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Author: Chris MacLeavy

34. ESTJ. Theology. Family. Marvel.

What is Ministry, Anyway? (Part 1)

So what is ministry, anyway? I want to offer four ideas. Four keys that have unlocked for me what ministry is. Not that I’ve “discovered”ministry; but that as I reflect on my life, I see the gradual revealing of my participation in God’s story and how it has shaped me – but more specifically for today – how it has moulded the way that I approach this “ministry thing”. My prayer today is that God would use my story (not that you’d see me though) to give us some tangible ways in which our theology of ministry can be practically applied to our daily lives, that God might get the glory both inside and outside the church.

Justification is Not ‘Just-as-if-I’d Never Sinned’

Lately I’ve been hearing preachers declare the good news of justification – a word central to the Christian Gospel. They frequently use the catchy word-play that justified means “just-as-if-I’d never sinned”. It seems like a clever phrase, and something that we as Christians can celebrate. But it’s not really that clever, because justification is so much more than this. The main flaw with this definition is that it’s incomplete. Justification should never be reduced to merely the removal of sin. It’s not a negative – sin being dealt with – it’s a positive: I have moved into a right relationship with God. Let’s explore a legal metaphor first. Recently there has been a court battle going on where a person was accused of a significant…

We Shared the Gospel with You, and our Lives as well

Yesterday our church family said goodbye to some dear friends. It was a bittersweet moment as the congregation joined in prayer to bless this couple prior to their departure back to the USA in a few days time. It would not be an exaggeration to say that during their time serving the church in Australia, they had touched every life with the love and grace that Jesus Christ exemplified, and every heart was heavy to see them go. At the same time, they (and we) know that their journey back to the US is in God’s timing, and so they were released with the most love-filled blessing a congregation could express. When Greg and Linda were invited to say a few departing words, Greg captured…

Compassion, the Gospel, and Us

An amazing thing about compassion is that because of God, it’s indestructible.

This Sunday we continued our series on the character of Christ. Taking examples from remarkable people like Mother Teresa, we saw what true Christ-empowered compassion really looks like. And along with forgiveness, humility and love, as Christians we are called to clothe ourselves (Colossians 3:12) with compassion as we represent Christ to the world. Mother Teresa’s life undeniably embodies compassion both in her everyday and through specific events; like when she convinced the committee that awarded her the Nobel Peace Prize to use the finances for her awards dinner to feed 400 starving children…for a year.

But the message of compassion is never complete if it doesn’t begin where this post started.

Pray for your Wife

I’m now fast approaching seven weeks until I get married. As I reflect upon the way that my life will change (and is already changing), I’m reminded of the way in which Scripture calls me to love my wife, and how Jesus demonstrated that love and relationship in community with the Father and the Spirit through prayer. It’s so important that I pray for my wife. And I don’t just mean a quick little prayer for her in the morning or at night; I mean intentional and devoted praying for her. As I’ve been thinking about reasons I need to pray for my wife, here are a few: Prayer causes me to consider her. I have a busy life, and I can easily be distracted…