How the first American missionary movement finally lost its way

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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.


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.


The largest and the second-largest religious group by country

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According to Pew Research:

Religiously unaffiliated people – sometimes called the “nones” – account for 16% of the world’s population, and they make up the largest “religious group” in seven countries and territories. Perhaps more remarkably, they also are the second-largest group in roughly half (48%) of the world’s nations.

Indeed, while either Christians or Muslims make up the largest religious group in nine-in-ten nations around the globe, “nones” rank second in size in most of the Americas and Europe, as well as in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Multiplying movements in Leicester

Coming up: two opportunities for training in multiplying disciples and churches, both in Leicester, UK.

Following and Fishing is our basic training to get you started.

The breakout mission week is a new initiative. A week of mission in Leicester with training in the morning and out looking for houses of peace in the afternoons and evening. You can come for the whole time or sign up for specific sessions.

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1. Following and Fishing: June 26-27, 2015

Sign up for Friday night and Saturday.

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2. July 6-11, 2015: Breakout Mission Week

Sign up for a session, a day or the whole week.

The T4T Story – Ying Kai [podcast]

NoPlaceLeft Sydney 2015

Ying Kai tells the T4T Story at the NoPlaceLeft conference in Sydney Australia.

Listen to all the sessions …

Ying Kai and Steve Smith’s book, T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution.


The Bible and Same-sex Relationships: A review article by Tim Keller

Tim Keller

The saddest thing for me as a reader was how, in books on the Bible and sex, Vines and Wilson concentrated almost wholly on the biblical negatives—the prohibitions against homosexual practice—instead of giving sustained attention to the high, (yes) glorious scriptural vision of sexuality. Both authors rightly say that the Bible calls for mutual loving relationships in marriage, but it points to far more than that. 

Tim Keller 

Tim Keller responds with grace and wisdom to two books, one by Matthew Vines and the other by Ken Wilson, that argue that the Bible either allows for or supports same-sex relationships.

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

216293 Charlton Heston as Moses The Ten Commandments 1956 Paramount

After a few years in the Gospels and Acts I left the New Testament and dived into Exodus. Today I took some time to reflect on the lessons for movement pioneers from the Exodus event.

The first thing I noticed is that the deliverance of Israel is entirely God’s doing. God takes the initiative. He sees it through.

God chooses to work through human agents, Moses in particular. Moses is not qualified for the task. Moses is weak and lacks faith. God chose him anyway and expects him to play an important role.

Effective movement pioneers take God seriously and they take their calling seriously, but they have a healthy lack of confidence in themselves. They have a strong sense of stepping into something that God is doing. God’s call qualifies them. They discover his power in their weakness.

Moses points forward to the Apostle and Pioneer of our faith, Jesus. God’s power revealed in weakness through the Cross and the Resurrection.