#RunAlpha – Nicky Gumbel at #Exponential

Invite A Generation: Run Alpha 166 different nations 110 languages 24 million people have done the course 20 to 50% express that they’ve fully come to faith.   A – for anyone L – learning and laughter P – Pasta/ food H – Helping each other A – Ask anything   This was a great session, where we were shown how to run an Alpha course by the man himself, Nicky Gumbel.   Went through some icebreakers;   1)  What’s your name, and a positive adjective? 2)  You’re stuck on a desert island – what two items would you take with you?   Then they get a little more pointed… 3)  How did you end up coming here to Alpha tonight? 4)  If it turned out there was a God after all and you could ask God any question, what would you ask him?   Write down the questions! You hope to answer them as the weeks progress.   NB. The leader is not the main conversationist here. The guests are there to pass it around each other.   This […]


WHAT MORE COULD HE HAVE DONE FOR US?

(This is from last Sunday night’s talk at the Ivy AGM – Awesome Gratitude Meeting) One of my favourite author/ speakers died last year – his name was Brennan Manning. If you have ever read ‘Ragamuffin Gospel’ you’ll never forget it. I have read lots of what he’s written and listened to many of his talks, but it was only this week I heard the amazing story about how he got the name “Brennan.” Because his real name was Richard Xavier Francis Manning – a good Irish catholic name, to be sure. While growing up, his best friend was Ray. The two of them did everything together: went to school together, bought a car together as teenagers, double-dated, and so forth. They even enlisted in the Army together, went to boot camp together and fought on the frontlines together in the Korean War. One night while sitting in a foxhole, Brennan was reminiscing about the old days in Brooklyn while Ray listened and ate a chocolate bar. Suddenly a live grenade came into the trench. Ray looked at Brennan, smiled, […]


If You’re Going To Build A Rescue Boat, Check For Leaks #bgbg2

(Snippet from tomorrow’s talk. Will be on podcast next week) Noah was told to build a rescue boat. And that’s what the church is meant to be by the way. This week the CofE put out a report highlighting how good it was that some churches were growing. The headlines on twitter simply declared,‘Good news! Many churches are growing!’ I was really excited, but then  I looked at the actual figures in the middle and in fact since 2010 – 18% of their churches are growing, great. But 55% are plateauing and 27% declined. Later on we read that nearly half of churches have less than 5 under 16s. That’s not good news. Reporting it as such is disingenuous. Surely these figures highlight a problem? If it was a business you’d say ‘It’s change or die time.’ You have to face the bad news, before you can be good news. I’m passionate about this because I’m still convinced that the local church is the hope of the world! We have to recognize the seriousness of our time and build churches and […]


Why the Great Commission has stopped me ‘Evangelising’ and ‘Discipling’ people.

I’m disturbed that the church has made DISCIPLING a new kind of industry in the last 5 years or so. Everyone’s doing conferences or writing books with plans and formulas to ‘disciple’ people. As if it’s a verb – not a noun.


We don’t need Divine Rehab but Divine Rescue

CENTER CHURCH – Tim Keller  (Ivy GG notes – much of this material comes from today’s Ivy GG Leaders Day; thanks so much to all who made time to attend and for all you’re doing at ‘the church that meets at your house.’) I have been very inspired as I read Tim Keller’s latest book, Center Church. Check out the video summary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_ZWlPUmVug I downloaded it on my Kindle and began to highlight in yellow important phrases and concepts as is my usual practice, but there’s so much there it ended with what looks like a Christian version of the Yellow Pages! DISCUSS: Do you read regularly or is that something you find hard to make time for? If so how might you overcome that challenge so you keep on growing? What have you read recently that’s encouraged, inspired or challenged you? I outlined my understanding of what I’d read in the book to our leaders as follows: The ‘model’ of church isn’t what’s most important. We have at one end (D.F.) the DOCTRINAL FOUNDATION. What we believe – and as […]


Graham Cooke – BRILLIANT THINKING: Leader’s evening at Ivy Manchester

GREAT start to our time this weekend, Graham spoke BRILLIANTLY about thinking BRILLIANT. Tomorrow at the Armitage Centre we’ll hear more. Excited to partner with our friends from Christ Church Harpurhey and Vinelife, It’s not too late to book in – here. Here’s my notes from tonight… Around 25 years ago had 3 dreams: 1) a grey man in an old car was showing him round the grey city pointing out all the sin and problems in people, with a grey attitude. Depressing! Dream 2 – grey man in slightly better grey car saying, ‘We are doing courses to help them’ – that was even more depressing. Dream 3 – Bright young guy in a bright car, shouting encouragement that told them who they really were and it CHANGED the people! ‘This is how I see you – you’re going to be doing this!’ The city changed! The church has an old vehicle being driven by an old man. The old man is the old man that was put on Jesus. We don’t need to do that. God isn’t focused […]