Love Driscoll?

I do very much but this is a very, very funny parody.


Energy in ministry

I've been thinking of some useful bits of information to pass onto to the next bunch of guys (and girls) that do an MTS apprenticeship (my job). One of them will be how to keep energised for ministry.

For me I love meeting up with young blokes. I find it gives me energy and helps keep me pumped. I think part of the reason that I struggled so much at the beginning of the year was because I wasn't doing much of this. I like listening to guys and their problems. I enjoy learning things from them. I like giving them advice. I like recommending a good book to read. I enjoy speaking in a plain and straight forward manner that you just can't do in a large group context. In humility and love I love sharing the mistakes I've made in the past in the hope they don't make the same stuff ups.

I enjoy seeing the energy renewed in their eyes. I love seeing hearts that want to serve Jesus and his people. I love hearing what they've been thinking about in the Bible. I love seeing them grow and change. And finally I enjoy praying for them as asking that God would continue to work to grow them to be more like Jesus and less like me.



Our church office got broken into on Monday just after Dan and I left to go home. They busted the door then broke open our locked filing cabinet before making off with around 20 bucks in petty cash. They didn't touch anything else which was nice. The most annoying thing is that we now have to buy a new filing cabinet.

The funniest part was the female detective who looked and dressed somewhere between Lara Croft and the chick from Alias and was fully equipped with a Stanley tool kit (very un-CSI). That's not her in the photo. Mikey got excited because he got to "give a statement".

Person who broke into the Crossroads Office you are a dumb tool.


I don't like Spam

And I have a lot of it. If you would like some and aren't feeling the spam love let me know I can forward it too you.

Oh and if you are a spammer you are a stupid tool.


An epic tale of woe Part #3

With only a few more minor things to sort out my fun little sports car met a sticky end. It was fully insured but it's impossible to regain the time effort and money that I spent. The insurance company has decided to write off the whole car. I may sound matter of fact about it but I can assure you the whole matter is pretty upsetting especially because I didn't crash it.


An epic tale of woe Part #2

The tale continues. You can read Part #1 here
Having got the car down to Tasmania using David Allen's tried and true organizational method I made a list of the problems and projects I set about beginning to fix them one at a time.

I visited wreckers and managed to locate a stack load of the interior parts I needed.

Jonny and I then pulled out all the old ones and installed the "new ones". We got the central locking working and boot and bonnet opening smoothly.

We removed the old stereo that didn't work along with a car alarm that also didn't work.

Here Jonny models some sunnies that came free with the car... bonus!

Old interior parts perished by sun and age

Out they all go and in go the 'new' secondhand ones.

Next I had to locate the water leaks. I tore the whole interior out of the car. I literally took out everything including the seats carpet (which was beginning to rot form all the water leaks). I then located all the water leaks and sent the car went to the bodyworks. There they removed the front windscreen and the rust cut out of the roof and pillars at the back of the car. This all cost a bit but I figured I didn't really have a choice.

Here you can see the rust where the window joins the bodywork

and again

Meanwhile I cleaned every single piece of the interior making till it looked like brand new. (sorry no pictures of that)

The side strip was all messed up

That's what it looks like cleaned

Once I got the car back from the body works it looked wonderful. I set about getting the carpet cleaned and dry and began the task of putting the whole car back together.

I ordered another second hand rear wing from Sydney only to discover that it wasn't a whole lot better than the one I already had so this task remained incomplete. I also changed over the registration (beautiful new Tasmanian number plate) and got the car insured.

Things were starting to look good and the car was starting to come together... finally.


MTS Challenge

I'm in the process of editing and uploading the sermons from the MTS Challenge Conference. I've finished all the Dave Thurston ones. If you missed them like I did apparently they were awesome. You can check em out here.


supportMIKE News VIII

Dear brothers and sisters

It’s been a while between drinks for my supporter news. I guess this edition is again a little overdue.

I’ve just returned from a very pleasant ‘work’ trip to Sydney. I, along with all the other Tassie MTS apprentices had the pleasure of attending the Ministry Evangelism Conference held at the Anglican Cathedral. The speakers included Mark Driscoll, Don Carson and Kent Hughes. I’d been looking forward to this all year and it was my little reward for getting the MTS Challenge Conference organised (more about that later). It was fantastic to see and hear ‘the Don’ preach. I really enjoy Carson’s books and they have been very influential in my Christian life. Mark Driscoll delivered well above my expectations with a devastating critique of ministry in Sydney.

While we were in Sydney, Josh (another MTS apprentice) and I went and checked out Sydney Missionary Bible College. It was a very eye opening experience with some really helpful and friendly people who were happy to explain things to us in detail. For me this meeting single-handedly put going to Bible College back on my and Christine’s potential agenda. I also caught up with my family and bunch of my mates and probably caught more trains than in all my previous trips to Sydney put together. All in all it was a great time of encouragement and renewed enthusiasm, which I needed greatly.

The week before I left for Sydney the Tasmanian MTS Challenge Conference took place. As conference director I’ve been working constantly on it over most of the year and so it was a big disappointment when I got really sick with the flu the week before. I was also down to do a couple of sermons for Crossroads Tuesday service during this time and both of these were postponed. I spent the best part of a week in bed trying to get better. It was very frustrating especially as Christine was fighting the flu at the same time.

The good news is that the Conference went really well with more people attending then last year and the books almost balancing. Next year will see a couple more apprentices commencing, which is most encouraging. I was very pleased that the Conference seemed to go off without a hitch. I’m particularly indebted to the staff team from down at Kingston Church who stepped in and made sure that things ran smoothly without me.

This latest sickness has continued to make the year difficult but I’ve pressed onwards. I was planning to try and run a couple of evangelistic events up at College this semester but these have fallen onto the back burner because I’ve been sick. I’m hoping to get these up and going before the end of the year. In the short term, I’ve been helping out leading a bloke’s Bible Study for Crossroads.

In other news Christine and I are expecting a child in the middle of February next. This will be a big change in our lives and an exciting new challenge. As a result we’ve also been reflecting on my MTS apprenticeship and what I might do next year. At the moment it looks likely I’ll be looking for a job in the regular workforce. The uncertainty has made it hard for me to be motivated working at Crossroads and Jane Franklin Hall. At the moment things at Jane are also uncertain and we’re unsure of whether we’ll be staying there for 2009 even though we would like to.

I hope I haven’t made things seem too dull and gloomy. I feel the year may have finally turned a corner. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to do God’s work this year and work out what the future holds for us. As always if you’d like extra news check this blog or click here.

Cheers and God Bless

Mike and Christine Jolly


Lessons Learned

As many of my readers will be aware I'm a bit of a fan of Mark Driscoll. Reading his book Confessions of a Reformission Rev reminded me of when a bunch of us started a new church nearly 10 years ago. We were a bunch of young hot 18 to 20 year old headed punks who only half knew what we were doing.

In those early years we (I) made truckloads of mistakes, however we did learn some important lessons. Mikey has been documenting them and they are well worth a read especially if you're young and thinking of starting a church.

You can read all 5 parts on Mikey's blog here. *edit* fixed link


Successful blogging...

My mate Jimbo has started a new blog. I thought I'd collect some tips for him on running a good blog.

  1. Be Part of a Community. You need to take the time to invest in the relationships online. I spent about 4 months reading and commenting on blogs before launched this one. Commenting on well-read blogs will also help tremendously. People are more likely to visit your blog if they see your profile popping up all over the place but don't over do it.
  2. Be controversial. Even if you have to back away from comments you've made after you've made them people will still come and read.
  3. Give it a personal edge and touch. Let your personality shine through. I don't ever pretend to be someone I'm not. What you see is what you get. Be authentic not myspace fake.
  4. Get linkage and promotion. This will eventually happen as you start to fulfill steps 1-3. You can ask popular evangelical blogs for linkage especially if you think that a post is particularly relevant to them. Use things like facebook etc to promote it. When launching a blog you need to have a holistic approach. Be well planned and thought through.
  5. People will read longer articles but only after you've made yourself more famous or sold them on the idea that your blog is worth reading. Good examples of this include John Piper and Mark Driscoll. If you are new keep em short and sweet.
  6. People always read shorter articles. We live in a world of short sound bites. People are used to reading short stuff that is to the point. If I post longer stuff people don't read it as much.
  7. Keep it regular. Whether it's once a day, a week, or a month you must stay regular. Make your commitment to blog before you start and stick to it. 99% of all blogs will fail because they aren't regularly updated and fade into the mist of the internet cloud (Ok I made the figure up but it is the internet people).
  8. Respond to comments. I'm rubbish at this but it's a good thing to do. It shows you are prepared to listen and modify your stance if necessary.
  9. Don't bag out bloggers, internet and blogging. This shows a lack of understanding and humility. If you are new to blogging maybe it might help to think of yourself as the equivalent of a pimple faced boy on his first day of high school. You are out to make friends and earn respect.
  10. Be careful what you say it may come back to bite you. Always think twice before posting. A safe rule of thumb when writing about people is assume they'll be reading what you write.
I'm sure I haven't been conclusive. Other things?


Is this the coolest Crossroads flier ever?

Thanks Nick G I reckon it looks awesome. You'll be able to download one soon.


An epic tale of woe Part #1

A while back I bought a car. The eagle eyed among you may have noticed that I haven't really blogged about it since my mate Jonny brought it down about a month or so after I bought it. There's a good reason for this which explain under three headings. (Sounds like a sermon).

The Good

  • The engine is a ripper. It's a true sports motor revving out to nearly 8000 rpm. It has a low 180,000kms. Very good for it's age.
  • The car handles beautifully with it's front strut brace doing the biz.
  • It's faster, lighter, more economical, more way more fun than my old Camry (see below).
  • It's not been tinkered with by wannabe boy racers.
The Bad
  • The front wheel bearing needed attention.
  • The gearbox was slightly worn.
  • Some parts of the interior were worn.
  • The bloke lied in the online ad about the age of the car (It was 1989 not 1992).
  • Crap tyres.

The (very) Ugly
  • The rear wing fell off in Sydney while I was waiting to get the car down. It turns out that the dodgy bloke I bought it from had sikaflexed it back on when it had fallen off before.
  • One word. Rust. Meaning that the car leaked like a sieve (see above).
  • I paid too much for it. Considering the condition of the car it was worth closer to $2000 to $2500.


Email Etiquette #2

I'm doing a series. You can read Part #1 Use the 'Subject' field here.
Today it's time for...

One Subject per email
Don’t put more than one subject or request in the same email. By keeping them separate it saves confusion. If something relates to the “work” realm eg. The MTS Conference don’t include personal requests “Can I visit for dinner next week?”. Send a separate emails. Please.

I know that if you bunch a whole stack of things together it may seem to save time, but it is very easy to miss tasks written in a long list. Better to have an email for each task meaning you can file emails as you complete each request. If you send me an email looks 'work related' it won’t be checked on my day off, where as if it's non work related then it may get checked.


That last post was my 400th

and I missed it. Also the 400 doesn't include the 171 posts on my old blog. It's been a long wild ride.

Speaking of which the Driscoll lecture that caused all the controversy is up on the Sydney Anglicans website free here for your downloading pleasure.


I don't do memes but...

I got tagged for a meme the other day. I haven't been sure what to do ever since. Should I do it? Should I not? Generally I don't get into those of sorts of things... it's sitting in my inbox... What to do??

Then a thought! I will instead send a shout out to Rachel and Seumas who were both wonderfully hospitable to me while I was recently in Sydney. Having spent most of this year at a Residential College I really appreciated Rachel's cooking and her gentle quiet nature. I love quiet observant people because they always remind me to shut up and listen more. I also loved spending time talking with Seumas and his massive brain. He has an opinion that is always thought through and worth listening to not to mention is a linguistics ninja (as well as a ninja ninja). So Seumas and Rachel you both get the reward for Christians who I respect.


as bought

supportMIKE brings the old school and the new school.


Paying Homage

While here in Sydney it only seemed fitting that I pay homage to a number of my godless indulgences.

After all I'm a fan boy...

I thought these stairs were wonderfully designed. I just loved all the clean lines.

Latte for the Wombat

Double Ristretto from Campos Coffee in Newtown


Sydney people are...

Seumas: This is my friend Mike
Person being introduced to:
Right so where you from?
Me: I'm from Hobart in Tassie
Person being introduced to : Oh! Hobart (downward inflection in voice) ... right... insert joke about Tasmania here... hee hee hee.

It's been getting to the point where nearly every conversation I have here in Sydney has been like this*. Honestly people Tasmania isn't the end of the world. I mean have you visited? Nearly every person I know who has been down has loved it. And yes there are Christians in Tassie and they rock hard.

Sheesh no more Tassie jokes they have been done to death and it's painful. Ok rant over.

*I should note that most of these people aren't bloggers


More Driscoll

I'm staying with my mate Seumas and his wife while I'm here in Sydney. He's been to most of Driscoll's speaking engagements while he's been here. He gives a great little run down on his experience here.


Some pictures...

From the Connecting Evangelism and Ministry conference I was at in Sydney. I was lucky enough to be sitting right behind the key speakers in all the sessions.

"Whenever Don Carson is around he's always the smartest guy in the room"

Driscoll with Phillip Jensen in the background

Driscoll does questions


Friendly Fire*

I've begun the slow process of recovering from the Connecting Evangelism and Ministry conference held at the Anglican Cathedral here in Sydney. The stand out without a doubt was Mark Driscoll and his two lectures yesterday afternoon. When a preacher begins by saying "This will be my most controversial talk in Sydney" you know it's worth taking notes.

So here they are Driscoll's 18 thesis nailed to the metaphorical forehead of the Sydney Evangelicals.

18 obstacles to Evangelism

  1. Bible guys are not missional guys. There needs to be a more awareness of the context of ministry
  2. Aussie culture struggles with entrepreneurialism. In order for entrepreneurialism to flourish there must be prunning. (in fact Driscoll spoke a lot about prunning off older pastors).
  3. "There is a lack of merit based reward. The system rewards ministers for tenure rather than fruit".
  4. "Australian men are immature" (this was an extended point).
  5. "Church Planting isn't widespread". (Driscoll talked about this as a measure of the health of a movement).
  6. Tall Poppy Syndrome.
  7. "Your Preaching lacks; Apologetics, Aplication that is personal and missiological, Mission that explains what we are to live like and are here to do."
  8. "You have a fear and uncertainty of the Holy Spirit which then leads to a lack of entrepreneurialism. Why are so many of you afraid of being Charismatic? You can be charismatic and keep your good theology. You believe in the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Bible."
  9. "Many of you are Anglican". Here he critiqued the parish system which organises people geographically when in reality people organise themselves socially using the internet and instant forms of communication. "People are more likely to organise their lives in three network spheres; work, play and home... Your parish system makes church planting hard.
  10. "Denominations are built on control. Young men don't understand control and don't want to be controlled. Young men will align with your system but don't want to be under your control and so will work around and work out ways around it. Controlling will never work. Influence is what drives young men. Influence comes through mentoring."
  11. "You call the trainned rather then train the called... 4 years in a bible college is too much for some."
  12. "You have many 'priests' but no 'prophets' and 'kings'. The 'priests' maintain the staus quo. The 'kings' don't do ministry they go into business.
  13. "There us a lack of missiologists. Your theologians are poor missiologists. You need more missiologists that evaluate culture and be missiologically aware."
  14. "You raise ministers before before making them Husbands and fathers first. So much of ministry is about this. You learn more valuable lesson as a husband and a father than you do at any bible college. You must press men to take responsibility. The order is God, wife, children, ministry... not God, ministry, training, family. Your system encourages the former."
  15. "You 'do evangelism' rather than 'doing mission'."
  16. "There are too many number 2 guys in number 1 guy spots. As a result some of the number 2 guys who should be in the number 1 guy spot keep trying to assassinate the number 1 guy. If this mentality continues churches will survive but not multiply."
  17. "There isn't a great sense of urgency."
  18. "Movements become institutions in a flash. Institutions then become museums where people talk about when God used to work." Movements get off course when there is too much or to little focus on Doctrine... there is too much or too little doctrinal and organisational control... there is too much pride, a 'not invented here syndrome'... you have issues about honoring your founders. You must also honor your future by doing some things differently."

*Title shamelessly stolen from Mark


Driscoll's real blowtorch

If you thought Mark Driscoll's "Burn your Plastic Jesus (Common misconceptions about Jesus)" was the "blowtorch" event to see in Sydney you were wrong.

This afternoon Marky Mark took the blowtorch to Sydney Christians and Aussie (Anglican) Christian Culture. It was breathtaking. It was controversial. It'll be talked about for a long time. I felt like I'd been hit by a Driscoll truck. More soon.