Neil Flower – a quick profile.

He became a Christian at a young age and is an ordained Anglican Minister who was ordained in 1966 (that’s 55 years ago), and who has spent a lifetime in innovative ministry trying new ways of doing things, as well as trying to do better, those things that have stood the test of time. Yet in all this time he has not moved from the principle of the complete authority of the Scriptures and the necessity to declare those Scriptures to anyone who will listen.

His age is 78 – going on 37! He has spent over 38 years as a parish minister, also spent 4 years as a Youth worker with the Church Missionary Society, was the pioneer of Cross Cultural ministry in the Anglican Church in Sydney where he began (with a great team), a brand new type of Biblical outreach and Church planting to refugee boat people in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta for which he received the Commonwealth Centenary Medal.

He has been instrumental in planting 3 new Congregations and Churches, and has led Evangelistic Outreaches in parishes in every state in Australia. He has been a lecturer in Evangelism Method at the Church Army College of Evangelism where he was also able to mentor young evangelists with ‘on the job’ training at a time when the whole concept of ‘Mentoring’ was still on the drawing boards of Leadership and Ministry Trainers.

During his time in Parish Ministry he has developed a number of unique Adult Christian Education methods which are just starting to be recognised today for their effectiveness. The first was probably the first type of Theological Education by Extension to be used in Australia using a system of graded teaching Audio cassettes providing a multi-level course in Basic Theology which was aimed at Christians in isolated or ‘Outback’ areas and who were unable to access any other type of Theological teaching at a level that suited them at that time.

His second was a graded ‘in house’ Bible College within the parish of Cabramatta (and later in the parish of Pennant Hills) which was again designed so that Christians could enter the Courses at whatever level of Christian maturity they were at. It was called the “Guided Growth in Grace” Program and which gave many people the opportunity of studying at a level that they were comfortable with and through which they were able to then progress to the Moore College Evening Studies Diploma. As a ‘diversion’, he has also been Chaplain to the Land Rover Owners Club of Sydney and the TRAX 4WD Fellowship, and has been involved in the formation of a number of ministries especially aimed at the ‘Aussie bloke’.

He loves the fields of Outreach and Christian Apologetics. Since ‘official’ retirement in 2007, he has moved into 2 areas; namely beginning a small specialty Bible Training Institute for giving background training to Ministry trainees and a Consultancy Ministry in the areas of Ministry, Mission and Leadership.

Before he went into the ministry he lived in the St. George area of Sydney, grew up in a working class but thoroughly Christian home, worked as a truckie, Water Board labourer and cab driver in Sydney while he studied for matriculation at night school – doing many ‘courses’ in the school of ‘hard knocks’. He loves ‘the bush’ (and has spent a fair bit of time amongst rural folk), his Four Wheel Drive vehicle (he has travelled all over the ‘Outback’), but most of all sharing the Good News about Jesus. In this regard, he never has to look for work, it always seems to find him!

He has been married to Jane for 54 years and is a grandfather 6 times over – and loves it! In short, he reckons that it is impossible to categorise him but he that he is also a good bloke. That should scare the life out of you!