If we’re looking to multiply – how does that work? Today at Ivy Kingsway Ben announced that that church in the Cinema is going to double. It’s been full for too long (not a problem most churches experience), a number of plants have gone out from it, and from Easter Sunday they’re going to try two services, which means the word nobody except babies like – CHANGE. Change is often perceived as pain, until growth happens. This got me thinking about how the Lord doesn’t just change or grow us, but multiplies, but it looks like subtraction. In John 12 read about how some Greeks came, wanting to see Jesus: 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I […]
My notes from a stand out talk from this year’s Exponential West 2016; At conferences, you see the speakers up there, like they have something special going on, and then there’s’ little old me.’ Like they have these great big ocean liners and you’re in your little rowboat. But that’s not what matters. We can all aim to implement great practices; we can try to build that a bigger, better ship. But… we can’t make the wind blow. We can gather, we can motivate, but we can’t transform. We are so much in need of the Holy Spirit to blow that wind, in the hope that we move forward. We must not think though, that He isn’t a magical genie in a lamp that you simply rub and it will happen! What we can do is look at the place where the wind blows. If we position ourselves where the wind has a tendency to blow, it will happen. Amid the books, the conferences or podcasts we can all think ‘the Church needs Tim Keller, or someone…’ but he put Keller […]
Last night we went down to the seashore with some old friends to set off fireworks for bonfire night. One of the rockets somehow lost its fuse, then the fuse must have got damp because it wouldn’t light. All its brothers went flying off to do their glorious thing, while ‘Mighty Max’ could only watch from a safe distance like the rest of us. It was going to miss its purpose and party. What do you do when the fire goes out? Personally? What does a church that’s losing or lost its fire do? There’s no point complaining about it or willing it to go again. The potential may be there but it’s still going nowhere. Enter BIG BEN. We put no longer very mighty Max right next to Big Ben. When Big Ben went off, 36 glorious shots in all, well, there were 37. And number 5, most wonderful of them all, loudest and brightest, was Mighty Max. He didn’t need a fuse. He needed great company! This is a little parable for me as I think about New […]
(I’ve been asked by the guys in the USA to do a snapshot report of the ‘story so far’ and thought I’d share it here for those of you who are interested. This Sunday at Ivy we have another of our monthly days set aside to pray for NewThing and this will help you) I was just coming to terms with being challenged already from NewThing’s LARN process to step out of my comfort zone as Pastor of a growing network of Ivy churches taking ground here in Manchester and consider the whole of my nation of Great Britain: how to create systems to reproduce networks to attract, train and deploy apostolic leaders? Many of you will know from the Exponential book one of the main ideas is that you draw your vision on a napkin? That was one of the biggest challenges because I’m not very good at drawing (Manchester’s easy, just draw a circle for the M60 and drop a few dots all over for churches: Britain’s a lot harder to draw and always ended up looking like two pieces of […]
I’ll never forget my time spent in India and Sri Lanka with some of the most beautiful, bold and fearless Christians I ever met. Hearing their stories of persecution puts much of what we moan about in context and changed my mindset forever. I’m reminded of that and challenged to the core reading the post (below the photo) from Exponential. As you read it, ask – what stage are you at? I like to think Ivy is getting to stage 4 right now, but so grateful we do not at this point have to pay the same price at Stage 2 as our brothers and sisters in many parts of the world. What do you think could be the reason so many in the West stay settled in Stage 1? As director of training and leadership development for India Gospel League (IGL), Benjamin Chellapandian (“Pastor Benny”) oversees 7,000 church-planting pastors in rural India and Sri Lanka who over the past 25 years have planted roughly 70,000 churches. Recently, Chellapandian spoke to a U.S. church about God’s plan and purpose […]
Incredible talk by my friend and partner Oscar Muriu of NewThingAfrica and NewThingGlobal just now at Exponential. As I watch now many are responding, and I’m here praying ‘Me too, Lord! Make me brave!’ If you are resonating and responding to this and interested in planting reproducing churches and starting movements in Europe with NewThingEurope get in touch with me here. There is sustaining faith, enough to get by today… and then there is mustard seed faith What is it? If your faith is small, you can say to a mountain – move, and it will be done for you. It’s the faith that moves mountains. It does not depend on my networks but on God alone. It begins where my abilities and resources end This is the faith that puts me in the place where nothing will happen until God moves. Mustard seed prays prayers so big there is no hope they would ever come to be without God. The sad thing is, 95% of Christians pray with that prayer. We ask for too little We are too easily […]
…a new generation of leaders of the new generation new reproducing churches that the world needs in the future.
We don’t just want to say, ‘Give your life to Jesus,’ we want to say LIVE your life FOR Jesus!
A church he visited with in USA, a guy came up after and said ‘Ever since we talked about being missional we’ve stopped doing evangelism.’ Uh oh Being missional is not just acts of kindness We have to announce that Jesus is Lord of all, we’re not being missional. David Bosch, ‘Of course words are necessary, unexplained deeds in themselves do not constitute the mission of God’s people.’ Yes the church that was once so attaraction only focused; Come to us has turned around to ‘Go.’ Colossians 4:2-6 Paul advocates 2 pronged approach; 1) Some people are gifted as evangelists, and he’s one of them, with a translocal call. There are also local evangelists in a particular place. (PRAY for opportunity for them, and that they’re BOLD to seize them and CLARITY in how they present Christ). But he doesn’t say ‘And I will pray the same for you… He says 2) YOU make the most of every opportunity with outsiders, love people, and answer them. This says not everyone is an evangelist. […]
Hugh got to know a tattooist called Sammy. He’d been in prison 15years. Tough guy. But one day he got quiet and said, ‘I have a gift for you.’ Why You’re one of my favourite people – I love your family You guys are making it hard not to believe. Then he gives him the gift; A bag of marijuana. (Nice!) We all crave those moments where we move people naturally toward Jesus. It doesn’t just happen. There’s a way of relating to people; INCARNATIONAL EVANGELISM As we incarnate in the world, we get a reputation in the worlds like Jesus And then the conversations end up happening It goes… INCARNATION – (deeply dive into humanity) don’t gasp when they swear etc., Why are we so afraid? God with us. So just be there. Learn about their life, when they want you to. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save it. Be good news. Be a peacemaker. Don’t isolate – incarnate. Get in there. If you do that you’ll get […]
#exponential Rethinking WITNESS. Acts 3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they […]