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Pioneering | Proclaiming | Transforming | Together

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Contents

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Welcome  

4 & 5

David Stroud 

6&7

Goal 4 8 – 10 n io is v e th in le ro r u Finding yo 11 d e lv vo Getting in 12 & 13 s w e Family N 14 & 15 n e re Michael G 16 & 17 Training 18 Reviews 19 Diary the UK family of churches Salt & Light Ministries for by ed lish pub is ine diman gaz 2020vision> ma Russell | Design Richard Har nications Manager Oliver mu Com | s Gile Jon tor Edi g | +44(0)1865 297440 g/uk | contact@saltlight.or Contact > www.saltlight.or ad, Oxford, OX2 0ES, UK King’s Centre, Osney Me 3373. Salt & Light Ministries, The d and Wales, number 360 lan Eng in red rantee, registe number 1071600. rity cha red A company limited by gua iste Reg . h Street, Witney, OX8 6HB Registered office 22b Hig Mag.indd 2

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Welcome to the summer edition of our 2020vision> update magazine. We have a great line up of articles for you including some of the speakers from Transform 2011: Radical Disciples - Seizing the Opportunity – if you weren’t able to join us, then you can get a taster here!

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welcome

When thinking about the theme for this magazine I heard David Stroud (Team Leader, NewFrontiers UK) speak from Jeremiah 29v6. He spoke about the word shalom. His interpretation is that in this context shalom means ‘life as it should be’. The Hebrews in exile were to ‘seek the prosperity and shalom of the city’. Our fourth 2020vision> goal is bodly stated as Transforming Society – there is much to do – but what a difference it makes to think that as we go we are bringing shalom – making things as they should be. Our theme is therefore about how can we get involved personally – to be shalom bringers, to know our role in the Kingdom and also how we can share the good news with others. We also have news and updates from around the UK; updates on how you can engage with leadership training; For the first time in this format we have included reviews of a CD and book you may like to buy. We hope you enjoy this edition – if you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions then email me at ukmag@saltlight.org.

Jon Giles UK Team Administrator and editor of the 2020vision Update Magazine

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David Stroud is the senior leader of NewFrontiers in the UK and has been asking the church to consider how they can become ‘bringers of shalom – making things as they should be’. David and the NewFrontiers family have been promoting an initiative called Everything which asks how people can make an impact on everything in the world. One summer evening, as I walked home, looking forward to spending suppertime with the family, the idyllic scene played out in my mind. We would sit in the garden enjoying a dinner of roasted chicken with garlic, lemon and herbs. Perhaps some new potatoes, salad, a glass of wine… As I opened the fridge, my daydream was shattered by the putrid stench of rotten meat. I unwrapped the chicken and the smell immediately made me retch. I ran for the bin, appalled at the foul aroma, and sadly resigned to the prospect of a disappointed family, and a meat-free salad!

David Stroud

This trivial example reminded me of a simple, but important principle. Without proper preservation, meat will quickly rot and decay. Society, of course, is no different. The United Kingdom has the highest level of drug addiction in Europe. Schools send home 2,200 children a day for disruptive behaviour. Violent crime by women has reached an all-time high, with on average, 250 women being arrested each day. 58% of 14-17 year olds have viewed pornography, and 40% are sexually active. Over 41,000 women under 18 fall pregnant each year. Everywhere you look, there are signs of decay. Environments like this should be a perfect opportunity for the church to shine! We have to ask why the church is not making more of a difference.

making a d

Jesus, of course, called us to be salt and light. These are evocative pictures of how the church is to operate in society. Salt preserves; it holds off decay. If the Church were being as salty as it should, we ought not to see such levels of corruption in society. Light penetrates darkness; it brings revelation and helps people to see things they had previously not seen. The Church should be a beacon of hope, pointing men and women back to hope.

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5 As individuals, we need to take responsibility for the environments in which God has placed us; our workplaces, our university campuses, our streets and our schools. We need to be a positive influence through our message and our actions. As local churches we need to bring out the good in whole communities, through social action projects and care for the poor, providing for the needs of society and being a positive presence in their midst. John Cadbury understood this principle. In the 1820s, water was so polluted that people drank gin in large quantities, and society was plagued by drunkenness, poverty and crime. Cadbury took it upon himself to find a solution, and established a business, providing cocoa and chocolate as alternatives to alcohol. For decades the Cadbury family was actively involved in social reform; campaigning against the use of children to clean chimneys, and fighting for the rights of the underprivileged. They set high standards for the care of their workers; paying generous salaries and providing education, healthcare and pension schemes. For half a century they even ran Bible readings and morning prayers. In the late 1890s John Cadbury’s sons purchased a large plot of land and built affordable housing with space for gardens and trees, for employees and non-employees alike. By taking responsibility and striving to be salt and light, the Cadbury family had a remarkable and lasting impact upon their society. We need to live with the same kind of vision. We must ask ourselves ‘how can I make a difference in the area of the world in which God has placed me?’The answer will be different for each of us. For some it may be by becoming an outstanding worker for your employer, or simply refusing to gossip in the office. For others it may mean visiting an elderly neighbour or being a positive influence amongst parents and teachers at the local school. Still others may start charities or social enterprises to benefit the wider society.

difference Jesus’ challenge is enormous in its breadth, and requires us all to play our part. We must seek both to share the good news of Jesus, and to bring out the good in culture. We dare not focus on one to the exclusion of the other. The gospel must work its way into all areas of society. Salt gets deep down into cracks, and light can penetrate even the smallest and darkest of places. No part of this world should be beyond the reach of God’s rule. No inch of creation should escape His redeeming touch.

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network

refugee support

We asked Catherine Gladwell of Community Church Harlesden to tell us a little of what their church has been doing in Transforming Society Mohammed*, 16, fled Afghanistan when his parents were killed in the fighting. Since arriving in the UK he’s been detained, robbed and made homeless. He’s just one of several thousand unaccompanied minors in the UK who come from conflict-affected countries, with no adult guardian, seeking safety and better opportunities. Surviving family members often sell possessions and save for years to pay smugglers to take a child on the journey, which can take anywhere from six months to five years. Almost all unaccompanied minors report abuse, trauma and extreme hardship along the way. Refugee Support Network (RSN) was founded in 2009 by members of Community Church Harlesden to help young people like Mohammed. We specialise in providing educational support to children affected by displacement and crisis. In London, we now support over 50 of these young people through our educational mentoring schemes (including a specialised scheme for young victims of trafficking), one-to-one pastoral support, advice and guidance in colleges and our new access to university programme. The majority of our young people, who come from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan, will not be allowed to remain in the UK. Their future is uncertain, but education is something they can take with them wherever they go. Education speaks of hope: when we invest in their education, we’re sending a message that we believe they have a future worth preparing for. Mohammed told us, ‘No one helps me like you do. Everyone else half-listens and does nothing, but you listen like you care, and you actually do something.’ As we receive more referrals each week, our prayer is that however desperate their situation, each young person we encounter will experience the hope and peace that comes from God.

Catherine Gladwell Community Church Harlesden To find out more about RSN’s work go to www.refugeesupportnetwork.org *Name changed to protect identity

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new name new team KTC team (LtoR): Dave Perry, Theologian in Residence; Beth Coghlan, Administrator; Mike Horswell, Development and Marketing; Richard Colbrook, Principal; Lizzie Green, Vice-Principal

7 This summer Richard Colbrook takes over from Simon Shaw as Principal of King’s Theological College (previously KBCTC) with a mandate to join with the team in continuing to sharpen up the training for mission that the college offers to students, while retaining the excellent theological foundations we have established. A third strand, and one at the heart of the 2020vision, is for equipping students and all of us for transforming society in the kingdom beyond the church.

4 : transforming society FOUR – Transforming Society Conference December 3rd – Oxford Co-ordinated by King’s Theological College in partnership with the G4 Team On Saturday 3rd December the College will be hosting a one day conference and learning community bringing together theology and practical seminars, training and workshops. We’ll be hearing from “in-house” practitioners like Dave Hollow, Phil Norris and Mark Harland and hope to welcome back Malcolm Duncan who has been very highly received at the last two European Leaders’ Conferences. More details available from www.saltlight.org/europe/events Mag.indd 7

Malcolm D

uncan

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Suzy has been actively involved in her church for nearly 10 years. She has served on the worship team, taught children in Sunday school, arranged small group gatherings, cooked meals for families with newborn babies, and worked with the youth group. But she says “I wouldn’t mind being in a bigger church just so I don’t feel like I have to do so much.” Suzy and her husband have reached a point where the main reason they go to church is so their son can go to Sunday school, where she knows he’s learning a lot. As she awaits the arrival of her second son, Suzy is looking to reduce her life stress, not increasing it with yet more church commitments because no one else will do it. Does this predicament ring true for you? It is our firm belief that we are created by a loving Father whose intention is that we ‘go forth and be fruitful’, filling the earth and sustaining life. We are made to live in community and in family; we are called to be productive whether in the workplace, the home or elsewhere. Since his time on earth Jesus has been building his church through us his followers. The same applies – we are to be productive, to build the church as co-workers. But what about our role? Paul told the Romans that

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the other” (Rom 12:4) What a beautiful picture of harmonious working together. By design each part has a different shape, purpose, function – it has its own job and a different role to do. And so it is with each one of us in the life of our families, our local churches, and the wider Salt & Light family – indeed in the wider family of the Christian church. So if we are a ‘body part’ which one are we? If each of us is a clone of the other parts it would be a strange body indeed.

Apostle

finding your role in the vision

Have you ever wondered what you’re supposed to do in life?

Jesus is the one sent by God and his earthly ministry was clearly apostolic – what he was doing had never been done before! An apostle is one who is “sent out”. They have big ideas and are not easily put off by obstacles that might make most of us give up. They get hold of even the faintest thought and they go off with it, turning it into a vision which becomes full fledged. Apostolic people are always looking for the next opportunity – only to move on once again to something new. Apostles get excited about new ideas and initiatives and are quick to get going with them. They are visionary and pioneering and enjoy dreaming dreams and making them happen. The idea of being ‘apostolic’ may be new to you but if this is the shape Jesus has made you in then you might recognize it. Not everyone is apostolic though from time to time God may call people to a ministry that is apostolic in nature for a particular reason – Apostle is not a word to fear but a ministry to embrace.

Let us not forget that there aren’t just 2 roles – it’s tempting to think “well, there’s the leadership – that’s one role – and then there’s ‘us’ – the people.”. Jesus didn’t intend this. Finding a place of belonging AND service in the church should be everyone’s desire. If everyone knows where they fit the body is well balanced and has all the parts it needs to work effectively. – If it is made up of a head and 50 hands it would be an odd body! So it follows – each person can follow a different role in the life of the church.

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Prophet

Prophets see the world creatively and are often creative people – they perceive a layer of truth most of us don’t see and express it in a way that we can understand The prophet hears and listens to God. Jesus did the same and every word he spoke was a revelation from the Father. He often foretold events such as Peter’s denial or his own death and resurrection. The prophet is someone who stands back from a situation and gets a clear picture of what is happening: The real emotions, motivations, problems and tensions. Clarity of vision will result in creative solutions which others are blind to. Prophetic people enjoy spending time with God – they are easily motivated to do so. They are often creative, reflective and sometimes withdrawn people. They have a passion to bless the church either together or as individuals. When they see something clearly they are able to do so – either confirming a situation or perhaps foretelling. Prophets should complement the life of the church by bringing insight, revelation and depth.

If you consider the way you have been designed then it makes sense that you will know what you have been designed to do! Jesus was the ultimate ‘body’ in the sense that he demonstrated balance and perfection in how he worked. He wants his church to be like this with him as the head – therefore the body can’t be constructed of many parts that are all the same – think of the head with 50 hands!

God wants us to be clear about our role in the church and to know that he has provided us with all the grace we need to fulfil the call. God will not expect us to be who we aren’t designed to be – he simply wants you to be all that he made you to be. Unless we understand this we will find ourselves stretched and unclear about what we are to do - just like Suzy.

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If you are not skilled in biology then working as a doctor is perhaps not a great idea – if you are great with numbers but words confuse you then you will find report writing painful. The same applies to how we function in the life of our church. If you struggle with one type of ministry and find it results in stress and not fruit, perhaps its time to take a step back and think about your role and gifts? You might be pleasantly surprised at what you see if you look in a new direction. Maybe its time to discover the gifts God has given and follow his guide in how to use them.

Evangelist

The New Testament makes it absolutely clear that the body of Jesus In Ephesians 4 Paul calls the church to unity – “Make every effort to Christ (the church) is to function the same way Jesus functioned. keep the unity of the Spirit!” He goes on to say that there is one body The New Testament tells us there are five facets to the ministry and one spirit: we are joined together as one. Again however this isn’t Jesus conducted and he continues to conduct through us. to be one body made of one type of body part – v7-13 tells us that we are given grace according to the measure Christ gives it. That is, the measure is not Sales people for the Gospel. In simple terms evangelists universally the same but according to what are just that! It’s easy to think however of the larger than life, upfront, gregarious fun guy Jesus intends. This grace is expressed in who is always there at the guest event or mission outreach. What about people who are “gifts to men” which Paul goes on to describe: simply interested in people. Evangelists love people: they love networking, making new apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and friends and contacts; taking an active interest in people’s lives. It’s not always the upfront evangelists. The gifts are given SO THAT the personality that marks someone out as an evangelist – more importantly it is an out and body may be built up – Christ gave gifts to the out passion for sharing Jesus with people. Anyone. church to enable members to minister to each Jesus – it is almost too obvious to point out – was an evangelist. He was always after other and encourage each other towards unity getting alongside people: Tax collectors and other undesirables were his focus it seems. and maturity. Jesus broke cultural norms by speaking to women and non-Jews yet he wasn’t going to be swayed by what people thought of him – his focus was on introducing people to Christ has designed people to be gifts to one the kingdom. another and so each one of us is designed to Evangelists are the sort of people who are always looking beyond the church take one or a few of these roles in life. There are meeting. They love being in touch with people outside of church; grasping every many other spiritual gifts described and each one opportunity to chat to people and share Jesus with them. People of all walks of life of us may experience the privilege of using these are evangelists – places where they can be gossips for the Kingdom, selling a free gifts at one time or another but the roles identified product which is good news for all. in Ephesians 4 (sometimes called the five-fold ministries) are about how we function in the body.

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Frequently we think ‘Pastor = leader of the church’. Perhaps this is an unfortunate use of the term but it can be confusing. For some it designates their profession and for most it boxes leaders into a role which might not be naturally theirs: visiting the sick, preaching, praying for others, holding meetings, planning events etc. That’s the job description of a busy church leader! Quite simply a pastor is a shepherd and shepherds tend their flock. Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who when trouble comes will not run away from the flock like the hired hand, rather being willing to sacrifice his own life. Pastors care with tender hearts. They see need and want to bring compassion to other’s situations. They thrive on being involved with other’s lives, having one-toone conversations, remembering others who are having a difficult time. People who pastor are not just those who want to see healing and restoration – they want to see people grow in maturity. This might mean confronting others, saying the difficult thing but all in the context of care. People who enter caring professions often have pastoral tendencies – it’s the way they are made and it seems that there are far more people given to a pastoral role than the other gifts – this doesn’t make it any less important! In fact God is thinking about everyone who is taking part in the whole ministry of the church and providing the resource to look after it. Remember pastoral care, comes from the heart not from a job description!

What next? •

Do you know your role in life? If not have you thought about it at all? Perhaps pray that God will reveal it to you.

Talk to someone you look up to about this topic – are you excelling in your natural abilities

Consider all that you do in life including within the church and ask: Am I best suited to this job or do I find it stressful and difficult? Take time to reflect on what you can excel in and consider withdrawing from areas that don’t.

Recommended book: A Passionate Life; Mike Breen & Walt Kallestad; RRP £7.99 ISBN: 0781442877

Pastor

In order to reach the goals of our 2020vision we must grow healthy churches – healthy churches show signs of the five gifts of Christ functioning at all levels – from the new believer learning to prophecy to the mature pastor diligently taking care of difficult situations. There is scope for all of us to grow in one of these roles and to be trained and mentored by those who are more experienced and mature than us. Why not consider your role in life? A teacher gets to grips with truth and holds it out for others. Jesus is our example: He was excited about the kingdom of God! It was his sole focus. The good news was good for everyone. Teachers are passionate about the truth they are carrying be it about the Bible or This article is an adaptation of astrophysics – it imbues a passion and zeal on the topic and they are eager for others to understand. excerpts from the book Knowing your Our frequent view of a teacher in the life of the church is the person who stands in front of the people Role in Life by Mike Breen with Paddy and gives a sermon. However, If we look around our churches one of the most common professions Malon. It is part of a series of materials represented is that of teachers. Do you think Jesus meant the gift of teaching to be confined to the pulpit once a week? called LifeShapes which is a series of Teachers are those who will happily spend time reading, learning and reaching for fresh 8 shapes that serve as a memorable understanding of the word. With that truth in mind they are then eager to share that with others. To discipleship tool. bring transformation of lives through the living word of God, not merely the education of people for educations sake. It is true that there will be a spectrum of teachers ranging from those who can stand in front of many and bring clear explanation but also those who work one-to-one eager to To find out more visit see peoples eyes light up with revelation. www.lifeshapes.com. Knowing your role A teacher in the body trains, coaches, instructs, enlightens and brings change to those receiving in Life is available as a PDF eBook from the teaching.

3DMinistries.

Teacher

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as or nd. eople sions the

hers. To ople ho can ger to

getting involved

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It is been 2½ years since the 2020vision was launched with UK Leaders. We talked to Mark Mumford about how everyone in Salt & Light churches can identify and connect with the 2020vision. If a church feels a bit isolated what can it do? How can churches work with one another to be together in what they do? There is strength in building as regional groups and teams. I want every Salt & Light church to strongly connect to a region – this isn’t just about leaders, it’s essential for connection at all levels in regions – leadership teams, youth or children’s work etc. and the opportunity to make friends with people in other churches and build on those relationships to work together! Long lasting and significant relationships with one another come from being able to do mission, train and equip each other and win the lost for the Kingdom

What are you and the UK Team doing to help churches work together and connect people better? We continue to prize the value of High Accountability, Low Control – we’re never going to set out to control what your church does. The UK Team’s role is to help the leaders of churches and regions work together in their areas. Primarily I want groups of churches to get together and ask “What is God calling us to do together?” Then the UK Team can say to each other “Have YOU done what YOU said God called YOU to do?” That isn’t controlling what each region does, rather it is helping and encouraging each region to achieve what God has said to do. At the same time we want to nationally connect people – Transform is a natural way – but also through particular initiatives and by creating a way for people to train in leadership, ministry and theological content.

ceiving

Mark Mum

ford

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Eden Eastside

Mission Trip to India

Colin Naisbitt, TVCC

Colin Naisbitt, TVCC

October 2010 saw the launch of an Eden project in Easterside – a Middlesbrough estate (one of the 10% most deprived in the UK). Over the next few month 5 members of TVC church moved into the estate and many more volunteer into some of the activities now successfully running. Working with youth aged 14 – 25, we are seeing a wide variety of people interested and responding to our presence and local involvement. 2 people are currently on Alpha and 2 more are on our foundations course. We have a minibus bringing youth and adults to our Sunday services and it is encouraging to see people for whom coming to church is becoming an enjoyable habit. Revival in Easterside? Our prayers are ...’yes please’.

In mid-January this year a team of 6 visited Sion church in Hyderabad for 10 days. The purpose of the visit was to encourage the church and hold one big outreach event in a market town about 200 miles from Hyderabad. The team worked into small groups in the slums, with their bible college students, visited homes to pray and minister, joined in with their Men’s day. The outreach event consisted of 3 nights of preaching in a farmer’s market. The crowd grew from 400 on the first night to 4,000 on the final night. Many came to Christ, significant healings were witnessed, ears opening, the lame walked, plus many other proven healings. God was so amazing; the whole team felt it was a real privilege to be used by God on this life changing trip.

Launching City Church Leicester

Pershore Community Church

Ben Rook At the EMCF celebration earlier this month Ben and Esther Rook and team were commissioned to go and plant in September. Ben is now released from working in CCD to concentrate on this project full time and the team are launching on Sunday 25th September. There have been exciting stories of provision: Houses bought and sold, new jobs and opportunities for people to build new connections with people in Leicester. Please pray for the team as they go and launch this new city church.

Neil and Jo Sprague At least once a term we mobilise the church on a Sunday morning to get out into the community and help people. “Inside Out” is our way of letting Pershore know that our faith compels us to help local people in simple and practical ways, and that we’re not just a holy huddle hidden away in a meeting room. Whether it’s clearing a garden or taking junk to the tip, we want to “let the people know that Jesus cares”.

There is always a lot going on in our churches – too much to publish here – but we want to share good news stories, updates and testimonies from around our regions. Let us know about exciting news stories from your region.

family news

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Recognising People at LifeChurch, Manchester

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David Rolles

Setting the World on Fire! Anna Pearson

OCC – A missional community leader writes…

A missional community in Dean Court, Oxford faced a set back earlier this year when the building they had previously run a Kids’ Club in and were hoping to turn into a Community Centre was set on fire in a suspected arson attack. Whilst this presented an initial set-back to the plans, the team were undeterred and are pressing on enthusiastically, building relationships with all levels of government, winning grants and working with other locals in an effort to create a space that will brighten the future of Dean Court and open doors for the transformation of this community.

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Recently, our small group life has been shaken up as ‘community groups’ have reformed around visions to love and serve our community in different ways, whether it’s building up friendships in a particular area of Oxford, running Alpha courses, or providing support for families. In May, the leaders of these ‘Missional Communities’ gathered together for a Learning Community, which was an empowering weekend of sharing our dreams, realities, and acquired wisdom to help each group develop a clearer and bolder vision to reach the people of Oxford and transform lives. As well as learning from one another, we spent time seeking God together in worship, prayer and prophetic appointments, and came away with a sense not just of our own groups’ driving purpose, but also of how we all fit together as a family serving our heavenly Father.

LifeChurch, Manchester, have been celebrating recently as a number of people in the church family have received public recognition for their contributions to pubic life. Steve Brown was awarded an MBE last year for ‘voluntary service to Disadvantaged People in Manchester’ and his wife Irene was awarded the Inspiring Women Community Category Women of the Year in 2010. Steve and Irene lead City Centre Ministries which is an associate ministry of LifeChurch, reaching out to homeless and disadvantaged people in Manchester. Helen Allen of Wythenshaw hospital was also awarded the British Journal of Nursing 2011 Nurse of the Year! Helen was awarded the accolade due to her work with her charity PEPAIDS which works in Africa alleviating poverty and HIV/AIDS. Her work was recognised by the judges as ‘nursing in its most global sense’. Stories for inclusion may be sent to ukmag@saltlight. org. Please aim to write 100 words or less and if possible include a high quality photograph which you have permission to publish. We cannot guarantee to publish every submission and we retain editorial rights. Deadline for next edition is 3rd January 2012.

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seizing the opportunity Michael Green is a speaker at our Transform summer camp this year and is well known as an evangelist and an apologist. (Apologetics is an area of Christian thinking which helps us to understand how we defend the faith and explain our position to critics.) He writes in the form of a short story about 2 friends who end up having an interesting conversation…. John: Hi there Bill. Did you have a good weekend?

John: Do you really believe that stuff?

Bill: Actually, I did. It was most unusual.

Bill: I do, and I know it in my own experience as well. Let me explain. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is overwhelming. Actually nobody has ever succeeded in shooting it down, though they have had many a good shot at it because they don’t like the implications. Jesus’ body was placed in a rock-hewn tomb sealed with a massive stone and there was a guard of soldiers too, set by the authorities to make sure nobody monkeyed with the body and took it away. But when the women followers of Jesus came very early on Easter Day they found the rock rolled away, the guard had fled, and the body was gone. But the grave clothes were undisturbed. It’s as if the butterfly had emerged and left the chrysalis case behind. And then they saw him. Couldn’t believe it at first, but soon he convinced them by the nail marks in his hands, the scar in his side and the frequent appearances he made over a 6 week period, just to get it into their heads that he was really alive. There’s plenty of other evidence too,. The Christian church can be traced back to Easter Day – and not before. The lives of his followers were transformed. They had been real wimps and ran away when he was arrested but once they were persuaded he was alive, they were fearless. They took on the Jewish authorities, and they set the Roman empire alight with the glorious news that God is real, he has come to clear up the bad stuff in human life, and he is alive to make a real change in us.

John: What was up? Bill: Well, all the churches in town got together to put on a massive free BBQ on three lunch times, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for anyone who cared to come – and about 5000 did! John: You must be joking. There is no such thing as a free lunch! Bill: Wrong, mate – and there are 5000 people to prove it! John: But why on earth did you all do it? Bill: Because we have found that real Christianity is not rules and regulations and long- faced people singing hymns in church. It is a relationship, you could call it a friendship, with the most wonderful person who has ever lived. John: Who do you reckon that is? Bill: Jesus! John. Come off it. We all know that Jesus is just a myth for little kids. He never lived – it’s all moonshine like the little green men at the bottom of the garden. Bill: Wrong again, I’m afraid, John. Jesus was real enough. Ancient historians tell us about him, as well as the Christian gospels. And let me remind you that we date our era by him. Everything is either BC , before Christ, or AD, anno domini, in the year of the Lord. John: Ok you win on that one. But even so Jesus is long dead and gone. Bill: The really good news, John, is that he is not totally dead and gone. To be sure he was very dead on the first Good Friday, but he smashed the power of death and came alive for ever on the first Easter Day.

John: Hmmm. Some of that makes me think, But what’s all this about God coming to this world to clear up the bad stuff in our lives? Don’t deny the mess, by the way, but what has God done about it? Bill: I guess there’s three things really. First he has come to find us. If he had turned up just as the majestic God Almighty we would have been blown away. So he came as a man, and let the divine character shine out of what he said and did. Had you noticed how attractive the real Jesus of the gospels is? He has all the virtues, none of the vices of the rest of us, and he is incredibly attractive. People left their jobs and homes to listen to him. The second thing he did was to die for us. It stands to reason that if God is good and holy and upright he must be fed up with the lust and hatred, the lies and greed that spoil our lives. They must cut us off from him. And they do. That’s why God seems so far away. I guess it means that we ought to live with the consequences of our actions and stay cut off from him. But he loves us so much he

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The conversation Michael relates is perhaps not typical of one we all might have with our friends. Michael writes in order to provoke and help us to think about how we defend our beliefs all the while demonstrating Christ like love and compassion! Seizing the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus is always our responsibility whether in word, deed or through demonstrating the power of God – it just sometimes takes time to think about the kind of responses we make to our friends family and co-workers.

Further Reading: For more reading why not try:

Michael Green could not bear that. He allowed himself to be cut off himself…instead of us. He allowed the dustbin loads of the world’s wickedness to choke him – so that we would never have to undergo it. That’s how much he cares about us. That’s how much he went through to get us put right with God! John: I see the point. What was the third thing? Bill: Well, it is the fact that he came back from the cold partly to show that he really was the Son of God, partly to assure us that there is a life beyond the grave and he knows how to get us there, and partly so that he could come and be the friend of each of us John: Whoa! You are losing me Bill: Sorry. What I mean is that Jesus did not stay on earth. He went back to his home in heaven, and he sent his unseen self, (Jesus in spirit form if you like to put it that way), to come in to the lives of people who would like him to. And that starts a real revolution inside us. I know, because it has happened to me. My violence, my foul language, and quite a lot of my self-centredness have begun to be changed by the unseen Spirit of Jesus once I allowed him into my life. John: But that would be very costly. I’m comfortable with my failings, thanks! They fit me like an old sweater.

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• But is it real?: Answering 10 Common Objections to the Christian Faith by Amy Orr-Ewing • I’d Like to Believe, But by Michael Green and Nick Spencer

Bill: Fair enough. But you know that like that old sweater they are full of holes! The great thing about this friendship with Jesus is that he does not make life miserable but he makes it full of joy. And he does not rob us of anything worthwhile – he just gradually gets to work on the stuff that harms us and spoils our lives. He said ‘I have come that you may have life, life in all its fullness’ John: I wouldn’t mind a bit of that myself, Bill; I can see it means so much to you. Bill: Well the Christian life is just that – it’s a whole life. But life has to begin somewhere, doesn’t it? And this friendship with Jesus, which lies at the heart of real Christianity, begins when you ask him to come and share your life. There is a wonderful promise of his that shows us just how. The idea is that our lives are like a house, and Jesus is the visitor who wants to come in, clear the place up, and fill it with his joy. ‘ Look, I stand at the door and knock’ he says. ‘If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.’. That’s a fantastic offer when we have spat in his eye all these years and sworn he did not exist. He is still willing to come into the shoddy old house of our life and start redecorating it, though we don’t deserve it at all. But we have to ask him – he won’t barge in. If we do ask him, he promises that he really will come in. He did to me. Why don’t you take him at his word and ask him in? John: I really think I may…

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I am always fascinated by the 12 disciples. Their story encourages me greatly that Jesus can disciple and lead any of us to play a significant part in his global purposes, whatever our starting point in life. Jesus’ perseverance, despite his disciples lack of understanding and stupidity, helps me find hope amid my own lack of understanding and stupidity! And yet the disciples chose to work with Jesus in his ‘training programme’ for them. They watched, listened, learned. They stepped out in faith. They had a go. The made their fair share of mistakes, but they also had some pretty amazing successes! As I think about the 2020vision God has set before our family of churches, I wonder, “Will we be like the disciples, working with Jesus as he reshapes us for this new season?”

training

How are you responding? How are you allowing your character, your skills and your understanding to be reshaped, trained and honed by the master disciple-maker?

Andy O’Connell, UK Training Coordinator

Getting in gear The training we’re developing as a UK family is geared towards engaging with people at the right stage in their experience of God and understanding of themselves. That’s why we call some courses ‘Level 1’ and some ‘Level 2’. Often the best way to get ready for a Level 2 course is by doing a Level 1 one first; like moving up through the gears of a car; but some people are already moving fast enough to go straight to 2nd gear and some courses allow a more intensive high gear start.

Level 1 Training Churches around the UK will be offering level 1 type courses in a number of formats. They generally offer all-round training, with personal development, a biblical big picture and initial leadership and the ministry training to lead a church small group, a mission project team, or some kind of team in your workplace. We have resources so that churches that don’t already have a programme can run this kind of course locally. Ask your church leader if you are interested in doing this sort of training.

Level 2 Training Building on Level 1 experiences, Level 2 training aims to produce leaders who are competent in skills, literate in theology and rounded in character. If we are to see the 2020vision accomplished we need men & women who are reliable, spiritual and entrepreneurial to lead churches, plants and missional teams as well as taking their place in family, community and marketplace life. King’s School of Leadership is a resource we have developed that can be run by regions (in 2011 East Midlands and Oxfordshire are running it) to provide the core leadership skills. We have two national courses that can provide the theological content necessary. King’s Theological College (formerly KBCTC) is a 10 month full time course (with part time and shared options) based in Oxford and King’s School of Theology offers a part-time weekend-event course over 3 years. Initiatives such as Local Congregational Leadership Coaching, Preacher’s Training, Pastoral Training, School of Prophets and School of Evangelists complete the specialist skills that people aiming for specific areas of ministry may require.

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training opportunities

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reviews The Grace Outpouring, Roy Godwin and Dave Roberts. Published: 2008 | Publisher: David C. Cook | RRP: £7.99 Roy Godwin’s story of what has happened through the Ffald-Y-Brenin retreat centre, South Wales is an inspiring and riveting read. This little ‘house of prayer’ in rural Pembrokeshire has seen a remarkable outpouring of God’s grace and presence in the last twelve years, and is a place where the lives of many Christians and unbelievers have been, quite literally, transformed. The story focuses around the scores of miracles which have occurred there, and the theme of ‘blessing’ people and communities with the power of the Kingdom of God. There is little of the hype and over-analysis which often accompanies such powerful encounters. The strong emphasis on God as the agent of change is refreshing – this is a modest and sometimes humorous account; Roy is not shy to discuss his own reluctance and foibles in the journey. The book is recommended to any who want to see their community transformed through prayer and blessing, chapter 10 on becoming a house of prayer is particularly helpful. It is simple yet powerful and will leave you marvelling at the grace of God. Lizzie Green, King’s Theological College

Pros: powerful, easy to read, faith-building | Cons: not enough detail on the times when God doesn’t show up! | Score out of 5: 4.

‘Be lifted high’, live worship from Bethel Church Released – Feb 2011 | RRP: £6.99 (Amazon) This album, in my opinion, is the best out there at the moment. It’s a great worship album and you can’t help but feel like your soul has been lifted whilst listening to it. The songs are full of inspiration, depth and most importantly, it feels fresh. I believe the album is carrying a different sound to most other albums currently in the contemporary Christian chart. Bethel music has risen in popularity in the last couple of years and this album will certainly expand this influence. If you have a good musical set up at your church you will find it easier to incorporate most of the songs – most of them are very singable. However, when scaled down to just one guitar/piano not all work that well, but some still work great! Buying the CD/DVD is a good option as it gives you a chance to watch and listen as well as hear artist’s personal stories of how worship has changed their lives. I would recommend this as a must buy. Happy listening! Lizzie Green, King’s Theological College

Pros: Uplifting, moving, fresh and anointed. | Cons: Just watch out for a few lyrics and understand the context before singing them in your churches. | Score out of 5: A solid 4.5

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September 2011 King’s Theological College & King’s School of Theology (year 1) start

diary

UK Senior Leaders’ Summit

19

16-17 October 2011 3 December 2011 rence

FOUR – Transforming Society Confe

International Leaders’ Conference

16-19 February 2012 27-29 April 2012 Local Church Leadership Coaching Event

28 July - 2 August 2012 Transform 2012

King’s Theological College & King’s School of Theology (year 2) start

September 2012

21-22 October 2012 All details can be found at www.saltlight. org/europe/events

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UK Senior Leaders’ Summit

UK Leaders’ Conference

21-24 February 2013 18/07/2011 22:44


28TH JULY – 2ND AUGUST 2012 WWW.SALTLIGHT.ORG

/EUROPE

2012

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2020vision magazine - Jul 2011  

Outlining the 2020vision for Salt & Light Ministries

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