st, 1999 to January 1st, 2000. Perhaps it was the backyard fireworks that have helped to aid my memory? Or, perhaps it was the chance to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; the dawning of a new millennium, a new thousand-year-period. If you can remember the weeks and months leading into this time, you will remember there was remarkable interest and intrigue in the beginning of the new millennium (Y2K anyone?). It was a significant event.  The idea of a millennium, however, is not simply a significant event on the calendar of human history, it is, for many Christians, a significant doctrine. Quite simply, the doctrine of the millennium is an event that is said to be related to the return of Christ. And for this reason,...
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What will happen before Jesus comes back?

The return of Jesus Christ is one of the most debated and controversial topics in Christian theology. Some people love to talk about it, others love to avoid it. Others have even tried to guess when it will happen, down to the day and the hour. But, as we know, they have all been incorrect. Jesus told us, "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only" (Matthew 24:36).  Of course, that doesn’t mean we know nothing about the return of Christ. For instance, we know he will come suddenly, personally, visibly and bodily (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28). We know we should eagerly long for his return (1 Corinthians 16:22; Philippians 3:20; Titus 2:12–13; Revelation 22:20). We know (or at least we should) that we cannot know for certain when Christ will return...
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Who or what is the antichrist?

What do Vladimir Putin, Adolf Hitler, Pope Francis I and Barack Obama have in common? Aside from the fact they are (or were) influential men, they also share the dubious honour of being labelled the ‘antichrist’. In fact, throughout history, various individuals have been suspected and accused of being the antichrist, including Nero, Charlemagne, and Napoleon. Though we might wish to place the notion of the antichrist in the ‘too weird’ or ‘too hard’ basket, the simple fact is the Bible speaks about it, and so should we. However, we must do so in such a way that is faithful to the intent and meaning of God’s Word, and not to our fanciful imaginations.  So, who or what is the antichrist? Most people, when they talk about the antichrist, mean that ultimate false Messiah who will oppose God and his people, and deceive them into following him. This is why prominent...
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Doesn’t the Bible suggest this world will be destroyed?

In the first week of our new sermon-series, ‘Surprised by Hope,’ we talked about, ‘Hope for the World’. Specifically, we asked the question: What does God intend to do with the world he made? What has God promised to do with the earth he created? The answer, we saw, was that God intends to renew this world. Heaven shall descend to earth and God will dwell with his people in a renewed creation forevermore (Revelation 21:1–5). Heaven shall become earthy, and earth shall become heavenly. This is certainly a stirring vision, and one that should infuse our lives with resplendent hope and resolute purpose. But, perhaps, as you thought about this future hope, that of “a new heaven and a new earth,” you wondered about those verses in the Bible that seem to suggest a violent and final destruction of this earth? How do they fit in? Indeed, in some parts...
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Come and Die

“Come and die.” Not exactly the most enticing words in any situation, let alone as an invitation to follow someone. We’d probably prefer, “Come and I will help you reach your potential,” or, “Come and I will make your wildest dreams come true”. Yet, when Jesus called the crowds to follow him he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). It is, in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” As we have studied the second half of the Gospel of Mark together over the last few weeks, I have been struck by the prominence of this truth. Over and over again, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that to follow him means to follow him to the cross. It means to die to yourself, and come alive...
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