May 31, 2011
This months prayer letter is a little hard to write because I was expecting to share with you my acceptance as the chaplain of Craigieburn Secondary College. Most of you already know this, but on Good Friday in late April I learned that a high school less than five minutes from my house was in need of a chaplain. Feeling this was the Lords Will I applied for the position and after receiving clearance from the Australian Immigration Department (the chaplaincy is a paid position) was very confident God wanted me to be in this ministry. But on Friday the Chaplains Organization contacted me to say they had decided not to accept my application.
While this was a frustrating setback it also encouraged me to seek the Lord’s Will about my next step in ministry. After some prayer and study this weekend I believe the Lord leading me to develop a discipleship ministry which will train Believers within Cornerstone, and other Bible believing Churches in Melbourne. There is a great need for discipleship or mentoring with the truths of Scripture within our Churches, but the pastor usually doesn’t have the time to work with those who need teaching. While small groups are useful for discipleship, getting individuals to attend is very hard because of busy schedules, and commitments to family or work.
Instead of using small groups, discipleship in Australian Churches is best done one on one at a coffee shop or someones house. This not only fits better with the relational Aussie culture, but also allows the person to go through Bible Studies at their own pace and at a time that fits their schedule. Most pastors in the States aren’t able to meet with individuals from their Church personally during the week, its much harder for Australian Pastors who usually don’t have associate or youth pastors.
I truly feel the Lord leading me to meet this need in Melbourne’s Churches. So recently I began putting together a series of Bible Studies on the Book of Nehemiah entitled “Dealing with Drama.” It covers the challenges he faced while attempting to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem (things such as crisis, fear, criticism, suffering, and sorrow) and helps Believers deal with their own challenges in a way that honors God. Session one covering Nehemiah 1:1-10 and discussing how to deal with a crisis has already been completed and I have invited all the young men of Cornerstone to meet with me at least once during June to work through the study together. Please pray that these meetings would become opportunities to study the life of Nehemiah, and I could challenge them to rely on God’s strength in times of weakness.
While publicizing Dealing with Drama may develop interest, the best way to begin discipleship with someone is through personal invitation. So pray that the Lord would give me discernment and wisdom in who to approach about becoming involved in this study. I am aware that not every Believer would be interested in going through discipleship or would have the time or energy to become involved so the Lords clarity is definitely needed. Also ask God to give me confidence so that I would not only invite those who need discipleship, but also encourage them to become involved. While May was filled with pain because my chaplaincy application was rejected, it is also filled with hope and excitement about what God will do through this discipleship ministry.
Because of Who He is,