What The Church Can Learn From Uber

I just spent a couple of days in London and I can’t say I like it. I wrote this on the train back to Manchester and it already seemed more relaxed and smiley. But if I lived in London I’d have one more cause for complaint quite soon, if and when they lose Uber. Please don’t get into the rights and wrongs of the situation itself, I admit I’m no expert in the laws and regulations around taxis (anymore), and you’re probably not either. I’m not defending breaches of employment rules, What I’m commenting on is that for me this is really about a clash between what is and what is coming. When I get to Stockport train station there will be a choice to get me home; black cabs, private hire cars I could call – or Ubers on the app. I was told recently when my car broke down by a driver for one of the recovery agencies that in his experience many of those iconic Black cabs are very old, breakdown often and have so many miles on […]


‘Become a PASSIONARY!’ Get Ready For Jossy Chacko. (1 minute video)

“There are opportunities all around you to enlarge your vision! But only people who have a vision of growing and multiplying will see it. If your vision is just to keep what you have you will not see those opportunities around you.” So says Jossy Chacko, one of the keynote speakers I’m delighted will join us at LAUNCH (in partnership with Exponential), here in Manchester, November 13-15th – just seven weeks from now! The link below is a snippet from what many called a standout talk of last year’s Willow Creek leadership summit. Watch the short clip to find out what a ‘Passionary’ is, and join us with your team at to LAUNCH – to become one!


VIDEO: What can we learn from the Special Forces about building teams that win?

This is from my recent teaching at the Ivy’s staff and elder’s day. It creates a summary of the incredible learning from a great leadership book we are embedding in our culture; One Mission by Chris Fussell. In this video I outline issues such as; What’s wrong with traditional management? Why worked in the C20th that’s not working today? How do we go beyond creating and filling roles in organisations and instead create an organic culture where people volunteer their best? How do you resist silos and create a hybrid ‘team of teams’ that wins; a networked bureaucracy? What is ’empowered execution’? The power of defining and aligning around your ONE MISSION. I believe this has the potential to be one of the most important leadership texts of our day, I encourage you to buy it and implement its learnings in your business, organisation OR CHURCH!


There Are Too Many People Coming To Church

You’ll probably be surprised to hear a church leader saying that. The papers love to report the decline/demise of ‘Christianity/faith/religion’ in the nation – so any survey that points that way is of course big news. The truth where I am right now is that actually we actually do have too many people presently attending some of our services at Ivy – this is why we keep planting new ones and this morning had to keep some people waiting to get in the building because it was too full. But that’s not what I mean when I say there are too many people coming to church. What I mean is, too many people who still come to church, well – just come to church. I asked the people who came to our building tonight, do you just COME to church – or are you BECOMING church? We actually still have lots of buildings all over the nation where people still come to church – but not enough BECOME church. You become church when you get gripped by the grace of God […]


One Mission (Book Summary – my leadership ‘must read’ this year)

One Mission is my ‘must read’ leadership book so far for 2017. It follows straight on from another great book (Team of Teams) by the guy who wrote the Foreword – Gen Stanley McChrystal. I read that book and was blown away by it. Team of Teams documents how the Industrial Age introduced Frederick Winslow Taylor’s ‘Scientific Management’ model, which equated to Time and Motion/ Efficiency studies and Command and Control leadership. That used to serve us well when you were making Model T Fords, now – not so much (though its influence prevails far too much – for a crushing critique of how very unscientific that model actually is I recommend The Management Myth by Matthew Stewart). When McChrystal was placed in charge of JSOC, battling Al Qaeda in Iraq – he found that despite having all the men, the money and machines – they were losing against a far smaller group of insurgents in an agile, connected network organisation. The reason? They were efficient, but not effective. He was playing chess, while they were playing draughts! He had a hierarchy, they […]


Shout Out To My Ex-Gallbladder

‘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 […]


I hope 5Q Book puts us ‘in ministry’ out of a job, to get the rest of us in ministry

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 […]


5 Ways Church Planters Change The Church

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 […]


Get Him Something Useful For Fathers Day!

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 […]