Mission and Strategy 2.0

FOCUS' aim is to promote the mission of Christ at the University of Tasmania by building an evangelical student group that:
• Evangelises students by proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord.
• Encourages growth toward maturity in Christ.
• Train students in the skills and character to serve Jesus and his people.
• Send graduates throughout Australia and the world to serve Christ.
(This is pretty much the same as the AFES Mission)

This spells out how we want to achieve our mission and is more FOCUSutas specific. The first two are the responsibility of the staff*. The second two are shared in responsibility. The final three are delegated to the students and student committee.

  • Bible teaching (Staff)
  • Training (Staff)
  • Evangelism (Shared)
  • Support (Shared)
  • Community (Students)
  • Prayer (Students)
  • Discipleship (Students)
Each part of the strategy is spelled out in more detail in the document. If you'd like a sneak copy let me know.

*I'm talking about primary responsibility. This doesn't mean that students or the staff are therefore excluded from these things.


Music for in the Spaceship

Reviewing a mates stuff will always be difficult to do. On the one hand if I'm too critical it might jeopardise the friendship, but then I might give a raving review because I'm biased. So what do I think of Anthony Rochester's new album Music for In the Spaceship?

Well I reckon this album is actually really good. The standout for me would be the opening song "I Love you Baby". With a nice happy tune with a catchy riff. "Lipscombe Larder" is catchy and filled with mentions of local places and things, and includes the line (that should be dedicated to his brother) "I don't know what the engine in my car is. I just press go."

I loved the old school album art drawn by Brandon (Ant's Nephew).

Overall the album represents more a move toward the pop genre but in a good way. I personally think that Anthony's music is better listened to on CD than live. Grab a CD now... except you can't cause he's on tour till January. In the mean time you can hear Ant's music here or on myspace.


Mission and Strategy

Having an idea of exactly what a ministry is looking aiming to do is important. For most of the second half of this year I've been trying to get something that articulates the mission and strategy of FOCUSutas. While there are some AFES documents like this, none of them are specific in describing the distinct flavour of FOCUSutas headed up by Sam.

This brought Sam, Damon and myself to sitting down over the last few weeks and doing some hard thinking about the ministry. I also interviewed 9 students on their views on the strengths and weaknesses of FOCUS. The five or so pages of feedback were used in coming up with the new Mission and Strategy for FOCUS.

It won't be earth shatteringly changing, but it captures what FOCUS looks like now. It will enable us to see clearly what the responsibilities of the staff, students are. Most importantly it spells out clearly the responsibilities for the student committee, empowering them to become active participants in the Ministry. This will ensure that next year will one of the best in a long time.


Kicking back...

So what happens to the ministry apprentice when University finishes? Surely I'm sitting here with my feet on the desk watching box set DVDs taking it easy. If you were thinking that you'd be right... well, sort of.

I've been...

  • Preparing for NTE. I'm writing a sermon on Micah 5. I'm also putting a bit of time and effort into this to make it worth doing at FOCUS.
  • I'm working on seminar style document on Evangelism including hints and tips.
  • I've also written the FOCUS mission and strategy document for 2008.
  • I've also been working on a program/Bible study for Aboriginal teens for early next year.
  • Hanging out with various students helping them procrastinate.
  • And as always I've been thinking and dreaming all things FOCUS.
Where do the box set DVDs come in?
  • I watched Oceans 13 (Don't bother)
  • I watched 3 episodes of Help (A very funny UK comedy from the dudes who brought you the Fast Show. I will be raving about this in the future).
  • Summer Heights High (A must see)
  • Shaun Micallef's Newstopia (I love Shaun but I'd give this a miss)
  • A bit of Firefly (Plague on you if you haven't seen this series)
Oooo I've been married for four months


The gentle art of enthusiastic complaining...

Christine packed her things up in May this year... yes May and they still haven't arrived.

The movers told her it would take between 2 and 5 months. So since then she's been wearing the same suitcases worth of clothes over and over again. So I rang up and complained.

Now I think I'm a good complainer. I used to work in retail so I know what it's like to talk to rude customers... I don't ever loose my temper or get personal. It does help to be a little worked up (enthusiastic is a better term). A conversation might go like this.

"Now I don't want you to take it personally but I'm pretty frustrated right now. We were told that it would take 2 to 5 months and it's now well over that. I just don't think that's good enough. Also you guys have told us several times that our stuff has arrived or is in transit when it hasn't been.

I realise this might not be your fault personally, but I want you to understand how annoying it is not having clothes, books, kitchenware etc for 5 months. Imagine wearing one suitcases worth of clothes everyday for 5 months it gets a little repetitive. So what I want to know is what you are going to do about it? Because right at this moment I don't think your efforts have been good enough. What are you going to do to make sure we get our stuff."

You get the idea... Delivery has been arranged and the stuff arrives next week. Oh and the bloke at the movers calls me "Sir"


What she said....

Christine and I both have new jobs (see here)


Just what you need...


The perfect way to ruin a nice walk

I went for a spot of this most gentlemanly of games yesterday afternoon. Participants were Nathaniel, Nick, Nick, Alex and of course my good self. Four of us played with one of the Nick 's as my personal caddy.

The beautiful Fargate* Golf Course...

This joker thought he could beat me...

This is Nick (or Screech) I don't know him well so I'll refrain from mocking

This was where I spent most of my time...

It got even funnier when Nick (or Frenchy) and I got swooped by plovers. Here you can see Nick fending them off with the golf umbrella. He was a great caddy.

Never the less you couldn't wipe the smile off my face**

Alex (or Ted) putts for glory... what it is with Jane Franklin Hall and nicknames?

Nice one!

So who do you think won...?

* Fargate also known as Margate
**Smile may be digitally enhanced


What do you need?

Socks (long ones*)

A collared shirt

No Jeans

and Twenty Bucks... but what was I doing?

*but not as long as my Dad's


THE Pot Luck FOCUS formal

It was nice to sit back and relax and enjoy last night. The students did a terrific job getting the whole thing organised. There was plenty of food and fun to be had by all. The entertainment was also top notch with a few speeches and humorous MCing.

I didn't take many pictures but as they become available (note to others) I'll post links.

A big thank you to all the students who worked so hard to make last night a success. Everyone had a fantastic time.


The FOCUS big Band

This Saturday night is the Pot Luck FOCUS Formal. The members of FOCUS have been scrummaging together the most powerful musical force the world has seen including...

Alan on drums

Nathaniel on keys
Anthony lead guitar backing vocals
Joel lead vocals

Jonny on bass

Oooo and as an extra (dis)incentive I'll be singing... proving I have no shame and setting the standard for all MTS apprentices who come after me.


How tight is too tight?

Radiohead's new album has been released and the record companies are quaking in their boots. The album has been released only online (here) and can be bought for as little as 1 pound (plus credit card fee). The idea is that people decide the amount that they will pay and the record companies are bypassed. I like Radiohead and not being a tightass* I forked over 7 pounds (about 16 bucks) for it and got it downloaded straight away (no copy protection crap either).

But here is the burning question How much of a tightass are you? Did you pay a single pound? Last chance to own up now or be outed...

*If you don't know what this is read definition 1 here.


What's more Dutch than Oliebollen?

Ok droppie sucking, licorice licking, clog wearing, dutch lovers this one's for you.

I went down to Olibollen on Saturday for another good old traditional dutch fest. Now Olibollen is both the name of the annual festival, held at Calvin my old school (pictures soon) AND a dutch fruit donut without a hole (which they sell truckloads of).

I treated Christine to one... and after saying she didn't want one at all she then she ate two... sheesh.

I had 6 and washed them down with a coke. I felt slightly ill. Back in the day I used to pack 12 donuts without feeling it... I must be getting old.

Here's Wombat. He was judging the kids singing competition. I tried to catch him grimacing but he did a good job hiding it.

We finished off the day with Yvonne and Owen's wedding. A real easy going vibe I loved the lack of fuss. Reminded me of my attitude to my own wedding... but maybe that's because I didn't organize it.


Atheism reviewed

I bloged about Michael Onfray's book a while ago. For a whole stack of reasons I didn't have much time to go into any detail on his arguments etc. That brings me to Mikey's last couple of talks at Crossroads. They've been on atheism, more particularly looking at Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. It's a thoughtful and thorough analysis (for those who like the type of thing).

You can download the first one here. I'll update when the second is up.


supportMIKE news VI (Part 1)

Dear Brothers and Sisters

By the time you probably get this update the University semester will be over. It's been a busy one. FOCUS has been involved with the Jesus All about Life Campaign. This saw a great number of visitors attend evangelistic talks given by University Lecturers during the FOCUS meeting times. While this has been an interruption to our usual teaching and preaching schedule, the students have risen to the occasion and participated admirably.

I have also had the pleasure of speaking to the men and women of FOCUS. It was great to have an opportunity to teach and preach God's word, seeking to motivate them (particularly the blokes) in Christian leadership. This has resulted in a number of our blokes stepping up to the plate for greater responsibility, which is very encouraging and something to praise God for.

This semester I've been greatly encouraged by a number of the blokes I've been meeting up with. They are particularly keen to see changes and new things brought to the FOCUS agenda. They have infected me with their keenness and willingness to serve and get their hands mucky in Christian ministry, particularly at FOCUS.

FOCUS has also been undergoing what I'd describe as a review. Sam, Damon and I are currently working on a vision and strategy for FOCUS for the next few years. This will, God willing, give the students a feel for the future of FOCUS and where they fit into the bigger picture. This planning is particularly timely with the arrival of Luke Hansard next year to work with our international students in a full time capacity. Luke is a great bloke and personal friend and I'm looking forward to working with him next year.

We have a number of different ideas in the pipeline, many of which have been driven by the students. Some of these include a revamp for our website with a focus on delivering content, a new Bible study run by the students and further development of the Conservatorium Christian group. Please keep us, and the students in your prayers as we think about how to implement these new ideas.

Personally speaking, the transition to married life has been a particularly smooth and pleasant one. Christine is currently looking for work and had her temporary spouse visa approved last month. I'm currently in the process of applying for a job as a Resident Fellow at Jane Franklin Hall. This job has a great deal of potential to increase my student ministry and opens the possibility for more evangelism. Please keep us in your prayers as we think carefully about this.
The summer promises to be a busy time. Sam, Damon and I will travel to Canberra with a number of the students for the annual National Training Event (NTE). Following this we'll spend a number of days in Sydney running a mission. This promises to be an exciting and challenging time. Christine and I are also planning to head to Yamba and Maclean in northern New South Wales later in January 2008. I've been involved in mission to the aboriginal community there for about nine years.

(continues below)


supportMIKE News VI (Part 2)

Above: MYC 2007

Finally, I thought I'd give you a feel for the type of ministry that I've been involved in over the last few months. Below is an email that one of the fellas sent through to me and the answer I gave..

Hey Mike
Say I've got a non-Christian mate I'm getting to know a bit, and he invites me to a party. From his view he's just being friendly, but from my view … I don't want to dive into that lifestyle - but I still want to be able to reach out to him. It seems to be a balancing act, but I'm not sure how exactly you balance it.

Let me know.

Hey mate
Check 1 Peter 2
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Let me give a few reflections:
Firstly, note that the passage assumes that you are living a life among the pagans. It's ok to live with pagans, hang out with pagans, and associate with pagans even though they live as enemies of Jesus.

Secondly, also note that it's your deeds not your words that are seeing them glorify God. Often you can make the mistake of speaking out of turn. This isn't an excuse not to speak, but rather a reason to think twice, making sure your behaviour and actions stack up.

Thirdly, note that the Christian is to live as a stranger in this world, abstaining from a life of sin. The reason I mention this last, is that it's easiest thing to say and often jumps out at us first. Often we can retire to our holy huddles and godly ghettos. This is silly and forgets that Jesus spent time with tax collectors and sinners.

Let me know what you think.

Cheers Mike

As always I need your support to get all this work done. Please keep us both in your thoughts and prayers. If you'd like to know any more about what I'm up to feel free to drop me a line.

In Christ
Mike and Christine Jolly


Worldview Survey take 2.0

I've been busy writing some stuff up for webSalt. What is webSalt you ask? It is the lesser known online brother of SALT magazine. I blogged about SALT back here. The latest issue of webSalt can be downloaded here.

It's very well presented and worth a read.

My feeling is that it isn't downloaded or utilized anywhere near enough. What do you think. What's the best way to present content online? Do you download pdf files?



A while back Shiloh was asking if anyone had any Lego. Here's a couple of pictures of David's and my Lego. Now before you think how spoiled we were/are a short disclaimer. All we were ever given for birthday, Christmas and the like was Lego. We never got Transformers, toy guns, water pistols, or anything else just Lego, Lego and more Lego.

It's a very nice little collection. Sorry Shiloh you can't have any though it's packed away at a secret location.


The Primary school years

I bought a scanner today... and took advantage straight away.





(Missing grade 4)



Gotta love those hair cuts.


Being clear

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that you need to be clear in ministry and ministry communication. I find clarity of thought difficult. Just from reading my blog I very often make spelling mistakes typos mis-written sentences etc but this shouldn't be an excuse.

Today Sam, Damo and I spent a good few hours thrashing out the vision for FOCUS. We went down to Steve's house down the channel, a beautiful location. We talked about our strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of FOCUS.

Sam pointed out we have a vision it's just not clearly articulated to the students. Once we get our vision clear (in writing) we can then assess the benefit and merit of different ideas. It also will allow the ministry to move forward and grow. I found the day wonderfully clearing... like a breath of fresh air. Please keep the three of us in your prayers as we seek to be clearer in our vision at FOCUS.


Onfray reviewed...

Michael Onfray has an axe to grind and it’s a big axe and very big grind. His issue is religion. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all come in for a serve in his book The Athiest Manifesto: The case against Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Now I’m not sure what a Manifesto* actually is, but in my brief reading of it, his book follows in the genre of other militant Atheists on their crusade to rid the world of religion. It seems there are a number of atheists such as Onfray and Dawkins who can only be described as evangelical in their passion against religion.

Now I haven’t read the whole book in fact I took a what I’d call an extended flick through it. I did however read most of a chapter in which Onfray took issue with apostle Paul. In the chapter he accused him of being deranged and crazy. During my brief survey I couldn’t help but notice the lack of referencing material in Onfrays book. He occasionally (rarely) references some Bible verses. But by and large he paraphrases vast tracts of Pauline and philosophical thought without so much as a solid mooring point.

My second problem was with the tone of Onfray’s book. Here was a man, an obviously intelligent man, who seemingly had reached conclusions based on flawed presuppositions and without so much a glimpse of humility or seeking to understand the Bible on it’s own terms.

You can have a look for yourself on google books here or read a longer more in depth review here. If a manifesto is atheist speak for “Rant” then Onfray’s book is at least honest.

*I do know basically what one is


Footy Footy Footy

What's more Dutch than Oliebollen you ask? Well, the traditional Dutch fest, North verse South Footy match on Saturday. Now I know that not all the people playing were Dutch or even actually go to Reformed churches but hey "Dutch fest" sounded cool.

Christine and I managed to squeak along about halfway through to see a closish game till three quarter time before the southerners ran away with it in the final quarter. Final scores the South 13 6 84 to North 9 15 69.

Now see if you can spot the ball in the picture or anyone you know...