N OV E M B E R
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ISSUE NUMBER 5
THE NETWORK THE POWER OF TOGETHER Kingfisher network...what comes to your mind when you hear those words? A faceless organisation? A nice-to-have-but not-essential concept? Or a powerful expression of togetherness, with the sum of the whole being stronger than the sum of the parts. The Bible tells us that: "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV)
available in a format for trainee leaders to participate in at home, at their own speed. Featuring workbooks, DVDs and CDs, this is a powerful way of identifying, developing and releasing new leaders into the Body of Christ, and is available through our Resources site. There are many other resources that each Kingfisher church can benefit from, which you can check out at www.kingfisher.org.uk (go to resources on the front page).
This is describing synergy - the power of partnering together which is what is at the heart of Network. A growing number of churches around the world are partnering together in a common mission to reach lost people and see them transformed into fullydevoted followers of Jesus Christ. Each local community is a different expression of that, with different emphases, different approaches, but all with the common aim of seeing the lost find Jesus, discover life-changing purpose in community and fulfil their God-given mission in life.
On an emotional level, we are stronger together because we are continually encouraged by what is happening at other churches in the Network. It is really encouraging, for example, to hear that pastors are being trained in Mozambique and that they have a vision to build a training centre in that country which will train many people and be the launch pad for church planting in that land. It is exciting to hear that Kingfisher Brockworth is participating in a project called 'Besum', which aims to prayerfully connect resources with families in need in the area.
But why is together better than separate? The power of together is seen on a number of levels: On the physical level, we are stronger together because we are able to share resources. This month sees the launch of the newly-published leadership course. This course is now
On a spiritual level, we are stronger together because, as we stand together in prayer, believing for changes to occur in our city, in our country, in our world, with other Christians in the Network joining with us, the power of agreement ensures those prayers are particularly effective. (â€œI also
tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.â€? (Matthew 18:19, 20 NLT)) It is easy to become engrossed by what is going on a the local church level and think: what are any of the other churches in the Network to us? What are any other churches to us? But then we miss the 'power of together'...thousands of Christians on three continents united by a common mission, a common passion and a common commitment to believe together that Jesus Christ can change our world. Thousands of Christians committing together to pray that the lost will be found, that Christhonouring community will be raised up, that lives will be changed, that heaven will be populated at the expense of hell. This is the vision of Network. Local churches transforming local communities, linking together to see wider society impacted by the Gospel and changed for the glory of God. You are part of a unique, special local fellowship - and you are part of something that is impacting the world! That's Network -the power of together.
BROCKWORTH Kingfisher Brockworth Away Weekend, 7-9th Sep 2012 Welsh Borders Golf Complex, Shropshire To celebrate our first anniversary, nearly 40 members of Kingfisher Brockworth enjoyed an amazing weekend together in Shropshire. We set up camp at the Welsh Borders Golf Club on Friday evening and then shared a BBQ & Bingo night in the clubhouse. Saturday morning began with
bacon butties at Judd Palace before a day of action & adventure at Lake Vyrnwy in Wales. We had great fun kayaking, sailing and swimming in this beautiful place and were blessed with amazing weather. Saturday evening consisted of a delicious meal together, a quiz from Mr Paul Crump followed by midnight golf (with flashing balls) for those few hardy folks who hadn't
yet crawled into their sleeping bags! We had an open-air service with communion on Sunday before striking camp and setting off home. We had a truly blessed time together and hopefully won't need to wait another year for the next one!
KINGSWAY This summer we had a real ‘Pirate Adventure’ at our holiday club held at Kingsway Primary School. We saw around 90 different children come to the week and had the priviledge of sharing some of the good news of Jesus with them. We welcomed many familys back to our family service and picnic a few weeks later. The past few months have seen a flurry of new and relaunched ministries such as ‘Quench’ a social group for
18-21 year olds, meeting in the Barn Owl in Kingsway, and ‘Blast’ a monthly Sunday morning group for Years 6 and 7 at school. We have also been running a successful ‘Drug Proof Your Kids’ Course and have been invited back into Kingsway Primary for more groups and events. As a Church we hold vision evenings every 6 months and at our evening in October felt God call as a church to being wholehearted; wholehearted in our commitment to
community, wholehearted in our commitment to personal discipleship and wholehearted in our commitment to giving. As part of demonstrating this we are having our next baptism service in January, which we have 3 people ready to take the next step in their walk with Jesus. These are exciting times and we ask you to join with us in prayer for all the things God is doing at Kingfisher Church Kingsway.
Believing, Learning And Sharing Together
THE MOUNTAINS AND THE VALLEYS Our lives are a series of mountains and valleys. Sometimes everything seems to be going right. The people in our ministry, group or church are all on board, things are growing, flourishing, we seem to have good favour with other people, we feel strong and confident and that God is with us and anointing everything we are doing. Other times, everything seems to be a struggle. People around us seem to be uninspired, there seems to be little or no fruit coming out of our area of ministry. Things seems stale, we feel we are struggling, we are experiencing reversals in our lives, there's a heaviness, a sense of struggle; we don't feel that anything is particularly anointed. In other words, life seems to be like a series of mountains and valleys. Christian life is full of them; It is very easy for Christians to encounter valleys. Mountains seem to be fleeting and far between. Here are some questions we might want to ask about those mountains and valleys in our lives: • What leads us from a mountain to a valley? • What leads us from a valley to a mountain? • What do we need to remember in a valley? • What do we need to remember on a mountain? We rarely spend long on a mountain top; we spend most of our time descending into a valley
or ascending out of a valley. The truth is, it is easier to get stuck in a valley than it is to be positioned firmly on a mountain top.
What leads us into the valley and out of the valley? The seeds we sow. We are not in control of the circumstances that surround us; we are often thrust into a set of circumstances that propel us from the mountain top and into the valley. Sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of a Godordained set of circumstances that lift us out of the valley. The circumstances are beyond our control and, largely, we aren't responsible for them. What we are responsible for are the seeds we are sowing. Sowing valley seeds will send us down to, or keep us down in the valley. Sowing mountain seeds will play a significant part in either keeping us on the mountain or setting us heading in that direction. It may well be that you need to make a transition and start sowing a different kind of seed today. Transition times are those times when we start sowing a different kind of seed. Negatively, we can move from sowing mountain seeds to sowing valley seeds. Positively, we can move from sowing valley seeds and start sowing mountain seeds. Take the Prodigal Son, for example. He was on a mountain...in a loving family, comfortably off, with a future and enjoying the blessing of
God. Then he started sowing valley seeds. He became discontent, he became impatient, he started moaning and seeing things through negative eyes - and he went down into the valley. It wasn't until he hit rock bottom in the valley that the Bible records, "He came to his senses" (Luke 15:17) and started to sow mountain seeds. "I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’(Luke 155:18-19) When we are up a mountain, we are often sowing seeds that will take us down the mountain and into a valley. When we are in a valley, we need to learn to sow seeds that take us out of the valley and up the mountain. The place you end up will be in accordance with the seeds that you are sowing. It's not your circumstances that dictate whether you end up in a valley or on a mountain; it is the seeds that you have sown. So, we need to start sowing the seeds that are going to get us to the top of that mountain. And to do that, we need to understand what the valley seeds are, and we can do that by taking a look at Psalm 30.
What are the 'valley' seeds? They are our enemies...the enemies of our soul. We let our enemies triumph over us. ("I praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me." (30:1). The problem is not with God; the problem is with us. We let our enemies triumph over us.
Who - or what - are those enemies? Insecurity. When the storms come along in our lives, we tend to lose hope and we find we're not as firmly anchored as we thought we were. When we encounter criticism - when someone disagrees with how we are leading the group, or with the decisions we are making, or someone criticises us, it causes us to lose confidence, and we start descending into the valley. It doesn't take many people to start criticising us before we start feeling undermined. Sometimes, it can take just one person, but most often, it takes just one more person; we carry on with a number of fiery darts sticking into us, until we encounter the straw that breaks the camel's back - like with Elijah and the threat that came from Jezebel. Immaturity. "When I was prosperous, I said, 'Nothing can stop me now!'.Your favour, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain." (30:6-7). The psalmist believed that the mountain top he was on was both a given and because of his own brilliance. Nothing can stop me now! Pride generally comes before a fall.
Spiritual laziness. We stop praying as passionately. "Then you turned away from me and I was shattered." (30:7). It feels like God has turned away from us, but we're told in James 1:17 that "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17 KJV). There is no shadow of turning with God. So God doesn't turn away from us; rather, we take our eyes off him. When we're on the mountain, when things are going our way, we make the mistake of easing up. We're not as fervent in our prayers, we miss a few days reading the Bible. We start letting attitudes in, language in, jokes in, that are a little bit on the edge, but who cares? God's blessing us mightily! And so the slide into spiritual laziness gets underway, and the valley seeds begin to be sown. Pride. "When I was prosperous, I said 'nothing can stop me now'" (30:6-7). We look at how our ministry is doing - or our church is doing - in the light of how other ministries or other churches are doing, and, let's be honest, our ministry may well be doing better than most. And so, pride starts creeping in. And pride is a valley seed, and once sown, it starts us on that downward trajectory. Remember: Every good and every perfect gift is from above. Whatever good there is in our ministry is from God. Fear. "Then you turned away from me and I was shattered". (30:7) start living by the 'what ifs?' What if I try this new thing and it all goes wrong? What if the people in my team start leaving? What if people leave the
church? What if people believe that negative report, that rumour that has been started? Fear takes us down into the valley. If we start leading out of fear of what might happen, we cease leading in power of the Spirit and in the grace of God. These are some of the valley seeds that we tend to start sowing when we find ourselves in a mountain top place. In your heart-of-hearts, are any of these seeds that have been sown in your life? Are you carrying valley seeds around with you?
What are the 'mountain' seeds? Humility. "I praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me." (30:1) Passionate prayer . "I cried out to you, O Lord. I begged The Lord for mercy..." (30:8) Complete dependence. "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy." (30:11) How do I know when I am on the mountain top? What should I be expecting to experience? The mountain experience is described in verse 7: "Your favour, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain" 30:7) Favour (a revelation of is love, his acceptance, his blessing) Security (secure identity, secure relationship, secure calling) We need to align our prayers with the experience we are seeking.Valley seeds lead to valley experiences. Mountain seeds lead to mountain experiences. What seeds do you choose to sow today?
GOD’S GRACE BRINGING CHANGE TO MALAWI We’ve received more encouraging news that God is working powerfully amongst the Kingfisher Churches in Africa. Charles Mithowa told us recently about a group of Kingfisher ladies who have a powerful ministry in their area. “…they are sharing Kingfisher teaching in their small groups and in various different homes in the Village.These women also are doing great wonders in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many who are coming with their sickness are healed after they have prayed for them… witchdoctors are starting to note a great power of God as these servants are visiting village homes with the gospel message of Jesus Christ, and praying for any sickness…” Signs and wonders accompanying the sharing of the Christian Gospel is straight out of the pages of the New Testament! Yet this email also encourages me with something else - God is also doing a new thing right now; he is challenging two African cultural norms. The first challenge seems to be the role of women in society. It tends to be the case in Malawi (and other African countries) that it is the men who engage in upfront roles in society while the ladies are expected to work in the background.Yet God is clearly
continuing to work through Kingfisher Church to change this. He’s working through the group of Kingfisher ladies mentioned by Charles, letting them minister to both men and women of all ages. Not only with the Good News of Christ…but also in a demonstrations of His healing power through their prayers. God does not differentiate based on age, gender or race. He wants to use all of us to do the good work of sharing the Gospel. It’s true for the UK, for Malawi, for every place where people live! Is it just a coincidence that Malawi welcomed in their first female President this year Joyce Banda? Joyce is only the second female President of an African country in recorded history. God is doing a new thing here on a national scale. And Kingfisher Church Network is part of it. Charles’ email highlights a second challenge that God is bringing. Through Kingfisher He’s challenging the counterfeit spirituality that influences and dominates so many lives in Africa. Witchdoctors are powerful individuals who practice unGodly tribal religion and promise to cure sickness. Sick people want to recover from their illness, yet they live in a country where few hospitals
and doctors exist. And there is a heavy cost on the lives of those who submit their lives to the control of the local witchdoctor and his un-Godly practices. Enter the ladies from Kingfisher - bringing Jesus to the sick people in this village. They are speaking the Gospel, they are praying for healing and the sick are becoming well. For free – by God’s grace, His goodness and his love – healing with no shadowy strings attached! Let’s pray protection for our friends who have this healing ministry. Ask for safety from anyone who would try to undermine the good work that God is doing. Let’s also pray for an increase in the numbers of people who are receiving the Good News from them. May more and more people respond to Jesus, and know healing and wholeness in their lives!
RESOURCES Kingfisher Resources is proud to announce the launch of the publications ‘Called to Leadership’ and ‘Leadership Training Level 1’. These leadership training workbooks are designed to be completed in your own home, at your own pace and will help anyone explore whether they feel they have the gift of leadership. All new leaders across the Kingfisher Network will receive a copy of these free at each level as they progress through the training course with their coach. They are also available for anyone to purchase at only £9.99 for ‘Called to Leadership’ and £19.99 at Level 1.You can order these through the Kingfisher Resources website resources.kingfisher.org.uk Level 2 will be available in the new year!
Thanks to generous donations given to our harvest appeal we are able to send over 60 ‘Called to Leadership’ workbooks to equip pastors in India and we have just sent out a number of ‘Called to Leadership’ workbooks to equip Churches in Spain. Please join us in praying that God uses these workbooks to resource and equip our ministries and the ministries of other Churches across the world. In other news - coming soon to pre-order, James Burn’s new book ‘High Impact Christians In a Low Expectation World’. Look out for more details on the Kingfisher Resources Website! Also coming soon, a new look newsletter due in February!
If you would like to be notified when the next newsletter comes out, please go to www.resources.kingfisher.org.uk and enter your email address so we can keep you up to date with news. In order for this newsletter to grow and develop, we need your help! If you go to any Kingfisher event and have taken a great photo, then please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org Or if you would like to get involved in the production of the next newsletter then email us with your particular area of interest. Hope you enjoy hearing all that is happening across the Kingfisher Network!
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