The below projects exists to fill gaps in the Christian outreach of our nation, from a strategic point of view.
INVESTORS VIDEO: The video to the right might be useful to some – even though it is a few years old (2016-2017). You can view it here.
Following the success of the Hope Project 2014 to 2020 it was decided to make the Easter efforts annual, to add ‘Hope Project Christmas’ to keep something of the ‘Christ’ in ‘Christmas’ through the use of Nativity scenes, and then ‘Hope Project Family’ if we are able – as a branding effort. The Church as a whole is a marketers dream as it does unparalleled good – but a marketers nightmare in that we’re often unable to get our heads together to represent ourselves well in the public square. We’re hopeful – as the message and stories are amazing!
To note it – only the Easter effort includes booklets going to homes.
The principles that led to the success of these projects cold certainly be duplicated in other nations. None have done this yet – but we’ve shared the story on a few platforms.
For more, contact Dave Mann, Hope Project NZ Coordinator and Shining Lights Trust director. email@example.com.
This is our work with pastors across the nation, encouraging and helping to resource their outreach efforts. The focus is on equipping people with conversational skills – so they can make a difference in this world. A growing range of unique support resources exist.
Find out more here.
Church youth ministry in New Zealand is attending about 1/3 to 1/4 of what it was 25 years ago. Given that about 85% of those who come to faith do so before the age of 20, and the majority from non-church families in their teens, we saw a need for some innovation.
The GOD-talk resources Christian youth and youth leaders with simple leadership and member equipping related to conversational skills, to help them stand tall in their schools and communities. The potential of this effort is significant – but at this stage (without the needed finance for this) we’re content with a network connected nationally to a few hundred youth ministries, 663 subscribers and about 1200 different youth or young adults coming to the website each month. A simple approach – and effective.
Find out more here.
It takes people to reach people, and people to disciple people. This resource supports people! It can be found at the website here – or downloaded as an app. It includes Faith Q&A, encouraging testimonies, and 10 core (and brief) tutorials about the Christian faith with discussion/reflection questions.
Global Outreach Day (G.O.D.) is the largest evangelism mobilisation effort in human history. In 2020 it rebranded a little as ‘Go2020’ – with hundreds of Christian ministries and organisations partnering internationally.
For a time Dave Mann was the Australia-Pacific Coordinator. More recently we’ve taken a more simple role, to simply give this some profile in New Zealand annually, in recognition that all of God’s people in this nation are a subset of the wider Church internationally.
We’ve focused on creating support resources for churches where we’ve seen both a need, and a strategic gap. As a result, most of these resources have been considerably successful.
E.g. ‘Because we care’ conversational outreach equipping video series
Videos need to be short these days – and these videos are. 15 exist, and at 5mins long churches play them during the offering time, while others use them in their small groups – along with the matching small group discussion guides.
See these videos here.
E.g. Itinerancy around NZ to connect with city pastors’ groups
The Shining Lights Trust team have travelled nationally 7 times, visiting with pastors’ groups in 45 to 70 cities and towns each time. Dave has been involved every time – with Tony Collis participating in the last four national efforts.
Three of these trips have also included evening programmes for combined church attendance, and youth leader encouragement.
The role of City Pastors’ groups in national mission is highly under-rated. We’ve been feeding vision regarding what churches could achieve together that they could not achieve apart. We believe we are seeing the thinking of pastors and pastors’ groups changing regarding their unity and potential together. It’s very encouraging.
E.g. ‘Reaching people you don’t know’ – video series
This series for ‘evangelism teams’ in churches was fronted by Stu Millar of Train To Proclaim. Every video comes with a discussion guide for small group use. It’s an amazing resource, found for free online here.
E.g. Cornerstone Discipleship Series
This was an experiment Dave did to see if concise discipleship videos would be used. Three series are created. They were only moderately used – though had extensive use via Shine TV. Dave chose not to complete the 18 drafted series (5 teachings in each) at this time due to other areas of the work having more momentum and needing attention. See these videos here.
This national outreach conference was run in 2016, 2017 and 2018 nationally – while a dozen regional conferences took place before that.
It uniquely put Kiwi outreaching practitioners on the stage – and from a wide range of areas of application. It also uniquely brought together about 30 outreaching organisations, with about 20 formally partnering in the conference each time (while others are also in attendance).
A “Pastors’ Morning” prior to the conference provided a platform for key pastors who pioneer unity in cities and towns across the nation to network.
No date is set for the next conference in view of the effort involved – contrasted with only 230 attendees. Traveling to speak to as many (or more) people every weekend is a better use of time – except for the networking and bridge-building potential. For this reason, future conferences likely will come about.
Two key questions in our society are
Creating resources on these foundational parts of our nation’s history is therefore a core part of our work. We have various initiatives in play, and various achievements under our belt in these areas also.
We are ever-starved for the resources needed to do what we have both the heart an acumen to do in this area. This is no small area from a strategic perspective. We pray!
Contact Dave Mann for more details on initiatives involved here – firstname.lastname@example.org
Itinerancy was mentioned earlier on this page. A wide variety of speaking engagements are enjoyed by our core team. However, a specific work with pastors’ groups exists – though without formality to it. No group ‘belongs’ to us. No group is accountable to us. No group has any obligation to us. It is entirely relational, and conversational – and without any ‘brand’ attached.
Churches are losing ground nationally. United churches have potential to do things that various individual churches cannot. The most important things we can do have to do with love too – rather than any form of political activism. (That’s not our own DNA).
Very encouraging things are happening in this space, though it is far from being without challenge. One day we believe we’ll see the denominational networks and Church (geographic) networks becoming more connected. But the pathway to this is though conversation – because most have not been discipled in a theology or practice of unity, and have little to no vocabulary for the topic of (united) Church leadership – but we believe this is changing.
“In One Spirit” (Book): In 2019 Dave released a book about the nature of unity in cities and nationally in New Zealand titled ‘In One Spirit.’ This was gifted to all pastors in pastors’ groups that the team met with that year. It has sparked many conversations, and contributed to a gradually changing perspective on united things nationally.
Similarly, Tony Collis has written a book about Church-based children’s ministry titled ‘One Million Children‘. This feeds into the same vision – to see children’s works get a revelation on the potential that might sit within their unity in cities and towns.
The GOD-talk initiative likewise specifically feeds into this vision for youth ministry – noting that combined youth leader gatherings fell over in most NZ cities and towns the past couple of decades. This can be turned around by just talking about it – to share the vision and potential of a united Church.
While our ‘Outreaching Culture’ strategy and resources are already being promoted by Stu Millar as a part of his ‘Global Outreach Day’ (G.O.D.) work in Australia, we haven’t had any huge successes in seeing resources used overseas. We are aware that potential exists here, as some resources are considerably unique. This probably awaits the right person, with marketing skills, and an intuition for connecting internationally to get these free resources noticed – so they are promoted.
A series of 7 booklets, currently titled ‘Why Christians believe,’ has been drafted, but has not been completed for a lack of financial and staff resources in the work. Dave’s hands are too tied with administration.
We see a notable opportunity, but this is unfortunately contingent upon the resourcing of our wider work, and we choose contentment as we’re enjoying seeing God do many good things in other areas of the work.