Mike and Joy Connell are the Senior Pastors at Bay City Outreach Centre, Hastings, New Zealand.
They moved to Hastings from Dannevirke in 1985 to pioneer their first church and have been in ministry now for over 34 years and pioneered 5 other churches.
An internationally recognized teacher of the Word, Pastor Mike moves powerfully in prophetic, deliverance and inner healing gifts. His strong love and sensitivity for God and His people have enabled him to minister and bring great healing to the hurt and broken. A man full of the Spirit and faith, Pastor Mike will open and take you to another level of spiritual encounters with God.
He is sought after all over the world to bring teaching and great moves of God. He has standing yearly appointments teaching in international Bible Schools and impacting many of the worlds leaders in conventions and business conferences.
Mike has a heart for people and is able to bring a wonderful balance of humour, compassion and truth to his teaching messages. Mike's annointed messages are ones that have affected the hearts of people worldwide.
Mike & Joy have seven children and are also very proud grandparents. They both believe in strong family values and this is obvious when you meet them.
Mike & Joy have a unique commitment to pursuing what God would have for their lives and continue to travel the globe ministering to broken hearted people and showing them God's love. Their love of laughter and positive attitudes to life make them dynamic people.
on Dec. 23, 2012 :
Considering what will happen to us 5 seconds after we die is something that all of us should ponder and take seriously. Our lives could be cut short any day. We do not know when we will draw our last breath. This consideration is the main point of Mr. Connell's book, which was originally a sermon he preached in August of 2011.
This book is a transcript of that lesson, and as such it has a bit of a different flow to it than a normal book. His desire for sharing his concern that accidents happen all the time, and that young adults are not immune from these dangers come off the page regularly. He then relays the stories of various people he had seen in hospitals that were coming near to death's door, and their responses to it. After telling his stories, the events of the rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31 are brought into his lesson.
These verses are the text for Mr. Connell's sermon, and he does a pretty good job of walking his audience through the text verse by verse. I appreciated the fact that the text was handled pretty directly. He makes very few unnecessary leaps in the verses he uses, and as such much of the work is spent going over each part of the verses. Sometimes this is done excessively to a fault. For example, it is mentioned more than once how poor Lazarus was in comparison to the wealth of the rich man.
The main issue with this approach is that sometimes the message seems too much like just a retelling of what are found in our Bibles anyway. There is not much explanation of the text from other verses in the Bible, and when other verses are mentioned, the chapter and verse references are not mentioned. This is a shame because all teachers of the Bible need to be checked to make sure that what they preach is correct.
This problem of lack of references is compounded by the sermon being a bit too heavy on personal stories where other scripture verses could have been used instead. This reliance on subjective stories and experiences also leads to more opportunities to teach error as well. After reflecting on the sermon and its organization, I think this weakened the message to significantly. It will cause me to remember the stories more, and the truth of God's word less.
Thankfully, the point of the sermon was not lost. We don't like to think about it, but young adults still get in car accidents and have tragic ends to their lives. This fact is indeed important, and something that should be seriously considered.
(review of free book)