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)

Membership: Raising the Bar

Membership in a church used to be a big deal.   Unlike a membership at the local gym or even joining the area golf club, membership in the church meant giving of yourself wholeheartedly to the life and ministry of the church.   Not only did you attend every worship service, but you gave generously of your time, talents, and treasures to the well-being and growth of the church you joined. Times are a changing!  ......
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Wisdom from the Garden

I grew up with a green thumb.   See, my dad was a gardener, and ever since I could tag along with him, he would have me work with him in the gardens.   Cutting grass, clipping hedges, trimming roses, planting annuals, laying new turf, weeding between the plants, watering the flowers.   I still enjoy gardening -- seeing seeds become plants and watching things grow.     There is much wisdom we can learn from the garden.  Jesus......
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The Conviction to Lead

"True leadership starts with a purpose, not a plan."   In many ways this statement sums up Albert Mohler's excellent book on leadership:  The Conviction to Lead.   Leadership has to do with conviction.   As he writes:   "Congregations and Christian institutions need effective leaders who are authentically Christian -- whose leadership flows out of their Christian commitment."  

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Lost or Sought?

When you think of the unsaved millions in the world -- how do you think about them?   I'm thinking about non-Christians.   They might be co-workers, friends, neighbours, and/or family members.  How do you think about them?   It matters how you think of them.   It really does.  I like to explain what I mean.  I like to suggest a nuance that might bring about a shift in your thinking.   And if your thinking changes, perhaps this might change how you live.

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How Healthy is the CRCA?

In 2006 the CRCA adopted a strategy to increase church health and effectiveness throughout the denomination in Australia.   The churches agreed to the vision to be "A church reforming to reach the lost for Christ."   The stated mission described what we as churches prayerfully and by God's grace hoped to achieve:  "To multiply Bible-based Christian fellowships and congregations which equip and nurture their members and grow throughout Australia and beyond."   So now 7 years on, how......
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