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…

Still packing up

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Apologies for going quiet on the blog.

We’ve been preoccupied with getting ready to move to the UK. Lots of sorting, packing, and annoying details to take care of.

Good news — Saffie the Wonderdog (in the box) may have a new home.

Here’s our latest newsletter.

Not sure when I’ll begin writing again. I do miss it.

An update from Chuck Wood

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Chuck Wood has been busy…

Right now we have 63 churches, 102 groups, and 22 online groups. We have also baptized over 80 new disciples. There are 23 streams of groups/churches to the 3rd generation and 6 streams of groups/churches to the 4th generation. All of this has happened in the last 16 months!

keep reading

Listen to my interview with Chuck.

The burden of buildings is crushing the Church of England

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There’s a debate in Britain right now over whether it still is or a “Christian” country. There’s no doubting Britain Christian heritage. Wherever you go you’ll find church buildings dating back hundreds, even a thousand years or more. 

There’s a downside. The cost of repairing all England’s 14,500 listed places of worship is almost £1,000,000,000. Who is going to pay the bill? Church attendance is declining and the age of parishioners is rising.

Here’s a legal solution that just may dampen the ability of a local church to reach its community…

The Church of England has been denounced as “evil” and “unholy” as parishes around the country enforce an archaic law dating to Henry VIII’s reign telling unwitting residents they could face bills exceeding £100,000 for building repairs.

At least 250 Parochial Church Councils, who administer Anglican parishes, have registered Chancel Repair Liability (CRL) against 12,000 properties where ancient deeds permit this. Under the medieval law affected landowners, whether or not they are Anglicans let alone Christians, can be liable for repair of their local Anglican church if built before 1536 even though this was not shown in their deeds when they purchased the property.

Andrew and Gail Wallbank became responsible for maintaining 13th century St John the Baptist Church in Aston Cantlow, Stratford, when they inherited a farm. After centuries of not being enforced the local PCC invoked the liability in 1990 demanding £100,000. Their 18-year legal battle ended in 2009 with the Law Lords ruling in the PCC’s favour landing the Wallbanks with an overall bill of £350,000. They auctioned the farm to pay for their costs.

keep reading

(Thanks to readers Dave and Jay)

 

 

Christianity Today interviews David Garrison on the unprecedented surge in Muslims finding Christ

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  • In Algeria, after 100,000 died in Muslim-on-Muslim violence, 10,000 Muslims turned their backs on Islam and were baptized as followers of Christ. This movement has tripled since the late 1990s.
  • At the time of the 1979 revolution in Iran, about 500 individual Muslims were following Christ. Garrison projects that today there may be several hundred thousand Christ-followers, mostly worshipping in Iranian house churches.
  • In an unnamed Arab nation, an Islamic book publisher Nasr came to Christ through satellite broadcast evangelist Father Zakaria. Sensing a call to evangelize, Nasr started a local ministry that in less than one year baptized 2,800 individuals.

Timothy C. Morgan interviews David Garrison (above) on the fresh wind blowing through the house of Islam.

 

The wisdom of Bill on Movement Catalysts

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Steve Smith asked Bill*, a father of modern Church-planting movements, what characteristics he sees consistently in men and women that God is using to catalyse CPMs. This is a composite of what he has seen.

  • A passion to see many saved throughout an area, people, or city––their focus is on the lost that have yet to hear the gospel. This results in an urgency to bring salvation to as many as possible as quickly as possible. Their highest priority is dealing with lostness because of their deep awareness of heaven and hell. The eternal state of people around them weighs heavy on their hearts.

  • Perseverance to fulfill the vision of reaching all the lost––this often looks like a dogged tenacity—an unwillingness to take “no” for an answer. Such an attitude means that they fail often in their attempts, but they are failing forward, learning in each experience so that they can do better the next time.

  • Not wedded to a single unchanging methodology––as learners seeking the best ways to reach all of the lost, they are ruthless in self-evaluation. They know that their plans and methods are simply ways to apply biblical principles. Therefore they are ruthlessly willing to adapt methods and fix problems in order to more effectively reach the lost. Their methods and strategies are constantly being updated, not putting their trust in just one approach.

  • Self-discipline to cease a multitude of unfruitful, distracting activities––the CPM practitioners are focused on doing the right things—they place the highest value on things that will get them to movements that reach all of the lost. Therefore their ministries are as much about what they DO NOT DO as what they do.

  • Action-focused not idea-engrossed––these are people of action. They are often impatient with the hypothetical but want to implement immediately what they are learning.

  • Not man-pleasers—they live for One Person’s agenda—God’s. They do not let their plans or methods be dictated or restricted by what others think. In addition they are not agency or organization focused—looking only to or limited by what their organization initiates. This means they are uninterested in most activities and priorities of religious professionals in order to spend time with the lost and with new disciples, launching approaches appropriate to endless multiplication throughout their target groups.
  • Experience the power of God in life and ministry––these are people abiding deeply in God, expecting God to demonstrate Himself in their personal lives and in their work. They live by faith and see God show up.

  • Faith that God can and will save many, in this place, at this time, among these people––they believe the harvest is prepared around them and they work to find those ready to believe and multiply. They believe God is going to do it here and now!

  • Extremely high work ethic–they often are driven people to the extent they make peers uncomfortable. Most have been successful in secular occupations. They’ve learned work ethic and the necessity of tailoring their efforts to bear fruit.

  • Results-oriented, bottom-line thinkers––they are willing to do whatever it takes under God to evangelize their people. This results in a single-minded focus which is committed to effectiveness. If there is no fruit, they are asking “why” and making adjustments.

  • Cognitive ability to oversee complex multi-dimensional processes––they know that movements are not simplistic, so they possess the ability to monitor the entire process from new disciples to mature leaders, generation by generation.

  • People of prayer––they live in frequent, two-way communication with the Father. Their relationship with God is a close daily walk. 
  • Bold evangelists––they actively model what they expect others to do.

  • Biblicists–the Bible is their standard to apply in every situation. The Bible is their handbook; whatever it says is what they believe and do.

  • K.I.S.S.––in order for movements to start and continue, they recognize the necessity of keeping every step of the process simple. All things must be reproducible.
  • Often mature believers who have been though hardship, suffering, internal and external challenges––they’ve been tested and found faithful.

  • Hear God and obey–bottom line, they believe “God holds me responsible for these people.” So they live their lives in obedience to reap a harvest and present them to God as an acceptable offering.

*Bill prefers to travel the world unnoticed so we’ve withheld his full name.

Stuff happens

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My apologies for laying low over the last few weeks. We’re up to our eyeballs sorting our “stuff” so we can store it, sell it, give it away or throw it away. It a big job packing up a house when you’re not moving your stuff to the next place. We’ll be leaving Melbourne for London with on 23kg bag each.

Jesus’ instructions to his disciples on mission about travelling light (Luke 10) are making a lot of sense right now.

Hope to resume the blog when we’ve tamed our stuff.