The prayer life of a movement catalyst

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The latest edition of Mission Frontiers is on Prayer.

Steve Smith has an article on the Prayer Life of a Movement Catalyst. 

Trouble shooting the Four Fields: Endvision

Four Fields  Shank

The inspiration for my Movements Diamond came from Nathan Shank’s Four Fields training on church planting movements.

Nathan begins with Endvision. What does it look like to finish the task? What does “no place left” mean for you (Rom 15:23).

When he’s equipping movement leaders these are questions Nathan asks them about their Endvision:

  • Can you accomplish your vision?
  • Working backwards, are their significant milestones on the road that can serve as temporary/this year’s goals?
  • What parts/steps toward the vision are still mysterious? Where do you need God to show up?
  • By what metrics do you measure progress toward your vision? • Is your vision big enough for your disciples to own a chunk of the vision?
  • Is your vision compelling?
  • Is your vision the kind of vision that folks would invest their life into?
  • Are your disciples talking about grandchildren in the Lord?
  • Are you the agent of your vision? Who else is needed? 

How could you use these questions? Pull them out at your next team meeting or gathering of practitioners.

Next we’ll look at how Nathan troubleshoots the Entry Field.

UPDATE: Find out more on the Four Fields in my interviews with Nathan somewhere in South Asia: The Five Parts of a CPM Plan

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that the diagnostic questions are a joint project with Nathan Shank, Jeff Sundell and Jared Houk.

 

‘Sin’ is back but ‘the Devil’ optional

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Truly the Devil’s greatest trick was to convince us that he doesn’t exist – or, at least, that it’s impolite to mention him in public.

Tim Stanley

The Church of England has reinstated the word “sin” into baptism services after a backlash from parishes who complained a new wording was “bland”, “dumbed down” and “nothing short of dire”.

Plans to introduce an alternative order of service using more “accessible” language, have had to be redrawn after members inundated Lambeth Palace with letters complaining the move went too far.

But the church is to press ahead with plans to banish references to “the Devil” from the new format.

According to Tim Stanley:

This controversy is indicative of a wider problem for the CofE. On the one hand, it takes its role as a national church very seriously and doesn’t like to exclude anyone – call it “the BBC at prayer”. On the other hand, it is also a Christian organisation with a responsibility to try to save people’s souls. As wider society becomes more and more agnostic, these two missions become less and less easy to reconcile. Eventually, the Church will have to choose. Does it serve modern society, with its rampant materialism, social liberalism and discomfort with spiritual discipline? Or does is serve God? If the latter, then it’s going to have to ask people to reject the Devil. No one gets into Heaven without making at least one enemy.

Meanwhile across the North Sea:

Denmark’s Parliament last week voted by a large margin to force churches belonging to the state Lutheran Church to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies inside their sanctuaries. The new law stipulates that individual priests have the right to refuse to conduct the ceremony but, should that happen, local bishops are charged with finding a replacement.

The pattern of history is that state sponsored churches succumb to the pressure to become the chaplain of society. In response, disciple-making movements spring up on the fringe, or outside the borders of institutionalised religion.

Europe’s historic churches have to decide. Do they want to make disciples, or do they want to reflect the beliefs and behaviours of their society’s cultural elites?

A warning to all those who identify as “Free” churches in Europe — evangelicals, charismatics and Pentecostals. The temptation to become the chaplain of society is universal. Success can be your greatest enemy. Don’t lose your focus on the gospel, on making disciples who follow and obey Jesus, and multiplying churches. Everywhere.

(Thanks to reader Colin.)

 

 

The difference between growing churches and reproducing churches

In case you missed Carol Davis’ article on why some churches are sterile and some churches are fruitful, here is a summary.

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UPDATE: Follow this link to listen to Carol speak on:

  • The difference between church planting and Church Planting Movements
  • How to plant reproducing churches

Bully for her!

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News from our new home of East London:

A Christian NHS (National Health Service) worker has been disciplined for ‘bullying’ a Muslim colleague by praying with her.

Victoria Wasteney, an occupational therapist, was also condemned for inviting the woman to a sports day at her church.

And a hearing found her guilty of a further count of misconduct: lending the colleague a book about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity.

The 37-year-old, who was suspended for nine months, has now been banned from discussing her faith at work and given a formal warning by East London NHS Foundation Trust that will remain on her record for a year.

Read more

Michelle and I look forward to becoming bullies of East London and beyond. Although we don’t expect to be punished by our employer for doing it.

(Thanks to reader Tim.)

Why do we plant so many sterile churches?

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God has made every living thing to reproduce. So why are so many church plants sterile?

Carol Davis searches for the cause and the cure.

Latest trends from around the world

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Some trends from around the world… 

In China the Communists are back to destroying church buildings and crosses.

In India religious persecution is on the rise.

The gospel is spreading among the 10 million Romani (Gypsies) of Europe and Russia.

Immigration is helping to stem the tide of church decline in Britain.

For the first time in their history, the Southern Baptists are declining while the Assemblies of God are growing faster than the increase in US population.

 

 

Movements Diamond updated

We’ve updated the Movements Diamond to make the multiplication element clearer.

Movements diamond v2

Living out of suitcases

Michelle and I have finally moved out of our home of 11 years. We had no idea how much work would be involved in packing up, storing, selling, throwing away, giving away all our stuff!

We have a new appreciation for Jesus’ challenge to his disciples on mission in Luke 10 — travel light!

Our new home in London is a two bedroom flat. We’ll arrive with a suitcase each.

We fly out of Australia on July 12 to visit our workers in the Solomon Islands and then on to a conference in Mexico with our CoNext partners, finally to London via a few days in New York.

Leaving home

Still busy packing up and getting ready to move.

Here’s our latest newsletter which introduces some of our partners in the UK.

Hope to get back to blogging soon…

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more…