On the school run…

Had some interesting discussions with my kids on the school run this week…

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1. On Tuesday I asked my children what they say to people who ask them “Where do you go to Church?”

We all know the theory that church is not the building it’s the people but it was interesting to hear the thoughts of our kids. For them it’s fairly clear that we are on a mission with Jesus and with others in our Jesus family. Some of our Jesus family live locally, some further afield. It reminded me that the challenge of multiplying disciples, churches and leaders (which is one area of the Kingdom work that needs to be spread!) is not just about where we meet or what we do. It is  fundamentally something more that involves dying, shifting and rebuilding. Do you dare to be a disciple?

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2. On Friday we talked about why we weren’t seeing lots of churches and Jesus groups starting in our area?

Our kids were talking about their reading targets at school. I talked with them about our “mission target” of starting Jesus groups that spread and multiply. After we listened to Jesus for a bit we came to the conclusion that rather than to dwell on what is not happening – let’s encourage each other to keep building towards the things that God has shown us! It’s rather easy for the things that God shows us to become an unreachable target. When really that’s why He’s shown it to us – because it needs building. So like Noah let’s continue to build according to the plans God has given us…

Feeling Troubled…

We’re about to go away and spend 3 weeks in Australia with Catherine’s family.  It will be a great adventure for us as a family and a time to rest and recharge our batteries…I feel very troubled though…

I just spent a couple of days in Essex with people exploring simple/organic/missional communities (You can read more about that here) and we were reminded that Jesus isn’t interested in clever models, ideas and theories. He’s interested in immediate obedience to Him and raging compassion for people who are lost and oppressed by the Kingdom of darkness…

We watched a video together that records a vision that William Booth (Founder of the Salvation Army) had. You can watch that here

Jesus  fill us with your compassion for people and help us to follow your example of total obedience and surrender to the Father…

 

Stop chasing fads…

“A fad is any form of behaviour that develops among a large population and is collectively followed with enthusiasm for some period, generally as a result of the behavior’s being perceived as novel in some way. A fad is said to “catch on” when the number of people adopting it begins to increase rapidly. The behavior will normally fade quickly once the perception of novelty is gone”

(Wikipedia)

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Is anyone else sick of the latest fads?

You can package anything up and make it look like the latest novel idea. But it doesn’t last long. 

Jesus encountered ‘box ticking fad junkies’….

“Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The Kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed, nor will they say, “Look here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the Kingdom of God is among you.”  (Luke 17:20-22)

People who call themselves followers of Jesus are running around chasing the latest fads. “Look here’s the magic programme for unlimited church growth….””There’s the conference that will answer all our questions…..”

We’re followers of Jesus for a reason. Hear and Obey Him.

So in our pursuit of the latest fads and answers let’s remember that the answer lies not “out there” but within…All around the world followers of Jesus are re-discovering that the Kingdom of God is among us. You don’t need to sex it up through slick performances and mass meetings. It quietly grows amongst obedient followers. The answer can’t be found in the professional guy up on the stage. It is found through the normal obedient followers of Jesus like us (if we’re prepared to endure!) The question is always “What is God asking you to do and when are you going to do it” We enjoy endless discussions about church because they take our attention off the fact that the Kingdom of God only advances when we obey! The great “Missional Conversation” is a great diversion from the simple act of hearing and obeying Jesus together. Over qualified leaders discussing over rated ideas. No thanks…

We’re meeting more and more people who are sick of the sexing up of the Gospel. It’s led to a diluted understanding of discipleship and a weak church. Maybe that’s why people think the Church of Jesus Christ is a joke…

Are you following fads or Jesus? Once the perception of novelty wears off – the people who are in it for themselves will still be sat in rows being spoon fed by the professional…

We are often asked about why we are doing what we doing. What people really mean is “Why don’t you go to Church on a Sunday morning anymore” Well we’re really not in love with some idea or model of Church. We’re just a normal family trying to obey Jesus and make Him known to the 98% of people around us who also didn’t go to Church this morning. We realised that rather than pointing the finger at others we needed to step out and do something ourselves…

How about you?

Climate Change

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Who wants to see a climate revolution? 

No I’m not talking about the weather! I’m talking about a transformation in the Spiritual climate in your region. Over the last few weeks I have been reflecting on the spiritual climate in the region of the UK where we live. 

It’s rare to find a hunger for prayer, a desire for obedience and a willingness to share the Gospel. We all know this but  who’s going to model and live out anything different? All our latest Consumer Christian Communities (some might call them Churches!) teach us that someone else will do it. The Evangelist will share the Gospel. The Church Planter will do something in the next town. The leader will make disciples etc etc etc I’ll just turn up on time each week and get fed from the front…

It’s interesting to read about the Apostle Paul. In amongst his beatings, sufferings, trials and missionary exploits he reminds people about what they should be doing…

“For this reason I sent you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ Jesus, as I teach them everywhere in every Church” (1 Corinthians 4:17) 

Note – Paul doesn’t refer people back to the latest Church manual, membership folder or 6 part teaching set from Mr Famous Christian. He reminds them about his way of life and his habits/practices.

Amazing things were achieved through the ministry of Paul and his band of brothers and sisters. But let’s not forget that it started in the transformation of his own life. 

Let’s take a look at ourselves – maybe the world and people around us are really a reflection of where our own lives are at?

Make a change today…