January is an excellent month in Australian culture for slowing down and taking things a little easier. There's a general good will in the community that flows on from Christmas till Australia Day. Leftover celebration food means there's generally more interesting things in the fridge. The roads are smoother because the caravan parks are crowded. And even if you have to work, the inbox is emptier because people are spending more time surfing the web than sending messages.
So what might you do with your extra time before the seriousness of February descends?
We suggest you take the opportunity to take stock of some of the basics in your ministry, to ensure they're ready for the new year. This month we've provided a series of six easy-to-digest videos and audio files that cover the following key areas:
- Discovering the Migrant Mind-set – Have you got significant migrant communities in your area? Listen in on this excellent seminar by multicultural church planter Peter Ko and make sure you're not inadvertedly putting up barriers to the Gospel.
- Key Thoughts for Fundraising – Planning on launching a fundraising campaign in 2016? Check out this short video from fundraising guru Rod Irvine on the very basics for speaking to Christian communities.
- Evangelistic Pastoral Care – How's the health of your congregation when it comes to personal relationships? Are they good at caring for each other or outsiders? Listen in on this seminar with Sarah Kinstead who trains chaplains for a living, and see how the right sort of care can assist in the spread of the Gospel.
- Professional Sounding Music Ministry – How's the musical worship side of your church plant going? Five minutes with Phil Percival from Emu Music and St Ebbes Oxford is all you need to understand the basics for developing a professional sounding music ministry.
- Reaching the Non-Aspirational – Church planters have a habit of going where more established denominations and networks fear to tread. If God has called you to minister to 'struggle street' then this is the audio file for you. Steve Timmis from The Crowded House movement reminds us of the different tactics needed to reach and disciple people from difficult socio-economic areas.
- Discipleship Re-Growth – Is one of your 2016 goals to mature your congregation and develop disciples make more disciples? Col Marshall from Vinegrowers helps us recap all the key points for Discipleship Re-Growth in this insightful seminar.
We hope you find these a help as you settle into 2016, and we're looking forward to hearing how God blesses your ministry in the months to come!