The Church in the west has tried, tried and tried again – and by and large been found wanting – because people don’t want it. We’ve offered a God who people don’t desire, a community where they don’t belong, an institution they distrust.
It’s time for a REFRAME.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
I’m delighted to be hosting the first LAUNCH Free webinar on Friday August 3rd! My guests are two great guys with a track record of Hero Maker Leadership and a wealth of experience and insight to share with us, in advance of joining us in person for the main LAUNCH event in November (book now while it’s sunny – before the price surge!) ALAN HIRSCH is a thought leader and key strategist for churches across the western world. We’ll be drilling down into his latest great book 5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ We’ll do that together with someone who’s quickly becoming one of my best buddies (because he gets me and that’s not easy!) RICH ROBINSON, Director of 5Q Collective, the training part of the 100M family. He also leads Catalyse Change, coaching church leaders and other organisations around discipleship, leadership, mission and multiplication. I’m going to start the ball rolling by asking them some questions about a tweet they just posted which reads; Keeping the Connections: Apostle – connected to the mission of God […]
As we prepare for our exciting church multiplication catalyst event LAUNCH 2018 I’m so excited by our theme HERO MAKERS! I am going to blog some thoughts as I reread and summarise some thoughts from this great book by Dave Ferguson and Warren Bird. I believe it should be a game changer. If implemented this would be a huge part of recalibrating the church for the reproduction and missional impact we long for. They open with the story of Barry, a ‘big dog’ successful business leader who felt like something was missing until he started to focus less on his leadership and more on the leadership of others. The words he used next form the basis for the rest of the book; EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A HERO YET ONLY A FEW UNDERSTAND THE POWER IN BEING A HERO MAKER. Ferguson then credits Todd Wilson, executive Director of Exponential as an example to him of this kind of leader. ‘He creates the platform – and lets me stand on it.’ Those of us who know both men recognise Dave’s typically understated and […]
A while ago I called my friend J John and he said, ‘Hey I was just talking about you! I’m here with Michael Harvey – do you know him? You should connect!’ We did, and it was very enlightening, so much so I had him address our team this morning. He co-founded Back To Church Sunday and I urge you to check out his site. He’ll join us as a guest at Launch 2018 and I’d love to hear more from him in 2019 too as I believe his message is vital for the church to grab hold of and implement. Here are my notes from his presentation. How does invitation play a role in how people find their way back to God? How would you rate yourself as a church in welcoming? How would you rate yourself as a church in inviting? A lot of the time we have been intentional about the first, but not the second. We can make invitation around certain points of the year Christmas… Easter… And what about the Sunday after? It can sound […]