Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What a weekend!

I’ve just had a really interesting and inspiring long weekend, which has left me feeling energized and buzzed

Friday night, I headed over to New Addington to walk around the area and pray late into the night with a group of people who are trying to discern what it is God wants to do with the ministry of The Salvation Army in that area. It was so good to share with friends in a few hours of deep impassioned prayer, really calling out to God for his guidance. One of the most encouraging parts for me was the participation of leaders – and prospective leaders – of Salvation Army Churches across the whole spread of the Croydon conurbation – from our own centrally positioned Croydon Citadel, to Forestdale and New Addington themselves. We’re really blessed with what we have, and I’m excited about the possibility of sharing some of our resources and working more closely than ever on Kingdom stuff. On top of that, those people who regularly at that small Salvation Army centre were inspirational in themselves.

Sunday evening was slightly different as I led Café Church at The Salvation Army, Croydon Citadel. We focused on a little phrase I picked out of Acts 13 in The Message
Friends, do you have anything you want to say? A word of encouragement, perhaps?
and also took some time to consider again the benefits of small groups for our Church Community.

On Monday, I had taken a day off to travel up to City Church Preston to meet with Eric Bryant, who was joined with his colleague Adrian Koehler from hugely innovative community of Jesus followers at Mosaic in California for a meeting of the Mosaic Alliance in the UK. We shared time learning some of the stories of Mosaic, talked at length about mission, relationship, authenticity, transition and reaching the unchurched. Having read Eric’s awesome little book, Peppermint Filled Pinatas, (if you haven’t read it, you really should!) as well as communicated via blog and Facebook, it was very cool to chat in the flesh. It’s such a small small world these days.

Eric is one of the good guys. Great to finally catch up, bud!

Also, the day presented an excellent opportunity to meet and talk to others in the UK who are connected in some shape or form with the Mosaic Alliance – cool people one and all.

…looking forward to keeping the dialog going once I hunt down everyone’s e-mail address.

Good too, to hook up with Keith Ayling on relatively new - and excellent - publication Core Magazine, which I was hugely impressed with, and will be championing wherever I go.

What a weekend!

Next weekend, ROOTS!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fifty Days of Prayer

If you are a pray-er, you might want to consider giving your prayer support to one of The Salvation Army’s NEOs (New Expression of Church) in Leeds, England.

Check out the Fifty Days of Prayer blog

Monday, April 21, 2008


It was great last night to have the visit of Stuart Windsor of Christian Solidarity Worldwide to our Church at The Salvation Army in Croydon.

Stuart left us with a humbling reminder of our brothers & sisters around the world who are being persecuted - today - because of their Christian faith.

Check out the site for further information.

Friday, April 18, 2008

...easy as 123...

I’ve been glad this week - by the power of the mighty internet – to hook up with Laurence Tom AKA abcpastor.

As I was checking on what bloggers were saying about the Fermi Project’s Q convention, I found Laurence’s blog, and just got drawn in – it’s an aesthetically pleasing site with lots of interesting things to say about Church, mission & general life stuff.

It’s been good to talk, LT! (BIG THANKS to you, for the pic.)

Definitely worth checking out folks!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


…looking forward to hooking up Peppermint Filled Pinatas author , Eric Bryant at Mosaic Alliance’s UK event at the end of the month, way up in Preston.

Should be an interesting day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sally Army Flash Mob

I stumbled across this blog post at A Minor Technicality, which piqued my interest:

Check the vid out…

…and the accompanying comment…

I have no idea why, but the Salvation Army brass band turned up, played a few tunes on the green (positioning themselves quite symmetrically, I must point out), then vanished. It was close to a military exercise in guerilla band playing.

I couldn’t resist offering my own comment to add to the dialog:

"On one level this is hilarious. Your bemused comment shows that the Sally’s attempt to communicate with the people who live in their community through music has spectacularly failed to hit the spot!

On the other hand, there’s a sadness about the fact that their sincere efforts are so culturally at odds with regular people’s lives that they soldier on (excuse the pun) regardless of how big the disconnect is…”

Any thoughts?

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Having read through Michael Frost’s EXILES: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture last year, and re-visited again a few times this, it’s been really good to start a little bit of a dialog with Mike (thanks to the wonderful web), who’s proved to be a very gracious bloke indeed.

I’m glad to have received in the mail a copy of EXILIO - the newly developed small group resource based on EXILES – from Mike and Pete Horsley at Forge in Australia.

First off, in terms of presentation the material is excellent – aesthetically pleasing Facilitator’s Manual & accompanying Ignition Bible Study (12 week study on the book of Acts), well packaged DVD all bound together in “box-set” packaging which is attractive & practical.

Even more significantly the content itself is really good stuff – Scripturally sound and presented in an engaging & inspiring way by Michael, it explores in depth the themes of missional living outlined in Mike’s EXILES book, which has been having a huge impact in Christian communities in the West for a couple of years now. He uses an exilic metaphor for those “who wish to live expansive, confident Christian lives in this world without having to abandon themselves to the values of contemporary society”. While EXILIO understands and acknowledges that that today the West is no longer a primarily Christian society, it does not see that reality in defeatist terms, but rather informs & equips in a way that makes this scenario a huge adventurous challenge, with parallels in Old Testament exiles, and the accounts of the Early Church in the New Testament.

This study resource, though, is not simply an academic exercise (it’s important to know that although Frost lectures in a seminary, he has also been intimately involved in planting/leading a Jesus following community smallboatbigsea in the Manly district of Sydney, Australia – he’s a practitioner), and I think it demands quite a lot from the participants. Understand, though, that I say this not as a criticism, but rather as a commendation. As Mike says in the opening Orientation portion of the DVD, “the stakes are high”, and I find it hard to imagine a participating group not being extremely challenged - even changed – if they were to follow the recommendations of this course in terms of the material studied, the “big ideas” grappled with and the real tangible action to participate in. EXILIO is strong stuff.

On top of that, if you are deeply entrenched in Church culture, prepare to be shaken out of it. There are areas that might catch you unawares.

Cleary I haven’t really unpacked the core teaching contained in the course, so check out the site here (which I think is still under development) to learn more about EXILIO, or even read the book anyhow. It’s a great read – hugely stimulating. I’ve become convinced that it is a significant piece that anyone interested in the mission of the Church in the 21st can find helpful.

At some point soon - when I can assemble a group with the guts to handle it – I’ll try and run EXILIO.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Time for a spring clean!

It doesn’t seem like long since the last jig, or shuffle of the blog roll, but spring is in the air, so it’s time for a spring clean!

First – the outies:

• Ali – slips away quietly..

Anita - I’m so tempted! Get blogging again, girl! You stay in by the skin of your
teeth, and the likely threat of physical violence if I remove you!

Jon-Mark – no posts since November, so I think J-M’s run out of steam on the blogging front.

Not that Stratford goes back even further, so Nick’s gonna get swept!

Randy Elrod. Good blog – I just don’t find myself going back that often these days.

All of the above have been good value, and will go straight back on the ‘roll if and when they start blogging again. Why not pay them a visit, leave an encouraging comment, and see if it stirs them back to life.

Next – the innies:

Grumpy Old Git goes straight in on account of him being a top fellah who I’ve known from way back who’s battling cancer like a good ‘un! Powerful stuff.

The Forgotten Ways because Alan Hirsch has either been author or co-author on my two favo(u)rite reads of 2008, so far: The Forgotten Ways and The Shaping of Things to Come. (with my new buddy Michael Frost). Top missional stuff.

Out on a limb….because I’ve been meaning to show this communitas from the Big Easy them some link love for ages now.

Likewise – bounce over to the innies, see what you think – leave a comment, and tell ‘em Johnny sent you.

Finally, the tweaks!

• Eric Bryant moves slightly – almost inperceptibly - to Eric Bryant

• Chris Council of War shifts to the infinitely more post modern Coffee’n’Cake

Vicki Adams is now at Bounces & Cartwheels

….and I think that’s it.

…apart from the addition of Worldchanging and Trailrunner to the mags:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oxted update

HT to the guys at Oxted & Limpsfield Residents Group, who's site has alerted me to the fact that the news about potential over-development of green field land in Oxted made the BBC website today.

After having heard about this initially last week, on Sunday afternoon I took a run - more like a stagger really - across one of the beautiful fields in question, and it really would be criminal if it were to be built over.