From Our Team

John Hoogenhout

Words of thought from our Church Team

John joined BPCC in 1996 as Senior Pastor. Originally from Tasmania, John came into ministry from a career in small business and studied at the Reformed Theological College of Geelong. John is the primary preaching pastor at BPCC and is a gifted communicator with a passion for the Word of God. John is responsible for leading BPCC and has a deep desire to see the kingdom of God advance in the Pine Rivers community and beyond. John and his wife Carla have 4 adult children and 5 grandchildren. In his spare time John enjoys wood turning and travelling in his caravan.

Connect, Grow, Serve, Go

In our church you constantly hear four words used to describe what we’re about – Connect, Grow, Serve, Go. If you’re new to our church community, you probably wonder what these words mean? Let me remind us all: Connect: We intentionally want to see everyone connect to Jesus [vertically] and to one another [horizontally] Grow: We intentionally want to grow in Christ-likeness, to be more and more like Jesus in how we live Serve: We intentionally want to meet the needs of others Go: We intentionally want to be difference makers for Jesus in our circles of influence [home, school, work, community] As you look at these four words, which do you think needs more of your intentional focus? Are you connected to God through Jesus? Has the significance of what Jesus has done for you personally via the cross impacted you to the point where you want to worship him?...
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A Life of Service

Our current AM Church sermon series is based on the New Testament book of Galatians, and the thrust of this book is freedom – freedom in Christ because of what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross and through his resurrection. Galatians 2:16 tells us: Faith in Jesus Christ is what makes us right with God. As I’ve reflected on this biblical truth this week, I realised the freedom I’ve received in Christ is more than just being rescued from the punishment of sin… but this freedom brings me into God’s family. I am His child. I have a new identity, a new orientation. This is so for ALL who believe in Jesus Christ. If you are a Christian, you are a child of the Living God and He has you in His family… to be a difference maker! As I’m writing this blog early on Wednesday morning, I...
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Things don’t always plan out the way you hope

Carla and I have just returned from two weeks leave. We try to get away with our caravan every mid-year, we love it! Usually Carla’s sister and brother-in-law come with us with their caravan. The first week of our trip was great! Travelled through northern NSW, caught up with friends from church for a few nights who were camping as well. All was going wonderfully! The second week our brother-in-law’s chronic back problem resulted in him being taken by ambulance to hospital – he was transferred to Brisbane and underwent surgery on Wednesday this week(discectomy). You can imagine our plans were seriously altered! But that’s not the end of it… I also spent most a day in hospital on a drip receiving medication to fix the atrial-fibrillation (heart) episode that really knocked me around. Why do I tell you this? Simply to point out no-one is in control of their life...
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New Website / Online Giving

As most of you are probably aware we recently launched a BRAND NEW WEBSITE (www.bpcc.com.au)! We are extremely pleased with the new site as it is clear, up-to-date and reflective of who we are as a church family. We hope that you will take the time to have a tour and familiarize yourself with the new site. You will notice that the website is organized around our strategy: CONNECT – GROW – SERVE – GO. This was an intentional decision so as to make clear the pathway of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of His church. CONNECT will have information on ways that you can connect to the Church while GROW has the avenues available for you to grow in your walk with Jesus at BPCC. SERVE and GO will show you the opportunities available to serve at BPCC and to get on...
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Two things… elder nominations & I’m after some advice…

Elder nominations Church Council is seeking nominations for elders from our members. The practice in our church is that elders serve a term of three years on Church Council. The biblical criteria for elders is given to us in 1Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9. Please forward nominations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Sunday 25 August. I’m after some advice When it comes to asking for help, some of us are reluctant to do this – why do you think that is? I’ve wrestled with this, and to be honest, I still do. I think we like to consider ourselves ‘self-sufficient’ and ‘competent’ when we nut things out ourselves. My upbringing led me to conclude (wrongly), those who ask for help are a little weak. I’ve had to un-learn that… asking for help is actually healthy. Seeking advice is biblical. The wise listen to advice. (Pr.12:15)Plans are established by seeking advice. (Pr.20:18) Help with promotions...
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Helping & Equipping Families

Hello church family – let me share with you the conviction Church Leadership has to helping and equipping families tackle the challenges we face in today’s world. I’m sure you’ll agree with us, family life is hard work at times! For example: Staying in love and being happy in marriage ‘till-death-do-us-part.’ Raising children to reach their full God-given potential. Handling conflict. Families facing storms and heartbreak. Etc… So… our commitment to you is that we will teach and provide resources to help families grow and flourish! Here’s what we’re doing for the rest of the year: Right now we’re in an AM Church Sermon Series called Staying In Love (this series starts in Café Church 11 August). There’s something in us that craves a relationship with that one special someone who knows us like no one else – we want to share life with, do life with, & finish life with...
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Mid Year mark

Hi Church

This coming weekend sees us hit the mid-year mark! Can you believe half of 2013 will be behind us? I’m hoping you are all keeping well physically and spiritually as we balance the many responsibilities we face in this hurry-up world we’re living in. I’ve been thinking about our Sunday Worship Services and the sermons our preaching team preach: Are they helping us in our busy lives to stay focused on what’s important and close to our Lord and Leader Jesus Christ? In other words: Are our services and sermons helpful?

Our current sermon series in AM Church is focusing on the life and ministry of the Old Testament character Elijah – the no-nonsense, uncultured, unsophisticated prophet of God who has the bedside manner of John Wayne! I like the man! So far we’ve been reminded through studying his life: (1) to stand up for right; (2) to stay the course – choose to ‘turn right’ when life’s challenges take you into a ‘T-intersection.’ Coming Sunday we see how absolutely true this fact is: God is boss! He is in charge and He is in control. My prayer is that from knowing more about Elijah, you and I will make the latter half of 2013 go better!

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How do you keep air in your spiritual tyres?

How do you keep air in your spiritual tyres? I quite often ask people that, especially people in ministry leadership. How do you keep your spiritual batteries charged so that your light shines brightly?

As we enter a new month, let me ask you this same question: What do you do to stay close to the truth that you are a forgiven, heaven bound son or daughter of the Living God? If you answer: “I attend church on Sunday (or most Sundays),” I’m thinking you’re not as pumped up or shining as brightly as you could be. I know that from personal experiences. I know that because the time-starved pressured lives most of us live, causes us to move through life far too fast!

Here’s a question for you Dads: Do you attend your kids’ sports events and school plays?

Mums: Are the challenges of motherhood, work and home-duties keeping you from loving your husband and kids like you really want to?

 

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Impacting past our four walls

Did you know BPCC sermons are being viewed all over the world? I’ve just received some statistics of where and how often BPCC sermons are viewed via our website. Over the last 12 months, there have been 6,661 sermon views… last month alone, 679 views. As well as that, a sister church in our denomination is now showing our sermons to their congregation. I mention this because sermon recording is the reason why we have needed to put up window blinds in our auditorium – it helps with the video quality. As you know, Café Church show our sermons via video, and because their room is bright, video replay quality is very important. Upgrading of stage lighting is also in process and once this is completed, our video quality will be vastly improved. Isn’t it humbling how BPCC is impacting way past our four walls?

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What Easter Celebrates!

I hope you have been able to reflect on what Easter is all about this past weekend? The fulfilment of God’s plan to save humanity from sin came about – personal sin has been atoned for through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ! Do you realise, you are saved from eternal punishment because Jesus took the punishment for your personal sin? Amazing! Every person who repents of their sin and submits their lives to the Lordship and Leadership of Jesus Christ, is forgiven, made holy, and is heaven bound. That’s what Easter celebrates!

For the next week or so, many of our church family are on school holidays. Our Children’s Ministry programs are taking a well earned break as they get ready for term 2. In our AM Church service this weekend we will include the children as we’re all reminded of Jesus’ words to the leaders and officials of his day:

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New Life Orphanage

nlo1Many of you know that we as a church have been actively involved with New Life Orphanage in Burma for many years. Most years a team of folk from our church go to there on ministry trips. Teams have been involved in building projects, teaching the children life skills such as sewing, English, crafts etc… Next month another team will be going including our Youth Worker Nicole Cornes, Amelia Wooderson and Beverly Heazlewood (Beverley has been on many such trips – she is a wealth of knowledge about our work with the 165 children). I have just returned from a weeklong visit there where I was teaching pastors on the topic of Biblical Leadership for Pastoral Ministry. Ninety five pastors enrolled for the seminar – way more than had been expected. Forty five attended all the four days, thirty five attended three days, and the rest attended two or one day....
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Prayer

In preparation for an upcoming sermon series on PRAYER, I’m reading a number of books – one in particular summarises so well WHY we will benefit from a series on prayer: We are uncomfortable with silence… In the broader culture and in our churches, we prize intellect, competency, and wealth. Because we can do life without God, praying seems nice but unnecessary. Money can do what prayer does, and it is quicker and less time consuming. Our trust in ourselves and in our talents makes us structurally independent of God. As a result, exhortations to pray don’t stick. (Paul Miller, A Praying Life, Navpress 2009, p.16)

It is true, many of us pray when trouble looms and we can’t fix the problem any other way. This is true for me too. That’s the main reason we’re going to open God’s Word and learn about the power and blessing of prayer. So let me ask that you will pray for those of us who will teach & preach on prayer in the ensuing weeks.

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Sharing your faith without sweating

If I could show you how to share your faith with no fear of being laughed at or mocked, would you be interested in listening to me? I’m convinced there are keys to sharing your story of faith in normal ways that people respect and accept. Coming Sunday in AM Church we’re starting a four week sermon series based on the Bible Study: Just Walk Across the Room. We Christ-followers know that Jesus tells us we’re to be witnesses for him… our challenge is ‘how?’ The short answer is: Just walk across the room and be friendly. I hope you’ll join me on Sunday for the first instalment in this practical series.

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Clarifying our church’s ministry goals

Yay… Kidz Church starts again this Sunday morning.

 

Welcome to our Sunday Services… our aim this week will be to clarify our church’s ministry goals for this New Year. Jesus makes it clear what they are, and he gives us his Holy Spirit to lead us in the tasks. At the start of each New Year, we remind ourselves of Jesus’ instruction to the church.

Imagine you and I received a questionnaire in the mail from Jesus, asking three questions? The questions were: (1) Why did I come to earth and why did I have to die? (2) What is the church? (3) Why does the church exist? How would you answer these questions? Seriously. What would your answers be? We will be answering these questions in our AM Church, Café Church and PM Church services this week.

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Christmas Day 2012

In just a few days it will be Christmas Day, 2012. Much of the world will stop to reflect on Jesus Christ, the Son of God coming from heaven in the form of a baby… and grew… and taught… and called a people together to change the world… and went to the cross where he sacrificed his life to pay for our sin… and then rose from the dead… and appeared to over 500 witnesses… and ascended into heaven! Those witnesses couldn’t stop talking about the Son of God who did these things. Their message spread over the world. Countless, countless people believed this good news and the Church has been celebrating this person Jesus Christ’s birth for close on 2000 years!

We’re to do more than just celebrate it. We’re to keep telling it – like those original witnesses and disciples. As you consider your new year’s resolutions, why not add intentional witnessing in word & deed. Let those you do life with see Jesus’ love in you.

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November

In November, you’ll see there are stacks of things happening in our church and broader community. Please take the time to read this, and note the dates and times of activities that will help you in your journey with Jesus. Consider also –

(1) who could you invite to join you in attending? and

(2) where could you offer your help in making BPCC shine for Jesus?

It was good to read Pastor Jim’s report last week on our church’s care ministry involvement within the Pine Rivers community, as well as our church community. There is so much that happens behind the scenes.

Let me mention just a few more:

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Give me the simple life

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church.

We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience in Christ.

If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can’t gain that experience in Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day.”

“how shall we do this?”, shouted his angels.

“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent unnumbered schemes to occupy their minds, “he answered.

“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10 – 12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.”

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It depends on my motivation…

I remember reading about a workshop leader who asked a business man if he would be willing to walk across a narrow beam hypothetically resting on the floor in exchange for $50. ‘Sure’ he said. ‘Would you walk across the same beam if it was suspended between two forty-story buildings?’ The man said, ‘Absolutely not!’ Having seemingly made his point, the workshop leader continued by posing another question. ‘Supposing I were standing on one of the same two buildings holding one of your children over the edge and told you I would drop your kid if you didn’t walk across the beam. Now what would you do?’ Pondering the question, the business mans asked, ‘Which kid do you have?’

I tell you this story to make the following point – there are times when we may have similar feelings about our family and friends. Most times it is easy to love family and friends… but those other times can be really, really hard! Yet, that is exactly what God calls us to do – to bring love, joy, and peace to our families and circles of influence, even our enemies!

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Term 4 2012

School term four starts again next week. As we head into the last quarter of 2012 we have some exciting things happening at church during this time. Let me mention four:

Wednesday Ministry Nights

Starting this coming Wednesday 10 October, we’re offering four classes.

1. Divorce Recovery – facilitated by myself and Carla. This seven session course aims to give participants an understanding of the divorce experience, provide a safe place to process grief and loss and develop skills and courage to rebuild.

2. CAP Money – facilitated by Pastor Jim and his team, this three session course teaches skills to set up and stick to a workable budget.

3. Come Alive – taught by Alan Hermann, this five session study on Personal Spiritual Growth covers topics including spiritual dryness, personal devotion, silence and solitude, meditation and inner contentment.

4. Life Shapes – facilitated by Pastor Wayne for eight sessions where you gain understanding of yourself, your relationship to Christ and to one another.

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Reflecting

Carla and I have just returned from our four-week caravan tour through part of Queensland. We sure do live in a beautiful State – we spent nearly three weeks in the bush (away from shopping centres & traffic lights – I loved that!), then the last week and a bit on the coast (right amongst shopping centres & traffic lights – Carla loved that!). We’ve come back refreshed and recharged!

It is good to be back with family and loved ones. I usually do a lot of reflecting when I’m away from the busyness of ministry, and that’s exactly what I did this time too. I really appreciate these times of quiet, as it has allowed me to reflect on the preciousness of a loving family and church community.  I’ve been reminded of the gift we as Christ-followers have in our relationship with him – and I think that’s been heightened for me because I observed some very lonely people on our travels.  I tried to converse with one such man who lived in a dilapidated old caravan covered in weeds  and resting on bricks. The old man rebuffed my friendly approach which I took as an indication of his loneliness and probably some emotional baggage. This made me sad. There are a lot of lonely people in our communities… and I’ve been convicted to be more proactive in reaching out to folk with Christ-like love. I hope this conviction stays… because it’s all part of being salt and light for Jesus in our hurting world . Please, think about this – and join me in smiling more, helping more, and living life to the full more!

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