You can’t put Jesus on lockdown.
He healed the sick, still does. He raised the dead! Remember his friend Lazarus? How he called him out of the graveyard by name, because if he hadn’t been specific everybody would have come back to life at his command there and then!
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 […]
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 […]
WIN THE DAY! Romans 5:17 NIV ‘For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!’ We don’t have to leave it all to chance and just hope the day goes okay. When I connect to God’s grace first thing in the morning I can #wintheday and #winatlife. Your morning ritual sets you up for success or failure and I’ve learned how to get much more done with much less stress when I start my day this way. Even ten minutes can make a huge difference. I always try to exercise physically in the morning and have a good breakfast too. You can always go longer if you have time, but we all have to start somewhere. If you tell me you can’t make ten minutes in your life, I’d have to wonder whether you really have one. THE 4 STEPS FOR YOUR 10-MINUTE MORNING #WINTHEDAY Pray: Get comfy, shoulders […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]