Help us reach Leicester, Britain’s most diverse city

Diwali Leicester

Last weekend we trained seventy people in our home city of Leicester. We taught them how to connect with people, share the gospel and train new disciples. On Saturday afternoon everyone went out in pairs praying for people on the streets and asking, “Are you near or far from God?” and “Would you like to be near?”

I met a Nigerian couple with a Muslim background. We had a great conversation and plan to get together and talk again. So many others had similar experiences.

From July 6-11 Christians from around Leicester and Britain will gather for a week of Mission. Each morning there will training. In the afternoons and evenings we will go out into the community searching for “houses of peace.”

When Jesus sent out his disciples he told them to look for God-prepared people who would open their homes to the messengers and their message (Luke 10).

We’ll be going out with a small gift of cookies and an offer to pray for any needs in the homes we visit. We’re looking for people in whom God has been working with the intention of starting neighbourhood Discovery Bible Study groups in homes.

We are planning for 40-50 workers to join us on this mission.

Over the last half-century Leicester has been transformed through immigration of people from the far corners of the former British Empire. Leicester was the first city in England in which ethnic minorities have become more than 50% of the population of 330,000. In 2011 white Britons accounted for 45% of Leicester’s population (down from 61% in 2001), while Asian Indians (including British-born Indians) accounted for 28% of the population – up from about 26% in 2001. Most of the South Asians are Gujarati Indians who were expelled from Uganda and Kenya in the late 60s and early 70s.

Christianity has been declining in Leicester. Islam, and “no religion” are on the increase. Hinduism has remained constant.

Leicester is home to the largest Hindu Diwali festival (Festival of Lights) outside of India (photo above).

What to pray for ….

  • the 40-50 workers from Leicester and around the UK
  • God-prepared people
  • open doors to return and begin Discovery Groups in homes
  • pray that the fruit of this Mission would be new disciples who are learning to follow Jesus and share the good news with their family and friends
  • pray that the training and the outreach would continue in Leicester beyond this event
  • pray that other cities in Britain would open up to training and mission pushes

You can sign up to receive prayer updates.

Pioneering Movements in the West (1): An update from Jeff Sundell [podcast]

Jeff_Sundell_&_Troy_Cooper_BuggerHollow

Jeff Sundell on Pioneering Movements in a Western setting. This is the first of a two-part update he gave via Skype to the NoPlaceLeft conference in Sydney.

Photo: Jeff hails from Bugger Hollow, North Carolina. That’s Jeff on the left, but who is that guy with him?

Play

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

An amazing price ($1.99) for a great book on Kindle (US).

“Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery” (Eric Metaxas)

via Tim Challies

3 Circles Life Conversation Guide

I’m learning this gospel presentation demonstrated here by Jimmy Scroggins. I’ll learn it, practice it, then use it and see what happens.

Visit LifeOnMission to find out more.

UPDATE: Malachi Cooper shares the gospel using the Three Circles.

Malachi and his dad Troy are with us this week in Leicester for the Mission Breakout.

Majority-minority counties in the US have doubled since 1980

FT 15 06 29 minorityCounties 640px

According to Pew Research:

Last week’s Census Bureau release of 2014 population estimates confirms that the U.S. is becoming ever more diverse, at the local level as well as nationally. As of last summer, according to a Fact Tank analysis, 364 counties, independent cities and other county-level equivalents (11.6% of the total) did not have non-Hispanic white majorities – the most in modern history, and more than twice the level in 1980.

FT 15 06 29 minorityCounties 200px1

That year non-Hispanic whites were majorities in all but 171 out of 3,141 counties (5.4%), according to our analysis. The 1990 census was the first to break out non-Hispanic whites as a separate category; that year, they made up the majority in all but 186 counties, or 5.9% of the total. (The Census Bureau considers Hispanic to be an ethnicity rather than a race; accordingly, Hispanics can be of any race.)

While the single biggest Hispanic-majority county is in Florida (Miami-Dade, 66% of whose 2.7 million people are Hispanic), most are concentrated in the Southwest: 60 are in Texas, 12 are in New Mexico and 11 are in California. All but two of the 93 black-majority counties are in states of the old Confederacy (with 25 in Mississippi, 17 in Georgia and 11 in Alabama). In 26 counties, Native Americans or Alaska Natives (who are combined into one group for census purposes) comprise the majority; aside from eight lightly populated boroughs and census areas in Alaska, most of the other counties overlap with reservations in the Southwest and Great Plains.

Non-Hispanic whites are less than a majority in four states – California, Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii – as well as the District of Columbia. In fact, in none of those places does a single racial or ethnic group have a majority: California has almost equal shares of Hispanics (38.6%) and non-Hispanic whites (38.5%); non-Hispanic whites are the plurality in Texas (43.5%); Hispanics in New Mexico (47.7%); blacks in D.C. (47.4%); and Asians in Hawaii (36.4%).

 

How the first American missionary movement finally lost its way

Vanderwerf 1 325

The American missions movement has experienced two distinct waves. A first wave of effort originated in the early nineteenth century during the Second Great Awakening and largely collapsed amid theological controversy after World War I; a second wave began after World War II and continues today.

John Barrett examines the role played by World War I in the demise of the first wave.

 

Chuck Wood Case Study: Q&A [podcast]

Chuck Wood training

The second half of Chuck Wood’s case study. Steve Smith is asking the questions.

Chuck was speaking via Skype to the NoPlaceLeft conference in Sydney during May 2015.

The first half of Chuck’s session.

You can download all the sessions from NoPlaceLeft.

Play

Movement lessons from the Exodus: 2 The clash of kingdoms

Moses and pharaoh ten commandments

The second lesson for movement pioneers from the Exodus…

Expect a battle. The Exodus event was a long drawn out affair. Pharaoh hardens his heart and won’t let the people of Israel go. Things get worse for Israel. They blame Moses. Moses blames God with some justification.

God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. God wants to display his power. The salvation of his people is also the judgment of Egypt’s gods. Egypt’s life comes from the Nile. Egyptians worship the Nile as a god. The river turns to blood. Heqet the Egyptian fertility goddess is depicted in Egyptian art with the head of frog. God sends a plague of frogs. The Egyptians worshipped the Re the sun god. God blots out the sun and causes darkness over the land. Pharaoh, a divine being is a son of Re. He is utterly defeated. Pharaoh’s headdress is in the form of a cobra. God turns Moses’ staff into a snake that destroys the snakes of the Egyptian magicians. The God of creation brings chaos and destruction upon the false gods of Egypt.

The God of Israel judges the gods of this world. He displays he glory to his people and to the whole world. He triumphs over his enemies.

Movement pioneers should expect trouble. They should expect a battle. They should expect God to reveal his glory and power over the enemy.

Movement lessons from the Exodus: 1. God’s power

Churches, Revolutions And Empires:1789-1914, $4.99 on US Kindle.

One for the history buffs…

“Churches, Revolutions And Empires: 1789-1914″ (Ian J. Shaw)

via Tim Challies

Chuck Wood Case Study [podcast]

Chuck and Deb Wood

Chuck and Deb Wood are movement pioneers based in San Antonio Texas. In this episode he talks about what it will take to see multiplying movements of disciples and churches in the West.

Chuck is addressing the the NoPlaceLeft conference in Sydney, Australia via Skype in May 2015.

There are more NoPlaceLeft conference sessions available to download.

Chuck’s website.

Play