INSIDE LIVE TO LOVE THE LOST
ART-TO-HEART: JESUS CENTRES
ANUU’S SEARCH FOR GOD’S PEOPLE
Teens wear the cross www.jesus.org.uk www.jesus.org.uk A UK JESUS PEOPLE MAGAZINE from the Multiply Network and Jesus Fellowship/modern JESUS army (mJa)
Jesus Life Three/2007 Page 1
Comment from the Jesus Fellowship Apostolic Team 3-4
Electronic Postbag Emails to the Jesus Army 9
mJa Tribes: Northampton
Focus on the ‘mother tribe’ of the Jesus Fellowship 24
The Prophetic Word
Nathan White calls for passionate soulwinning to be the mark of Jesus’ people
Jesus Christ Changed My Life Mongolian Anuu’s found what she’d been looking for in Oxford
Multiply Christian Network
An interview with Zambia’s Stephen Mwakabinga and a story from Multiply UK 21-23
Joe Morriss writes of life on the inside 24
A challenge to radical living 30
Rant and Rave
Anger and excitement from Jesus Fellowship members 31
Art In The Right Place
News and comment from the Jesus Centres
My Spiritual Search
Paul’s journey from things that go bump (in theLifeday and night) Jesus One/2007 Page 2- to Jesus
Passion From The Past
Francis Xavier, ‘one of the most effective soul-winners in the history of Christianity’
One Big Family
Five people experience life in five different Jesus Fellowship community houses
THE JESUS FELLOWSHIP CHURCH, which is also known as the Jesus Army and includes the New Creation Christian Community, upholds the historic Christian faith, being reformed, evangelical and charismatic. It practises believer’s baptism and the New Testament reality of Christ’s Church; believing in Almighty God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; in the full divinity, atoning death and bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; in the Bible as God’s word, fully inspired by the Holy Spirit. This Church desires to witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over and in His Church; and, by holy character, righteous society and evangelical testimony to declare that Jesus Christ, Son of God, the only Saviour, is the way, the truth and the life, and through Him alone can we find and enter the kingdom of God. This church proclaims free grace, justification by faith in Christ and the sealing and sanctifying baptism in the Holy Spirit. © 2008 Jesus Fellowship Church, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB, UK. Editor James Stacey. Reproduction in any form requires written permission. The Jesus Fellowship does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in articles and interviews printed in this magazine. Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, a member of the Hodder headline Plc Group. All rights reserved. Photographs in this magazine are copyright Jesus Fellowship Church unless otherwise noted. The Jesus Fellowship is part of Multiply Christian Network. Both the Jesus Fellowship and Multiply Christian Network are members of the Evangelical Alliance UK. Jesus Fellowship Life Trust Registered Charity number 1107952.
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Young men aboard one of the Jesus Fellowship’s evangelism coaches
Teens wear the cross
loved, accepted and believed in. We must show them that there is a spiritual dimension to life, to be found in Jesus Christ. They need to be invited to real church where the people are alive, the music is modern and there is a sense of excitement in the love and power of the Holy Spirit, a church where they easily ﬁnd friends. Christian Research tells us that, in the year 2000, 5 per cent of church goers in the UK were aged 15-19. At the present rate of decline that will become 1 per cent in the year 2025 and 0 per cent by 2050. That, surely, spells the end of many churches. And so we must reach and win today’s teenagers to the Christian faith. We must show them Jesus, not just tell them, letting them know they are loved and not unwanted and forgotten. We must help them experience God through Jesus in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; we must prove that church can be living, loving, inspiring and full of purpose. We need to show them that radical, revolutionary Christian faith is a cause worth being committed to and ﬁghting for. Then they will be saying “That church is cool. It’s alive, Jesus is there.” Then they will wear the cross with pride and commitment.
“JESUS is cool,” say today’s young men “but we don’t like church.” They ﬁnd church lifeless and dull. But, “yes, we’ll wear the cross. We do believe.” They see Jesus as revolutionary, exciting, loving, changing lives. But you won’t ever ﬁnd them in church. Churches must realise the opportunities which are ours today to reach and help young people ﬁnd Jesus Christ. We live at a time when marriage and family break-ups are at an all-time high, with the inevitable emotional pain for kids who frequently grow up without a father, sometimes without either of their biological parents. Broken lives are everywhere. Many leave home in their early teens, many get hooked on drugs, alcohol, vice and crime. Even those who have a better upbringing in a stronger family are often sucked into today’s low morality and gang culture. Lonely, rejected, bored and lacking purpose, it is not surprising their behaviour is bad and they join together in gangs, some of which become violent and criminal. These young people need to be
DO WE get a renewed mind with our new birth? Or when we are ﬁlled with the Holy Spirit? Certainly, mercifully, something starts to happen then. But there’s plenty of evidence that charismatic Christians are capable of corrupt thinking. As Watchman Nee said, the process of gaining a strong mind can be an “inch by inch struggle”. In the battle for our minds, Paul spoke of “strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). One deﬁnition of a stronghold is “a mindset infected with hopelessness, so that we accept situations as unchangeable that we know are contrary to God’s will”. We can’t see how what should happen, could now happen. Those who have travelled the road of faith for some time can be more at risk. What we know – or think we know – becomes an obstacle. Jesus met it in the religious leaders when He healed a blind man. We read in John chapter 9 that it was a Sabbath day. So, the Pharisees declared (of Jesus), “We know this man is a sinner.” The healed man was amazed: “This has never happened before. How can you say it’s not God’s work?” How troubling when those who are fresh in faith are more observant than those supposedly mature. We face disappointment from past failures and sink into inevitability. We see others ﬁnd blessing as the Holy Spirit moves. But we say, “That’s not going to change things for me or our group.” It can apply in evangelism, ﬁnding a new generation in our churches, gaining increase in community, un-bunging stuck relationships and overcoming longstanding personal issues. Paul says these thoughts are deceptive. And they must be demolished. Builders knock down a wall brick by brick, or sometimes with one blow. Strongholds in you can be recognised by others in the church. They block your obedience to Christ. We must set each other free.
Comments from Noel Stanton and members of the Apostolic Team, Jesus Fellowship UK/mJa
Jesus Life One/2008 Page 3
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Continued from overleaf
Man the lifeboats!
THE GOOD SHIP Zion (the church) was passing through dark, murky, choppy waters. The cry came from the captain, “Man the lifeboats!” Teams were sent out in the lifeboats. What was happening? There were people bobbing up and down in the turbulent sea, crying “Help!” The eager teams pulled them on board the lifeboats and returned with them to the good ship Zion where they were cared for and restored. God is calling our church to regain her “soul-winning” passion. Every Friday we send evangelism teams into the cities and towns of the UK. However, we need more on-ﬁre saints to hear the captain’s call and engage in soulwinning action. How about you? The prince of darkness hates such action. Let’s take Jesus onto the
Relationships are the key A SURVEY shows that 97 per cent of American young people say that having the right relationships is the big secret to happiness. This is likely to be true also for UK young people. In the survey over 80 per cent see relationships with friends as crucial to happiness. Relationships with parents and family were included by more
streets of the UK. The Holy Spirit is impressing upon us the need to unashamedly identify with Jesus in wearing red crosses, Jesus Army jackets, Jesus Revolution tops and so on in our evangelism. How about you? Are you keen to show you belong to the greatest cause on earth? The Lord has led us into a weekly pattern where a considerable focus is given to soulwinning. We use Monday evenings for training and discipling; Tuesday evenings for our Agape covenant meal – a time to strengthen and renew our
than 70 per cent. It is without question that successful churches thrive on strong relationships. Love for one another is Jesus’ “new commandment”; He prays that His disciples may be “perfectly one” in their unity. He said that people would know, by these relationships of love, that we are His disciples. It is important we hear this and offer friendship and invite people to experience this love in the local church community.
loyalty to the cause; Wednesday to Friday evenings have a particular focus on drawing in new ones, Wednesdays through cell groups, Thursdays through friendship meals in our community houses and Friday evenings through evangelism. We use weekends for strengthening and bringing direction to the saints, and drawing in new folks to our households and congregations. This year we are focusing on developing our Sunday evenings to be “seekersensitive” gospel times with increasing numbers attending in all our churches around the nation.
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There must be no hypocrisy among us; we are baptised with love in the Holy Spirit; we have the capacity to love everyone. Like the ﬁrst Christians we should be ready to share our lives, meeting our brother’s or sister’s needs as we share with one another. Love, the love of Jesus moving through us, is the glue which bonds the church together. It is spiritual, practical, social and eternal. Such love is dynamic.
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Winning souls “Friday night. Electric bright lights, traffic, music, sirens. We move through the town centre, our eyes scanning everything. Two lads sitting on the pavement – looks like they’re skinning up: our kind of boys. We’re out of the car in a flash.” Nathan White, a Jesus Fellowship leader in Northampton, shares his vision for evangelism.
LL RIGHT boys, Jesus Army. What’s going on?” The conversation grows; we’re invited back to a ﬂat with all their crew. Game on! The following night, we’re at a fairly notorious estate with a rep for hostile youth. We roll in, not sure what to expect. I lock my phone in the car (it’s a good one!) It’s cold, foggy; eerie orange neon lights glowing. We pick a direction, swing left through the houses. Then we hear voices; we look at each other and head out into the darkness. Close enough now to make out the lads’ ﬁgures, we call out “Safe boys, what’s happenin’?” They make a ring around us. My heart’s thumping. What next? “Jesus Army, man, come to
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 5
Continued from overleaf
see you boys.” Gradually they chill and the questions start. Then we ask about the estate, where the poor families are, explaining our mission. We end up praying for them. My mate got their numbers (he was braver than me and took his mobile with him). Jesus is only as real, as challenging, as loving to these guys, as we are to them. Where the darkness is most deepest – that’s where the light has got to shine. If I don’t feel that surge of purpose as I engage with pushing back the darkness then I’m only half alive. We sing and talk about “soul winning” – but I’m only kidding myself, if when the opportunity comes to get out, meet and win people, I ﬁnd reasons why not to. When so many old values and structures (including old-style Christianity) are disintegrating, the culture is truly up for grabs. Look at Bridgend: young people committing suicide one after the other, symbolic of the gnawing hopelessness in the hearts of a generation. Where’s the Jesus Army in all this? Raised up for this time, for 21C. You could be destined to have a role to play in it. We’re well-positioned to win people for Jesus: we’ve actually got a new society, a family, to bring people into. But – will we bring them in? If only the Jesus Army was in Bridgend! Could we turn it around enough for the message to get out (over MySpace or whatever) that there are some Christian dudes in town who just love, love, and love people? “They’ll sit up with you all night, do anything for you, they’ve got something in them that makes you just want to be with them, makes you feel different about yourself. They seem to love life and it’s infectious.” What would you do in Bridgend? How would you connect with the need? How would you start? Yet, the truth is you don’t have to go there. Every estate in this country needs the Jesus Army. What are you doing where you are? It’s the same everywhere. Gangs hanging out cos they can’t get into places, getting into trouble, whatever; but at least they are visible. Ganging up for friendship and excitement, looking for something to do: and there’s our opportunity! Everyone in the church can win the heart and friendship of other people. And young
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people should be at the forefront of this. They’re simply everywhere, wanting to be taken hold of. I can’t walk down the street without seeing the potential, the possible future, in these listless young ﬁgures. But all too often church people don’t put themselves forward, don’t believe in themselves enough. If only they realised how many people would love to know them – if they only knew their heart. One thing is sure: this isn’t a “part-time” endeavour. It’s something that must take over our lives, our whole mindset: thinking about them, praying about their situations, aware of what’s going on almost minute by minute – and this is easily possible in our communications-rich culture. Texting! Phoning! Emailing! (And spending loads of time with them too.) I drive around with a list of names on my windscreen (not quite literally); I’m training my mind to take these people everywhere with me. Forget the opposite sex, entertainment, social stuff: this has got to become our obsession if we want to see it work. Jesus said he’d come to “seek and save the lost”. That’s got to be us. Not to “seek and save” money, or a family, or our own fulfilment. When you get together with your Christian friends ask them, “What’s your vision for people? Who do you
Sasha Sasha has been a member of the Jesus Fellowship for many years. She describes a new release of confidence that she found at last year’s RAW (Real and Wild) event*. “Last year, I met with Jesus in a new way. I’d never considered myself able to be a soul-winner, but now I throw myself into things – with fear and trembling. “A few teenage girls came to our church and I began getting involved with them: something I would never have done before. It was tough at first – they seemed totally uninterested – but one night after I drove them home they had written ‘I love you’ in the dirt on my back windscreen. I fell in love with them and committed myself to them. “Weeks later, after thinking maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, one of the girls gave her life to Jesus with me in my car. She wasn’t the same again – neither was I! Being a ‘spiritual mum’ is messy and painful, but it’s always been my heart’s desire.” * For info on RAW 08 see back page.
Don’t you want to see people who’ve known nothing but disappointment, bullying, porn, family pain – waking up inside, becoming your brother, your sister?
love? What you gonna make happen?” If only we got half as determined as the people who are out chasing their careers or sex or whatever. Why get an early night or just chill with your friends on a Friday night when the people you say you want to win are all out and about? Don’t you want to see people who’ve known nothing but disappointment, bullying, porn, family pain – waking up inside, becoming your brother, your sister? It’ll happen by being with people, letting them do their thing while you do yours. Being different, throbbing with love, your eyes sparkling. You won’t have to say much: you’ve got it and you know it. They know it, too. Don’t worry about how to present yourself; your technique will come later. Of course, meeting people and beginning a friendship is just 5 per cent of actually winning a soul. Next comes the patience of being a spiritual “dad” or “mum”: hanging onto them for dear life; breaking your fears as well as theirs as you help them talk to Jesus, learn to worship, open up – and let them invade your private space and take over your life. Then you’ve really begun! You’ll start to feel the heart throb of the New Testament: “I make myself a slave to all that I might win the more”. You find yourself saying “yes” to opportunities. Like back in the summer when I put V V
Andy lives at River Farmhouse, a Jesus Fellowship Christian Community House.
Anna Anna lives in a Jesus Fellowship Comunity house in Coventry. “My husband and I started a weekly cell group, with a couple of others from our church, about two and a half years ago. “Since then five others have joined us: a couple of lapsed church members; a student we got to know from nearby Warwick University; a young couple who’d been on the fringes of things for a while – we now meet at their house so they have a really important role in it. “We keep an outward looking focus, always thinking about who to invite along. Some weeks we have a more relaxed ‘social’ so that we can invite new people to something not too ‘scary’! Cell groups are a great way to join people together and find more of God together.”
“We go round town with a barbeque in the back of a minibus. One of us jumps out when we get to a group of lads and ask if we can do a barby for them. We’ve never been turned down yet! While they’re smoking weed and drinking you often get talking one-to-one and the questions go deep. “They generally see through the system: above all they’re bored. Ultimately I’d like them to come and live with us. One, Rob, has done. He’s my righthand man now.”
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Daniel V V
Daniel was recently married. He and his wife Leyla are part of the team that live at House of Miracles, a new Jesus Fellowship house on a Northampton housing estate.
Continued from overleaf
an ‘I am a Christian’ CD in the hand of a promisinglooking skateboarder. We started hooking up and helped him out (sorted him a new board when some chavs broke his). He stays over with us a lot these days. And his sister who lives just down the road on the same estate is now coming along and wants to get her daughter dedicated to Jesus. One time I was looking for my skateboarder mate at the house I’d last dropped him off at, only to find the immigrant family he’d been staying with needed to move all their stuff out. They needed help. It took me two days. As a result they’re now also part of the scene and getting built in. And they brought their Chinese cousins round. Then these girls bring their friends round to our place one Saturday night. They get blown away by a word of knowledge someone has for them – and find Jesus. It’s all friendship “circles”, everyone’s linked up. So what about it? Could it be you walking up to the lads in that estate, chatting about Jesus at a bus stop, flipping burgers with love in your clubbing district – whatever! Anything to show that this Jesus is the most surprising, exciting and “more-ish” force this planet can deal with. And He wants to build His Church through you – if only you’ll let Him. JL
READ MORE: More Prophetic Word articles at www.jesus.org.uk/propheticword
“We’ve slowly built friendships with a group of about six guys on our estate, aged 17-19, by helping them out and doing all sorts of stuff with them. Gradually trust has been built. “We’ve learnt how to pray with them and for them at House of Miracles. They’re with us most days now and are regulars at our church event on Sunday evenings. They point out the people who have got ‘passion’ – it’s attractive to them. They’ve even formed a prayer team modelled on other young guys they see doing it!”
ALL FREE / ALL WELCOME / NO PREJUDICE
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Info: Jesus Fellowship, FREEPOST, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3BR t: 0845 123 5550 e: firstname.lastname@example.org www.jesus.org.uk/dates
Electronic email@example.com Postbag
I came across your website through reading James Rutz’s Megashift and following some of the web links he suggested. I’m really interested in connecting with people who are open to exploring the Body of Christ as an open and organic movement of people who are joined by the Holy Spirit primarily, rather than by denominational ties or hierarchical church structures. I’m from Northern Ireland, living just outside Belfast. I am actively seeking and visiting different churches, possibly with a view to joining one longer term; but also for the sheer enjoyment of experiencing what the Holy Spirit is saying through different people and different groups in their worship. I really like what I’ve read on your website and I’d be interested to know what is happening in or around Belfast. If there is a group meeting could I visit them? Looking forward to hearing form you, Stephanie Angus BELFAST, N.IRELAND To find Jesus Fellowship and other Multiply groups in your area visit: www.multiply.org.uk/yourarea
I went to a Sunday night meeting. I was really touched by the love of brothers and sisters. I’m almost facing homelessness due to job problems and need to get help. Please help me. Yours, Nathan Dale NORTHAMPTON, UK
QUEENS SECRET LIFE
Very interesting video – obviously all that we saw was a few hundred brightly coloured souls parading our way. I received some love hearts, a cross and a paper... and yes I did think for a second... I’m a drag queen on Canal Street and I see things happen all year round good and bad. Life is about learning and being the best you can be. You can help people with a smile, a look, a softened voice, a shoulder to cry on. The world is not what it is meant to be... I’ll tell you a secret... I’m upfront and brash in all areas, I’m loud (but never rude), but looks are deceiving... behind my curtain is Mary, and in my drawer is a crucifix... Here’s to a better world, Ms Hoarse MANCHESTER, UK This was mailed via YouTube.com in response to a video made of an mJa youth march in Manchester last year. To see the video visit www.jesus.org.uk/gallery/videos/firestarters
PLEASE TRAIN ME
Hello, I would like to visit the Jesus Army in London to learn more about it. If possible I would like to stay with you for about a month. Maybe you can send information on training or getting more into the word of God with the Jesus Army. Please send a Streetpaper. Asking for your prayer and blessing, Joseph Frank WUPPERTAL, GERMANY For information about mJa Training Year – three, six or twelve months of discipleship training with the modern Jesus army – visit www.jesus.org.uk/training or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Desperately need your prayers. I have a hearing in court tomorrow and I believe God to do miracles in that court. I am an asylum seeker. My application was refused, but my appeal was allowed. The Home Office applied for a reconsideration and the hearing is tomorrow. I pray that the good, almighty, powerful God will come to that court and make a decision in my favour against my removal. I have two sons (7 months and 11 years) who will be affected deeply if I am not allowed to stay in this country. Please pray for me. Thank you and God bless you. Benadette Gichia BRISTOL, UK
IF YOU’D LIKE TO SEND YOUR PRAYER REQUESTS, OR LET US KNOW WHAT GOD HAS BEEN DOING IN YOUR LIFE OR YOU’D LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HIM EMAIL: INFO@JESUS.ORG.UK WRITE: JESUS FELLOWSHIP, NETHER HEYFORD, NORTHAMPTON NN7 3LB
Your web pages are amazing. It’s great to see a Christian community who are fully willing to be who they are for God! I am hoping to come to a lot more of your meetings and meet new people. Keep up the outstanding work with your Jesus Centres. All the best, Georgia Morton KETTERING, UK For more on Jesus Centres see pages 14-15 or visit: www.jesuscentre.org.uk
Thank you for your prayers for a dear friend of ours. Two days after we heard of his sudden illness and requested your prayers, he came out of a critical condition, was placed on a ward and is awake. Hopefully he will continue to recover. Thank you and God bless, Carron Stubbs HORNCHURCH, ESSEX, UK If you would like a Jesus Fellowship prayer team to pray for you visit: www.jesus. org.uk/canwehelp.html
I first saw your Jesus People mag about five years ago. I’m excited that your work for the Master seems to be growing. I would love to receive your mag regularly if it’s possible and also to know more about you movement. Do you have any outreaches in West Africa? Abike Oliver-Pieterson NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA
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Knock and the door will be opened
(seek and you will find)
For Mongolian Anuu Medbayar these words of Jesus came true in an unexpectedly literal way. When she pushed a newspaper through the letterbox of the big Oxford house, she had no idea it was a Christian community – and still less idea that it would one day become her home.
NUU GREW UP in a wealthy family in Ulam Bator, Mongolia. Her father was an architect, her grandfather a professor and map-maker with an ofﬁce-construction business. The family business did well and Anuu’s family wanted for very little materially. Yet some cold currents moved under the easy ﬂow of life in a rich, urban elite. Trouble in her parent’s marriage culminated in divorce. Anuu’s father went through a series of relationships, had a number of children, and eventually traded his traditional Buddhist faith for membership of an esoteric Japanese sect that believed in psychic powers. Such unexpected conversions to fringe religions weren’t, perhaps, quite as unusual in Mongolia at that time as it may seem to a British reader. For decades religion of all kinds had been repressed under the Communist regime, creating a spiritual void. The collapse of Communism in Mongolia in 1991 brought sudden freedom and many who had been spiritually starved under the authoritarian political system rushed to ﬁll the gap. The Christian Church, too, underwent something of a revival in Mongolia in the early 90s, though it was still small when Anuu’s uncle and aunt became Christians in 1994. They took Anuu along to a little church. Seven-year-old Anuu heard, for the
ﬁrst time, the Christian gospel – that Jesus was “God with us”, that through faith in Him a person can be saved. Anuu believed it – but she had no idea how to put her new-found beliefs into any kind of practice. “I knew that one day I would be a really serious Christian,” she recalls. “That was my desire.” But it was a desire which lay dormant as Anuu’s church attendance grew more and more sporadic. Partying and clubbing with her friends seemed higher priorities to teenage Anuu, though she remembers feeling a deﬁnite sense of God’s protection over her: “God protected me from falling into things that would have harmed me like smoking and drinking.” Anuu quit school when she was 14. Her vague plan to go to High School in America became rather lost as she spent the days having fun with her friends. However, Anuu’s sister lived in the UK and, at the age of 15 and a half, Anuu came to Oxford to do a foundation course in the hope of studying in an English university afterwards. But Anuu had missed so much school she struggled with the foundation course. And she felt homesick, separated from her friends and family. As a result, she began
to reach out the God she’d believed in as a child. Reading the Gospels, she remembers being moved by a new discovery of who Jesus was and what He did: “I cried as I realised that Jesus died for me,” she says. “I realised, ‘Wow, this is all true.’” Anuu decided to go to church again. But which church? Unlike recently Communist Mongolia with its ﬂedgling churches, Oxford had centuries of Christian tradition in its history and, it seemed to Anuu, churches on every other corner. But a few visits to traditional churches left Anuu feeling empty and disappointed. “I found it difﬁcult,” Anuu states simply, adding “I wanted a church where people were ‘real’ and truly loved each other like in Asia.” Liturgies and ﬁve-hymn sandwiches weren’t doing it for her. She was to ﬁnd what she was looking for in an unexpected way. Strapped for cash, Anuu got herself a job as a papergirl. Delivering a newspaper to one typically large house on Woodstock Road, the main road into the city centre, Anuu found out that the house was “Living Faith”, a Jesus Fellowship house, where Christians live together in community. The simple conclusion to the story would be that Anuu found the church she was looking for, joined it and lived happily ever after. Continued on page 12
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V Anuu outside Living V
Faith in Oxford Anuu says â€œI have found a way into living the lifestyle I was looking for.â€?
Here was this young Mongolian student, standing on the doorstep and asking for twentyfive quid to go to a ball! www.jesus.org.uk
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V Anuu is baptised in the garden of Living Faith V V
Continued from page 10
In fact, she quit her newspaper job two days later and didn’t think much more about Living Faith. Not, that is, until Anuu got a ticket for a student ball. But she had no money. A memory stirred of a house full of generous Christians. And all of a sudden she sensed God saying she should go and see them. “Perhaps they’d lend me some money” she thought as she made her way to the Woodstock Road. This time she met Jake, one of the leaders of Jesus Fellowship Oxford.
Jake remembers it well. “Here was this young Mongolian student who we didn’t really know at all, standing on the doorstep and asking for twentyﬁve quid to go to a ball! But I had a strange feeling that God was in it. So I gave her twenty-ﬁve pounds of common purse money. I felt she’d be back.” And, sure enough, when Anuu came on Sunday to give the money back she found herself deeply drawn to these loving people who lived together in Jesus’ name. She began to come to Jesus Fellowship meetings. “I saw the church as an answer to my prayers and heart longings.” Anuu saw what the kingdom of God was about – a people living lives of love, given to each other and to God. That summer, she was baptised in the back garden of Living Faith. A month later, Anuu had to go back to Mongolia. But it was a very different Anuu who returned to her family. “I’d decided not to pursue my old life with my friends; I
wanted to walk a straight path with God.” Her testimony had a big impact on her family and friends. Her grandmother died in the Christian faith and at her funeral Anuu’s mum and stepdad found faith in Jesus. And Anuu has faith for her dad to become a Christian, too. When Anuu came back to the UK to study at Oxford Brookes University she continued her involvement with the Jesus Fellowship. Over the next few years came the challenge of reconciling the demands of her studies, her vision of the kingdom of God in community life – and her life back in Mongolia. There were ups and downs, but in the summer of 2007 Anuu moved into Living Faith for a Jesus Army training year (see below). “It was a step of obedience to the Holy Spirits” says Anuu. “Since I stepped forward, God has expanded my spirit; I have found a way into living the committed kingdom of God lifestyle that I was looking for.” Jake adds: “Anuu is a great asset to Living Faith: a source of joy, lightness and Holy Spirit inspiration.” Anuu became a committed covenant member of the Jesus Fellowship in February this year. She doesn’t know all that the future holds, but, as Anuu herself puts it, “I know that I will be ‘seeking first the JL kingdom’.”
READ MORE: Other people’s stories at www.jesus.org.uk/jcml
MODERN JESUS ARMY R TRAINING YEA
AN ACTION YEAR DEVELOPING THE POTENTIAL OF A NEW GENERATION OF SHAPERS AND PIONEERS. THE FOCUS IS FORMING CHARACTER, RELEASING PEOPLE INTO BOLDNESS AND STRENGTH IN JESUS info: www.jesus.org.uk/training email: email@example.com / 0845 166 8175
Jesus Fellowship/Multiply, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 12
GET EQUIPPED to advance in Holy Spirit movement in the UK today!
GET INVOLVED in reaching the spiritually hungry people of our nation and build the living church of Jesus
GO DEEPER in a community lifestyle of simplicity and sacrifice www.jesus.org.uk
Art in the rig JESUS CENTRES
Art in the right place
Art he right
Trilogy for a friend, one of Ulrike’s paintings, exhibited at Northampton Jesus Centre
“ FOUND FAITH in Jesus as a child of kindergarten age, alone in a wood. There were no Christians in my family but I knew the sweet presence that was all around me was God. “My mother, who was also an Continued overleaf
Recently Northampton Jesus Centre exhibited some of the paintings of Christian artist Ulrike O’Flaherty. Her deeply evocative artwork meditates on God’s love towards the marginalised. Like the Jesus Centre vision, Ulrike’s art expresses how Jesus can heal and dignify the poor. Ulrike spoke to Jesus Life about her art, her time as a Christian missionary in Italy and the vision behind her art.
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 13
Art A in the righ in NEWS FROM LONDON JESUS CENTRE
Doors opening in the heart of the capital
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 14
WHAT ARE JESUS CENTRES?
Places where the love of Jesus is expressed daily in worship, friendship and help for every type of person.
WHAT DO THEY OFFER?
All sorts, including showers, friendship, a listening ear, IT classes and food. They also act as a ‘gateway’ to other services and agencies.
I found myself unable to say “bye bye” and leave them to sleep in their cardboard boxes while we went back to our snugly beds
Kindle my Heart Ulrike’s paintings reach into the heart of pain, need and healing
LONDON JESUS Centre is situated in the very heart of the capital, moments walk from Oxford Circus. This newest Jesus Centre is on the brink of opening its doors to the public: the builders are nearly finished, the staff team is in place and 70 volunteers are ready for action. Equipment (lots of it donated) is getting installed and an opening programme of services is ready. For instance, 17 potential English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students have attended an assessment session (this is just one of the projected services which will run from London Jesus Centre). Tom Spooner, a volunteer, enthuses: “It’s been great to make contact with the local community and to hear them saying that the Centre gives them hope for the future.” The Jesus Centre is grouping its planned activities under four “umbrella titles”: Welcome: practical help including a drop-in which will offer a comfortable space with friendship and support for people with housing and other social problems. Word: a tea room for local people, workers, students and anyone using the Centre. Works: a programme of educational, recreational and support groups – from Toddlers Group (bring a parent) to Arts and Crafts, Cookery and much more. Wonders: the life of Jesus Fellowship London – from small groups to large Sunday meetings. All are welcome.
WHO RUNS THEM?
The Jesus Army Charitable Trust (JACT). Staff and volunteers come from Jesus Fellowship Church.
WHERE ARE THEY?
Coventry, Northampton and, from mid 2007, central London. Eventually Jesus Centres will be found in other places around the UK.
HOW CAN I HELP?
We always need money, old clothes, food and lots more! Check out the website for details.
Continued from overleaf
artist, was ill and at the age of nine in our home in Germany, I became her carer. I spent my summers at an art academy and the development of my art was also the development of my devotional life – it kept me on an even keel in a harrowing situation. When I was 16 I joined an itinerant Christian drama group called the Covenant Players. For seven years we took plays to Europe and America, and through the group I met my Irish husband, Gerard. Some words from Isaiah crashed into my heart and would not let me go “Let the oppressed go free…break every yoke…share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house…” The broken-hearted, the widows, the outcasts
– reversing what is accepted in society as ‘success’. We began a Christian mission to the street people in Italy to show people that God meant us to have life. One day in 1999, we were working in Naples with prostitutes and homeless people who slept rough underneath the train stations. I found myself unable to say ‘bye bye’ and leave them to sleep in their cardboard boxes while we went back to our snugly beds, so we began to have people living with us and called it ‘Casa Familia’. God provided even in dicey situations and during that year 20 people came to live with us for a season. My art was my lifeline. Through painting I could digest some of the tragic and disturbing things that were happening on the streets, rather than keepwww.jesuscentre.org.uk
Art ht n the righ JESUS CENTRES NEWS FROM COVENTRY JESUS CENTRE
“Celebrity’s” tragic death is mourned by many
ing them inside. People who died under our noses. People who were so beyond retrieval that you had to watch as they rotted away on a footpath. People you invested in for a long, long time and then they came and said goodbye. One day a friend who was a Lutheran pastor was looking at my pictures and said ‘this is your way of praying, isn’t it?’ Up to then I hadn’t realised that. Society today has more and more intellectual stimuli that take away our innocence. We need to upgrade our faith to stay step by step with what life throws at us – things like euthanasia, cloning, abortion etc. Life is now so complex! There’s a lot of need for well-trained people in the body of Christ to help people to heal wounds in a safe environment – like at www.jesuscentre.org.uk
the Jesus Centres – and the arts help to form insights into healing. There is so much spiritual searching going on out there. My ﬁrst contact with Jesus Fellowship was actually through a Jesus Life magazine which was given to me in 1990 by a friend. Twelve years later we were able to spend a year with our three sons at Eagles’ Wings, the community house in Milton Keynes. We found Jesus Fellowship a beautiful contrast and challenge to the status quo. Many people in today’s world have never had the nurture that they should have had at the right time. I see the Jesus Centres as being places of healing for them. The healing comes to them through the nurture that comes from the committed discipleship relationships they ﬁnd there.”
He took it on
NEIL, A REGULAR homeless visitor to the Jesus Centre, was nick-named “Celebrity” after he officially opened the Jesus Centre in 2002. He died in tragic circumstances, in January this year. The Jesus Centre team led his funeral. The Jesus Centre has made a Book of Remembrance for all the visitors known to them who have died. In April, a “Vigil for the Forgotten People” was held at the Jesus Centre (see the BBC report on this at http:// tinyurl.com/4jpzsz). Other recent news: “ReCycle” is the name of Coventry Jesus Centre’s bike repair project. Bikes are fixed and sold on. In the process, people learn to do a useful task, others get cheap bikes, and the Jesus Centre gets revenue! “Your Life”, a midweek Christian service (with free pizza!), is going well. Coventry Jesus Centre has had a fresh influx of new volunteers, mainly drawn from visitors who have crossed the line into faith and now want to help where they were helped. Piers Young, Coventry Jesus Centre manager commented: “We’ve baptised seven people who first came to us at the Jesus Centre since the end of last year.” One, Andy, said: “I came to the Centre six months ago. I found peace here; friends, respect and accommodation through the Bond Scheme. I like volunteering. My baptism was brilliant and my life is on a better track.” JL
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 15
life on the loose “I’ve suffered from IBS. This weekend I was prayed for and I received deliverance. Now I feel free!” Anisa “Earlier this year when I was prayed for I fell to the floor and a demon of alcohol that had been with me for nine years was cast out of me. I’m still free! My soul is for Jesus.” Michael
“We’ve started loving Church again!” Theo “We only stopped nearby to post a letter, but we saw a “Jesus is Alive” poster and that’s why we’ve come. This festival has been really uplifting for us!” Alan and Suzanne “I’ve suffered from depression for a year. Now God has given me a new life. Without this church I wouldn’t be here.” Kelly
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 16
Healings and other signs of God’s presence broke out at the Jesus Fellowship’s “Alive” Festival Weekend this Easter.
IGH WINDS and bad weather meant the Jesus Fellowship’s Easter “Alive” Festival had to move from the Giant Marquee at Cornhill, Northamptonshire. Instead, some 1,200 people packed into Northampton Jesus Centre. Throughout the weekend there was a new emphasis on the particular calling of the modern Jesus army to the poor and marginalised of every kind as well as a focus on opposing evil spirits and receiving Holy Spirit blessings – which many, many people experienced powerfully.
DON’T MISS OUT BOOK NOW FOR THE
FRIDAY 23 MAY to MONDAY 26 MAY 2008
FRIDAY 22 AUGUST to MONDAY 25 AUGUST 2008
0845 123 5550 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jesus.org.uk
The heart of the church: art from a wall display at Northampton Jesus Centre
MOTHER CHURCH Northamptonshire is where the Jesus Fellowship first started. Claire Mallon, a member of mJa Northampton, describes it as “still as dynamic as ever”.
N 1969 a movement was birthed at a little Baptist chapel in rural Northamptonshire. Powerful new life broke out when the Holy Spirit fell upon the congregation. People were baptised in the Spirit, spoke in tongues, and knew God’s power in a dramatic new way. Others began to ﬂock from all over the Midlands and beyond to experience what God was doing. Bikers and hippies, Oxford students and professionals were added to the melting pot. Sharing and deep fellowship ﬂowed from this fresh experience of God’s reality, and in the early seventies the call became clear: to come together as God’s
people and have all things in common. So, being obedient to the Spirit, they did just that: sold cars, houses, pooled their resources and began to live together. Large properties were purchased (many through faith and prayer) that could accommodate large numbers of people. New Creation Christian Community was born. Later, the vision came to plant new churches and pioneers set out to establish Jesus Fellowship churches throughout the UK. Yet Northampton has remained the hub of the church, a “mother” church to many “daughters”. Now, nearly 40 years after its
beginning, the congregation is a strong, vibrant one with some 800 people belonging to it. There are more than 20 community houses in the area in and around Northampton. These days, God has blessed the congregation with an energetic new generation of young people who are taking up, with new vigour and drive, the vision that inspired so many in 1969.
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 17
HEART IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE
GOD, FRIENDSHIP, laughter, lights, dancing, tears (and tea and biscuits): that’s what available on a Sunday evening at Heart, a non-traditional church event at Northampton Jesus Centre. Claire Mallon spoke to Jesus Fellowship “old head’ Fred Zimmermann and “new head” Dave Allen about it. Claire: So what is Heart? Dave: Heart is a charismatic church gathering where people can come along and experience the power of God, plain and simple. Claire: Who is Heart for? Fred: Heart is for everyone regardless of age, class or race; however, it is set out with new people in mind. So someone coming in fresh from the street may just want to have a look at what is happening inside the building. Everyone is welcome at Heart and new people can get involved as much as regular members. Claire: What goes on at Heart? Dave: The programme at Heart is packed and very interactive. Lively worship, lots of dancing, a visual presentation that carries a punchy message, a “kidspot” where the children in the congregation can go on stage and learn about Jesus, and
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 18
a testimony time where people can talk about to the life changing power of God in their lives. There is also a gospel message and a time where people can receive prayer. And ﬁnally, the programme ends with baptisms which are times of clear spiritual power. Claire: What is different about Heart compared to other church services? Dave: Heart is not a conventional church service by any means. There are no bells or smells! Discovering real Christianity is an essential part of the event. Many people are put off by organised religion and are looking for something that breaks the norm and is relevant to them. At Heart you see healings, deliverance, reconciliation, love – and that is what is so different about it. Claire: What if someone doesn’t like Heart?
Stomp for Jesus: energetic dancing at Heart
It is the family of God drawn from all parts of the social spectrum
Fred: With more than 500 people there, Heart is big enough for new people to be able to come in and go out without feeling that they are interrupting things. So, if people don’t like it then they can leave without any pressure. Claire: Finally, can you sum up what Heart is about? Fred: It is the Body of Christ on display. It is more than just an amazing light show, lively music or a good sermon. It is the family of God drawn from all parts of the social spectrum. We want others to become part of the family and that is what Heart is about.
Northampton GETTING IN WITH THE GANGS
Friday night is “cause night” for Jesus Fellowship Northampton. Recently mJa groups have been taking the gospel to the gangs of Northampton. A GROUP of mJa Northampton’s young men have been hanging out with a gang from a housing estate on the outskirts of town. Equipped with a barbeque and the words of Jesus, they have been meeting up with these frustrated young people – with their potential so often overlooked – on a regular basis. At the outset, reactions were mixed, but over the months they have developed a rapport with them. Ben, one of these regular evangelists, comments: “The guys we talk to have needs and want to ﬁnd solutions. Life is real and very painful for some of them and we need to win their hearts and respect. Our aim is to get them into Jesus and let them see what our new creation culture is all about.”
Lads for Jesus: a baptism at Northampton Jesus Centre
MJA AND THE GANGS OF NORTHAMPTON: watch the video online at: www.jesus.org.uk/gallery/videos/gangs
DOG EAT DOG NO LONGER
Several of the Jesus Fellowship’s “community businesses” are located in the Northampton area.
THE WORLD says: “Fat-cat director? Give yourself that well-earned bonus. Factory worker or cleaner? Be glad you have a job.” It’s dog eat dog in the world of business; fairness and respect are not always “proﬁtable” words. God’s kingdom says: “Turn the world and its values upside down”. People are equal in the sight of God – display this on earth. Director, ofﬁce worker, factory ﬂoor worker all earn the same. Everyone’s input is valued and
much needed. To build the church is the aim, not to line our pockets. Jesus Fellowship Church has several businesses, all of which are based in the Northampton area. They range from a solicitors’ practice to an outdoor pursuits shop, to food wholesaling to builders’ merchants and were originally designed to equip and fund the work of the church. The church’s approach to business is radi-
cal: the same wage is paid to all regardless of occupational status and they are owned by the entire church community (via a legal trust which all community members are part of). A different ethos permeates the businesses because they are an extension of life as disciples of Jesus; employees see their employment as spiritual service to God. Result? Brotherhood combines with diligence to create excellence. It’s part of God’s kingdom coming on earth.
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 19
JESUS IN THE CENTRE
All smiles: two young people at Northampton Jesus Centre
Northampton Jesus Centre, based on a prominent former cinema in Northampton, has become a centre of God’s love, right in the centre of town.
“Preach the gospel at times; use words if necessary” Saint Francis of Assisi Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 20
IS IT A cinema? Is it a church? Well, you won’t ﬁnd a pulpit or pews in the large building that stands at the top of Northampton’s main shopping street. This 1930s art deco cinema, now the Jesus Army’s largest Jesus Centre (there are others in Coventry and London), has become a focal point of the town since it opened in 2004. The Jesus Centre is billed as “a place of worship, friendship and help”. As well as being a venue for many of the Jesus
Fellowship’s national meetings, it is a chill-out zone for the local youth on Friday nights, a space where the gospel is put into action for the poor on a daily basis and a place for anyone to come and ﬁnd Jesus. The Jesus Centre is a busy place. All sorts of activities take place there during the week, from creative and support groups, to a drop-in for the homeless and vulnerably housed, to youth and community events. Eight centuries
ago Saint Francis of Assisi was reported to have said: “Preach the gospel at times; use words if necessary.” This is something of the heart behind the Jesus Centre vision. In an age of advanced communication technology, Christian actions must speak loud and clear to demonstrate the reality of who Jesus is – and impact and win people for Him in Northampton. JL
For more on Jesus Centres see page 14 and 15
multiply christian network
m u l t i p l y Looking for real relationships Stephen Mwakibinga from Zambia talks to Emma Merry
WHAT IS MULTIPLY?
Multiply Christian Network is a worldwide apostolic stream of churches, initiated by Jesus Fellowship Church. It is a member of the Evangelical Alliance UK. Multiply now has 18 UK groups and 105 worldwide.
WHO’S IT FOR?
Any fellowship, of any size, from any culture or race, as long as it is basically evangelical. The latest partner to join was Living Water Church, a Congolese Frenchspeaking church based in Gloucester, UK.
WHAT DOES IT OFFER?
Relationships between leaders are central and are fostered through regular conferences, celebration gatherings and fellowship. Leadership and evangelism training plus a variety of resources, including free literature, are also available.
MULTIPLY APOSTOLIC MEN NAME: Stephen Mwakibinga BORN: 1967, Zambia STATUS: Married, with a son and two daughters CHURCH: All Nations Harvest APOSTOLIC MAN FOR: Zambia EMAIL: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
www.multiply.org.uk Contact Multiply Director Huw Lewis Tel: +44 1327 344533 Email: email@example.com or write to: Jesus Fellowship/ Multiply Central Offices, Nether Heyford, Northampton, UK NN7 3LB
WENTY-SEVEN years ago Stephen Mwakibinga popped out to his local grocery store. He never came back, at least not as the same man, for two evangelists met him on his way. There and then, in the dusty Zambian street, Stephen straightaway knelt and gave his life to Jesus. It’s characteristic of him both as a man and a leader – confrontation and vision, followed by obedience and action. Stephen ﬁrst heard about the Jesus Fellowship the same year as his conversion, but the Multiply International Leaders Conference in 2006 was his ﬁrst taste of the real thing. He was impressed – ﬁrstly, by the depth of the fellowship. For Stephen, lots of small churches can feel isolated and neglected, and it is to them that Multiply particularly offers the hand of fellowship. “One can put to ﬂight a thousand; two, ten thousand; so by standing together we can do more,” he explains. “Also, the mission of Multiply is to be a house and a home for many who are standing by themselves.” This tallies exactly with the vision of Stephen’s own church, All Nations Harvest, to be a home for everyone. “Our heart is for the needy,” says Stephen. “We aim to see people make it in this difﬁcult world.” That it’s difﬁcult in Zambia is certain – millions of Zambians live below the World Bank poverty threshold of $1 a day. The country was wracked by ﬂooding in January this year, with houses near the mother church
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 21
Continued from overleaf
in Kitwe collapsing and the city hit by cholera after people drank unclean water. Four months on, in many areas people are still living on donated food and in temporary homes. All Nations Harvest helped with the feeding programme. “Life hasn’t been easy for many this time around but God is great and on our side,” says Stephen, still with a smile. The Jesus Fellowship’s Jesus Centres – 24/7 church (see pages 13, 14 and 15) – inspired Stephen to open a clothes bank, and a school for street children runs in the church building too. The plan now is to open an orphanage, to rescue the children before they become hardened to street life, and work has begun on renovating the rooms for this. “If Jesus had a church, would He be waiting for people to come back on Sunday?” asks Stephen pointedly. Discipleship was another theme that struck a chord with him: “Firstly, the emphasis in the Jesus Fellowship is not just on a person coming to church on Sunday. Secondly, it makes those who are involved in discipling also not to be idle in the church. In many churches, ‘the pastor’ is doing everything - there’s no room for others to develop. And sometimes in cell group, all people go for is ‘who are we going to hear today?’ But here, it’s life outlived.” All Nations Harvest also wants to be a place where people are fathered and mothered in the Lord. Hence its mission statement: “called to reach, care, equip and empower people of all nations.” “Bible school is good but bible school does not father a person,” explains Stephen. He personally was spiritually “fathered” by Bernard Nwaka for 19 years. “I just went from doing nothing to doing something,” he recalls, laughing. “I did all sorts of stuff, and from that has developed into what I am today.” Now he himself “fathers” Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 22
Stephen (centre) with Iain Gorrie (left) and Tschaka Roussell, Jesus Fellowship UK leaders.
a group of 13 “sons”, some of whom are older than himself! “I feel there’s much more I have to give to people,” he continues. “I want many sons who say, ‘God gave us a father, we had a father in our midst.’” On his return to Zambia in summer 2006, Stephen lost no time in sharing the Multiply vision. For the ﬁrst meeting, ﬁfteen pastors turned up – the second time round, this had more than
doubled to 35! Now there are regular monthly meetings in Kitwe. “Multiply has become a uniting factor for ministers in Kitwe from different churches,” says Stephen. “It has broken through denominational barriers. It has broken through doctrinal barriers. And it has broken through barriers of superiority, as an open body – an arm of unity in the body of Christ.” Now Stephen is opening Multiply
Leaders are the most lonely people in the church... they want someone who can stand by them.
groups in other towns and placing city leaders to oversee Multiply activities and fellowship, along with Multiply fellowship of ministers and leaders every two months in towns where there are already Multiply representatives. Beyond Zambia’s borders, Multiply has extended into Congo, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania and Botswana, and it is hoped to have a regional conference in September 2008. Also in the visionary pipeline are Multiply businesses, to enable member churches to fund their work. Two of the ideas ﬂoated so far are an internet café and a transport business. In his ﬁrst year of Multiply membership Stephen enjoyed a ministry tour with another Multiply apostolic leader, Pascal Orome from the Ivory Coast, that included welcoming him into the family home. “The strength is that when Pascal comes over to Zambia, it is as one of our family members in Multiply; it shows that we are a family belonging to a larger family,” explains Stephen. In this past year, Stephen’s relationship with Daniel Grimmer of the United Arab Emirates has also been growing as they partner to resource their leaders and ministers through training and equipping. “I think Multiply is a very big tool that God can use,” concludes Stephen. “You see, leaders are the most lonely people, in the church and in the corporate world. What they’re looking for is a relationship of their peers, a strong attachment. They want someone who can stand by them, help them, minister to them. “There are many networks claiming to be relational, but really there’s no relationship at all. My desire is that Multiply can grow into this dimension where we go beyond conferences and gatherings, where we plunge together into the stream where it’s real networking.” So come on in, the water’s lovely! www.multiply.org.uk
n network Partners in the gospel Multiply UK Coordinator, Iain Gorrie, visits UK Multiply groups to meet leaders “on their own turf”, helping them to feel part of the Multiply family. He describes one such visit. THE LOCATION of “Triumphant Lamb”, the Jesus Fellowship community house in Preston – not far from a local prison between the red light district and a largely Muslim area – certainly puts them on the frontline. They’ve had eggs thrown at their Jesus Army minibus, but they’re ﬁnding ways of breaking down barriers and reaching people with the genuine gospel. I arrived at Preston station one grey March morning this year. Pete Emblin, the main leader of Jesus Fellowship Preston, was there to meet me. At Triumphant Lamb we met the main leader of Hyndburn Christian Fellowship (near Blackburn), Frank Andrews, and June Quinn, a member of their “advisory group”. We had plenty of time to share together, over a meal. I talked about the vision and direction of Multiply, a vision of connecting together independent churches and groups at leadership level and stimulating charismatic life, ministry and service. Both Frank and Pete shared about their need for more young people in the church and spoke about their churches’ vision to receive more of God’s
power and to train and release everyone in their gifts and ministries. Frank sees great value in working together – both at a personal (leadership) level and at a congregational (body of Christ) level. Recently the two groups have enjoyed meeting together: the advisory group of HCF came over to JF Preston for food, fellowship and a time of worship with the folk from JF Preston; and in April the whole JFC Preston group went to a Sunday morning meeting at Hyndburn. The two groups would also like to do evangelism together in their different “patches”. Both HCF and JF Preston have been through periods of sifting over the last few years, but are coming through this and looking positively to the future. HCF now sees its identity very much as part of Multiply and has appreciated input from the main leader of JF Liverpool, Dave Brown (now sadly passed away), and now from Pete Emblin. The Jesus Fellowship aims to build strong relationships of mutual support and encouragement with Multiply groups. It was good to see this happening in such a practical and hearty way between two churches in the North West. JL
MULTIPLY CHURCHES AND GROUPS MEET ALL OVER THE UK RING UP AND FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR AREA! BELFAST Jesus Fellowship Church ___________________0845 123 5552 BIRMINGHAM Jesus Fellowship Church ______________0845 166 8153 BLACKBURN Hyndburn Christian Fellowship __________01706 222 401 BLACKBURN Rishton Christian Fellowship____________ 01254 887790 BOURNEMOUTH Jesus Fellowship Church ____________0845 123 5558 BRIDGEND The Bridge Community Church____________ 01656 655635 BRIGHTON & HOVE Jesus Fellowship Church__________0845 166 8151 BRISTOL Jesus Fellowship Church___________________0845 123 5339 CHATHAM House Of Prayer For All Nations ___________ 01634 669933 CHATHAM King’s Church Medway____________________ 01634 847477 CHESTER/NORTH WALES Jesus Fellowship Church ____0845 123 5561 CORNWALL Jesus Fellowship Church ________________0845 166 9191 COVENTRY Jesus Fellowship Church _________________0845 166 8154 EXETER/DEVON Jesus Fellowship Church ____________0845 833 5602 GLOUCESTER Living Word Fellowship ________________01452 532 138 HASTINGS Jesus Fellowship Church__________________0845 123 5551 HIGH WYCOMBE Church of Shalom __________________ 01494 449408 IPSWICH Jesus Fellowship Church ___________________0845 166 8156 KETTERING Jesus Fellowship Church_________________0845 166 8157 LEEDS Jesus Fellowship Church _____________________0845 166 8167 LEICESTER Jesus Fellowship Church _________________0845 644 9705 LIVERPOOL Jesus Fellowship Church ________________0845 166 8168 LONDON Jesus Fellowship Church ___________________0845 166 8152 LONDON N Glad Tidings Evangelical Church __________020 8245 9002 LONDON S Bible Life Family Ministries _______________020 8689 2244 LONDON SE Ephratah Int’l Gospel Praise Centre ______020 8469 0047 LONDON SE Flaming Evangelical Ministries __________020 8694 2083 LONDON SE Glorious Revival Eagle Ministries _____020 8855 3087 LONDON SE Mission Together for Christ _____________020 7401 2687 MANCHESTER Jesus Fellowship Church ______________0845 166 8169 MILTON KEYNES Jesus Fellowship Church ____________0845 166 8159 NORTHAMPTON Jesus Fellowship Church ____________0845 166 8161 NORWICH Jesus Fellowship Church __________________0845 166 8162 NOTTINGHAM Jesus Fellowship Church_______________0845 166 8163 OXFORD Jesus Fellowship Church ___________________0845 166 8164 PRESTON Jesus Fellowship Church __________________0845 123 5554 RAMSEY HOLLOW (HUNTS) Christians United _________ 01487 815528 SHEFFIELD Jesus Fellowship Church _________________0845 166 8183
Joined in Jesus: Frank (left) Iain, and Pete.
STOKE-ON-TRENT Jesus Fellowship Church ___________0845 123 5334 SWANSEA Jesus Fellowship Church__________________0845 123 5556 WALSALL Jesus Fellowship Church __________________0845 123 5563
WOLVERHAMPTON Jesus Fellowship Church _________0845 123 5564 Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 23
WORCESTER Jesus Fellowship Church _______________0845 833 5601
l i f e ON THE INSIDE
What is Jesus up to in prison? Joe Morriss team leader of Open Doors tells Jesus Life.
behind locked doors E
XCUSE ME mate! Don’t stand on the carpet with your shoes on!” Such was the greeting I got from a bunch of roguishly grinning lads in the mosque at HM Young Offenders Institution in Aylesbury. I had been invited by the Imam to talk to the young men, now watching me intently as I stood in their place of worship and told the story of how I turned to faith in Jesus Christ while serving a prison sentence of my own. Despite a few testy remarks the lads listened eagerly to my story and there were plenty of genuine questions asked at the end. On another occasion the chaplain, Reverend J. Williams, invited us to lead an advent service which was a great time of worship, drama and testimonies. She commented: “As the Anglican Chaplain in a Young Offenders Institution I feel like sticking my head out through the bars which surround our prison to shout: ‘Is anybody out there?’ “How can we prevent future
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 24
victims if we do not offer the gospel of love and forgiveness to those we have in prison? How can we help them love themselves and love others if we do not tell them that God loves them unreservedly and will help them change their lives for the better? “When Jesus asks us: ‘Did you visit Me in prison?’ we can’t reply like Catherine Tait ‘Does my face look bovvered?’ Like Mary our response is: ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have said.’ Thank You, God, I say, for Open Doors and the Prisoner Release Scheme who not only visit the prisoners in prison but also support them when they leave.” Another time, another prison chapel, locked away in the heart of a high-security jail in Kent. For six months I had been meeting a friend, who is a “lifer”, to pray and share in Holy Communion. Normally a long-term prisoner will have to serve a long time in category C (this prison category applies to prisoners who cannot
As we prayed, a shaft of light shone through the high, barred windows and fell across the table Open Doors is a group run by ex-prisoners, led by Joe, which offers support and friendship to those coming out of prison. They operate from the Northampton Jesus Centre. To contact Joe for information about Open Doors email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Jesus Fellowship also runs
be trusted in open conditions) before moving to an open prison – but this inmate was asking God for something supernatural to happen. As we prayed, a shaft of light shone through the high, barred windows and fell across the table where we sat. “I think God has heard my prayer,” I said. The lad looked up and smiled from under his baseball cap. The peace in the room was tangible. I received a letter from him on New Year’s Eve – he got reclassiﬁed to D category, and is waiting to be moved to an open prison. Prison doors are solid and unyielding. But behind them are those who are longing for an end to their constant failure, often desperate for a chance to try again. We want to keep meeting prisoners, pushing the doors of their lives, one by one – in the hope that some will open, bringing inner freedom and new life in Jesus. JL the Heartcry Prisoner Release Programme, a scheme to write to prisoners and give them a new start after release. For information about this write to: Phil Ferris, Heartcry Helpdesk, Jesus Fellowship Central Offices, Nether Heyford, Northampton, NN7 3LB, Tel: 0845 166 8173, Email: email@example.com
Francis Xavier: WILD SOUL-WINNER “Sometimes I can hardly use my arms after baptising entire villages, and I lose my voice completely with all the preaching.” So wrote Francis Xavier, one of the most remarkable soul-winners in the history of Christianity. Article by Trevor Saxby. FRANCIS XAVIER was born in a castle in 1506, son of a Spanish aristocrat. As a boy he already showed the passion and courage which would mark his later years. He was also deeply spiritual. At university in Paris, he met Ignatius Loyola, who was planning to found a new missionary movement in the Roman Catholic Church. Xavier encouraged him and in 1534 was one of seven men who made a pledge of lifelong loyalty and service to Christ – a covenant which they kept to death. Xavier was ordained by Loyola. He had always been excited by stories of the Indies. His heart burned to take Jesus to lands where He was hardly known, so he volunteered for service in India. In 1541 he left Europe, never to return. He would only have 11 years before his early death, but in that time he and his team planted churches in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan, and led (by some estimates) almost a million souls to Christ. On arrival at Goa he found Europeans living lives that disgraced Christianity, and locals hungry for truth. He plunged into the work. He rebuked godless Western merchants and got the bishop to pass orders restraining their activities. He visited hospitals and prayed for the sick. One of his most successful methods was to begin a chilwww.jesus.org.uk www.jesus.org.uk/revival
Fr dren’s work, teaching them about Jesus. “Give me the children until they are seven,” he used to say, “and anyone may have them afterwards.” He knew that by then children could give their heart to Jesus for life. Many adults were won to the faith when they saw the new joy and love for God in their children. What contributed to Xavier's amazing fruitfulness? First, a lot of tough work and hardships. In his letters we read of months spent learning languages; of frequent tropical fevers; of dangers from pirates and bandits; and of journeys through waist-high snow, his bare feet leaving trails of blood. Always his followers could hear him praying for souls and for the building up of churches. Alongside this, Xavier was a man of power in the Holy Spirit. He burned with love for Jesus. Sometimes he appeared to “drift off” in a trance; he had visions of Jesus. He had an accurate prophetic gift, foreseeing storms,
I have thought of going around the universities of Europe and crying out: ‘What a tragedy! How many souls are being shut out of heaven, thanks to you!’
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dangers and political events. He spoke in tongues, and on a few occasions actually preached in a language he had never learned. Most of all, Xavier moved in miraculous power gifts. Many demons were cast out. In Malaysia he prayed for a girl who had been dead for two days, and she was restored to life. Other raisings of the dead took place when he and his team prayed. There are hundreds of recorded healings from blindness, deafness, ulcerated limbs and tropical fevers. This power opened people’s hearts wide to the gospel. Xavier wrote to Loyola of his heartache that the harvest of souls was immense but that European Christians were too fearful or self-satisﬁed to come and help reap it. “Again and again I have thought of going around the universities of Europe and crying out: ‘What a tragedy! How many souls are being shut out of heaven, thanks to you!’” Finally, worn out by fevers and his many labours, Francis Xavier died, aged 46, while awaiting permission to enter China. His body was not transported home to rest in some ornate cathedral. It was buried simply in his beloved Goa, among the people he had won for Jesus. JL
READ MORE: More stories of the church’s passionate past at www.jesus.org.uk/revival Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 25
over the garden fence
After Paul lost his mum to cancer his own life began to spiral. But an encounter with God was to turn his life around. He tells Jesus Life his story. ASKING your neighbour about the meaning of life over the garden fence is not an everyday experience for most. But for Paul Bach it was perfectly normal; in fact, nothing in his life, including the strange things that went bump in the night, ever seemed that unusual. Paul’s mum was a spiritualist. From his early years Paul can recount stories of bottle tops ﬂying off and landing on top of lightbulbs, plates simultaneously falling off walls and people (mediums) from the spiritualist group “knowing things you can’t know”. But as Paul settles into a sofa at his home, the Jesus Fellowship community house, Cornerstone, he insists, “The spiritualist experience wasn’t spooky.” Paul grew up in the Lickey Hills in the West Midlands, an idyllic kind of a place: rolling hills and wooded glades. Now a man in his early twenties, you can still see in Paul’s face the ﬂush of red-cheeked vigour that boys get when they spend many days in the open air. Hours were wiled away roaming the hills with friends. Paul was a self-confessed ﬁshing addict too; there was a lake at the bottom of his garden – it was that kind of life. Cornerstone was just up the road from Paul’s childhood home. He had often visited the Christian community’s gardens on the village open day, but he didn’t know much about the people there or why they all lived in the same big house. Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 26
But his life did have this extra otherworldly dimension. Paul describes a time when his grandmother played the piano – but, when she sang the word “angel”, the piano keys were slammed by an invisible hand. The unearthly realm his mum tapped into with her spiritualist friends was having an effect at home and it shaped Paul’s beliefs. “I was quite aware there was a lot more than many people believe in,” he explains. And yet, in all of Paul’s stories of strange happenings, there is a startlingly obvious detail which is missing: “I didn’t believe in God,” he admits, “though from an early age I had a ﬁrm belief in supernatural things.” Yet, at 17, something happened that shook Paul’s understanding of absolutely everything: tragically, his mum died of cancer. “I knew Mum would die,” Paul relates, “her parents had died from cancer.” But the supernatural experiences didn’t stop. “When the bad news came from the hospital the light ﬂickered on and off. Later, I went to the computer screen and the cursor was moving around all by itself.” This didn’t amaze Paul, “I believed in life after death. I believed in spiritual things.” But that belief wasn’t going to stop Paul’s life falling apart. Paul lost his enthusiasm for normal life. His dad tried to advise him: “Keep going,
don’t stop!” But he explains, “It felt like someone had stabbed me in my soul.” Instead he began experimenting with drugs and lost himself in the rave scene. “I was just messing with my mates. But in the end my mind started getting really bad; I was getting quite anxious, short tempered, confused. I couldn’t really concentrate at all. I didn’t know what to do.” He knew the “happy” drug induced unity of the raves was false but what else was there? The only thing in his favour it seems was that his mum’s best mate was a Christian. “She was praying for me. And that was inﬂuencing things.” Returning home late from a party one night Paul describes how terrible he felt. Yet, despite having had no sleep he found himself reading a book his mum had given him. Dramatically, it changed his world. “It was all about the concept of God and eternity.” The effect was mind blowing. “It introduced me to the idea of faith.” As he opened himself up, Paul felt himself being ﬁlled with supernatural energy and life. “It was God! I think since then Jesus was in my life – though I didn’t realise it; but I began to change.” From that ﬁrst moment he could feel something entirely different from the effect of the drugs: “excitement, energy, a sense of hope.” Immediately things began to go www.jesus.org.uk
SPIRITUALISM AND CHRISTIANITY: THE DIFFERENCE
He could feel something entirely different from the effect of the drugs: “excitement, energy, a sense of hope.” right: he set up a leaﬂeting business the very next day, and God began to work on healing Paul’s mind. “It was still a battle. It would get to the point where I couldn’t work and sometimes I’d be struggling with a real simple task, losing concentration and getting all panicky about stuff, but other times things were really good.” www.jesus.org.uk
Spiritualism is not a religion as such, so much as a philosophy about life after death. Paul wasn’t going to any church, but each time he walked past Cornerstone he knew God was calling him to walk down the drive. It was on one of those occasions that Paul just found himself discussing the meaning of life with Colin, a Cornerstone resident. Paul was invited for a meal but he was hesitant. And then, “One day, coming back from a job interview, still wearing my suit, I went down there to ﬁnd them working in the grounds and, because I do a bit of gardening, I asked them, ‘Do you want any help?’ I got involved that way.” Paul loved the Christian fellowship he discovered at Cornerstone and eventually he decided to move in. There were more Godexperiences: at one point he had “a real clear vision of Jesus on the cross.” But the familiar spirits of Paul’s youth didn’t give up either. Waking up in Cornerstone one night Paul remembers seeing a black ﬁgure in the room. The ﬁgure came back again the next night. But Paul’s faith in God was winning through, he prayed with some other Christian residents around his bed and the ﬁgure has never returned again. For Paul there is now meaning to life, even when death makes it seem like a great mystery. “It’s great to know that God is there all the time. There’s real security in that.” Security indeed. For now Paul knows the JL One who has power over life and death.
Spiritualists believe that people’s souls survive after death and that certain individuals (“mediums”) can communicate with them. Some spiritualists may consider themselves Christians. However, most Christian churches including the Jesus Fellowship, though sharing a belief in life after death, do not accept spiritualist practices. Tschaka Roussel, a Jesus Fellowship leader, explains: “A belief in the supernatural is not necessarily the same as having a faith in God. There is quite a difference between faith in the living God whom Christians worship and the trust spiritualists put in spirits of the dead. The Bible forbids contacting the dead mainly because it teaches that we should trust in God instead.” Ultimately, Christians believe not just in “life after death” for the soul without a body, but in “resurrection”: when believers will be raised to life with a body – like Jesus was – to live forever. READ MORE: Other people’s stories at www.jesus.org.uk/jcml
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 27
Every Thursday evening, each New Creation Christian Community home throws its door open for friends to come along and enjoy a meal at the house. Jesus Life hears about some of them.
ATMOSPHERES like these can only be generated by a people being truly “together”. Without TV and other distractions, personalities can grow and fit together as comfortably as old shoes – it makes for a loving family where friends and strangers alike can come and find their place.
Mary Davis visited “Narrow Way” in Leicester: “A friendly face answers the door. Saints are sunk deep in sofas waiting for friends to arrive, chldren play, there’s a warm smell of food floating in from the kitchen. A minibus arrives and out tumbles a handful of lively-looking youth. Then more people arrive. The leader, Richard, shares some thoughts and the presence of God can be felt reaching into the hearts of the people. A refreshing time of worship, and then we chill: out come the drums, and the toys, and the tea.”
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Jason King was hosted by “Palm Tree” in Northamptonshire: “Thursday evenings at Palm Tree are warm and welcoming. The nine residents, joined by friends, gather in the lounge. Palm Tree member, Phil, takes centre stage with a selection of amusing anecdotes. Others take turns sharing about their own comings and goings and concerns. There is a noticeable emphasis on the well being of friends outside the house. Prayers are prayed for all with a sincere “Amen!” before going on to the meal which, like the atmosphere, is very warming.”
Tschaka Roussel went to “Cornerstone” in Birmingham: “Arriving at Cornerstone is like arriving at a country stately home. People are working in the grounds and keeping the house tidy. It’s an opportunity to join in and get to know people and there are fresh scones available to nibble on. Dinner comes as the work is finished, a fire is lit, and we begin and end with a simple prayer, a prayer of friendship and heartfelt love.”
Danny McGuren went to “Crown of Life” in Sheffield: “As we arrived people were singing a popular Christian song about reaching out with the love of Jesus. About 20 friends, of all nationalities, joined in. The atmosphere was warm and accepting. A short prayer before we gathered around tables to eat, just like one big family. We talked about life, work and washing up! And after dinner the conversations flowed into other rooms.”
Friendship night at Living Faith in Oxford (far left) Sing-song (left and right) All ages together V (centre) Come in - you’re welcome!
New Creation Christian Community NCCC is the residential community part of the Jesus Fellowship. About 600 people live together in different community houses of varying sizes around the UK, seeking to share their lives in common like the first Christians in the book of Acts in the New Testament. Check it out at www.newcreation.org.uk
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Emma Merry was at “Living Faith” in Oxford: “We come in all kinds of ages – nought to ninety five” – so the song goes, but for Living Faith it’s actually from one to eighty eight! Thursday nights here are characterised by lively kids (so many that they have their own mini-meal before the main one), expressive worship (lots) and yummy food (plenty). As the song puts it, “The love of God is the superglue that keeps this family strong.” JL
Selina Charlton visited “Tân Sanctaidd” (Welsh for “Holy Fire”) in Swansea: Friendship night is fish and chips night at the Jesus Fellowship’s community house in South Wales. During early evening the 10 - 12 regular visitors make their way from their homes in different parts of Swansea to travel “up the hill” to Tân Sanctaidd. “It's a relaxed, informal night to introduce new friends to the church,” explained leader, Victor. “Fish and chips has become our tradition!”
Plus much more...
NCCC Postcards, set of four designs, £1 by post Navy cagoule with embroidered red cross, size s/m or l/xl, £17.99 Navy cap, beige trim, embroidered red cross: £4.99 Jesus Revolution, new design. Red garment, size XS-XXL. Tee £10.99/Hoodie £23.99 Create Community, new design: royal tee, sky hoodie, M,L,XL,XXL. Tee £10.99/Hoodie £23.99 Multiracial Church DVD - £5.99 Healing DVD - £5.99 Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 29
No sex. No marriage. No kids. For good. Shocked? JESUS was often shocking. Read chapter 19 of Matthew’s Gospel. Here we ﬁnd Him telling off a few hypocrites who wanted a religious excuse for divorcing wives who burnt their dinners or whatever. Jesus insists on God’s marriage-design: it’s for life. Cue the startled disciples: “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry”. (“Can’t get shot of an old model? Better not get
hitched?”) Without turning a hair, Jesus tells them that some will, indeed, not get married – to better serve God. (His original words were “castrate themselves” which is about as drastic a metaphor as you get.) Now, it’s just possible, in our casual age, that the shock factor of not marrying is lost on us. But Jesus wasn’t just talking about forgetting the legal bit and living together. He was talking about lifelong sexual abstinence and singleness. You don’t get much more abstinent than “castration”. No sex please. And no marriage. And no kids. To the Jews Jesus was talking to, this was about as shocking as it got. Their entire worldview was based around family life. “Have as many little children as you can” was their motto.
But Jesus brings a new order. Old “Adam and Eve style” reproduction is passing away. Yes, their job was to “go forth and multiply”. And this is good, right, and important to God. Yet Jesus has a new task in hand: “Go forth and – make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason for the biblical gift of celibacy. Since its emphasis is less on natural birth than on new birth, we ﬁnd Jesus, Paul and John all commending singleness and celibacy: it frees you up
OVER for God’s kingdom (Jesus in Matthew 19:12); it leaves you “undivided” for God (Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:35), able to follow Jesus “wherever He goes” (John in Revelation 14:4). Sure, marriage is good. Babies are good. But let’s not dismiss celibacy as applying only to a decreasing number of priests and nuns. Those committed to singleness are freer to be spiritual parents, to win souls – to make disciples. So as Jesus shockingly said: If you can – go for it (Matthew 19:12). JL
“Go forth and make disciples”
HAVE YOUR SAY: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Read the ebook at http://www.jesus.org.uk/kingdommanifesto.pdf
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Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 30
Boiling with rage and bubbling with excitement - Jesus Life hears from mJa members, Daniel Driscoll and Jonathan Sherlock.
Fatherless generation THE WORLD is full of fatherless people: broken families with broken lives. This moulds our society and the culture that we live in. Absent dads. No fathers. People grow up without role models to shape their character. Youth become what the culture around them tells them to be: what to wear, what to say. It can spiral out of control – “join a gang; get yourself a knife, a gun” – or destructive – “hang yourself.” All because the only sense of security becomes a security pulled together with other broken people. The world is crying out for fathers, crying out for role models, for love and acceptance. The world is broken. So we’re the church of Jesus, the counter culture; the new society, a brotherhood, a people of love. But are we relevant to the world around us? Will we “father” this fatherless generation?
I grew up “fatherless” – I never knew my dad and it left me broken and insecure. But as I grew up in the Jesus Army I found that people loved me – and I found “fathers”: people who just loved me, showed me character love and vision and through good and bad stuck with me. Some of them had known what it was like to not have a father but, healed themselves, now they fathered me. If our society is fatherless, surely the church should be full of fathers? What makes me angry is a church that knows the fathering love of God, but is too scared to show the same love to others. If a radical church like the Jesus Army can’t be fathers and mothers to a fatherless generation then who can? It’s hard to step out of our own hurts and insecurities, to believe in ourselves enough to give ourselves to others – but if we won’t who will?
Daniel Driscoll HAVE YOUR OWN RANT OR RAVE: www.jesus.org.uk/forum www.jesus.org.uk
mJa rave SO WHAT IS it like to be a soldier of the modern Jesus army? It is the most challenging, radical and awesome experience I can imagine. Living for the cause of Jesus: sacriﬁcing all to follow Him and fulﬁl the calling which God has placed on our lives. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can walk in a covenant relationship with Him and His people. What does this mean? It means we belong to each other and together we belong to God. We give up what the world shouts we can’t do without and live to become part of a highly visible church in a dark and
corrupt society. We’re willing to serve the poor and rejected. We love the spiritually bankrupt and pour out our lives to those in need. I believe that there is nothing more important to Jesus on this earth, than His Church, the Body of Christ. That’s why I want to be part of a radical church which gives its all for Him. The modern Jesus army is a vibrant, colourful and out-front expression of what it is to be a “holy nation”, set apart, living for the cause of the “Lamb that was slain”. I love the expression of the Body of Christ which is the mJa. This church is where God has destined me to be – and this is where I intend to stay until the end of my days. JL
Jesus Life Two/2008 Page 31
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