Dear TGCA Readers,
Back in December, I told you that I would soon be moving on from the editorship of TGC Australia and encouraged you to pray for the TGCA executive as it looked for a successor (thank you to those of you who did!)
Now it is my very great pleasure to introduce you to TGCA’s new Editorial Director, Mikey Lynch, who begins work today. Rather than talk about him, I asked him a few questions, so he could tell you about himself.
AM: First, welcome aboard, Mikey! Can you begin by telling us a bit about yourself and what ministries you have been doing?
ML: Thank you! I feel welcome. I came to faith in Christ in late high school from a largely non-Christian and certainly non-churchgoing family. Coming to faith in Christ led very quickly to involvement in ministry with the church, AFES and beyond. I became the unordained pastor of Crossroads Presbyterian Church, which I helped plant while at uni, and then moved to become the leader of the AFES staff team at UTAS here in Hobart. I am also on the board of Reach Australia and a church IT parachurch ministry called New Front Door.
AM: That all sounds pretty busy. How are you going to fit in running the TGCA website?
ML: That’s actually less than I was doing a few years ago! I’ve actually simplified my ministry life a fair bit. I wanted to do fewer things and do them well, and thinking and writing deeply was one of those things, actually. A great perk of this role is the opportunity to make a national impact from the comfort of my laptop—so it is less demanding than some other kinds of roles in some ways. I like reading and writing, so those things are not a chore for me. It’s always easier to find the time for the thing you believe in, are good at and are passionate about. This role ticks those boxes.
From another perspective, we are also going through a time of significant upheaval with regard to campus ministry and ministry among young adults here in Tasmania, and so it is a good time to reduce hours (just a little) in recognition of that time of flux.
AM: What is it about TGCA that made you want to apply for the job of Editorial Director?
ML: I think the TGCA website has been one of the undoubtedly excellent contributions of TGCA. I believe it has come to be a really important part of the Australian evangelical media landscape. It’s a privilege to be able to be paid to maintain something I have really valued as a Christian reader, a Christian leader and an occasional contributor.
AM: Are there any things we can expect to see more (or less) of under your watch?
ML: Oh, gosh, I don’t know. I have barely started! I’m sure I’ll bring my own slant and maybe even entice some different people to write for the website once I get into the role. In the first place, I want to make sure we maintain the standard that has already been set.
I certainly want to help the process of raising up the next generation of Christian thinkers and writers. I first contributed an article to the short-lived ‘Double-Edged Sword Award’ that The Briefing ran back in the early 2000s, when I was in my early 20s, ran a local Hobart Christian zine called regurgitator for a few years in the mid-2000s and then learned a lot about more writing through my ‘Christian Reflections’ blog through the late 2000s and 2010s. A lot of us Australian bloggers became the authors and TGCA writers of the 2010s and 2020s, which is great.
I hope TGCA will also be a place for new writers to find their voice and to find an audience—and perhaps that will be a stepping stone to their establishing their own Substacks, podcasts, vodcasts, published books and so on.
AM: Are there some special interests and passions that energise you in ministry and life generally?
ML: I love my God and saviour, I love his word, his people and the world he has made. I love evangelism. I love training up and empowering young leaders. I love the process of synthesising and applying theology.
AM: I understand that you have been writing some books recently (one of which we hope to review soon). Could you tell us a bit about those projects?
ML: My first book, the Good Life in the Last Days, came out in 2018. The Good Life is about ethics, eschatology, Christian liberty and decision-making. In some ways, it is an update on, and development of and gentle correction to, Guidance and the Voice of God. In another way, it is an answer to that perennial question: how do I be full-on for God without ruining myself and my relationships in the process?
It was in the process of writing this that I discovered I enjoyed writing books; I could do it relatively quickly, and people appreciated the end result. Consequently, I’ve followed that apparent spiritual gift. I wrote the newly-released Vine Movement over two years, and then it has been in editing and production for the last two years, so it is so exciting to finally have it out in the world!
The Vine Movement is about ecclesiology and missiology: how do the church, the kingdom of God, the mission of God and parachurch organisations and informal ministry all work together? As far as I know, it’s the most comprehensive book out there on the subject of parachurch ministry. It’s very much a case of a book I wrote because no one else had written it. Part 1 does a theological deep-dive into those questions of church, parachurch, denomination and the kingdom of God. Part 2 is general practical advice on the relationship between churches and parachurches. Part 3 explores a series of case studies—from campus ministry to theological colleges to chaplaincy.
I’m currently working on a much shorter book based on sermons I preached for the Christian Union here at UTAS, intended for a dual audience of Christians and non-Christians. It is on the topic of happiness, meaning, suffering, contentment and so on. I hope it fits into that same category as books by John Stott, Don Carson, John Dickson and Tim Keller which manage to engage both audiences.
AM: Finally, I understand that you have some different ideas about ideal sermon length from our new TGCA Chair Rory Shiner. How will you two resolve this life-and-death question?
ML: I hope to grind him down psychologically by one of my interminable sermons until he no longer knows his own mind. Then, in his sleep-deprived and overwhelmed state, I will get him to sign off on an article I have ghost-written in his name, recanting his former position and pledging allegiance to the Forty-Plus-Minute Sermon Alliance.
AM: Aha, sounds great! More seriously, thanks for your time and, again, for being willing to step into this role, Mikey. I pray that the cause of the gospel will thrive through your ministry at TGCA!