Current Focus – 2017
Our focus this year is on “going deeper in order to reach wider”. We can picture this as a tree (see psalm 1) with the roots going down deep into the life of God and the branches spreading wide in order to provide shade and to bear much fruit.
Here are some of the ways we are seeking to give expression to this vision:
Deeper in the Word
We remain committed to the preaching of the word as the major component of our gatherings together as a whole church on Sunday mornings. We will be preaching through Luke until 28 May (when we reach a turning point at Lk9:50) and then 21 October – 26 November. In between, we will be going through Zechariah – not an easy book, but it sheds brilliant light on the hope and future of Israel, the church and the world.
Deeper in Prayer
In prayer, our hearts connect with God’s heart and we unleash the power of God in our lives and community. Every Connect Group engages in prayer. Our worship leaders aim to weave prayer into our Sunday morning service. Please do not overlook our regular Sunday evening (7pm) prayer connection meeting.
Deeper in Training Leaders
Andrew & Megan are working through a leadership course with a group of 10 leaders from CRC. This will be a two year process and we will then cycle through it again with another group of leaders. We are excited about the sustainable ministries and new initiatives that will flow from a deep pool of well developed leaders.
Another key investment in leadership development is our inaugural internship programme. Isaac and Monique are now up to full speed in their ministry areas. They are learning a lot as they study and serve with us. It is encouraging to think about the impact they (and other young people being discipled through our youth ministries) could have for the kingdom of God in the future.
Please pray also for the group of CRC ministry leaders that will be attending the Living Stones Ministry Leaders Forum in Auckland on 6 April. We will have a short report back from this at our members’ meeting on 9 April.
Wider via a new Website
In today’s technological society, a website is often an enquirer’s first or second point of contact with a church. Scotty Delemare has been working on an upgrade of our CRC website to make it more user-friendly. He will give you a preview of it at our members’ meeting on 9 April.
Wider via Alpha
The Alpha Course has been used of God to bring many people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. This year there is a global and NZ-wide Alpha push (with a new set of videos) and Whangarei is very much involved in this.
Some people have been nervous about Alpha because of the “Holy Spirit weekend.” We think it is appropriate to have an extended time of learning about the Holy Spirit. You cannot enter the kingdom of God without being born again of the Spirit. You cannot bear fruit for God without the Spirit. The Spirit brings the very presence and power of God to dwell among us. So we want to tell people about the Holy Spirit and his work, but we will do this in a way that does not lead people to expect any particular “sign gift” (such as tongues) as evidence of the Holy Spirit’s ministry.
We encourage you to invite non-Christian friends and contacts to the Alpha course, which will be starting in May. We will be leading our own discussion group at Elim’s premises. We are glad to be partnering with other Whangarei churches to share the gospel. We can accomplish more together than we can alone.
Wider in Overseas Mission
We are increasing our investment in overseas mission by $10,000 this year. Thank you for your giving that makes this investment possible. The missions budget is managed by our Missions Team (leader: Garry Braithwaite. Elder liaison: Roland Stark). Please pray for them as they seek the Lord’s will (in consultation with the elders) as to where the extra funds should be spent. We are keen to foster and support church-planting and indigenous mission in developing nations. We are exploring new opportunities in Myanmar, Indonesia (via Simon Pyatt and New Tribes Missions) and Congo (via Stevensons Ministries).
Have a look at the missions noticeboard in the back corner of the auditorium to note our existing partnerships. Please pray for our missions partners who are part of God’s massive, global mission – in NZ, Fiji, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
As a member of Clark Rd Chapel, may you go deeper in your relationship with Jesus and go wider, with your brothers and sisters in Christ, in your outreach to the dying world around us.
With love in Christ,
(Andrew Clemow, Scotty Delemare, Warrick Jones, Trevor Kerewaro, Rob Pye, Roland Stark)