Time to Register! Time to get political!

Anthony Delaney:

Already turned off by thoughts of the election? Let this inspire you.

Originally posted on jessie jacobs:

time to register
People using their voice and their power to change something or to do something moves me. It is something I am deeply passionate about. The world we live in is better or worse because of people and because of the things they do and say. Politics is the collective action of people. It is the decisions that are made every day. It affects everything. What your local school is like, whether the pot holes in your road are sorted, whether your elderly relative gets good care at home, what your child see’s on TV, whether you have decent street lighting or what the local health service is like. Everything is political, and yet not all of us are political. Not all of us engage in the political process and that worries me. It really worries me.

This year people are predicting the lowest ever voter turn out for the general…

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‘The Middle’ Monologue (..grab a pillow)

Anthony Delaney:

Amazing encouraging thoughts put together by my daughter, who sounds like any number of people on the video.

Originally posted on Hannah Bettany.com:

God has spoken to me through many storms in life. While I was in a lot of pain, four months after marriage, my new husband having to dress me and do everything for me. God showed me His Kindness as I have shared in blogposts before. He gave me this nugget of Gold.
I am so thankful that as I find myself again feeling a bit blown around, sometimes struggling and feeling in stormy weather. God has used this nugget to bless me again. I love to see it touch others too as God has given so much truth in it. Please watch & I’ll explain more after…
The Middle

This time I felt God saying that Jesus could sleep in the boat, because He is peace. He is the prince of peace who has no fear, He didn’t fear death. How much more amazing would it have been if…

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The First GLOBAL New Thing Church #NTGlobal

The First New Thing Global Church: my presentation today to the gathering. 

The apostle Paul, when he wrote to the Philippians, saw them as his band of brothers and sisters. They were from a different nation and culture and background, but he could think of them that way because Paul who had of course been Saul saw himself and all other Christ followers as first and foremost ‘citizens of heaven’.

Wherever we’re from, now – that’s what matters most (3:20), even in a place where people in Philippi were very proud of their Roman citizenship. That’s what enabled him to be a missionary church planter. He had a vision of a God who so loved THE WORLD!

I’m excited by the story of Philippians because Christianity started as a global movement and this is the first church in Europe planted by Paul, there in northern Greece. Acts 16 tells us how after the Holy Spirit had been saying ‘No’ to Asia, he gets a dream from God. And it’s not just TO a place, it’s OF a person. We are meant to reach people, and help them find their way back to God.

They even tried to head East but it says the Spirit stopped them! Do you know why? No, neither did he. How frustrating! Paul’s from Tarsus, Turkey. Timothy’s from that region too. Asia Minor was his dream, but then God gave him a bigger dream, a different napkin, a revelation of a Greek man shouting, ‘HELP!’

So, ‘Having seen the vision, immediately we sought to go…’ strategically targeting what it says was ‘the foremost city of that region.’ He went with Silas and Timothy his brand new apprentice, and Dr. Luke joined in right there too and describes how they catalysed a movement.

It started when they asked the question ‘What is God already doing here?’ As Jews in a different context they went in and found there were NOT enough men to form a synagogue (10). So instead they went to the riverside where they identified some devout women who met outside the city to pray and they sat down where they were and connected to them – including one businesswoman called Lydia, the person of peace who opened her home. The church in Europe got started there. Her home remained the base of operations for the church all the time they were there. By the way, did I say she was a woman?

It went pretty well until they had spiritual attack, got beaten & imprisoned, went through an earthquake, and then the city leaders begged them to leave – which could put you off a place. Who told you church planting was easy!?

What he had planted was a REPRODUCING church that spread over the city and region, it didn’t just stay in that one house, it became a network, with elders and deacons.

Over the years he visited a few times, and when he was in prison (Caesarea, Rome or Ephesus depending who you read – I think Rome is most likely) they were so committed now they had sent a delegation to support and reconnect with him, because there was that vital RELATIONSHIP component.

He sowed into them, and they supported him in terms of RESOURCES. Paul says in chapter 4 one of the reasons he was writing was to say thanks that they had provided for him generously in terms of personal support, and also we find out in 2 Corinthians 8 they gave sacrificially to help the original sending church movement back in Jerusalem.

When they heard he was in prison, even though it was a long and dangerous journey, they sent another gift, and a person because he’s a resource too – a Philippian called Epaphroditus (there’s that relational network component again), whose name means ‘Favourite of Aphrodite’ but obviously he’s now found the real God. Paul says he’s his ‘brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier and your apostle who ministered to my need.’ (2:25) However unfortunately he got really sick and nearly died; so Paul used him as the postman to go back to them, with this very practical letter.

Paul (Phil 2:19-23) said he also wanted to send them soon the guy he says he wrote the letter with, his fellow bondservant, Jason Bourne – Timothy. His apprentice leader, who he says is a ‘one off kind of leader;’ who doesn’t focus on himself but on Jesus, a man of character who he wants to be a reproducing church planter so he wants to arrange a RESIDENCY for him there in Philippi. Paul writes him a short reference; this young guy who had ‘proved himself’. He said they had that father/son relationship, in a culture where a son would follow into his father’s business.

Why did he want to entrust his best young leader to them? Because they were in covenant relationship. They had history together. He says they have been PARTAKERS of grace with him (1:7). They shine as lights in the world (2:15). Because even though they were in a different setting, culture and context, they were all PARTNERS (1:5) in the gospel. Koinonia = participants together. Cf Tom Wright – who talks about this being a business word.

Oscar Muriu has previously outlined for us what these Partnerships look like, by the 4 ways the word is used in Philippians:

1:5 – Partnership in the gospel.

Because of the cross and what Christ has done. The gospel defines why we are gathering.

2:1 – Partnership in the Spirit

The undergirding thread that unites us and we all depend on. Not just a clever strategic plan. Has to be living and learning from the Spirit

3:10 – Partnership in Suffering 

Oscar said we need to feel one another as they say here in Kenya; Being sensitive to each other’s needs and challenges. Pray for one another. What are the prevailing problems there in your context.

4:15 – Partnering in Resources 

Giving and Receiving. We don’t just define that by money. We all bring different resources. We need to recognize the resources we bring whether or not we can all bring the same money we can all bring the treasures we have. Such as that won through living in a place of sacrifice and risk. Those in India can help us form leaders that have been to the edge and back again.

Those in Kenya have the gift of the diaspora in any city. Those Africans who can be mobilized to gather to it. Get them to put into the future church that will be in the city.

The West can bring technology to the table. The Lord will bring what we all have.

What will the systems be that help us come together so that we do far more together that we cannot bring alone? Without each other, our leaders will not be able to develop into the global church planters the world needs.

Leadership Pipeline of Nairobi Chapel. #NTGlobal

Leadership Pipeline of Nairobi Chapel. (apologies it didn’t load from Word for some reason!) 

These guys run the most amazing leadership and apprenticing model called…

Kinara (captain / point person)

This forms the first 3 levels of their pipeline.

Based out of  Mk 12:29-31

Love God, neighbor, yourself.

Ram Charam’s pipeline was adapted.

  • Lead self (year 1 – resident, doing classes, and ministry engagements – go for a week to live in the slums, preach to the poor etc) If you can’t lead yourself, you can’t lead others!
  • Lead others (responsible for a team) year 2 – mission year (short term), this assists church planting.
  • Leading managers (teams) year 3 – final year. You may (possibly) then be invited onto staff….
  • Lead a function
  • Lead the organization

Nuts and bolts:

Targeted recruitment, so you retain the best people. Target theology schools??

Recruit constantly – always on the look out for quality interns.

Have classes focused around the 5 Cs:

Character

Competency

Convictions

The training is for church planting. We want to think ‘what will a new church need?’ then get 5 in a team to go. Worship, kids, admin, preaching etc. Every trainee should get a one to one mentor (not quite there yet!). These people provide each trainee with a disciple, provides supervisory guidance, challenge, evaluation.

It’s a self funded program. They have to raise their own funds, but they can get fired

Every 6 weeks – meeting to:

Point out : strengths/ weaknesses

Inject seriousness

Self/ dept/ Kinara

Psalm 78:72 is the end product. Men and women with ‘integrity of heart skillful hands.’

They have expectations for people at every level. You don’t progress to the next one without doing that one.

Kinara is Phase 1. TRAINING PHASE

Year 1 – Intern. E.g. timekeeping, spiritual disciplines in year 1. DNA. Do they know our vision and values? Are they accommodating to our standards?

Year 2 – assess on planning, execution, teamwork, relationships. Assessed on e.g. planning a service, doing a kids class. Will they play the role assigned? The first year was all about yourself, this is all about others!

Year 3 – Ministry assistant. Assigned to a particular ministry. Can they manage a unit? It may have volunteers, other interns. Assess communication skills, critical paths.

Phase 2 = STAFF phase.

1) STAFF. They get invited by a Lead Pastor into a staff position at NC. Paid for by THAT local assembly. They then become a Ministry Director, managing multiple units.

Silo Bursting (being able to work in the context of the ENTIRE church; ‘What does my ministry wih kids have to do with admin and budgets’ etc.). Many fail or stick at this level!

Coaching Teams. (Growing people under them, to ensure their team is BETTER, not just what it has accomplished).

Ability to deploy resources.

Operational Thinking (day to day thinking)

2) PASTOR. Now go to big picture thinking. Where is your ministry going to be like in the next 3 years? What’s the growth strategy.

You also have to be able to raise resources to facilitae the ministry

Strategic thinking

3) EXECUTIVE PASTOR

(Lead a church) manage complexities, team leadership, know and grow ministries, firefighting.

4) SENIOR PASTOR

Lead a movement, not just a church. Lead other lead pastors. Global call and connection, provide overall direction for the church.

#NTGlobal Josh Howard – What constitutes a Church?

What is a Church?

We can’t talk about a unified curriculum for church planter training if we don’t agree what church is.

What’s the most simplified version of a church?

Curtis Sergeant. Trained Ying Xai!

Draw a Triangle

Jesus in the centre.

What does it do?

  • Love God at top
  • Love one another
  • Make Reproducing Disciples

Cf Knowing, Growing, Going.

Celebrate, Connect, Contribute

This is the main thing. We have all kinds of other things we do that get in the way of that.

Put a box around the triangle.

4 things that can get in the way of the triangle

Money – can serve it or stop it

Buildings – can help or hinder it

Staff – if they do everything, so others don’t.

Programs – if we make discipleships a course to do, not a life to live.

Triangle churches can be small, medium or large. Butt how about you build a church out of little triangles, gathering together and celebrate what God has done through the week.

What type of people are we training that will be able to build these kind of churches?

Oscar Muriu – what makes a church a church, not a small group?

People tend to define that by where they come from. If you come from a place where church is big, you think about church being big. In many countries like in Islamic countries, you don’t get this. The Jews had a synagogue where there were ten men.

It’s hard to replant a big full grown tree it takes a lot of capital and hard work

It’s easier to plant a seed and give them 20 years. The DNA of the seed works, if you water it.

Dave Ferguson – 5 Questions For Catching God’s Vision #NTGlobal

#NTGlobal

Day 2  

Isaiah 43:19-20

There is something new happening and we are part of it.

5 Questions for catching God’s vision:

  • GOD Question; where is God at work?
  • PARTNERSHIP Question; what can we do better together than alone?
  • GIFT-MIX Question- what are the unique gifts of this group?
  • LEVERAGE Question – If you could do anything to change the world, what are the key leverage points for change?
  • MOMENTUM Question – what is an initial win to create momentum? That’s how you get traction/confidence.

WHY SHOULD WE CREATE A GLOBAL LEADERSHIP RESIDENCE PARTNERSHIP?

  • God is already working in this way
  • We can create parallel partnerships without slowing down what we are doing individuals
  • We are all churches with apostolic gifting and bias
  • The key leverage points for church planting is the apprenticing of leaders
  • If we do it, it can create a big win to build momentum for the future.

Raising up JASON BOURNES For The Global Kingdom Mission #NTGlobal

Dave Ferguson and Oscar Muriu shared this session: 

We are here because Oscar was speaking at the Willow GLS and he connected well with Dave. They then reconnected through New Thing and Exponential where Oscar asked, ‘What are you living your life for that is worth Christ dying for?’

Global partnership talks developed from that.

We want to get people to gather from the corners of the world and become part of a network, then trust is communicated through all the relationships in that network.

There are groups that meet to train, or to talk, but a network is there to do something – together. Not in a rigid way, but a structured way.

The posture of New Thing is ‘YOU CAN DO IT – How can we help?’

Not, ‘We absorb you.’

I can still be myself, not give up my identity.

To help leaders be future focused. Not centralized but synergical.

It is easier to partner around mission than around theological positions.

One of the phrases that has come up recently is ‘How can we raise up the Jason Bournes of mission today?’

Watch those films!

You see there

1) He’s young/ energetic 2) He’s skilled 3) He has adaptable methods – he killed a guy with a newspaper! 4) Fearless 5) Mobile 6) Cultural navigator, anywhere he goes

Read Steve Addison’s book on Movements and it’s scary because we see I’m not taking enough risks! Francis Asbury, St Patricks, they were Jason Bournes!

Bob Buford says ‘My fruit grows on other people’s trees.’ We meet someone, we bless and help them, and get to be in some way part of it.

The vision of New Thing is to CATALYSE MOVEMENTS of Reproducing Churches, relentlessly dedicated to helping people find their way back to God.

How do you create movements? Get it simple – simple enough to explain on the back of a napkin!

REACH people

RESTORE God’s dream for the world

REPRODUCE (apprenticeship)

All movements – for good or ill – have those 3 Rs.

Movement is how you accomplish the mission. If you get a group of friends together on mission, you get reproducing networks, that reproduce movements.

Start with the end in mind. Ask, ‘What if we could reach a billion people?’ If you think in big terms like this, that’s about 17% of the world population. People who are full on disciples. That’s Gladwell’s Tipping Point. Those will influence the whole. You can start to really restore the dream then.

What do you aim at, to get this done?

1) At a grass roots level – REPRODUCTION. Get asking at every level, ‘Who am I apprenticing?’

AND 2) How do you convene mass movement leader and thought leaders?

E.g. In China, you see the underground, house church movement is the largest. It’s under the radar, in homes etc. But they will never change the country because they don’t want to engage the powers that be.

There are also some churches, persecuted thought movers, smaller groups who are standing up to their injustice and disseminating ideas.

4 Values at New Thing;

RELATIONSHIPS – we want to be friends, who accomplish together for the Kingdom. There’s trust here.

REPRODUCING – we have a knack to start new things! That’s not the case in lots of the Body of Christ. We have a gift here to steward well for the rest of the church.

RESOURCES – This includes finances, but it’s more than that.

RESIDENCIES – The apprenticeship before you go and plant. Challenge = one new resident per site, per church. This is simple discipleship making.

Desired Outcomes? From our time together, could we think in terms of a leadership residency exchange program? Look at Jason Webb, spent 3 years here at Nairobi Chapel and he carries that back to his leadership now in USA. That’s the prototype. Imagine that kind of thing happening over and over. Can we arrange 6 months with these different nations? Being mentored, growing relationships. It’s a huge win for ministry.

Could that have an agreed curriculum, to teach the same basic things to church planters?

What if there are models and strategies we can share and things we can agree to do better together?

Could we sit at the round table, not have any one culture dominate mission?

The nature of a diamond cut well, is that as light shines through it, that would refract into different colours we would all see from our perspectives. You could argue ‘It’s blue!’ No, ‘It’s red!’

If we exchange positions, then you see the other person’s view and you grew because of that.

If we learn trust, I can hear you say ‘It’s red!’ and hear that from you.

The gospel is a diamond. The Bible has been read to us from a Western hemisphere perspective for centuries. But there are different perspectives! In Russia, the Philippines etc. God created diversity. He is not threatened by it. A global conversation helps us see a bigger God.

A western missionary says, ‘The story of Joseph’s main lesson is – in prison of palace, no matter what, God never forgets you.’ (individual)

An African reads the story of Joseph and says, ‘The main lesson from this is – in prison or a palace, NEVER forget your family.’ (community!)

Who is right?

Could BOTH be?

There is much we can teach and learn from one another – how? TRUST, and/or GO and see their view.

1 Cor 12 – If the whole body were African, where would the time keeping be? If they were all one part – where would the fun be in that?

We give honour to the big parts in the church – but God honours the little parts (like those in Islamic countries etc.?) so there would be no division.

If we are independent, we think ‘I can do this. We don’t need others.’ If a part of the body does that, it is sick – it leads to death. Pride kills the body!

Reciprocity! Every member of the body (this is not about size – you could do without some intestine, but not your pituitary gland) gives something to the rest of the body and depends on the rest.

One of the things that has plagued missions is that it has been a one way stream.

Humility determines our posture as we approach each other. To go to the Japanese church and say, ‘Teach me.’ When I go to another culture, I never come as an expert, but as a learner. Then conversations open up.

The question ‘What can I do for you?’ is an arrogant question. Instead we say, ‘We need one another. To bless one another. Grow together.’

#NTGlobal, in Nairobi. Day One, Session one – Who’s In The Room? New Thing Global

Pastor Oscar Muriu from Nairobi Chapel introduces his team and various movement leaders:

Nick – Executive Pastor

Bejee – she leads the leadership development program for NC

Esther – hosts teams and conference

Pastor Morafi – leads a planting movement across Africa (9), ready to plant in Burundi, Ethiopia and now in Germany (with Chogo and Kevin)

Pastor Collins – slum churches in Nairobi (36) – 14 planted this year. 16 ready to start soon.

Pastor Luke – oversees planting from Nairobi Chapel

Tobias – in Mombasa

Steve, Richard, Ngari, in Nairobi, Albo too – but he’s going to Milwaukee soon.

Lamaz – in Botswana

And they are looking to plant in all 54 capital cities in Africa, at the moment they have planted in 3. And are working to plant into London & Germany.

Oscar: God has placed his power in us. This is an important international meeting – heaven is watching!

Joe Wilson – started 34 churches so far, 15 on the way, in former Soviet Union. Great work happening – especially in Albania.

With him is Altin, from Albania, with ICF – planted 5 churches there!

Jason Knapp – was in Papua New Guinea until 1 year ago, now heads up immigration ministry for Elmbrook Church in Wisconsin.

Jon Ferguson – founded Christian Community Church and New Thing with his brother Dave. Chicago.

Patrick O’Connell – Director of New Thing. Chicago.

Jeff Pessina – Philippines, he has been there 35 years. Evangelism has been his focus for many years, more recently started to plant in the poorest places, 6 churches. Max is with him.

Jason Webb. Milwaukee. Leads Elmbrook Church (Stuart Briscoe used to lead that).

Josh Howard – India. The movement his father in law founded (CIM) has seen 1400 churches planted there and across that region of nations.

Me and Pete Edwards from Ivy - NewThingUK!!  

We all received prayer assignments for the nations, by groups. (Eurasia was mine)

 

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What 90s Pop Songs Teach Us About God

Anthony Delaney:

Great stuff here, very helpful as we look at ‘The Greatest Love’ on Sundays at Ivy. I might have to nick that wheel at the end sometime.

Originally posted on The Undercover Christian:

The 1990s was a heck of a time to be a teenager. Our formative years were at the mercy of a decade that thought that Mr. Blobby was a good idea (having learned nothing, apparently, from the 1980s Timmy Mallett debacle), curtain-style haircuts were the very height of cool and shell suits were considered trendy garments (and not, as they would ultimately turn out to be, tasteless and highly flammable). Generation Y know nothing of our suffering.

So this bizarre period, sandwiching the Cold War with the current Everybody At War global order, was the time in which we learned about the important things of life. And 1990s pop music couldn’t have been less helpful in shaping our young, pink minds about what ‘love’ was.

In 1993, German existentialist philosopher Haddaway posed the question, ‘what is love?’ The first academics to enter the discourse were the Rolling Stones…

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