Bren McLean

Church Life


by on Feb.13, 2014, under Church Life


St Paul’s is thrilled to be presenting Jesus Christ Superstar, the rock musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that took the world by storm in the early 1970’s.

Yes, a Sydney Anglican church has the rights to this classic show. It’s risky, it’s edgy, but it’s also a wonderful evangelistic opportunity. Jesus Christ Superstar raises a lot of questions about Jesus and over Easter, we intend to answer a lot of those questions.

The show boasts a cast of over 55 people, a 22 piece rock orchestra, plus many more volunteers in areas such as production and front of house.

Check out the website for more information such as:

* Show dates

* FAQ’s

Tickets are on sale NOW. Early-bird rates are available until the end of February.



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by on Nov.18, 2013, under Church Life, Worship

Our Vision Series this year is titled, PERSEVERING FAITH. From 13 October – 17 November, we have been challenged to persevere through all of life’s trials and to become a church that leans into God during challenging times.

Below is the setlists at spch for VISION SUNDAY (17 November 2013):



1. Your Grace Is Enough (Tomlin)

2. The One Who Saves (Hillsong)

3. Forever Reign (Hillsong)



1. Our God Is Love (Hillsong)

2. This Is Love (spch)

3. The Love Of The Father (spch)


Here’s the Vision Sunday video that was played at all 4 services yesterday:


A huge thank you to Anthony Harrison for his amazing artistic skills and to all who contributed to this wonderful video.

Following the message, John Gray (Senior Minister) invited everyone to place their Vision Forms in the boxes. It was very moving to see hundreds of people stream forward indicating their commitment of time, talent and treasures for the work of the gospel in 2014.

After the service, it was also moving to see hundreds of people (including kids) write on the massive blackboard in the Foyer, to say “I’M IN!”

Blackboard2Blackboard SMALL

After 6 years at St Paul’s, I’m honoured to say that I love my job and I love this church.

I’M IN for 2014! Are you?



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by on May.31, 2013, under Church Life

This Sunday, we commence a new series titled, VITAL SIGNS.

Vital Signs logo St Paul’s is a church that is all about bringing people to Jesus, building people up in Jesus, and sending people out for Jesus.

But what are we building? Under God, disciples of Jesus who know and show 6 signs of life:


vital signs group


These core values will be unpacked over the next 6 week’s and we are praying that they will become a part of our DNA. Stay tuned…

What are the core values of YOUR Church?


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by on May.08, 2013, under Church Life

The concept of giving is found all throughout the bible:

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

Deutoronomy 15:10


Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:41-44


Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7


time talents treasures

God is calling each of us to be generous with our time, talents and treasures. Our heavenly Father has set the ultimate example of sacrificial giving, so how can we not be generous in return? I mean, we only have things because God has graciously given them to us, so let’s be faithful stewards of all that we have.

I love this quote from John Wesley:

“Earn all you can; save all you can; give all you can.”


Below are 3 thought provoking videos on the topic:


So, how should the topic of giving be addressed in churches? Why are we so reluctant to talk about money and the purpose of taking up the offertory in our church services? Jesus wasn’t.

CommunicateJesus has a helpful blog post, Why Don’t Churchws Talk About Giving?

Join the conversation. Your comments are most welcome.




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by on May.02, 2013, under Church Life



Towards Belief is a TV/DVD series which brings together over 30 academics, apologists and Christian leaders from around the world to create a unique resource.

Karl Faase and the crew from Olive Tree Media have done a great job from what I have seen so far. Engaging topics include:

* Church Abuse

* Religious Violence

* Homosexuality

The 10 part series is due out soon! Check out the Towards Belief website for all the details.


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by on Apr.23, 2013, under Church Life


John 3:16 is probably the most well known verse in the Bible:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


No other verse in the Bible so succinctly summarises God’s relationship with humanity and the way of salvation. There are a number of other ‘3:16’ verses though, that are profound for us:

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Joel 3:16

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. Matthew 3:16

John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Luke 3:16

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 1 Corinthians 3:16

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 2 Corinthians 3:16

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, Ephesians 3:16

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

Finally, the apostle Paul closes 2 Timothy (v16-17) with, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Of course, every single word of the Old and New Testament is relevant and significant for us, I just find (by coincidence) that a number of ‘3:16’ verses are GOLD!


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by on Mar.13, 2013, under Church Life

Last night, spch held it’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). It is an opportunity to formally report what God has been doing in us and through us. We have much to celebrate and be grateful for.

The AGM includes a report of the finances for 2012, the budget for 2013, as well as voting on positions such as Church Warden and the Parish Council. May God bless these volunteers who serve the church so capably and faithfully.

Below is an infographic of some of the year’s highlights…


Our Communications Team prepared this infographic snapshot and it has been well received by church members. Huge props to Meredith and Anthony for a terrific job!

The full colour report can be found HERE



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by on Feb.27, 2013, under Church Life

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips

and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle.

That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

Brennan Manning


Now, THAT is a sobering quote.

It has been referenced a number of times, including as a prelude to the dc Talk song ‘What if I Stumble?’


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by on Feb.04, 2013, under Church Life, Personal

What’s in a title?

Gesch‰ftsmann mit Visitenkarte

Just recently, it was decided that job titles for staff members at spch would be standardised. Instead of a range of titles used such as ‘x Director’, ‘x Minister’, ‘x Pastor’, ministry staff are now all ‘x Minister’. It’s a pragmatic decision, that is primarily based on our location and denomination. The word ‘Director’ is more common in the corporate world, and ‘Pastor’ is more common overseas and in charismatic churches.  This does not mean that there’s anything wrong with those titles, in fact I personally prefer the title ‘Pastor’. For reasons of consistency and clarity, ‘Minister’ is the word of choice at spch for now.

My personal job title is therefore CREATIVE MINISTER. Does that mean that the other ministers are NOT ‘creative’? Ha, of course not. I oversee the Creative Department, which programs all of the volunteers and elements of our Sunday Service’s. The title could have just as easily been ‘Music Minister’, or ‘Worship Minister’, but again for pragmatic reasons ‘creative’ was decided as the most appropriate for me at present. My job description hasn’t changed, just the title that I use on written, online and verbal correspondence.

Go HERE for a full list of staff members at spch.

Over the year’s I have come across some unusual job titles. Here’s a sample of some of the most creative ones:

Director of First Impressions – Receptionist

Head Honcho – Owner/Proprietor

Garbologist – Rubbish Collector

For other interesting job titles, check out:

Business Insider – 50-weirdest-job-titles


Bren McLean

Creative Minister

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by on Jan.24, 2013, under Church Life

How do I get to heaven? This question has sparked much debate since Noah was a boy. A common response is “to lead a good life”. “God is loving and if I do more good things than bad things, then I’ll be ok, right?”


Where do people get this idea of good vs bad from anyway? The idea that God is sitting in the clouds weighing up all of our thoughts and deeds on some sort of cosmic ‘scales of justice’ is just ridiculous!

Good bad scales

In the bible, we learn that there is only one way to heaven. Only one way to an eternal life with God, the Creator and sustainer of everything. That is, by trusting in Jesus, the Son of God (John 3:16). Christ came to earth (Philippians. 2:6-11) to make a way for humans to be reconciled with the Father.

God is holy, perfect and just. According to the Apostle Paul, all have sinned and all fall short of God’s standard (Romans 5:22-24). However, Paul also states that ALL have access to grace. Yes, forgiveness of sins (justification) is available to those who truly know and trust Jesus as Lord and Saviour. This is because Jesus is holy, perfect and just. The unblemished Lamb of God.

Central Films have made this great video, explaining the concept of God’s grace vs man’s works in a light hearted way:

Do you want to be 100% confident of going to heaven? Then, the only way is to turn to Christ as your Lord and Saviour. I have and it is the best decision that I ever made. And despite making mistakes every single day, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross means that I am guaranteed an eternity where there will be no more tears or suffering (Revelation 4:21).

NOTE – For those who do not even believe that the bible we have is a reliable historical document, this clip offers some helpful facts:


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