What If We Got John 3:16 Wrong?

I was reading a post written by my friend Ian Paul on his fantastic blog today as I prepare for my talk on Sunday night where I’ve been going through the Lord’s Prayer. At theological college Ian was always the smartest guy in the room, and I highly commend you subscribe to the blog as I do. There’s always so much to think about even in the throwaway lines, as he boldly goes where Anglicans usually fear to tread. In this example, Ian mentions as a Greek scholar something which has quite profound implications that I want to ponder. Ready? “John 3.16 does not mean what most people think: ‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son…’ but rather ‘God loved the world in this way that he gave his only Son…’ That was the meaning of ‘so’ in 1611 but is no longer today—but the traditional rendition is so powerful that even Bible translators have lacked the courage to make this clear.” I love it! It’s the manner of love that’s being described and not the […]


Leader – Don’t Accept The Default!

What internet browser do you use? Why would it matter? I was reading a fascinating book, Originals by Prof Adam Grant, a fifteen year study on creativity, looking at who makes breakthroughs in every area of life, science, the arts and business, nobel prize winners and so on. He cites a study of an office, a sales environment – where they picked out fairly easily the individuals who were pushing things forward. People who had longevity in post, stuck at their tasks longest and who ‘took the initiative to see the vision fulfilled.’ They looked for similarities. They couldn’t find any. There were all sorts of backgrounds, shapes and sizes. Then on a whim someone looked what internet browsers everyone used – and was stunned! Because the ones who used Chrome or Firefox stayed at their jobs 15% longer than those who used Internet Explorer or Safari. They missed work 19% less. They also performed way higher – making shorter calls, but lots more sales. They rated themselves happier, their customers rated them better. So what made the difference? They […]


Don’t Worry – Be Ready!

My notes from last night’s talk at Ivy Central from my friend John Bunjo (Uganda)     Understanding The Times One of the most important things I notice in Europe is TIME. The seasons change, the shops change, the clothes change – because of the season. Why? Because it’s a new season. He saw that people were putting salt on the road. Why! Because there may be snow. They don’t wait for snow to come. They store up salt. They prepare for the season. We live now in the time when the second coming, is coming. Jesus – Maranatha! He came from heaven, saying ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ He’s coming back! We work on our bodies. At the gym. Even in our 90s! Why? Fighting to live longer! But however much you exercise, time comes when the body is ageing. No matter what. Some of their parts have already gone to be with the Lord (like hair). What made the first church strong? It was vibrant. It was healthy. No denominations. They held nothing back. They feared God […]


The Most Hated Machine At The Gym – Measures To Motivate

I started my talk at the LAUNCH conference by talking about this machine. Two years ago, overweight and with blood pressure on the rise, I stepped on it and held the handles. There are lots of machines in the gym but I hated this one, because the readings were not pretty. I was 50 but the machine said I had the body of a 51 year old. What do you do? Resign yourself to the inevitable? Go to the cafe at the gym and buy a donut? Resolve to never go on that machine again? Or – CHANGE. I stopped some things, and I started some things. That’s a strategy. Dietary changes. I got coached toward a new exercise plan – and worked it. I stopped drinking alcohol (that’s a lot of sugar!). I drink a lot of water. This changed my results. I went on the machine today. 2 years on, my ‘metabolic age’ is 36. If I carry on, in a few years time I’ll be 21!  Maybe not. But with all the hard work of the conference […]


How Churches Become Generous – Dave Smith, Kingsgate Church #NextLevel

Preach Disciple Celebrate Model – GENEROSITY  How are we doing in these areas? PREACHING is absolutely foundational. We must preach about what God says about generosity and money. A lack of boldness holds us back, so God’s people are held back! We must not filter this through our Britishness. We must be biblical about it. Some of our churches just never talk about money. There’s a mindset to that. When I became a Christian I went to everyone I could to share the grace of God in my spirit and about salvation. But I heard a preacher talking about the blessing of God and he had justification, and salvation, and healing. Then he tried to talk about the blessing of God in provision. God has to free us from all wrong cultural mindsets. 500 years ago there was a reformation! Based on sola scriptura. The ultimate authority is God’s word. Not our reason or experience. And their primary foundation they focused on was about justification. But the Bible has a lot to say about money too. We must get convinced, and bold on […]


Happy Reformation Day! Ready For The Next One?

In a newsagents today I was amazed how many magazines are still writing about the effects of the Reformation, 500 years on. This one in the New Scientist is fascinating. It’s widely held that Martin Luther never aspired to be a great theologian or meant to start a revolution, he just wanted a conversation about salvation that led to the Reformation (did you notice that rhymed? I should have been a rapper!). Reading Nick Page’s recent funny and informative book on the Reformation reminds me Luther was not particularly original either, he combined the ideas of others with the questions he had from reading the Bible for himself and posed some questions about the church in his day that was so far removed from the people it was meant to reach. The new technology of the printing press took his ideas viral and set ablaze a conflagration leading to movements formed that continue to multiply to today. I thank God for that. I thank God for the Reformation today. I thank God for those who gave their lives so that […]


Efrem Smith – KINGDOM DREAMS IN A BROKEN WORLD at #Exponential

Revelation 7: After this, I saw a large crowd with more people than could be counted. They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands, 10 as they shouted, “Our God, who sits     upon the throne, has the power to save his people,     and so does the Lamb.” 11 The angels who stood around the throne knelt in front of it with their faces to the ground. The elders and the four living creatures knelt there with them. Then they all worshiped God 12 and said, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom,     thanks, honor, power, and strength belong to our God     forever and ever! Amen!” 13 One of the elders asked me, “Do you know who these people are that are dressed in white robes? Do you know where they come from?” 14 “Sir,” I answered, “you must know.” Then he told me: “These are the ones who have gone through     the great suffering. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb     and have made […]


Don’t Be The Hero – Be The Hero Maker. Dave Ferguson at #Exponential

This is a game changing talk from Dave Ferguson, so excited to have him come and bring this kind of stuff to LAUNCH in a few weeks. I have a front row seat here at Exponential now, why not join us in Manchester so you can get in at the beginning of what I believe really is the kind of shift the church in Europe desperately needs – a different way to count and a different set of practices, so the Jesus mission is best accomplished!  Becoming a Kingdom Builder is practice 5 to becoming a hero maker- one who multiplies leaders who multiply leaders.  It is a shift in what you count. This video shows one star forward who lost the game, when he shot in the wrong basket. What do we measure as churches? Is keeping attendance and offering enough?And how do we measure community transformation anyway? Discipleship? Dave is coauthoring a book on this with Warren Bird of Leadership Network. He found from interviews that leaders are looking for a new scoreboard. Dave visited a church that had ‘Register […]


Subtraction, Addition or Multiplication – What Level Is Your Church At?

We showed this short video at last year’s ‘Exponential Conversation’ event, because it explains quite succinctly the five levels or cultures of church multiplication and their distinguishing characteristics. As you watch it, ask yourself which level you’re at right now, subtraction, addition or multiplication – and where do you want to be? It might be a helpful summary that in Levels 1 and 2 the message is ‘Please stay.’ In Levels 3 and 4 the message is ‘Please come, be part of our mission.’ A Level 5 church is a launchpad saying, ‘Please GO! Fulfil your mission!’ If you want to go to the next level – you’re not too late to book for the church multiplication catalyst event LAUNCH in Manchester, 13-15th November.  I’d love everyone who’s coming to LAUNCH to have already done the free assessment here so you know what level you’re at, because you can’t go where you’re meant to go next, till you know where you are now.


‘Become a PASSIONARY!’ Get Ready For Jossy Chacko. (1 minute video)

“There are opportunities all around you to enlarge your vision! But only people who have a vision of growing and multiplying will see it. If your vision is just to keep what you have you will not see those opportunities around you.” So says Jossy Chacko, one of the keynote speakers I’m delighted will join us at LAUNCH (in partnership with Exponential), here in Manchester, November 13-15th – just seven weeks from now! The link below is a snippet from what many called a standout talk of last year’s Willow Creek leadership summit. Watch the short clip to find out what a ‘Passionary’ is, and join us with your team at to LAUNCH – to become one!