YLG2016: Morning 1

The third Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering is happening in Jakarta.  YLG2016 is a gathering of 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries who will connect, pray, and discern together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission.  It’s a privilege to be here and to share my notes of Dave Benson from the first Morning Plenary with you.

Where is here?
You wake up in your room, you are still jet lagged, trying to find the bathroom, you headbutt the wall, wake up your room mate.


And yet …


Nearly 3 years ago the YLG Planning Team could see you, from over 160 countries, united in God’s big story. This is meant to be. God sees the beginning and the end. God planned for you, jet lagged as you are, to be here. We might get lost, but God never does, God invented the map.


Anyone seen ‘Thank God you’re here’, the TV show you dress tem in a costume and send them through a door into a drama they know nothing about. It could be a court scene, a home, a party, or more. The humour comes as they say inappropriate things for their scene. Isn’t that like our life?


The world is a complex state, a drama. The challenges we face our great, poverty, pluralism, sexual redefinition, secularism and more. There is no evangelisation as usual. We must search for creative ways forward in a rapidly changing world.


It is tempting to simply copy other cast members, we ask ‘What would Billy Graham do?’. Even though we should learn from the past, we should ask who would Jesus Christ ask us to be for this time and this stage. A complex stage requires us to listen to the directors voice using resources such as The Mission of God by Chris Wright.


We can only play our part when we step in. We can only play our part in the story through creation, fall, repentance, reflection, love, reconciliation and worship as we look at the story of the mission of God.


Evangelisation is re-entering this ancient story, this is telling the story in fresh ways. It is glocal – global mission in a local context and flesh. If you are a white male living in the West your story is incomplete until we hear from sisters in the 10:40 window, from brothers in the majority church, from those in the persecuted church. We must act, we must act with wisdom, we must act with courage and we must act with love. Only as a great cast united in the story would we discover more of the great triune God.

YLG2016: Opening Ceremony

The third Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering is happening in Jakarta.  YLG2016 is a gathering of 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries who will connect, pray, and discern together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission.  It’s a privilege to be here and to share my notes of the Opening Ceremony with you.


Sarah Breuel

Why are we here, what is the vision?

  • We are here because God is about to orchestrate divine connections for us to be here. We welcome the Spirit to bring birth to life long friendships, Gospel partnerships and more.
  • We are here because God wants to speak to us. He is longing to speak to each one of us. Speak oh Lord for your servants are listening.
  • We are here because our Father has given us a task that has not yet finished. The evangelistic cutting edge of the world is here tonight to see how it can fulfil Christ’s great missions as quickly and thoroughly as possible.


Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.


  • Throw off anything that hinders: We might need to throw things off, cut things out this week.
  • Run with perseverance: not just run, but run with perseverance, he knows it is a tough race. Perseverance is used 27 times in the NT, normally within the context of persecution.
  • Fix our eyes on Jesus: after two moving metaphors he tells us to stay, to fix.


Live in Rome a few kilometres from the Colosseum, from where many Christians became martyrs. As I run in the area I could imagine the early Christians, those first martyrs in the stadium.


Grandfather grew up in a family in Brazil in real poverty. His first five siblings did not survive due to starvation. He was blessed with a great mind, became a Professor and enabled people to access schools. As I told my 6 year old son, I realized I was passing on the blessing to the next generation.


The father is inviting us to come close and hear his story, from generation to generation. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, including grandfather, and some from Lausanne 1974. One day like YLG 2006 we might be cheering on the next generation.


It will be a long but incredible week.


Michael Oh

Although I am fluent in all 7 languages meaning I can say good evening in all of them I want to greet you in the name of Lord Jesus Christ who is Lord of all nations, and of all generations. I opened the 2006 YLG with these same words. Much there is that is different in the world and much that is the same. My 4 kids have become 5, my 12 years of marriage have now 22 years, I was 35 years in 2006, people tell me I look the same age or even younger, but I just wish I felt as young as I look, a few weeks ago I got a hearing aid! Even though my body is feeling old I am still young at heart. You may even see me wearing a Brazilian soccer shirt, on a scooter, trying to save precious minutes running from appointment to appointment.


Seeing you all like this my heart is gushing with joy. Ten years ago I was just like you, a younger leader with so many dreams, so many questions so much hope. I was a bit naïve I thought I knew a lot about the world and yet I didn’t know very much about myself. I can’t wait to see how God will use you in the next 10 years.


Welcome, I am so glad you are here. Your being here is the fruit of many prayer, by many people. One of 3,000 younger leaders who were nominated, and one of 1,000 young leaders invited. This event has taken three years to come to fruition. You have come so far to come, so committed and interactive in preparation. Thank you for being so well engaged.


For many of you one of the hardest aspects was the fundraising. Thank you for your perseverance. I am going to personally take time to thank each and every single person who enabled you to be here, when I get to heaven. Thankful to Scott Horton for his biblical wisdom for us all on fundraising, it is a biblical ministry. Jesus demonstrated it was core to his disciples, he could have provided from his carpentry, or do more miracles, but he chose to be supported by a group of women. He chose to be dependent on others, something we can also do, without shame, following in the footsteps of Jesus.


We were planning on hosting this in Ukraine, but due to political unrest we had to postpone the event. I reached out to Dr. James and Eileen Riady on a hunch never having met them. I wrote it on a plane to Vietnam. By the time I was boarding the plane to Cambodia, Eileen had written back and said yes. James and Eileen and their children are amazing examples of the 4th principle as impacting society for the gospel. Their two businesses have impacted the Vietnamese society hugely.


Psalm 145:4

One generation commends your works to another;

    they tell of your mighty acts.


Connecting generations to proclaim the gospel. Be it in the public square, or for those with disabilities, or 26% of the world’s population will be under the age of 14, by 2100 50% of the children under 18 will be African, but 700 million die of starvation, 1 billion are witnesses to violence, and millions are orphans. We have no future without our children, and they have no hope without the gospel.


This past year has been the most challenging of my life, days of desperate dependence on the Lord. Through this darkness and suffering the Lord has been sanctifying and refining me in very painful but very gracious ways. A reminder that God can only work through me when he is working in me.


Christ-like leaders: the formation of your character is at the core of our vision, hope and prayer for you. We cannot shape the future, but we can help to shape future leaders. Sanctified, redeemed, loveable, Christ transformed character. We each have natural weaknesses and God-given strengths, we need him to redeem our weaknesses and sanctify our strengths.


Many of the alumni from the 2006 YLG have received blessing through the Lausanne movement. This time we are more intentional in how we support and structure this through the launch of YLGen helping not just what you fulfil, but who you are:

  1. Connecting every leader with a mentor: In 2006 I asked Jim Chew to mentor me for prayer. For the last 10 years I have enjoyed the kindness and blessing of his prayer. You can sign up for mentor connect.
  2. Connecting every leader with a global connect group: either your group from YLG or a new issue group.
  3. Connecting you with an issue network: currently 35 groups working alongside nearly every area for global mission.
  4. Connect you with Lausanne movement in your region: Lars Dahle will be taking on this role to help you engage in one of the 12 regions.
  5. Connect you with strategic mission resources and teachings: we have a wealth of information so we want to help make them available and influence your strategies for evangelisation.


Welcome, we are here to serve you. The road ahead will not be easy, we are engaged in a battle that is taking place in the heavenly realms. Satan is not happy in this moment, but the Lord is rejoicing in singing over us at this moment. Let’s have an amazing week together.


Attila Nyari

Connected from all over the globe through Jesus.


Colossians 2:19

They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.


If we want to see growth this week, growth in the kingdom, we need to connect.


How to support siblings of children with additional needs

This is a brilliant blog post by Phoebe on the challenges siblings of children with additional needs go through.  Read and share this with others:

“She ruins everything!” I said to my mom when I was six and my big sister bumped into an art project I’d been working on all day.

And again when I was twelve and she wanted to hang out with me and my friends at my slumber party.

And again when I was seventeen and she snuck upstairs when I was watching a movie with a boyfriend.

Being fourteen months younger than my sister with Down syndrome wasn’t always easy. We were a grade apart in school, in a town where everyone knew everyone else. I was occasionally referred to as “Syble’s sister” instead of by my own name. When people made jokes about the kids on the short bus or “retards” I had to decide if I was going to stand up for my sister and bring more attention to myself or just let it go. And even at home, I tried to be perfect and low maintenance to make up for the extra work and attention my parents had to put into her.

And that’s why when I look into the eyes of my son David after he’s just said “He ruins everything!” referring to his brother with autism, I get it. I so get it. I get the frustration and the fear. I get the exhaustion and the embarrassment. I relive the moments I had at each stage I went through as a special-needs sibling. And it’s because of that experience I try to remember a few things.

Go read Phoebe’s blog for her advice on what she tries to do for her son, it includes:

  • I don’t shame my typical son for the way he is feeling in the moment.
  • I remind him our feelings can lie to us.
  • I celebrate the accomplishments of both boys.
  • I give him opportunities to grow in areas of interest.
  • I make sure we have one-on-one time together.
  • I say thank you every day.

Autumn youth mission resources

Because You’re Loved – free resources for autumn youth mission

If you are going to Soul Survivor look out for news about HOPE Revolution’s schools’ mission week 17th-23rd October 2016 – Because You’re Loved. All the ideas and resources are free to use. Find out more here and get planning on where you will be bringing the love this autumn.

Sad to see Joe Allen leave Liverpool FC

I was sad to read that that Liverpool and Wales midfielder Joe Allen has transferred to Stoke City, with £11M guaranteed up front plus a further £2M in add-ons.

Allen joined Liverpool in 2012 from Swansea in a £15M move, the first signing of the Brendan Rodgers era at Anfield, but injuries and an inability to ever really find his best position at his new club led to a situation where Allen became something of a utility part in the squad.

That role continued under Jürgen Klopp last season, though Allen increasingly impressed when played either as a driving eight in a three-man midfield or when he was pushed into the attacking support band as a ten. He then shone for Wales in that kind of a role at the Euros.

Joe Allen LFC

I was keen for the player to stay, and Klopp admitted that all things being equal he’d want to keep Allen around. All things, though, weren’t equal. The player had just one year left to go in his deal and wanted to be assured of significant playing time.

Liverpool couldn’t offer that, and didn’t want to lose him on a free. And if he wasn’t going to be a starter as the club looked to reshape itself in Klopp’s image, Liverpool also wanted to bring in—and give playing time to—players who would be around beyond the coming season.

He now will head to an increasingly ambitious Stoke City project, joining players like Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan Krkic, Marko Arnautovic, and Giannelli Imbula in a side that seeks to entertain and to play up-tempo attacking football. Quite the change from Stoke in years past.

Sir David Attenborough narrating Pokémon Go

You might think that David Attenborough and Pokémon Go was a marriage in heaven waiting to happen.

Who better than the beloved naturalist to narrate a popular game where people go hunting for exotic creatures in the wild?

Thanks to Lovin’ Dublin, the dream is now reality.

The mash-up features Attenborough describing Charmander as a “top predator” and giving a brilliant understatement on a Spearow – “It is, of course, a bird.”  But the best one might be his comment on those irritating Zubat: “Bats, with their fluttering zigzag flight are not easy targets.”


Man accidentally tips more than £1 million on dinner

Everybody makes mistakes, but not every mistake costs its victim masses of money.

In Scotland, a restaurant diner was shocked to realize that he’d accidentally tipped more than £1 million on a £100 meal. Oops.

The Evening Express reports that the massive transaction happened at an Indian restaurant in Inverurie, Scotland. After the diner finished his meal, he approached owner Abdul Wahid to settle his bill.

Pictured is the receipt for the meal at Rajpoot Indian Restaurant in Inverurie where a customer was accidently billed over a million pounds for their meal. Picture by DARRELL BENNS     Pictured on 21/07/2016
Pictured is the receipt for the meal at Rajpoot Indian Restaurant in Inverurie where a customer was accidently billed over a million pounds for their meal.

As Wahid tells the Express, when the diner input the tip amount in the restaurant’s credit card reader, the transaction didn’t go through. After phoning the diner’s bank and obtaining a confirmation code, the transaction was successful.

It wasn’t until the diner handed the card reader back to Wahid that the owner realized his customer’s £1,006,082.04 mistake.

All was not lost, however. After calling the bank to note his mistake, the customer got his money back and paid a more sensible amount.

Google Glass app helps kids with autism see emotions

Stanford University researchers are testing software that is meant to help autistic children with social cues. The Google Glass software reads the emotions on people’s faces, then tells the user what those emotions are. Early research is yielding positive results:


An Infographic on Anonymous Apps and Teenagers

One of the most frequent questions I receive from parents is about apps that teenagers are using and what a caring parents perspective should be on them.

The team from Rawhide.org have released a helpful infographic which gives a quick and concise overview of these anonymous apps – something you can share with parents.

Temporary and Anonymous Apps


Why your church needs to know about Pokémon GO

The Church of England has written a very helpful blog post on what your church needs to know about Pokémon GO:

The NSPCC has issued advice to parents of those children playing Pokémon GO in the UK. Whilst we would encourage churches to engage with those playing the game, be they adults or children, we also understand the concerns that the NSPCC have raised with regards to keeping children safe. Our first priority as a church should be to provide a safe place for children and vulnerable adults with regards to Pokémon GO.

Please make sure you read the advice on the NSPCC’s website here:https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/pokemon-go-parents-guide/

If you have any concerns in relation to those playing Pokémon GO, please feel free to talk to your Safeguarding Officer.


First of all, what is Pokémon GO?
Pokémon GO is a mobile and tablet app game which lets players find Pokémon (Animated creatures, first created in the 90′s, which players have to catch, train and battle with). The game takes place in augmented reality (meaning the game combines real life action with virtual gaming) by using GPS as you walk around towns, cities and other locations to find the Pokémon.

The game has been an overnight sensation with millions playing it around the world.

Why does your church need to know?
Your church might be a ‘PokéStop’ – real life buildings and landmarks that players have to visit to get certain items they need to play the game. Your church could also be a ‘Gym’ where players can battle their Pokémon. (Being Gym means people spend significantly more time battling Pokémon.)

Pokémon Go is therefore giving churches around the country a great opportunity to meet people from their area who might not normally come to church. However, we all need to be aware that this game means that children under the age of 18 may come into contact with people who may present a risk.

How do you know if your church is a Pokestop or a Gym?
Download Pokémon Go on your mobile or tablet. Through the game you will be able to see if your church is a PokéStop or a gym.

You might also spot people standing outside the church on their phones who may be playing the game and at your ‘PokéStop’.

What can your church to do get involved?

  • Place welcome signs outside: encourage them to come inside and offer them drinks and snacks. The game also uses a lot of battery so why not create a battery charging station? If you’ve got it, let them connect to the church’s wifi

  • Speak to players about the game: learn how to play it yourself, it’s a good way to start a conversation that may lead on to other things.

  • Hold a Pokeparty like Christ Church Stonehttps://www.facebook.com/events/246500169067368/

  • Tweet about it: Just like St Stephens Rednal and Hope Church Islington did. Don’t forget to use #PokemonGo

CofE Communications update – August 2016

The latest editions of InReview and InFocus are now available to download

Their aim is to keep people in touch with the activities of the Archbishops’ Council, Church Commissioners, Pensions Board and other bodies which serve the Church at national level.


York General SynodInReview

August’s edition of InReview, including news about York General Synod, The Church of England Vision for Education and more is available here.

Pupil Premium awards 2016InFocus

August’s edition of InFocus, including resources for safeguarding, Renewal and Reform and more, is available here (4-page version here).