Ahead of Father’s Day, we'll be sharing stories of everyday Christian fathers, and how knowing God and the gospel has shaped their perspectives on children and parenting. In this reflection, Mikey Tai shares what God has been teaching him as a first-time dad!
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I pastor a church called Providence in Brisbane which began as a church plant 7 years ago. I’m married to Heidi, with a newborn daughter called Talitha, a dog named Simba, and a few fish tanks. As a side ministry we host ‘The Greater Story’ podcast, as I love watching movies and thinking through how they point us to Jesus. I also love to spend time with my fish tanks, hitting the gym, and reading books over a good coffee.
2. What are the joys and challenges of being a first-time dad?
Honestly, it’s the simple joys like being able to cuddle her, being able to observe her changing week by week and seeing how she picks up new things. There’s also a sense of joy, knowing God has gifted you with this new responsibility and you get to play a part in raising and taking care of this vulnerable little human. The challenge, like most parents would feel at this stage, is the sleep deprivation!
3. What does being a Christian father mean to you?
It means I have the opportunity to model and teach the gospel to my child and raise her in God’s covenant promises.
4. What do you believe to be the ultimate purpose of fatherhood?
Like all of life, our purpose is to glorify God so even in fatherhood, God desires for me to glorify Him in the way that I love and serve my family, and bring them to a deeper knowledge and love of Him and love for others around us!
5. How does knowing God the Father change the way you parent?
Knowing God allows me to entrust my child to Him knowing He loves her more than I ever could. It gives me courage too, because I don’t have all the answers and at times will stuff up, but God is in control, and He is growing my character in the process. Knowing God also allows me to see where I fall short as a father, and in my moments of sin like impatience or frustration, I can look to Jesus as a model to lean into and follow after.
6. Can you share something that God has been teaching you, since you’ve become a parent?
I’m selfish! I’m someone who loves efficiency and trying to get a newborn baby to sleep in the middle of the night can be very inefficient! Life changes a lot as a new parent and while you want your child to fit into your schedule and do what you want them to do, it never works out that way. A baby is a baby and you can’t control them. But I can be aware and get some control over my emotions and God has been showing me how impatient and selfish I am. When I lean into Jesus though, I’m reminded that I must be so hard to deal with too (and I’m not a baby!) and have had to remember how gracious and patient Jesus has been with me time and time again.
Since 1990, NextGen’s training model has been used to raise a new generation of Christian leaders across Australia and beyond.
NextGen’s wholistic and interactive program is designed to help delegates to grow in their love and knowledge of God, while gaining key skills to read and teach the Bible to others.
In the last year, NextGen training material has been utilised across the state in the form of take-home 'Training Kits', giving local churches the opportunity to run NextGen in the way that best suits them.
We are bringing back our NextGen Training Kit in 2022 with all the things you love about NextGen!
With NextGen, you will:
Whether you are a youth leader, Sunday School teacher, Bible study group leader, or just wanting to speak about or read the Bible better, join us at NextGen in 2022.
Unpacking the NextGen 2022 Training Kit:
See the impact of NextGen in local communities.
“While travelling, we would listen to the NextGen talks and workshop material, and then discuss what we had learned in the car. Sometimes these conversations would continue over dinner, or while fishing. We were able to sit for a fair bit after each talk to think about them.” Henk.
“It's really encouraging to see the younger ones coming along to the whole thing! They really enjoyed the talks and strand materials and got into God's Word. A few of the youth leaders from strand 3 are keen to turn the topics they looked at into talks for youth group this year. The rising leaders have said yes to sharing their testimonies at youth group too!” - Cici Gu from Evangelical CrossLife Church.
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"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
Matthew 28:19 (NIV).
Wanting to grow in your faith? From podcasts and apps to videos, we’ve compiled a list of resources to spur you on your Christian walk. We hope you will find these helpful as you spend time with God.
Catch BASECAMP and OneLove on-demand
Last week, over 1,000 men gathered at BASECAMP men’s conference to be encouraged and challenged in God’s word. If you missed out, registrations and livestream viewing will be open till 30 September so you can watch it at your own pace. Our OneLove women’s conference is this Saturday! It’s not too late to register or it will also be available to watch on-demand till 30 September.
Every Moment Holy
Every Moment Holy is a book of liturgies for the ordinary events of daily life--liturgies such as 'A Liturgy for Feasting with Friends' or 'A Liturgy for Laundering' or 'A Liturgy for the First Hearthfire of the Season.' These are ways of reminding us that our lives are shot through with sacred purpose even when, especially when, we are too busy or too caught up in our busyness to notice. Purchase it from The Wandering Bookseller here.
Women of the Word - How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds
We all know it's important to study God's Word. But sometimes it's hard to know where to start. What's more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible? Women of the Word has helped countless women with a clear and concise plan they can use every time they open their Bible. This book will equip you to engage God's Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart. Purchase it from The Wandering Bookseller here.
Lectio 365 is a daily devotional resource that helps you pray the Bible every day. Written by leaders from the 24-7 Prayer movement, this resource helps you engage with the word, fix your eyes on Jesus, and connect with God in prayer.
WordGo by Bible Study Fellowship is an app that delivers daily study plans straight to your phone, helping you connect with God through His Word. If you want something you can just open up to help guide your Bible reading time, WordGo provides a great structure with allowing for opening prayer time, the Bible reading and great practical questions to reflect on the passage with.
PrayerMate helps you to be faithful in prayer for the people and causes you care about. It works by grouping everything that needs praying for into lists such as family, sharing faith, or world mission, and you can add your own lists too! Each PrayerMate session you’ll get a selection of your subjects to pray through or you can pray through specific lists instead.
The Beatitudes – KCC One
A video devotional series by Malcolm Gill. Available exclusively on the KCC One App, ‘The Beatitudes’ takes a deep dive into Matthew 5:3–12 where Jesus points us to a thriving blessed life that is both counter-cultural and counter-intuitive.
Desiring God’s Look at the Book
Look at the Book is an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher. You will hear John Piper’s voice and watch his pen underline, circle, make connections, and scribble notes—all to help you learn to read God’s word for yourself.
Join the creators of BibleProject (Tim and Jon) as they have in-depth conversations about the Bible and theology. Listen online here or on your preferred streaming platform.
Unreached of the Day
A fast-paced, daily one minute episode, providing an opportunity to learn about and pray for the unreached ethnic people groups of the world with the fewest followers of Jesus. Listen online here or on your preferred streaming platform.
The KCC team are currently working from home under various NSW lockdown rules, and after 6 weeks we're feeling the strain! In the midst of working from home, restricted movements and all the other responsibilities juggled, we're desperately feeling the need for refreshed eyes, hearts and souls. We imagine it'd be much the same for many right now.
So here are three ways to reset, refresh and refocus this season:
1. Take the day to be refreshed at BASECAMP and OneLove
Take the day to be fed from God's Word, be refreshed, and be "in the room" with a greater fellowship of believers. There's nothing like coming together to hear the Bible preached powerfully, be blessed by the personal testimonies of fellow Christians, and to share in it with fellow Christians.
For the men at BASECAMP, Tim Lane and Arnaldo Santiago Jr will be tackling how to unravel the things that bind our hearts, so that we can stride back out into the world, free to love God and others fully.
Jackie Hill Perry and Jo Gibbs will challenge and encourage the women at OneLove that our holy God has created us for more than this world has us believe.
You won't regret the time spent being refreshed at these events. Register now - it includes on-demand access to the event for a month, and extra resources to help make the most of the day.
2. Refocus with a soul-nourishing book
Pick up a book you've meant to read, and commit to finishing it! If you need some ideas for new reads, KCC have partnered with The Wandering Bookseller to come up with a list of recommended reads for BASECAMP and OneLove. Here's a selection:
See the rest of the BASECAMP collection here: https://wanderingbookseller.com.au/collections/basecamp
See the rest of the OneLove collection here: https://wanderingbookseller.com.au/collections/onelove
(Why not share the love and send around a book to friends to read together? The Wandering Bookseller have a great range of books in bulk in their $100 book pack collection!)
3, Reset your day with a prayer walk
Get up a little earlier to go on a walk in the fresh air, and spend it in prayer for the day ahead and for the world around us. More of a sit-and-pray-er? Tune into some music to help you worship, or a sermon to listen to as you walk. Spotify and Apple Podcasts have a great selection to browse through, and of course, the KCC One app is always there with video and audio content too!
We'd love to hear what you do to de-fog in the current situation!
On the last day of Term 2, close to 300 youth gathered in churches and living rooms for the Onward conference livestream, and to hear how we as Christians can reach out to God in the midst of hard times and suffering. Youth groups tuned in from across New South Wales, Queensland, Canberra and Victoria, with the largest groups represented by St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Canberra, St Aidan's Wagga Wagga and Albury Presbyterian Churches.
Despite being livestreamed due to COVID-19, the Onward team worked hard to recreate a physical conference experience by providing an interactive Q&A panel, worship in song by Whitefield band, and encouraging camaraderie within youth groups to participate in a “This or That” poll and a competition to win KYCK2022 tickets.
The theme for Onward 2021 was “God in the Shadows: Finding God When Times Are Tough” and the official program kicked off with guest speaker, Dave Miers preaching from Habakkuk 1 & 2. Dave shared that it’s appropriate to cry out to God in times of suffering and that that Habakkuk is a good example of a man who expresses trust in God, even in pain and uncertainty.
“God is good. God is God and God can be trusted. When we ask, where is God when times are tough? We know he’s still God so we wrestle, so we wait, and regardless of the uncertainty that we, or people close to us have in the midst of tough times, we keep trusting in him.” – Dave Miers
Miers explored in his second talk how we can rejoice now even while we endure hardship. But the good news is, we don’t have to endure hardship forever.
Guest speakers, Lily Strachan, Kit Barker and Greg Coles joined the program to share more practically on the topic.
Barker shared an instructional talk that answers the question of how God wants His people to express their sorrow and grief. What do we do with suffering and pain as Christians? Why would God allow us to suffer?
Strachan is no stranger to mental illness, having been diagnosed with depression in 2003 and Bipolar Disorder in 2008. She believes that Christians are not exempt from suffering and shared where hope can be found in the midst of mental illness.
Coles shared his testimony about finding joy in his experience of attraction to the same sex. He also shared how even though faithfulness to Jesus means singleness and at times deep loss, he continues to seek to find joy.
We thank God for the gift of technology, and the ways in which it has enabled his word to be preached far and wide, so that hearts can continue being impacted and transformed for God’s glory. It is our hope and prayer that youth will walk away from Onward 2021, to find God in the midst of tough times and hardship.
Onward Youth is available to stream on-demand until the 31 August 2021.
Access to our DEEP DIVE resource which includes 3 weeks of youth group Bible talks, discussions questions, resources, interviews, Q&A with Onward speakers and more!
For tickets or more information, visit our website: www.onwardevent.com