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 […]


Dave Ferguson Says ‘Make Sure You’re At LAUNCH This Year!’

“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.


Time For #HugsNotHate in Manchester after the bomb

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. […]


Pray For Manchester Today – Blog – More Questions Than Answers

    I go to bed early. But through the night the phone in the corner kept buzzing away at an unusually high rate. Then this morning the phone rang and I was asked by someone in the press what I thought about what has happened  here in my home city Manchester. Within minutes I had read all the texts, had all the information, and all the questions, but so few answers. How can this have happened here? I love this city that I lead Ivy Church in so much! My year started at the Arena as over ten thousand of us gathered to pray in the New Year for Festival Of Praise. Now I hear of this carnage in the same place. One of our  friends, an Ivy member, was there with his kids last night at the concert there, he says a last minute mess up with the tickets put them away from the seats they should have been in right where the blast was, so they were saved. I thank God for them, but then so many […]


I Just Had An Epiphany

Tonight at Ivy Didsbury Andy Smith blew us away with an incredible talk about the Magi, those outsiders from the East who found themselves in Bethlehem shortly after Christ was born, and on bended knee gave the best of who they were and had to him. There was so much great stuff there I encourage you to subscribe to the Ivy podcast and listen to the talk in full when it’s up later in the week. But something Andy said almost in passing at the end really grabbed me. It was an epiphany at Epiphany! Here it is, as I recall what he said: “The wise men got there, and saw… a baby, an infant, a little child. But God says in Zechariah 4:10 despise not the day of small beginnings,’ and this child grew into the Saviour of the world.” As I sat there I thought about those VIPs. They came looking for the King of the Jews, right? What would that look like? They’d know what Kings look like. And they are somehow looking for God there, the […]


My Christmas Eve Talk From A Few Years Back – “What’s His Name?”

WHAT’S HIS NAME?  Any Josephs in the place tonight? Mary? Carol!? Anyone called Jesus? No, it used to be common – but he’s pretty unique… he kind of cornered the market on that name. It means ‘God to the rescue.’ Does your name mean something? Do you know what it means? Years ago I asked a bunch of school kids who Christmas was really all about. Someone said Father Christmas of course. Then, a little boy put his hand up…’Oh, It’s… it’s wassisname!’ I want to start by telling you about a vision a man called Isaiah had, we heard something of the words he wrote earlier. By the way the Jewish people made sure their names meant something. Isaiah means, ‘God is salvation.’ He was a prophet, he spoke & wrote around the C8th years BC – what does BC mean? Before Christmas! Every time you write a date it’s saying something about that event that spilt time in two halves forever; the birth of Jesus Christ. But centuries before he was born…. the nation of Israel was living through […]


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. 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 […]


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

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