From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church 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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Ups and Downs

Life has its ‘ups’ & ‘downs’! We all know that because we all experience them. Many of you know I’ve just gone through a personal time of physical and health challenges that involved numerous medical appointments and procedures. Thankfully I’m now back at work and coping better. This period has reminded me of our complete dependence on God’s grace. This period also reminded me of knowing what to do with our grievances and challenges when we go through ‘down’ times? Answer: … pour out your hearts to God. (Ps.62:4). I love the honesty of this answer that we read in Scripture! God invites us to pour out our hearts to him when we experience difficult times.       5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;          my hope comes from him.       6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;          he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.       7 My...
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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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Grace

Grace is freely given to us because of what Jesus has done for us. We do not need to earn it. There is no checklist we are required to meet. We receive it as a gift. It can be easy at times to forget about grace.  Perhaps it is because grace isn’t something that is tangible. You can’t hold it in your hands. It is like the wind you can’t see, but instead feel. The gift of grace is something so valuable we should want to tell others, and grow in our relationship with God. After all, in Acts 20:24 the Apostle Paul says “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” One way we can be prepared to testify of...
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The Power of Community

What does the word ‘community’ mean to you? Of course, it can mean many things; our neighbourhood, our friends, our colleagues at work, our classmates at school. I could go on. But to the New Testament church, it was so much more. In Acts 2:42–47 we read how the early church truly did life together; they sold possessions, they cared for those less fortunate, they shared meals and testimonies with one another. The early church truly came together as one. This truth should challenge and inspire us today. It should challenge us to share our lives, to care for one another, to share the testimony of what Jesus has done for us with one another. In other words, it should challenge us to be the body of Christ. In a body, all the different parts need to work together for the body to function effectively. No matter what role that part...
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The Blessing of Teenagers

Teenagers are often given a bad rap. Media, as well as a lot of parenting resources, paint them in a rather negative light. As teens navigate the tricky phase of not being a child anymore but not quite an adult yet, they are often described as sullen, irresponsible and self-absorbed. And maybe some are. I mean, no one can deny being a teenager is hard. But I want to celebrate and highlight the amazing teens we are blessed to have serving at BPCC. These teens are energetic, reliable, fun-loving, flexible, brave, willing to try new things, kind… And I could go on. Indeed, we have many Junior Leaders (aged between 13 and 17) serving in our Children’s Ministries every week. They serve in Crèche, Jnr. Kidz Church, Kidz Church, and at GEMS and Cadets. These young people are praying with and for our little ones. They are leading and modelling worship...
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The Comfort and Challenge of Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23) It can be challenging to find peace in our modern age. We are rushed off our feet with work and study, family and church, and a million other things which drain our time and energy. Our society is geared toward...
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A Note from Church Council

Hello Church I trust and pray that 2017 has started well for you! Over the last few days the words from Pastors Adams sermon last Sunday morning continue to echo in my head – ‘What really matters in 2017?’ Such a simple question but as the push and pull of the year goes on it can be hard to remember what is really important. Fortunately for us – God’s word continually reminds us of what our priorities need to be. In 2017 what really matters is that we get closer to God through the year and in so doing start or continue living out the plan He has for each of our lives. That plan – of course – means us being effective for His kingdom and making disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ in our circles of influence. From a Church council point of view we are also considering what...
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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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2017 has started!

2017 has started! Many of our church family have been able to enjoy holidays, and families are getting ready for the new school year. Ministries are also gearing up to start. WANTED: An urgent request has been made from one of our members for blankets, sheets, towels, clothes, footwear, toiletries, kitchen items, to be sent to an orphanage in Liberia, housing 300 orphans due to the Ebola outbreak in recent years. A container is being packed and sent to Liberia next week – so we only have coming Sunday 15 & Monday 16 to collect these goods. Please drop them off at the church (office or church hall). BIBLE READING: If you were in church last Sunday, you heard my invitation for us as a church to be more intentional about being Christian difference-makers (witnesses for Jesus) in 2017. I’ve been touched by the positive comments and agreement many of you...
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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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Plant Seeds

This Sunday in our morning church service we celebrate and acknowledge the end of a season for our grade 6 children. Their time at Kidz church has come to an end. A number of them have been with us at Kidz church for the last 6 years, while others have come along the way. A time like this causes me to reflect on the journey they’ve travelled so far and to envisage what lies ahead of them. Kidz Church, like all of our Children’s Ministries at BPCC is a place our children will hear the gospel message, that Jesus died for their sins, that God loves them abundantly and that we are to love and care for others. The teaching comes through caring leaders who all have their own story or journey and they share and lead from their experiences. They speak truths about God from scripture and from their own...
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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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Get Involved this year

Thank you for your continued generosity for the upcoming Carols Event. There are still many ways we need your help! You can sign up to serve online www.bpcc.com.au/serve or at Church this Sunday. We especially need help with the following: Car Park Attenders (1 or 2 hours, between 5-7pm) Baking (drop off Friday or Saturday) BPCC Stall (welcome, sell glow sticks, info about BPCC) Kids Craft “Ask Me” helpers (welcome, assist with directions) BBQ servers I love what Rick Warren says about serving, ‘The Bible says, “In our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10b TEV). These “good deeds” are your service to the world. Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God and fulfilling one of your purposes (Colossians 3:23-24; Matthew 25:34-45; Ephesians 6:7).’ The BPCC Carols event...
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The National Church Life Survey @ BPCC

The National Church Life Survey @ BPCC The ‘National Church Life Survey’ (NCLS) is run once every 5 years, and will take place in Australian churches in October and November 2016. The survey involves hundreds of thousands of churchgoers and thousands of churches and leaders, across more than 20 denominations. The Australian NCLS is the largest study of church life in the world. The NCLS Research team, who conduct the survey, is a non-denominational group with a mission to help identify signs of hope in churches and its leadership, to build vitality and connect churches and communities.   The NCLS offers a positive, inclusive process that helps leaders to lead by: giving each person a voice comparing our church with national benchmarks and tracking BPCC’s history. BPCC has again elected to take part in the NCLS survey and an opportunity for our congregation to participate will be provided on Sunday 27th...
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We have much to be thankful for

Hi Church, Last Sunday was a wonderful celebration of God’s goodness and provision to the life and ministry of BPCC over the last 25 years. A big thank you to all who were involved on the day! I am very excited and thankful for those that have responded to the call for Carol’s sponsorship. From your generous donations, we have covered ALL the sponsorship opportunities. Praise God! How encouraging that BPCC is serious about sharing the gospel message this Christmas. We can all still be a part of making this day a success. We need volunteers to help; you can sign on after Church this Sunday, or, go sign on via our web page. (www.bpcc.com.au – serve – serve at Carols). Please pray for this year’s Carols Event. Last year we attracted more than 1000 people from our local community and we can’t wait to make 2016 bigger and better than...
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A Note from Church Council

Dear Church Family, A couple of months ago I wrote to you regarding the survey we undertook earlier this year, and at that time I gave you an update on the results and the key themes identified. In the meantime, there has been a considerable amount of work going on in the background to advance resolutions and outcomes in these key areas. The purpose of this note is to give you a further update on some of the proposed actions BPCC staff and Church Council will be putting in place. Whilst the feedback from the survey was overwhelmingly positive there were also five key areas identified where we could grow. As a reminder, these 5 key areas were: Increasing the number of community events and activities;  Fostering a greater level of energy in our worship services; Evaluating the format of sermons;  Strengthening our youth ministry, and; Intensifying our spiritual passion and...
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Carols 2016

We are so excited about the preparations for the 2016 Bray Park Community Carols! Last year attracted more than 1000 people from the greater Bray Park, Lawnton, and Petrie area, and we can’t wait to make 2016 bigger and better than ever. We hope to reach more people to share the great news of Jesus’ birth! We have opportunities available for you or your business to give back to the local community and be a part of sharing the gospel message this Christmas. Sponsorship may vary from monetary support to goods-in-kind. Like last year, we want this event to be a free event that our local community can attend. Please take a moment to browse the options below (approximate cost is listed) and consider whether you would like to be a part of this wonderful opportunity. For business: to show our appreciation we will use signage to indicate who has sponsored...
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Are you ready for November 2016?

Two things affect me when I ask myself that question; challenges and responsibilities. By challenges I mean those things that come out of the blue and we have to deal with them as best we can. They often take time, resources and energy that depletes our effectiveness for those things we want to do, or, be the person we want to be. By responsibilities I mean those ‘things’ we know we are responsible for, and expected of us. And sometimes we don’t meet these responsibilities as well as we could or should. This takes more wind out of our sales. Challenges and responsibilities. How can you and I avoid letting these two things steal our joy as we enter the crazy busy period leading into Christmas and the New Year? Here’s how I’m finding hope, energy and passion for this final stretch of 2016! I’m being reminded of my uniqueness –...
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Connect, Grow, Serve, Go...

are four words we use to describe the way we grow as disciples of Jesus here at BPCC – all summarised in our church booklet Who We Are – available at our Church Connection Centre. One of the ways we as a church ‘Go’ into the world with God’s love, is through our involvement and support of the New Life Orphanage in Myanmar. New Life Orphanage supports, cares and educates 170 orphans. Each year several from our church family here go to visit and take part in various teaching, and building projects. I had the opportunity to visit the orphanage a few years ago, and it was a defining moment for me – I was so impacted by the love and commitment of those who serve there. I ‘felt’ the impact of the words we read in James 1:27. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:...
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