Efrem Smith – KINGDOM DREAMS IN A BROKEN WORLD at #Exponential

Revelation 7: After this, I saw a large crowd with more people than could be counted. They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands, 10 as they shouted, “Our God, who sits     upon the throne, has the power to save his people,     and so does the Lamb.” 11 The angels who stood around the throne knelt in front of it with their faces to the ground. The elders and the four living creatures knelt there with them. Then they all worshiped God 12 and said, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom,     thanks, honor, power, and strength belong to our God     forever and ever! Amen!” 13 One of the elders asked me, “Do you know who these people are that are dressed in white robes? Do you know where they come from?” 14 “Sir,” I answered, “you must know.” Then he told me: “These are the ones who have gone through     the great suffering. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb     and have made […]


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 […]


7 Steps To Create A Missional Culture – Dave Ferguson

Great session from Dave today at the Growing To The Next Level gathering at Kingsgate Church, Peterborough – and I suspect the seven steps below could be adapted for many  things you might want to change in a church, organisation or business  This is not just about having some missional practices (like BELLS or BLESS) – but how do you create and sustain a missional culture? We’re on a journey with that at Community Church, Chicago. We want a Come and See environment (Near) But also Go and Tell. (Far) MC + MP = MM Multiplying Churches plus Missional People = Missional Movement 7 steps to create a missional culture Name it – we are not where we need to be. This cannot stay the same! Brand it – do the hard work of making hard things to do simple to understand. Give the people a clear understanding of the problem, the mission, and clear missional practices. Do it! YOU are the culture creator. You will reproduce who are, and get the culture you deserve. When you can say ‘I am […]


You Can Build A Ship, But You Can’t Make The Wind Blow. Matt Chandler

My notes from a stand out talk from this year’s Exponential West 2016; At conferences, you see the speakers up there, like they have something special going on, and then there’s’ little old me.’  Like they have these great big ocean liners and you’re in your little rowboat. But that’s not what matters. We can all aim to implement great practices; we can try to build that a bigger, better ship.  But… we can’t make the wind blow.  We can gather, we can motivate, but we can’t transform.  We are so much in need of the Holy Spirit to blow that wind, in the hope that we move forward. We must not think though, that He isn’t a magical genie in a lamp that you simply rub and it will happen! What we can do is look at the place where the wind blows. If we position ourselves where the wind has a tendency to blow, it will happen. Amid the books, the conferences or podcasts we can all think ‘the Church needs Tim Keller, or someone…’ but he put Keller […]


IF God is so good, why is the world so bad?

Every day for weeks we have been bombarded with horror stories. Orlando and then various cities in the USA, Baghdad, Syria (of course), then Nice – a place where Ivy has mission partners that I have visited so it feels a lot closer to home. It really wasn’t that long since Zoe and I sat on the Promenade des Anglais, looking out at the sea and praying together. A beautiful place – and then irrational, unfathomable evil is unleashed and the innocent suffer again. How are we supposed to deal with it? And whether you believe in God or hate the idea of God, you have to deal with it. Sociologist Peter Berger said we all have to come up with a solution to this for ourselves in some way, or we’ll find the world unbearable. We’ll crack up. That’s one reason the world is so hopeless and fearful right now. People are still trying to figure it all out, and they can’t… Last night at Ivy I addressed the issues in a talk entitled How can God be good, when […]


Lying Down Beside Still Waters, In Nettles.

10 years ago I had a nasty fall off a mountain bike, smashed the bike helmet (this is why I always wear one) my right shoulder, and my neck. I knew I’d got it bad when the first thought I had as a spat bits of teeth out was, “Who’s going to preach on Sunday?” I can’t really recall being off sick since – until today. Yesterday I had a nasty fall off a mountain bike, and smashed my left shoulder. The front wheel overran the path, down the river bank and over the top. Thankfully I didn’t fall in the river but I landed in nettles, which meant my first thought this time was, “Quick, get out of these nettles!”. I knew my shoulder was bad immediately so rode home one-handed then went to casualty. I have to go to the hospital again on Thursday but the X-Ray seemed to show a break in the clavicle and some dislocation. Thank God for the NHS. Really, if you live in the UK, you know you should. They gave me strong […]


Lead Better With Seven Great Coaching Questions

In the last couple of days I’ve read a short book called The Coaching Habit. As I write it’s on offer at just 99p on Amazon UK on the Kindle which makes it a 5 Star Bargain. I thoroughly recommend you buy it because it has lots of science to back it up, is unusually well written and very funny in places. The only thing I felt was missing was a one page summary for easy reference, so here’s one I made earlier to put into Evernote in the hope it gets into my brain and changes my habit of trying to give all the answers, instead of asking better questions. Seven Great Coaching Questions can deliver you from having to have all the solutions to help people find them for themselves: Ready? 1) What’s On Your Mind? There are scientific reasons Facebook asks you this! 2) And What Else? Repeat this after listening, repeat this after listening, and repeat this… you get the idea 3) What’s The Real Challenge Here For You? Cuts to the chase, provides focus. 4) What Do You Want? Gives ownership […]


9 Bullets Simon Guillebaud Fired At Ivy Church Last Sunday.

Privileged to host my friend Simon Guillebaud at Ivy last Sunday on a whistle stop tour from the poorest, most messed up country in the world. He spoke about how they put the fans on loudly in the house so the kids can’t hear the shooting outside, and how he recently witnessed a mass shooting where many bullets were fired but thankfully only a few hit. He then fired out 9 truths from the Bible in Deuteronomy 30. A number of them hit me! Which ones are on target for you today? Here are my notes, but I recommend you listen to the talk (and if Ivy podcasts are helping you, please could you take two minutes to write us a positive review to encourage others to listen too?) Nine Things That Will Change Your Life Will you choose; 1) Clarity – or Trust? Trust is challenging for us. We want clarity. Let go of clarity to get trust. Trust him! 2) Obedience – or Disobedience? Obedience means submitting ourselves to what God says, while your conscience is still tender […]


Why Aren’t Men (Even Christian Men) More Like Jesus?

Everywhere I go these days I see young men with long hair and beards, but being like Jesus doesn’t mean trying to look like him. I posted on my Facebook page yesterday about my friend Krish Kandiah. He doesn’t have a beard but I’d just read a blog he had written outlining a positive way we should connect with Muslims rather than give way to Islamophobia. He works tirelessly to put the lonely in families and most recently is helping the government rethink its refusal to receive refugee children from Europe. I thought, “I wish I was more like Krish.’ Why did I think that? I reposted his blog with comment, “This man is so like Jesus, full of grace and truth.” That’s why. When I was at primary school, I wanted to be like the bigger boys. At High school, I wanted to be like Mr. Stanford the P.E. Teacher. When I joined the Police Cadets, I wanted to be like the ‘real’ police. When I became a police officer, I wanted to be like the old timers who […]