Friday, 12 January 2018



20th Pastoral Anniversary celebrationAround my twentieth anniversary as the pastor of Legana Christian Church, I reflected on my three biggest paradigm shifts. Looking back, I can see that with every stage of growth in my soul there has been a corresponding change in perspective. When I was an Assemblies of God minister I enjoyed tremendous fraternity with my fellow pastors. There are many advantages to being a part of a larger denomination. The AOG in Australia, now known as The Australian Christian Churches (ACC), has some wonderful strengths – excellently run conferences, a highly professional head office with diligent administration, a drive to reach the unchurched, a passion for excellence, a striving for relevance. I can honestly say that I have never met an ACC minister who did not love God and have a commitment to serve Christ. But as I was undergoing my paradigm shifts, I was gaining a different perspective on church and pastoral ministry that put me out of sync with the ACC.
And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:11-12
Refresh2014-Resurrection_Sunday1A pastor’s main responsibility is to shepherd the sheep entrusted to him by the Great Shepherd. This is done by presenting Christ as clearly and attractively as possible through their example of devotion to Christ, how they raise their family, how they treat others, and, how diligently they study, preach, and teach, God’s Word. All of these aspects are informed by how the Word of God is understood. This is why I mention the influence of two significant people at this point which shaped the way I understood God’s Word. Just after I had developed my understanding of eschatology I was having a discussion about creation theology when Pastor Ron Wilson recommended that I read a book called, A Matter Of Days by Dr. Hugh Ross. I have now read nearly all of Dr. Ross’s books and have benefited greatly from them. I have also had the privilege of becoming acquainted with Dr. Ross and have enjoyed getting to know him over meals and even bushwalks. I will ever be grateful to Pastor Ron Wilson for introducing me to the works of Hugh Ross and helping me to see that “taking the Bible literally” doesn’t mean that we take it in a wooden literal way, but rather, we take it as it was intended to be taken. By doing this we soon see that words in the Bible are used in different ways throughout the Bible. This particularly applies to the word “day”. It has 4 literal meanings in Scripture – (i) an unspecified period of time (Gen. 2:4), (ii) daylight hours (John 11:9), (iii) twenty-four hours (Acts 10:9), (iv) an era (particularly, a lifetime, note Matt. 2:17:22, eg. ‘Back in my Grandfather’s day’).
So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,
Philippians 2:29
Trevor Chandler
Trevor Chandler preaching at Legana
Trevor ChandlerBefore I conclude with a tribute to my greatest influencer, I should mention that around this time I was introduced to John Piper with the gift of a book from my pastoral predecessor, Philip Morgan, called, The Godward LifeDr. Piper contributed to the formation of my hermeneutic by helping me to accept God’s sovereignty, deepening my understanding of His grace, and seeing the ultimate purpose of God (and therefore all that He has created) as His glory. I also became reacquainted with Trevor Chandler at this time. He became an annual visitor to our church and a regular phone-caller in-between. Trevor became one of the most encouraging men in life. He flattered me by describing my explanation of the Book of Revelation, The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible, as “One of the best explanations of the Book of Revelation that I have ever read!”
As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep,
Ezekiel 34:8


Heather Corbett and Trevor Chandler at LeganaDavid Cartledge preaching at Legana in 2003Each of the people I have referred to have had flaws. I think of David Cartledge. Many people couldn’t handle David’s ‘alpha-male’ personality. But I really appreciated David. He once said something privately to me which was one of the most encouraging things anyone has ever said to me. Some of my influencers were great pastors, yet not great parents. I still learned from them. Trevor Chandler was a gruff man who offended people. I could see why. But I loved the man. He had a heart of gold coloured marshmallow beneath a veneer of toughness. Other influencers have had problems which only became evident as I got to know them. I had learned to overlook these and receive the grace of God into my life that God had placed on them. Even my greatest influencer had strengths and flaws. I have learned that God’s teaching moments can come from positive and negative examples even when they occur in the same person! And before I introduce and conclude with a tribute to my greatest influencer, it should go without saying that the bigger the leader the bigger the criticism. Of all my influencers, my greatest influencer was easily the most criticised. The way he handled that criticism has been one of the most extraordinary lessons I have ever received.  


This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Polonius to Hamlet, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3
There is an ancient Oriental saying – When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I was ready. I had reached a point where I had a clear vision of what I wasn’t. I had a clearer vision of what I needed to become. I had grown disinterested in being the C.E.O. type of pastor I was being encouraged to be. I knew that the Biblical model of a pastor was one who equipped believers to do the work of the ministry rather than one who promoted the divide between ‘clergy’ and ‘laity’ where the pastor did it all. I was convinced from the Scriptures that God expected shepherds to gather and not scatter and this involved reaching people well outside the walls of the ‘sheep-fold’. 
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Acts 18:9-11
Judith BrainJudith Brain, the daughter of a veteran Methodist Minister, introduced me to my most influential influencer when she invited me around to have some of her late father’s library. Among those precious books I came away with that day was, I Forgot To Say. That book sat on my office shelves for months until one day I picked it up and my world changed from that moment. This was the day I met Frank William Boreham. Reading that book was like sitting on a verandah with the grandfather I didn’t know I had and having him give me the benefit of six decades of successful pastoral experience. The opening chapter of this book, called “Wet Paint”, was exactly what I needed to hear at that time in my life. The day that I met F.W. Boreham was the day I met a man called to be a pastor but engaged in a deep struggle to fulfil that call effectively. His first pastorate was a small church outside of Dunedin, New Zealand, where he arrived in 1895. Having sat under the ministry of Charles Spurgeon and having been the beneficiary of Spurgeon’s generosity which enabled him to attend Spurgeon’s Pastors College, Boreham was ready to preach. 
But he soon realised that pastoring involved far more than giving nice sermons. Twenty-four years of age, half-way around the world, and bearing the legacy of a painful disability he kept a secret from all, Boreham felt bankrupt after arriving in Mosgiel and realising his total inadequacy for the task he was now responsible for. The old Scottish immigrants of Mosgiel, whom he described as having faces like granite, soon scolded him over his cold preaching style. The women of Mosgiel tore shreds off him for not being able to make small-talk whenever he visited. FWB knew he had to learn how to pastor people. 
He knew that the pulpit had to be his greatest strength. He would travel to Dunedin and sit in the law courts and learn from criminal barristers who attempted to persuade a jury of their client’s innocence. 
Boreham would go on to discover that there is a great romance to be enjoyed between a pastor and his congregation. In 1906 he moved to Hobart, Tasmania, where he would emerge as one of the world’s finest preachers and Christian essayists. By 1924 he was being described as “the most influential preacher in the world”. Yet all the while he considered himself to be just a local church pastor. 

"One day he tossed over to me a tart letter from a woman commanding him to preach the Gospel. She was apparently misled by one of his intriguing titles. All who heard Frank Boreham knew full well that, however far away on the circumference he began, he always came to the very heart of the Gospel. The letter hurt him and I advised him to consign it to the waste-paper basket and forget it. ‘I have, already answered it,’ he said. ‘I wrote and told her that I appreciated her concern for the preaching of Christ’s Gospel and asked her to pray for me that I may be a faithful minister of the Word.’" - Sir Clarence Irving Benson 
(Dr. C. Irving Benson was a friend of Frank Boreham, a leading church leader in Melbourne and pastor of the Wesley Church, Melbourne.) 
There’s a lot more I could say about how F.W. Boreham has influenced me as a pastor to see every person as precious, and the local church as the hope of the world. And if you’re really interested to know what that is then you can check out the documentary I made about it by clicking here.
Pastor Andrew 

Friday, 5 January 2018



But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.
Luke 22:26
Andrew Corbett sitting in City Park, Launceston, TasmaniaWhen I converted to Christianity in my teen years, I soon began to tell as many people as I could about the amazing offer of forgiveness and eternal life that God was offering. I was hungry to learn as much as I could about the God of the Bible who had just rescued me. Someone at Life Centre Geelong introduced me to Christian teaching on audio cassettes from a private lending library in Sydney. I listened to hundreds and hundreds of Christian teaching cassettes in my teen years. Among the most influential teachers I regularly listened to was Winkie Pratney. It is difficult for me to overstate how influential Winkie was in my formative spiritual years. He helped to develop my love for Christ, my hatred of sin, and my pursuit of the Spirit of Holiness. But over the last 40 or so years since then, God has used several other key influencers who have been used to shape me. Through this time of shaping I have learned some valuable lessons about how to get the most out of an influential person. Let me share some of those things.
Winkie Pratney, Andrew Corbett
Winkie Pratney with Andrew Corbett


Richard Winter preaching at Legana Christian Church
Dr. Richard Winter preaching at Legana
¶ Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Hebrews 13:7
It was Richard Winter, who now lives and pastors in Huntington Beach, California, who introduced me to the formal study of theology, through ICI University, when I lived in Geelong. He also introduced me to the art and science of hermeneutics. By the way, just up the road from Geelong in Richmond (Melbourne) there was a pastor seeing his church grow with explosive growth with dozens of people each month coming to know Christ. This pastor had sent out over hundred young men to plant more churches across Melbourne. The pastor was Philip Hills, and before we went to Williamstown to pioneer a church, we sat under Pastor Hills ministry for a season. 
Around the time I met Kim I had already moved to Melbourne where I was serving in a church where Bob Smith, one of the most diligent pastors I have ever met, was appointed as the Senior Pastor (after the previous pastor had been removed for sexual indiscretions). Bob was tremendously influential in shaping me as a preacher. He showed me how to anchor a sermon in a text and draw out its context, meaning and application. He also helped me to preach with appropriate pace by explaining that pastoral preaching was necessarily expository (systematically explaining the Scriptures rather than using the Scriptures) and that this was best done in a sequential series of messages, rather than one-off messages. Bob’s input into my life was incalculably beneficial and all too brief.
¶ Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
Philippians 3:17


After handing the pastorate of our newly planted Williamstown church to my friend Mark Barnard, we moved to Tasmania in 1995 with a word from God. Unknown, unannounced, and uninvited, within two weeks I was appointed as the pastor of Legana where there were 17 members, and where we have now been for these nearly 23 years.
Legana Christian Church, Sunday December 10, 2017
Legana Christian Church, Sunday December 10, 2017
Tasmania is, without doubt, Australia’s most beautiful state. The people are laid-back and easy-going. They enjoy an unprecedented level of prosperity and lifestyle. While many people would rightly regard these things as blessings, they can also be an obstacle for people to recognise their greatest need which is fundamentally spiritual rather than material or financial. Obstacles such as these can be extremely frustrating for any preacher on a mission to open the eyes of the spiritually blinded. I was no exception. As I was commencing my doctorate in pastoral ministry and feeling terribly frustrated at my inability as a preacher I was introduced to my next major influencer by a visiting Englishman. What has made this next influencer so different from the others that I have already mentioned is that I have never heard him speak or teach. I have barely read anything he has written. He was not a pastor (although he often wondered if he should have been). But the most outstanding difference about this man, from each of the other men who have greatly influenced me, is that he has been dead for nearly two hundred years! When I was introduced to him, to his impact on my life was both immediate and enormous! He gave me a vision for pastoring and preaching far bigger and beyond anything I had ever dared dreamed of. Despite Legana Christian Church being in a small semi-rural bush-setting tucked away on the Apple Isle, I began to see how a grand vision of Christ’s Lordship was deserving of far more than our trifling Sunday to Sunday statistics or any of our other pathetic measures of what we delude ourselves by calling successWilliam Wilberforce showed me that a grand vision of Christ’s Lordship and beauty extended not just to the bounds of the church’s walls on a Sunday – but to every sphere of life on any day ending in ‘y’!
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20
As significant as William Wilberforce was for me, in my next instalment I will of those whom God used to influence me even to greater extents than he did. I also want to share with you what I have learned from each of my influencers (and it may surprise you).
[To be continued]
Pastor Andrew

Friday, 29 December 2017



This has been a big year for us. In February, we did lunch for 300 people. We took 60 children on the journey of a lifetime over three legs including a plane trip, a train trip, and a boat trip. In August, we moved into our new auditorium. We had a guest Arch Bishop. In October, we had a guest bishop. We had an Australian touring group perform. In November, we had a home-grown Sunday. In December, we had a chart-topping Nashville singer. We had our annual Children’s Christmas Play. We had a community carols outreach which was also outside broadcasted by WayFM. And we had our first Christmas Day service in our new auditorium with a special first-time duet from my two youngest daughters. Added to all this, we held four special water baptism services throughout the year for those who accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour. It’s been a big year!     
In the midst of all this, we implemented a monthly Sunday night leaders training, monthly Pastors and Elders team breakfast, a monthly Home Group leaders breakfast, and a monthly Care Team breakfast (which morphed into a monthly lunch). My preaching schedule included – The 10 Principles For Living A Balanced LifeThe Journey Of A Life TimeYour New ChapterLamentations Series, 10 Guest Service messages, Understand The Book Of Revelation SeriesBy Virtue SeriesWorship Seriesand reaching Part 186 in the Jeremiah Series. Supplementing this were our Home Group study seriesName – A StoryFinding True Love, and Building A Covenant Community. In addition to this, ICI College Australia has given me the opportunity to supervise degree level Theology students around Australia to train for Christian ministry. Partly due to these demands, I relinquished my role as the tennis coach at Legana Tennis Club and officially retired. And last week, Kim and I farewelled Zoe to Melbourne so she could continue her law degree there. It’s been a big year.
 LCC-100pcSUNDAY-19LCC2017-03-30_3733 New Auditorium construction  
Big years, the kind where positive things are planned and realised, don’t just happen. They require two key things. Firstly, dedication, and secondly, dedicated people. This year could not have happened unless many dedicated people played their part. A lot was asked of our worship team this year. A lot was asked of our Board this year. A lot was asked of our staff this year. A lot was asked our Builder this year. A lot was asked our of volunteers this year. Without their dedication, we would not have had a big year.
This kind of dedication is cultivated in the Spirit by prayer. It is fuelled by prayer. It is sustained by prayer. It needs prayer. Onededicated leader on their own could not ever achieve what a dedicated team can achieve. When I consider all that the Apostle Paul achieved, it is a remarkable parallel that his level of achievement inversely parallels his own estimation of his ability to achieve things on his own. Consider Paul’s journey.
From considering himself a ‘Super-Apostle’:
Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
Second Corinthians 11:5
To considering himself the ‘least of the Apostles’: 
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
First Corinthians 15:9
To considering himself to be ‘the chief of sinners’:
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
First Timothy 1:15
Perhaps as a result of this journey, Paul never asked for anyone to pray for him alone – and he never asked for prayer for his adverse circumstances to change. Rather, the veteran Apostle Paul always for prayer for “us” – that is, for his team.
¶ Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,
Second Thessalonians 3:1
I think we have much to learn from the Apostle who was used to pen 75% of the New Testament and was responsible for taking the Gospel into Asia and Europe in his lifetime (which laid the foundation for the Gospel to be taken into Africa, the Americas, and Oceania (which includes Australia and New Zealand)). Paul’s achievements lead us to see that dedication and dedicated people also need the prayers of God’s people for there to be the greatest effectiveness. With this in mind, I would like to request your prayers please.
Andrew Corbett preaching
Could you please pray for us to-
  • be faithful to Christ despite whatever success might tempt us into conceit
  • have wisdom to know how to best care for people
  • hear the voice of God’s Spirit and the strength to obey
  • have sufficient physical strength to sustain the Lord’s mission
  • be able to faithfully declare the whole counsel of God’s Word without succumbing to the fear of man.
I, and my team, would greatly covet your prayers.


Pastor Andrew

Friday, 22 December 2017




Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
Proverbs 16:20
iToons05I’ve been thinking. We now live in a world that treasures amusement. We once lived in a world that treasured musing. I do not begrudge anyone who enjoys being amused. After all, amusement can take our minds off of our troubles. Amusement can humour and cheer us. However, it is these same benefits of amusement that can also mislead us into believing that we are meant to be happy and occupied all the time. We perhaps shouldn’t be surprised by this because many now spend the greater proportion of their time in a digitalworld where they are unwittingly tricked at every turn. In what some see as a metaphor of our age, this digital world invites us to take a front row seat not just in front of our computer screen, but in the Director’s Seat of the ‘Stage of Life’. Author of, ‘Screens And Teens‘, Dr. Kathy Koch, warns that young people in particular, especially Christian teens, are at risk of being unable to think because of their addictive involvement in the digital world. Let’s think about this…
¶ But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
Psalm 73:16
Because the digital world is so vastly different from reality, it can be very difficult for digital natives to adjust back into reality. Dr. Kathy Koch (pronounced, “Cook”) says that when digital natives surf the web, they are in control. But when they interact in the world of reality  they often struggle with the reality that they are not in control of their circumstances – the real God is. In the digital world they can get an abundance of information on virtually any subject which can lead them to think that they don’t need the education which their teachers provide. But there is a world of difference between information and education. Research overwhelmingly demonstrates that students are far better able to retain taught knowledge when it is delivered to them by a person, rather than a screen. Dr. Koch also states that digital natives have greatly diminished attention spans which makes worshipful reading of Scripture virtually impossible. She pointed out that the research is clear about the difference between comprehension and retention levels between those who read from a screen, and those who read a physical book. People who read books on a screen retain less than those who read a hardcopy book. Digital natives are more likely to get ‘bored’ in the world of reality. Parents who use electronic tablets or smart-phones to occupy their children – so that they won’t get bored or need their parents attention – are retarding their children’s creativity and ability to learn, interact with others, and be patient. 
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:25

To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree’.

― Bill Maher, American TV Talkshow Host


In the digital world, the native is always presented with alternatives to their present experience. ‘Drop Down Menus’ present a digital native with alternate/optional browsing experiences. In the world of reality, the power to change ones present experience doesn’t always exist. The world of reality doesn’t offer us a ‘delete button’ for the negative experiences we go through. 
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Second Corinthians 12:8-9
The Happiness Research Institute in Denmark undertook a study of people who use social media - How does social media effect our lives? (Facebook, twitter, etc.) A study was done with 1,100 people who use Facebook. They wanted to know how it affects our perception of reality and how we feel about our lives? They were monitored for 1 week, then the group was broken into 2. One continued to use Facebook as usual, whereas the second were asked to take a break from Facebook for a week. Then after a week, the 2 groups were surveyed again. The director did not expect to find a great deal of difference, because happiness is affected by many things - where we live, our income, our friendships, genetics, who you live with, your job ... Those who went without social media reported significantly higher levels of life satisfaction, but not only that, every indicator of happiness that they study was also improved. But their research also found this. Being exposed to other people’s happiness can have a negative impact on our own level of happiness. If social media distorts our perception of reality what does this mean for society? We are starting to understand that social media may have a real influence on why suicide rates are increasing. Being exposed to other people’s happiness makes a question as to whether life is worth living at all. Happier countries have a higher level of suicide rates than those rated lower. The World Happiness Report (published 12 months ago) reported that well-being inequality has a larger negative impact on how we feel about our lives than does economic inequality.
We live in a world of reality where bad things happen to good people. In the digital world we can airbrush away wrinkles. In the actual world we must face reality and accept it, especially the following-
  1. We are not sitting in the Director’s Chair of life – God is.
  2. We are not the central character in the story of life – God is.
  3. We are not the hero of either our life or the story unfolding around us – God is.
  4. We are not going to be happy and occupied all of the time. This reality causes us to rest in God’s love and guidance while enjoying the peace He gives despite our emotional state or circumstances. There is a world of difference between doing nothing and being still (Psalm 46:10).
  5. We have a better chance of getting what we want if we serve others and help them get what they want. God incarnate is the greatest example of what it means to serve others.
  6. We are note always going to get what we want when we want. The world of reality is designed by God to accommodate our patience. 
  7. We may acquire information digitally, but not necessarily attain knowledge presented with wisdom by a God-gifted teacher. God has ordained that genuine knowledge can only be received when we demonstrate true humility which enables us to learn from a teacher.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
Proverbs 9:9


For those who know me, you will know that I am a digital missionary. I am not a digital native. Much to the surprise of many people, I use a pen to write in my spiral-bound notebook organiser. I tell people that this is my “think pad”. I write out by hand these weekly Pastoral articles, then type them up. I am currently producing a series of thinking radio spots which I script by hand. My current reading project is a 450 page (actual pages of paper) book on philosophy which I plan to finish this weekend. Although I do my daily Bible reading with my iPad, I still use a leather-bound printed Bible each day as well. Within my Bible I place hundreds of sticky notes which contain thoughts, comments, lists, outlines, that I have written. My Bible is highlighted and underlined. When I come to our family dinner table, I leave my phone in the other room. We never have the TV on during dinner. All of these enables me to interact better with a book; more deeply with the Sacred Text; more meaningfully with those I eat with. My great fear is that we, followers of Christ, are becoming dual citizens of two worlds – the digital and the actual – instead of being a Kingdom citizen of the real world where Christ is the Lord who then sends us as His ambassadors into a digital world of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr…) not become overcome by it, but to be a light to it. By doing this, I think we will be better equipped to think, contemplate, ponder, muse, be creative, still, patient, and caring of others. In addition to this, we are less likely to be susceptible to certain mental disorders which being increasingly induced by the consequences of digital addiction. 
¶ So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.  Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2 THE MESSAGE

Pastor Andrew