Starlight Nativity 2018

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Your favourite Nativity event is back and bigger than you’ve ever experienced before!

12 – 14 December 2018 | 69 Worlds View Road | Starting at 18:00

With loads of new attractions, a ‘jump the queue’ option at registration all the while still offering the firm favourite – camel rides – there is something for everyone at Starlight Nativity 2018! 

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  1. Sky Skating – Ice skating in the sky! Enjoy the view of the city lights from our elevated plastic ice rink and feel as though you’re skating in the sky!
  2. Interactive Nativity Walk-Through – Enjoy the Nativity scene like never before with an interactive walk-through experience.
  3. Train Rides – Feel the cool evening breeze on an unforgettable train ride overlooking the city’s magnificent views.
  4. Outdoor Movie – We’ll be flighting ‘The Star’ at Starlight Nativity this year.
  5. Camel Rides – A firm favourite, let our highly south-after camel rides transport you to a time and place much simpler than this.
  6. Carols by Candlelight – Feel all the nostalgia as all your Christmassy favourites are performed by a live band.
  7. Nativity – Themed Games – Have fun while learning about the true meaning of Christmas!
  8. Food Stalls – A delightful selection of delicious stalls to feed the family!
  9. Selected Craft Stalls – Browse our selected craft stalls to see if anything catches your eye!
  10. Jumping Castle – Because Christmas is worth bouncing about!

Entry Fees

Entry fee excludes camel rides, train rides, sky skating as well as food & crafts

R40 for Adults

R20 for Kids

Additional fees

Camel Rides: R40

Train Rides: R10

Sky Skating: R40

Book early and jump the queue!

This year, for each day of Starlight Nativity, we are giving the first 300 people to book a special ‘Jump the Queue’ pass, that will entitle them to jump to the front of the queue for every ride and attraction at Starlight Nativity 2018! This will mean preferential treatment for every attraction excluding food and craft stalls. So make sure you increase your chances of enjoying all the attractions by booking for you and your family early! 

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Communicating Vision Part 2

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Welcome to our 5 minute Leadership vlog.

Today we’re looking at part two of Communicating Vision. Last week we looked at the methods that we would use to do this (church announcements, opinion leaders, websites, social media). Now we’re looking more at the talk itself. If you’re standing up in front of people, as their visionary, as their leader, what do you need to know?

The first thing you need to understand is that there is a big difference between a visionary and a salesman. A salesman is someone who can get up and make a once-off compelling, inspiring, motivational speech to get people to act. The difference between a salesman and a visionary is the product. What he is selling may not really be any good; the experience may not be good, the salesman himself might not even believe in it, which would mean that the second and third time making that same sales pitch would be a lot more difficult.

A visionary, you are out in front for a lifetime. Each visionary call is affected by the previous one and has a bearing on the ones to come. You’re thinking long term and that’s the difference between a visionary and salesman. A salesman is “one off” – you get them to do something once but a visionary has to bear in mind that he is in it for the long haul. You can’t over-sell and under-deliver. You can’t make false claims, because you’re going to live with them in days to come.

Another thing to consider is that you’ve got to use the right person to make that visionary announcement. A classic mistake was made recently at one of our church sites when advertising Men’s Camp. They picked a guy who was a man’s-man sort of guy – braai, wors, walk around in boots, sort of man. The only problem was that this guy never intended to go on the camp in the first place! His motivation lacked conviction. He didn’t stand up and say, “I’m not going” but he lacked conviction because he wasn’t going.

You have to understand the background history. For example the next time we make an announcement for Men’s Camp, we can refer back to the previous camps and lean on that history and lean on the shared experiences.

You also need to understand the context you’re speaking into. You need to know if you’re calling people to something on a public holiday or if you have different ethnic groups within the audience that you communicating to – you have to understand the various nuances at work. You have to understand the people. Are they wealthy enough to afford what you’re asking them to pay? Do they have transport issues? Do they have other excuses that they will put forward? You have to undo those excuses and you can’t undo them unless you understand what they are.

The most valuable lesson I can give for someone giving a talk is to understand that there are different types of people in the audience – all christians (we’re assuming!), all love your church, love what you’re doing, but are all wired differently. Some are thinkers, some are feelers and some are intensely spiritual. Everybody thinks, feels and is spiritual if they’re in your church, but some people lean more towards thinking, for example.

Jesus understood this. Sometimes when he answered questions he answered strictly on a cerebral level. He said, when he was asked the question about money, “Give me a coin. Let’s have a look. Whose inscription is on this coin? Caesar! So give to caesar what is caesar’s.” That was a very rational response. When Jesus was trying to send out the 72, he told them where to go, what to say, what to take, what to be careful of and what to do when they were rebuffed at the door. That was a very cerebral, very well thought through response. When you’re addressing a crowd, I reckon at least a third are going to be thinkers, so you should put on the lenses of the thinker and say, okay now if I was a thinker… – and look at it through that lense – am I answering the thought out questions?

Not everybody is a thinker, though. Some people are motivated purely by feelings. Does it feel good? Is it good for the family? Does it give me a warm fuzzy feeling? Jesus understood that. Why do you think he told parables? One day there was a man, he had two sons and the younger son said to his dad, “I want to blow out of here. Can you just treat me as if the estate is already wound up; can you give me my inheritance in advance?” The older brother stayed at home and he was working hard. Jesus told lots of stories like that; stories that just get to your heart. When you’re inspiring people, you have to realise some people are thinkers, but for other people you have to put the lense of the feeler on. Is he feeling it, because if you just hit it from the head, you’re going to miss that group completely.

Then there some people in your congregation who are actually intelligent – they have a heart and feel things – but for them to move it has to be spiritual. There has to be a prophesy or a Bible verse. God has to be in it. To those you want to lean into scripture, lean into what God has said already. Jesus understood that a lot of people were wired that way. When he was talking to the religious leaders he said scripture says, Isaiah says. When he healed people off the back of a miracle, he motivated people to do things.

It’s a useful thing to put your lenses on three times before you get up to speak. Are the thinkers’ questions answered? Are the feelers being spoken to? And the spiritual – are they satisfied that this is what God wants? Put those lenses on.

Communicating Vision – Part 1

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Welcome to the One Life 5 minute Leadership Podcast.

Today we are going to be looking at the first of a four-part series on how to communicate vision to your church and to those you are leading.

Most pastors think that that this happens through church announcements. Church announcements can be effective, but they can also be the most tragic part of a church service. I remember going to a church in the Western Cape once, many years ago and I had to sit through 20 minutes of announcements! Every Tom, Dick and Harry came up there to make his announcement. They just went on and on, not thinking through most of what they were saying. There was even an announcement to say that there was going to be an elders meeting! I looked up and down the front row and thought there are only three elders here and about 200 people are having to sit through this announcement. What does that tell you about the elders? Either they never talk to one another or they want to boast that they are having these sorts of meetings. What an absolute waste of time!

If you’re going to make church announcements a handy idea is to use media, because you can make the announcement in advance, check it and then cut out all the waffling to make sure it’s effective. People listen to videos these days; it’s the way we interact with the world.  This particular vlog hasn’t been made with a sound system or fancy video equipment – it’s just my iPhone. You can do church announcements that way. If you don’t have the skills for that, a live presentation of the announcements should be governed by these guidelines.

We never make an announcement to the whole church unless it affects at least 50% of the church. There are other ways to communicate to the grannies about their midweek meeting than making 90% of the church – who are not going to come – listen to the announcement. The same goes for youth meetings – the youth doesn’t normally involve 50% of the church. However, men’s meetings do, women’s meetings do, church wide events involve more than 50% of the church, as do big church events and family announcements like the births and marriages of the people. These are things you want the whole church to know about. We have this general rule that if it’s not going to affect 50% of the audience, then find another way to communicate it. In addition to that, we don’t believe that there should be more than two or three, at most, announcements made. People won’t remember six announcements. Take your three most important, whittle it down to your top two and then be very clear about what you’re trying to achieve. Are you trying to create general awareness? Or do you want them to sign up and attend something?  Make sure you end with what you’re trying to achieve.

Making church announcements is only one way of getting people to share your vision. You can also drip feed it through your sermon. Sometimes a visionary announcement is so important that your whole sermon will centre around it. I spent five weeks, recently, trying to envision the church on the importance and the need to get involved in a Connect Group. That was worth five sermons! If it’s not worth putting your whole sermon toward it, try drip feeding it by telling stories in your sermon. This gives it credibility, context and is an effective way to motivate people.

If you want to use your website then people have got to know that you have one. To really get people envisioned, the first thing one sees on the landing page ought to be the thing you’re leading the church into, in that season. If it’s high priority it shouldn’t be more than two clicks away. Making things difficult to find on your website isn’t going to encourage people to view it or be compelled to act on it.

If you’re going to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) use young people to help you run these accounts. They understand their way around social media. Use people who have got a large number of followers and interaction on their feeds. They will be able to give you a good feel for it and on how to use that mechanism of communication.

A general principle in inspiring a whole church is to find out who your opinion leaders are; who moves big groups of people and to speak to them. In some churches it’s the matriarch mom and in some, it’s just a loud, extravert sort of person. In other churches it’s good strong leaders, like your connect group leaders. Get those guys on side, one on one, and get them to pass on the visionary message. That’s a great way to get them to move people.

Make use of your connect groups by putting messages through your connect group leaders. Remember to give them tools and tell them what to say.

Using handouts when people arrive at the church is also an effective way to communicate, but can be an expensive way, and you have to show people how to use the handout. You’re not giving an invite to your church people to attend something – you’re giving them an invite so that they can invite their friends to come.

Employing broadcast messages, such as emails and whatsapps are effective, but you’ve got to avoid spamming people. Think through your messages very carefully. The more you make use of means like this, the more resistant people can become to it. You’ve got to look at what you’re wanting to say, who you’re wanting to move to action and then think through the medium that you’re going to use to bring your vision across.

Handling Church Discipline Part 2

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Welcome to the five minute leadership podcast, and part two of church discipline. In part one we looked at how critical discipline is to church health and we applied the metaphor of heart surgery – it is as critical as heart surgery. The Holy Spirit works like a surgeon on our hearts; circumcising our hearts (Romans 2). As spirit-filled leaders, when we’re involved in church discipline, that’s what we are doing too. It is a heart matter.

When you are about to discipline someone you’ve got to – like a heart surgeon – have the sharpest tool available in your hand. What’s the sharpest tool you have? It’s the Word of God – the sword – which is as sharp as a double edged sword. You don’t go blundering in using your opinion, church policy, history or your views on the matter. You go in wielding the Word of God, otherwise, if your opinions are like a butter knife, they are going to cause damage.

In addition to that, a heart surgeon needs to have a clean environment. You can make the right cut with the correct instrument, but if you have dirt on your hands infection is going to set in. None of us are perfect, but if you are about to discipline somebody you ought to make sure your hands are clean, and that you’re not being hypocritical. In your vulnerability and humanity you can, at best, be blameless in the issue you are busy dealing with.

Heart surgery doesn’t happen in a public space, it’s private; generally in a theater. Whenever possible, deal with people privately to keep their dignity and space. If you start blabbing it out everywhere, you’ll complicate matters by bringing the thoughts of others into it, and all sorts of personal issues are then thrown into the mix. Discipline is a private matter.

You would never do heart surgery without an anesthetic. The best anesthetic you have before you go into disciplining someone is prayer. Your prepare in prayer. You prepare the person’s heart and yours in prayer. A very important thing in heart surgery is timing. Done too early and it’s an irrelevant procedure, too late and you might miss the opportunity. So you have to pick the time wisely.

Heart surgery has got to be done right. If you under do it (you open up and then think oh my goodness I shouldn’t go that deep!), you might not get the full job done. If you do too much (start removing livers and kidneys) you could kill the guy. When you’re going in for a discipline issue you have to understand what it is you’re trying to do. Don’t over do it and don’t under do it.  

Critical to the success of any operation is the recovery. You should pay attention to people you have disciplined. You don’t pay attention by redoing the operation; you don’t cut him open again to see how it’s healing. The surgery is done – you can now attend to him and keep him clean and comfortable. Love him through his recovery process.

I underwent eye surgery and remember that the guy who did it didn’t have a great bedside manner; he was cold and clinical. I remember driving to the operation thinking that I didn’t mind so much that this guy was not weeping over me or laughing hysterically as he was going into the operation – this was serious afterall. I’m not saying that you don’t need to demonstrate some level of emotion, but you’ve heard about the parents that weep as they discipline their children, saying that it hurts them more than it hurts the child – that’s just not helpful. You’re basically a surgeon in the hand of the Holy Spirit dealing with somebody. Your emotions should be set aside.

Finally, very few heart operations are conducted alone. You would want to do it with a team of responsible, confidential leaders. If you dealing with a woman, you should have your spouse with you or at the very least have another woman leader in the room. The size of your team shouldn’t be massive; you don’t want to gang up with six elders to deal with one person on a matter of discipline.

I hope this metaphor has been helpful to you. When you’re involved in church discipline remember that it is a serious matter – it’s as serious as heart surgery. It’s God’s dealing, His circumcision of the heart. It’s a terrifying role we have as we administer God’s discipline, love and ways with people.

I hope this metaphor has been helpful to you. When you involved in church discipline, its a serious matter, its a serious as hearts surgery. It’s God’s dealing, His circumcision of the heart,. It’s a terrifying role we have as we administer God’s discipline, love and ways with people.

Angus Buchan 2018

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Angus, together with his wife, Jill moved to Greytown, South Africa from Zambia in 1977 and began a personal journey with Jesus in 1979. Having bought a piece of land with farming in mind, they felt as though God had given them a vision to be part of the great commission, to care for orphans and widows as well as equip the saints for ministry. They later called their farm ‘Shalom’. Shalom, in Angus’ words ‘has become home to a community of families and believers who live and work as a team.’

Around 10 years later, Angus felt called to hire town halls to preach the Gospel. His first campaign was held in Ladysmith and he has never looked back since!

For the second time running, we’ll be hosting a live streaming event of Angus Buchan across our sites on 14th October. We had an incredible time with him last year at a similar event where we captured all the action which you can catch up on by scrolling down.

This is a fantastic opportunity to invite your unchurched friends and family to a participating site.

Click on a site below to find directions to the site. Please note that ALL MEETINGS WILL BE AT 9AM

Handling Church Discipline

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Welcome to our One Life Leadership Podcast.

Today we are going to deal with that very tricky subject – church discipline.

Church discipline handled badly can split churches; church discipline ignored can lead to compromise and confusion, which can damage churches.

Church discipline done well, brings security and stability into the life of the church. One of the foundational things that we need to develop is the skill to know when to discipline and when not to. Most things really just need to be killed by neglect. Very often leaders will major on the minors; in trying to deal with an issue they end up drawing attention to it, giving it profile and making it a proverbial storm in a teacup.

One of the big skills we need to learn is when to just let it go of something and when to handle it decisively.

There are a couple of big mistakes people make when disciplining. One of them is not understanding honour and authority. If you’re disciplining a child, involve the child’s parents. If you’re disciplining a spouse, get the other spouse involved. If you’re trying to correct someone from another church make sure their leaders are involved, otherwise you are not honouring the authority that God has delegated into those spheres.

In addition to that, handling something in a public and immediate fashion is, often, not advisable. It is better to think about it, process it and pray about it. The only exception to that is if you’re in a meeting and some heresy is brought or a damaging comment is given –  you have to deal with this so you’re not seen as endorsing it.

Moses is the candidate we’re going to look at in handling discipline. He messed it up a few times and he also got it right once or twice. Moses once disciplined a crowd in his anger and he lost his inheritance. You can read that frightening account in Numbers 20, when he lost his rag and God said that he wouldn’t walk into his inheritance because of it.

There’s this remarkable incident in Exodus 4:4, where Moses has been picked as the deliverer; the leader to set God’s people free and he is at a lodging place on the way. He has his wife and kids with him. He hanging in his hammock, no doubt at an oasis somewhere and this is what it says in Exodus 4:24  “…and God was about to kill him.”

Now we know that God is not schizophrenic; he wasn’t about to change his mind about picking Moses – nothing was wrong with God – but something was desperately wrong with Moses. There were issues Moses had not dealt with and his wife knew all about them. He hadn’t circumcised his kids and so Zaporah does the job and then says to Moses, as she slaps the foreskin at his feet, “you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” She was not very happy with Moses. What’s that all about? What do the dealings of Moses with his boys have to do with discipline?

Discipline in those days was about obeying God, obeying His Word and keeping your family in line. Moses clearly hadn’t done this. What is this look like, though, in the New Testament? In Romans 2:28 – 29 we see that circumcision is not about circumcision outwardly, nor is circumcision physical. A Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart done by the Spirit and not by the letter of the law. His praise is not from man but God.

What is Paul saying? He is leaning on this Jewish custom, of circumcising men, and he was saying, “Now listen, that is no longer the mark of God’s people!” There is still a circumcision but is not in the body, it’s in the heart done by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leaves a mark. The Holy Spirit is engaged in getting you into line and that’s circumcision.

This is a beautiful picture for us in leadership. Just like Zipporah and Moses ought to have been, we are co-labourers, co-workers with the Holy Spirit in circumcision of our hearts. Discipline is God dealing with his people, lining them up with His purposes and it’s as important as heart surgery.

We’re going to finish this discussion on discipline in our next podcast, but for now we need to know this, discipline in serious. It is as serious as heart surgery. It’s done by the Holy Spirit and if we are involved in any way, we are working with the Holy Spirit in His process of discipline.