At Every Nation London we have a God-dream this year, which is to “share the amazing life-changing message of Jesus with more people than ever before, both individually and as a church.” (You can listen to me sharing our Vision Focus here.)
Vision has the potential to be a very powerful thing. But it’s not an easy thing to execute.
January is over. How’s the vision you or your organisation had for this year going?
Recently I have been doing a fair amount of processing about vision, because at Every Nation London we have just had our annual “Vision Focus Sunday” where we share what the elders and pastors sense that the Spirit is saying to the church for the next season. It’s not a new mission (because we are very clear about that), but a focus on a particular area that is on God’s heart for us to move His mission forward through the church.
Casting a clear and compelling vision is one role a leader cannot delegate, and fulfilling a vision is something no leader can do on their own. Envisioning people is a great skill that ultimately gets everyone on board owning the vision as if it was their own.
Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision, and make it clear, so that those who read it, will run with it. – Habakkuk 2:2
But once a clear and compelling vision is cast, I have noticed that there are at least 5 great threats to vision becoming reality: Continue reading “5 Threats to the Vision”
This will help you GROW in 2017!
If you’re a Christian, you’ve heard these…
“Read your Bible every day”
“God speaks to you from the Scriptures”
“Meditate on the Word”
“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God”
These are just some of the many encouragements / instructions (or condemnations?) regularly heard in Christian circles. Yet from an anonymous “Hidden habits” survey we conducted in our London Hammersmith congregation a while ago, I realised again that the discipline and delight of a rich, regular, and meaningful daily interaction with God through Scripture is not the norm for many believers. I won’t bore you with the stats, but suffice to say that the answer’s given to the question “On average, how many days a week do you take a deliberate moment to read the Bible?” showed that many well-meaning believers struggle with this life-given habit. Sadly, Facebook seems so much more attractive that the Faithbook!
Pause: How would you personally answer that question right now?
From personal and pastoral experience, I believe that the habit of a regular rich meaningful interaction with the Bible is by far one of the mist important spiritual disciples for any disciple of Jesus, and is the major determining factor for a consistent and victorious faith walk through all circumstances of life.
So how does one do it? MY ANSWER: Don’t just “read” the Bible – “R.E.A.P” it!
Here are a few tips from me to help you get going or to revitalise a rich, regular devotional time with God:
Dear friends and readers, wishing you the very best over this Christmas season and as your prepare for the new year!
On our side, we have much to be thankful for in 2016, with a few highlights including: (I’ve added a collage of photos at the end of this post)
On a personal front,
- Ali & I celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary (In Mauritius!)
- Amy & Abby both thriving at university, with Amy now in her final year!
- In 2016 I took 34 flights and travelled to 12 different nations – most for ministry, some for adventure!
- New nations visited this year: Albania, The Netherlands, The Vatican & Mauritius.
- Other nations revisited: Italy, 3x to Austria, 2x to France, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Ireland, South Africa. (+Nothern Ireland & 2x to Scotland)
- And of course, I had a few important (snow) board and (paddle)board meetings too…
And on a ministry front… Continue reading “34 flights and more in 2016! A quick review…”
Ok, lets tackle a big one and talk about money. And giving. For a change.
“Each one should give as they have decided in their hearts to give”
What have you decided to give? How do you conclude how much to give & where to give?
To help you decide right, here’s a message I called “The Heart of Giving” – I really believe it will bring you loads of freedom and faith in your financial giving.
- See here for my “5 Truths about the tithe” series on Youtube (4-5 minute videos)
- See here for our recent Hammersmith Congregation annual finance report. (16 minutes)
You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (The Message)
Have you been enjoying some of the Rio Olympics? As we watch these athletes who have trained like crazy for years and now commit themselves fully in their attempt to win one of the coveted medals, this is an opportunity to think about our own life “race.”
“What you live for will determine how you live”
I believe that its a season for many to “break into a new stride.” A stride is taking decisive steps in a specified direction. If you are stopped, have stumbled, or are straying in your life, then put on you training kit and join me for this message to break into your new stride!
We’ve been doing some serious clearing out of old stuff at our office in preparation for the anticipated move to our new “Every Nation London Hub.” (more about this another time.) I was given the task of deciding the fate of a crate of photo’s we’ve been storing for ages. What struck me as Ali and I went through these on a trip down memory lane, was that the majority of these “church” photo’s over the years were from four categories: Church together gatherings, mission trips, our Bible School graduations, and water baptisms – stacks of them in all sorts of places! Actually I was quite encouraged by this, because isn’t that what Jesus instructed when He commissioned His followers to GO into all the world, and make disciples, baptising them… teaching them…
Water baptisms are one of my favourite things to be involved in, as they so powerfully demonstrate the message of Jesus, and what it means to follow Him. If you have never been baptised in water, here are a few truths about it for you to consider and respond to. (And if you are keen and ready, we have a great opportunity for water baptism coming up on Sunday the 28th August when we have our Church in Hyde Park service, which will include water baptisms in the Lido there. Speak to a pastor or Connect group leader if you would like to be baptised too.)
So, here are 7 important truths I believe that the Scripture teaches about water baptism:
Water Baptism is: Continue reading “7 truths about water baptism”