Projects
We are a strategic resourcing ministry. We aim to help equip and encourage the Christian Church in sharing the message of God’s love to a world in need of hope.
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Projects

Past, current and future projects by Shining Lights Trust

Our Projects

The below projects exists to fill gaps in the Christian outreach of our nation, from a strategic point of view.

  • Many in our nation are looking for the hope – and the Christian faith offers unparalleled hope!
  • The power of this is seen in the unique way Christian faith leads to life change – as evidenced in testimonies of change across the globe.
  • This page lists some of the innovations we are working on.

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.

Current new projects that are being worked on include:

Hope Project Easter:  A public Christian voice of hope

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.

See Hope Project Easter and Hope Project Christmas

Public websites connected with this include HopeProject.co.nz and 10DayChallenge.co.nz plus a couple of FaceBook pages and YouTube channels.

ENCOURAGING OTHER NATIONS TO CONSIDER REPLICATING THE HOPE PROJECT OPPORTUNITY

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. dave@shininglights.co.nz.

If you are from another country and interested
to find out more about the Hope Project, please be in touch.

All Together Consulting

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.

If you are a Pastor/key church leader and struggling to mobilise your members as pro-active witnesses in every-day life – be in touch to receive the monthly pastors updates.

Godtalk – helping youth read youth

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.

If you are a youth or youth leader and want to know more – be in touch and we’ll update you as things develop.

10 Day Challenge – a unique discipleship support resource and  app

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.

Freely be in touch.

Global Outreach Day — NZ and Australia-Pacific

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.

Freely be in touch.

AllTogether Equip: Highly effective and broad-reaching equipping resources and strategies

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.

If you would like to get behind this initiative
by contributing to funding, please get in touch
to discuss how we can make this happen.

Engage Conference (NZ)

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.

See Engage Conference NZ

Want to receive our monthly ‘news and prayer updates’? Let us know your email.

Biculturalism and Christian Heritage

Two key questions in our society are

  • Are we a Christian nation? Most would think we are not, but in reality we are if measured by heritage and values. To consider the options – we’re not Islamic, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu or atheistic in our values. This particular type and level of prosperity, equality and freedom we enjoy is the product of a specific heritage, and with a 2000 year history to its development. The lack of knowledge about this history leaves the public vulnerable to a negative view of the Christian faith.
  • Is Christianity an imposition of colonisation? Most of the public would think it was – while breeds negativity toward the Christiaan faith in this nation.  but history quickly shows the opposite. The first invited settlement was a a missionary settlement. They would not come until invited (by Rangatira Ruatara). They were also considerably anti-colonialistic, and this is why they worked with friends in the UK to establish Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), as a protection for Maori from Colonisation. The effort didn’t work – but they were heroic, and laid a foundation that the Waitangi Tribunal was able to come back to years later when the injustices were finally admitted by the Crown.

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 – dave@shininglights.co.nz

Want to know more? Be in touch!

Encouraging the role of pastors’ groups in NZ cities and towns

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.

Want to know more? Be in touch!

Releasing resources to international audiences

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.

Want to know more? Be in touch!

‘Why Christians believe’ – booklet series to stem the loss of young adults from churches

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.

  • The booklets cover 7 areas of apologetics in a concise yet remarkably comprehensive way – making for easy and visually attractive reading.
  • The tone is respectful toward those who do not believe also – giving the series a unique tone.
  • God-willing, the vision is to get this into the hands of 20,000 or more youth and young adults, so they learn things they might not hear otherwise.
  • A companion video would come with each booklet for small groups – and a discussion guide.
  • Other companion resources would be at a website, specific to this resource.

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.

Want to know more? Be in touch!