This Christmas will still afford the best opportunities for people to visit our churches. What do we do when they come? How can we connect them to Christ? How do you preach so they’ll want to come back next year?
We must not just tell people to give, we must help them to live generously.
Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. I’ve just been looking today at this year’s LAUNCH church multiplication catalyst event as we GO VIRAL – planning and preparing for what I’m asking the Lord to make the best one yet. First the bad news Where I live, the word crisis has featured on the front page of just about every newspaper somewhere for the last few weeks. Few would argue with the contention that the world right now is suffering from a crisis of leadership and we see the evidence all around us. Fear rises. Everyone is effected. I don’t know whether or not the oft quoted suggestion is true that a Chinese word for crisis is also the word for opportunity, but I certainly believe it in practice. And I do know that the kingdom of God is never in crisis! That’s why now is no time for the church to retreat – thinking ‘one day we’ll fly away’. This is our opportunity to stand out by getting stuck in – with a renewed conviction that the gospel […]
I wouldn’t usually review a book half way through but I was given an advance copy and it sat on my ‘to read’ pile until a couple of days ago – then it grabbed hold of me. I’m definitely going to get lots of copies available for LAUNCH this year as this book is so needed. Amidst all the books on church techniques, strategies and goals (which I love) comes one which asks so many challenging questions and provides great insight into what the heck it is we are actually even doing. And why ‘it’ isn’t doing what it’s supposed to. Reframation – what’s that? Well Alan likes to make up new words when old ones don’t fit, or add a couple together to make a new one – which I think is cokay. The basic idea of the book that is everyone sees through a frame, and we need to reframe our understandings of God, people and the church – which needs to keep on reforming rather than say ‘Oh yeah we did that 500 years ago.’ (See what they […]
“LAUNCH out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4 Peter was a Type A who had been doing everything he knew to do. Working hard, tiring himself out, much effort, little effectiveness, he was pretty much always mending his nets, but that didn’t mean he was successful. The nets were empty and he was frustrated and exhausted. Then the landlubber he calls Lord stands in Peter’s boat as if he owns it and says ‘Launch out into deep water’ That word LAUNCH changed everything for Peter, and reading this passage a few years ago it did so for me too. It has become the name of the multiplication event I helped found, which has now been challenging and equipping hundreds of leaders from around the world to dream bigger and adventure further, to go where God is sending them to reach those he wants them to reach. “Launch” is from epanago, which means “bring up”, “stir up”. “excite”, “lead back”, “elevate”, “exalt”, “bring back”, “withdraw”, “retreat”, and “put out to sea”. That’s what we will do […]
Some years ago a friend of mine invited us as a family to come and spend some time on holiday at his villa in Spain. I was delighted to accept, but this turned out to be a far cry from a little apartment on the beach. When we got there we found we were inland, farming country, and the place we stayed was full of olive trees. It also happened to be harvest time. We ended up getting involved, using hand held machines to shake the branches to catch the olives in nets, which were then sorted by various local people hired in to help sort them before I went with him to have truckloads weighed and bought. I worked up a sweat, but it was a great adventure and memory. Others had done the hard work, we were there to reap! This was a window of opportunity to gather in the crop. Eddie told me, ‘The size of the harvest is all about how many workers you have out in the fields.’ I thought, ‘That’ll preach!’ The Message version […]
I am so grateful for the insights of my friend Alan Hirsch – particularly for the gift that he has given back to the church to reignite its missionalDNA and particularly reclaim the need for apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, teachers (APEST) to operate, for the church to be optimal. As he says, the systems we are presently running are perfectly designed to give us the results we are seeing. So I’m fully convinced and committed that it is almost the silver bullet the church needs. When we activate the 5Q ministries of Ephesians 4 through the church, everyone will see Jesus coming and the world will be changed like it has not since the beginning of our movement before it became an institution. Yet as I read through the NT I’m reminded that there are other lists of gifts and ministries in various places, and as a church planter, network leader and coach I’m increasingly convinced that they are also vital for this to happen. Paul wrote to the highly gifted church at Corinth, which despite its charismatic glories […]