Learn from the experience of two church leaders: Nikki Groarke on men; Paul Harcourt on women
Tool Up John McGinleyâ€™s three ingredients for making the supernatural supernormal p.16
God the Painkiller Find out why Heidi Perring was rushed into hospital but ended up at Center Parcs p.28
A Healthy Start Can children lead passionate lives for God? Rick Otto teaches us a few lessons p.36
26TH & 27TH MAY // 2014 WISTON HOUSE // WEST SUSSEX
ALL SONS & DAUGHTERS
A STIRRING TWO-DAY CONFERENCE AIMED AT WORSHIP LEADERS, WORSHIP TEAMS, CHURCH LEADERS AND PRETTY MUCH ANYONE WHO IS PASSIONATE ABOUT WORSHIP. A DEEPER JOURNEY IN WORSHIP, HANGING OUT TOGETHER IN GOD'S PRESENCE IN A CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT, WITH PLENTY OF TIME TO GET 'UNDER THE SKIN' OF THE GUEST WORSHIP LEADERS.
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Would you like to advertise? 0208 799 3765 email@example.com The next edition will be published in November 2014. The advert booking deadline is 1 October 2014. Editor Mark Melluish Commissioning Editor Lucy Williams Advertising & Classifieds Nicola Manwaring Creative Tom Morton Design www.tommortondesign.com Print Halcyon Get In Touch Find us: 4a Ridley Avenue Ealing London W13 9XW Phone us: 020 8567 6717 Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website: www.new-wine.org
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A note from John Coles
Finding direction, purpose & power
Promoting sustainable forest management. www.pefc.co.uk
Rev Dr Graham Tomlin looks at leadership theology
Looking at our world.
Rachel Leak & Donna Hill on including people of all abilities in church life
Rich Johnson on the why, what & how of social media
Upcoming local & national events
Martin Smith’s journey out of drug & alcohol addiction
New Wine Calendar
News, freebies & a little history test
15 Years a Slave
John McGinley’s three keys to unlocking our God-given gifts
A place of trust, strength & blessing
What are you waiting for? Karl Martin promotes extraordinary Kingdom living
What would Jesus Tweet?
How can £20 build a ‘dream centre’? Steve Morris recalls this remarkable story
Nikki Groarke & Paul Harcourt tackle gender differences in the Kingdom
Leaders in Training We want to look after our environment so we’ve used a recyclable paper. Please recycle.
The Problem with Leaders
Our God at work.
Unlocking Potential in Men and Women
With Beth Croft of Soul Survivor
Rick Otto on how to set children on the passionate pursuit of God
A Healthy Start
Jesus heals today. Heidi Perring shares her experience
Debby Wright discusses a messy & risky business
God the Painkiller
Inspire, trust, release. Repeat.
With Luke Smith of Fusion
How do you feel about poverty? Jamie Fyleman makes it personal
Want more of God’s power? Olly Goldenberg gleans wisdom from the archives
Helpful material for you, your small group & church
Age to Age
A note from John Coles Dear Friends ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses’ (Acts 1:8). A witness is someone who recounts something that they have seen. The disciples had seen the matchless purity of Jesus’ life; the irrefutable wisdom of his teaching; the miraculous signs and wonders demonstrating his love for the broken; and the extraordinarily painful sin-bearing death on the cross – all followed by his almost incredible resurrection and re-appearance. But in promising the coming of the Spirit, Jesus is effectively saying that wasn’t enough! When the Spirit came at Pentecost they had even more to tell the world – flames of fire, supernatural prayer languages, prophetic praise, and impassioned preaching which led to thousands becoming disciples of Jesus. Surely this is a big enough story that, if recounted accurately, will lead ‘all nations’ to believe in Jesus? Clearly not. For although Christianity spread rapidly from the Middle East in the first century, we now live in a nation frequently described as post-Christian. What have we lost that those early disciples had? It’s not our ability to tell the story – in many ways we are better educated in this than any previous generations. What we’ve lost is something of the life-stopping, life-changing power of the encounter with the Holy Spirit. And this can be as true in charismatic circles as in the wider Church. When people are touched by the power of God as the first disciples were, their lives are radically transformed. The vision of Jesus for the lost, the least and the last consumes them; they know it’s only Jesus who can save people from the destructive power of the enemy in themselves, their culture and the world. And they commit all their time, energy, money, enthusiasm, gifts, careers and families to the coming of the kingdom of God. In this magazine are stories of ordinary people like you and me, who have sought such life-changing encounters with God, and consequentially had new direction, purpose and power in their lives and ministries. Our vision is that these stories become the norm for hundreds and thousands of us all around the UK. The key is the same today as it was for the first disciples: the all-consuming, all-transforming presence and power of the Spirit of God. With every blessing
John Coles Director of New Wine
New Wine’s vision To see the nation changed through Christians experiencing the joy of worshipping God, the freedom of following Jesus, and the power of being filled with the Spirit. To see churches renewed, strengthened and planted, living out the word of God in every aspect of life, serving God by reaching the lost, broken and poor, and demonstrating the good news of the kingdom of God to all.
New Wine’s values Continuity & Change – we want to be faithful guardians of an unchanging message about the person and work of Jesus, and the need for personal salvation and sanctification, while also adapting ways of worship, teaching, being church and doing mission according to culture and context. Cross & Resurrection – we want to honour all that Jesus has done for us on the cross, and to embrace the way of the cross for ourselves, while also knowing the power of his resurrection to set us free. Gracious & Truthful – we want to be kind and generous in the way we think and speak about others whether they agree or disagree with us, while also clearly communicating what we believe and why we believe it. Leadership & Every-member Ministry – we want to train and deploy anointed, courageous and missional church leaders, while also equipping every Christian to serve like Jesus in their home, church, work and life-place. Mission & Community – we want to see the church become a missionary movement to love and reach the lost, to care for the poor and to bring justice to our homes, neighbourhoods, workplaces and nations, while also being a gracefilled community in which people can find relationship, healing, faith, hope and love. Natural & Supernatural – we want to see every Christian using all the natural reason, wisdom and skill that they can, while also learning to operate in the supernatural gifts of the Spirit to minister to others in love and power as Jesus did. Now & Not yet of the Kingdom – we want to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God and to see that confirmed by miraculous signs and wonders, while also ministering grace to all, knowing that suffering will be part of life until Jesus returns and makes all things new. Transcendence & Presence – we want to live lives that celebrate God’s awesome power, transcendent majesty and sovereign work, while at the same time experiencing his intimate presence as we encounter him in heartfelt worship. Unity & Diversity – we want to work with everyone who holds these values in open, mutually accountable friendship, while also acknowledging and honouring differences in leadership style, church characteristics and denominational emphasis. Word & Spirit – we want to derive all we believe, teach and do from the Bible as the written word of God, while also learning to hear and obey the voice of the Spirit speaking to us individually and collectively.
MAY 2014 Kids Workers Training Day 10 May Bracknell Kids Workers Training Day 17 May South West London Kids Workers Training Day 17 May Weston-super-Mare Worship Training Day 17 May Ashill, Norfolk
JULY-AUGUST 2014 United National Gatherings Week 1: 26 July – 1 August Week 2: 3-9 August Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet
OCTOBER 2014 Kids Leaders Summit 2014 13-15 October Lutterworth, Leicestershire
Church Leaders Network Meetings 3 April Bath 3 April Sittingbourne, Kent Learning to Heal 12 April Skipton
New Wine hosts a range of events and conferences, including local meetings arranged by New Wine network groups, that are held all over the UK
Bible Training Day for Church Leaders 6 May Liverpool Ministry for Ministers 6 May Durham
Taster Weekend 9-12 May Barnsley, Wakefield & Halifax Church Leaders Network Meeting 10 May Harrogate Ladies’ Night 16 May Porthtowan, Cornwall Gifts of the Spirit 17 May Porthtowan, Cornwall
Church Leaders Network Meeting 19 May Lancashire 20 May Harrogate 20 May Bristol
Women & Leadership Conference 6-8 November Liverpool
Urban Forum 12-13 November Leamington Spa
Church Leaders Network Meeting 4 June High Wycombe 5 June Sittingbourne, Kent
Day of Encouragement & Refreshment for Leaders 17 June Benfleet, Essex Church Leaders Network Meeting 26 June North London
For further details see our website www.new-wine.org/events
Church Leaders Network Meeting 3 July Bath Learning to Heal 5 July Bradford
IN BRIEF LISTEN UP Have you heard – we have a Podcast?
New Wine divides the country!
Go to ‘New Wine Podcast’ in the Resources section of our website to download – for FREE – some of the best teaching from recent New Wine events. You’ll be directed to our page within iTunes where you can choose talks from, among others, Chairman of Alpha International Ken Costa, KXC London Leader Pete Hughes, and Salvation Army Officer Danielle Strickland.
HISTORY MAKERS This edition of New Wine Magazine is about unlocking potential. Can you match these high achievers with the snippets from their impressive biographies? 1 Eva Peron
6 Mother Teresa
2 Florence Nightingale
7 Marie Curie
3 Mahatma Gandhi
8 Ludwig van Beethoven
4 Malala Yousafzai
9 Richard Curtis
5 Martin Luther King Jr
10 Sir Tim Berners-Lee
A Pastor, humanitarian and advocate for justice based on Christian beliefs. B Catholic missionary born in Macedonia baptised Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. C Nationalist and politician whose doctrine of non-violent protest inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. D German composer and pianist whose personal life was marked by a struggle against deafness. E A powerful political influence for women’s suffrage and improving the lives of the poor – who died at the age of 33. F Social reformer and statistician who tended to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.
New Wine has ‘split’ the country into five regions. These regions are subdivided into over 60 local networking areas. These areas comprise over 1,400 churches whose leader is a member of the New Wine Church Leaders’ Network. By splitting and dividing, we aim to achieve the opposite: to enable churches to work together and develop accountable relationships that encourage, inspire, challenge, and demonstrate the good news of the kingdom of God to all – with the ultimate goal of seeing the nation changed! Although the boundaries are a helpful networking tool, we appreciate there may be some blurred lines, so emphasise that relationship will always trump geographical area. North overseen by Ian Parkinson (All Saints’ Marple)
G Pioneer of research on radioactivity who discovered polonium and radium, and sadly died of leukemia caused by radiation exposure.
Midlands & East overseen by John McGinley (Holy Trinity Leicester)
H Education activist who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban at the age of 15.
South & South West overseen by Rich Johnson (All Saints’ Worcester)
I Founder of Comic Relief and Make Poverty History and organiser of the Live 8 concerts. J British computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web in 1989. 6
New Wine Network Leaders
London & West overseen by Mark Melluish (St Paul’s Ealing) London & East overseen by Paul Harcourt (All Saints’ Woodford Wells)
Worship Central in Cheltenham
A bigger society The Cinnamon Network is granting over £500,000 to local churches in England, Scotland and Wales to start church-based community projects. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for local churches to serve the people most at need in their communities. The Cinnamon Network was initially inspired by Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech in Liverpool during July 2010 when he explained his vision for a Big Society. Two months later, Matt Bird gathered a group of 50 Christian CEOs and leaders who were challenged to consider how the Christian community could deliver more local transformation at national scale and to do so at speed.
As part of a commitment to raise up and release the next generation of worship pastors in the UK, New Wine Worship and Trinity Cheltenham have partnered with Worship Central in London to open a Worship Central Academy in Cheltenham. It will be headed up by the leader of New Wine Worship, Neil Bennetts, and will open for the 2014/2015 academic year.
There are now 3,219 local churches leading a Cinnamon Network-recognised project, mobilising 49,050 volunteers and serving over 705,000 beneficiaries every year, which has increased by 300% in two years. Projects include Street Pastors, CAP Debt Help, Trussell Trust Food Banks, Night Shelter and MakeLunch. Local churches can apply for micro-grants of between £1,500-£3,000 to help with the start-up costs of such projects.
New Wine recently forged a partnership with St Mellitus College in London for theological training for the next generation of church leaders (through the Discipleship Year – see inside back cover). The partnership with Worship Central will mirror this, providing synergy in terms of leadership training. Tim Hughes, who heads up Worship Central globally, says, ‘We are excited by this opportunity for leaders to give a year to get equipped and empowered. The quality of input, wisdom and experience to be gleaned from Neil Bennetts and others at Trinity Cheltenham is massive. We can’t wait to work together.’ This partnership builds on New Wine Worship’s vision and strategy for worship development within the New Wine movement, which includes collaboration with Integrity Music for song development and recording, as well as a growing number of New Wine Worship conferences and training days based in local churches around the country (see page 26).
David Cameron, who has given an award to The Cinnamon Network, has said, ‘By supporting churches to address the most pressing issues in their neighbourhoods, The Cinnamon Network is transforming communities for the better.’ For more information visit www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk
ONE TO WATCH Want to hear the Archbishop of Canterbury’s take on listening to the Holy Spirit when making decisions? Or Robby Dawkins on taking risks? How about Mike Pilavachi on leading times of ministry? Well, you can. And there’s many more sound bites to be found in the Leadership Insights section of our website:
www.new-wine.org/church-leaders-network/ equip/leadership-insights 7
IN BRIEF MAN HUNT: ADDRESSING THE GENDER IMBALANCE
he number of women in the UK Church exceeds men by two-to-one according to recent surveys. This leaves more than two million women with a difficult decision over whether to date men outside the Church.
Leading Christian organisations have now pooled their expertise and launched a new resource website to help tackle the issues. ‘This imbalance has serious consequences for the whole Church’, said The Rev Canon Dr Adrian Chatfield, co-chair of ENGAGE, the network of those organisations. ‘Men need more effective evangelism and discipleship. Over two million Christian women face choosing between being single and childless or marrying a non-Christian’, he added.
‘There is real anxiety among people in church over their inability to find a life partner. Churches should actively include men and women of all ages and stages, so that single people naturally meet, and then find marriage partners if they want to’ Jackie Elton, Founder and CEO of Christian Connection
ENGAGE has launched a website through which the complex interacting issues are explored and help can be found. The information ranges from practical dating advice to strategic church solutions, and provides resources for Christian leaders and others on addressing the gender imbalance, supporting young people, singleness, dating and relationships, marriage and the wider view of relationships in society. For more information visit www.engage-mcmp.org.uk
ENGAGE brings together the expertise of leading organisations to positively address the causes of the situation. They include Christian Vision for Men which supports men’s evangelism and discipleship; Christian Connection – a Christian dating website; Relationship Central (Holy Trinity Brompton) who globally provide resources for marriage and parenting; Romance Academy which works with teenagers; the Evangelical Alliance – the UK’s largest and oldest representative of thousands of churches and hundreds of organisations; and the Simeon Centre for Prayer and the Spiritual Life, based at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. ENGAGE’s vision is to make singleness or marriage a genuine choice for all Christian women and men, through a church which is gender-balanced and teaches about healthy Christian singleness, dating and marriage.
GET IN TOUCH We love to hear your feedback and ideas of how we can improve the magazine, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with any stories, jokes, questions, tips or advice.
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MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER New Wine, West London NEW WINE IS SEEKING AN EXPERIENCED AND PROACTIVE TEAM LEADER TO HELP SHAPE AND DELIVER NEW WINE’S CENTRAL MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES. An exciting opportunity to bring vision and direction to the small creative team of a dynamic Christian charity, this role requires strong people management and brand management skills, as well as marketing experience in digital and printed communications. Salary IRO £35,000 per annum; Hours 37.5 per week. For more information including a full role profile, person specification and application form visit www.new-wine.org/home/vacancies or phone Phil George on 0208 799 3772 to discuss this opportunity further. Closing date: 17 April 2014.
MARK NIGHTINGALE SUGGESTS A WAY TO SMOOTH THE JOURNEY INTO CHURCH LEADERSHIP
ight now, there will be someone in your local church who feels that God may be calling them into church leadership. For some, God speaks directly, and clarity is instant. For others, it’s not that straightforward. The element of mystery can allow us to journey with the Lord, providing time to strengthen any conviction we have that it is him speaking to us. Or, it may leave us confused. In this situation, as in the case of Eli and Samuel in 1 Samuel 3, God often gives others the privilege of helping us to discern what the Lord is saying. This partnership helps to build faith and encouragement, while equipping and empowering us for what lies ahead. Whatever denomination, the interview process to get a candidate into training for leadership can feel like an assault course, with many institutional hoops to jump through. Even if it all goes smoothly, candidates still need guidance, support and prayer. If training is the next step, it can be an extremely enjoyable time of academic, personal and spiritual growth. However, it can also be a place of isolation, where some feel de-skilled or even begin to question whether they actually heard God correctly in the first place. Therefore, whatever stage people are
‘LiT is a family of like-minded people from all different denominations. It’s a great opportunity for networking, a place of trust and strength, and a blessing to be part of’ Richard Thomas, former LiT member
at in their journey into leadership, they still need support; after all, they are the next generation of church leaders, and investment in them will affect what the Church looks like in the future. The New Wine Leaders in Training (LiT) network offers partnership to anyone considering church
leadership – from day one of hearing God’s voice, to any decision about whether or not to train, during training, and then entry into leadership. Through training events, networking and online resources, and via its representatives in many of the training colleges, the LiT has been a place of refuge, advice, prayer and support – even to those supporting people on their journey. If you think God is calling you, or you know someone who is considering or training for church leadership, please get in touch, as we would love to help as many people as possible step into what God has in store for them. It is not an attempt to usurp existing interview processes, or to push people through when God might be saying no, it is an attempt to echo the Eli effect – preparing people to hear, discern and respond to the Lord.
Mark Nightingale Mark is National Coordinator for New Wine Leaders in Training. He is married to Jo and, along with their two children, loves living in Exeter, where they lead a church.
‘I came away with a greater love for God and for the lost, a greater commitment to teaching God’s word and a greater dependence on the Holy Spirit’
‘It’s a huge part of our year. Our children insist on going, loving the chance to be with their friends, the incredible children’s work and the space to play in’
‘I was richly blessed and aware of God’s presence in worship, and left re-centred in the love of God’
‘I was able to receive God’s love and healing. It was a great time of renewing and refreshing’
‘God spoke to me through the Bible teachings – his Word changed my life and the lives of those in my church’
ROYAL BATH & WEST SHOWGROUND, SHEPTON MALLET, SOMERSET
Saturday 26 July – Friday 1 August 2014
Sunday 3 August – Saturday 9 August 2014
FOR BEST AVAILABLE RATES BOOK BEFORE 7 MAY 2014
TEACHING, WORSHIP, MINISTRY
Hear from internationally acclaimed Bible teachers, and shape your week from a carefully crafted programme of seminars covering all areas of home, work and church life. Our stream of seminars exploring justice, development and mission offer the opportunity to engage with organisations like Compassion, Tearfund, Open Doors, International Justice Mission, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Hope For Justice.
Whether you prefer a more intimate acoustic setting, or the big sounds of the main stage, you can expect passionate and captivating worship that enables encounter with God.
We don’t want you to completely lose track of your kids on site, so there will be time set aside each day for parents to get in on the action in the 5-11s venue.
We believe in the power of prayer – whether in your camping village, in one of the dedicated prayer venues, or during prayer ministry at the end of a teaching session. So come expectant to see God at work through prayer.
Under 5s, accompanied by a grown up, will receive a warm welcome at our special preschool venue. There will be worship, messy play, fun family activities, as well as a live link to the main celebrations.
Plus, if your little one is eager to start the day before everyone else, the venue will be open for a cup of coffee, to feed the baby, or simply some company in the early hours.
Our age-appropriate kids’ groups are led by a team of talented and experienced children’s workers, all passionate about providing the best possible week for your family.
Our extended venue for 5-11 year-olds will be a fun house of air hockey, Xboxes, an inflatable assault course, the Crystal Maze challenge, Nerf guns, water fights, football, basketball, a photo booth, hair and nail extensions and more!
For people with special needs and their families, the Our Place venue is a haven where our dedicated team of volunteers will ensure that everyone can grow in faith and worship as full members of the church family.
Whether you live in an urban area or have a passion for urban mission and ministry, our extended IMPACT Urban Venue offers a full programme of creative, magazinestyle celebrations and seminars, all with a raw, down-to-earth feel.
With a licensed bar and an after-hours line-up including movie nights, speed dating, live music and open mic, there’s lots to keep you occupied outside of the daily programme, with plenty of opportunities to meet people from other parts of the country.
Got some big questions? Just Looking is a safe place for those who want to explore questions of faith. We take care to explain the whole range of possible Christian views. There’s no judgement, and guests can say exactly what they feel or think.
Bringing your church family is a great way to see your congregation grow in faith and love for one another. It provides a unique opportunity to meet with others in church leadership in a relaxed environment – to share stories and experiences and imagine the future for your area.
COME FOR FREE; SERVE ON TEAM!
Want to get more involved behind the scenes? Serving as a volunteer is an amazing way to grow spiritually, learn new skills, and meet lots of new people. Find out more and apply online at www.new-wine.org.
OUR 2014 LINE-UP OF SPEAKERS AND WORSHIP LEADERS INCLUDES: Karl Martin (Central Church, Edinburgh), Danielle Strickland
(Salvation Army, Canada), Steve Gambill (LIFE Church, Bradford), James Aladiran (Prayer Storm), Carrie & David Grant (TV presenters),
Celia Apeagyei-Collins (The Rehoboth Foundation), Miriam Swaffield (Fusion), Andy Hawthorne (The Message Trust), Rachel Gardner (Romance Academy), Gary Clarke (Hillsong London), Robby Dawkins (Aurora Vineyard, Illinois), Debby Wright (Trent Vineyard, Nottingham), Arianna Walker (Mercy Ministries), Mike Pilavachi (Soul Survivor), Christy Wimber (Yorba Linda Vineyard, California), Seth Pinnock (Chosen Inc Group/ The Message Trust), Carl Beech (Christian Vision for Men), William P Young (author of The Shack), Anthony Delaney (Ivy Manchester), Gavin Calver (Youth for Christ), Reuben Morgan (Worship Pastor, Hillsong London) and Martin Smith (Former frontman of Delirious). Visit www.new-wine.org/summer for the most up-to-date information, including which event(s) these guests will be at. Subject to change; accurate at time of printing (March 2014).
To find out more and to book, go to www.new-wine.org
THE PROBLEM WITH LEADERS
here is a theological problem with leadership. However much we talk about it, in the Bible, there is really only one true leader, and that is God himself. The Old Testament prophets in particular cut no corners: there is only one God, and any other god, king or potentate had better bow down. Even the Psalms reflect the same idea: ‘Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth’ (Ps 8:1). In the New Testament the same theme continues. Every time we say the Lord’s Prayer we make the same claim: ‘For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours’. In other words, not mine, nor Barack Obama’s, nor David Cameron’s, nor any Pope’s nor even an Archbishop’s. There is only one true authority – that of God, not of any human ruler.
IF JESUS IS THE TRUE LEADER, WHY DO WE NEED ANY OTHERS? REVD DR GRAHAM TOMLIN INVESTIGATES THE THEOLOGY OF LEADERSHIP
Now this, of course, is a truly radical insight that marks off Christian understandings of leadership from any other. When Paul writes, in Romans 13, that ‘there is no authority except that which God has established – the authorities that exist have been established by God’, we sometimes get a little nervous about what happens when leadership goes wrong in unjust societies, and whether we are bound to obey them. What we miss is the radical nature of this insight – all human rule, whether in government, church or the family, is penultimate, never final, always held on trust. Tyrants, emperors or dictators can claim to be in charge, to have the power of life and death over their people, but they do not. Only God finally holds authority in his world. When viewed against the way that Roman emperors viewed themselves, this, in the ancient world, is radical stuff.
To be honest, however, the Bible is generally rather ambivalent about leadership. A theme that runs throughout is that power is routinely abused. The prophet Samuel is distinctly dubious about the whole idea of kings, reluctantly agreeing to it, but warning Israel that if they choose to have kings like the other nations, they will only enslave their children, impose punitive taxes, and the whole thing will end in disaster (1 Sam 8). After Samuel’s misgivings have come true, Hosea later basically tells them ‘told you so!’ (Hos 8:4). And yet, there is another side to the picture. The Psalms often glory in the king, as upholder of justice and peace, a figure of beauty and admiration, even an image of God himself. David is upheld as a ‘man after God’s own heart’, the nearest thing to a good king. And yet even he falls disastrously, committing both murder and adultery in one single episode. Kings might be wonderful channels of integrity and mercy, but they can equally be a source of misery and pain. This ambivalence runs right through the Old Testament, and our own experiences of both healthy and abusive leadership might confirm a similar doubt in our own minds.
When it comes to the Church, we get the same story. There is only one head of the Church, Jesus Christ himself. No-one else is properly allowed to claim that title for themselves. Jesus alone is the true head of the Church, which is perhaps why there is little talk of ‘leadership’ in the New Testament (the standard word in first century Graeco-Roman culture for leader – archōn – is never used of church officials in the New Testament). Christ is the only true leader: ‘he is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
Lead with caution
The answer begins to come into view when we ask how God’s rule is exercised over the world. The answer is that it is always exercised indirectly. He chooses to exercise his rule first and foremost through humanity, called to bear his image and likeness (Gen 1:26-28). They are to exercise that rule responsibly, not in their own name, but in the image and likeness of God, protecting and nurturing the life of the creation (Gen 2:15). God allows his rule over Israel to be delegated through kings. He appoints emperors and rulers over human societies to bring order and justice. He encourages the ‘elders’ to exercise some kind of rule over his Church. And yet there is always this note of caution, that such leadership is provisional – it can so easily go so wrong. Yet, while fully aware of the perils of ‘man, proud man, dressed in a little brief authority’ (Measure For Measure, William Shakespeare), the biblical writers seem to think that leadership can ultimately be redeemed, but only in the image of Christ. So, the message for us is twofold: we do need to raise up a new generation of leaders, but we also need to be careful what kind of leader we are encouraging them to be.
Point to Jesus
They need to be leaders who care little about their own reputation but only that of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 23:8-10, Jesus says something striking about leadership: ‘But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi’, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father’, for you have one Father, and he is in Heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.’
It’s a decidedly egalitarian and unflattering approach to leadership. If God is the one true King, and Jesus the Son is the one to whom all authority on Heaven and Earth is given, then the true function of leaders in the Church, of which he is the head, is to point not to themselves and their leadership, but to Jesus. Jesus alone can lead us out of slavery to freedom, out of despair to hope. It’s why, of course, St Paul, when he does urge people to follow his example, makes it clear that they are to do this only insofar as he follows the examples of his Master: ‘Be imitators of me as I am of Christ’ (1 Cor 11:1).
‘[Leaders] need not just theological learning, but practice in ministry so that pride, vanity, arrogance or timidity can be identified and dealt with’
so that in everything he might have the supremacy’ (Col 1:18). So the question comes: why do we talk of raising up church leaders when that position is already taken? Why so much talk of leadership if Jesus is the true leader?
Questions of character
Of course, the great temptation for those with outgoing personalities, those gifted, attractive people whom we naturally end up following, is to draw attention to themselves, to build up a following on Twitter, to be liked by everyone, to be cast as the great leader. Yet the best Christian leaders are those who relentlessly study how to order their lives, and their words, so that they are constant reminders of Jesus to anyone they meet. They seek constantly to be filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus so that that same Spirit can draw others to Jesus through them. That is why questions of character formation are so vital in training a new generation of Christian leaders. It is why they need not just theological learning, but practice in ministry so that pride, vanity, arrogance or timidity can be identified and dealt with. This kind is no less dedicated, determined and focussed than any leader in secular life, but determined to draw attention away from themselves towards the one true leader, Jesus Christ.
Graham Tomlin Graham is Dean of St Mellitus College. He was a curate in Exeter, Chaplain of Jesus College Oxford, and tutor at Wycliffe Hall, where he became Vice Principal.
After 15 years of drug and alcohol addiction, Martin Smith chose to spend the next 15 helping others to find a way out
id you hear the one about the man who was an expert on stopping drinking? He said, ‘I must be an expert, I’ve done it hundreds of times’. Do you recognise the feeling that something is never going to stop no matter what you do? Have you or a loved one had a problem that persists no matter how hard you try to stop it? Have you made repeated promises to yourself or others to stop a certain habit or behaviour and failed again and again to keep those promises? These are some of the experiences that are familiar to individuals and families who are struggling with addiction. The principal feelings associated with the illness of addiction are loss of control, lack of will power or ‘powerlessness’ as described in 12-step programmes. Families and friends feel the same sense of helplessness and powerlessness as the addict and may feel the need to cover up or make excuses for the addict’s behaviour.
Begging for help
15 years ago I was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic having spent the previous 15 years caught in the grip of a continuing and progressive addiction to drugs and alcohol. I had come to the end of my ability to continue taking drugs and drinking alcohol and finally ran out of options and asked for help. A few months earlier I remember being in someone else’s house at 4am unable
to sleep due to the drugs I had been taking for the previous 48 hours. I had been searching his cupboards in the vain hope of finding more alcohol to help me come down. I even considered drinking vinegar. I was desperate and paranoid and lonely and afraid. This experience wasn’t new to me but something different happened that night. I found myself thinking of my daughter who was only a year old and what it would be like for her to grow up with a father who had died of a drug overdose. I was begging for help silently in the kitchen of this house. To be honest, I am unsure who or what I was begging to.
The response that eventually came to me was that I didn’t have to live like this anymore, that my life could amount to something and that my daughter could have a father who would be a part of her life. I had no previous connection with God until that night and cannot remember praying or begging with any real intent before. There had been a number of times when I had prayed over that 15-year period, nearly all the prayers along the lines of, ‘Please God, if you help me not get arrested/get through this tonight, I will definitely give up drugs tomorrow/soon.’ When my prayers were answered I quietly forgot my side of the bargain. It was in the rehab centre that I picked up a Bible for the first time
‘I found myself thinking of my daughter who was only a year old and what it would be like for her to grow up with a father who had died of a drug overdose’ and began to feel a wave of emotion as I read passages at random. I then managed to find a moment each day to sneak down to the tiny chapel and kneel in prayer. I was filled with gratitude and hope for the first time in many years.
Unlocking the future
By the grace of God I have been free from the compulsive desire to use drugs and alcohol since 3 February 1999. I can see clearly now that God had lifted this compulsion from me. He led me to a 12-step programme of recovery and has been doing things for me that I did not have the power to do for myself. I had been fighting mentally and physically for a very long time but the real key to freedom from the past and unlocking the future was to surrender my will and my life to his care. Fast forward 15 years (today is 3 February 2014!), and I have retrained as an addictions counsellor and psychotherapist, and have been working in various roles in addiction rehab
centres since 2002. Perhaps, most importantly, my daughter and I have a good relationship and are going on holiday together at the end of this month.
Rock bottom to recovery
Families and people affected by addiction often suffer from their own crippling sense of powerlessness and frustration. The key thing for them to know is that they are not alone. In my work with families, I stress the importance of focussing less on changing the addict, and more on becoming a strong and supportive group. This is counterintuitive and takes time to accept and learn. Equally, there is usually a dynamic in which people have become unwitting enablers of the illness, believing that they are being helpful. Inability to put down firm boundaries and ‘bailing people out’ simply serve to maintain the dependency. Practicing ‘tough love’ can actually speed up the process of rehabilitation, whereby an addict reaches the rock bottom place from where surrender and spiritual recovery become possible. The key word in any intervention is love, and this can take many forms. (Family and friends can seek help from a 12-step fellowship group called Al-Anon.)
Filling the hole
Addiction is often talked about in terms of the substance or the behaviour. We talk about ‘coke-heads’ or ‘alcoholics’ or even ‘workaholics’.
I believe that addiction is more about the relationship that develops between the person and whatever it is that they are using/doing/taking/consuming. Most people can recognise the lure of chocolate or shopping or coffee, but can keep their cravings under reasonable control. An addict doesn’t have the same regulatory capacity and cannot understand how someone could ever just have one of whatever it is they are currently dependent on. It is also worth noting that just stopping any one substance or behaviour or process is not by any means the end of the problem. Firstly, if you have an addictive nature then you are very likely to find something else to become dependent on. Secondly, the spiritual hole that the addictive relationship has been attempting to fill needs to be filled with God and preferably a programme of recovery.
Silence, secrets and shame are ingredients in the fertile soil in which addiction flourishes. This is evidenced by the extraordinary success of alcoholics anonymous (AA) and many other 12-step fellowship groups, which allow
people to openly and honestly share their experience in a supportive and encouraging environment. Such meetings often take place in churches, and it is no coincidence that the founders of AA were influenced by a number of Christian leaders in America during the 1940s and 50s. The 12 steps themselves were influenced by biblical teaching and drew on the input of the Oxford Group, an organisation founded by American Christian missionary Dr Frank Buchman. As Christians we are called to help people in need, and our churches must continue to be places that welcome and support those living with addiction, who are sick and in need of help, and often stigmatised and ostracised by society. Resources: Breathing under water: spirituality and the twelve steps by Richard Rohr; Alcoholics anonymous comes of age: a brief history of A. A.; and Love First by Jeff & Debra Jay.
Martin Smith Martin is a psychotherapist in private practice in London, and Addictions Programme Director at the Priory Hospital. He offers education, support and interventions to people affected by the illness of addiction.
Tool up HOW CAN SUPERNATURAL BECOME SUPER-NORMAL? JOHN McGINLEY OFFERS THREE KEYS TO UNLOCKING OUR GOD-GIVEN GIFTS
hen God called Moses to go to Pharoah and declare ‘Let my people go’, he gave him miraculous signs to perform to demonstrate that he was with him. At the end of that encounter he says to Moses: ‘Take this staff in your hand so you can perform the miraculous signs with it’ (Ex 4:17). It was as if Moses was going to forget to do this unless God reminded him that this was a key part of the plan.
Do as you’re told
Today, God instructs us to share the Gospel and to release people from sin, and he has given us the tools for the job – the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. But there is a great danger that we will forget to use them. Like Moses, we wrestle with our insecurities and uncertainty about what God has asked of us. But we need to remember that doing the supernatural is part of God’s plan. Gifts of healing, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, and prophetic words all demonstrate the reality that God is with us; they bring breakthrough for the Kingdom of Heaven, and they direct and empower the Church to do what God is calling us to.
‘We wrestle with our insecurities and uncertainty about what God has asked of us. But...doing the supernatural is part of God’s plan’ Three ingredients
When I arrived as the vicar of Holy Trinity Leicester five years ago, the church had a long history of seeing God’s power at work through the Holy Spirit, otherwise known as charismatic renewal. But, as I talked with people I discovered a lack of confidence in using the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They were the preserve of the ‘special’ few and only used in structured times of prayer for healing. So we began an intentional journey to bring them into 16
the normal life of our church, both when we gather together and during our everyday lives. We’re still on that journey, but we have the stories of the young person who prayed for a work colleague who was instantly healed and then had everyone with any sickness in their work team line up to be prayed for; the dog walker who shared a prophetic word with someone they bumped into and God met her powerfully; and the missional communities who are listening to the leading of the Spirit and seeing people healed as they pray for them. This journey has involved the three ingredients that we always need when we are seeking to grow in an area of Christian discipleship: information, imitation and innovation.
We need good theology and a strong biblical foundation to support what we do. But too often we think we have learned something when we have only understood the theory and done nothing with it. What we really need is the answer to the ‘how to’ question. The phrase ‘all dressed up with nowhere to go’ often sums up the Church and spiritual gifts – we want to use them but don’t know how. On our journey at Holy Trinity we had New Wine Leader Anne Coles host a Prophecy Training Day, which we followed up with training by Cath Livesey from St Thomas’ Philadelphia in Sheffield. We have since run Cath’s excellent Accessible Prophecy Training Course three times. This has equipped many people with principles and ways to begin to use the gift of prophecy, and taken away the entry barrier to using these gifts.
action before we feel confident to do it ourselves. Faith is caught not just taught, and hanging around people who have more experience and success with using spiritual gifts is a great way to grow. Having Cath and Anne not only teach but demonstrate was key for our church. During these training days a lady in her 80s received the gift of speaking in tongues, and there was a prophetic word spoken over a staff member about releasing people from darkness; that person has gone on to have a significant deliverance ministry. They were important moments of encounter with God, building faith and giving us an example to copy. The New Wine summer events have also been significant in modelling the use of spiritual gifts and giving people experience of them while serving on team.
Innovation is often the stage we miss out. We have to take what we have learned and seen and make it our own. God isn’t in the business of cloning people or churches. Instead, he wants us to multiply disciples who learn the principles of being a follower of Jesus but express them in their own unique way. At Holy Trinity we have a model for receiving and giving prophetic words, and we have increased expectation that God will speak to and through us in our Sunday celebrations and missional communities. We have developed a prophetic team who can go into different ministry areas of the church and speak into people’s lives and
‘We need good theology and a strong biblical foundation to support what we do. But too often we think we have learned something when we have only understood the theory and done nothing with it’ bring what God is saying about that ministry area. Twice a term we bring together those who are feeling a calling to the prophetic ministry to pray and prophesy about what God is saying to the whole church, and the leadership will work out how to respond. These are small steps and it’s been slow progress, but it is a joy to see the church coming alive in the Spirit and using the gifts he has given us to see his Kingdom come.
Take up your staff
I love the encounter between Moses and God at the burning bush. God is so patient with Moses in addressing all of the questions he raises, but there is a moment when God’s anger burns against him – when he tells God to send someone else. Let’s acknowledge our fears, disappointments and uncertainties about releasing people in spiritual gifts, but let’s not deny that God has poured out his Holy Spirit. He has put a ‘staff’ in our hands, and he has commissioned us to do the supernatural to reveal and release his presence to others.
Imitation was Jesus’ model. His disciples watched what he did and then copied. When Peter raised Tabitha from the dead in Acts 9, he cleared the mourners from the room, commanded her to ‘get up’ and then took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Does this healing model sound familiar? Jesus had previously let Peter stay in the room when he raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Luke 8). We often need to see things in
John McGinley John is New Wine Regional Director for The Midlands. He is Vicar of Holy Trinity Leicester, a church passionately pursuing a missional communities strategy.
DO YOU WANT TO BE LESS ORDINARY? KARL MARTIN USES SOUP, SWORDS AND TRIANGLES TO SHOW YOU HOW et me tell you about a soup company. It’s called Elephant Juice and it is run from a very cool, 1940s Citroen van. The soup is fantastic, but the philosophy behind it is kingdom class: every soup bought buys a meal for a child in Kenya. Elephant Juice Founder, JP, is a member of our church family and his ‘start-up’ was dreamt up in a 24/7 prayer room lock-in. JP was a lawyer with a great career plotted out for him, but God got hold of his heart for justice and his head for business. At no stage did JP ask for permission, he just did it. Two swords Now let me take you to a moment in Israel’s back catalogue – 1 Samuel 14. The Philistines have invaded the land and are holding the nation in bondage. They control all the power and, cunningly, all the blacksmiths. This was so that any equipment that needed sharpening – ploughshares, axes, swords – had to be sharpened by the enemy. Israel has just two swords – Saul’s and Jonathan’s. Saul takes himself and his sword and sits under a pomegranate tree with his leaders – presumably to talk about how desperate things are, how good things once were and what might be done about the situation. Jonathan, with the other sword, takes to a hill. He defeats the enemy and restores the nation. Jonathan speculates on the power of God and finds that God is able. He doesn’t ask permission, he just acts. Take a hill I wonder if it might be time for the Church to take a hill or two. Time to stop huddling around ecclesiastical pomegranate trees, moaning about our lack of swords and talking about what the Church could look like. Time to stop waiting for permission and to start to speculate, to stand upon the power and grace of God, to get out of our buildings, embrace the kingdom of God and become like Jesus. But without permission, isn’t that dangerous? It could be, but we already have all the permission in the world, all the commission of our Heavenly Father to go and make disciples, to bear his image, to participate in his mission and to love his people. Permission granted So what are we waiting for? Are we telling ourselves ‘they won’t let me’ or ‘they won’t like it’, when in truth we are just fearful? Inhibition is infinitely more limiting and suffocating than prohibition. There is a time to sit under a tree and plan, but I don’t believe that is now. The battle is being lost and the name of God is being dishonoured. What is needed is a generation of Jonathans – men and women who will not wait for permission to do what is already the will of the Father.
‘The battle is being lost and the name of God is being dishonoured. What is needed is...a generation of men and women who will not wait for permission to do what is already the will of the Father’ Make way There has been a tendency in the contemporary Church to look for strong leadership. Unfortunately, strong leadership has sometimes warped into strong control, with senior leaders insisting on attending all meetings and having all decisions passed through them. But this monopolises vision, shrinks potential, chokes creativity and frustrates emerging leaders. I have had nothing directly to do with the most innovative and redemptive enterprises in our church family. All I have done, through the Lord, is to provide space and inspiration, and, when it’s needed, a little encouragement. Bold hearts Our missional communities are led by men and women of courage with full freedom to run with the dream that God has placed in their hearts. Groups like Soul Surfer with their VW Camper, living the Kingdom among the surf community in Scotland. Square Wholes running ceilidhs among adults with learning difficulties. Centurion loving our armed forces and communicating something of God’s love. These and so many others all came out of the bold hearts of Jesus’ followers. This is a call to leadership of a different kind – Kingdom leadership. It’s a call to boldness, to take a stand, take up your sword, and take a hill. Kingdom entrepreneurs We stand in a long line of bold sons and daughters. German monk Martin Luther’s hill was a corrupt church and his stand was to nail 95 points of protest to a church door in Wittenberg. Italian preacher Girolamo Savonarola’s hill was an abusive government in pre-Reformation Florence, the evil of the Medici family, and a stake. Martin Luther King Jr’s hill was Washington DC, a dream and an assassin’s bullet. God is drawn to courage. This world needs Kingdom entrepreneurs who use what is given to them and make a difference. We need the creativity, integrity and courage that God’s children bring to the table.
Triangulation point How do you find your hill? It’s not rocket science. God’s will for your life is surprisingly broad, fully empowering, and highly dynamic. The Holy Spirit has a surprising way of making it clear. You have to find the triangulation point between: A Your greatest complaint. Vision flows out of complaint. God will break your heart for something you believe is wrong. B The world’s greatest need. You work it out. C Your greatest gift. If you don’t know what this is, ask! This will set in motion a series of divine events. God gives you a complaint, something you oppose, something that needs to be better. Then, if you ask, he will give you a picture of what could be – a vision. If you press into this, he will give you a plan of how it could be – a strategy. At some stage, the vision will appear to die. This process is absolutely essential for reminding you of whose vision it is and for whose glory. Then it will come back. And if you ask and work and cast this vision, he will surround you with a team who can make it happen. Getting ruined This pattern and rhythm is essential. As we push deeper, embracing the Kingdom in this world, we are constantly disturbed by the Spirit in us. We’ll jar, grate and grind up against value systems and practices that grieve the heart of God. Bold men and women cast such a compelling vision that it eclipses fear and releases the dreams that God has placed in the hearts of his followers. This process will ruin you for the ordinary. It will propel you into extraordinary Kingdom living. And in turn, you will inspire this process in others. Doing it is doing it. Talking about it is talking about it.
Karl Martin Karl Martin is Senior Pastor of Central Church, Edinburgh. His heart is to see the Church wake up and become the people of God that they have been called to be – passionate, relevant, creative, different, missional and alive. Listen to Karl’s talks from this year’s Retreat to Advance in the Free Teaching section of www.new-wine.org/resources
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All comers welcome? Rachel Leak and Donna Hill challenge us to fight the corner for families living with special needs
eing a parent of a child who has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) is a ‘168-hour experience, every week, all year’, said one of the parents who joined us at the New Wine conference last summer. It is not just about meeting your child’s basic needs, but also constantly having to fight their corner in the worlds of education, health, social care and in public. It means sleepless nights, juggling appointments and disapproving stares. And it can be a lonely journey. Receive Sadly, all too often, families can face these same struggles in the Church. Take the family of a boy who, for the purpose of this article, we’ll name Luke. Their church experience was one of exclusion – Luke was not welcome in Sunday School as the staff did not know how to meet his needs. When they arrived at the 2013 New Wine Summer Conference they expected the same response. But at New Wine we shared in the joy of Luke being fully welcomed and included in his group, with support from Our Place – the dedicated special needs team. His family were free to engage with God in their own right while Luke spent time growing in his own relationship with God, bouncing on the trampoline and having a great time. One of the joys that Luke brought to the group was his dancing! He worshipped God with no shame and no embarrassment – inspiring and releasing others into abandoned worship. React For us at Our Place, journeying with this family was such a joy, but it also gave us the deep, heart-wrenching pain of knowing that inclusion in the Body of Christ was a one-week-a-year experience. Families like Luke’s need someone to fight their corner in their own churches, who will see the value and worth of their child or loved one; someone to carry some of their anger and hurt – someone stirred to take up the fight all year round. In the Bible we meet Esther, the brave Jewish queen of the Persian king Xerxes. She could have chosen to enjoy her privileged position in the king’s palace, but instead risked her life, reputation and losing favour with the king in order to save a nation. She spoke up for those who were
unable to speak for themselves. In our churches we have a choice: to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of our safe and predictable church routines, or to be like Esther. We can speak up for those who can’t. We can take some of the load of advocacy from their parents and carers to make those 168 hours a week a little easier. We can make our churches places where there’s no need to fight. Release Being an Esther for families touched by SEND isn’t easy. It means bringing change to our churches. It must be this way around. We must change the Church rather than expect individuals to change in order to belong. It may mean there’s a schedule, it may mean that chairs can only face a certain way, it may even mean there’s bubbles! It means learning to see the potential of people of all abilities. It means learning to see the gifts that people who have SEND can bring to the Church and finding ways to release them and their families into their gifts.
‘Families...need someone to carry some of their anger and hurt – someone stirred to take up the fight’ Through Our Place we have had the privilege of journeying with some wonderful and remarkable families. There have been many tears shed, often over churches that just don’t get it. We firmly believe that welcoming our friends with SEND, like Luke, to New Wine and to our churches is a benefit to everyone. Our prayer is that God will raise up an Esther to unlock the potential of inclusive church in every congregation, and that what has begun at Our Place will spread throughout this nation. Rachel Leak & Donna Hill Rachel is a children’s worker and studying to be a speech and language therapist; Donna teaches in an Area Special School. They lead Our Place at the National Gatherings and have a passion to see people of all abilities included in Church life.
STEVE MORRIS SHARES HIS REMARKABLE STORY OF TURNING FAITH AND GENEROSITY INTO THE FOUNDATIONS FOR RESTORATION IN THE LIVES OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN A SOUTH AFRICAN TOWNSHIP
n February 2013 I stood on a hot, dry and dusty piece of land within the Vrygrond Township in Cape Town, South Africa. I was listening to my friend and CEO of The Sozo Foundation, Anton Cuyler, sharing his dream to turn that piece of land into a youth education centre. Dream centre Afterwards, I gave my best attempt at a Comic Relief-style video to capture the vision of this ‘dream centre’, which would serve the community of about 40,000 residents, which at that point had no secondary schools. The plan was to show the video to the young people at the New Wine Summer Conference the following July. I wanted to raise awareness and, I hoped, somewhere in the region of £5,000.
‘I sensed real peace among them, and the township walls were a distant memory – no fights, no fear, no drugs or gangs’ Fast forward a few months when, on my way home from work, my thoughts and prayers returned to the building of the education centre. I sensed God responding, and asking me whether I would give everything in my bank account to see it built. It was a simple question, which provoked an instant answer, ‘Yes’! Without thinking it through, I had committed to give away all of my family’s savings. We had worked hard over a number of years to save 24
this money, and I had dreamt of how we might spend it. But after a fairly brief, yet lively, conversation with my wife, we noted the amount that we had saved, and agreed to give it away. A £20 note At the New Wine event that summer, unplanned and with one day’s notice, I ended up speaking in The Arena at a main morning service. As I shared our conviction to put serving the poor at the centre of church life, and our desire to support the work in South Africa, a lady walked to the front of the stage and laid down a £20 note. Others followed, and after just ten minutes, people had placed £30,400 on the stage for The Sozo Foundation Education Centre! Unknown to us, the day before this, and 6,000 miles away, a couple had prophesied in The Sozo Foundation offices that God would raise every penny needed for the project.
The final amount donated on that evening rose to around £35,000, and the young people went on to raise approximately £15,000; £10,000 more than I had anticipated! This raised awareness among other churches and South African partners, and we finished the summer with just under £80,000. Grand plans The original stretch of land intended for the centre was given to The Sozo Foundation by a Trust, who, on hearing this story, have now gifted a bigger plot of land. A local architect and a surveyor have also volunteered their services free of charge. This means that the original plans can be
STORIES Sozo Camp, September 2013
extended, a two-phase build can become a one-phase build, and the centre will now provide: 1. Space for 145 learners, each able to study for four afternoons per week, with extra support from a mentor, access to a Sozo social worker, and enrolment in career workshops and opportunities. 2. A catering kitchen to provide more than 14,000 meals throughout the year. 3. A life-skills training room for parents and adults in the community. 4. Five grade-specific classrooms, equipped with computers with internet access for research, mathematics and science development. 5. A Sozo Foundation office for project co-ordinators. Reality & hope This is a beautiful and miraculous story of generosity, goodness and faithfulness, but it is part of a much bigger story – the real-life stories of a poverty-stricken community. In September 2013 I re-visited the township, and met a 15 year-old girl at the existing Sozo youth centre. She told us that her drug-addicted mother had been killed the night
before. She had been stabbed by the girl’s stepfather, also a drug addict. A year ago, a Sozo Foundation social worker had supported this girl in being removed from her abusive home. That same week in September, The Sozo Foundation was able to take 150 young people, including this girl, on the annual Sozo camp. It was a beach holiday with a difference. There were young people stretched across the sand, some playing rugby, others throwing each other into the water, some running into the hills – enjoying every minute. Each evening they would worship with abandonment, pray with vigour and speak with great hope of their faith in God. I sensed real peace among them, and the township walls were a distant memory – no fights, no fear, no drugs or gangs, seemingly not even a cross word. Restored When we recorded the video back in February, on that empty plot of land, we said the project would be a beacon of hope. I just didn’t know
at the time quite how true that was. God had heard the cries of these young people, and we have had the privilege of being part of their journey. One evening on camp, after hearing the Gospel, a group responded to follow Jesus. This is momentous in any youth camp, but to hear from Anton that most of them were this year’s Educentre intake, was beyond precious. Another evening we prayed for the broken hearted, and a grieving 15 year-old girl, surrounded by praying friends, brought her tears for her mum bravely before God and began the process of being lovingly restored. The building work started in January 2014, and we hope to celebrate the opening of the new centre at the end of June 2014. If you’re wondering what has happened with our family, we gratefully donated the money we had committed, and now, through generous individuals and amazing incidences, are back to the financial position we were in before this started. God is faithful; we’re now dreaming of how to give it all away again. After all, it’s not really ours in the first place. If you would like to know more or contribute financially to the work of The Sozo Foundation, visit www.thesozofoundation.org.za
Steve Morris Steve leads the youth and children’s work at Chafford Hundred Community Church in Essex. www.mrstevemorris.wordpress.com
WORSHIP IS A PRIORITY AT NEW WINE. IT IS THE WELLSPRING OF OUR CHURCHES – WHERE THE PEOPLE OF GOD GATHER TO EXPERIENCE HIS PRESENCE, PROVIDING THE CATALYST FOR KINGDOM GROWTH IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND COMPELLING US TO LIVE LIVES OF EXTRAVAGANT WORSHIP. NEW WINE WORSHIP HAS BEEN GATHERING MOMENTUM OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS – IN WHAT WE ARE DOING AT OUR CONFERENCES, IN OUR RECORDINGS, AND IN THE GROWING COMMUNITY OF WORSHIP LEADERS. HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS.
LIVE ALBUM We are working with Integrity Music this year to create a brand new worship recording to be released this summer. All the things that make worship at New Wine great – and edgy, prophetic and sometimes messy – will be combined in this album, which will be recorded live at the National Leadership Conference in Harrogate, and at our three New Wine Worship conferences in Leeds, London and Cheltenham. Integrity bring to the table their combination of experience and expertise in song development, marketing and distribution, and have made this one of their top-priority projects for 2014.
KIDS RECORDINGS The National Gatherings will also see the release of two new albums especially designed for primary and preschool kids. They are being crafted by the worship teams and venue hosts from across all kids’ venues – Gems, Pebbles, Ground Breakers, Boulder Gang and Rock Solid – where the songs will be played throughout the week to give the kids a chance to worship together and learn the songs and actions ready to take home. You can expect some brand new tracks from both New Wine writers as well from other streams and movements, which we hope will inspire kids worship in our churches in the year to come.
Working alongside the leader of New Wine Worship Neil Bennetts, we have a new team spearheading this project: Chris Lawson Jones (St Mary’s London), Chris Sayburn (St George’s Leeds), Lauren Harris (St Aldates Oxford) and Susie Woodbridge (Trinity Cheltenham). They will not only be part of the recording, but will be leading the worship at our United National Gatherings this summer, where the album will be launched.
CONFERENCES AND TRAINING DAYS By the time you are reading this we will have held three New Wine Worship conferences around the UK – we hope you didn’t miss out! The Leeds conference was a new venture, and is part of our strategy to encourage and develop worship leaders and worship ministry in local churches in the North.
Beth heads up worship at Soul Survivor and their associated church, Soul Survivor Watford. Q1 Who has had the biggest influence on your life, and why? I think we are all hugely shaped by our parents and families and I was fortunate to have an amazing mum and dad who I still go to for all kinds of advice. Q2 Can you give an example of a prayer time or a particular prayer that has impacted your life? I was never brought up on liturgy, but only recently I discovered the alternative Prayer of Humble Access for the first time. I love how honestly it’s written and describes God’s grace so beautifully:
Most merciful Lord, your love compels us to come in. Our hands were unclean, our hearts were unprepared; We were not fit even to eat the crumbs from under your table. But you, Lord, are the God of our salvation, and share your bread with sinners. So cleanse and feed us with the precious body and blood of your Son, That he may live in us and we in him; And that we, with the whole company of Christ, may sit and eat in your Kingdom.
WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE ARE ALSO STARTING A NEW INITIATIVE IN EAST ANGLIA:
WORSHIP TRAINING DAY Saturday 17 May 2014 Fountain of Life Church, Ashill The programme will have a regional context, focussing on how to grow a worship ministry with New Wine values; how to transition worship ministry while holding the old and new together; as well as how to make the most of what you have in terms of musicians. There will also be a Q&A panel made up of national and local worship leaders and church leaders – so bring your burning questions. It promises to be a significant time for worship leaders and teams and, we hope, will be the springboard for the development of worship in many churches in and around the region.
Q3 Can you describe a particular event which marks a turning point in your life/career? The day I learnt to transpose chord charts! Q4 . Is there a particular Bible verse or passage that speaks or has spoken into your life? John 15: The Vine and the Branches. Q5 Can you recommend a book/film/piece of music that has had an impact on your life? Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. (A historical romance novel set in California’s gold country in 1850. Inspired by the book of Hosea, its central theme is the redeeming love of God towards sinners.) Q6 Do you have one tip/piece of advice/life lesson you would like to share with our readers? Be the best original of yourself, not a poor imitation of someone else.
WORSHIP CENTRAL ACADEMY This September, New Wine Worship are partnering with Worship Central to open a Worship Central Academy at Trinity Cheltenham. This will be the third in the country – the other two being at HTB in London and St Thomas Crookes in Sheffield. The Worship Central Academy model is a year-out training programme for those who feel called to be a worship pastor. The Academy in Cheltenham will be led by Neil Bennetts and, through the New Wine Discipleship Year, will provide theological and leadership training, as well as a programme of teaching from Neil Bennetts, Tim Hughes, Chris Lawson Jones, Luke Hellebronth, Jules Woodbridge, Sam Bailey and others. Students will also take on a local church placement to get hands-on worship ministry experience. NEW WINE WORSHIP ONLINE You can get in touch with us, find information on all New Wine Worship events, as well as get a worship ‘magazine’ of articles and blogs, at www.newwineworship.org.uk
REMEMBER WHEN JESUS HEALED THE LAME MAN? WELL, HE’S STILL DOING IT! HEIDI PERRING’S SHORT STORY OF AN INCREDIBLE YEAR
n February 2013, while on a gap year with Kerith Academy in Bracknell, my lower back became very painful, to the point of needing to call for paramedics. I returned home to my parents and was almost entirely bed bound for six weeks until the pain eased. I then returned to my gap year. In May, the pain returned, and became serious, forcing me to end my gap year. Following an MRI scan I was diagnosed with a bulge on the last disc in my back. I had physiotherapy and although that helped my back, I had developed a pain in my left leg which was getting worse. I managed to take on some temporary work between September and November, but my body was very weak from being in pain for so long and I was constantly tired and taking a lot of pain killers.
GOD THE PAINKILLER
‘I walked out of that room holding my crutches and walking without a limp for the first time in a year’ By December the pain had become worse than ever. I underwent another MRI scan which revealed that the bulge had got bigger and was now pressing on nerves that went down my leg. I was rushed into hospital on 12 January 2014 and the doctors began to discuss surgery. I was unable to walk without crutches and was sick most mornings from the pain and the amount of drugs I had to swallow. I was booked into the New Wine Retreat to Advance event in Center Parcs the following Friday. Determined to go, my boyfriend and I made the six-hour journey, which was very painful. On the Saturday afternoon I got prayed for. It was probably the 100th time I’d been prayed for over the past year so I honestly wasn’t very expectant. But stuff started happening – a tingling in my back and a feeling of pressure being released. We kept praying and after 45 minutes I walked out of that room holding my crutches and walking without a limp for the first time in a year! I had my hospital appointment on the following Tuesday to discuss operating. It turned into a witness account of God’s amazing healing power – the doctor had no other explanation! I haven’t taken any pain killers since. I have pain once in a while but nothing like I used to, and that was with pain killers. After being in pain for a year I believe it will take time for my body to adjust, so I just keep claiming the healing and pressing into God’s presence. It’s a story of God’s incredible power and it has released me to pray for others to receive healing. Heidi Perring Heidi attends Bovey Tracey Baptist Church in Devon. She loves telling young people about God and his love and plans for them.
Luke works for Fusion, helping churches connect with the student generation. He is also a leader at G2, York. Q1 Who has had the biggest influence on your life, and why? Apart from the cricket broadcaster Jonathan Agnew and the Test Match Special team (I think I must have listened to them for a whole year if you add it all up), I would have to say my Dad. He was a kind, loving Dad who taught me to persevere through hardship and celebrate the good stuff. Q2 Can you give an example of a prayer time or a particular prayer that has impacted your life? I have learned to ask God, ‘What do I need from you today?’, rather than hammering him with all my requests. He knows us better than we know ourselves so he is a better reference point for our needs than our own feelings, thoughts or emotions. Q3 Can you describe a particular event which marks a turning point in your life/career? The day I found out I had cancer. It hit me like a train and was an enormous test of faith and my relationship with God! When faced with really tough situations we need to ask ourselves, ‘Am I going to come out of this bitter or better?’ My journey with cancer provoked me to choose to come out better regardless of what happened along the way. I don’t
know how the story ends or if I am totally healed, but I am more convinced than ever that my Redeemer lives and I’m better friends with him than ever. And I’d take that any day! Q4 Is there a particular Bible verse or passage that speaks or has spoken into your life? Luke 18:27 when Jesus said, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.’ I need to remind myself regularly that we are not constrained by the rules and patterns of this world. We serve a miraculous and surprising God. Q5 Can you recommend a book/film/piece of music that has had an impact on your life? The Mission (with Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons). I love the way the two men explore their calling and passion so differently. I watched it as a boy and I still love it today. It has been formative for me in deciding to give my life to helping others meet Jesus. Q6 Do you have one tip/piece of advice/life lesson you would like to share with our readers? Just because it hurts, doesn’t mean it’s bad. And also, always eat a warm pork pie on a Friday morning – Friday is Pieday!
THE STUDENT WORK CONFERENCE 2014 C L I M AT E C H A N G E MANY ST U DE N TS A R E S P I R I T UAL LY COL D AND HAV E F ROZEN P ERCEP TION S OF C HU R C H A N D GO D. WE S E N SE G OD IS INV ITING US TO JOIN HIM IN T HE B I G M E LT TOWA RDS A SALVATION CL IMATE.
Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws. - PSA L M 147 :18
5T H - 6T H SEP TEMBER 2 014 1P M F RIDAY - 5 P M SAT URDAY ST P ETERS CENT RE, LOUG HBOROUG H
What would it have been like to spend time with Jesus? Jay Pathak, Senior Pastor of Mile High Vineyard
Buy the popular New Wine 2013 series on DVD, CD or MP3: Jesus the Bartender, Jesus the Doctor, Jesus the Riddler, Jesus the Mover, Jesus the Cannibal at www.essentialchristian.com/jay-pathak
Browse all the New Wine teaching at essentialchristian.com/new-wine
Rev John Coles
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Wood worth - Et
DO YOU WANT TO SEE MORE OF GOD’S POWER? DO YOU EVER FEEL LIKE GIVING UP IN MINISTRY? OLLY GOLDENBERG OFFERS SOME ENCOURAGEMENT USING THE LIVES OF TWO PEOPLE WHO LIVED OVER 100 YEARS AGO
ivine ministry requires God’s power. In 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Paul says, ‘I did not preach with wise words but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith will not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. True ministry in the Kingdom will lead to persecution. Jesus warned us of this ( John 15:20), and it has been the case throughout the history of the Church. John Alexander Dowie and Maria Woodworth-Etter were two ministers from history who faced much discouragement, but they also saw God’s power at work. Let their lives encourage you to press in for more of God. John Alexander Dowie John Dowie lived a life of miracles and faced incredible opposition, including attempts on his life. Many others would have given up, but he seemed unstoppable for much of his life. He set up healing homes so he could minister to the sick until they were healed. The police arrested John for practicing medicine without a licence. In court, John defended himself: ‘I do not practice medicine. I pray for the sick as God tells me to in the Bible. It is God who heals them.’ The courts threw out the case, but that was not the end of the persecution. They changed the law so they could arrest him again! Even then the courts could not find enough evidence against him. As John walked back into his home, he was arrested again. In fact, over 100 warrants were given out for his arrest over the course of a year as they tried to wear him down.
The judge allowed John to present evidence from people who had been healed. Day after day people testified, under oath, how God had healed them. People were amazed as lawyers, doctors and business men told their testimony. Rev Frederick Arthur Graves, a famous song writer, was healed of epilepsy. Abraham Lincoln’s cousin was healed of cancer. The opposition was silenced and because of the publicity, more people were saved.
‘The mantle to fight the good fight of faith rests on us’ Maria Woodworth-Etter When Maria heard God calling her to preach in the 1870s she thought she would only be allowed to speak in other countries because she was a woman. But God called her to preach across America. As she preached and prayed, God’s power started to move in the meetings. People spoke in strange languages, fell into trances and many were healed. God didn’t only move through Maria. Children would preach and prophesy. Church leaders, the elderly and the young were all used by God. These meetings were certainly bizarre. Maria was accused of
hypnotising the people and a group of 15 doctors came to investigate. When people went into trances they were examined. ‘They have not been hypnotised. This must be the power of God’, the doctors declared. But one doctor didn’t agree. He didn’t want to believe God had any power. He moved to a different part of a building where his son was crying, ‘Dad, please pray for me. I need God to forgive me.’ But the doctor couldn’t pray. He realised he was a sinner. ‘God have mercy on me’, he cried, and went into a trance where he felt himself falling into hell. After hours of struggle, the sceptic became a believer and went on to lead thousands to Christ. At the age of 73, Maria moved cities and started a church. Most people would be happily retired, but Maria wanted to serve God with all her strength for all of her life. Maria learnt that God would be faithful to her as she obeyed him. Staying faithful These two generals in God’s kingdom fought hard for the gospel in their time. Now the mantle to fight the good fight of faith rests on us. Let’s stay faithful to what God has called us to do, prayerful in the secret place, compassionate for the needs of those around us, and confident in the power of God. Olly Goldenberg Olly founded Children Can, an international ministry dedicated to raising and releasing the next generation of Church. He is also an author of many books, including the God’s Generals for Kids series.
For your chance to win a copy of one of Olly’s God’s Generals For Kids books, email ‘Gold’ to firstname.lastname@example.org before 30 May 2014.
#WHAT WOULD JESUS TWEET?
HELPFUL OR HARMFUL, WHERE DO YOU STAND ON SOCIAL MEDIA? RICH JOHNSON UPDATES US ON HIS STATUS
ecently, a large proportion of the city centre of Worcester was flooded. This happens on a fairly regular basis, although the magnitude was much greater this year than normal. The difference for most of us living here was not the water levels so much as where we went to get up-to-date information about them. We went to Twitter. And specifically, to the Twitter account of our local Environment Agency manager, Dave Throup. Dave has become a local legend, using his Twitter account to keep everyone informed. Social media is now mainstream. Three services in particular – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – are increasingly a normal part of everyday life for many of us. They provide us with wonderful opportunities, but also some profound challenges – particularly for those of us who follow Jesus. What would Jesus tweet? How would he update his Facebook page? And what photos would he post to Instagram? A more profound question might be: How would Jesus use them? He used the vernacular of his day to communicate his good news. I have no doubt that Jesus would make use of social media to reach those he came for; but in a way that glorifies the Father, extends grace and helps usher in his Kingdom. And so let’s be confident to use it ourselves as we seek to reveal him to others, but careful and prayerful in how we do so.
Connection Social media is ultimately about connection. It helps us connect with others, with ideas, with resources and with what is happening in the world around us. So a great question to ask when thinking about the opportunities it affords us is: What and who do I want to connect with? We’ll all answer that question slightly differently.
It allows us to connect with others who share the same kind of role, call, interests or passion as us. Through social media we can offer mutual encouragement, find and share resources, network with others, and keep up to date with breaking news, trends and ideas. For example, I regularly use Twitter to track what other church leaders are reading, observing, thinking and doing, and to learn from them in the process. It’s also a great way for me to connect with, pray for and encourage other leaders in the New Wine network. 32
Investment Social media makes it easy for us to invest in others. We can input into and encourage others by posting inspirational quotes or thoughts, linking to helpful and relevant online resources, and facilitating connections between people. As someone who leads a church with a high percentage of Generation Y and younger, all of whom are using social media in some form, it also allows me to have a pastoral and discipleship input into their lives beyond our Sunday or midweek gatherings. It’s a great opportunity for some public digital encouragement and affirmation of others too. Relationship Of course, it really helps us to be in relationship with our friends and family, wherever they may be. Technology knows no geographical boundaries, and so we’re able to share news, photos and prayer requests, and stay up to date with people we care about in a way that previously was much harder.
All of this sounds great does it not? But there are challenges too, and I want to suggest what I believe are the three biggest ones. These certainly are the ones that I struggle with if I’m not careful.
‘I have no doubt that Jesus would make use of social media to reach those he came for; but in a way that glorifies the Father, extends grace and helps usher in his Kingdom’ Distraction First, there is the distraction challenge. Social media allows us to connect infinitely beyond our physical context. Consequently, it’s all too easy to become distracted from what is going on in our lives. Many of us will be able to recall seeing a parent missing a special moment with a child because they’re checking Twitter, for example. Social media used well will inspire and resource us to offer more to those we’re called to love and serve. But unchecked, it can get in the way of us being present, prayerful and pro-active in the lives of others. Integrity The second challenge is one of integrity. A valid critique of social media is that it encourages the egotistical part of us all. As Christians, we’re called to be people who are honest and humble. All too often I see something posted by someone about who they’re with, where they’re going, or what they’re up to, that actually is shouting ‘look at me, I’m important!’, revealing an insecurity or lack of humility. Similarly, we need to be careful that we don’t project an inaccurate perception of ourselves, either
by over-exaggerating or selectively sharing. It’s also important to think through the implications for others of what we share. Social media is not the place to have conversations that should be in private, or to say things to someone or about someone else that we wouldn’t be prepared to say in person. Before we use social media, it’s important to ask ourselves: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
‘Social media is not the place to have conversations that should be in private, or to say things to someone or about someone else that we wouldn’t be prepared to say in person’ Boundaries Finally, there is the boundaries challenge. Just because we can connect and share, it doesn’t mean we should or must. I think it’s wise to be careful and intentional about how we use social media, and to put in boundaries. For example, I have one Facebook account that I use in my role as a vicar, but a separate one for connecting with my friends and family. I don’t want to share everything with everyone. I never put details or photos of my children on Twitter, and my Instagram account is for close friends and family only.
It’s also good to establish boundaries around when and where you use social media. With phones, tablets and devices, it’s easy to be online all the time, at the expense of being present to those around you. Periodically I have to reinstate boundaries that I’ve agreed with my family, usually when one of them has challenged me about it! It’s good to ask and agree with others – whether it’s a partner, children, colleagues, housemates and so on – what boundaries are helpful. For example, phones and tablets are banned from all meal times in our home, and not used upstairs. I turn my phone and tablet off when it’s my day off to remove the temptation to ‘just check’. In summary, used well, social media offers us a great tool for connecting with, encouraging and serving others. For those of us who are called to lead others and help them grow in missional discipleship, I think we need to be using it. But we do need to be wise in how we use it, and to encourage one another in that. Jesus would use it, but let’s think how he would use it.
Rev Dr Rich Johnson Rich is Vicar of All Saints Worcester and New Wine Regional Director for the South and South West (@richjohnson)
NIKKI GROARKE SHARES HER EXPERIENCE OF HELPING MEN PLAY TO THEIR STRENGTHS
have a deep love for the Church, and a conviction that it is the primary source of hope and transformation for local communities, but needs strategic and visionary leadership by both men and women working together to enable this. Over the years I have trained male curates, undertaken ministerial review for male church leaders, and invested in many men in congregations, helping them discern their gifts and skills, asking them pertinent questions, challenging them appropriately, enabling them to realise their potential and often accomplish more than they believed possible. A mothering instinct Many of the guys I have done this for have been of a different generation. Possibly there is an element of nurturing vocation involved here which connects to a ‘mothering’ instinct – the verses in Isaiah 54 about the childless woman not holding back, enlarging the place of her tent and having numerous descendants have always resonated with me. It is intrinsically natural to want to unlock the potential of my spiritual sons as well as my spiritual daughters. Leading leaders Now, however, I find myself in a senior church role where I am called to enable, equip, encourage and lead some highly experienced male clergy and significant lay people, some of whom are almost old enough to be my father! I have found these men mostly to be hugely gracious and receptive, spurred on to step up to new challenges, and, interestingly, very keen to respond to my leadership and thereby show that they embrace the role of women leading in all spheres of church life. It’s almost as though I am unlocking their potential to explore new possibilities simply by being there, as a woman with responsibility for some of their oversight. Fully alive When asked to reflect on my role as a woman releasing potential in men, I thought of my two favourite quotes: ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire’ – Saint Catherine of Sienna; and ‘The glory of 34
God is a man (or woman) fully alive’ – Saint Irenaeus. God made us unique individuals, with unique life stories, personalities, gifts and talents. But what some of us lack is the confidence to be who we are and we need others to identify and draw out the best in us. For men in this situation it can be less threatening if this is undertaken by a woman. I have found that the men I have worked alongside have felt able to be open and vulnerable with me about their fears and acknowledge their areas of weakness. We’ve then been able to work on a development plan together which doesn’t leave them feeling undermined. I’ve encouraged them to be who they were made to be. Unleashing strength On the whole, though generalisations can be unhelpful, women are perhaps less competitive than men, which releases us to rejoice when we see others thrive as we don’t feel threatened by their success. Women will often push men forward and help them accomplish more, whereas other men may be reluctant because it affects their place in the pecking order. Women are less hierarchical, wanting the team to do well as a whole, rather than focusing on their own place in it. What I value most in the men I work alongside in the Church is their clarity, visionary approach, and willingness to push into new territory, often regardless of personal cost. Men are often great at taking things forward purposefully, providing decisive leadership in times of uncertainty, and are more likely to be risk takers – I love to see this strength unleashed.
When fully alive men and women work together, each playing to their strengths, the full potential of the whole Church body is unlocked, and we can do what we’re called to, for the sake of the world and the glory of God. Nikki Groarke Nikki is Archdeacon of Dudley, where she shares in the leadership of the Diocese of Worcester, helping churches in diverse urban and rural communities engage with a ‘Kingdom People’ vision of love, compassion, justice and freedom.
‘Men are often great at taking things forward purposefully, providing decisive leadership in times of uncertainty, and are more likely to be risk takers’
y first thought when invited to write this article, was to ask some of my church’s leading women for their input – including my wife, our curate, counselling head, director of operations, church warden, women’s pastor and a couple of our preachers. In itself, that reflects what I’ve come to passionately believe over the course of my ministry – that women can exercise any spiritual gift and ministry that men can.
‘Rarely do I see someone’s walk with Jesus and their service in the Kingdom being unaffected by their gender’
Spot the difference It isn’t enough to say that ‘men and women are equal’ unless you add, ‘but not necessarily the same’! Women often have a different perspective to men, so I think it’s likely that better decisions are made when the group includes both male and female perspectives. It is dangerous to generalise (although generalisations are so-called because they’re generally true), but rarely do I see someone’s walk with Jesus and their service in the Kingdom being unaffected by their gender. So, while rejoicing in the fellowship of both male and female saints, as a church leader I’ve realised that, if I want to help women reach their full potential, I need to approach the task with a different set of nuances than I would with most men. On the whole, the female friends whom I consulted agreed with me, so don’t shoot the messenger! Establishing values Our society is still imbalanced when it comes to its views of male and female leadership. For that reason, in many spheres, women can need extra encouragement to use their gifts. In addition, I’ve known several very gifted women who have taken time to regain their confidence after years focussed on bringing up a family. Some women feel that they will be harshly judged if things go wrong, so consistency in relationships, creating a safe place where we can be vulnerable, and mutual trust are valued. Respect is essential, as is the
PAUL HARCOURT BRAVELY STEPS FORTH TO OFFER SOME WISE WORDS ON WOMEN avoidance of any patronising tone. As a male leader, I am challenged by how Jesus’ treatment of women was at odds with his society and wonder what cultural assumptions I can unthinkingly embrace. Strength in numbers Everyone likes to be on a team, but in my experience, women especially like to work in a more collaborative style. So when asking a woman to take on a role in the church, I try to bear this in mind. Many men would happily press ahead as lone rangers, but often women prefer to share the responsibility, or at least know that I would remain in close contact as they lead. It isn’t insecurity that drives this preference, but rather a deep passion for community, network and collaboration. I’ve noticed that women leaders have often formed more effective and healthier teams than those led by men, working together for a common goal, better able to subordinate their own egos and share the success as a group. A time of revolution One of my friends noted that, even when women were not able to hold senior positions in the Church, the Holy Spirit has nevertheless raised up women with powerful international ministries – women such as Mother Teresa, Catherine Booth, Heidi Baker, Jackie Pullinger and others. If the cultural and structural barriers that often assumed that ministry is male were removed, what might happen? We are living in a time of revolution in the recognition of women’s ministry, and not before time! Perhaps in years to come the Church will be firing on all cylinders, where every person flourishes and none of God’s gifts are squandered.
Paul Harcourt Paul, with his wife Becky, leads All Saints’ Woodford Wells, Essex. They’re amazed at the great people God gathers there, and the wonderful range of ministries that Jesus has inspired the church family to pursue.
was asked an incredible question by a ten year-old a number of years ago, at the end of a Religious Education lesson: ‘Why do you do what you do, when I don’t really care?’ I was a little taken aback, but it made me think. The question has never left me, and has probably shaped the last 15 years of my ministry. Many questions arise when we look at the Church and its work with young people, but a key one for me is, ‘How do we see children in our churches and families live a life passionately for God?’
‘Children can often be more open to the things of God than adults. They accept God’s power more freely, and expect him to act’
A HEALTHY START WHAT ARE WE FEEDING OUR KIDS? RICK OTTO LOOKS AT HOW TO SET OUR CHILDREN ON THE PASSIONATE PURSUIT OF GOD
Samuel, Samuel One story I turn to regularly is Samuel’s early encounter with God (1 Sam 3). Here is a young boy serving in the temple alongside Eli and going about his everyday jobs. One night Samuel is awoken by a voice saying, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’ He runs to Eli’s bedroom and says, ‘Yes, I am here’. Eli, not really sure what is happening, sends the boy back to bed. Again the call comes, and Samuel runs back into Eli’s bedroom and says, ‘Yes, I am here’. ‘Go back to bed!’ says Eli. But Samuel hears the voice again and when he goes running back, Eli realises that God is trying to speak to Samuel so tells him to respond. Again, he hears ‘Samuel, Samuel’ so the young boy rises and says, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’ What follows is an incredible encounter, especially as we are told at the start of the chapter that visions and messages from God were very rare. We can learn a lot from this story, and there are three lessons in particular that could start to answer the question posed earlier. 1. Word Samuel was serving in the temple, so he must have heard God’s word regularly. We all need God’s word, no matter what age we are. I’m sure many of us can recall, perhaps from our Sunday school days, memorising particular Bible verses. But is this something we do now? I’m sure the tradition lives on in many churches, but for others it became more about whether the prize was worth the effort of remembering the verse! So how do we help our children know and understand God’s word? Do we have times at home where we open God’s word and talk about it?
3. Wonders Visions and messages from God were very rare in Samuel’s time, yet God spoke to him as a small boy. Children can often be more open to the things of God than adults. They accept God’s power more freely, and expect him to act. So children released in the gifts of the Spirit are something to behold. I have heard so many wonderful stories of children praying for their friends in the playground and seeing their prayers answered. And countless times when children have heard messages and visions from God for adults, prayed for them and seen God move powerfully in their lives. Andrea is a friend who runs the preschool at Fountain of Life church in Ashill, Norfolk. She told me about a time that she was kneeling down at the sand pit and her knee gave way, causing her extreme pain. She asked her three year-olds to pray. They laid hands on her knee and prayed in their own words. She was immediately pain free! Andrea
cultivates an atmosphere in preschool for God to come and do the miraculous. And he does. Do we allow space and time in our churches and families for our children to experience his signs and wonders?
2. Works Samuel was serving. Do we allow children to serve in our churches? If it wasn’t for someone asking me to help in the 4-7s ‘Climbers’ group at the age of 14, I wouldn’t have seen God do the things I previously thought were impossible. As well as encouraging our children to know God through his word, let’s start to encourage them to see him involved in their lives through serving others. In our families, do we ask God how we can serve our neighbours and get our children involved?
Play your part For children to live a life that is passionate about God, they need a healthy balance of word, works and wonders. As parents, we can’t expect an hour on a Sunday morning to equip our children to live this lifestyle; equally, as a church we can’t expect our kids’ teams to release this equipping in an hour. It’s something we all need to be part of, and need to encourage our children to grow in. Why do we do what we do, when others don’t really care? Because we long for God’s word to be evident in children’s lives; for them to experience him through works; and for his children to be encouraged as they see him move through his signs and wonders!
Rick Otto Rick is the Children’s and Youth Co-ordinator at Holy Trinity Ripon, and has a passion to see God move through the lives of children and their families.
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The Way to Life A new evangelistic booklet from SGM Lifewords illustrating steps to faith through the Bible’s own words. The Way to Life is ideal to give to friends who know little about Jesus or are taking part in an introductory course. Order now at www.sgmlifewords.com/waytolife or by phone on 020 7730 2155. While donations to help spread the Bible’s life words are very welcome, our resources are free to those who are not able to contribute.
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Be strengthened as you read this 40-day devotional exploring the life-changing encounters biblical characters had with the risen Jesus.
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Jesus believed in and trusted his disciples, and sent them to heal the sick and cast out demons in his name. They returned excited and motivated by what they had been released to do.
To die for
A few years ago a young leadership couple sat in our office weeping – all they knew was that God was calling them to New Zealand. There was no plan except to go. It didn’t make sense to me but I knew they loved Jesus and I had to trust that they had heard God for themselves. As it turned out, God had strategically sent them to serve the National Vineyard Director there at a crucial time.
y mother was 23 and my father was 28 when they set off as missionaries in 1959 for Chile – a five-week journey across the ocean in those days. Shortly after they arrived, Chile suffered an earthquake measuring 9.4 on the Richter scale – the highest ever recorded. They could not telephone home and lost contact with their family and friends for several weeks.
This was not their own adventure, but a willingness to risk everything for the Lord. Their lives inspired me at a young age when I also wanted to take risks for Jesus. Young people want to live for a worthwhile cause – even if it costs them life itself. They need leaders to inspire them, trust them, and release them. When Saddam Hussein’s statue fell, my husband John was given the opportunity to go over to Iraq. It was a very dangerous mission trip. On his return he asked our church for volunteers to return to Iraq to help distribute millions of dollars’ worth of medication. This was a very risky venture which could have cost them their lives. Fourteen men and women came to talk to John about going – most were in their 20s and three of them finally got to go.
‘Young people want to live for a worthwhile cause – even if it costs them life itself’ Faith & trust
I remember stories from early Vineyard church planters who risked all manner of things to set off on church planting missions. They took teams with them who also wanted to live a life of adventure for Jesus. One church was planted after receiving a word of knowledge from God which led them to a house on a particular street, and that was where their first small group started. In 1981 I met some very young people who had sacrificed a great deal to come over to England with Vineyard Founder John Wimber, to bless the English Church. I was amazed that not only were these young people believed in and trusted to minister, but they had sacrificed jobs and money to come. That was inspiring! 40
Messy & risky
Young people need to be taught to hear God for themselves, and we need to trust that God will lead them into doing that. They may make mistakes, but through their mess great things may happen. One of our young staff managed to make a loss of about £8,000 while organising an event. Today he is a fine leader with significant influence. It may be messy and risky, but trusting young people is an investment for the future.
Ready for release
Founder and Leader of Soul Survivor Mike Pilavachi, who previously worked for my father (David Pytches), believed that a certain teenage boy would be a great worship leader. One day I was in my parents’ kitchen listening to their concerns over the possible release of this teenager’s first album, with songs which in their estimation weren’t ready. But we could see how much Mike believed in him, and though the songs were somewhat ‘raw’, my father was persuaded to let it happen. And so Wake Up My Soul, the debut album from 2013 Grammy Award winner Matt Redman, was released. What a good decision that proved to be. We must inspire young people, believe in them, release them to take risks, and to be there to celebrate them – but also to pick them up and dust them off should they fail. And then, to send them out again.
Debby Wright Debby leads Trent Vineyard in Nottingham with her husband John. She trained under John Wimber in the Anaheim Vineyard (USA). Debby and John Wright helped start the first Vineyard in Europe, before planting Trent Vineyard and many other churches across the UK.
Our vision is to see thousands of Christian learners walk through our doors, be transformed by Godâ€™s Word, and live out their new learning in their workplace.
New for 2015
Waverley Abbey College offers programmes for those wanting to find out about counselling or to develop their skills as a counsellor. From one-week introductory courses to our BA and MA programmes, we have something for every level of experience.
We are hoping to introduce a range of programmes for education professionals and church leaders, starting in 2015. Keep an eye on the website for more details.
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DOES POVERTY GET UNDER YOUR SKIN? TEARFUND’S JAMIE FYLEMAN SHOWS US WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT
eeting a child that you know could become another statistic, one of the three million who will die each year as a result of malnutrition, is not easy. For me, Caesar was that child. He was the same age as my son, Zephaniah, when I met him in Uganda – just four years old. Like Zeph, he had an infectious smile, a cheeky streak, and was totally loveable. Unlike Zeph, he had no parents having lost them both to AIDS, he had no toys, and cried himself to sleep each night as a result of extreme hunger. On several occasions as I spent time with Caesar and his sisters, he tried to eat food unfit for human consumption – items nibbled by vermin and unripe fruit. The odds against Caesar are massive. As a parent, so much of my attention is focussed on releasing the potential of my boy. For Caesar and his sisters, their attention was on day-to-day survival.
Caesar (credit: Jamie Fyleman/Tearfund). 42
And yet, elsewhere in Uganda I’d had the joy of seeing the transformation that can come about as a result of a church impacting its community. It’s the equipping and releasing of churches to become agents of transformation that is at the heart of the New Wine and Tearfund partnership Change A Nation.
‘God in his mercy let us get involved in a story that meant this little boy’s future was being unlocked from one of poverty, hunger and desperation’
Together we are helping individual churches begin a journey that puts the Bible centre stage in development. The three-year process looks at the potential that God has put inside the church and within the community. It helps the church work with their local people to identify the needs of the area and the resources available to meet them.
After one such occasion, at the New Wine Summer Conference last year, Zeph said he wanted to use £12 of his pocket money to help Caesar. Over simplistic cause and effect perhaps, but we took the cash in to Tearfund together. As he handed over the money I knew it was possible Caesar was no longer alive.
Although it may sound simple, the process is truly incredible. I’ve now seen community after community that has been transformed as a result. I don’t say this lightly, but for the first time I’ve seen what it truly means for the kingdom of God to take hold in communities. You see entrepreneurism taking hold. You see people taking responsibility for their lives. You see hope being realised and futures being built. You see nursery schools being set up in church buildings, clinics being built, farmers groups established so that the number of people going to bed hungry is halved and, as a result of all this, church attendance rocketing.
Join the story
‘He tried to eat food unfit for human consumption – items nibbled by vermin and unripe fruit’ Getting personal
Beyond finding resources to deal with their issues, you also see communities begin to have the confidence to speak out. Civic activism leads to local government being held to account and villages being given what is rightfully theirs! All of this leads to transformation – for whole communities, families and of course individuals. I can tell you about families just like Caesar’s where change has come and the hope of Christ has been revealed. However, when I spoke to Caesar’s sisters, Lilian and Rebecca, they were without hope. I knew that their church was about to begin the three-year process, but they couldn’t see how they could help themselves or the church could help them. And so Caesar got under my skin. Poverty again had become personal to me; if we’re going to see an end to it, it has to. I don’t think a day has gone by where I’ve not thought about him, and few when Zeph and I have not prayed for him. I’ve spoken about him far and wide, and how for just £12 his life really could be changed.
Fast forward to December and I received an email update from Change A Nation. One that, if you’re a church that is part of the scheme or an individual who has signed up to give regularly into the initiative, you will have received. I opened the update and names started leaping off my screen – Lillian, Rebecca, Caesar. I began crying as I read how hope had come to their community through the church. Their lives were being transformed. Caesar and his family were now eating regularly – their lives flourishing thanks to being helped to farm their land and sell produce. They’d been helped with a legal dispute and the church had provided support in making their land and homes secure. That night we were due to go out as a family to celebrate my wife’s new job. We did go out, but the main celebration for all of us became that of Caesar and his family. God in his mercy had let us get involved in a really small way in a story that meant this little boy’s future was being unlocked from one of poverty, hunger and desperation. It’s a story you’re invited to join too. As an individual, as a church, as a network – changing lives and communities like those of Caesar. Allowing poverty to become personal – bringing transformation and being transformed in the process. To find out more about how you can be involved, visit www.changeanation.org.uk
Jamie Fyleman Jamie is Head of Church Relationships for Tearfund, an international aid and development organisation.
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New Wine Live Worship Album 2013 The Arena
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DO YOU HAVE A JOB VACANCY TO FILL?
THERE’S A SUCCESSFUL ‘FIND A JOB’ SERVICE ON THE NEW WINE WEBSITE. Find a Job gives churches (and other organisations) a quick and easy way to advertise jobs, with access to a large target audience. You can use this service to advertise church leaders’ appointments, as well as all other roles within the church (including worship, youth, children’s and community work, internships, managerial, administrators and other support roles).
There is Still More Mary Pytches
Cry Freedom! Mary Pytches
Teaching from all our recent events is available for FREE on our website: www.new-wine.org/resources/free
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Chapter One: The Father’s Love
Our Hands His Healing
There are not many worship albums that I play on repeat, but this is one of them. As these five songs have come out of KXC, where my brother is the leader, I obviously felt duty bound to listen and pass on some polite encouragement. I didn’t, however, expect to be so powerfully impacted. The production and sounds, care of Ben Cantelon, are rich and exciting; the songs are engaging and emotive; and the vocals are stunning. For me, the standout track is Singing Over Us, a song I can’t wait to introduce in our worship services. If this is Chapter One, then bring on Chapter Two – I’m hooked! Tim Hughes is Leader of Worship Central and Director of Worship at Holy Trinity Brompton, London.
This book is absolutely invaluable for anyone who wants to be involved in prayer ministry. It covers how to get started, ministering inner healing, and extended pastoral prayer ministry. While it is comprehensive and includes a huge range of situations and practical advice, Jeannie maintains an easy-to-read style packed with heart-rending and faith-building stories to keep you engaged. It’s well worth reading cover to cover, but is also a resource I will keep dipping into over the years. Our Hands His Healing renewed my vision and built my faith for all that we could see God do. Get your hands on a copy and get praying. Ali Martin is part of the leadership of Soul Survivor Watford church and Soul Survivor Ministries.
Turnaround God Charlotte Gambill
I love make-overs so a book on God’s transformational power was immediately attractive, and I wasn’t disappointed. Charlotte challenges the ordinary satisfied Christian to experience God’s turnaround power, so she deals with the sticking points of unforgiveness, apathy and dispassion. She is self-effacing in her use of her own experience, and constant in her perceptive recourse to Bible characters to illustrate her points. It’s peppered with thought-provoking observations and if you can get over the Americanisations (backyard, mom, color) – the Bradford girl married an American after all – this book is easy to read, accessible and relevant to everyone thirsting for more of God in their life and ministry. Anne Coles is Head of Women’s Ministry for New Wine.
This is a very readable book, with some great turns of phrase and visual imagery. The chapters conclude with questions and exercises to help the reader engage more fully with the topic. It’s an eclectic book covering, among other topics: understanding the person of Jesus, relating to God as Father, our life in the Spirit, the concept of salvation (wholeness as well as rescue), the call to live in the not-yet now, the reality of the enemy, the difference between discipling and looking after, and the call to be missional. Stand’s main strength is its call to courage and action. It is written by someone who puts his theology into practice and calls us to do the same. Rob Bewley is a New Wine Network Leader and Vicar & Mission Leader of the Parish of Christ the King, Kettering.
Sacred Roots Jon Tyson
Sacred Roots is part of the FRAMES series – short books aimed at busy people with many full-sized ‘must read someday’ books gathering dust on their bookshelves. People like me. Don’t mistake the diminutive size as lack of content. It’s a well researched and profoundly disturbing assessment of how local churches are increasingly viewed as unnecessary, especially by young adults. But it doesn’t stop there. Jon Tyson and Rich Villodas honestly and vulnerably share their own experiences of addressing these challenges, so that local churches may become ‘active agents of grace and redemption in the middle of the brokenness of our world’. It’s a little book filled with big ideas that just might help your church meet some stark 21st century challenges. Nick McKee is a New Wine Network Leader and Vicar of St Paul’s Astley Bridge.
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Fit For MiNiStrY Thereâ€™s a world to win. Is God calling you to play a key role in reaching it? With full time and part time BA programmes specialising in leadership, mission and crosscultural ministry as well as biblical studies and theology, Mattersey Hall is the best place to discover and refine your gifts and to be equipped for serving God in the 21st century. Call for a prospectus today on 01777 817663 or see our website.
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18-24s: YOUR LIFE, HIS KINGDOM
DEVELOP KEY LEADERSHIP SKILLS. EXPERIENCE THE ADVENTURE OF OVERSEAS MISSION. DEEPEN YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE OF GOD. EXPLORE THE CALLING AND PURPOSE THAT GOD HAS FOR YOUR LIFE. GROW THROUGH SERVING IN A LOCAL CHURCH. DISCOVER, EXERCISE AND NURTURE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND PASSIONS.
With 11 locations around the UK, find a training centre near you, and get ready for a life-changing year of adventure and discovery! Application closing date 31 August 2014 ‘The New Wine Discipleship Year has given me a great opportunity to further discern and refine my gifting in the Kingdom. It’s a quality investment in terms of propelling me into my future ministry, and highlighting what God has in store for me.’ David Cokayne, 2013-14 Intern, North East London Training Centre
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INCLUDING A SHORT-TERM OVERSEAS MISSION TRIP
In 10 yearsâ€™ time her natural curiosity will be replaced by a realisation that the future holds nothing more than hardship and relentless poverty.
YOU CAN CHANGE ALL THAT.
COMPASSION UK CHRISTIAN CHILD DEVELOPMENT 43 High Street, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8BB Registered Charity No. 1077216 Registered in England No. 3719092
For just 83p a day your one-to-one support will enable a child living in poverty to attend a churchbased Compassion project. Here, loving Christian staff will ensure children receive the healthcare, education, food, clothing, spiritual and social support they need to thrive.