‘Are you going to be sick? You look like you’re going to be sick.’ I couldn’t open my mouth to say to Zoe, ‘Of course I’m not going to be sick’, just in case. A minute later I was so sick, so loud, my son heard me from upstairs and thought I was shouting with rage. That was two days ago and I’m sitting on the couch now feeling queasy with a ‘just in case’ bowl next to me. I had my gallbladder removed a few days back. Now I have an impressive array of stab wounds across my abdomen. One day the grandchildren may believe this was from when Poppa fought in the war so we all could be free, and I’ll never know how they came to believe such a thing. But finally feeling well enough to concentrate on something other than Netflix (hours I’ll never get back) I thought I’d pull together some ramblings and if it doesn’t make sense put it down to the tablets. I never thanked God for my gallbladder, till it was gone. What a […]
We are thrilled to host Danielle in Manchester as a keynote speaker at our LAUNCH church multiplication catalyst event in November. Book in now before the best deals go. Thanks to our partners at New Wine who are hosting our Leaders Pre-Con the day before the event for this short yet insightful interview.
I’ve been waiting years for Alan Hirsch to write this book, ever since the unforgettable Forgotten Ways which is a core text now for the Transformational Leadership course I teach at WTC. This builds on that groundbreaking work and goes deeper still. I’ll declare that I got a free e-copy for review but I just ordered the paperback because like Forgotten Ways this will end up multi-coloured and with scribbles all over. Kindle says I’m 20% through it and it seems like I only just picked it up, I was so engrossed. I’ll blog again when I get my breath back and having let my thoughts settle. For those of us who are in church leadership and used to Hirsch, my question is, ‘HOW THE HECK CAN YOU GET USED TO HIRSCH?’ If you actually read books with a mindset of implementation not just interest, his challenge to present day western ecclesiology changes EVERYTHING. Or it should. I just pray it’s not to late – the ongoing focus in denominations on ordaining some more people into the old system rather than […]
This week I was privileged to attend a gathering of church planting leaders from around the world this week. This talk by Dr Timothy Tennant, President of Asbury Seminary was packed with insights: We believe the church is meant to be missional. And the way the church has been done that has been ‘be nice to visitors.’ But nobody is going to walk in the door to find out how nice you are. So we have to be at mission in the church. We have had pastors as ministers to existing members. But church planting is a permission slip to reach new people. The global church has become very nominal and needs to be transformed. Our posture is always that we need to be fellow travelers, experimenting together. People of different contexts and experiences, learning from each other. When you’re so busy planting churches and preaching the gospel you don’t have time to theologise on it. To reflect and ask ‘What are we doing? How can we do it better? Field missionaries are often befuddled when they read mission journals. Theoretical constructs – how does it […]
Most of the cards I see for Father’s Day are a bit of a joke, and not that funny. ‘Dad’ is praised – for his farts or ability to drink beer. Is that it? But in a world where men don’t know how to be men, how on earth are they meant to learn to be a father? Gordon Dalbey wrote about polling a group of 350 men and asking whether and how their own fathers ever gave them help, encouragement or support in parenting. Only 5 put their hands up. Even less men heard anything from a father as they wrestled through issues such as their own sexuality. And we wonder why we’re in a mess? God promised to turn the hearts of the children back to the fathers, and if not the land is cursed. I’d say we’re seeing the second part of that in so many areas, because we are not seeing the first. The stakes could not be higher! If he’s still around, celebrate Dad today. I really miss mine. Buy him a tankard or a […]
Gareth Robinson heads up New Wine’s focus on Church Planting and together with his wife Lizzie runs a church plant in Salford, Manchester. We asked Gareth at last year’s gathering ‘Becoming Five – in partnership with Exponential’ what he thought of it, “It’s a great joy to be here! It’s great to have all sorts of people from all sorts of places gathering together to talk about church planting, to ask the questions like; what is really working – and what can we do to see church planting encouraged across our nation and across the world?” We liked that so much we invited Gareth to be on the team helping plan November’s LAUNCH which will be bigger and even better! He’ll help and host the LAUNCH Pre-Con (in partnership with New Wine) too which will have a specific focus on questions church planters and those considering that missional move need to grapple with. Book now before the best deals go!
“If you’re interested in church planting, if you’re interested in multiplication, in mission or movement making – this is the place that you will meet with other people who love and are passionate about the same thing, where you can also learn and share best practices with each other. Make sure you’re there this year!” Dave Ferguson: President, Exponential. Book now and bring your team before the best deals go! 13-15th November at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester Leaders from across the world are gathering for LAUNCH Church Multiplication Catalyst in partnership with Exponential where we learn to multiply disciples, leaders and churches in Europe and beyond.
I blogged the morning of the bombings about how as I discovered the news about the brutal attack at the Manchester Arena I realized I was walking around with my fists clenched, and how it’s hard to pray with your hands like that. Later after we opened the church for prayer to the community and as I looked at the cross, nail pierced hands opened mine to grace. But as more details emerged, my heart began to clench. Ivy is a church with many medics, some very senior. I kept in touch as well as I could with our guys. They have worked 16 and 12 hour shifts “saving lives and limbs” as first priority but nothing but a warzone could prepare many of the staff, though used to appalling injuries. Extracting the nuts and bolts of evil, trying to convince wounded parents to receive treatment themselves when they only wanted to be patched up and be with their injured children. The calculated manner and premeditated maliciousness of deadly intent to maim the most defenceless young families. I hate it. […]