About this traveller

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London, United Kingdom
Follower of Jesus. Husband. Father. Son. Poet. Writer. Preacher. Story-teller. Learner. Pilgrim.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

book: Youth ministry on your knees (Mike Higgs)

I wanted to recommend this book for it's simplicity and accessability to youth workers short of time for a weighty read - definately not weighhty, but it covers excellent ground.

It starts with the character and person of the youth worker. Your ministry will go as far as your prayer life. we expect God to bless us, without giving him his rightful place at the head of our ministries. He moves on to the issue of purity - living a clean life before God without falling into wrong patterns of living.

This book is also really practical in terms of creating a praying culture amongst young people, and the lastter part of the book focussed on mobilising young people to pray.

I know I've been challenged by this book and have just begun reading it through a second time. Enjoy it when you buy it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book: Youth Leaders who last (Tim Hawkins)

I had to recommend this book for a few reasons:

1. youth leaders burnout, run away, quit, grow out of it, move 'up' the chain of command faster than I can get a burger in a fast-food joint! Youth leaders don't last - there's a culture of 'transient youth leadership' where leaders don't keep going. this makes it hard for young people to trust new leaders. I bel;ieve god wants people in youth ministry who have the heart and mettle to go for the long haul.

2. It's a brilliant book filled with biblical truths that will grow persevering youth leaders.

3. It's a good read!

The book looks at the following:

Section 1: Grow your Leadership Vision
1. Your are Called by God
2. You are a Generation-Changer
3. You are a Shepherd
4. Three Relationships of a Shepherd
5. Three Tasks of a Shepherd
6. You are a Servant
7. Ten marks of a Servant

Section 2: Grow your Leadership Character
8. You are Developing Your Character
9. You are Faithful
10. You are Reliable
11. You are a Follower
12. You have a Biblical Standard
13. Eight Checkpoints for a Biblical Leader

Section 3: Grow your Leadership Skills
14. You are a Bible Teacher
15. You are a Small Group Leader
16. You are Many, Many People
17. You are a Leader who will Last

Section 4: Appendix
1. Biblical Leadership Lists
2. Above Reproach
3. For Further Reading

i love that Hawkins has a good section on the heart of a youth leader - what you are on the inside will affect the ministry you do, and will eventually manifest itself on the outside.

as youth leaders we share Jesus, but we also share ourselves (our lives) with young people we are discipling.

On the whole - a great read (in fact i've read this book numerous times now!!

Church is...2

I have wanted to write about 'Church' for a while. Perhaps I've nothing new to offer, but at a time when there's much buzz about what Churchis not, and should not be, I wanted to put down my thoughts on what Church is. So here's the first installment.

Church is a community of believers
I love that community is a facet of current discussions on ecclesiology. we all know that Church is meant to be community, but I believe that this has to be more than 2 or 3 people gathering together in a pub and talking about Jesus (admit it...anybody can do that!). Church is a community OF BELIEVERS - people that love God and have a living faith in the saving power and person of Jesus Christ. Their belief is founded upon him; he's at the centre of it all; they live to please Jesus; they emmulate lives that resemble, copy and mimic the life of Christ.

Church is a community - a people with a common unity: they are lovers of God and lovers of people. They share common purpose: to glorify God through living lives that are lived as worship to Him; to 'make disciples' (not just get converts); to teach Jesus' way of living and being; to live out the great commandment and the great commission.

Belief is based on:

1. the teachings of Christ
2. The work of Christ
3. The authority of the Bible

I had a lecturer that talked about 'faith in faith' - faith in nothing really! Our faith has the basis of God's revelation of himself to us in scripture. Our belief needs to be placed alongside the 'plumbline of scripture'. If our belief is at odds with God's word then we have been deluded and deceived. When we stand on scripture our foundation cannot be removed. god is not a man that he should lie. His word is truth. we may not understand it; we may not even agree with it; we may struggle with aspects of it, but in the end it is still the word of God.

Any 'church' that does not hold fast to the authority of the bible is not the Church of Christ, regardless of what it names itself.

Our world is crying out for Churches that will shine the light of truth in the darkness - God has given the church his written word (your word is a 'light for my path - psalm 119), and he has given the church to the world to show the way to God.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fransiscan Prayer

I'm not a massive fan of written prayers that become 'rote' prayers, but this one is one that i will learn and pray from my heart. It's a 'Fransiscan Benediction':

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who
suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand
to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Church 1

Church - what is it? What is it not? Loads of us are asking these questions. Is it missional? Is it simple, organic or institutional?

It strikes me that our 'ecclesiology' (study of the church) focusses on what church is when we gather and I wonder if we have formed an incomplete ecclesiology. I have become unsettled with Church because it generally focusses on Sunday gatherings. Church employees are encouraged to put energy into Sunday activities most of the time. Yes, we have midweek endeavours - youth groups, clubs, cells. It strikes me that if we are to be followers of Jesus then 'The Church' needs to focus on Making Disciples - I believe that this should be through shared experiences of doing life together: meals; laughter, worship, talking, friendships that exceed superficial christian nicities, etc. Jesus spent time with his followers - they saw his struggles and his joys and they learned from how he handled life's complexities.

Maybe our ecclesiology needs to incorperate 'living lives together'?

More later

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reformission Rev

I've Just finished reading "Confessions of a reformission Rev" by Mark Driscoll. I must say that it's the most challenging and inspiring book I've read for a while. therefore you must stop now and do the following:

1. Rush off to the nearest book store
2. Buy it!
3. Read it!
4. Chew on it (think about what it's saying)
4. Apply it to your situation

Mark shows us his own journey of leading a ministry, highlighting very effectively the effect theology has on growing a biblically baded ministry.

I was particularly challenged about working through my own Christology, ecclesiology and missiology (look them up in a good dictionary if I've used big words) and felt a groqing thirst to study scripture even more. Mark's passion for the bible oozes out of every page, and while I might not agree with 100% of his views I felt inspired and encouraged to make disciples from a biblical foundation rather than from a 'consumerist' model of Church.

This book is probably aimed at Church leaders but is written in a very accessable style for all christians, and I'd recommend it very highly.