A pilot in thick cloud has to now fly on instruments. What’s on the panel ahead of you that will mean you reach the intended destination rather than make a dent in a mountainside?
We don’t tend to focus on ‘friendship’ as an outcome of Jesus’ life and death, resurrection and friendship because, well, it’s not so much of a big deal is it? Not lined up alongside all those theological words like redemption and atonement. But what if really is the deal. That God wants to be with us, even though we have acted as his enemies, he wants us to be friends forever. What if those things in which we rightly glory are just the way into a room, the corridors, the hallway. But friendship, is the destination. Do we just hang out in the hall, or step into the room and sit at the table?
“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 […]
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 […]