5 minutes with Graeme Anderson
Tell us a little about you
I grew up as a missionary kid in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, became a primary school teacher, had a brief and unremarkable career as a classical singer, am now loving my role working for the Baptist church in Crows Nest where Jen and I have been for the past seven years. Jen is amazing (you'll know that if you've met her), she works in foster care, and we are continually pinching ourselves that we get to be the parents for our three young children. I have written a book called Follow : Experiencing Life With Jesus (follow.org.au) that aims to help people live as disciples to Jesus throughout the moment-by-moment, day-by-dayness of life.
What's your favourite bible passage & why?
Matthew 4:19, "Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you..."
For me, this verse contains the focus, the hope, and the creative outcome of the Gospel story. This is all about Jesus, who he is, what he has done and what he is doing. These words are filled with the invitation to a new kind of life. And as we follow Jesus, we are made - we become new kinds of people. CS Lewis says, “Our faith is not a matter of hearing what Christ said and trying to carry it out, rather the real Son of God is at your side. He is beginning to turn you into the same kind of thing as himself.”
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
I am pretty easily distracted, so a fairly light but steady routine works for me. I pray through Psalm 23 when I wake up and then most days I get up before the family and have extended time with Jesus through silence, prayer, and reading the Bible. A daily rhythm of praying the examen helps me notice what Jesus is doing in, through, and around my life. I have also found that getting to my calendar before anyone else does is integral - I put in time for my relationship with Jesus, my family, and exercise first and then work and play fits in around that.
What would you like the next generation of Christian women and men to know?
That following Jesus isn't just the right way to live, or merely avoiding the wrong way to live. It is the best way to live. Following Jesus doesn't just deal with what happens after death (though it does that) following Jesus shapes each moment of each day between now and then. (And because of the grace of God, change is possible - genuine, deep, long lasting change for good. Dallas Willard called it routine, easy, obedience. Jesus called it taking up his yoke).
What's one thing that you love about your local church?
It's cliche, but it's the people. Jen and I genuinely love the people and experience such joy in experiencing and exploring this life following Jesus with them.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
I learnt that God is real, present, and powerfully caring. And that God doesn't seem to worry as much about me getting things right as I do.
What are you passionate about?
My family, helping people follow Jesus, and seeing people empowered according to gifting not gender.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
Reading, jogging/exercising, cooking - but in reality, I'm probably on youtube.