NIV Application Commentaries down to $4.99 & £4.99

NIV Application Commentaries

$4.99 (US) and £4.99 (UK) each on Amazon Kindle 

UPDATE: 2 Corinthians by David Garland for $2.99.

Bad news: Only 19% want to know about Jesus. Good news: 19% want to know about Jesus!

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Finally some evidence to back up our silence,

The Church of England is set to signal to members that speaking openly about their faith could do more harm than good when it comes to spreading Christianity.
Stark new research findings being presented to members of the Church’s ruling General Synod suggest that practising Christians who talk to friends and colleagues about their beliefs are three times as likely to put them off God as to attract them.

The numbers confirm it,

Non-believers were asked if a practising Christian had ever spoken to them about their faith. Of those who said yes, only 19 per cent said it made them want to know more compared with 59 per cent who said the opposite. While 23 per cent said it made them feel “more positive towards Jesus Christ”, 30 per cent said it left them feeling more negative.

If only Jesus had known these facts, he would never have spoken to the rich young ruler, or preached in the synagogue at Nazareth. Think of all the Pharisees he upset! Peter and John would have saved themselves imprisonment and a beating. Paul would have avoided all the damage he did in Arabia, and on Mars Hill, and the riot he caused in Jerusalem which led to his arrest and ultimate execution.

If only Jesus, Peter, Paul had had the advantage of opinion polls to guide their mission. Instead they went looking for the 19% who wanted to know more.

102-Nathan Shank: The five levels of movement leadership (2)

Nathan Shank Five Levels Leadership

Nathan Shank discusses the Five Levels of Movement Leadership. The second part of a two-part series.

You can read more on Nathan’s Five Levels of Leadership in Pioneering Movements: Leadership that Multiplies Disciples and Churches.


Britain to become Europe’s most populous country


From the Guardian: 

The number of people living in Britain is projected to rise from 64.6 million in mid-2014 to 74.3 million in 2039.

According to the Office for National Statistics:

More than two-thirds of the increase will be the result of assumed net migration and the indirect impact of people arriving on the birth rate.

The estimated growth outstrips the rest of Europe, with the UK’s population estimated to increase by 15% in the next 25 years compared with 3% across the EU as a whole. 

The report shows that most of the growth is in England (as opposed to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

On current trends the UK will overtake France by 2030 and Germany by 2047, becoming Europe’s most populous country.

Let’s say we aimed at just one new church for every 500 new people, that’s 20,000 new churches in 25 years, just to keep up.

Link: Download the report

Putting the gospel to work

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I regularly get emails like these soon after our initial Following and Fishing training.

This one from a youth leader:

Unbelievable news, you challenged us to give it a go, and so on the car ride back from football, God gave me the chance to share the gospel with my best friend. So I gave the 3 Circle thing a bash and it really really helped me speak with clarity, and guess what after years of praying and chatting he was a green light and so driving along on the way back from Football he surrendered his life to Jesus ….. Unbelievable!!!! So delighted and amazed to see God working so powerfully, and awesome to be a part of it!!!

This one from a pastor:

Thank you so much for your equipping and encouragement last week. I met with four Muslim friends yesterday afternoon. After listening to an audio track of the creation story and having a Discovery Bible type discussion, we then explained the 3 Circles. When we asked them which circle described them best, three said they were with Jesus, pursuing God’s Plan. The fourth said he was in Brokenness but wanted to move to the Jesus circle.

We all stood as he prayed and gave his life to the Lord!

We asked one of the guys to re-teach the 3 Circles in their language. We encouraged them all to share the 3 Circles with a friend before we meet again.

They understand that our aim is for them to lead the gatherings in their own language within a few weeks. I’m hopeful that another two or three guys will join the group next time! It feels like quite a breakthrough, and the diagram was so helpful in bringing clarity to everyone’s place on the journey.

It’s just a beginning, but it is a beginning.

I remind people that the 3 Circles doesn’t “work”. The gospel “works.” The 3 Circles is a great way to present the gospel. God does the work through the Word and the Spirit. We partner.

The reason people aren’t coming to faith in Britain is that we aren’t sharing the gospel, and making disciples who learn to obey everything that Jesus commanded.

So, if you live in the UK, why not attend our last Following and Fishing training for 2015 in Manchester?

Ying Kai returns to Sydney

Ying and Grace Kai

Ying and Grace Kai are returning to Sydney for two days training in multiplying movements — Dec 2-3, 2015.

God worked through them to launch a movement of multiplying churches in Asia.

King is the co-author of T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution. His T4T approach (Training for Trainers) has been adopted all over the world and is bearing fruit.

Register at the NoPlaceLeft Aussie website before Nov 24.

UPDATE: Thanks to my spell checker Ying Kai became King Kai. Thanks to Toy Copper for the correction.

Missionaries Go Home

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From the Wall Street Journal—Cash-Strapped Missionaries Get a New Calling: Home.

Peter and Jennie Stillman felt a divine calling to preach the gospel abroad. So the Southern Baptist couple left Texas with their three young daughters 25 years ago and became missionaries in Southeast Asia.

Now, the Stillmans are responding to a new call: early retirement. They are among hundreds of Southern Baptist missionaries working abroad who are being summoned home in a move to slash costs, after years of spending to support missionary work around the world led to budget problems.

The International Mission Board, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention with 4,800 missionaries and 450 support staff, plans to cut 600 to 800 people from its workforce, a 15% reduction. It is starting by offering voluntary early retirement to veteran missionaries.

Since 2010, the organization has spent $210 million more than it has taken in, officials said. Last year, it had a $21 million shortfall.


Talking about Jesus in Britain

Here’s why we should be talking to people about Jesus in Britain.

The findings support our own experience. A significant number of people in Britain are ready for the conversation.

Why don’t you pray for a need and ask someone, Right now are you near or far from God?

Then ask: Would you like to be near?

Follow up with: I’d like to share how I was far and came near.

Share the 3Circles.

  • Red Light = No thanks. Some people will not be interested.Move on.
  • Amber Light = Need to know more. Offer to read stories about Jesus with them — 7 Stories of Hope.
  • Green Light = Yes. Lead them to Christ, baptize them and teach them to obey what Jesus has commanded — 7 Commands.

You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Our next Following and Fishing training is in Manchester, 4-5 December 2015. If you want to make disciples, it’s worth the drive and the time.

We’ll get you started and train you to train others.

News from our man in the South Pacific

Grant morrison

This just came in from Grant Morrison, our man in the South Pacific:

I will begin training in a few weeks. The chief of the village, who is Annie’s brother, has given permission for me to begin discipling people. We will meet together and the group will become a church. Jerry and Annie have prepared the way and I will share the training with both of them. Out of this village and the training I will be looking for a leader or leaders to train others. My plan is to work in this one village and for this village to take the training to other villages. Jerry’s vision is for the holistic transformation of villages across Vanuatu and beyond and for the training in ‘following Jesus and fishing for people’ to be the means of spiritual transformation.


Grant’s methods are so simple, yet powerful, they can spread across the 20-30,000 thousand islands in the region.

Pacific Culture Areas

Who are “the least of these my brothers”?

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For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.


Our series on the Great Commission is concluded. Before we leave Matthew I’d like to take a look at Jesus’ teaching on the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:31-46).

When the Son of Man comes in his glory he will judge the nations. Eternal life and eternal punishment will depend on how the nations care for the least of his brothers.

Most scholars understand “the least of these brothers of mine” to refer to all who are hungry, distressed, needy. The basis of acceptance into the kingdom is by deeds of mercy and compassion.

They identify the least of Jesus’ brothers with anyone who is poor and needy. Yet elsewhere in Matthew Jesus’ brothers are his disciples (Matt 12:48-50; 28:10).

In Matthew 24 Jesus told his disciples that before the end of the age comes, the gospel of kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations/peoples (Matt 24:14). They will be persecuted and put to death. They will be hated by all nations because of him. There will be wars, famines and earthquakes. In the face of persecution many will fall away from the faith and even betray other believers. They will be deceived by false prophets.

In this setting Matt 25:31-46 is a reassurance to Jesus’ true disciples, his brothers, that God’s enemies will not triumph. The nations will be judged on the basis of how they treat the messengers whom Jesus sends to proclaim the gospel.

Jesus’ “least brothers” are his disciples who are to proclaim the gospel to all nations, despite persecution (Matt 10:32-33; 24:9-14; 28:18-20). Their treatment determines the fate of all men. Those who receive them receive Christ; those who reject them reject Christ (Matt 10:40-42; cf Acts 9:5).

Jesus’ brothers are his disciples. The fate of the nations will be determined by how they respond to Jesus’ followers, who are charged with spreading the gospel and do so in the face of hunger, thirst, illness, and imprisonment. Good deeds done to Jesus’ followers, even the least of them, are not only works of compassion and morality but reflect where people stand in relation to the kingdom and to Jesus himself. Jesus identifies himself with the fate of his followers and makes compassion for them equivalent to compassion for himself.

DA Carson concludes, We must not think that the Bible is unconcerned for the poor and the oppressed (Deut 15:11; Matt 22:37-40; 26:11; Gal 2:10). But that is not the center of interest here.


UPDATE: Ian Paul comes to the same conclusion.