Discipleship Matrix

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Jack De Vries was hired on by the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia and began his work as Ministry Training Coordinator in January 2008. In 2012, Jack took on the role of Ministry Development Coach.


Jack came from Canada where he pastored three Christian Reformed churches:  Alliston CRC, Alliston, Ontario(1983-87), a church plant: New Life Community Church, Pickering, Ontario(1987-95), and Bethel CRC, Listowel, Ontario (1995-2007). Jack is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity - 1983) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry - 2003)  Jack and his wife Jeannie currently live in Petrie, a northern suburb of Brisbane in Queensland.  They attend and are members of Bray Park Community Church. They have four adult children living in the USA and Canada.


In Isaiah 58:11 we read: "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."  Australia has seen times of drought and floods.  There is another type of drought in Australia; there is a spiritual drought.   But God promises to provide refreshing rain, a never ending supply of refreshing water.  The water he provides will satisfy the needs of all Australians.  As we take up the missional vision God has given us we extend the life changing invitation of Jesus: "Come!  Whoever is thirsty, come, and take the free gift of the water of life!" (Revelation 22:17)

Increasing Church Health

thinkandact
The church has always been and is still only one generation from extinction!    This sobering reality is hitting home to many churches across Australia and in many other places in the world, including the churches that I serve in the CRCA.   In another 30 years these church buildings will close their doors, become restaurants, businesses, or mosques.  Why?   There simply won’t be anymore people!    But this has always been the reality!   Once upon a time...
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The Rear View Mirror

rear view mirror
Sometimes it is good to look in the rear view mirror to see the way forward!  It was the ancient Greek historian Thucydides who said that his history was important to  "those who desire an exact knowledge of the past as a key to the future, which in all probability will repeat or resemble the past."   Lately I have been reading history books.   A CRCA pastor got me on to Peter Fitzsimons and...
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Life, Light, Love

Better Life
A lot of gatherings of people call themselves “church”.   But are they?   What is the essence of being church?   As I go around meeting with people to discuss church health issues, I keep wondering to myself (and them), “Is this bunch people what you might consider church?”   What do you look for?   Recently I came across words penned by the 15th century Catholic Cardinal Carlo Carretto:   “Defending life, witnessing light, living out love; these remain...
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Leadership Matters

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“Everything rises and falls on leadership development.”    I am quoting Dale Galloway here but this is a church health principle that I have come to appreciate after more than three decades of pastoral ministry and almost a decade assisting unhealthy churches move toward health and growth.   Quoting Galloway again:  “It is my firm belief that the only way we will see the Great Commission fulfilled will be through the multiplication of leaders.   Contagious ministry multiplication...
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Equipping the Saints

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Conference
Recently I witnessed a hunger for the word of the LORD!   It reminded me of the words of the prophet Amos:  "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD GOD, "When I will send a hunger over the land, not a hunger for the bread or a thirst for water, but rather a hunger for hearing the words of the LORD." (Amos 8:11)  It began on a Sunday morning when I was asked to preach at the...
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