Saturday, 24 May 2008

Communication skills...

Sorry for the Blog silence – all sorts of reasons, and I could even blame the loss of internet connection at Kings this week. How did we manage before the techno revolution? I actually wrote a letter this week, which was a novelty!

Talking of communication (well I was, sort of) last week was Prayer & Fasting – a gathering for 2 days, 3 times a year, of Newfrontiers leaders from across the UK. It’s always a very inspiring and faith building time as well as a great opportunity to catch up with many good friends. On this occasion I guess there were around 600 of us gathered at Peterborough. As I was saying, communication. You may have caught word of Lakeland, Florida where there are reports of some quite astonishing / amazing healings and experiences of God’s presence. Well, following reports from someone who has recently visited, Terry made some helpful observations that I will précis and pass on. Firstly, this ‘move of God’ is being communicated largely through the God Channel, and so the emphasis of that means of communication may need to be taken into account. Then there are some unusual things being reported in terms of people’s personal experiences (encounters with angels etc). At this point it is important that we hold good doctrine alongside our passion to see God move, lives changed & His name glorified. We use our brains, examine Scripture, and are not afraid to challenge things that may appear to be contrary. Then lastly, there would seem to be some wonderful stories of God’s presence and power, changing lives and healing bodies, and we praise God for that, and seek God to come move in greater measure in our lives, cities and churches. Helpful counsel.

And what a wonderful time of prayer followed!

So keep hungry for God and His presence whilst loving and honouring His Word, and may we see His Kingdom reign evidenced in wonderfully changed lives!



Saturday, 3 May 2008

Blogin' the Bronx

The sun is shining here in New York and Marcus, Steve and I have been here for a conference at which C J Mahaney, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller (and others) were taking part. Many of us have fond memories of CJ from Stoneleigh days, and he was vintage CJ, ministering on ‘Watch you life and ministry’ from 1Timothy 4:16. Engaging as ever, CJ graphically urged all present to make sure that they have those around them who will hold them accountable and tell them when they have ‘cream cheese on their face.’ You needed to be there to fully get the picture!

It was good to get to listen to Mark Driscoll, having read a couple of his books, and yes, he was direct as ever – although I did detect a certain mellowing, and I don’t think he did a rant! He was great, bringing fresh, helpful insights under the title ‘When you open the Scripture, what questions should you ask?’ You can see why he engages so well with this generation.
In answer to a question from the floor ‘What do you do at Mars Hill Church for men’s ministry?’ he simply answered ‘Mars Hill Church’, underlining the high priority and focus that he is putting on the men in building the church. ‘Let’s get the men holding the line & then everything else, (marriages, parenting etc) starts to work.’

With the conference now over, I’m spending a couple of days with my good friend Byron Brennerman who I got to know well whilst in Beijing, whose home church is here in the Bronx. We went to look at a vacant property next to their church building and dreamed some dreams….! It’s great getting some time to talk & pray together about church here in the Bronx, out there in Beijing, and to explore what God is doing & how we can connect together, play our part, and of course, in good friendship, enjoy the journey!

Speaking of journeys, I set off Sunday evening for home…


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