The Pastor's Heart

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Queensland University’s Dean of Law Patrick Parkinson says we are facing a fall of Rome moment in Western Societies.  Christendom is over.  We need to not put our trust in princes in the way that American evangelicals have disastrously done so.He says the signs of erosion are clear in the fundamental pillars of society. Freedoms of speech, religion, association and conscience have all impacted. Professor Parkinson has been speaking at the New College lectures at the University of New South WalesYou can watch the lectures in full here, here and here. Reference the survey of 10,000 people in 11 countries where Christian women in faith based relationships are 50% more likely to report that they are strongly satisfied with their sexual relationship than their secular counterparts. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
It sounds so simple. And yet it’s clear from the statistics (National Church Life) that people in some congregations are reporting much growth in faith, while people in others are reporting not much at all.And isn’t it what we all want: For the sheep that God has given us the task of being under shepherds for - to report that they have grown significantly in faith this year?Tom Harricks and Roger Cunningham are two of the ministers featured in a new report for the Anglican Church in Sydney who have achieved better than average results.We could have talked to the report authors. But we’ve chosen to interview the report subjects and find out what the key ingredients are… so we can learn from them and steal from their recipes.To see the images referred to in this broadcast go to: https://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/growthinfaithSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
It's a spiritual temperature check as we take the pulse on the relationship between church involvement in local missions and support for overseas missions. Many Churches are under renewed pressure this year, but Sydney Missionary & Bible College lecturer Tim Silberman says his PhD resesarch indicates turning our eyes outwards to global mission actually helps grow local evanglism as well. We discuss the factors that contribute to the evangelistic heartbeat of a local Church, how Church size and denomination impacts their mission involvement and what this means for how we lead our Churches.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
Some of the recent discussions about the post COVID church attendance drop has focused on the issues of health.  But there are also anxiety issues, spiritual heart problems and an element of spiritual war where the devil whispers ‘it’s not safe to go to the place where the word of God is!’We take an informal poll of ministers to find out what’s happening with their ‘return to church,’ plus discussion on whether it’s heart, head or health, and how to have conversations when it’s a problem of the heart. Senior Minister of St Matthews West Pymble and All Saints West Lindfield, Antony Barraclough has researched and published on ‘The Pen is a Few Sheep Short - the patterns and reasons for modern church attendance by committed Christians.’Plus Stuart Starr urges Christians not to leave the last Tim Tam in the pack for someone else, drawing a really helpful post COVID analogy!Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
The average Christian gives only 2.5%  But the first step in getting our churches finances right is getting our own hearts and finances right. In a raw and real conversation Arya Darmaputra and Kevin Hines from Thesauros Consulting talk to Dominic Steele about the heart of the pastor as it relates to money.How have we been swept along by the currents of the world?  How we can take significant steps to getting our own hearts and finances right and then start to lead our churches really well in this area - especially through modelling? How much do you need to SPEND?  How much should you SAVE?  How we can best approach GIVING?  What is the difference between SAVING and INVESTING?  And why you should only invest in instruments that you understand.Episode page: http://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/where-your-money-isSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
In a special edition today, we address a key issue :- Should you personally choose to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that makes use of a cell line cultured from an electively aborted human fetus?To put it super bluntly: If I get vaccinated for covid-19 am I complicit in an abortion?Our guests - Megan Best is a bioethicist who has promoted a Christian view of medical ethics for over 20 years. Megan is the author of two books on ethics at the beginning of life: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and A Life Already Started, as well as many articles on ethics and spiritual care at the end of life. Chase Kuhn is the director for the Centre for Christian Living and lectures on theology and ethics at Moore College in Sydney. Today's discussion follows the release of a letter jointly signed by the Sydney Archbishops of the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches calling for ethical research on COVID-19 vaccines. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
How do we create a dual audience church?  How do we do church live and well simultaneously for both those physically in the room audience and at the same time for those linking in via online stream. Dominic Steele has argued we shouldn’t be leading for recovery from COVID, but rather for at least medium term endurance. Today Karl Faase, Simon Hunter and Jodie McNeil join Dominic to discuss what’s technically required to produce church for both mediums at the same time. Jodie McNeil pastors Jamberoo Anglican Church south of Sydney.  Karl Faase is a director of Olive Tree Media and the creator of Jesus the Game Changer.  Simon Hunter is a writer, producer and director.  He is director of Waterloo Studios, Sydney.Jodie has kindly written up a paper on how to achieve 'better than average streaming results on a minimal budget.'Episode link: http://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/dualaudienceSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
Across the Western world theological college enrolments are down. Today it’s the third part of a conversation about this problem.  Specifically we are focusing on the issues of Sydney.  We’re exploring the joint issues of not enough people putting themselves forward for ministry and the shortage of senior ministers for Sydney’s Anglican Churches. Moore Theological College Lecturer Mark Earngey and St George North Assistant Minister Mike Leite have been researching for several years the underlying issues that have contributed to the Sydney minister drought. Mike’s responsible for editing the recently released booklet ‘Sydney Anglican Ministry.’  Mark is behind the latest edition of the Australian Church Record Journal. Plus we review the important ‘From Sydney to the World’ online conference held on the weekend, which was aimed at putting recruiting for ministry back on the agenda. ***Promotion: For information about Liberty’s Lifelong Faithfulness Conference go to www.liberty.sydneySupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
How to exercise calm present leadership when there’s disappointment, constant change and pressure from every side?Understanding what’s going on psychologically now with your church, team and you? How to best care for your team? And how to lead now when anxiety levels keep oscillating as the risk from the virus waxes and wanes (and are likely to for the next two years). Plus navigating how to lead when there are so many different views inside and outside the team about which direction you and your church should take.Robert Creech is Director of Pastoral Ministries at the George W Truett Theological Seminary Waco in Texas and was senior pastor of University Baptist Church in Houston, Texas for 22 years.Robert says we should ‘… abandon both optimism and despair and serve with hope. Jurgen Moltmann says the two sins against hope are optimism and despair. Optimism is groundless. Despair is faithless. Jim Collins (Good to Great) gave us the “Stockdale Paradox.” When asked about what POWs did not make it out of their Viet Nam imprisonment, James Stockdale said, “the optimists.” Those who were constantly saying, “We’ll be out of this by Easter, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or New Year” were constantly disappointed by reality. They had no grounds for such false hopes. It was the realists, Stockdale said, who survived. This is an important perspective to hold during these days. Depending on who is prognosticating, we may be in this social distancing mode for some time. We should prepare ourselves to do our ministry in this situation for the long-haul. Hope is not optimism. It is, for the Christian, a part of a realistic outlook. The Easter reality is that in whatever future we find ourselves, God is present, God is with us. He is our hope.  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13).http://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/calmpresentleadershipSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
Australian church leaders need to make a philosophical shift in every aspect of our ministry, away from leading for recovery and towards planning to lead for endurance. We need to start using the catchcry, ‘Not Recovery, But endurance, ’ in order to set our people’s expectations right.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
Rob Smith has been a global leader in evangelical music for three decades.  He has a new book out ‘Come, Let us Sing!’ just as singing has been restricted in many churches due to COVID-19.Rob joins us to talk about some of the principles he’s discovered in a lifetime’s work in Evangelical Music, plus how the current pandemic has caused course corrections.We’re asking how do we engage with God and engage with each other best in normal circumstances and in the current pandemic.  What part does music play in praising, praying and preaching together.What advice is there for musicians and church leaders on navigating current restrictions (like no congregational singing, one song leader, social distancing etc) in regards to song choices, instrumentation, arrangements, number of songs, introduction, arrangement of meeting, use of the screen, pressure on musicians, leading the congregation in song vs performance ? To buy Rob’s new book go to: https://bit.ly/comeletussingSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
After three years of researching the pornography problem and what to do about it, Marshall Ballentine Jones has a message of hope. The same stats keep recurring – 70% of males and 20% of females struggle with pornography use. This is true in Christian schools, our churches, and ministry staff. Pornography negatively impacts individuals, their relationships, and society. Males are more likely to initiate sexualised behaviour over social media (called ‘sexting’), while females are more likely to be targets of sexting. If this is news to you - please check out the resistporn.org site, which has the research. There is a long list of people in our ranks affected by pornography. No one is immune, and the problem remains urgent. Marshall has been on a quest has been to help find effective solutions. There is no easy fix or silver bullet, but he’s recommending a four pronged tested strategy to as a way forward: 1. Communication, 2 Containment, 3. Co-operation and 4. Clinical support.More details and to subscribe: http://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/pornographySupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
Thousands of people attended Grace Community Church in Los Angeles today, the evangelical megachurch led by Pastor John MacArthur junior. And the church elders have put out a statement defending their decision, ‘Christ, not Caesar is the head of the church.’Moore Theological College’s New Testament lecturer Dr Lionel Windsor and Northmead Anglican Church’s Senior Pastor Adrian Russell join us to discuss the decision. More online at http://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/caesarSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
Across the Western World there’s a drop in people stepping up for ordination.There’s a critical problem here in Sydney, with more than ten percent of churches without a senior minister.How have we come from ‘oversupply’ just a few years ago to ‘crucial shortage’?And what can we change?A fortnight ago we spoke to former Sydney Dean Phillip Jensen and he rolled a 'hand grenade down the aisle.'  Today we talk to two of Sydney’s leading senior ministers Phil Colgan and Simon Flinders about possible ways forward. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
An evangelical lion: JI PackerToday we remember JI Packer with two of Australian evangelicalism’s most respected leaders Mark Thompson and Peter Jensen.Dr Packer died yesterday in Vancouver, leaving his wife Kit and children Ruth, Martin and Naomi.Moore Theological College Principal Mark Thompson says Dr Packer was one of the three great giants of 20th century evangelicalism.Former Archbishop of Sydney Dr Jensen says Dr Packer gave us a robust confidence in the authority of the word of God, and taught us the crucial importance of evangelism.Dr Thompson says “Jim’s book Fundamentalism and the Word of God (1958) was life-changing for many. He gave our confidence in the Bible a new depth and resilience. Slightly later, his book Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (1961) demonstrated the way a clear reformed theology, with an emphasis on God’s sovereignty in all things, not least in salvation, went hand in hand with a confident and gracious evangelism.”To purchase JI Packer’s books click here.Header image credit: The Gospel CoalitionSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
How do we plan for next year, when we don’t even know what the next few months will look like? Normally at this time of year, we are working out our vision, plans and budgets for the upcoming year, including staffing, growth, mission plans. How can we do that?This week, we’re talking about how to plan for 2021, when we don’t know what physical or financial situation our congregations will be in. What is reasonable? What is too ambitious? How can we best prepare our churches for the next 12 months.Our guests are New Life Oran Park's Stuart Starr and Grace City Church's Tim ClemensSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
We are discussing a Christian response to Indigenous Australians. We talk the character of God, mistakes made in the past and present, and how we can lead our Churches to promote reconciliation. We’ll be looking at how we can acknowledge our history and better support Indigenous Christian leaders.Neville Naden is BCA’s first Indigenous Ministry Officer. Together with his wife Kathie, Neville seeks to support those at the coal face who minister to our First Nations people, many of whom live in rural and remote communities. Kanishka Raffel, Dean of the Sydney Anglican Cathedral and head of the Sydney Anglican Indigenous Ministry Taskforce. Download: A Theological Framework for Reconciliation, With Special Reference to The Indigenous Peoples of Australia (A Resource Paper for the Sydney Anglican Indigenous Ministry Task Force) Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
The Alpha Course is 'emotionally powerful but theologically confused'.“Personally, I wouldn’t be game to use something that I know is inadequate” - Christian Author Tony Payne has watched through the latest Alpha materials, and joins Dominic Steele to work through the strengths and weaknesses of the course.This conversation is a high level discussion of the Alpha course, beginning with the heart of the Christian leader and our obligation to build upon strong gospel foundations. Tony acknowledges Alpha's high production values, and powerful emotional content, but says Alpha still reflects CH Dodd's influence, 'There was a strong movement in theology to stand against the idea that God is judge of all the world, and that God's primary and only stand towards us is love.  And that our problem with God is that sin has natural cause and effect consequence, with no sense that sin is a personal offence to God, and that God is deeply angry with us and our sin.''It's a gospel in which sin is the doing of bad stuff that has bad consequences, and that God's attitude to us is only love.  And that what happens on the cross is a dealing with sin, a paying the price.  But there's no explanation of what that means.'     Tony also challenges us to reflect: are we trusting God to save people, or relying on our own ability to 'reshape' the message of the gospel to seem reasonable and attractive and explains his own reasons behind choosing not to use the course. Listen to the full conversation - regardless of whether you use the Alpha course or not - it is a good opportunity to reflect on our hearts towards evangelism. Tony Payne is the founding editor of Matthias Media, and Writer-in-residence at Campus Bible Study in Sydney. He has written (or co-authored) numerous books and ministry resources, including The Trellis and the Vine, and currently publishes an online blog/podcast called The Payneful Truth.Disclaimer: Tony Payne is one of the authors of Two Ways to Live.  Dominic Steele is an author of Introducing God.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
On The Pastor’s Heart, Robert Smith joins us to discuss Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s critique of the binary understanding of sex and gender and how we as Christian leaders can equip our churches to address these complex and controversial issues. Rowling’s comments in a series of tweets and an online essay have sparked an intense social media backlash. "It isn't enough for women to be trans allies. Women must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves." - J.K. Rowling. She’s spoken of people who have regretted their transition, and an over representation of autistic females in those wanting to transition.We’ll bring together questions about freedom of speech, supporting and championing women and children, a biblical view of manhood and womanhood. Plus there’s a wider question here about social media pile-on, cancel-culture and the use of labels like “TERF” and “transphobic” to shut down conversation. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
Check-ins, singing, 4 square meters and the way out of COVID-19.The Australian Prime Minister says in stage three of the Post Covid-19 reopening, groups will be able to meet with no upper limit on numbers from July, but there will be a blanket rule of 4 square meters per person. However, all visitors to buildings will be required to checkin and provide contact details.  For churches that have had no pastoral monitoring of who is attending, this is likely to be a revolution. But how to handle the technological upgrade necessary? We are talking today with Bishop Gary Koo, who heads the Sydney Anglican COVID-19 taskforce, and two Australian IT wizards Melbourne’s Cade Embery, founder of http://www.fluro.io and Sydney’s Nick Utber, from Open Box technology and https://www.adminosaur.com/.Subscribe at: https://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/check-ins-singing-4-square-metersSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
We are talking Kotter's principles of change managment and how they apply to church leadership in this post COVID-19 season where the immediate steps forward may not be clear. We need to lead to change. But for some of us senior pastors (as things keep changing) it’s not obvious where we want to go!  And yet we need to take everyone with us.As we move to restarting physical meetings post COVID19, for some churches it’s relatively straightforward, for others it’s going to be impossible for quite some time, but for a significant number restarting is possible - but will require a significant rearrangement. Peter Mayrick is back with us from Sydney’s Center for Ministry Development at Moore Theological College. http://www.thepastorsheart.net/podcast/changepostcovid19Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
The Australian Government has recommended the reopening process go through a series of stages.New guidelines have been released for churches in NSW. But they have been changed since the original ones we discussed on The Pastor’s Heart with Bishop Michael Stead a fortnight ago.In NSW we are at Stage 2 (50 people gatherings) and stage 3 (100 people) is expected in July.Bishop Michael Stead is back for an extra discussion…. On social distancing and implementing the health department guidelines.Credit: Contains an excerpt of a video from a Gondwana Choir's Webinar. The research material is produced by Prateek Bahl, Charitha de Silva, Con Doolan and Raina MacIntyre, UNSW.Michael Stead has produced this extra paper. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
All ministry is vulnerable during the COVID-19 season. But kids and youth ministries especially. How can we reduce that vulnerability?Kids and youth connections have been difficult online for months now.Kids are over Zoom after weeks of online school.As we turn our attention to the restart, How do we regroup, recover and restart the young people ministries?Plus how do the principles of Adaptive Change apply in the kids and youth space?Ed Springer is a consultant with Sydney’s Anglican Youthworks.And Dave Hopper consults for the Youth Network of the Queensland Presbyterian Church.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
In New South Wales, Australia churches are permitted to gather for meetings of 50 from Monday, but are not permitted to have communal singing.  Rob Smith, Curtis Smith & Dr Charlotte Hespe discuss. NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant says, "Communal singing and chanting should not occur because of the high risk of transmission of the virus. Instead, measures such as one singer standing at least three metres away from others would be safer.” In a special edition of The Pastor’s Heart we talk about the future of singing in church with Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Council Member, and Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Doctor Charlotte Hespe, Songwriter and author of ‘Come, Let us Sing’  Rob Smith and Music Director of Church by the Bridge and St. Augustine's Anglican Church, Neutral Bay, Curtis Smith.Some of our questions we consider are: Why singing matters for personal health / why singing together matters for church health.What does the science say about singing and the risks of droplet spread?What if it’s not safe to sing together? – greater good ethical dilemmasWhat if we’re prohibited from singing together? – thinking through our responseIs singing with masks on an option?Reconceiving church in the short to medium termSinging privately / singing in familiesHow do we navigate a way forward as churches?NSW Government health department checklist:https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/industry-guidelines/places-of-worshipNeil Foster’s helpful blogpost.https://lawandreligionaustralia.blog/2020/05/30/worship-in-coronavirus-time-the-latest-nsw-rules/Here's the NSW government's official media release:https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/changes-for-worship-weddings-and-funeralsHere are the NSW health department rules. https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/_emergency/Public%20Health%20(COVID-19%20Restrictions%20on%20Gathering%20and%20Movement)%20Order%20(No%203)%202020.pdfSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
The pub test of religious liberty in the post COVID-19 rebootIn New South Wales, Australia, pubs and clubs will soon be allowed to open for 50 people but churches will still be restricted to 10.Three weeks ago the Federal Government announced a three step plan: 10. 20. and then 100.But then seemingly out of nowhere the NSW government moved to allow pubs and clubs to host 50 patrons in groups of ten from this weekend.Church leaders have been in lobbying meetings on Monday and Tuesday this week. Archbishop Davies and his Roman Catholic Counterpart Anthony Fisher met with the Deputy Premier and Treasurer on Monday.Yesterday there was a meeting of NSW Bishops with Health Department officials.Both times they put the case for the discrepancy to be adjusted to allow the same number of people to gather in church buildings as in pubs and clubs.Cornerstone Presbyterian Minister Mark Powell says “I guess that’s because having a beer and playing the pokies is an “essential” service, whereas worshipping God and having a cup of tea or coffee with a small group of people is just too dangerous? At least churchgoers don’t need to be breathalysed after they leave.”Mark Powell writes in the Spectator todaySupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/thepastorsheart)
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Podcast Details

Created by
Dominic Steele
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Sep 20th, 2015
Latest Episode
Sep 29th, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
Seasons
3
Episodes
275
Avg. Episode Length
29 minutes
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English

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