The Church Will Be Sunk Without This

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 […]


Learn to be a Collaborative Leader with Tom McGehee

STOP TRYING TO DO IT ALL YOURSELF 9:30am-4pm BST Saturday 15th June, Ivy Central, Manchester M20 2GP “No one on a cohesive team can say, Well, I did my job. Our failure isn’t my fault.” ― Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage:  I have been rereading Lencioni’s fantastic book recently. He describes so well how what we think of as teams are often really just groups – more like a bunch of golfers who each go off and do their own thing, and then compare results at the end. If like me; You want to know how to move from that toward environments that bring out the best in everyone. You’re wondering how to build and empowering a winning team. You want to create lasting change through a self perpetuating leadership culture You need to join us here in Manchester on the 15th June for our Launch One Day with Tom McGehee and bring those you work with. It has been my great pleasure to get to know as a friend someone who has been a hero to me for some years, Tom McGehee. I […]


Dave Smith – 6 Convictions From The Great Commission

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 […]


LAUNCH 2018 IS FULL – AND I’M TEARING UP MY ‘DREAM NAPKIN’

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 […]


FREE WEBINAR with Alan Hirsch & Rich Robinson. 5Q – Keeping The Connections

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 […]


Hero Maker Book Summary 1 – The Power Of Hero Makers

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 […]


How Do We Raise Up Evangelists In Church? The Answer Is Not What You Think.

What is God’s will for the church? Maturity. That the people in it grow together as the body of Christ reaching out to the world around us. God wants all of our churches to grow up. But the church has developed a strange view of maturity. We’ve equated it with knowing more Bible verses than someone else, or going to more meetings. That’s not how God measures maturity. Ephesians 4:15 says, ‘We must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.’  We’re meant to grow up, in every way, into Christ, the head. Head of what? His body. What’s his body? The church. You can’t grow into the maturity God wants for you outside of the church of which he is the head. So how does that happen? The answer is in the same chapter; the way that ‘all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ…’ is when we release all the gifts of […]


10,000 New Churches! Want To Be Part Of NewThing – In Europe?

  A friend who is planting churches in the north of England asked me to put together a short document to help introduce what we do to his leaders. Having written it, I thought I would share it here in case you are interested – or to pass on? NewThing began in Chicago under the leadership of a church planter called Dave Ferguson. Having started many Community Churches in the Chicagoland area, they began to plant across the USA. Other types of churches with a heart to reach people far from God connected informally, then formed more formal networks to encourage best practice for reproducing disciples, and coaching to multiply churches and networks. We like to keep things simple – so NewThing champions 4 Rs: RELATIONSHIPS (which grow and are fostered through regular meeting) RESOURCES (sharing ideas, stories, best practices and being financially generous to help other ‘NewThings’ happen REPRODUCING goals that we hold one another accountable on. RESIDENCIES to train new church planters and leaders of the future. These happen locally and now globally. Here in the UK I took up the […]


Crispin Fletcher Louis – The (High) Priesthood Of All Believers

Crispin’s background growing up around church was that things would go great and the Spirit would move – the church would grow, but that was not sustained and that was often because of leadership dynamics, the way churches were led, with abuse of power at times, leading to unhealthy results. There are some concepts to be grasped here that will need a lot of time to think through the implications of. We looked at questions from the outset to open up the day such as; What do we mean by the priesthood of all believers? How do you figure out your calling? Why did priests, and particularly the high priest, dress in particular special garments? Why does bullying happen with the people of God? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? There is an old dualistic/ platonic view of what that means, which comes from Philo who tried synthesise various views with the OT creation picture. That only our spirit/soul/rationality are created in the image of God. That’s not a faithful picture of what Genesis […]


LEADERS ARE READERS – MY TOP TEN LEADERSHIP BOOKS

My friend Steve Barnett who runs St Andrew’s Bookshop has asked me to put together my top ten recommended books on Leadership. This is very hard! There are more books on leadership than anything other than romantic fiction. Thankfully as I never read the latter I have lots of time to spend on the former, so here goes (these are just Christian ones, when I teach on Transformational Leadership at Westminster Theological Centre I have many more eclectic, business focused and academic suggestions for students too). I’d love to know which ones you would add to the list? Leadership Axioms Bill Hybels Willow Creek’s founder distils decades of leadership at the sharp end on issues such as envisioning others, people skills, financing the dream and releasing the power of everyone. My favourite axiom? ‘Don’t say anybody else’s no for them.’ 76 short chapters to dip in and out of over and over again. Down to earth and actionable – itself a model for leaders and communicators. The 360 Degree Leader John Maxwell I was going to say I’ve read everything Maxwell […]