Spring Harvest: Lead Zone – part 2

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Here are my notes from part 2 of the Lead Zone by Debra Green & Mark Madavan

Debra:

  • Youth worker at Altrincham Baptist church – saw real growth from 30 to over 200.
  • Then went to IVY Manchester, been there for 20 years – was first female elder – took five years for women to get onto the Eldership.
  • Leading Redeeming Communities – was going to be a North West charity, became national and about to come international.
  • Key is having a go, never had a formal theology training, got a diploma in clinical and pastoral counselling.

Mark:

  • Involved in youth groups.
  • Led a semi-professional drama team for four and a half years.
  • Theological college
  • Became Associate at Andover Baptist Church for 6 years.
  • Lead Loxley Heath with 350 people through doors on Sunday, 800 come through for other activities – been there for 10 years.  Have 150-200 youth and over 300 under 11s.
  • Been a school governor for a school with 1,700 pupils.
  • Looking to buy a warehouse and do a £4 million refurb.

You join because you’re really passionate about it but then hit all the red tape.

Present to God

Reflecting on Mary & Martha – are we happy to be, reflect and to sit with the Lord or are you working out your faith, activist.  p. 47, Timothy Keller quote on our default position.  We often try to emulate the leaders we look up to.  Coming to terms with who we are in Christ, being me, and letting God affirm us in that.  If we copy it’s not us and we will fail.  The key is loving yourself and enjoying that.  “I am special as God loved me…”.

We teach things as leaders, but we need to take time out to reflect on these things time and time again.  We can lead by experience, on automatic pilot, and forget that we’re special and loved by God.  So often we doubt ourselves, is it matching up to someone else.  We get into that trap as leaders.

So we need to focus on the rhythm of prayer – being present to God.  Allowing God to shape me and mould me.  To know what God is speaking into our lives.  We can lead from that, being fruitful for Him from that.

Paula Gooder quote on p. 52.  We forget who we are and find it difficult to receive.  Take some time out to be, to be present to God.  To sit and notice the things around us.  Look at Mystically Wired: Exploring New Realms in Prayer and Cave Refectory Road: monastic rhythms for contemporary living.

CWR asked church leaders what was their most important priority – most said prayer, but the next question said what takes the most and least amount of time in the diary and the least was prayer.

Besides a crisis what inspires you to pray?  We turn to God in the crises as it is all we can do, but what else helps us to pray.

  • Pray when we’re outside – as we’re visual people – being moved by God
  • Guilt – you get so busy, it makes you feel guilty and so you pray
  • Pray when writing a new song
  • Community Prayer Experience – prayer communities meeting regularly with particular topics linked to the venue.
  • Silent prayer – not about effort but consent – about us sitting there and consenting – say a word or picture when distracted it refocuses your mind on God.
  • Don’t judge your prayer – give thanks for spending time – you don’t know what it will do or mean.
  • Julian group after Julian of Norwich – spending 30 minutes in silence – a scripture passage to use as an option.
  • Park as far as away from the office as you can.
  • Prayer walk where say thank you prayers – we get into ask me prayers too often.
  • Who needs encouragement in your church – pray for them?
  • Pray during the gardening – active and close to nature!
  • Purposely pray in the gaps.

SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP – Psalm 42 – Be still and know that I am God

Pete Greig, God on Mute

500 More Prayers for All Occasions

Present in the world

First name?

Age?

Where you are from?  Complicated question – origins, where you were born, where you live now, your church …

Being in the presence of God is linked to wherever you are – not just where you are from.  Outside of Butlins you have family, social life, work and more.  “God moved into the neighbourhood”.  When you moved into your neighbourhood, God moved into your neighbourhood.  There is such a connection of God’s presence and where people are.

We need to reflect on this.  We expect God’s presence at church. or our cell group, do we expect God’s presence to be in Butlins outside of Spring Harvest, what about work or your grocery shopping.  Do you expect to be with God in those places.  If truth be told you are expecting God in more areas than others.

One of the biggest challenges that we face in the West in consumerism – we shop for our faith and encounters of God.  We go round a big shopping centre but only visit our favourite shops.  We look for God in our favourite places.  God in his grace does meet us there.  But the truth is God is in your neighbourhood and God wants you to encounter his presence in the different areas.  The danger is it is a lot of heartache when it goes wrong, but the good news is that God is with us in it.  When we go to school, work, the community centre, we’re with the Good News!

“My work place is my ministry place, so I don’t need to serve at church”  Discuss  Do you also expect the church to provide quality Sunday services, children’s work, youth work etc.

  • Pints of View – men’s ministry
  • Brew Crew – Refreshments Team
  • Sacred secular divide is false // Children asking leaders
  • God, home, work then church

Spring Harvest: Lead Zone – part 1

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During my time at Spring Harvest this year I enjoyed the Lead Zone which was led by:

  • Debra Green – Elder at IVY Manchester, Leader of Redeeming Communities
  • Mark Madavan – led a church outside Southampton for 10 years, born in Canada, California, Plymouth, London etc; 44 years old

Jesus in the Gospel

Mt 16:15 – who do people say I am?  It is a simple question with a simple answer, and yet in the church we have lots of definitions for this, even in our head we have lots of different definitions!

Explain the Gospel message, would you be happy to do it?  Four spiritual laws, or the four images.  We often make it formulaic.  That makes Jesus a part player in the story.  The Good News is Jesus Christ.  We need to understand he isn’t a part player but the source of here life comes from.

Tom Wright in his book Simply Jesus challenges us to find the gospel within the gospel.  We need to get to the level below.  The Reformation took control away from the church, and coming back to Jesus was great.  An emphasis on grace, but it pushed Jesus away from the Gospel.  It moved the gospel away from the Gospels and into the realm of Paul’s writings.  It moved away from who was Jesus, what did he do.  We shouldn’t be able to share the Gospel without referring to and quoting Jesus.

Anyone have the moment preparing a talk linked to a parable and then ask why had Jesus said something ay the end that spoils it.  We come with too many answers, not enough questions.

How did Jesus describe himself?  What did he say.  Don’t ignore the rest of the New Testament, but how did they get to the awe of God they had, the cosmic earthly Jesus.   did Jesus say he was?

The context affects who he said he was – the disciples versus non-Jews versus Jews.

What is contemporary culture – is ti us, is it the church, is it non-Christians how do we think about that.

1.2 Jesus in God’s story

Colossians 1 – “all of creation is being redeemed” mentioned seven times in six verses.  From p. 20 in the theme book, p. 26 his actions showing what is the Kingdom of God – that broad view beyond building the church and it’s own narrow definition.  It should change the way we pray – your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  It is more than our personal salvation, it is all about the way that we live our lives, and God being in all things and redeeming all things.

Have we adopted too narrow a view of the Good News, have we made the cross all about our personal salvation rather than the wider Kingdom views.  Has recruitment become the overarching purpose of the church?

Scot McKnight talks about “gospeling” where Jesus becomes our king by sharing the whole story fr good to be put back into the concept of Good News.

Prayer Network in 1993, praying for the city of Manchester for seven years, in big gatherings four times a year.  Prayed for crime, education, media, law and justice, housing etc.  So would interview people about their real life situations, the This Time Tomorrow concept.  The church became enlightened on what was happening, and as more aware could pray more effectively for God’s kingdom to come on earth – being specific and having understanding.

What is the difference between growing my church and spreading the Kingdom?

  • The Kingdom doesn’t need the church, but the church should develop the Kingdom.
  • Sacred and secular divide was such a negative issue
  • Coming to faith is more important than bums on seats.
  • How do you measure success – people there or reach – sewing seed not reaping corn?
  • The Internet Cafe – called The Vine and Branches Internet Cafe – spoke to people, prayed with them, helped them back into work – a mixture of sharing faith and social action
  • Street Pastors – invariably asked why do we do it.

Leaders are always frustrated as we are barely scratching at what we want to do.  Get used to it as that is what leadership is about.

What did Jesus say, what was his mission – yes the Spirit is on him but it is wider than that, he is always the King of the Kingdom in parables.  Get frustrated to see more of God rather than at God or others.