A2A's President's Update

Welcome to April 2017 A2A Movement Update

 

I’m still coming to grips with the fact that it’s April already and Easter is just about upon us. Where has the year gone?

The last two weeks have seen many of the communities where A2A churches in Northern NSW and South Eastern Queensland are located hit by sudden and devastating floods. During such calamitous times I couldn’t help but be moved at how churches in these regions got involved in helping their communities.

Centre Church is Lismore was one such church where the people of the church rolled up their sleeves and got deeply and I’m sure exhaustingly involved in the local community. I heard that Centre Church were cooking and distributing 200 meals a day as part of their relief efforts.

The words of Acts 2:47 came to mind where the church enjoyed the favour of all the people in the community.  How can this happen? This happens when a church and it’s people are involved in the local community by being the hands and feet of Jesus that take His love in a way that practically blessed.

 

 

Amazing Asia!

 

When the floods hit, 32 of us from A2A, (including Senior Pastor Rod Dymock and Board Member Dave Winter from Lismore) were in Asia experiencing first hand the amazing work of Empart. I’ve been asked many times what the highlights were and have stuggled to answer, mainly because there were so many!

The time Jossy Chacko spend with us was amazing as we drank deeply of his widom and gleaned insights about what it was to be a disciple.  The personal testimonies that we heard were absolutely amazing. A personal highlight for me was hearing the story from a 20 year old woman (pictured) about how she had been declared dead in hospital, but had encountered Jesus and come back to life dedicating her life to serving him. So many stories, so many high points! 

Perhaps as much as anything, the greatest highlight was in catching a glimpse of what first century Christianity may have looked like and realising that there must be changes to how we practice our faith if we are to see our faith impact Australia.

 

A2A Churches Partnering to Commence New Transformation Centres

 

We were deeply impacted by the work of the Transformation Centres in training, equipping and sending men and women out as workers for the harvest. A handful of A2A churches have decided to bank together to raise money to fund a number of new Transformation Centres. The photo on the right is of a graduation ceremony where 78 young men and women graduated and were ready to launch out to establish new works in the field.

It costs $25,000 to set up a Transformation Centre, with a further $25,000 per annum to resource one on an ongoing basis. On average each Transformation sends out 22 workers for the harvest each year. 

A number of A2A churches are looking at coming together to fund a Transformation Centre from 2018, raising money between now and then to cover the set up costs and then committing to resource it on an ongoing basis. Partnering churches will be able to nominate what their level of ongoing commitment will be. In this way churches can partner in the amount they can afford. If you would like to know more about this or are interested in joining in with us, contact me and I will arrange for more details.

Before we came back to Australia, a number of the A2A teams were also able to bless Empart by agreeing to raise funds for bikes for the graduates being sent out from the Transformation Centres. It was wonderful being able to sew Kingdom seed in this way.

It is our hope that our time in Asia will help stimulate the A2A leaders who went in how they can better lead their churches to pursue the Great Commission making disciples and seeing genuine transformation occur in the towns and regions in which we live.

Seeking The Holy Spirit’s Leading

In February, the National Leadership Team put aside time to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit for the season ahead. This was an important time. We felt the Spirit was leading us to continue to shape the culture of our movement by strengthening the way in which we encourage innovative leadership, celebrate uniqueness across the movement, make disciples, promote healthy leadership, minister with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and walk in humility.

Shortly after we were reminded that at our conference last year, Jossy Chacko brought a word for us as a movement that we were to not only safeguard the culture within A2A but strengthen it. This is exactly what we felt the Spirit was leading and directing us to do at the Retreat.

 

Reaching People With Your Prayer Calendar

 

At the Leaders Together days in February, Sharon O’Neill shared how she was using a prayer calendar to help her pray regularly for people who don’t yet know Jesus. We would love to hear stories from people who have started their own prayer calendars. You can email Sharon with your stories here or alternatively post your stories in the A2A Pastors and Leaders Facebook Group.

Shortly after we were reminded that at our conference last year, Jossy Chacko brought a word for us as a movement that we were to not only safeguard the culture within A2A but strengthen it. This is exactly what we felt the Spirit was leading and directing us to do at the Retreat. 

Here’s a short article from Sharon explaining more about how she uses the prayer calendar.

 

What’s Been Happening?

 

The short answer is – a lot! Over the last 15 months, in addition to continuing to develop the Ministry Manual, revising the web page, enjoying a great conference, having our own ministry development track up and running (and much more!), we have made significant progress in quite a few key areas, which include:

 

  • Developing, revising and working to the Playbook one page strategic plan
  • Putting aside time for a retreat to seek the Holy Spirit’s leading as well as connect more deeply with each other
  • Developing a public Facebook Page. Over the last 28 days, this reached over 3,000 people, with over 2,000 people engaged with the Page. The importance for those who see the Page feeling more connected to the movement cannot be overstated.
  • Putting in place a robust Working with Children policy and strategy
  • Having a national camp strategy well in progress
  • Soon to launch a Mentoring program
  • Soon to launch a Coaching program for young and emerging leaders
  • Developing and launching a Policy Bank for churches
  • Expanding Leaders Together days to 4 states
  • Having first female representation for the first tie on the National Leadership Team (NLT)
  • Extending the representation on the NLT to 4 states

 

Big Steps Forward

 

We are about to take some big steps forward by launching programmes for the mentoring of leaders and coaching to help in the raising up of young and emerging leaders. We are really excited about both of these developments and believe that they will greatly help in our mission of raising enduring leaders to build prevailing churches.

More information about these two programmes will be made available at the Leaders Together in May.

 

 

May Leaders Together

 

Just a reminder that our next Leaders Together meetings will be held as follows:

All A2A Credential holders are invited and expected to attend Leaders Together. In addition, Leaders Together is open to any other leaders within your church that the senior leader of that church would like to see attend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The registration cost for attending Leaders Together is $15 per person.

You can RSVP for Leaders Together using this form. 

 

Church Planting Workshop

 

We are excited that the Church Planting Workshop to be held at Tailrace Community in Launceston Tasmania is only 2 weeks away.

Please pray that this will be an exciting as well as informative time for those who will be participating and that plans for new churches will be birthed during this time. Contact me if you would like more information.

 

 

Credential Renewals and Annual Survey

Just a reminder that Credential Renewals will soon be due. We will be sending out the renewal forms at the beginning of June and they will be due to be returned with payment of the credential fee by 30 June.

The Annual Church Survey form will be sent out to you in July, with the survey form due to be completed and returned by 31 July.

 

 

Last Thoughts

 

We are excited about the momentum that many see throughout A2A. But it has to be momentum with a purpose. Our vision is to be an alliance of dynamic missional churches expanding locally and globally. That means that we are to be Great Commission churches that not only take the mandate to reach people and make disciples seriously, but that we become effective at doing so.

 

The fruit of this will be people reached, believers strengthened, new and emerging leaders raised, existing churches revitalised, new churches planted and communities impacted.

 

Recently I reflected on the following comment from the apostle Paul.

 

Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 2 Corinthians 10:15b-16

 

We have a big country, and there is much work to do. But we have a big God and He has given us a Great Commission. Thank you for being partners in His work on earth.

 

Together we can!

Blessings!

 

Tim O’Neill
President, A2A

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