Unlikely to read this email? Watch this video update instead...but you'll miss all the details of CAMPING, PRAYER, GIVING, RHYTHSM and more :)

In our early years of marriage, Martine and I responded to Jesus' mission to the world by joining with our friends in planting churches across Brisbane. Throughout this time we were constantly asking questions of God and each other as we sought to be faithful to the adventure we felt God calling us on.

Church planting wasn't our only adventure. This photo is purely just for fun :)

After almost 20yrs of marriage and Christian ministry I find myself still asking many questions! When it comes to how we are to follow Jesus and gather together as a church, there is one question that has grown upon me over the last few years, "What comes first, disciples or the church?"

In other words, do we put all our effort into building a church, hoping that disciples - followers of Jesus - will follow? Or, do we put our efforts into making disciples, trusting that a church follows?

These are great questions and I believe the answer is simple, thanks to Jesus being incredibly purposeful and precise with his words! In fact, Jesus gave us a precise and purposeful answer in his last words on earth. In short, he said, "Go and make disciples..."

Jesus could have said, "Go and build churches..." but instead he said, "Go and make disciples...".

He directed us to make disciples and then went on to say that he, not we, would build his church. In fact, compared to his volumes of teaching on what it meant to follow him as his disciple, Jesus gave very little attention to how we were to gather as a church. Despite our best of intentions, Christians throughout history have struggled to maintain the priority of making disciples ahead of the important, but less urgent, priority of building churches.

Earlier in the year I attended a conference that discussed this priority. Ed Stetzer, a 'guru' of church planting for many years, noted that since COVID it had become very clear that our priorities needed to be re-ordered.

We had been focusing on planting churches, hoping that disciples would be made. However, churches don't automatically make disciples, only disciples can make other disciples. Furthermore, if disciples are made, they seem to naturally form their own church! In other words, if we re-prioritise our focus according to Jesus' direction, things seem to flow easier.

As the family grew, so did our understanding of what Jesus had called us to.

This is why our church rhythms (know, invite and gather) are discipleship-focused, rather than church-focused. They are rhythms that you can live out and share with others who also want to follow Jesus.

While they are best done together, they don't require an organisation to participate in. Furthermore, no matter what type of church you're involved in or we become (indoor or outdoor, formal or informal, small or large), you can still meaningfully practice them yourself and pass them on to others.

#1 Get to know Jesus

We can help you get to know Jesus, but ultimately it's your choice and requires discipline over time! You can pray, meditate on, read or listen to the Bible. You can also just do what he asks and reflect upon what happens!

#2 Invite people into your life

Opening up our lives to others signals a transformed life that seeks to "love your neighbour" as Christ calls us to. We can encourage you, but it's your choice to respond to Jesus' invitation to follow his example.

#3 Gather and get involved

While this requires a basic gathering, it also involves you and I getting involved in simple but significant ways

  • Connecting with each other in meaningful ways
  • Listening to each other well. Learning the challenges and joys we are facing.
  • Sharing with each other what's happening in our own life
  • Praying for each other as the opportunities present themselves.

These rhythms are intentionally chosen to prioritise our focus on making disciples over building churches. While there are many necessary activities that happen behind the scenes, these are the rhythms we believe ensure that as God grows his church our focus on making disciples remains the priority.

As a new church, prioritising discipleship can feel risky. There are things that may not yet be as clear as other churches (e.g. if and how you can help out, when and how to give, what groups you can join etc). However, I believe the risk is worth it as we imperfectly seek to allow Jesus' priorities to become ours.

As we see God maturing Open Raod over time, I'm asking that we help each other keep the main things the main things. That whatever culture we develop as a church, the most prominent part of it will be that we seek to help people find and follow Jesus above all else.

Cheers and God Bless,



As we shared last week, we want to be asking God to speak to us on a number of topics:

  1. Rhythms: how will we foster our simple rhythms (know, invite, gather)?
  2. Elders: how will we structure our long-term leadership and who will be on the team.
  3. Generosity: how would God have us become the generous individuals and church he's called us to.
  4. Future: how and where will we continue to gather including our location.

If you'd like to join with others in prayer, chat to Fred on Sunday about his men's prayer group that meets 6am every Friday in Dicky Beach!

If you can't find him Sunday call Fred on 0431 437 080.

Want to go camping?!

One of the camping sections at Borumba Deer Park near Imbil, about an hour from Caloundra.

Merrick has done some research on a big group camp at Borumba Deer Park about an hour from us. We're proposing we invite people from our church to go camping together Sat-Sun (enthusiasts can stay Friday too!) for a very relaxed weekend together potentially on Sunday 8th of October.

If you're keen, let us know by REPLYING or email us!

And YES, they have cabins too :)

Coming Up

Sun 23 July  3pm Moffat Gathering

Sun 06 Aug     3pm Worship + Prayer Gathering. Caloundra Christian College
Sun 13 Aug  3pm Moffat Gathering
Sun 20 Aug  Baptism
Sun 27 Aug  3pm Moffat Gathering

Getting ahead-of-the-game

Sun 03 Sep     3pm Worship + Prayer Gathering. Location TBC
Sun 17 Sep  Baptism
Sun 01 Oct     Worship + Prayer Gathering. Location TBC
Sun 15 Oct  Baptism

Our Mission

To help people find and follow Jesus

Our Rhythms

Know Jesus: how are you getting to know Jesus this week?
Invite people into your life: who can you bless this week?
Gather and get involved: How can you connect, listen, share or pray with others this week?

Our Giving

If there is someone in need around you we'd encourage you to team up with another Christian friend and ask God to show you how to meet their need directly. You can also get started with giving to Open Road or get in touch with any questions you may have.

Last mths giving: $5,974
Last mths expenses: $7,987
Bank Balance: $18,745

"Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed." - Proverbs 19:17

Keen to know more?
Subscribe: At the bottom of every page you can subscribe to our newsletter.
Updates: View a list of all our weekly updates.

Share this post