Books I have read: Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples

Multiply Francis Chan

I’ve always enjoyed reading Francis Chan’s writings, a few years ago I was inspired by his book Crazy Love, so I was looking forward to reading Multiply: Disciples making disciples.  As a youth minister I’m incredibly passionate to resource young people to share their faith with their friends – they do such a better job than I every could do.  Not because I can’t share faith, or because I can’t answer the tough questions, but because I don’t have the shared context that they have.

The book can be used for personal devotions, but works well for a group to look through together.  It is split into five sections:

  1. Living as a Disciple Maker
  2. Living as the Church
  3. How to Study the Bible
  4. Understanding the Old Testament
  5. Understanding the New Testament

This book would work well as a post Alpha or other evangelistic course for those who wanted to develop a stronger foundation to their new-found faith.

We used the first section themed around what is a disciple and what does it mean to share our faith with our group of 11-14 year olds who really enjoyed looking at the material.

I thoroughly recommend taking the time to read this book and the additional resources developed for it.

Philip Yancey – Small is Large

mega church

Philip Yancey has written a fantastic blog on Small is Large reflecting on mega church v small church and the community they produce, well worth a read:

The majority of Americans, like me, still attend churches with less than 200 members.  We show up on Sundays to hear less entertaining sermons and less professional music—though we have no trouble finding a parking place.  Why?  Smaller towns don’t have the option of megachurches, of course, and big crowds make some people nervous.  I found one more reason when I came across this paradoxical observation in G. K. Chesterton’s book Heretics:

The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world…. The reason is obvious.  In a large community we can choose our companions.  In a small community our companions are chosen for us.

Precisely!  Given a choice, I tend to hang out with folks like me: people who have college degrees, drink dark roast coffee, listen to classical music, and buy their cars based on EPA gas mileage ratings.  Yet after a while I get bored with people like me.  Smaller groups (and smaller churches) force me to rub shoulders with everybody else.

Henri Nouwen defines “community” as the place where the person you least want to live with always lives.  Often we surround ourselves with the people we most want to live with, which forms a club or a clique, not a community.  Anyone can form a club; it takes grace, shared vision, and hard work to form a community.

Fusion are recruiting!

Fusion Camper Van

Fusion are recruiting for 9 roles to continue developing student ministry.  Are you be called to one of these roles?

Student Mission:

Approaching the end of our two year road trip to every university city in the UK, there’s a strong demand for Student Mission equipping from the local church. In the new academic year we will build on this momentum. Could you grow Student Mission & call up evangelists?

Student Mission Developer (Part time & full time applicants welcome).
Student Mission Internships (Part time & full time applicants welcome).

Student Work Training:

We’re intentionally training & growing Student Workers across the UK. London has a population of 400,000 students. We’re recruiting someone who can network, train and champion our partner churches & student workers in London. Are you passionate about Student Work Training?

Student Work Developer (Full time, London)

Student Linkup:

We’re growing our Student Linkup app internationally – that wherever a student goes to study in the world there’s a local church ready to welcome them. We currently partner with 85 international churches. We’re looking for two entrepreneurial networkers to grow our international network of churches. Integrated into this in this role; you’ll also be a part of a local church’s day/week discipleship year.

Global Student Linkup Internships (Loughborough)

Fusion Ireland:

We’re intentionally serving Churches, training & growing Student Workers across the UK. Last year we launched Fusion Wales & Scotland which has resulted in great growth in both of these nations. This summer we launch Fusion Ireland – are you able to spear head this initiative?

Fusion Ireland Developer. (Part time role)

Fusion Church Connection:

With 1269 churches in our network, it’s crucial that we grow relationship and serve them well. We’re looking for someone to build relationship with our Fusion Connection Churches both on the phones and in person. Could this be you?

Church Relations Developer (York, Full Time). 

Easter Spoken Word

I loved Dai’s spoken word about Easter:

Easter is a funny time of year.  You come back from the Christmas holidays, you hit the ground running then all of a sudden the clocks go forward and you’re in April.

Now Christmas is known as the celebration of Christ … and though sometimes it may not be celebrated, the clue is sort of in the name.  But what about Easter? Some chocoholic Bunny and a sugar rush on Easter weekend…there’s gotta be more to the story.

When it boils down to it – Easter is foundational to the Christian faith. Who would have thought that 3 days would have been so key to the fate of humanity? And it’s all cos that tomb was empty.

This is my spoken-truth piece on the Easter story.  It is my hope that this video is used to help us re-visit the message of Easter.

Sticky Faith children’s & youth leader training

Sticky Faith SW Jun 17 2015 A4 Publicity copy

What is Sticky Faith?

The Christian church has a problem that we’ve known about for many years. The simple fact is that vast numbers of young people in our churches and Christian youth/children’s groups give up on faith in their teenage years and early adulthood, often having nothing further to do with the church. Survey after survey shows it to be a huge issue, but up to now we’ve seemed powerless to do much about it.

The Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) in the USA has carried out the most comprehensive research yet into the problem of young people giving up on faith. As a result they have produced a raft of resources to help youth/children’s leaders, parents and others to be fully equipped to help young people stick at their faith so that it lasts through into adulthood – hence the reason they call it Sticky Faith!

What can I expect at the Sticky Faith training evenings?

Our training evenings start by exploring together the main findings from the FYI research and putting it into a UK church context. We then provide a choice of workshop looking at practical ways of putting Sticky Faith into practice
in various settings. We finish altogether with an opportunity for feedback, questions and some final thoughts. The training is suitable for anyone aged 16+ and is primarily aimed at those who work within the 5 to 18 age group, although others will find it very helpful too.

Refreshments are provided free of charge during the evening (donations welcome).

How much does it cost and how do I book in?

The Sticky Faith training evenings in SW England are free of charge to all who come. However we do ask that everyone planning to attend books in by email so that we can provide sufficient refreshments and handouts. (You are welcome to book in others from your church/youth group at the same time as yourself but please check they will be attending before making the booking.)

To book in send an email to bspurling@urbansaints.org putting ‘Sticky Faith Southampton’ in the subject line and giving the following information:

  • Your name;
  • A contact phone number;
  • The name of your church + town;
  • The number of places you are booking.

We will acknowledge all bookings, and nearer to the event we will email you directions to the venue and parking information.

Date and Venue

SOUTHAMPTON – Wednesday June 17th 2015

St Andrew’s Church, Beaulieu Road, Dibden Purlieu, Southampton, SO45 4PT

Programme

7:00 pm Refreshments and Registration

7:30 pm Welcome and notices

7:40 pm SESSION 1 – Setting the Scene

A quick overview of the key findings from the FYI research and how these should be interpreted for the UK church context.

8:15 pm SESSION 2 – Developing Sticky Faith

A choice of two practical workshop looking at how to develop sticky faith in young people in different contexts; Church, community and home.

9:30 pm SESSION 3 – Final Thoughts

A chance to provide feedback or ask questions about the evening so far, and some final thoughts about what comes next!

9:45 pm End