September 29, 2011

Culture Challenge - Christian Comment Pastor David Patterson

Every organization has a culture and when asked, they will describe themselves as having high ideals and aspirations. People want a friendly environment of cooperation and fairness. They want to be perceived as a great bunch doing an excellent job. However, when surveyed impartially, business organizations often reflect the opposite; they are power crazy, over-competitive, incompetent crooks. Very few stop to look at the mirror and bring a vision for change because they imagine that somehow could affect the bottom line badly. So nothing happens.

The last line sums up most organizational cultures…”nothing happens.” Is your organization in danger of that description? Actually there is something happening: The visionary people are drifting away; those who are motivated by fear are beginning to seize control and the organization will soon begin to fail in its mission. This natural transition occurs in every human organization and also happens to whole countries or regions, (it’s happening now in Europe.)

In the business world, when they finally run-off the Entrepreneur who started an enterprise, the ‘number-crunchers’ move in and can kill it if good management does not arrive in time. Unfortunately, the Christian Church often suffers the same cycles (with different terminology and methods) and in both cases a fresh clear vision based on the actual culture of the organization could mean it recovers and progresses positively.

Someone recently said that culture is like a Hot air balloon: When the culture is stimulated, the organization rises to become subject to the unpredictable winds of chance. Alternatively it sits on the ground and quietly deflates. The former is fulfilling, the latter feels “safe”.

God works with culture. He used standard cultural forms to establish his presence in the Old Testament: The Tabernacle was a tent-based temporary place of worship among the Nation of Israel during its wilderness journeys. Though it was subject to intense detail of construction, it was not overall a unique concept, just different in how it worked:

Deuteronomy 4:7-8 “What other nation is so great as to have their god near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Jesus worked within complex Jewish cultural restrictions but transcended them by consistently interacting with other cultures in a non-traditional way. This greatly challenged the stodgy.

The Early Church needed some severe prods to drop its culturally exclusive mentality. God has his purpose fixed on reaching out in love to all of mankind and they were reluctant to see even a Jewish Proselyte become a Christian let alone a bunch of Gentiles with Cornelius. Persecution provided the stimulus.

Here we are now, living in a bi-cultural nation facing a multicultural invasion. It seems if we cannot go to them, God is sending them to us, even with Rugby as a motivation. Our Kiwi culture is being challenged. We need fresh vision to regenerate our culture and this is an opportunity for the NZ Church to offer some leadership and direction. Where are you and where is your church in all this?

Pastor David Patterson
Congregational Church

Otamatea Christian School Newsletter September 20 2011

Otamatea Christian School Newsletter September 20th

September 25, 2011

Vaughn Mooney Engineering

Vaughn is offering a top quality service. Give him a call for all your engineering requirements.

September 2, 2011

The September Maungaturoto Matters is now on line

We can say a big welcome to the new editor of the Maungaturoto Matters David Briggs who presents an outstanding new version of our communities' publication with new formatting and content. David has retained the community spirit we all know and enjoy in this publication

maungaturoto matters september 2011 web version

A Chance to Preserve Kaipara’s Unique Heritage

Kaipara District Council is again offering help to preserve our District’s unique heritage through the Kaipara Heritage Assistance Fund.

The fund was set up in 2006 and as a result of its success Council has again set aside $15,000 for 2011 to help and encourage people to protect and preserve resources of heritage value. These can include historic sites, buildings and archaeological sites. Projects can include archaeological assessments as well as physical preservation.

Individuals, private landowners, iwi and hapu and groups, including community groups and organisations, can all apply but to qualify for funding, projects must:

  • be within the Kaipara District
  • have the support of the owner of the heritage resource
  • be of proven historical significance
  • demonstrate some community benefit
  • be essential and appropriate to ensure the preservation of the heritage resource
  • include a contribution from the applicant

Applications to the Kaipara Heritage Assistance Fund close on Monday 31 October 2011. Application Forms are available from Kaipara District Council Service Centres or online at More information is also available from the Customer Service Team on 09 439 3123, 0800 727 059 or 0800 100 388.