Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 28, 2010 by Corey Turner

I am now blogging daily on http://www.rawgospel.com

Please subscribe to rawgospel and access a host of resources, biblical insights, video interviews and loads more.

Lead the Change!

Multi-Site Church!

Posted in activate church with tags on August 28, 2010 by Corey Turner

Exciting News – As of October 3, 2010 Activate Church will be 1 church meeting in 2 locations. Over the last few years we have talked about the possibility of being a multi-site church. Now it’s becoming reality. What is a multi-site church?

A multi-site church is one church meeting in multiple locations. A multi-site church shares a common vision, budget, leadership and theology. The purpose of becoming a multi-site church is that it enables us to advance the gospel in other regions beyond our own, whilst retaining some of the unique DNA we have as a church.

There are two basic ways to become a multi-site church: 1) Plant a church out of our Maroondah Campus in another location or: 2) Take over an existing church campus and assimilate it to share a common vision, budget, leadership and theology.

Multi-site church is one of the unique moves of God happening throughout the Body of Christ all over the world and 70% of the fastest growing churches around the world use multi-site as a way to help facilitate growth (The Multi-site Church Revolution, 2006).

It’s with these thoughts in mind that we (Executive Elders) want to communicate the following: Several weeks ago we were approached by Hope Generation Church in the City of Casey and asked if we would consider leading their church as a second campus of Activate.

I personally, have had a long-term relationship with Hope Generation Church through my frequent preaching there over several years. Hope Generation Church is a fantastic congregation that is approximately ten years old and is currently led by Ps Jared Grant.

After several weeks of discussion, prayer and seeking wise counsel we (Executive Elders) have decided to accept their request and as of October 3rd, 2010 we will be One Church, meeting in 2 locations: Activate Church, Maroondah and Activate Church, Casey.

Lead the Change!

RawGospel.com launched Aug 22nd 2010!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 23, 2010 by Corey Turner

Just wanted to update you on the recent launch of http://www.rawgospel.com on August 22, 2010.

I encourage you to start subscribing to this blogpost as I will be transferring my daily blog to this new website. RawGospel.com will include blogs from different pastors and leaders, interviews, books, event promotions – conferences and seminars, twitter updates and much more.

Check it out… It’s early days but I hope you get lots of inspiration and helpful resources out of it.

Raw Gospel!

John 17 – One in God!

Posted in church, relationships with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by Corey Turner

In John 17:1-26 Jesus is praying the High Priestly Prayer and he is interceding for himself, his disciples and finally for believers who would be chosen by his sovereign grace 200 years later. Jesus’ farewell prayer at the close of the last supper gives an account of his ministry to the Father and there is so much theology packed into these 26 verses that it would take days and weeks to unpack it but let me give you 2 highlights:

  1. V10-12 Jesus’ prayer points to the perseverance of the saints and eternal security. Jesus prayer request was that we would be kept and keep in mind, the Son of God always gets his prayers answered by the Father. As a believer in Jesus, you can have assurance that your faith has a future because the Father would not give to his Son a gift (believers) that would not last.
  2. V20-26 Jesus calls upon the Father to make his church one even as Christ and the Father are one. V13-19 gives us the qualities that are a result of being united with the Father – Joy, Sanctification, Witness and God’s glory.

John 17 points us to the Trinitarian nature of God. Even though the Old Testament introduces us to the Trinitarian nature of God (Gen 1:26-27), the Jews of Jesus’ day were raised in strict monotheism = God was singular (Deut 6:4). Suddenly Jesus Christ arrives on the scene and at his baptism (Matt 3), the Father declares Jesus as his beloved Son and then the Holy Spirit dropped in on the party and remained upon Jesus. It took another 400 years of theological debate before the church formed an official doctrinal position on the trinitarian nature of God. Due to the theological debate and discussions of the Council of Nicaea (325AD) and the Council of Constantinople (381AD) the Nicene Creed was formed and is absolutely essential in helping us understand what the bible teaches about the trinity. A short summary of it in my own words is provided:

“The Christian doctrine of the Trinity affirms the revelation of the eternal Godhead, who has revealed himself as one God, existing in 3 persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who dwell in eternal community of interdependent and reciprocal love; distinguishable but inseparable in essence; co-eternal, co-existent and co-equal in nature, attributes, power and glory.”

Why is the Trinity relevant to being ONE in our relationships? What unites the Godhead is perfect intimacy. God experiences divine community within himself and the church is supposed to reflect that oneness in the way we relate to each other and represent God to the world.

Jesus, in perfect intimacy with the Father prays, “I ask for those who will believe in my name, that they may all be one, just as you Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:20-21).

When we are ONE, we point the world to the sent ONE of God = Jesus Christ!

Just as God raised up Israel to be a witness of his glory to the nations, so too has God raised the Church up to be a witness and representation of him throughout the earth. Being unified and authentic in our relationships isn’t about warm fuzzies and being nice to people alone but our unity is a chief sign that God is among us.

Tomorrow we will look at what being authentically ONE looks like practically.

Lead the Change!

Authentic Relationships!

Posted in apologetics, relationships with tags , , on August 15, 2010 by Corey Turner

How many times in your life could you say that you have felt a genuine sense of oneness and unity in your relationships?

Unfortunately, when it comes to the church, there are too many people who carry with them a negative report of broken relationships and wounded souls. Yet, the church is called to be the greatest apologetic of the gospel the world has ever seen.

Why is it the Church struggles to cultivate authentic relationships at times? Let me suggest 4 reasons among others:

  1. Reality of Spiritual Warfare – We have an enemy who hates the church and all it stands for.
  2. Our Sinful Nature – When our flesh can’t get what it wants it pollutes our relationships.
  3. Pressure to Perform – Salvation by works manifests as pharisaical moralism.
  4. Busyness of life in western culture – Busyness skims through life and produces shallow relationships.

Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17:1-26 has some incredible insight into the source of unity, the benefits of unity and why unity is important. We will unpack the insights in this passage over the next week.

Lead the Change!


Posted in Spiritual Formation, Transformation with tags , , on August 14, 2010 by Corey Turner

Spiritual Transformation is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit!

  • Genesis 1:27 says the Spirit was involved in the creation process.
  • John 16:8 says the Spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgement.
  • John 3:8 says the Spirit breathes life into us.
  • John 14:17 says the Spirit resides in us.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 says the Spirit inspired the Scriptures for us.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18; 5:18 says the Spirit transforms us.

The Holy Spirit is our helper and our sanctifier but we have a role to play in the transformation process. In Acts 2:37-39 the Apostle Peter called the crowd on the Day of Pentecost to repent, be baptized and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The core element of spiritual transformation is your heart! Your heart is the epicenter of your life that directs and motivates everything. The problem is your heart is deceitful above all else (Jer 17:9). Our hearts are totally depraved because apart from Christ we are dead in our sin (Romans 3:8-10) and the answer isn’t more education but reconciliation with God which leads to a reformation of the heart.

Reformation of the heart begins with acknowledging that we are inherently sinful and that we need to repent and have genuine remorse over our sinfulness. I think one of the reasons why we don’t see more genuine transformation in our lives at times is because we aren’t genuinely repentant and remorseful of our sin.

Faith in Jesus Christ, being the Son of God and that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10) is essential. Faith in God worships God as God and builds a close relationship with God through the Scriptures and prayer. Faith comes by hearing and hearing through the Word of Christ. Daily communion with God positions us to be sanctified by the word of truth (Jn 17) and the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Repentance and faith leads us to being apart of the Community of faith = Church! To be a Christian and not be a part of a local church is to disobey God and remove yourself from the very environment that God chooses to use to shape and mold your faith and new creation nature. Some of us run away from church the moment there’s an issue but we are missing the point. It’s as we embrace the wrestle and tensions of the things that irritate us and challenge us about people within the church that God uses, in part, to shape and mold us.

Build your future on biblical truth that leads to spiritual transformation. Spiritually transformed people love God with all their heart, soul and strength.

Be the Change!

RawGospel.com is Coming!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 12, 2010 by Corey Turner

RawGospel.com is going to be launching late August 2010 and I will be transferring my INSIGHT blog across to this new forum.

RawGospel.com is a resource tool for church leaders and followers of Christ who are seeking to live in the Gospel, build Gospel-centered communities and lead people into the Gospel.

RawGospel.com will have a number of contributers sharing several daily blogs, videos, books and resources, as well promoting conferences and seminars that will aid you in your life and ministry.

The contributers to this forum will be myself, Simone Turner, Mj Want and Ben Fagerland who are all leaders at Activate Church. We will also have guest contributers which will feature in video interviews and contribute relevant articles as invited to.

I believe that a coalition of people working together to produce quality material will accomplish more than just me alone and I would encourage you to access and subscribe to RawGospel.com when it launches. More details to come!

Spiritual Transformation!

Posted in Spiritual Formation, Transformation with tags , , on August 12, 2010 by Corey Turner

3 Times in the Scriptures, the word “Transformed” is used (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 3:18; Phil 3:21). The word ‘Transformed’ in the Greek translated through to English is the word, ‘Metamorphosis’ and it means a change of form or a change of character. In the study of Biology, it means “a process of change in structure that results in a change of behaviour.” The same word is used to describe the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly in a cocoon.

God intends each of us to experience a spiritual transformation as radical as the physical transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly…and then some. When a caterpillar enters the cocoon, everything about the animal changes, except the heart. When we are saved, we enter into the process of sanctification = being conformed to the image of Christ. This transforming work includes and centers on the heart. Hence why Proverbs 4:23 exhorts us to, “Guard your heart, for out if it flows the wellspring of life”.

I think the reality is we will all be transformed to one degree or another. The question is, in whose image will we be transformed into? We all become who we are according to the image we consistently behold. Gen 1:26-27 tells us we are made in the image of God but because of Genesis 3 and our rebellion against God, we are inherently selfish and sinful beings. Hence why we need to be saved and experience the transforming work of Christ on the cross and the help of the Holy Spirit.  What image are we pre-occupied with – Self or Christ?

Colossians 3:10 “Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

I think one of the reasons why spiritual transformation breaks down is because we lack vision of what a Gospel-centered life looks like. Without a vision of life in obedience to the teachings of Jesus we settle for a vision of our selves in a fallen world. The culture around us makes it easy for us to be focused on our selves and not on Christ.

Every single one of us, apart from Christ, is addicted to ourselves and we need to be set free from our self-sufficiency. Spiritual transformation is not a ‘life enhancement’ project that helps you become a better you. Sanctification is the process of developing the life of Christ inside of you that can only be sustained by the work of the Spirit inside of you as well.

Be the Change!

Build on Biblical Truth!

Posted in Bible with tags , , , , on August 6, 2010 by Corey Turner

Let’s look at what building the future on Biblical Truth looks like from a practical point of view.

It looks like Daily Bible ReadingPsa 119:11 “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Commit yourself to a regime of daily bible reading. The church I lead is currently reading through the bible in 90 days. The point of the exercise is to establish a personal habit of posturing oneself before God’s Word and be transformed by the renewing of our thinking. You are not a bad person if you miss a days bible reading but if your relationship with Christ is going to grow strong, then like any important relationship, you and I need to stay in regular contact.

It looks like Preaching through Books of the Bible – In the early days of my preaching I tended to preach series based on felt needs rather than through book after book of the bible. In some seasons of a church’s life it’s good to touch on evident needs within the congregation but there is nothing like letting the bible speak for itself as you unpack what God’s ideas are to us. For many months we have worked through the Book of Acts and just recently we worked through the Letter of James and titled the series “Real Christianity”. This pattern of preaching is going to be a more regular feature of my ministry.

It looks like Teaching God’s Word to your Children – If you are a parent, you will know the importance of instilling within your kids values that will help them in their lives as they grow. There is no more important value to instill than a love for God and his word. You can’t force a kid to love God but you can set an example to them, pray for them and teach the bible to them. After most evening meals in our house, the kids get their devotional bible and we read a short passage and then pray for each other. It’s fun and all 3 of my kids look forward to listening to the bible story and sharing prayer requests with each other.

It looks like Ordering your Church’s ministry by God’s Word – Paul said to Timothy in 1 Tim 3:14-15 “I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” I’ve observed church’s adopting philosophies of ministry that reflect more of a corporate business model then a biblical model. The Scriptures give us clear guidance on how we are to approach eldership and deacon roles and what the various elements of church life should emphasize and include. The latest book may be helpful but it cannot replace the divine authority of God’s Word. It’s Christ’s church and he wants it ordered according to his Word.

It looks like doing Theology in Community – Because of the individualistic emphasis in our culture many western Christians develop their theology in isolation, not in community. It is important to do the hard work of shaping your theology through reading and personal study but we must also ‘flesh out’ our theology in the real world of community. As we rub shoulders with each other and hear each other’s reflections and perspectives on Scripture, it helps us to gain clarity on our own theology. I don’t think God intended our theology to be clinical and only reserved for the classroom. It needs also to be applicable to our daily lives. For us we prayerfully teach, study and discuss the Scriptures in connect groups on a weekly basis.

It looks like Meditating, Memorizing and Obeying God’s Word – God’s Word must get into our thinking and into our hearts for it to be transformational in our lives. Hearing truth is good, obeying truth is better. One must lead to the other. James 1:25 “The one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

Lead the Change!

rawgospel.com & Podcasting!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 5, 2010 by Corey Turner

RawGospel.Com is a new website we are launching in the coming weeks that exists to share insights on biblical truth to help pastors, leaders and followers of Christ in their lives and ministries. It will be interactive and consist of daily blog posts from a coalition of elder-pastors, lists of helpful books we are reading, video interviews with special guests and updates on key training events, including a preaching seminar with Ps Allan Meyer in March 2011.

We will give you more information just before we launch the new website. Also….

All sermons preached at our church will be available to download via podcast (iTunes and our website) as of Monday 9th August. We will be uploading our “James – Real Christianity” series and recent sermons from “Building the Future” series. Buy an iPod or an iPhone and start listening to raw gospel preaching. Otherwise you can listen to these messages via our website http://www.activatechurch.com

BE the Change!