In one of Tim Ferris’ very weighty tomes he mentioned something an MMA instructor told him about how he trained champions that has stayed with me ever since.

People may want a coach or mentor, but this three way approach reminded me of my own somewhat painful martial arts training in the police and even before that a Police Cadet where we were taught Aikido and Judo. Looking back now, I see that the methods of training on those rough mats with rougher mates followed the same pattern as the MMA coach prescribed. 


LEARN from someone a step ahead. 

One particularly brutal Inspector who later ran the riot squad delighted in causing pain. But it was a good kind of pain because it showed you what you didn’t know yet. Okay that wasn’t true, nothing felt good about it. But if you are going to get better at anything, only someone who’s doing it better can show you. In Judo it was always deeply humbling for me to go against a black belt. You just thought, “I’m getting this” when you found yourself flying through the air, ready to land and…


HORIZONTALLY with some peers.  

You also need to learn sideways alongside some people at a comparable place, who know most of what you know but not everything, and vice versa. They can teach you something, you can show them something. This learning is usually much less painful in martial arts! 

Then you’d go over to a white belt and…


BY TEACHING someone else: 

Passing on what you learn and teaching it to others is the best way to hard wire it into yourself, moving from head knowledge to lived experience.

Some people think that getting better means ‘I just need to get a coach’ – but having someone who’s that bit further on, some others you’re working with, and passing on practical lessons to others is the best way to learn and grow

We all need to learn and grow in this next season as we realise whatever ‘coming out of the pandemic’ may look like, nobody has all the answers – and if they say they do back away quickly because they are either kidding you or themselves. 

That’s why I am excited that next week I get to connect with various leaders from around the world joining us once again for LAUNCH as we look to B.L.E.S.S. your world where we have the potential to be stretched three ways.

I will work alongside you with a truncated version of the coaching I usually give churches and other organisations over a much longer period to help you and your team assess where you are, what’s working, what you might want to start and stop and restart next. I won’t give you answers- but you will emerge with your own.

We will have ninja masters Dave and Jon Ferguson teach us how to put some simple practices in place that will make sense amid the confusion of what ministry could look like in this next season, after that various other practitioners will guide you back to the mat to break everything down with you, though no bones will be broken in the process.

Then you can go into your own arena with some replicable learning to pass on which will impact your community for the cause of Christ.

I believe this short time together will be invaluable for you as you seek to ‘fight the good fight of the faith’ where God has called you so please BOOK NOW to join us next Thursday 25th March. See you there!