The Current Welsh Outpouring
Imagine being part of a relatively new local church where literally hundreds of people, many from the margins – drug addicts and alcoholics – have given their lives to Christ in a single month.
Stethoscope – an interesting advertisement
Toowoomba Churches working together to assist healing of their city
Toowoomba is known for the outstanding degree of unity that exists between the Pastors of the city and across the Christian community in general. After the record floods that hit the city in January this unity came to the fore again.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Wollongong has a slightly different format for their Saturday (Sabbath) worship program. The whole church has their Bible Study groups first up, and after that, all the people move into the worship service. This format then gives in depth Bible teaching, maintains relationships, and gives opportunity for personal ministry. The worship service section is much like any other Christian worship service with singing, prayer and a message. The SDA website has a quality video clip, produced for the SDA churches in Australia, which clearly explains what their church stands for. The minister, John Bews, enjoys visiting other churches on his Sunday off!
Bulli Anglican Church – At the traditional 8 am service, during communion, Rev Leigh Roberts would as usual, invite people come forward and kneel at the communion rail. There would be a couple of people assisting with handing out the bread and wine. As well as this, there would also be a man and a lady ‘floating’ to pray for people when they came forward. People requesting prayer would catch the eye of those who were available to pray. Sometimes people got prayed for without asking, always trying hard to be sensitive to what God was saying and to the current needs.
Berkeley Life Centre Community Anglican Church – Berkeley is a church with special needs. The Church Army pastor, Wayne Pickford has introduced a couple of different ways of doing things. In the middle of the service, there is a smoko break. On the screen is a big picture of a stubbed out cigarette, it’s all very normal. Also available at this time are huge day old cakes from the bakery across the road, plus tea/coffee. During the prayer time, Wayne walks around chatting to folk and drawing out prayer points. He then prays for folk or their prayer points on the spot as he moves around. For sermon notes, at the Sunday I attended, Wayne dictated the main points as he went. At the end of the message, he had just one point of application which people had written in their own handwriting.
The Lighthouse Church – The Lighthouse Church in Wollongong has involved the congregation in 21 days of prayer and fasting in February. The aim is to seek God in a serious way. The attached booklet has been given to church members as a spiritual and practical guide. Already, there are stories emerging about deepening relationships with God with a growing desire to worship Him more and more. Other churches no doubt have called their people to fast and pray at special times or when facing major issues. To quote from a great preacher from a past era “No man is greater than his prayer life”. There are various types of fasts, and if a person has a medical condition or is taking medication, then it is wise to consult a doctor before fasting from food for an extended time.