WIN THE DAY! Ten Minute Morning Ritual For Winning At Life

WIN THE DAY! Romans 5:17 NIV ‘For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!’ We don’t have to leave it all to chance and just hope the day goes okay. When I connect to God’s grace first thing in the morning I can #wintheday and #winatlife. Your morning ritual sets you up for success or failure and I’ve learned how to get much more done with much less stress when I start my day this way. Even ten minutes can make a huge difference. I always try to exercise physically in the morning and have a good breakfast too. You can always go longer if you have time, but we all have to start somewhere. If you tell me you can’t make ten minutes in your life, I’d have to wonder whether you really have one. THE 4 STEPS FOR YOUR 10-MINUTE MORNING #WINTHEDAY Pray: Get comfy, shoulders […]


Rod Plummer – Discipleship In Japan

Rod went there from Australia because his wife had a ‘tsunami vision,’ a big wave coming. Tsunami is a Japanese word. Went there for a holiday. Found many had not even heard the name of Jesus. Went with a team of ten fellow Aussies. But their wave – was a wave of love First few months was so hard. They survived, then one came to Christ – and since then they thrived. When converts became leaders it started to multiply. Keys to discipleship. Evangelism to discipleship = motion toward Christ. Meet people on the street – and reach them by starting conversations. If we met 100, 10 might come to church and 1 would get saved. That’s how they worked. They knew they needed a church of JOY. (1 Thess 5:16-18 MSG) The churches there were predominantly solemn and quiet. They wanted to reach the young people. So, funny, happy and clappy! Karaoke started in Japan! This was a culture – funny, celebratory – a life house. Many were growing up lonely. 40 million in Tokyo. Make the church their […]


Dave Smith – 6 Convictions From The Great Commission

We are experiencing a fast drift away from a biblical culture. There’s a lot of shifting going on in terms of morality and even what it means to be a human. What has not changed? The Great Commission! 1)   Discipleship is our primary business. There is ONE imperative in this commission. Disciple making is the number one mandate of what we are here to do. To help make followers of Jesus. We have often thought in terms of numbers and buildings. And it’s good not to think small. But it’s about building big people. Shift focus. So there mission here = ‘Transforming lives from our neighbourhoods to the nations’. Everything else we do must serve this. 2)    Our job is to help people on their discipleship journey. The three participles are GO, BAPTISE and TEACH. Don’t just be strong at one of these (we are good at reaching, or at teaching)! How would someone’s journey look like in your environment. Where are the gaps in your process? How many people who we baptise or do Alpha are still here 6 months on? Are we […]


Dr Gary Chapman – God Speaks Your Love Language!

  What a privilege to host New York Times #1 best selling author Dr Gary Chapman at Ivy Church yesterday for two services and then a special afternoon event focusing on children and marriage at Ivy Sharston. Here are my notes from the morning talk. He told some great true stories to illustrate each point but if you want to hear those too please listen to the podcast which we’ll put up later in the week.  Gary said that ever since writing the book a question he’s been asked time and again is What’s God’s Language? The short answer is, he speaks all 5 of them! When you look through the Bible you see that because God is love, people come to him because he spoke their love language.  We are all unique, so he speaks our language to connect with us in unique ways: Words of affirmation  Genesis 1: God blessed creation, and when he made people, he blessed them too… A favourite piece of scripture for many of us who are Words of Affirmation types would be Is 41:10 ‘Do […]


LAUNCH 2018 IS FULL – AND I’M TEARING UP MY ‘DREAM NAPKIN’

If you’ve read Dave and Jon Fergusons’ book Exponential (if not why not?) one of its main ideas is that you draw your vision on a napkin. (Check out Dave’s artwork from a recent tweet on this) I’m not very good at drawing (and in the UK we call them serviettes which doesn’t have the same ring), but as a Manchester church leader drawing my ‘dream serviette’ used to be easy – circle for the M60,  drop a few dots around for new Ivy churches. I was running that plan until I went to Chicago in 2014 where God challenged me through coaching and friendship with Dave, Jon and other NewThing leaders to draw the UK, and help, partner with and encourage others planting here (we’re going to roll out that same coaching community in the UK in early 2019, first details and application opportunity will be revealed at LAUNCH). In 2015 I met again with other Dave and a few others in Nairobi Chapel, where its incredible leader Oscar Muriu drew the whole world (rather well), parcelled it off […]


Let’s Talk About Sex

Tomorrow evening I start a new series at Ivy Central, Didsbury 7pm I’m calling FIRST LOVE. When I was on holiday this year I had a dream that when I woke up I felt like God was saying we should look at the whole area of sex and sexuality and relationships, friendships, marriage, singleness, gender and so on. I’ve never really gone into these things though it seems everyone else talks about them all the time but my reason has been ‘I want to keep the main thing the main thing and just focus on Jesus and the good news.’ But who is the good news for? And how come the world does not see the church as its purveyor? It would be hard to disagree that one of the main reasons is for how we’ve gone about this. I’d planned a one off teaching on singleness and dating but I felt like we had to go further and deeper into messy areas the church has traditionally made such a mess of discussing,  where there’s an incredible amount of hurt […]


MY PROBLEM WITH THE ‘OVERWHELMING, NEVER ENDING RECKLESS LOVE OF GOD.’

Okay I am finally going to be that bloke who writes a blog moaning about a song loads of people love to sing in church. I know it’s never popular and if you absolutely love the song Reckless Love then just watch it again here on Youtube, enjoy it, pray for me and write me off as a grump. To be fair, I initially liked the song a lot and I’m very grateful to Bethel who put lots of great stuff out for the church. It was only about the fiftieth time of into belting it out at yet another conference that something kind of rose up that didn’t quite fit right. I’ll probably get over it and sing it again. I never thought Amazing Grace would be a hit. But there’s something in the back of my mind now that started to niggle now. It’s kind of all about…me Count how many times ‘I’ and ‘me’ is used. I’ll save you some time, 16. And of course that’s without singing the chorus over and over, so we all really […]


Could The Question This African Pastor Asked Me Hold The Answer For Dying Churches In Europe?

I’m writing from Kenya, having already been here a week as part of the Viral church planting conference hosted by NewThing apostolic leader Bishop Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel. Sometimes because ‘a fish doesn’t know it’s wet’ you have to step out of your own context for God to help you see it better and that just happened here for me. After some of the most challenging yet encouraging talks I ever heard, the three days concluded movingly with a stage filled with the church planters Nairobi Chapel are now sending out this year– all held a blazing torch as they were introduced and we heard their story, they were then anointed with oil, prayed over passionately and commissioned. It was an unforgettable moment. The rigorous leadership training process outlined to bring these men and women to that stage would be the envy of any church or movement – now they’ll be released to plant churches. Most will be in their own nation where 93% of the nation are poor by world standards. There they will plant all kind of […]


Intentional Prayer and Planting

I’ve been here through NewThing in Nairobi Kenya at the Viral conference the atmosphere is prayer soaked and the results are very evident! I have not been able to blog too much as I just want to wrestle with the implications of such an incredibly rich time though I will share some more thoughts in the weeks ahead as I remain doing ministry here, writing and teaching and learning from leaders in other cities here. One line is resonating as I write now from a talk from Bishop Philips Katutu, who said he stopped planting churches in 2016, then came to the Viral conference put on by Nairobi Chapel and subsequently became very intentional about it and has planted 23 since! He took us through the action in Antioch from Acts 13:1-5 13 1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul […]


The Hero Maker Secret

I became a Christ follower a short while after a challenge from an attractive woman who gave me a Bible. I was interested in her so I pretended to be interested in that. She had written a verse in the flyleaf, Mark 8:34. I also pretended I knew all about religion too (enough to try to put her off God and onto me hopefully), because I was ‘already a good Christian’- but now I was stumped. Mark.. 8.. Was this a code? I remembered her previous boyfriend’s name was Mark. Hmm. What did it mean? She frowned as she opened the book and helped me find the verse, which she’d underlined already – ‘If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ I told her I didn’t understand what it meant – and she told me the fact that I didn’t understand it meant I was not a Christian. She’s taught me a lot more since we later married, but that was what I needed to hear most – and not just at […]