27 April 2015


By John Ollis

One cannot help but reminisce and look back over your life, the reality is when you get to my age you have more past than a future ahead of you. We are of course not to live in the past, but it is good to look back at the many highlights and see the Hand of God in your life, and  bow down and give thanks afresh for His goodness and blessing.
Now with such a developed social media and programs like Facebook, one can download photos and information and bring back so many memories. A photo popped up on Facebook this morning which I will mention more later. May I bore you with some significant highlights in my life so that with me you can bless the Lord with me.

  1. Being born gain at the age of 10. This was a life changing experience.
  2. Receiving my call to the ministry at 14. This became my total focus.
  3. That moment of surrender when the Holy Spirit filled my life and I received my prayer language.
  4. Following the Lord through the waters of Baptism.
  5. Becoming a cadet at The Salvation Army Training College. 1962
  6. The Lord leading me to begin worshipping at Richmond Temple. 1963
  7. Becoming a student and graduating from Commonwealth Bible College 1964
  8. Marrying Margaret (50 years ago on 8th May 1965).And the birth of our 2 sons.
  9. Becoming the Senior Pastor of Deagon  (Brisbane) Assembly of God Church in 1965.
  10. Taking over the pioneer church in Bayswater  (Victoria) in 1968
  11. Becoming the Senior Pastor of Lithgow (N.S.W.) Assembly of God 1970
  12. Becoming the Senior Pastor of New Life Chapel  (Sydney) Neutral Bay 1973
  13. Becoming the Senior Pastor of Christian Life Centre Newcastle  N.S.W.. 1980
  14. Meeting Kevin Conner and his ministry changing my life.
  15. Seeing more fully the truth of Biblical Discipleship and Mentoring.
  16. Going on staff at Commonwealth Bible College in 1987, as Senior Lecturer, then Academic Dean, then Vice Principal.
  17. Principal of the Assemblies of God Bible College 1998
  18. Teaching at Hillsong International Leadership College 2000-2005
  19. Itinerating ministry across the world especially  Asia and Eastern Europe. (25 nations in total) until 2012.
  20. Now mainly serving with much joy at home in my local church with little forays out.

I am sure there are many other highlights that I could mention, the Lord has been so good to us, That is why is it good to look back and see how the Lord has led us and again say THANK YOU JESUS.
Now back to the photo on Facebook, thirty years after we left New Life Chapel  Neutral Bay (where we saw the church grow from 40 to 200) a reunion was arranged for us where around 70 of the original church members gathered together to say thank you. The church no longer exists (although I am pleased to say that only recently a great church has moved into the property) and the members are scattered all over the nation. So many that attended we had led to the Lord or were nurtured under our ministry.
As the title of the blog suggests, ministry is all about fruit that remains. We are in contact with people right from our first church who are still going on with the Lord. Literally we are also in regular contact with many of the thousands of students we have taught (and some we have mentored) who are all over the world serving the Lord and doing much good for the Kingdom of God.
Of course, there are many things I would have done differently, but the Lord knew and knows our heart. I was so slow at times to comprehend truth and see what the Lord wanted to do in my life and ministry. Margaret who is very capable in her own right, has preferred to do more of the behind the scenes work, except for her music and singing ministry that has so enriched many lives. Her first ministry has always been me and our sons. I do not believe I would or could have accomplished so much for the Kingdom of God if it wasn’t for Margaret’s support and constant encouragement.
Whilst we were in Neutral Bay Sydney, the Charismatic movement began to develop, I even flew across to New Zealand to see what was happening there. The churches there were leading the world in Praise and Worship (remember Scripture in Song?). We met Mike & Viv. Hibbert  who’s ministry led us into the awesome truth of the Restoration of David’s Tabernacle (Acts 15) this became an important aspect in our ministry, so much so that Neutral bay & Newcastle churches became awesome worshipping churches and touched many many lives.
There was always something in my heart about nurturing and discipling young people, but I had no training and bumbled along for many years until it all became clear, and this has become the whole basis of my ministry. Having a Mentor helped so much, and the teaching ministry of Frank Damazio on “Bosko” ministry (John 21:15-17) literally changed my life. I at last knew what to do and began to learn how to do it. I am not suggesting I know it all, all I can say is there is some great fruit remaining in many countries and I give the Lord all the praise and glory for that.
We can sure learn a lot from the past, but we must not live in the past but do as Paul instructs in Phil. 3:14
Is there more ahead before Jesus returns or we depart this mortal coil  YES YES YES.
More revelation
More maturing
More opportunities
More fruit for the Kingdom of God.
More mountains to conquer
More vision to embrace
Lord help us not to have a “retirement mentality” or even a slowing down mentality, but discipline ourselves (1 Cor. 9:27) We may not be able to do as much physically, but we can still pray and intercede. We can still disciple and Mentor.
I look forward to seeing thousands in heaven who I have had the privilege of ministering too, and together we will worship the Lord together for all eternity. Hallelujah.
I trust you will look beyond all the personal references, and see the goodness, the blessing, the guidance of the Lord.
Will you write and respond? Would you like to tell me your story, I would love to rejoice with you.