Spiritual Retreats and Worship Workshops.

Since returning to Cape Town it has been awesome being invited to teach and facilitate at various church retreats and Worship Workshops and Conferences. Whilst the retreats have only been predominantly for Men's Groups or Ministries within the ambit of Christian Spiritual Formation and male spirituality, I do also enjoy taking couples. Regarding the Worship Workshops, this can either be for the ministry itself, or a worship-leader specific in-depth practical and spiritual workshop. I look forward to hearing from you to discuss the possibilities of us getting this together for your church!

Spiritual Retreats: These range from single-day retreats to, what tends to happen mostly, those that are given over a weekend. I am able to travel should you wish me to do so.

Worship Workshops: Those that tend to work the best are given over the course of a day. Most churches tend toward that being a Saturday. What we deal with is basically discovering our highest calling and how we best serve God within that given our talents, gifting, and leadership abilities for those who have been called to lead. "The power to bless the world around you is a direct result of your ministry to the Lord" (Gerrit Gustafson). In these workshops we speak into what worship is, our calling within it, the anointing, worshipping in "Spirit and in Truth", and, among other areas, worship and the Presence of God. This normally takes until lunch-time. After lunch we get stuck into the practical side of church worship. This moves from instrumentation, vocal, harmonies, utilization of 'light and shade' in what we do, planning worship sets, best key options, and a host of other areas. I always summarise what we have learnt and mail that through in PDF format to each participant. Should you wish me to attend practices after that, I will gladly do so. I look forward to hearing from you in this regard!

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Daily Devotions by Grant Nuss
Leading by Example. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Monday, 27 February 2017 16:36

1 Corinthians 4:16; “I beg you then to follow my example.”

“Leadership means setting an example. When you find yourself in a position of leadership, people follow your every move” (Lee Iacocca). They do. Would you agree, if you be honest, that there are precious few examples in leadership to follow in the world today? Consider some of the leaders both in this country and globally - not many to follow there, right? Why? Because of the example they are setting. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another” (John C Maxwell). As a leader, is your life influencing those you lead? Positively, or negatively? Possibly the most important question in this context is this one; “Are you a life-giving leader? ‘Life-giving leaders’ are seen to “create energy, enthusiasm, passion, and loyalty, and have a contagious way of infusing a sense of purpose, motivation, and confidence in those who follow them.” In contrast, ‘life-sucking leaders’ leave in their wake “dispirited, defeated, discouraged people, divided organisations, chaos, confusion, and a general spirit of fear or powerlessness.” Many of those who are called to be an example to us all illustrate, with their lives and actions, that morals and ethical values have become null and void, and, certainly not part of their vocabulary or lifestyle. Is this a problem? I feel weird asking the question. Look, one has only to see the plight of those and that which they lead to find your answer. Think of a leader in this country who might come to mind in this context. Is there one that does? What do you think people will say about that person when their leadership tenure ends? Well, you will most definitely not have youngsters saying; “Man, he/she is my role-model, I want to be just like them when I grow up!” It’s scary, right? Why? Because of the example they are setting. For those of us reading this who are Christian leaders, there is no finer example for Christian leadership than our Lord Jesus Christ. In our text today, Paul was an example to the church family. He was a good example because he was following the greatest example of all, Jesus Christ. But Paul was also a good teacher. It takes both example and instruction to bring a child to maturity. Jesus had a rather specific leadership and mentoring style, and He made it perfectly clear: He led so that we can follow. How are you, as a leader, doing in this context? As a leader, part of your job is to inspire the people around you to push themselves, and, in turn, the organisation to greatness. To do this, you must show them the way by doing it yourself. Can you tick that box?

Confident Hope. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Sunday, 26 February 2017 15:13

Romans 5:3 - 4; “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

“While we were trying everything we could before we got to the end of our rope, we were dreading the day we would reach it. But God was excitedly anticipating it. He stands ready to be the strength in our weakness, the wealth in our poverty, the health in our sickness, the deliverance out of our captivity, and the comfort in our despair. From beginning to end, He is our hope” (Chris Tiegreen). You and I pray for people hoping that God would move in their particular situation. I have been praying in hope for a wonderful lady who has a life-threatening disease to be healed for a few months now. We know and have experienced God healing an ailment and removing a disease, but sometimes He doesn’t. Still, we continue to pray without ceasing. One thing that does happen in our tribulations though, is that our faith gets stronger through it. Likewise, our hope grows in hard times and difficulties, not when life is easy and trouble-free. By way of illustration it’s similar to how the body-builders out there build muscle. How? By breaking it down. Then, as you keep working at it the muscle gets stronger. Sounds a lot like the teachings of Paul, doesn’t it? That our strength is developed through our weakness, no different to followers of Christ in their spiritual lives. John Maxwell writes that; “Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest. Hope motivates when discouragement comes. Hope energizes when the body is tired. Hope sweetens while bitterness bites. Hope sings when all melodies are gone. Hope believes when evidence is eliminated. Hope listens for answers when no one is talking. Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping. Hope endures hardship when no one is caring. Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing. Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking. Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging. Hope dares to give when no one is sharing. Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.” Finally, let’s close with Romans 15:13 where Paul writes; “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” So may you determine to see life through lenses of hope knowing that, even when the odds seem all against you, God is in control, we know who we are in Him, and, also, what He intends for us.

Who needs Encouraging? PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Saturday, 25 February 2017 09:02

Acts 11:23; “When he (Barnabas) arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.”

“Encouragement is oxygen to the soul” (George M. Adams). Perhaps like you, I too have a few close friends who I share with, and, as what happens between us every now and then, yesterday, I received a WhatsApp of encouragement from one of them. It was only one sentence, but the Lord used it to stir some much-needed strength in my soul and encourage me. Biblicaly, as followers of Christ, we are commanded to “encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13). Why did God command us this way? Well, because He knows we need encouragement. Likewise, our encouragement is shared with the hope that it would lift someone’s heart toward Christ (Colossians 4:8). When I think of the guys and ladies I know who get that right, after spending time with them, you walk way inspired, encouraged, and … reinvigorated! Encouragement was and is an essential way of extending grace to each other. The Message translation of our text today catches this perfectly in context stating that Barnabas “threw himself in with them, got behind them, urging them to stay with it the rest of their lives. He was a good man that way, enthusiastic and confident in the Holy Spirit’s ways. The community grew large and strong in the Master.” Could that be said of you? When speaking to some of the pastors I know, invariably the issue of growth comes up, and they wonder what they need to boost it. Encouragement. Now Barnabas wasn’t just a spiritual cheerleader, he was a man of great conviction who wanted to see the church flourish and did all he could to make it happen. Do you see that happening in your life and that of your church community? Hopefully. But here’s the deal: you are not just to be that way to the people you like and get on with and then ignore the rest, you are called to encourage … everyone! If the definition of encouragement is “the act of inspiring others with renewed courage renewed spirit or renewed hope” think of what that means, not only when you need to offer encouragement but when you yourself are in dire need of someone to lift up your spirit. What about that in the context of your family, your friends, your colleagues, and, also your church family? Scripture tells us that God's default attitude toward us His children, is to be encouraging, but, sadly, as you and I look around us, encouragement is perhaps the voice of God least heard in the church today. Change that. My prayer is that you would ask God to give both you and your church a heart like Barnabas, and that today would be the day that you get started. Think about it: who can you encourage right now? You are likely aware of those around you who are going through a tough time in their lives. Pick up the phone, send them a WhatsApp message, encourage them at church tomorrow, but, do it. As a pastor, I know that we do not get encouraged often. So, when last did you encourage your pastor? Above all though, pray for God to show you who to encourage, make encouragement a daily discipline, and choose to be a life-giver as you have been given life by Jesus.

Give me the Good News! PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Friday, 24 February 2017 14:55

Psalm 112:7; “He is not afraid of bad news. His heart is steady and he trusts in the LORD.

"Is today a good day with bad things or a bad day with good things? It doesn't matter! God's goodness is in it" (Terry Modica). Sally and I have been blessed with amazing customers who have become great and close friends over the years. One thing we do, whenever we deliver to Malmesbury as we did today, we do so together because of that fact and, also, we treat ourselves to lunch in this wonderful little town founded in the early 1700’s! As always, we chat to the folk in the outlets about a host of things, and, this morning, the protest in Pretoria was raised by one of our friends. Bad news. Now, as followers of Christ we have no reason to be afraid of the arrival of bad news as the psalmist illustrates in our text today. The never-ending stream of negative and depressing news is everywhere, arguably, in some places, imore prevalent than others. Of course, this is not a new phenomenon. Even a casual glance at history will show in part that, what we call bad news today, is really rather tame when compared to what went down at points then. None different to many of the biblical heroes in Scripture. But here’s the reality of it all: fear, negativity, man’s inhumanity to man, despair, and anxiety do not have the final word when God is involved. Let’s unpack our verse for today in context starting with the word ‘heart’. Now, in Hebrew poems, heart means ‘mind’ which, as we know, is the part of us that thinks. So, a heart that is ‘steady’ is one that does not change, it is, in other words, unchangeable. As with what might be considered bad news for you today, a heart/mind that does not change, doesn't, all of a sudden, start believing or thinking something different when bad news comes around. Why? Well, because those of us who trust in the Lord, know that He can see more out of His window than we can see out of ours, that He is in control and into the details, and, finally, He will give us help when we need it. R.C. Sproul quite rightly states that; “The Gospel is only Good News when we understand the Bad News.” South African singer Crocodile Harris’s ‘Good news’ ballad was a number one hit in South Africa in the early 80’s with its anti-war and violence lyrics, and, is as poignant today as it ever was. This song was also played at a church service in London to mark the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 terrorist suicide bomb attack on the city’s transport system. Give me the Good News!

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