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Bracing refreshment and warm encouragement

Simon Virgo

Timely, wise, practical, focussed, convicting, scriptural

Adrian Reynolds (Proclamation Trust)

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An arresting and heart-warming read

Rose Dowsett

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...presents a case that will prove eminently attractive to those for whom "Jesus is Lord" is more than a slogan

D.A. Carson

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10:35PM

100 Leadership Lessons #25 Evangelical Unity 1

You don't have to move very far beyond the confines of your own local church to discover that questions of how and why evangelicals relate to each other are rife in the UK at the moment. And even whether we should (of COURSE we should. Jesus prayed that his followers would be one).

It doesn't take long to come up against thorny issues like preferred worship styles, matters concerning the Holy Spirit or questions of leadership and gender. Nor long to meet people who assume that those who disagree with them always and necessarily hold a weak view of scripture.

It doesn't take long to find people who are clearly evangelical but who express it in some quite different ways to me, and therefore to talk past each other or find it impossible to work together simply because we spend too much time in our own silos and just don't get each other

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12:01PM

100 Leadership Lessons #24 Building a Team

What makes a good team-building leader? The characteristics of a good team-developing leader are a corollary of the characteristics of a good team. In our case it is a corollary of the purpose of the church and the reason God acts. We are building teams for building a biblical church, we need to have a clear view about what a biblical, God-glorifying church is

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9:42AM

Challenges of a Suburban Church #2

Helpful questions on why you choose to belong to the church you do

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12:00PM

100 Leadership Lessons #23 Struggling to Develop a Team Mentality 4

A final list of reasons a church may struggle to develop a team mentality:

 

4. Leader's Reasons

Leader wishes to retain strong control over all aspects of church life

Developing a team means the leader sacrificing doing some of the stuff they personally enjoy most

Wrong theology held by the leader. eg "growth happens  through  teaching, I am the teacher, so I do everything"

Feeling disenfranchised and threatened by others who don’t have the benefit of my professional training taking a leading role

Leaders who don’t have time or perceived ability to develop team

Leaders being unable or unwilling to cope with negative consequences of things being done less well or of trying to change long-standing traditions

 

We might summarise the four lists as follows. Churches struggle to develop a team mentality when:

 

  • structures don’t encourage it
  • leaders don’t want it
  • congregational institutional assumptions don’t want to
  • historical assumptions don’t’ allow
  • personalities are not temperamentally amenable 

 

All of which are likely to cause leaders to dismiss developing teamwork as an unwelcome extra burden

10:54AM

Marginal Gains

I was very taken by the interview with the head coach (or performance director or something or other) or British Cycling last week. He talked about improving performance - and what performance! - through having a secret squirrel club and by making marginal gains.

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10:33AM

Challenges of a Suburban Church #1

I'm thinking a lot at the moment about the particular challenges that go with growing and leading a radical church in comparatively affluent suburbia. A couple (early 40s, 2 children) in our church asked me a fortnight ago why it is hard to make friends of significant in our church, for people in their age bracket.

As I've thought about this I've concluded that there are a lot of factors that come from our surrounding environment. Our area tends to be devoid of 20-somethings. They leave the area to go to university andcan't afford to move back until they are in their 30s, with children (and children's routines), busy professional lives, long commutes and families who live at a distance. 

My friends have a hankering for the pop-in, being involved with each other's lives, discipling other and enjoying spiritual fellowship and friendship of depth culture they knew in previous years. But our environment works against it. That is the kind of friendship and fellowship that comes very naturally when you are unencumbered and in your 20s, but very hard when you are encumbered and in your 30s - which is a primary demographic in our area and in our church. People come into our church with their lives already full and their routines already established - and however conscientious they are about participating in the life of the church there is an almost inevitable sense of it being an addition on top of existing demands.

I'm not sure what the answer is. I know what the temptation is - to multiply meetings as a substitute for real community, or in the hope that community emerges from them. But for people to then feel the pressure of "just another meeting" when life is already so full. Maybe one answer is to scrap some meetings but for some of us to start to deliberately invite people into our homes (unusual round here, I think) - but not for another meeting!

Thoughts anyone?

9:51AM

Christ is Everything; Col 3:1-17

Jesus Christ is absolutely everything that matters. Full stop.

I could just stop there.

Everything else - Everything Else - is detail only: how does all of life, in its joys and deep sorrows, connect to this one foundational fact, this one foundational Man?

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