July 21, 2016

James Greenhill – Pastor in the suburbs

Just over a year ago I was travelling back from Brisbane and I thought it would be a lovely surprise to bring home a puppy. So on the way home to Cooranbong I picked up a Maltese, King Charles Cavalier cross. A seven-week-old puppy, as cute and cuddly as could be. My three kids were over the moon with excitement. They instantly fell in love with him and we named him Mali. Little did I know that at the same time, my wife had arranged with a friend to adopt a seven-week-old Blue Russian cross kitten. Our kids also fell in love with her and we named her Willow. Our pets have been in our lives for more than a year now and Willow has just had a litter of kittens. Six to be exact. They bring lots of joy into our home. But pets come at a price! At the moment we are erecting little fences and barriers because the kittens are starting to wander. We did the same when we first got Willow and Mali. I remember spending lots of time building a fence and then having to move it to a different spot, only to move it again shortly after. Moving fences that are in the wrong spot is tiresome but very necessary to keep those we love safe, healthy and happy!

Did you know that we all consciously or subconsciously build fences around our lives, our relationships and our beliefs? We do it to stay safe, healthy and happy. We set boundaries to keep people in or keep them out. Sometimes we build fences in the wrong places. Have you built any fences that need to be moved?

In the Bible, a group of people called the Galatians were persuaded to change their beliefs and build ‘fences’ in wrong places. They were using these new beliefs to earn God’s favour. The apostle Paul had some strong words for them…

“I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.” Galatians 1:6-7

The Bible says that Jesus has done all the work of making things right between you and God. The Good News is that God loves you and wants to bless you and your family with joy and peace! Perhaps you have fences around your beliefs that have distorted your view of God. Why not visit us at Gateway Community and get a fresh perspective?

Gateway Church is all about loving the community and connecting with Jesus. Age-specific programs for primary and high school aged young people are available, as well as adult connect groups every Saturday morning from 9.30-10.30am. The main service starts afterwards at 11am, and on the first Saturday of every month everyone is invited to lunch at the Gateway Family Feast. The services on Saturday mornings are held in the Multi-Purpose Centre at Avondale School, 119 Avondale Road, Cooranbong.
Visit gatewaycommunity.com.au or call on 4977 0200.

Meet the pastor

James Greensill is the senior pastor of Gateway Church, based at Avondale School. James works with school students, their families and the surrounding residents, in a supportive role within the pastoral care team, as well as running the church on weekends and other activities and events.

“Loving the community and connecting with Jesus is the mission of what we do,” says James. “I love the community at Watagan, and with its growth it feels like the best is yet to come!”

James and his wife Jennifer live in Cooranbong with their three children, Grace, Josiah and Asher.

Live outside the box at Watagan Park

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