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2017 AGM Vision

26 Apr 2017

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And, lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish, and the fish were hungry. Week after week, month after month, and year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to go fishing. Continually they searched for new and better methods and definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide conferences to discuss fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing, such as new fishing equipment and new baits.

These fishermen built large and beautiful buildings called Fishing Headquarters. Their vision statement was that ‘Everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. 

However, the one thing they didn't do, was fish. 

They agonised over fishing. That talked about fishing. They even fish-ologised about fishing, but never left their buildings and went fishing.

How strange that should be when their Master said, ``Follow me and I will make you fishers of men?'' 

If Christ were to return to Earth today, would He find us fishing, or talking? Doing or debating?

Friends, Christ’s calls upon His Church is to be ‘fishers of men’ as Jesus commanded us to Go into the world and make disciples” not Anglicans, Baptists, or methodists, disciples and Christ’s disciple are identified by way of having a heavenly Kingdom mind set. 

Jesus endorsed this Kingdom mind set when He said “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL things shall be added to you.” (Matt 6:33)

Interestingly, what was written in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew translates into English ‘Go don't stay’: 

Jesus commissioned His Church (us) with the assignment to live within the culture of His Kingdom not through the culture of our denomination.

The Kingdom of God is eternal and spiritual, the work of denomination is earthly and temporal. 

So how can ASHP fulfil God’s call to us ‘for such a time as this’?

We must initiate and facilitate in hosting the presence of Jesus amidst our gatherings, as He promised ‘He will amidst us whenever we meet together’

But, more often than not Christians focus on how to promote ecclesiastical practice rather than on facilitating Christ’s presence amidst our services.   In short, people hear about God but don’t actually encounter God. In short, they don’t meet with The person of Holy Spirit.

This is because it’s safer to live in the culture of our denomination and not the culture of The Kingdom. 

And what follows is thus:

Ecclesia - church                        Christ - The Gospel                     Mission - Telling others.

But what should be the order is:

1. Christ The study (ology) of Christ, who He is and what He has done for us.

Mission The study of mission, how we share who Christ is and what He has done.

Ecclesia  The study of how we do and be Church. 

Notice that when there is a Christ encounter mission follows. Then we create church by way of our experience and testimony (Rev 12:11)

The truth is that once we facilitate the presence of Christ within our ecclesial Church framework mission will become natural and the world will encounter The Living God. 

If people engage with church first you can bet your bottom dollar that they will not encounter a risen saviour, as many a church refuses to allow the Holy Spirit to enter it’s proceedings, as many a church can’t even welcome strangers, so why would they let Christ in!?

Mark Twain once wrote: ‘The two most important days in our life are when we were born and the day we learnt why.’ 

The two most important reasons why the church exists is to fulfil Christ’s assignment on earth as it is in heaven and to do inform others until His returns.

We are not here to promote ecclesiology (religion-church) we are here to facilitate the presence of Christ amongst us, here is where lives will be saved, transformed and healed. 

By doing so, mission becomes a simple act of invitation, because church hosts God’s presence within the church meeting.

Isaiah 43:19-21 ‘Behold, I’m doing a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not perceive it? …… This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.

Isaiah reveals four points, 1. God is doing something New, 2. He’s doing it Now 3. Do we perceive of it, and 4. Are we, by faith, willing enough to praise God for it even though we can’t yet see it, as ‘faith is believing in the things not yet seen’ 

And it is faith and faith alone in Christ alone that defines who we are. We are God’s most distinctive people. And faith alone in Christ alone defines us and separates us from the world. 

AS’s is in a new season. So much so, that we are at a tipping point, 'behold God is doing a new thing'  The question is, do we perceive it, and if so, will we praise God in faith for what it will be. 

Whether we like it or not, we need a new hall, again, it’s not a new idea, we’re picking up the vision from those who’s gone before us, but it falls to the present generation’s to create the legacy

After prayer and consideration the PCC agreed to fire the starting gun on the necessary first steps of renewing the church hall. And the overwhelming consensus is that the hall's design must reflect our community and societies needs not our own wants. 

ASHP is firmly in the water but now we are cutting through the icy waters of change, and the waves are becoming rather large, where will the finances come from, who will be responsible for it’s care, maintenance and running etc, etc, etc. 

Here’s the good news, it’s God’s Church and He will sort out our needs ‘according to His riches in mercy

On a personal note. I have learnt two things about leadership,    

Firstly; ‘God qualifies the called not calls the qualified’ as how else will God be glorified?

Secondly, there are two types of leaders, drainpipes and ladders. 

Drainpipes allow everything to run through them, they are the centre of all activity, they control events, they are the king-pin, nothing works unless they are the catalyst. The ‘me, myself and I’ minister, the un-holy trinity, the controller. 

And then there are ladders, leaders who enable others to climb up in order for them to reach greater heights. Like Jesus, they are the ‘give it away’ leaders, as they see their position not as a controller but a facilitator. My hope is that my ministry at AS will be seen as me being a ladder. 

I am convinced that it is a fundamental Kingdom principle and God’s protocol for the Church to host His presence and in order to do so 4 things must prevail within the DNA of ASHP

Unreserved Worship. Sacrificial Giving. Mission mindedness and uninterrupted Thanksgiving.

These must be the staple diet of our church DNA. 

Authentic New Testament church is a church lead by The Holy Spirit. The building plans are only there to facilitate His work in and through us, no more and no less. It begins with us, as Christ’s body first, as it’s no use having a new shining complex when we are still taking chunks out of one another. There is no point in living in a plush complex when we can’t talk to one another civilly, respectfully, Gracefully or lovingly. Mark 3: 25 ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand’

In order for us to go together we must grow tother.

The 4 R’s remain our building blocks.

Reach out to the lost

Restore through the healing power of Christ.

Resource through Discipleship.

Release through mission - India.

Therefor I aim to reshape the house groups and house group leaders. 

Produce a twice yearly welcome evening to ASHP. 

A twice yearly School of Kingdom Dynamics.

There will be a Beta group after every Alpha as well as a mid-day house group.

Prayer will be at the top of the agenda on all issues.

Care will run alongside this with the pastoral care team

Share will be our language, as it reflects the heart of father God.

May I take this opportunity to give my sincere thanks to my retirering but not leaving leadership position Steve Whitlam and Susan Bowyer. 

As well as Chrissie, who too has set her ‘set their faces like flint’ and ‘neither turned to the left or to the right’ in the tasks afforded to them.

Thank you too, to the Tea-Cup team……..

Sides people, 

Desk people

tea/coffee servers


flower arrangers

and all those who go unnoticed who work tirelessly on behalf us who know not who you are.

Thanks also go to the PCC who have supported the vision. And thanks also goes to Mick in his precise and professional manner in developing the accounts.

Finally. Fishing gear is for the purpose of catching fish. Kingdom tools are supplied for the purpose of completing God’s will ‘here on earth as it is in heaven.’ MTBSFAOU. Amen.

A copy of this talk will be on the website.

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