Heading south

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Michelle and I are off to Thailand to meet up with our MOVE workers who are serving in India, Thailand, the South Pacific, Australia and Britain. Special guests the Parlatos and Phil and Monika Clark.

Then I get to visit the Land Downunder and meet my grandson Jackson for the first time, see our four children and watch Collingwood play Melbourne at the MCG.

What Manchester taught me

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I’m one of those many people who don’t bound out of bed eager to share their faith. So I went to Manchester in faith that God was already at work and I would encounter him in the harvest. I was not disappointed. Having a team, and heading out each day with a partner made all the difference. Everyone came back with stories of what God was doing.

The plan was simple, meet people in the community on the streets or in homes and offer to pray for them. Some people aren’t interested. Many are. We pray for a need and then ask, “Right now, do you feel near or far from God?” Then we listen. Then we ask, “Would you like to be near/nearer to God?” We listen. Then we ask, “Could I show you how you can be near to God?” We share the 3Circles and ask, “Where are you?” “Where would you like to be?”

There are three responses:

  • Red light: not interested. Smile and move on.
  • Yellow light: not ready but want to know more. Let’s meet for discovery Bible study (7Stories of Hope)
  • Green light: ready to turn and believe. Let’s meet for discipleship (7Commands)

After five days in Moss Side, Manchester we know on any day there are people waiting to learn more and waiting to turn and believe. They are out there. 

Yes, people don’t always turn up to meet again. Jesus had the same problem. Not everyone is fertile soil. But some are.

I enjoyed the time before and after Friday prayers talking to Muslims. Many appreciated the offer of prayer. Some wanted to talk more about Isa (Jesus). One guy wasn’t impressed but it’s hard to get mad at someone who wants to pray for you. We smiled and moved on. I did discover a few gaps in my understanding of Islam. But we weren’t trying to win arguments. We were looking for people in whom God was working. Some of our team members found Muslims who fitted that description.

After five days in Manchester I’m a different person. More relaxed meeting people I don’t know and looking for that person of peace. More confident that it’s the gospel, not me, that does the work. More aware of the enormity of the task as Britain fragments into a range of different faiths or no faiths. Convinced that when Jesus said, “Follow me and I’ll teach you how to fish for people” he really meant it.

Following and Fishing London: June 17-18, 2016

Following Fishing NE London

Michelle and I will in London for the next Following and Fishing Training, June 17-18, 2016.

The training gets you started connecting with people, sharing the gospel and making disciples.

2 Corinthians by David Garland

 David Garland’s excellent commentary on 2 Corinthians is just $2.99 US or £1.97 (Kindle).

“2 Corinthians: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary)” (David E. Garland)

Movement books on sale at Koorong

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For Aussie readers, What Jesus Started and Pioneering Movements are on sale at Koorong Books—20% off.

Getting to No Place Left: Mission Frontiers

NoPlaceLeft Mission Frontiers

The May/June 2016 edition of Mission Frontiers.

Manchester final figures

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We crowded into the hotel conference room for our final session at the end of a long week searching for people and houses of peace.

The stories from the day came in. Nick Duffy added up the totals.

Over five days:

  • 423 people received prayer
  • 241 heard the gospel (3Circles)
  • 62 yellow lights — they want to meet up again and hear more (7Stories of Hope)
  • 18 green lights — they turned and believed and are ready to meet for discipleship (7Commands)

All of this happened in Moss Side, notorious for its high rate of drug and gang related murders.

Thanks to our hosts, Anthony Delaney and Ivy Church, and to Don Waybright and the team from Sugar Creek which included their lead pastor Mark Hartman.

UPDATE I’ve just read Don’s report. I like his better than mine. It captures the incredible diversity of people we encountered.

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The notorious Moss Side neighborhood of Manchester UK is recognized as the most diverse neighborhood in the world. We encountered Muslims from around the world, Rastafarians, Gnostics, drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, gang bangers and more.

Look what God did in five days with less than 20 people surrendered in the Spirit and abiding in Christ…prayed for 423; shared the gospel with 241; 18 salvations with beginning discipleship; 62 desire to continue the discovery of life in Jesus with follow up appointments, one church started. Jesus is filled with Joy! #noplaceleft #noplaceleftmanchester

Don (& Theresa) Waybright

Out and about in Manchester

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Another day and night out on the streets and in the neighbourhoods of Manchester UK.

I’ve shared with Somalis, Saudis, an El Salvadorian, Sudanese and the odd Englishman. Two days ago a Romanian family of ten turned and believed. The dad knelt down and prayed. 

Their teenage daughter translated. The team have been back to begin the first discipleship lesson.

The fault dear Brutus…

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“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

Out on mission this week in Manchester UK. Seven teams of two — British, Americans and Australians in partnership with Ivy Church.

Day One: 56 people received prayer, 48 people heard the gospel (3Circles), 11 yellow lights (I want to learn more), 4 green lights (turned and believed).

Which brings me to the Shakespeare quote—why do we blame the stars? Wherever I go in England people tell me it’s hard here. The British don’t want to hear the gospel. They aren’t interested in faith. Sharing the gospel won’t work. Let’s go softly softly and slow.

Yet everywhere we go we find people whom God has prepared.

It’s hard work, but they are out there. The problem is not in our stars but in ourselves. We’re not convinced that God himself is at work whenever we step out and share the gospel.

Troy Cooper unpacks 3Touch Training

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