What should we be doing? The mission of the church

This is first of all some follow on notes from discussions durning our Union Learning Community module on Church and Mission and secondly something for those of you who hqve reqd Chris Wright’s The Mission of God and Gilbert and DeYoung’s The Mission of the Church and stil thinking ” What should we be doing?” It also folows on from my talk at Union Conference on ” Blessing the Church.” Continue reading

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Subversive Fulfilment and me

When we talk about the preacher’s preparation we have seen that he must not only exegete God’s Word but also his congregation and vitally himself.

When it comes to the cross-cultural missionary, there is also the need to do something like this. If the missionary engages in “Subversive fulfilment” when engaging with the beliefs of others, then first of all, he needs to do subversive fulfilment on himself. Continue reading

In defence of church planting and Church planting movements

Church planting and church planting movements have been the big talk in Global Missions over the past few years. Internationally there’s Acts29 and City to City. Here in the English Midlands we have our own 2020 Birmingham which started with an aspiration of 20 church plants by 2020 and now is seeking another 3o by 2030 with the prayer that each of those churches will plant one more.

Not everyone is happy about this though. On certain parts of the inter-web questions are being raised.  The underpinning theme is “Is this Biblical? Or is it human strategy?” These are vital questions and as I’ve been asked them directly myself I want to respond to them. Continue reading

Why do we seek justice in the world around us?

In one of our earlier articles we talked about barriers to justice. This means that for a number of reasons, some of the most vulnerable and needy people are unable to get justice in this world. So what is our responsibility and role here? Continue reading

What does the fox say? – and the hedgehog know

“The fox is a cunning creature able to devise a myriad of complex strategies for sneak attacks upon the hedgehog. Day in and day out, the fox circles around the hedgehog’s den, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. Fast, sleek and beautiful, fleet of foot and crafty p-the fox looks like the sure winner. The hedgehog on the other hand, is a dowdier creature, looking like a genetic mix up between a porcupine and a small armadillo. He waddles along, going about his simple day, searching for lunch ad taking care of his home.”[1]

But every time the Fox shows up with a clever strategy to get the hedgehog, the hedgehog simply rolls up into a ball.  It is safe.  The world is divided into foxes and hedgehogs argues Jim Collins in Good to Great. Foxes are those who look at the world and see lots of complexity and have lots of ideas and strategies. Hedgehogs are those who simplify the complexity. [2] Or to quote Isaiah Berlin, “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” [3]

From this, Collins developed his Hedgehog principle. This is the idea that great leaders keep the main thing the main thing. They focus on one important thing and don’t get distracted. For Collins this is based on three factors Continue reading

Commissioned (Matthew 28:16-20)

The talk from Hannes’ commissioning service

 

This morning we are commissioning Hannes.  What exactly is it that we are commissioning him to do? What better place to find out than this famous passage often referred to as “The Great Commission.”

Before we go on, note three important things

–          First that it in fact it is not us that commission. We are simply passing on Christ’s commission

–          Second that whilst there is a specific way in which Hannes has been called to fulfil this, the commission is for all of us

–          Thirdly, we need to say something about the context. Continue reading