I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about effective advertising especially effective Christian Advertising. I’ve settled on the following principle. Less is More… I think it’s more effective to produce less good quality fliers, less often, than lots of doggy cheap ones all the time.

Here are some reasons

  1. People become numb to constant blanket advertising.
  2. Some people feel hassled because they are constantly bombarded… “Those bloody Christians and their fliers”.
  3. Because there are less of them less often we can put more thought into them and how to present them in the best possible way. This safe guards from the “reactionary poorly written flier”, and still worse the “good idea but poorly executed flier”.
  4. You waste paper with the first approach… and Green minded Christian and non Christian alike are off side before they have even read the flier.
  5. With higher production values comes credibility… for many people presentation matters almost as much as the content itself.


Day 2 & 3

Our first (FOCUS') public meeting for the year was at 1pm Tuesday. This was preceded by a good aussie BBQ... there were a few hiccups including no matches to light the flipping thing... And then there was Damon's accident on Churchill Ave with all the BBQ tools tumbling all over middle of the road (Cars having slow down) but that was right at the end.

There were a number of new people which was greatly encouraging. I wasn't feeling my 100% Jolly best but managed to master some form of understandable communication with a number of the newcomers.

(Nathan the illustrious el presidente with other dudes)

(Damo flipping the snags)

(Sam talking to the ladies.. he also talked the blokes)

(Troy with generic People)

(Brothers Jones)

(Umm.... I really need to get better at names)

(Umm.... I really really need to get better at names)

(Smithers idiot... and Dooda)

...Wednesday (today) was "encore FOCUS"... the same meeting for people couldn't make it to the Tuesday meeting. Before the meeting I spent an encouraging time manning the table. People kept just coming over and saying G'day. The people at FOCUS these days seem so much well... nicer.


Jesus Loves Osama...

See here...
Reactions here...


Christian bands?

I came across this blog this afternoon and was dismayed. The writer of the blog (a Christian) notes the following;

I ran across... an interview on 2/23/07 on Australia Talks. The program was about Aussie rock and a caller called in and said:

"I play in a band that goes with the Christian message…. We sell on the internet…. There's six of us in the band, and in the last five years, we're literally all millionaires…. I'm not a Christian, and none of the members in my band are either. But it's a bit like The Wiggles. If you put yourself out there and find a market, you cater to it, and it's as simple as that…."

And when questioned by the radio host about none of the band being Christians, he responds:

"Well, it's a market, that's all you need to know really. You know, you cater to it. You write your songs to it. And that's all there is to it. It's no different to writing a jingle for Marmite…. I don't really see why I need to be a Christian to play Christian music. If they want to buy it, that's all that needs to be known."

I should point out that the interview may or may not be hoax but bearing this in mind I noted the following.

I often hear from those around talking about these so called "Christian Bands". It's almost as though I should appreciated them just because they are "Christian". I find this difficult to swallow. If music is good, then it's good and we don't need label it "Christian" to justify it in some way.

I'd hate to be among the gullible fans who jump aboard the latest "Christian" bandwagon (pun intended) only to find their trust misplaced. There are wolves in sheep's clothing and I reckon we should apply this to "Christian" music and marketing. What do you think?



One of the things that we're doing on the FOCUS table this week is this survey. Feel free to comment on the questions and/or complete it.

When you look at the world what makes you feel
2. Sad
3. Angry
4. Guilty

When you look at yourself what makes you feel
2. Sad
3. Angry
4. Guilty

Have you ever prayed?

What is love?


Day 1

(Damo and I look purposeful in our FOCUSutas tees)

This week is o-week @ Uni. This is the actual real o-week (where the drinking happens) as opposed to what the University powers called o-week (last week) where drinking doesn't happen. This is a small but significant difference.

I'll be on the FOCUS table most days this week . It's not the easiest work in the world and doing it back to back is very draining. Tomorrow and Wednesday are the public meetings for FOCUS. Both of these will be big days.

Please keep us at FOCUS in your prayers as we make contact with new Christian students for the first time.


The OC...

So bad yet so good. Watched the last ever episode tonight and boy they laid it on thick...

...I know shameless.


FOCUS contacts... the movie

I took this movie today with my digital camera. I spent a hour or so tonight working out how to convert the MPEG1 to MPEG4 then import to iMovie to edit it. A bit of fiddling but time well spent. Look forward to more movies in the future.


Why Germany?

Pull up a chair and I'll explain why I'm getting married in Germany...

Reason 1 - Hanover International Bible Church was pumped* to host a wedding. If some brothers and sisters want to host my wedding good on em.

Reason 2 Organisation - Christine and I are both very busy. I have work I can do and want to do coming out my left nostril and big toe. The last thing I want to do is organise another wedding (yes I have done this before see reason 3). Christine is busy with her study and moving/selling stuff. On the other hand the Hanover duders were pumped* to organise and cater for a wedding (see reason 1).

Reason 3 Stress - I have been through the wedding organisational process it before and it was a "organisational freaking nightmare". I was keen not to have to revisit said "freaking nightmare". When the peeps at Hanover Bible church offered... You guys are grouse... mate where do I sign.

Reason 4 - Neutral ground - meaning it favors neither my friends or Christine's friends.

Reason 5 - Christine's pares live there. They are cool. End of story.

Reason 6 - I have dreamed of having a wedding where anyone who wanted to could come for ages. Usually you have a "A list of friends" and a "B list of friends" (I went through this the last time)... what rubbish everyone is my A list friend and invited to my wedding and reception. If you can't make the trip fine... but realise you are an "A list friend".

Reason 7 Cost - Now you might be thinking it's soooo freaking expensive to fly there and back... well it's probably costing us the same or less than most of my mates who got married... and I get to go to honeymoon in Germany and Singapore.

Reason 8 - Christine wanted to do it and I agreed it was a wicked** idea.

*"Pumped" here means "enthusiastic"
**"Wicked here means "good" or "great"


1st year contacts...

I'm starting another series which I'll add to over the year which will include ministry hints, tips and cool ideas I've picked up over the years and will continue to pick up this year... so on with the show.

Today I'm looking at first year contacts. This basically means approaching people on the campus to invite them to FOCUS during orientation week. I've been doing this for about 8 years now.

  • Pray... We don't do this enough. Pray both before and after making the contacts.
  • Be friendly... I've seen people get really uptight over the years. It makes more sense to relax be yourself. (You'll find other people will relax to).
  • Be sensitive to people's gifts... Some people don't have the gift for the gab. (They should still get involved doing things eg. sitting on the FOCUS table). In the past I've fallen into the trap of pushing people to do stuff they aren't comfortable in or gifted with. Often just having someone with you (who doesn't say much) can be great for moral support.
  • If you see someone you know, chat to them... I used to think this was bad cause I was there "just advertise FOCUS". This is a problem. We aren't robots we're people and in such a context one may miss the opportunity to chat with friends or friends of friends who may or may not be Christian. .
  • Have good non daggy promotional material... This keeps what you are advertising credible to both people handing out the material and the people receiving it.
  • If you have someone with you, always introduce them to people you know. "This is my mate Jolly I know him from FOCUS". This is great opportunity to let people know you are a Christian and can lead to a good conversation. (If you aren't introduced do it yourself) "Hey my name is Mike".
  • Less is more - I've found this a helpful rule but something I always have to watch. Using less words with more concise language to communicate. Also taking the time to say it slowly and clearly. Result? Clear communication.
  • If people look lost (many do during o-week) help em out it's the least you can do.
  • If University staff walk past... smile nicely don't approach them they have been asked many times in previous years.
  • Don't be there for too long... 3 hours while people are pumped (enthusiasm) is better than a mediocre 4 or 5 hour shift that drags into eternity.



That's about the percentage of my salary I have raised so far. Pray that people continue to be generous toward FOCUS and my apprenticeship.

Pray that I'll have the words to say to people to ask them for money without sounding rude.


Number 1

Yup that's right people... for the first time ever I'm number one on Google search. Until now I have been lagging Mike Jolly Estates in the UK but have consistently out Googled a B grade film star named Mike Jolly from the USA.

Oh the sheer vanity.


Earlier this year

This is some archive footage I found today when I went through some of my old photos from previous Yamba Maclean Missions. While the video isn't of me, I can proudly claim I jumped off the same ledge a couple of years back.... big deal who cares? Well landed on my bum and at the time I couldn't swim.


Gameshow Camp Report

The back of Marty, Jess, Simon and Mel all from Kingston Reformed.

(I never tried... I wonder is this a universal number?)

The Gameshow Camp went very well.
Some of our games worked better than others. I was particualrly happy with the first and last talks. The second one wasn't quite as clear (Mikey pointed this out before I left). The Kingston duders did an awesome job keeping me pumped especially Josh aka "the wombat".

I also managed to pull off (I think) being cool enough for the kids to relate to without looking like a try hard. This was a real answer to prayer as I was a little worried about this going into the camp. Teenagers are notoriously cynical and harsh (I know I was) and to engage them with the Bible was fantastic.

"Yeah girls... you'll be famous on my blog"

What is with the hats?

I wish I had hair like this...

Generic waiting for lunch shot

Mr Matthews the Principal (great guy much respect)

Josh educates the young ones in WOW (the Ways Of the Wombat)

"We are the loners..."

Please keep praying for the kids that they will think about the things that they have heard about and follow or continue to follow Christ. Please keep me in your prayers as Sam, Damon and I continue to think about the year ahead for FOCUS.


Across the Blog world...


Gameshow Camp 2007

This week promises to be another packed one…
Today was spent making further tweaks to my 3 talks for Emmanuel School Gameshow Camp beginning Wednesday. For those who don’t know the Kingston duders (Kingston Reformed Church) are running the games and activities for around 80 kids from grade 7 to 10. My job is do three talks based on Game shows.

I’m pretty happy with the talks and am pleased to report that I reckon they’d be close to the best I’ve written. For those who are interested the talks are on Ecclesiastes (Wheel of Fortune), Proverbs (Millionaire) and Song of Songs (The Bachelor/Bachelorette). The aim is to use the game shows to explore the meaning of life.

Tomorrow will be a maga planning day with Sam which will help get my aims and priorities sorted out for the year. More about that soon including my amazingly organized paperless office.

Things to pray about include that the talks will go well and children will be converted. I'm also missing Christine a lot.


TLC Report

Things went well although all things considered. I'm a little tired and worn out.

I was pretty happy with my small group. I felt the group had a good vibe people got along well. It's been a while since I have done small group leading and I was very pleased with how things went. Sam Green and Carl Mattai spoke particularly well. Carl brought a bunch of his MTS boys down from his church who were a real blast. Enjoy the pics.

Nice bit of cricket

Simon I told you you'd be sorry

Tim and James

My boss Sam

Marty... you'll also be sorry you pulled a face

Cool Carl

Stan the little man

The Wombat... good times



I'm off to Tasmanian Leadership Conference (TLC) for the next three days to lead a strand on Bible study. Here is the Bible Study I prepared on John 6:1-15 for you to comment away on in my absence.
(Might I be so bold as to suggest doing it before tearing it to shreds...)

Kicking off
Why is it important to read the Old Testament?
Read John 6:1-15
1. Why have the crowd followed Jesus?
2. a) What problem does this provide Jesus with?
b) How does Jesus solve the problem?
3. Who do the crowds recognise Jesus as? Why? (cf Deut 18:17-22)
4. a) What do the crowd want to do?
b) What is right about their response?
c) What is wrong about their response?
What should be my response to Jesus miracle?
How does Jesus change the way I read the Old Testament?
When was the last time I read right through an Old Testament book? What can I do to change?


Mike and Nikki

A while ago I blogged about being encouraging... "Christians should be encouraging". So here is the first in a series of posts about people who I respect and find tremendously encouraging.

Mike always makes time even though he is busy. Mike is a busy guy... busier than most people I know. He runs our church yet always manages to make time to help me with a Bible study, children's talk or sermon. Nikki also does heaps. I'm a big believer that behind any great preacher lies a wife whose support is essential to their ministry success. Nikki is a marvelous example of this and a number of people have commented as much. Nikki also has an active child to look after.. many times even though pregnant and tired she has made the effort to talk to people, attend meetings and be hospitable. It is very encouraging.

I used to live with Mike and Nikki and their patience with me and my personal faults and willingness to forgive brought me on occasions close to tears. Mike practices what he preaches. Social time and hang out time are important... so Mike and I hang out... he asks me about cars (and is actually interested).

Mike is the broadest thinker I know. The breadth of understanding Mike has for our church and future makes my mind boggle. I don't know how he holds it all together. Weekly plans, monthly aims, yearly goals. Mike always listens carefully and is open to correction. I noticed this happening just last weekend.

Praise God for Mike and Nikki. God has worked wonderfully in their lives.


Mix it up...

This is one of the principles I like when it comes doing church.

I grew up singing hymns my whole childhood singing the same things week after week. They meant nothing to me. I wasn't a Christian and I didn't understand them.

When I became a Christian this suddenly changed, the many hymns with which I was so familiar came alive with wonderful ideas about God and his greatness.

I initially when I joined Crossroads we didn't have any singing. This was because we wanted to be edgy and evangelistic appealing to people who didn't like music, particularly "church" music (people like the old me). Secondly we were (and still) convinced you don't have to have music in a church meeting. Time passed we grew older and realised that this policy probably got more people offside than it attracted. So we introduced regular music a year or so ago.

My point is this we don't have it all the time, every week. It's important to mix things around. Maybe have a sermon series or a week or so without music for the following reasons.

  • It helps people to focus on word ministry.
  • It would allow people to invite the friends who don't like music.
  • It would stops people becoming legalistic about music (you must have music or suffer damnation).
  • It would also be a good way to filter out people who come for "inspiring worship" read (music) rather than the teaching of the word.
Comments allowed... :)


Engaging with youth...

I need pop culture illustrations to engage with young teens.... suggestions anyone?


Anthony Rochester

I went to see Anthony play last night at a pool hall in town. I've blogged about Anthony and his zanny music before. He plays all the instruments on his album himself (well almost). His brother Jonny and I heckled from the sidelines.

He has a new single out Even your retail prices won't keep me away available for about 5 bucks. It's from a forthcoming album Music for in the Spaceship.... zanny

Anyway it was good fun. Check his new music out here...

*UPDATE* I nearly forgot but I think it was the first ever Anthony Rochester gig where people danced.


Vibe Slogans for Crossroads

  • Our Public Meeting is an expression of day to day life and vice versa.
  • We're not a church of Christians in Hobart rather a group of Hobartians who are Christian.
  • Great Commandment before great Commission.
  • Leadership by example.
  • Culture verses Programs.
  • Integrity
  • Ministry time counts as social time and vice versa.


People Ministry

A great way to think about people strategically and holistically.

  1. Sum up person in one sentance.
  2. How are they related to you/your ministry activity?
  3. What to know about them (What do I need to be mindful of)?
  4. What can I learn from them?
  5. How can I help them?
Take this an apply it to one person you know.

I found this helpfully in thinking about people who I don't have a natural tendency toward or perhaps are a little older.

(Still no laptop fixed grumble)