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  • Pastors Blog 18th Nov 2012

    Welcome everyone.
    I hope you have all been enjoying the long weekend? I've been looking forward to squeezing in a days fishing for some time now. At the time of writing this (Thursday) things were looking promising for Saturday. We have Adam with us this weekend so hopefully we made it out on to the water and brought home a few fillets.

    This weekend our senior pastors Maurice and Miriam are at the Baptist Gathering in Hamilton. Not only are they attending but they are also teaching on spiritual warfare, with an emphasis on the battles you must face as pastors and leaders as you step out in obedience to GOD as you intentionally seek to grow His Church. I thought I knew all I needed to know about spiritual warfare before I came into my present call. What a wakeup I received. Especially in the first couple of years. Thankfully God never lets you be tested beyond what you can bear, but even with that truth in mind the attack can still be seemingly un-bearable. Joy and I have been truly blessed to have both Maurice and Miriam guide us and teach us through these times. It is much easier to "stand firm" when the people who are standing with you have been standing firm for much longer and can testify to the goodness of God on every occasion, and help equip you to do the same. The alarmingly high rate of pastors leaving the ministry within just a few years of leading churches is no surprise to me. Nor is it any surprise that Maurice and Miriam's sessions have the highest interest at this conference with their workshops full of pastors and leaders seeking help to break through in this area. Both Maurice and Miriam have deservedly won the admiration of their peers for their ministry with The Holy Spirit. I'm sure we are about to hear lots of reports coming back from Hamilton. Especially from those who thought they had come to "the end of their road", only to find JESUS was waiting, and wanting to equip them for Victory in His Name.
    God Bless and have a great week.
    Greg Morris (pastor)

  • Pastors Blog 18th November 2012

    Welcome everyone.
    I hope you have all been enjoying the long weekend? I
    'Ive been looking forward to squeezing in a days fishing for some time now. At the time of writing this (Thursday) things were looking promising for Saturday. We have Adam with us this weekend so hopefully we made it out on to the water and brought home a few fillets.

    This weekend our senior pastors Maurice and Miriam are at the Baptist Gathering in Hamilton. Not only are they attending but they are also teaching on spiritual warfare, with an emphasis on the battles you must face as pastors and leaders as you step out in obedience to GOD as you intentionally seek to grow His Church. I thought I knew all I needed to know about spiritual warfare before I came into my present call. What a wakeup I received. Especially in the first couple of years. Thankfully God never lets you be tested beyond what you can bear, but even with that truth in mind the attack can still be seemingly un-bearable.
    Joy and I have been truly blessed to have both Maurice and Miriam guide us and teach us through these times. It is much easier to "stand firm" when the people who are standing with you have been standing firm for much longer and can testify to the goodness of God on every occasion, and help equip you to do the same. The alarmingly high rate of pastors leaving the ministry within just a few years of leading churches is no surprise to me. Nor is it any surprise that Maurice and Miriam's sessions have the highest interest at this conference with their workshops full of pastors and leaders seeking help to break through in this area. Both Maurice and Miriam have deservedly won the admiration of their peers for their ministry with The Holy Spirit. I'm sure we are about to hear lots of reports coming back from Hamilton. Especially from those who thought they had come to "the end of their road", only to find JESUS was waiting, and wanting to equip them for Victory in His Name.

    God Bless and have a great week.

  • pastors Blog

    PASTORS COMMENT
    Last weekend we enjoyed having Alan Hollis down for a weekend. We called Alan down from Nelson as we felt we needed to have a prophetic ministry speak into the church. Alan did an excellent job and many lives were profoundly touched. It is profitable to utilize the Ministries and Gifts in the body of Christ to build up the church. We have had a lot of feedback from individuals that Alan bought very accurate words to. I heard people comment on how incredibly accurate many of the words were down to personal details.
    Last Saturday the Elders had a day retreat at Te Waiora Healing Center at Hororata. The new building there was ideal, we enjoyed the spiritual atmosphere and spent a profitable day in planning and prayer for the future.
    One of the decisions we made was to employ Tamar Hylands for 2 days, starting next February as a Children's Ministry Coordinator. Tamar has been forced to make a decision regarding her business, it was either that or the Children's work. She and Tony have faithfully led the work for the past 6 years and we have seen growth in the children both spiritually and numerically. We have also seen tremendous growth and maturity in both of them, which must happen if a ministry is to grow.
    Tamar also has a passion for families and to see parents disciple their children in the home. I have really appreciated her entrepreneurial gifts and the God ideas she brings to the Staff meeting.
    We felt quite strongly at the retreat and this was confirmed by Alan, that we were in a time of growth and expansion. Accordingly we are preparing the church to absorb this by restructuring where needed and bringing ministry in where we see growth happening.
    Miriam and I actually spent some time with Murray Robertson before the retreat and ran some of the ideas past him. Murray is the retired Pastor of Spreydon Baptist, he looked at our structures and possible moves forward with staff based on his experiences. We found that quite profitable and shared his insights with the Elders.
    We have been preparing for the "Spiritual Warfare in the Local Church" workshop we are running at Baptist Assembly next Saturday at Hamilton. The lists of attendees have been sent to us, 46 in the first workshop, 83 in the second. It is a little intimidating that 95% of them are Pastors which also is perhaps an indication of how many Pastors are under pressure in their churches. Please pray for us that we will communicate effectively and the Holy Spirit will be there in power.
    Have a profitable and spiritual week
    Blessings Pastor Maurice

  • Pastors Comment 4th November 2012

    PASTORS COMMENT
    This week we have Pastor Alan Hollis speaking. Alan is from the Atawhai Community (Baptist) Church and supervises the Baptist Churches in the Nelson District down to Blenheim. He is part of the team of Pastors who organize and minister at the Hanmer Pastors Conference.
    Alan regularly takes teams into Africa where they pray for the seek and see many dramatic healings. He has a very strong prophetic gift, I know you will enjoy him.
    This week we had a little drama outside the church. The black box covering the power cables began to omit clouds of smoke and flame. Juddy rushed up with the fire extinguisher and fought the flames to no avail.
    The Fire Brigade were duly summoned, they arrived with huge grins, "we heard the Baptist Church was on fire," they said. The worst part was one of our members tried to put the fire out and could not. We have been discussing since, if this was a sign from God or evidence of shoddy work by the power company. It was however very spectacular.
    Yesterday a team of ladies went down to the Ashburton Baptist Church Ladies conference. Amanda Kraak was teaching worship along with Jenny Somerville , Barbara Griffiths and Diane Moreau. Lyn Millet, Penny Coleman and Fiona Woodfield will also be ministering. I know they would have had a wonderful time and no doubt we will be hearing the news.
    Congratulations to Julie and Roger Philpott on their 50th Wedding Anniversary, they held a gathering at their home which featured some of the original wedding party.
    The "Father Heart of God" seminar is being held at the church 23rd
    - 24th of November, you should not miss this.
    Church reports should be out this week as the AGM is being held on the 13th November. If anyone has any proposal they wish to raise could they please contact myself or Greg before the meeting.
    Have a very blessed week
    Blessings Maurice

  • Welcome to our new Elder

    Welcome to all. Tuesday nights AGM went well. A special thank you to Dave McPherson for chairing the meeting. Supper was provided via a cooking lesson at Tuesday afternoon's OSCAR programme, especially tutored by Maree Cederman. Thank you Maree, the scones and cuppa went down a treat.

    Albert's financial reports were well received. After speculation last year that we may have now been financially in a deficit situation (mainly due to the building programme), it was definitely very reassuring to hear where we are today.....debt free! In fact we received more in gifts to the building fund than what was at first pledged, while the total cost of the build came in lower than our most optimistic estimate. That's two great combinations. Albert also reported the local Council has finished and passed all the required building inspections. We now only await them to formally supply the Code of Compliance. The best financial report I've heard at an AGM for the last twenty years.

    We still have the tiles to complete in the entrance way. This is scheduled to start soon. A portion of the tile layout is quite intricate in design and it may be more prudent to hold off until the Christmas break to complete this portion. The main event of the AGM was the successful election of Russell McKay onto the Board of Elders, along with the re-election of Wes and

    Brendon. Thanks guys for being so willing to serve the Church for the year(s) ahead in this important capacity. It can certainly be very taxing.

    Miriam spoke into the up-coming Conference we will hold in 2012. Personally I'm very excited about Linda Rios-Brook coming to New Zealand. We have now confirmed for her to hold Conferences to be hosted by Porirua, Hosanna Baptist, Wellington, the weekend following ours. Then Hillsborough Baptist, Auckland the weekend after that. Hillsborough would be one of the higher profile churches in Auckland.

    Kerri Booth will be standing down as leader of Kiwi Mum's at the end of this year. This ministry has pumped from the word go. Mums from everywhere seem to turn up time after time and really value their time together, along with Kerri and her team's leadership and efforts. It's no small feat to build a team and keep up the enthusiasm, creativity, and momentum over a four year period as Kerri has done so ably. It has been the testimony of many that they have sensed a genuine love and belonging at Kiwi Mums. Well done Kerri, and thank you on behalf of us all here at OBC. Beth Froud is the new girl at the helm! Beth will head the ministry up in the new year and under the new name of Oxford Mums. Kiwi Mums was a NZ franchise that has folded up, but won't release the name to be continued on with, hence the name change to Oxford Mums. Other than that Kerri and Beth have worked out a smooth transition for the change over, and Beth is certainly carrying vision for the ministry.

    Well, the year is rapidly drawing to a close. No doubt you'll have lots of work break up parties etc., to attend. Most of us will be looking forward to a break.

    God Bless and have a great week.
    Greg Morris (Pastor)

  • Busy times ahead

    Welcome all.

    I hope you've all had a great week. At the time of writing this the weather report looked promising for an outdoors weekend. I'm hoping this is the summer I can squeeze in a bit more fishing. Otherwise it will be in the Christmas break. Things are only looking to get busier from now until then. Many of the Church ministries find this time of year the busiest. It's also the time where we tend to look back over our shoulder at the year that's been and weigh up fruit verses effort, what worked well for us etc. I would venture to say most, if not all of the church and community ministries are buzzing with a well earned sense of success. Some leaders are becoming very aware God has positioned them and anointing them for further growth and impact. So vision for the year ahead is building even now.

    This Tuesday night we have the Church AGM. On the agenda as always are the re-election of our present Elders, and the proposed addition of Russell McKay to the Eldership. Also the Oxford Community Ministries Trust has three new Trust members ready and willing to serve. Although the Trust has the mandate to appoint new Trustees itself, the Trust's decision must be ratified by the Church.

    I don't think I've ever seen Miriam happier than when she received last week's confirmation from Linda Rios-Brook of her accepting our invitation to be guest speaker at OBC's 2012 Conference. We believe this is a huge win for us here in Oxford, and the excitement (from us all on the conference team) is well and truly justified. I first heard of Linda and her ministry through Maurice and Miriam following their visit to the U.S.A. a few years ago, where they heard Linda speak.

    After their homecoming I gave in to Maurice's "strong" recommendation to listen to the cassette tape (it must have been more than a few years ago?). Joy and I were so taken with the message that we hurriedly bought her book - Front Line Christians, Bottom Line World. I found her testimony of how God used her to win souls, bless business's, and bring glory to His Name within the corporate world, both inspirational and faith lifting. I felt I'd gained a new sense of permission to push boundaries within my daily work environment. I'd always known that permission and endeavoured to walk in it, and had done so to a certain extent. But a disquiet began to grow deep within, giving me a nudge, and I knew The Lord Jesus was asking me to move things up a notch or two. I began to believe in Him for bigger impact. So I'd take a hold of testimonies like Linda's and start believing for more fruit. My arena was miniscule compared to Linda's, but I could still ask for a greater level of impact. I soon found The Lord working deeply in many different ways. Doors opened that I thought were reserved for all my peers in business. God can open anything when you deal with your character and fears, know your mandate, and are prepared to follow His leading. It's going to be a great conference!

    Blessings and have a great week.
    Greg Morris (Pastor)

  • Final Inspection

    You would have noticed the wall on the South side is finished and painted, the building is now ready for the final inspection. At the office we have been enjoying the new environment we work in, what with the lawns and sealed drive. It is a case of pinch me I am dreaming after the years of the country touch complete with dust, mud and other interesting things which have arrived in the building.

    This weekend we have been attending Baptist Assembly at Lincoln, so today we welcome Neil Perry from Tranzend Baptist Mission who is the guest speaker. We will fill you in on Assembly possibly next week.

    As I explained last week Ruth has stood down from Elders duties. We have approached Russell McKay to come on board. Russell and Heather have had considerable experience at Pastoral level, have led churches, served years on the mission field and been faithful invaluable members here at Oxford. The Elders will put them forward at the church A.G.M.

    Next April we will be privileged to host a Conference at Oxford for Linda Rios Brook and her husband Larry. Linda was a top NBC television network manager and successful author of several books, they have accepted our invitation to come. Penny, Miriam and I heard her speak about 5 years ago at Dutch Sheets Church in Colorado Springs. We believe she has a unique anointing on her life and she will impart something special into the New Zealand Church. We found her to be an impressive minister and know that God has moved in our favour for her to come. We ask that you pray into this, we will advise the details soon.

    Remember the A.G.M. is coming up on the 22nd of November 2011, we have the election of one new Elder at this point. The staff reports have been prepared and you should be receiving a copy. I think this year has been very fruitful, the staff and the community ministries have done an amazing work. We have nearly 100 volunteers working in all the areas of the church, which means we have at least that many people in contact with the community. We are very grateful for all this work, we know you do it as part of the love you have for God but there is a real self sacrifice involved as well. Any vision a leader brings to a church can only be fulfilled as people with a desire to serve God get behind it and bring their gifts to contribute.

    Have a great week.
    Blessings
    Pastor Maurice

  • Richmond Baptist Workshop

    Last weekend Miriam and I ministered at Richmond Baptist Church, we did a workshop on the Saturday, an evening meeting plus three meetings on the Sunday. It turned out to be one of those Holy Spirit moments, I ministered on the "Development of a Dream" and spoke into all that is likely to happen as changes come to a church. It turned out they were going through a very difficult time and in fact the Union had stepped in to help the church through it all. The details are not important but as a church changes and grows sometimes groups within the church will resist because it threatens what they hold dear to, traditions or doctrines or just simply what they want to happen. It is unfortunately a fact of church development that you must work through these times to where God wants you to be otherwise God's dream will stall or even fail.

    It is a strange fact that when you begin to introduce the direction God has given you as leaders, it has the effect of flushing out hidden agendas, where some people have had their own ideas which may seem good but God has not given them. As they are inevitably the product of human nature they will strongly oppose anything of faith. The confusion to most people is who is right. I made a comment that the fruit or behaviour of people will generally betray the source of their inspiration, James 3 :13-18 outbursts of anger, gossip, refusal to discuss are all the fruits of the flesh. The result can be a lot of pain to believers who love the church and what God is doing, if God has inspired us, then His grace and peace should be upon us.

    Richmond seemed to have started to turn a corner when we arrived, what we said reassured people that not all conflict is bad, it is part of the process of growth. It underlined to us once again that if people will deal with disagreements according the guidelines of scripture Matt 18:15-17 then 95% of conflicts are resolved there and then. Serious division thrives on rumour and gossip. When people are hurt, instead of going to the perpetrator, they go to others and pass on their offense real or imagined. Sadly as I have found, mostly it is imagined.

    In the case of offenses against leaders, it can affect an entire church and mostly there is little or nothing in it. In 1Tim 5:19 Paul warns Timothy about receiving allegations against Elders or Leaders without more than one witness. People in leadership are an obvious target to anyone who has a personal agenda not inspired by God. Of course if there is any good cause then Matt 18:15-17 applies.

    The emotional toll on people in leadership or an Elder can be very heavy, dealing with the offense of false allegation is the first lesson you must learn. As leaders we all need your prayer and protection as well as us being accountable to the church as to how we lead.

    Now apart from the above which has been inspired by our visit to Richmond, Ruth Booth after some discussions with us has decided to step down from the Eldership and take time out for at least a year as she has other personal matters which need her full attention at this time. The last couple of years have required a lot of deep and difficult adjustments. As Elders we want to sincerely thank Ruth for the effort and personal sacrifices she has made to help us build the church. Miriam and I have so appreciated her loyalty and friendship over the years.

    We also wish to thank Kerri Booth for her 4 years of dedicated service in establishing and building up M.O.P.S. or what is now "Kiwi Mums". She has built a dedicated team around her and the ministry will be carried on by Beth Froud and the team. Kerri feels this is now the time for her to step down as a busy young mum. Thank you Kerri and well done.

    The tiles have arrived for the foyer and we hope to see them laid in the near future.

    Have a very blessed week.
    Pastor Maurice

Pastors Comment