At 10:02am – Join In With Jesus’ Prayer

Some years ago a friend of mine invited us as a family to come and spend some time on holiday at his villa in Spain. I was delighted to accept, but this turned out to be a far cry from a little apartment on the beach. When we got there we found we were inland, farming country, and the place we stayed was full of olive trees.  It also happened to be harvest time. We ended up getting involved, using hand held machines to shake the branches to catch the olives in nets, which were then sorted by various local people hired in to help sort them before I went with him to have truckloads weighed and bought. I worked up a sweat, but it was a great adventure and memory.  Others had done the hard work, we were there to reap! This was a window of opportunity to gather in the crop. Eddie told me, ‘The size of the harvest is all about how many workers you have out in the fields.’  I thought, ‘That’ll preach!’  The Message version […]


A Global Gathering Of Leaders Agreed – Only ONE Thing Will Change Our Cities. What was it?

I was privileged this week to be in Manhattan as the guest of Alan & Deb Hirsch – facilitated by Rich Robinson to form a small collective of global movement leaders through a ‘communitas’ exercise (Alan likes to make up words). We were hosted in Tim Keller’s church offices at Redeemer City to City. Our purpose? To look at how the church can step outside the models, mindsets and habits that have brought us to where we are – because they will no longer move us forward. We have to change our paradigms – and then our practices.  One day was spent looking at NYC as an example city. What would we do to see the gospel saturate this city of more than 8m? I’m going to blog again with some more of my thoughts as a result, but as we rolled paper across the tables and discussed with marker pens in hand, I was fascinated to hear from kingdom change makers as diverse as Danielle Strickland and her husband Steve, leaders like Christine Caine, Dave and Jon Ferguson, Hugh […]


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 […]


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 […]


Could The Question This African Pastor Asked Me Hold The Answer For Dying Churches In Europe?

I’m writing from Kenya, having already been here a week as part of the Viral church planting conference hosted by NewThing apostolic leader Bishop Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel. Sometimes because ‘a fish doesn’t know it’s wet’ you have to step out of your own context for God to help you see it better and that just happened here for me. After some of the most challenging yet encouraging talks I ever heard, the three days concluded movingly with a stage filled with the church planters Nairobi Chapel are now sending out this year– all held a blazing torch as they were introduced and we heard their story, they were then anointed with oil, prayed over passionately and commissioned. It was an unforgettable moment. The rigorous leadership training process outlined to bring these men and women to that stage would be the envy of any church or movement – now they’ll be released to plant churches. Most will be in their own nation where 93% of the nation are poor by world standards. There they will plant all kind of […]


Intentional Prayer and Planting

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 […]


The Hero Maker Secret

I became a Christ follower a short while after a challenge from an attractive woman who gave me a Bible. I was interested in her so I pretended to be interested in that. She had written a verse in the flyleaf, Mark 8:34. I also pretended I knew all about religion too (enough to try to put her off God and onto me hopefully), because I was ‘already a good Christian’- but now I was stumped. Mark.. 8.. Was this a code? I remembered her previous boyfriend’s name was Mark. Hmm. What did it mean? She frowned as she opened the book and helped me find the verse, which she’d underlined already – ‘If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ I told her I didn’t understand what it meant – and she told me the fact that I didn’t understand it meant I was not a Christian. She’s taught me a lot more since we later married, but that was what I needed to hear most – and not just at […]


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 […]