As we head towards our monthly worship gathering this Sunday, 3pm @ City Life Baptist Church (7 Gregson Place, Caloundra), it's a good time to consider what goes into a church gathering!

It's especially important for us to understand as (a) we meet in a non-traditional, outdoor location without any amplification and (b) we only have "worship" and communion once a month in an alternate location. It'd be normal to wonder, "what should church consist of each week? Are we doing enough?"

These are great questions for some of the following few reasons:

  • It's helpful to understand what happens at a healthy church gathering.
  • It provides understanding for what we are doing at Open Road. While it's often incredibly simple, it's not haphazard. Our goal is simple, but spiritually significant gatherings.
  • It empowers our church to follow God's lead to start one or more churches without the normal limitations (people, skills, gifts, money, facilities) that slow down our obedience!

Rather than agonising over the specific activities that should happen at a church service (e.g. singing, prayer, preaching etc), I find it more helpful - and freeing - to think of the key ingredients that seem to be at play in any gathering of Jesus' church. After some time of reflection I've settled on: the People of God, the Spirit of God and the Word of God.

The People of God

Unless God's people are present, there is no church! Because the people are critical, we need to make sure our gathering explicitly value their presence! Remember, every one of God's people are:

Made in God's image - whether broken or bright, single or married, male or female.

Redeemed by God's Son, Jesus - every one of us is a token of God's grace and destined to become increasingly more like Jesus year after year.

Indwelt by God's presence, Holy Spirit - just like Jesus, we are filled, led and empowered by God's presence on earth. God's spirit longs to work through us!

Therefore, we arrive ready to connect, listen, share and pray for each other! We aim to be "on time", because people who are new to faith and church are the ones most likely to arrive early! This is why each week we take time to connect informally - honouring the personal experience each brings to the gathering.

Honouring the people who gather with us is a way of honouring God himself.

The Spirit of God

As noted above, God's Holy Spirit is present in God's people by faith. Part of his presence in our lives is to both encounter God personally and to minister God's love to each other.

In 1st Corinthians chapter 14 verses 26-33 we are told that when the People of God gather we should expect that God's Holy Spirit is going to prompt some of us with:

  • a song
  • a lesson
  • a (prophetic) revelation
  • a tongue
  • an interpretation

These gifts, and more (!), are all given to spiritually build up God's church!

This is why we start our gatherings with an open time to share together.  This is not just to, "give everyone a voice", but to give Holy Spirit a voice in our gathering via the spiritual gifts he's given to his people.

This is also why we regularly pray, "Come, Holy Spirit" together and then pause, waiting for him to speak, guide and comfort us. We do this to recognise that unless we acknowledge the presence of God's Spirit we are selling ourselves short of giving God what he deserves - praise, and what we need - an encounter with God's Holy Spirit.

Word of God

Wherever you have the people of God and the Spirit of God you're going to have a good time. But it seems that God gave us the Bible, the Word of God, for a reason!

Without it we are prone to self-indulgence (whatever the people want) or unchecked spiritual exuberance (whatever we feel the Spirit is saying). God's Word not only defends us against both of these temptations, but also comforts us when our senses or situations overwhelm us, and challenges us amidst our plateaus and self-seeking.

Whenever Open Road gathers, we want to ensure that we not only listen together to God's Word being read, but to honour it as nourishment for our souls, light to our path and wisdom for our broken world.

When you mix these ingredients together, good things happen!

As anyone who has joined us on the beach know, it's all pretty simple. But it's important to know that it's not haphazard. It's not without intent. In fact, while its often quite simple, we expect that it's always spiritually significant because we always enjoy the People of God, the Word of God and the Spirit of God.

Part of my intention above is to not only give you a sense for what God is continuing to shape for us each week, but to let you know that YOU, or someone you know in the future, could actually start a new church. As we are learning, while a building makes some things easier, it doesn't stop you being a church! Be encouraged that if God calls any of you to start a church, if you have God's people, Spirit and Word, you have enough!

Finally, may you find much encouragement in our gatherings each week. May you join us, especially on the days you don't feel like. And may there be many days when you can build up and encourage someone else!

Cheers and God Bless,


Worship + Dedications

This Sunday from 3pm we will be enjoying our monthly worship gathering! I'm excited about sharing communion, having some extended time of worship as well as five families dedicating their children to God! Please make time to come and not only honour God through song, but prayerfully support these five lovely families!

300pm Arrive and connect, listen, share, pray!
315pm Arvo tea - bring something to share
345pm Communion, Worship
420pm Dedications
440pm More Worship to close

Location: City Life Christian Church @ 7 Gregson Place, Caloundra

Below are the songs we will be singing so you can get in the mood to worship with us!


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 together?!

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 to this email or email us!

And YES, they have cabins too :)

Coming Up

Sun 06 Aug     3pm Worship + Dedications 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: $19,044

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

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