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Silence No More

You see I thought that a conversation was the only way of communication. I didn't realise that silence doesn't mean that nothing is happening. The absence of sound is not the absence of everything.

Just because I haven't heard him doesn't mean he's not speaking. Just because he hasn't broken through the clouds with a symphony of decibels - doesn't label him silent.

See the Israelite's waited 400 years, filled with generation upon generation who were practicing patience. After 400 years they still believed. 400 years and they were on their knees - living through the promises given to their ancestors, and dreaming of victories of long ago. They hadn't experienced for them self - and yet believed in the wealth of a relationship with God. These people lived with a colossal wall between themselves and their creator, their songs of praise and scent of sacrifice drifting further than what they could physically see, to a place where their hearts believed.

Silence doesn't mean that nothing is happening. A baby growing in the womb doesn't yet cry and shout. It doesn't use strong words to bring attention to itself. A baby in the process of being intricately woven. He didn't need to speak, for God had already spoken.

In the same way, God has already spoken to us. Waiting on the edge, to just get fed the next experience is living on a roller coaster of feeling valued one second, and rejected the next. What keeps us not only surviving but living between each encounter is solid interaction with the word of God. We're waiting for the next hit of love and encouragement and all the while it's sitting in front of us.

In seeming contrast to those who have gone before, we aren't confined to a life of silence anymore. The wall has crumbled and we're gifted the presence of the author and translator, who conducts the happenings of the world to work in a way that intertwines with what his word says.

Our present circumstances can feel very still, but upon a lift of the cover the clockwork below proves that things are in motion and God has spoken.

There is silence no more.

- Emily Woolerton

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BEYOND US - DAY 10

Nehemiah 13:1–30 - What got you here will keep you here – Leaving a legacy

In life, there are principles that elevate us to the next stage. Principles like a faith in and a love for God above all else. Faithfulness in the small things, integrity when no–ones watching, purity, just to name a few. These habits open doors and bring with them promotion. But it’s keeping to these principles that allow us to go on strong. 

Nehemiah directs the people to stay the course because he knows the human temptation is to slip back. He knows that if they can centre their lives on the right thing, their future will be bright. As we finish this devotion series, let this habit of reading Gods Word, reflecting, praying and writing, continue on in our lives, as it will leave a legacy. 

Our giving is also an opportunity to leave a legacy. Let’s leave a legacy of generosity that opens doors for Mosaic to be everything it could be. 

What legacy will you leave?

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BEYOND US - DAY 9

Nehemiah 8:1–18 - Centred on the Word

When the Word of God is paramount and central to our lives, things bode well for us. Bibles that are falling apart are usually owned by people who aren’t. Nehemiah knew that the people didn’t just need a wall, they needed a re-centering on Gods Word. I wonder what place the Bible holds in our lives. Do we maintain a rhythm of having it appear throughout our day? If we open it daily looking for words to obey, we will find them every time. 

We are spiritual beings and as such need the spiritual food of Gods Word. Man does not live on bread alone but on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. 

Is your attitude towards money and generosity informed by the Word of God or human opinion? 

What is God saying to you about your level of generosity and how is He leading you?

 

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BEYOND US - DAY 8

Nehemiah 4:1–6 - Leave it to Him

Often when we are doing something significant, we find resistance; resistance through family and friends or in circumstances. As word spread of Nehemiah’s success in rallying the nation to build the wall together, resistance came. They were mocked that their efforts would never prevail and when it looked like they would, the threats started coming. Opposition is a sign we are doing something worth opposing. As you prepare your offering don’t be surprised if there is opposition. 

Pray a prayer of protection over the church, your friends and your family today. 

Who are you praying for and how would you like God to protect them?

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BEYOND US - DAY 7

Nehemiah 3:12 - A task for all

Rebuilding the wall for God’s glory was an honourable task. I can imagine their pride as they joined together to make repairs, working from sunrise to sunset. This task of rebuilding the walls was traditionally reserved for men, their sons and workers. But Shallum, leader of half the district of Jerusalem, laboured alongside his daughters in rebuilding his part of the wall. Imagine the joy they would have felt to be a part of building something so significant. Throughout history, God continues to use the unlikely for his plans. 

Who do you know that is on the outside looking in?  Who could you invite to join you in the honourable task of serving God’s church?

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BEYOND US - DAY 6

Nehemiah 3:1–32 - It’s a family affair

Nothing great can be done alone. God puts the lonely in families because he knows we are always better together. I love what Ecclesiastes says in 4:9 ‘Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 4:10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 4:11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 4:12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple–braided cord is not easily broken.’ Who do you have in your life that you could do something great alongside? 

As we prepare for the offering include your family in the conversation, pray about it together, get your kids involved. If you share a flat, prepare to give together, stir each other on. Discuss it in your small groups. There is a lift that comes when we do things together. 

Who do you have in your life you could encourage to be involved in the offering? Who is God leading you to pray for?

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BEYOND US - DAY 5

Nehemiah 2:17–20 - The time is now

The goal was clear – rebuild the wall. The story of Gods grace and confirmation was obvious, God had opened doors and already done amazing things for Nehemiah to be in Jerusalem. 

Their response to the call to action was yes. The people could see Nehemiah’s vision and got straight to work. When the work is good we should get involved. There is a time for talk, and there is a time for action. When God was on the move while the Israelites were in the desert they were guided by the cloud and pillar of fire. 

When they began to move, it was time for the people to pack up camp and get moving. Now in Mosaic is a time to give so Mosaic can keep moving. What will your response be? ‘Yes lets rebuild the wall! So they began the good work’.

Take some time to ask God how you can be a part of this great work.

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BEYOND US - DAY 4

Nehemiah 2:11–16 - Clarity in the quiet

There is a type of clarity that can only be formed in the quiet. There is a resolve that is birthed away from the pressure of other voices. There is a vision and direction that God only communicates in solitude. Nehemiah’s first step when arriving in Jerusalem was not to illicit support, sell his vision or make friends. His first order of business was to assess the situation and to see it with his own eyes. It’s important before we undertake anything significant to get away on our own. It’s important to escape from the voices in our life, the pressures of the road ahead and view our situation with God’s voice speaking into it. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ 2 Corinthians 9:7  

Take some time today to be somewhere quiet and let God speak to you, let God impart faith in you, let God place fresh resolve in you – write down what comes to mind.

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BEYOND US - DAY 3

Nehemiah 2:1–10 - Leap of faith - The big ask

Knees knocking, butterflies in the stomach, quivering voice – all signs of nerves. Nehemiah, though he had prayed and fasted was still nervous when it came time to step out and ask the king. Courage is always required if we are to do anything great in this world for the kingdom of God. 

Dreams are free but courage is required if we are to turn dreams into reality. Sometimes doors open as we approach them, sometimes we need to knock and sometimes we need to kick them down. Whatever it is, doors in the kingdom are motion–sensitive. 

As we move forward God makes a way. As a church we are about to take a leap of faith, but I wonder what leaps of faith God is calling you to make? What doors are waiting on your action before they open?

As you pray today, write down where you think God is calling you to take a leap.

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BEYOND US - DAY 2

Nehemiah 1:4–11 - Who are your prayers helping?

If all of your prayers got answered today whose life would be better? Nehemiah lived for more than himself, prayed for more than himself and risked for more than himself. 

God wants us to have a perspective bigger than our own situation. He calls us out of self–focus and on to others–focus. 

The church is a group of people who exist for the people who are not yet a part of it. We are God’s plan for reaching a lost and broken humanity. 

Mosaic exists to see people’s potential released in Jesus, to see thousands of people in Tauranga come to know him through our work. Imagine 10% of our city turning up to a Mosaic Gathering every weekend – it’s possible. 

The world needs us to pray bigger prayers. 

As you read and reflect today, how is God calling you to live in a bigger way? What bigger prayers is he daring you to pray?

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BEYOND US - DAY 1

Nehemiah 1 - What do you see?

Do you want the good news or the bad news? On this day in 446 BC Nehemiah received the bad news. The people he loved, in the city he loved, in the country he loved were not doing well. It broke his heart, it moved him. Tears flowed, but in the midst of the heartbreak something more powerful stirred in his soul, it was Faith. 

That’s the good news, how things are, are not how they need to remain. Courage began to surge in his veins, faith stirred in his heart and Nehemiah realised with God’s help he could do something about the situation. 

When we truly love, it will always move us to action. Where others only see bad news, the people of God see an opportunity for a miracle. Nehemiah’s actions began with prayer and fasting. As we begin these ten devotions, I wonder if you would commit the next ten days to prayer and fasting. 

There is a vision before us and a project ahead of us which we cannot achieve on our own. Pray God will move powerfully in our church and in our city. Pray for a spirit of faith, pray for a spirit of generosity and pray for abundant provision. 

What is God stirring in you as you pray?

For more info on the Beyond Us Offering head here.

For more info on the Beyond Us Offering head here.

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The one thing every Leader needs to know

I’m the most easily distracted person I know. For years my life was a series of random events and misguided goals. I was busy, working hard (debatably..) but I wasn’t really going anywhere. Although I can still feel like this from time to time I now live with a greater sense of focus than I ever have. How I use my time, where I spend money and even who I hang out with now filters through 12 carefully chosen words.

 

When it comes to churches, organisations and businesses, Having a clear vision or mission is a hot topic that gets a lot of air time. And rightly so, because leading without vision sucks. The bible teaches in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision the people perish"

 

Vision is important and necessary. Without it you don’t know where you're leading people, why you’re leading people and when times get tough you want to quit.

 

It’s essential to have a vision for the people we lead, but what about having a vision for the way we live? We need to understand why and how we lead the way we do, but are we clear about why we get out of bed every morning?

 

I’m convinced having a clear personal vision or mission for your life is a game changer. I believe every person has a purpose, most of us just don’t know what ours is.

 

5 years ago I put pen to paper and wrote mine down.

“To help others discover who they are and what they’re living for"

 

It’s not pretty or clever, and it’s not the entirety of who I am and will become. But it connects with me, and keeps me motivated to do what I do. 

 

I Believe Having a Personal Vision Keeps Us:

 

- Living with Focus

 

Having a vision creates a clear priority for the way you live your life. It helps you to be bold when you say yes and unapologetic when you say no, because you know who you are and what you’re about.

 

While most people are hanging out at night, I’m heading to bed. While others are sleeping in I’m up early in the morning. And I’m totally okay with that. Because being clear on why I’m here gives me focus for the way I live my life everyday.

 

- Feeling Fulfilled

 

A few years ago I was desperate for work and got a job as a chef at a kindergarten. Nothing could’ve been further from my skills or passion. I knew it wasn’t my life’s calling, but I worked hard at trying to live out my purpose while I was there. I didn’t have a leadership role and yet I learned to lead. I didn’t oversee any staff or have a team, and yet I learned to truly help people.

 

Having a personal vision might not change your job situation but it can change your job satisfaction. It likely won't rescue you from where you work but it can transform how you work.

 

- Moving Forward

 

Leadership is hard. What I didn’t know was that the better we get as leaders the bigger challenges we have to face.

 

It’s so easy to get stuck in the way we lead, but having a vision reminds us we need to keep moving forward. Good leadership is about an unending commitment to getting better at what we do and how we do it.

 

As it says in Phillipians 3:13-14 "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

 

So how do we get clear on our vision and mission in life?

Take a moment to consider these questions.

 

1. What are somethings you're passionate about?

2. How do you want to be remembered by others?

3. How could you make your greatest contribution to the world?

4. What’re some of your goals for the future?

5. Based on the above, What could a draft of your personal vision be? 

- Dan Bolton

 

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Say Yes

When I was training to be in ministry my preaching class teacher taught us the motto; ‘Say yes and worry about it later.’ 

While that may not be the best motto to approach everything in life with, I think the movie ‘Yes Man’ toys well with the idea. It is a great motto to approach new opportunities, ministry and leadership with. 

We all have a default answer to new things, is yours yes or no?

 

We can have a tendency as New Zealanders to shrink back if left to our own devises, but it is the spirit of God that calls us forward 2 Corinthians 6:11 – 13 “I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”

 

Personally when it comes to speaking saying yes puts me in a position where God can come through and grow me, even if the crowd or opportunity is overwhelming or out of my grid. When it comes to leadership saying yes puts us in the exact same position. Lets not shy away from new opportunities, extra responsibilities, and things that feel too big for us. It is in committing to these things and worrying about the details later that we grow and stretch into new levels and capacities of our self and God.

 

Responsibility is not a dirty word; it is the very thing that needs to be embraced if we are to grow. That is why life-changing experiences such as being married or having children can be hugely maturing as you take on the responsibility of others and not just yourself. However, we need not wait for these as we can grow by saying yes to what God is putting in front of us now. 

 

What if you were only one yes away from coming alive, making a difference or discovering new dimensions to your self?  Here is a challenge: say yes to helping that person, say yes to leading that small group, say yes to the voice inside you that prompts you to walk across the room and introduce yourself to the person you don’t know. Say yes to the voice that urges you to go back and finish that job properly. Say YES to the voice that is calling you to your highest self, it may just be the spirit speaking to you. Say yes a little more and become a greater leader.

- Joel Milgate

 

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Welcome to the Mosaic Leaders blog

With weekly updates this space is designed to stimulate your thinking and inspire your living as a leader. 

 

Today is my last day being 29 years old. As it is a milestone age in my life I have been overly reflective over this last month. I have been asking questions like; have I achieved what I hope I would by this point in my life. Am I who I want to be? What regrets do I have?

 

This week ten years ago Katie and I walked into a Mosaic gathering for the first time. As I reflect on turning thirty and serving in this community for 10 years I want to share some quick thoughts on Leadership from Mark 10:42. So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Leading as a follower of Jesus should look different

 

Leadership is servant hood

Servant hood builds slower than using control and manipulation but what it builds is stronger and it is longer lasting. There wasn’t a lot of show for Jesus 3.5 year ministry at his death, but 2000 years later the proof is in the pudding. 

Servant hood is harder in some ways than control and manipulation. It doesn’t feed our broken desires for power, misplaced identity and control. It does feed our deeper desires to love and make a meaningful difference. Serving is in reach of everyone.

It is easy to serve when we know who we are in Christ and we know where we are going. See John 13:3-4

Servant hood reminds us to embrace the responsibility of our calling and trust God to grant our authority. 

Leadership sees our life as an exchange for others

After ten years of serving and working in Mosaic we have had many great times and tough times. We have had times when we have struggled to pay the bills, times when we have been uncertain about our future in ministry, times of incredible pain, hurt and betrayal, times of exhaustion, times of fruitlessness, lonely times and dry times.

 

We have also had amazing times, seeing God work through thousands of peoples lives. We have seen God restore families, save brothers, heal bodies and hearts, cause dead souls to come to life, bring joy in times of suffering and build his church through the fiercest of opposition. Katie and I are willing to go through all the tough stuff knowing that in those times our lives become a ransom, an exchange so others can experience life and life to the full. No doubt we will have many more tough times ahead. If we choose leadership, we choose tough times, but it is so worth it knowing God uses everything for his purpose and as Paul writes in 1 Cor 15:58 nothing we ever do for the Lord is wasted.

 

If you are leading at work, in your home, school, or sports team. if you lead a team at church, or a small group or are mentoring someone remember leadership is about serving others and laying our lives down as a ransom for many.

 

Ask yourself the question: what can I do for the people in my life to see their potential released in Jesus.  

- Joel Milgate

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A Living Gospel

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;

   the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;

or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;

   and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

Who among all these does not know

   that the hand of the Lord has done this?

In his hand is the life of every living thing

   and the breath of all mankind.”(Job 12:7-10)

 

In the very dust and DNA of creation, scripture tells us that we find embodiments of God's character and purpose. Who God is, and what life is all about, are things made visible in every budding leaf. (See also Acts 14:15-18, Rom 1:20, and Psa 19:1-4)


Spring, then, is a kind of testimony. The promise of summer and the end of winter stand out like bookends to the story of God’s extravagant grace that breathes every creature into being, season by season, and throughout history, from creation to new creation. The entire creation is living out the gospel story.

- Paul Hubble

 

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Wherever You are Planted

Can you feel the spring in the air? Does it bring a spring to your step? 

A lot of us get excited when spring arrives because we know we are one step closer to summer and the holiday season. Let’s take a moment and think about the changes God creates in nature during the spring season. There is an increase in the daylight hours and the ground temperatures warm causing snow to defrost, and run into the streams that overflow into the lakes and sea. There is a clear demonstration of new life around us with the birth of animals, and blossoming trees. 

We too can make changes in our lives by taking a leaf out of nature’s book. The start of spring is the perfect opportunity to make a conscious effort to ready our body, soul and spirit for the months ahead. For many, spring is a serious motivator to get back to the gym and ready our bodies for the beach and summer activities. For others it is a time to plant vegetables, or spring clean the house.

Like in nature, the choices we make today in our spiritual lives for positive change can create rejuvenation, new spiritual growth, and cause living waters to swell up within our lives and overflow to those around us.Just as the orientation of the earth’s axis tilts and brings our little New Zealand town closer in relation to the sun, now is the season to lean in closer to the Son. 

If you make the choice today to spring-clean your body, soul, and spirit, and create habits that bring new growth, it will draw you closer to your creator and the life He predestined for you.

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. - Isaiah 43:18-19

Live life in full bloom,

Wherever you are planted.

- Angela Curtis

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There's More

Is it possible to be a citizen of a free country, but not be experiencing freedom?  Is it possible to be a mother but not experiencing the full joy that can come with that new relationship? Is it possible to be a husband, but not be experiencing the full benefits of that new identity?

An identity shift is profoundly amazing, but it doesn’t guarantee we are experiencing the fullness of what that could mean. It’s entirely possible to be a follower of Jesus, and yet never experience the fullness of what your salvation entails.

The beautiful truth of a life with Jesus is that, THERE’S MORE!

What would it look like to crave more, cry out for more, hunger for more?

1 Peter 2:2 instructs us, “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness."

The grace of our Heavenly Father displayed in the example and sacrifice of Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who believe, is beyond praise. But it can be so easy to settle for being ‘saved’ and safe. 

Know this, God has more for you and wants you to step into the full experience of your salvation. His plans and promises for your life are not only for the life beyond the grave, they’re for right now. Today lets engage our faith to believe, trust, and walk into the ‘more’ that God has for us. He has more opportunities, he has healing, he has the power to break your destructive habits. He can bring joy, unexplainable peace and power. You can hear His voice and live a life that makes a difference in our world.

Many people touch Jesus and have Him touch their lives but not all experience the fullness of what He has for us. Reach out in faith, like the Women who pushed through the crowds to grab the hem of his robe. Many touched him, only she, in her desperation and hunger for more, was healed. Believe God has more for you.

Theres More!

~

Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Matthew 9:20-22

- Joel Milgate

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Come and Receive

The river’s laughter breaks the silence from the hibernating sun

As my soul thirsts for one drink to still the breaking from my undone

I bow myself in a position of honest belief

And hear the Spirit whisper, “Come and receive.”

 

Feeling the breeze soaking the trees

I bend my head closer, almost touching the river.

Before I reach down, I catch a reflection of His face

My heart swells with emotion, closing my eyes, I sing:

 

“Laden with jewels, your holiness comes

Resting on clouds of perfect love

You offer your hand and patiently wait

With lips that speak mercy and grace

 

In all of your love you say,

‘I have been waiting for you’

In all of your glory you say

‘Come, child, come’

 

Your voice is over the water

Your voice is the sound of thunder

Your voice shakes the wilderness

And in your temple, I cry ‘Glory’”

 

As my song comes to a close, the air echoes my melody

Reaching down, I partake in sweet communion with my King

As I drink, I hear the Spirit gently speak, 

“Open up the gates, come all and receive.”

- Bethany Evans-Brown

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Beasts of Spring

Whether Man or Beast, Spring is the season for singing and dancing. 

Awkward newborns stumble around the fields 

Entertaining those driving across the land.

Young woman tan their legs on the deck,

Hopeful that this summer will be filled with love.

 

Flowers bloom and birds are born, 

Chirping for food, looking disgusting, without any feathers.

The kaleidoscope of colours calls forth a gratefulness in all of us.

To whom can we direct this praise?

Why to the creator, of course! 

 

His love for us extends so far that he paints a canvas for us to dwell in.

That changes through time, to give us seasons for reflection and for fun.

One season to plan playful things in the sun and another to fulfil those dreams.

Spring is the expecting season. On a pregnant precipice we all stand ready to launch into what is to come. 

 

So Man, Beast, Manbeast or beastly man.

Shed your winter coat for nigh is the time to run!

- Dan Boswell

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4 Years

Today marks four years of being the senior Pastors of Mosaic. 

What a privilege it has been to lead and love this church.

At the beginning it was nothing but tears, hard work and survival, a baptism of fire so to speak. People hurting, people leaving and hope waining.

The last three years however have been the exact opposite. People Healing, people coming and hope building. It is amazing to be a part of a move of God, to have seen hundreds begin relationships with Jesus. To see people’s dreams come true, to see a community form and build and begin to discover its God given potential.

Thank you so much to everyone who is, who has been and who will be a part of the Mosaic journey.

Those who have prayed.

Those that take the time to make new friends.

Those that have served week in and week out.

Those who have moved city to be here.  

Those that give sacrificially and extravagantly. 

Those that have come and those that have left. 

Those that have been healed and those waiting to be.

Those who have encouraged. 

Those that have stood by us through thick and thin. 

Those who clean the toilets, serve the kids and help people in ways we will never know. 

Those who love Jesus and just want to see others meet Him. 

We cross over our four year mark with greater vision and excitement for the future than ever before. We cannot begin to express how pumped we are for what God has for all. Bring on the next forty years. 

We have grown from a community of one hundred to a community of over seventeen hundred and counting, but the best is still yet to come!  

We believe the most loving, real, innovative and effective way of being Gods church is yet to be created.  

Let's go and create it together.

Happy four years everyone!

- Joel Milgate

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