THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE HISTORY OF IVY CHURCH

I spent a little time this evening looking through a little piece of the history of our church, as I read extracts from the Minute Book of “Ivy Cottage” Mission Hall.

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It started as a record of the ‘Womens’ Bible Class,’ then was unused from 1913 to the 50s.

There are some fascinating insights into how Ivy saw itself as a MISSION from its inception, church planting, evangelism, and then that movement became a church as it formalized and hired Pastors to lead it (I’m in danger of doing myself out of a job here) and then started looking at various rules and regulations; and when that happened the pioneering and evangelistic work of women was also truncated. The record speaks for itself and there are some funny things to note along the way.

Many of you will know Ivy started as a men’s Bible study group meeting in a house in 1893. I’ll have to look at their records some time too!

Oct 5th 1908 – Women’s Bible Class held monthly business meetings and had 218 registered members who attended weekly. If they did not attend they were ‘visited’ to find out why, in the September 94 visits were made – this was about the average number of visits monthly for years – reasons for absence ‘away from home, prevented through sickness, or home duties.’

In 1809 two women were classed as ‘lapsed members,’ through absence, many women were classed as leaders and ‘deaconess.’

By 1913 there were 257 women, no surprises that it grew, you wouldn’t want to be missed! If you were a member and not attending you would be ‘specially written to.’

From the earliest days the records show a remarkably generous church with mission at its heart, giving much of the income to mission overseas and organizing outreaches.

This book stops there and there are blank pages until…

Jan 15th 1952 when the first Pastor of ‘Ivy Cottage Mission,’ Mr Hunt uses it again.

They agreed that month to do open air evangelistic meetings, and to use an amplifier to do so.

6 Feb 1952 Mr Hunt would be ‘given the liberty to invite speakers and pay their expenses from general funds.’

The same meeting gave away a lot of money to missions, and agreed to arrange ‘an Evangelistic campaign in the new year.’

26 January 1953

Mr Hunt ‘referred to the growth of the mission and that it had been suggested that the time might be opportune to change the name… (to) Ivy Cottage Evangelical Church.’ This was agreed, and a sign over the gate was to be made.

‘Luxury coaches’ were booked for the outing to Llandudno (we know always knew how to party), with food included this would cost £1 per adult.

Nov 22nd 1954

It was agreed that baptism was not a condition of membership but ‘we were happy to make arrangements for those who believed it was the Lord’s will for them.

‘It was agreed the elders should go carol singing as in previous years…’

8th Feb 1956 when there was no minister in charge…

The treasurer stressed the need for more generous giving and asked that more friends consider using the monthly envelopes system as this had been a great help…’ (I refer you to my talk last Sunday morning in the category ‘some things never change’).

24th April 1957

The new minister Mr Lamb came in like a lion, ‘stressing the responsibilities of church membership, full loyalty to Christ and his gospel and to the work of the local church’. Membership cards were introduced.

There was a struggling church in Brooklands, Ivy agreed to support and take that over as ‘a daughter church’ on the Brooklands Estate.

30 Sept 1959

Mr Lamb formally introduced a constitution.

He said it was not scriptural to have women serve on the church executive and this would be in the constitution.

A member asked whether the Pastor could make ‘an appeal’ at the evening service, the Pastor stated he would do so when he felt lead to do so.’

26 Oct 1960 was a TUMULTUOUS Special Meeting!

A member had asked that the constitution be amended ‘Because

1) Since the introduction the church had declined and become discontented and the members were divided because the ladies were denied seats on the church executive

2) Even if scripture taught that the government of the church should be in the hands of men we must be modern and move with the times for ladies were now emancipated

3) Ladies were in the majority in the church and so they should be in control

7 ladies spoke in support of this proposal :)

A Dr Kerr said that item 2 ‘was very dangerous and the argument used could support many false teachings.’

The Pastor could not agree with Dr Kerr on scripture but said the constitution should stand anyway. The final item that night was that Pastor said the piano in the church was to be disposed of and that any member who wanted it could have it.

The constitution was accepted the following January at the AGM.

In the September of that same year a note from Dr Kerr records that ‘the second Pastor of Ivy Cottage Evangelical Church, the Rev BT Lamb, entered into glory on the Harvest Sunday after conducting the gift day services.’

Reading that has made me a lot more wary of crossing the Ivy women!

STAND IN THE GAP

 Notes from talk by @PastorChoco Wilfredo De Jesus

Prayer is necessary, but it’s not a crutch not to do anything. You cannot let your budget dictate your faith. You have to trust God that he will meet your needs. We must MOVE to action

Ezek 22:30

God’s looking for someone to stand in the gap.

Found NOBODY!

Who would stand there.

A gap = place of danger, vulnerability and danger.

These days the gaps are wider.

God’s still looking for those who will engage the gap.

You must engage your community. See your city as your church. Jesus sat with the lost. People who didn’t look like him. Demon possessed men, Samaritan women. He went to them. He wasn’t afraid.

What is sacred is the MESSAGE, not the METHOD. We can use all kinds of methods to reach people.

Fear is the absence of faith.

Nehemiah is living large, then he asks a question that changes the course of his life: ‘How’s Jerusalem?’

If you are not going to do anything, don’t ask!

Nehemiah had to do something. With revelation comes responsibility. Walk toward the need. Bring the kingdom of God outside your church and into the world.

  • He PRAYED and fasted – He WEPT for the hopelessness in the city
  • He PLANNED – you have to write it down. Many of us like the end product but not the process. How many leaders have been talking about doing something for 5 years, but not doing anything
  • He PROCEEDED 760 miles journey. This is sacrificial.
  • He PERSUADED. You will face strong opposition whne you stand in the gap, but God is with you, who can be against you.

Nehemiah was not a priest or a prophet, but he was a worker who went and worked for God.

HOW IS MANCHESTER? Where are the gaps to stand in?

When Jesus Got Mad @glynbarrett at Ivy Church

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Glyn is a great friend doing an amazing work at !Audacious Church in our city and it was an honour to host him at Ivy Church (Kingsway) this morning. Here are my notes on a fabulous talk.

Mark 11:15ff

‘My house will be called a house of prayer – but you have made it a den of thieves.’

This is that moment – when Jesus gets mad.

When my wife gets mad I get nervous
When my mum gets mad I get nervous

But here’s where Jesus got mad – because he’s come to the house of God, expecting one thing – gets another.

Like when you turn up to a holiday hotel, expecting something fantastic – and get a B & B. When the expectation is high, but it’s terrible when you get it.

You buy the car and it breaks down in the first week.

May our church, our house, never be a disappointment to Jesus!

Church is a house, not a ceremony
Royalty expects a ceremony.

But Jesus calls this a house – it’s a place you live in.

The Gospel says you can come as you are.

The church is not a Ceremony – it’s a house.
Sometimes in a house it’s all clean and tidy and everyone gets along fine.
Some Sundays it’ll be amazing in church.
But our commitment is more than to a ceremony it’s to the house, the house of God.

The church is not a Hotel -it’s a house.

Jesus called it a house, not a hotel.

Hotels are great. We get to assess how good they are and how well we got served and we can rate them on Tripadvisor.

I love that I have no responsibility for the place. They put the signs up about not overusing towels and I want to save the environment but if I want to I can use all the towels I want when I want.

But imagine if I treated my house like a hotel? That’s not what you do in family.

God expects those in the house to take responsibility for some things in the house. If you want the blessing of the house you need to take responsibility in the house.

Church is not a business transaction – it’s a house. 

Jesus came into the Temple expecting people wanting Intimacy with God, but found them busy with the business of church, not the intimacy the house was meant to facilitate.

Psalm 92:13-15

Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Blessed is the man and the woman who is planted in the house of The Lord! You will flourish, even in old age! This is a house where we get to do intimacy.

‘After The Giant.’ LEAD – Life Church Bradford Charlotte Gambill

Lots of our teaching is about how to make it through the valley/ the storm/ the fight and there’s an aspect of that which is wonderful because when you’re in crisis you lean in hard and listen up,

But how about the place where you relax, and then you become careless. At the place of victory, the mountaintop, not the struggle in the valley. In those moments we make the silly choices, when we let our guard down.

We have all preached about David and Goliath. Such a rich, overcoming story of the boy with the pocketful of stones who takes a giant down.

But how about what happened immediately after the giant?
When something happened more significant than the giant.

Your momentum follows after your moments of victory.
How you handle success matters.
Don’t be so in love with your giant killing moments and his head being cut off that you switch your brain off.

The giant took David from zero to hero.Now he has the light shine on him.

But don’t get so enamoured by your moment by how great my preach was, how fabulous that conference was, Because it says AS SOON AS…

Straight away, fresh off the back of that victory…whatever it is for you..

Abner took him straight to Saul, with the head of the giant still there in his hand. That fresh breakthrough is there with him.

Your beheading moments will want some people to be with you, and you’d better be ready for that so you have the right people there with you. He still has that head with him and he’s summoned before Saul

And people want to know ‘Who are you now?’

2 types of people will come to you in that moment. Watch who you align with.

There was a Saul, and there was a Jonathan.

Two potential alignments. Don’t get so impressed that we have an invite from Saul, that we hand over our destiny. Before you hand it over – make sure you do it with the right people. make sure the yes is not because you’re flattered.

SAUL asks him in.

After David finished talking with Saul, JONATHAN became one in Spirit with him, and loved him as himself.

Someone in that room doesn’t care what’s in David’s hand, He already saw what was in his heart.

If they are only happy with what’s in your hand you’ll always have to go head hunting.

David just stumbled into his moment of greatness, as David was on the way to doing what he was meant to be doing because he Dad asked him.

You don’t want to be the guy that once started the orphanage, led the crusade etc. Freezing your victory in time.

These two types of people are in churches all over the world. Some people just want you to come and have you kill a giant for them. But look out because there might be a Jonathan in the room you’re meant to be partnering with. They are there too. Maybe they are really the reason you are there.

If you are so focused on ‘Ooh Saul’s here!’ and your moment, and your victory, you won’t even notice Jonathan.

Saul will kill you!
But Jonathan will die for you!

After Jonathan heard David, he said ‘I get you. I’ll be there for you. I’m for you, we’re connected.’

Saul will try to control you.
Saul wouldn’t let David go home. You have to stay here. I get significance off your success.
He has a controlling language – a plan for David, for his career.

Church is not an industry it’s a ministry. Saul aaas saying ‘You can’t go here or there.’

Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as himself. Which kind of leader are you?
Do you love and bless people? Do you make a covenant? ‘I’ve got your back, I’ll cover you.’

Saul will use you, your gift, ability, to further his significance.

Jonathan will contribute to you. He gave him his tunic, cloak, bow, sword, robe. He would even lay down his claim on the throne. His title. He did it in private. Saul did it in public but was different in private.

Who endorses you, and there’s nothing they need back from you, because they are so in love with the Jesus thing.

I want to be the kind of leader who wants to contribute to others.

Don’t USE people, love them and out of that, let them be USEFUL.

Saul eventually showed his true colours, he got angry when people were singing about david, and kept a jealous eye on him. The very one who bogged him up at the start as his friend is the same one saying ‘I don’t want you anywhere near me because your success threatens me.’

So in the moment of victory, put the head down, and lift your head up. Steward that moment, line up your thinking with God.

Saul saw a boy who could kill a giant

Jonathan saw a man after God’s own heart.

Stop trying to impress Saul, he’ll never be impressed, open your heart to God.

Steve Gambil – LEAD Conference. ‘LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR’

Steve Gambil – LEAD Conference. ‘LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR’

Remember God wants to help you lead, after all He is the head of the church.

Psalm 110:3 Your people will volunteer freely in the day of your power

Why can’t a church own a generation, in our time?

Because we don’t think we can.

And if you don’t think it’s possible you won’t do much.

Let’s be daft enough to believe God that we can do great things in our generation.

There’s always gap between what we dream of and what we’re seeing. We want to close that gap. How do we get people involved in the mission?

Luke 10.

Talks about how Jesus APPOINTED some people. That talks about an assignment and an arranged meeting. So you reprioritise, then replan, and then you see new results.Jesus is the great strategist and here he designates, selects and sends out 72 people to go into 36 places simultaneously. That is genius. What if we could send people out to go into there neighbourhoods for Him.

Oh – but you say the people aren’t willing.

We have to tell everyone you are appointed. Whether you feel like it or not, you’d better go. That’s what an appointment is about.

They returned with joy.
That tells me they probably didn’t go out with joy!
But we aren’t to be ruled by feelings.

Why do we lower down the commitment that Jesus tells us is the level required for everyone?

They returned with joy because they were used by Jesus.

If you get people used to being inactive, it’s hard to change that. Many Christians have been in church for years doing nothing.
Has Christianity become a way of life for you?

If you give people a clear assignment, they know where they’re going.

People have a fear of evangelism, but we can all get involved in acts of kindness. Jesus said ‘Get out there and love some neighbours.’

Get people to share when they return with joy. Feature it in your social media. That’s how you change the culture.

Jesus wants to know – who is our neighbour?

We are trained to pass on the other side of the road.

David Sharp wanted to climb Everest. He did it. But then he lingered a little while longer than he should have done and ended up on the way down i the death zone. At 28,000 feet he couldn’t go another step. There he saw a dead person with green ski boots on from 7 years ago. He sat down next to the green boots and fell asleep, he couldn’t be resuscitated. The sherpas had to leave him for dead.

40 climbers stepped over him to get to the summit that day.
They didn’t help him because they so valued getting to the top themselves.
They wouldn’t give up their moment at the top.
Edmund Hillary said they’d forgotten what it was all about.

The next week Lincoln Hall was dying on the way, Dan Mazeras was climbing up, he gave up his climb to help get him well and down the mountain. He became a true hero, but he never made it to the top. What’s most important?

If your church doesn’t get thousands on a Sunday but you get to love a lot of people, disassociate yourself from the pressure to evangelise everyone and just love more neighbours, you may get explosive growth anyway.

People will give you excuses why they can’t love their neighbour.

5) Overgrowing garden. Why do they let their garden get such a mess?! (Could you help with that?)

4) Parking in front of my house. (You are nasty with them about it – will they come to church if you ask)

3) Noisy neighbours

2) Boundary Line Disputes – love them!

1) Failure to control animals

All these daft things stop us – but will give opportunities to love our neighbour, planned and unplanned, structured and unstructured – but it’s challenging to British people who say ‘my home is my castle.’ No, it’s there for His kingdom.

How old are you really?

Next year I’m 50. I’m a grandad to three boys.

If you’d described someone like that to me when I was a kid I would have thought you didn’t have your own teeth and were on the way to the boneyard.

I genuinely don’t feel ‘nearly 50.’ I’ve tried to eat well (thanks Zoe), go to bed every night forgiving everyone and wake up every day knowing I’m forgiven. I have very little stress in my life even though I’m busy because Jesus told me I don’t need to worry about anything. I try to keep fit by exercising hard 5 days a week, I have a day off.

None of that necessarily means I’m going to live forever, and quite honestly I don’t want to because to be with Christ is as Paul says ‘Better by far.’ One day I’ll get a whole new body that’s not subject to decay. But right now this one is, and I’m going to look after it as well as I can – so I am going to go next door now and throw some kettlebells around.

Then I’ll do the EFX workout by Mark Lauren which will, by half way, have me clawing for breath, my muscles aching and my mind saying ‘Why exactly are we doing this again?’

Here’s a free sample of that workout – I have followed Mark’s You Are Your Own Gym for about 2 years and it’s so good I only really ever go to the gym now to swim. Best fitness app available and a great book too. I bought the EFX set and it’s really good, but incredibly tough (Can’t wait!).

And after a shower I’m 25 again and ready for anything the world throws at me

In my book Diamond Geezers I have a chapter on Fitness because this is a very important part of stewardship. God gave you a body to look after, how are you doing with that?

Maybe you think you’re too old for all that? Check out this 81 year old guy then, virtue of RossTraining.com then get out of the chair and as my mate Bobby Joe Edwards (a boxing legend who comes to Ivy) says ‘Step In Da Groove And Move!’

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GROWING – How different people change us into different people. Brad Jersak at Ivy Church Didsbury @bradjersak #Bgbg2

Brad Jersak

Brad Jersak

Woah this was goooood!!  Theology is meant to be accessible and bring life to you. If this grabs you, why not check out the FREE Course ‘Living the Christian Story’ WTC (Westminster Theological Centre) are doing right now. Brad is one of the lecturers at WTC, oh, and so am I. We asked him to speak into our series on how we grow as disciples based on Ivy’s mission statement, KNOWING, GROWING, GOING – focusing on…

GROWING

God is gathering people who are very different, into one community of love – using that community to change us from the inside out.

Luke 6:12-19

12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

Don’t you wish you were there? Power is coming out from Jesus!!

He picks 12, who will be eyewitnesses of everything, including His resurrection. So the rest of the disciples who go out after them subsequently will be able to check back that it’s the REAL gospel.

Luke lists their names. Notice they’re very different people.

He has this group who grow and go. They’re healing, setting people free – just like Jesus. But notice again, how different they are. There’s nothing very glorious about having a group of people who are just the same as each other meeting together. Having a group of very different people together is a sign of God’s Spirit doing something!

For example:

Matthew would be seen as a traitor to his people. Taking taxes, giving to the enemy and keeping some for himself.

Next to him is Simon, the Zealot – insurgents who would assassinate Romans. This is how terrorism starts. Desperation breeds that.

Jesus puts the two at the same table. The collaborator and the conspirator, get sent out two by two. He’s changing them to become brothers.

Isaiah prophesies one day,  ‘The lion and the lamb will lie down together.’ That’s not a vision for a petting zoo in heaven. It’s a picture for now. A community of love being formed. Reconciliation of very different people, even those at odds with each other. It’s happening now all round the world, in the name of Jesus.

Like Bob Ekblad (another WTC faculty member). Goes into prison every week. Bringing together immigrants from Central America and the poor and gang members and neo-Nazis and they end up in the same room and it’s like ‘Who would we hate the most?’ Everyone who does his Bible studies comes to Christ, because they connect to a God of love. And they pray for each other and are healed.

Brad’s church: They prayed for a strategy, thought they would reach to cool Gen X types. InsteadJesus told them to start a home group in a care home for people with disabilities. They had lots coming, disruptive adults but then the carers came along too and then families with kids who couldn’t sit still came. Then addicts came because they knew it was a safe place to be broken. All so different, God brings them all together.

Look at Romans. Paul’s list at the end we just skip through. Paul’s goodbyes. Don’t skim it.

He’s saying Hi to the people from the Emperor’s household.

And then two people who haven’t got names – they have numbers not names – because they are SLAVES. In the same group as the royalty?

When you get those kind of people together – it’s amazing.

What if you don’t make particular people your ‘target group’ – but make the Trinity your target group, then God will come, and bring His friends.

Think about the apostle John and his brother James. They were called ‘The Sons Of Thunder.’ Do you think they had tempers?

Is there any evidence they did? Ask the inhabitants of the Samaritan cities that rejected Jesus, who they wanted to ‘call fire down on like Elijah did?’

Jesus rebuked them and said ‘You don’t know what spirit you’re calling.’ That’s fascinating in itself… ‘I didn’t come to destroy people I came to SAVE them.’ He’s changing this son of thunder into a son of God.

So later John writes ‘Beloved, let us love one another- for everyone that loves knows God and is born of God…’ Wow. He’s John… Lennon! What happened? A community of love changed him.

How about Peter? Mark 8. Peter gives the right answer to a question and he’s on a roll and gets commended for that. He’s feeling good. But he absolutely refuses the idea of Jesus’ suffering.

Then you read 1 Peter – He says, ‘Don’t be surprised if you suffer for Jesus, it’s precious, powerful.’ What got into you?Jesus did.

And you know how Peter died don’t you? Crucified upside down, glorying in suffering for Christ.

Jesus brings us together to use us, to change us, into the Beatitudes people.

Where do you fit in this family?

Do you wonder if you belong?

You don’t belong because you’re like everyone else. You fit in because this is a family that’s so different.

Watch the EPIC new Ivy Video – ‘Helping You Find Your Way Back To God.’

As I think about the adventure we’re on and the lives changing every week, seeing these people and knowing so many of the stories represented I still can’t watch this without either;

- Gasping

- Laughing

- Skrieking (Fellow Mancs will understand this word, others can click here to save my embarrassment)

- Clapping

Because I’m part of the biggest and best thing happening on Planet Earth today, and I get to do that here, with friends who love me.

Our new website is soooo good. I’m spending time now flicking round the beautiful wonder of it. Thanks to Dan, Steve, Wozza and Andy, a fantastic design and web team who worked so well to deliver excellence.

And Sparky’s video? I love it. So good I want to get it as an advert in Cineworld where we meet too so people going to the cinema get to hear about God’s love for them. So good, I’m going to Ivy Didsbury tonight!

5 ways to get amazing people to read your blog post. Number 3 is the bomb!

1) Give it a title with a  number like in it, like 5.

 

2) Entice people to think they’ll be amazing/ productive/ attractive/ better/ slimmer/ wealthier/ better just because they read it

 

3) The Bomb!

 

4) Put a picture on it – small animals, people with coffee, anything really

5) Leave them wanting more, but probably not from you because what you just did was annoying.

 

Oh and one more thing…

Invite them to share it with all their friends, because you won’t have any now.