Why meetup.com is a gift for church planters

The Christian ghetto culture is a well-known phenomena and constant nuisance (or personal struggle) for leaders who want their churches to connect with the big world just outside their front door. For years I’ve heard leaders moan about the culture of church, that sucks a new follower of Christ into church and leaves them with zero connection to people who don’t know Jesus. I’ve also heard Christians who want to engage, want to take initiative but have no idea how to connect, how to find people and when they put…

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Church 

Should you stop having prayer meetings?

What does prayer look like in your church? How often do people pray, how well attended are the prayer meetings and do you feel guilty even considering these questions? Perhaps you identify with John Stevens when he writes: “It  is one of the weaknesses of my kind of evangelicalism that we can so over-emphasise the importance of preaching and teaching that we unintentionally marginalize the importance of prayer. We ought, I suspect, to have a more even balance between studying and hearing the Word proclaimed and prayer in our quiet times, small groups and services. How often prayer is reduced…

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Church 

Cell Church

Not so long ago I had the privilege of listening to the pastor of a very large church from south-east Asia. The first session, as he recounted tales of persecution, faith, miracles and enormous courage captivated his audience. The reaction to the second session was different. It soon became clear that the subject was cell church and you could visibly see pastors from the west switch off. ‘Been there, done that, not trying again’ would have filled the thought bubbles above their heads. Now there were certain cultural aspects to…

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How many Christians are there in Iznik?

Iznik is a small town in Turkey with a population of some 20,000 and situated by a lake. It’s a beautiful place. There are countless towns like it all over Turkey. So how many Christians do you think there are in such a place? As it turns out the answer, to the best of our knowledge, is one. Just one and that believer knows of no other. We asked some young people if there were any churches in their town. Lots of old ones we were told. ‘Any new ones?’ …

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Church 

The two ends of the bi-vocational spectrum

Last week I was given a vivid insight into the wide spectrum of possibilities when it comes to being bi-vocational. I was at a pastors conference and happened to be sharing a room with Jonathan LeTocq (the smiling man on the right in the picture). Jonathan is lead pastor of Church on the Rock, Guernsey. He also happens to be the island’s chief minister (or prime minister). I stack shelves at a supermarket. Jonathan is responsible for the islands politics and roughly £400 million budget, I’m responsible for taking out…

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7 observations & 3 challenges for Newfrontiers

Nearly three years ago Newfrontiers formally transitioned from a first generation to a second generation movement. Newfrontiers had from its inception been led by Terry Virgo until 2011. Then a process, which had been under way for some time, was publicly acknowledged and around 20 teams all around the world began their own journey (you can read some reports from that night here and here). Newfrontiers is now defined thus: “We are a group of apostolic leaders, who, together with our teams and churches, are united on global mission by…

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