Showing posts with label Felicity Dale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Felicity Dale. Show all posts

29 April 2013

Men, women and children

Prompted as I wrote a reply to a blog post, I felt I needed to write at greater length on some principles of leading and following. Men, women and children all have a place in leading us in following Jesus. But is it men, women or children who do the best job of leading?

The simplicity of a young child
Felicity Dale, writing recently about women as leaders, asks, 'What is God about to do?' (It takes both men and women, Simply Church).

As I began to write a reply to her post, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me along a track I'd not considered before.

I'd had hints of this from time to time over the years but I hadn't put it all together in my mind.

Here's my response to Felicity's post.

If we define kingdom as the realm in which the King is obeyed, then wherever men, women and children are following Jesus - that is the kingdom.

But let's remember the children in all this. Believing children have some wonderful advantages over us adult believers. Everybody agrees that men can lead, a growing number agree that women can lead too, but who has considered that children can lead? Sometimes they do so in the most natural and unselfconscious way. And sometimes, as men and women, we just need to swallow our pride and follow them!

What is Father about to do?

I have a strong hunch that he is beginning to show us that all should lead and all should follow. What I mean by that is that we don't need to recognise particular people as leaders and others as followers. Instead we will be recognising leaders in the moment. Who is leading right now? Who is leading by their words, by their actions, by their love, by their compassion, by their joy, by their wisdom, by their humility? If Christ is revealing himself through a particular person right now, follow that person!

I'd like to develop this a little more.

Leaders - What do we mean when we think of leaders and leadership? A leader is clearly a person who leads, someone who goes in front. Leadership extends the idea to suggest someone whose role is to lead, someone who is skilled at leading and is expected to lead often, even always.

But I'd like to ask the question, 'Which way is a person facing when they lead?' There are three possibilities.

Looking forwards - Someone who is looking forwards is looking away from the people who are following. Such a person is looking at Jesus and following him. If I follow such a person I will also be following Jesus. Jesus goes where he chooses to go, the person who is looking towards him follows where he goes. I follow the follower so I go where the follower goes - so I go where Jesus goes. This is good, this is safe, this is what someone who leads should always do.

Looking sideways - I think we often do this. Such people are not looking at Jesus but nor are they looking at those who follow them. They're going off at a tangent. Follow them at your peril!

Looking backwards - Is this what we sometimes mean when we talk about leaders and leadership? Is the focus on the listeners and followers, not on Jesus?

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not talking here about someone speaking to a group of people. You can do that with your eyes firmly focussed on the King. I'm talking about someone who is focussed on the listeners and followers, someone who cares more about being followed than about following Jesus.

Another name for people who do this is 'false shepherd' (or 'bad shepherd'). These people want to feed on the sheep rather than lead the sheep to good pasture. Jesus shows us what a good shepherd is like. He is the Good Shepherd. He told Peter, 'Do you love me? Feed my sheep'.

Perhaps most of us, most of the time, look in all three directions. We gaze partly at Jesus, we glance away to the side, and we look to see who's following us.

Men, women and children - Remember, we're talking about believers here. So now ask yourself, can a man play the part of any of these three kinds of human leader? Yes, he can.

Can a woman play any of these parts? Yes, she can.

Can a child play any of these three parts? Well, perhaps. But in my experience believing children tend to look forward towards Jesus. Young children, in particular, tend to be much too naive to look sideways or backwards. So what does that tell you about the right kind of person to follow?

Jesus wasn't kidding when he told us that unless we come like little children we won't even see the kingdom of heaven.

Questions:

  • Do you know people who lead looking forwards, sideways or backwards?
  • Would you trust a child to lead you?
  • Depending on your answer to the previous question, why? or why not?

See also:


02 April 2013

Felicity Dale on women and church

Felicity Dale is currently writing extensively about women and their role in church life. It's a topic that needs to be re-examined, and Felicity has taken hold of the task. Or, perhaps more correctly, the Holy Spirit has taken hold of Felicity to approach the task in a new and effective way.

Felicity Dale
Tony and Felicity Dale live in Austin, Texas and have been a huge and beneficial influence in the thoughts and lives of many, especially those engaged in simple and organic forms of church life. They have many gifts, both of them are effective teachers, for example.

Recently, Felicity has been writing a great deal about the place of women in the church. She has many wonderful insights into an area that has often been problematic. I believe she is being used by Papa to open doors that have been closed far too long. I know Tony will have been right there with her, quietly oiling the rusty hinges for all he's worth!

I want to commend Felicity's efforts to all my readers. To the women amongst you because she is speaking release and empowerment. To the men because you can all help by encouraging the women in your lives to receive the truth she is sharing. And to those (men and women) who are unsure about the place and function of women in church life because there is much wisdom and truth in Felicity's writing on this topic.

I believe Felicity's work on women and church is of huge importance. What she is doing is fundamental to the next step in Papa's plan for his people, worldwide but particularly here in Western society where women have long been sidelined, particularly in church circles.

Reading Felicity's articles - Perhaps the earliest of her articles on women is 'A phone call to remember' back in April 2010. The latest (so far) is 'Women in Leadership: God's punishment?' published just yesterday. You can view the entire series  as a growing set of pages, seven of them so far. They may eventually form the basis for a new book.

You will need to follow her blog (Simply Church) because she is turning out more good writing on the topic every week at present. She is on a roll! If you like you can sign up to receive future posts by email (visit Simply Church and look for 'Subscribe' near the top on the right hand side of the page - or just use this link).

Questions:

  • Have you considered the Bible's teaching on women for yourself?
  • It's easy to think that the way things are is the way they must continue. What are the dangers in doing this?

See also:

16 March 2013

Obey, obey, obey

Our own efforts are not enough, we need to be obedient to the Creator. Not only that, we need to understand that he is involved in all of life, not just the part we might think of as 'church'. We should all follow the same basic principles, yet he deals uniquely with us as individuals.

Hand made furniture
Felicity Dale posted about how she started writing, and I left a comment. But now I think I should expand on parts of the comment here on my own blog.

One of the issues with church as we have known it is that we are inclined to work very hard at making it better.

We aim for better organisation, better teaching, more entertaining speakers, more professional music, more and better books and leaflets, exciting events, and so on.

So what could possibly be wrong with making things better? Well, nothing really. Better is indeed... better! But that's not where the problem lies.

His ways and our ways - The real issue is that we work out ways of making it better according to our own wisdom and knowledge. And all the time Papa might be watching what we do, appreciating our zeal and hard work, while all the time lamenting the fact that we are not doing his will, but our own.

His ways are his ways, not necessarily like our ways at all. Better in my opinion may even be worse in his.

We need to become a more obedient people. We need to hear more clearly, take what we do hear more seriously, and turn hearing into action. Something that is held to be almost self-evident in many parts of the church today is that men should take leadership roles and women should be quiet and submissive. But Felicity has been hearing very clearly (and so have I and many others) that this is not really what Papa is saying. It's generally based on a particular way of reading a handful of verses in the New Testament and on historical attitudes in society as a whole.

This latter point about society is part of a larger issue that needs to be resolved in our hearts and minds, and that is where church fits in society.

Holy and secular - You see, church is not separate from the rest of life. We often think in terms of church on the one hand and the world on the other. We 'go to church' on a Sunday morning and do and say and hear and see holy things. And the rest of the week we live our 'ordinary lives' and go to school or work or care for the home and devote our attentions to money, shopping, looking good, having fun, watching TV and doing a thousand and one other 'important' things.

But in truth there is no holy and secular, there is just life as a whole and society as a whole and Christ in and through his people bringing light and flavour into all of it, into all the aspects mentioned above and many, many more. Alan Hirsch makes this point very clear in 'The Forgotten Ways'.

The thing is, Papa is involved in all of life, he is indeed the source of all life. And if he is involved in all the aspects mentioned above, so should we be. If we are truly in the Son and he is truly in us, how can we avoid his involvement in every moment we are alive? And in any case, why exactly would we want to? If my heart is open to hear him he will continually tell me where to go, who to speak to, how to behave and what to believe.

Obedience - Understand that Felicity's writing, and Alan's are the results of obedience. They did what the Holy Spirit called them to do. It was already in the Father's heart and plan for them to write. He has things in his heart for you to be doing too - what are they?

And best of all, rather than all following the same understanding and the same ideas, we all follow the same principles but the detail varies. Papa's path for you will be different than his path for me; he deals with us individually. We should not see ourselves as factory-produced items, all made the same within very tight tolerances. Instead we are are all hand crafted, individually fashioned by the master craftsman.

Factory-made furniture is manufactured from laminated board and timber pre-cut and fastened with plastic blocks and metal screws and fittings. Craftsman-made furniture is hand sawn from selected timber of good quality and jointed in traditional ways. The maker is sympathetic to the pattern of the grain and turns imperfections into beautiful features. The surface is carefully sanded to a smooth finish and polished with real waxes or oils.

I commend Alan Hirsch's books to you, and Felicity and Tony's, and Neil Cole's too. There are a thousand clues to Father's ways of showing us his purpose in all these books.

But I commend the still, small voice of the Spirit to you even more.

Here's what we need to do, all of us who are willing and able.

  1. Tell Papa you're sorry for your failure to listen and hear.
  2. Tell him that you will listen from now on.
  3. If you don't know how to hear, ask him to teach you. Then expect him to find a way to do it.
  4. Decide to obey everything you hear from him.
  5. Just begin doing it!

Questions:

  • Have you read Alan Hirsch's book, 'The Forgotten Ways'?
  • Is the Father's wisdom greater or less than yours?
  • Do you suppose Father wants us to do his will or our own?


See also:

19 April 2012

Nomad with the Dales

Here are some of the main points made by Tony and Felicity Dale during their recent interview by Nomad. It's all good stuff; Tim and Dave head home with some highlights still buzzing in their minds.

Nomad's blog post about the interviewTim and Dave run the Nomad Podcast. If you haven't heard any of their monthly interviews, you've been missing a treat!

The latest interview is with Tony and Felicity Dale from Texas, recorded when they were in the UK recently. Tim and Dave travelled to Cheltenham to meet them for the interview. After five minutes of mirth and banter in the car they finally get to the point and the interview begins.

We hear the background story of the Dale's early days in medical school with patients coming to the Lord and many small, home-based communities. They moved to the USA in 1987, clearly led by the Spirit, but once they arrived they were at a loss for direction.

After nine years they gave Father an ultimatum, and things began to move again. They led a discussion with businessmen based on Proverbs and over the next year all of them became believers. They also started a breakfast Bible club for their children's friends. The children and then their families began to follow Jesus too. With the business people and the new families they decided to try to multiply the small rather than just growing bigger.

They learned that success in Father's eyes is not about what we do but much more about what we become because of Jesus. Even before they left the UK they learned not to build something that can survive with or without the Lord. But simple church is not a panacea for all ills, preconceived ideas can mean that house church just becomes big church shrunk smaller.

Felicity describes a simple church in an underprivileged area. It was messy and based very much on present needs, but that is what Jesus loves to do amongst his people. Life brings us into church as a lifestyle, not an event. We need to understand that we don't need experts, anyone can start a church. People gather in every context, the person of peace may be a Cornelius or a woman at the well. But regardless of the kind of person, such people have circles of influence and they have the ability to lead built into them.

Simplicity implies reproducibility, complexity slows down multiplication. We need to find simple patterns that the Lord can work through. Simple food is better than complex food, for example. Pot luck or pizza is just fine. The same applies for prayer for one another. Tony explains that they determined never to make things complicated or difficult. Prayer is just chatting naturally with Father.

The person of peace concept is missional, moving out into that person's context. Sequentialism is a barrier to multiplication - 'I need to do this before I start to do that'. Local community worked in the East End of London, but it doesn't work for the Dales in Austin. However, people are very mobile in the USA and they have community with visitors, at work, at the gym, or Starbucks. They are therefore living the presence of the Lord wherever they can.

We are called to make disciples, Jesus will build the church with those disciples any way he wishes. Tony explains how this happens in the business he runs, it's not a Christian company but discipling takes place there very naturally and easily.

Disciples need to learn the key skills of hearing from the Holy Spirit for themselves and being obedient.

After the interview, Tim and Dave discuss the session. Tim is particularly struck by the idea that making disciples is our call and Jesus will build the church. Dave is engaged by the thought that disciples are primarily people who hear and obey the Lord. There is some more amusing banter before the recording ends.

See also: Felicity's blog 'Simply Church' and the 'House2House' organisation they set up.

11 December 2011

The way forward

Something is going on, tectonic activity in the foundations of church. Yahshua is moving his people into something new again. He is leading me, I think, to collect material, collate it and make it available.

A new day dawningFor some time I've been aware of the Holy Spirit nudging me in a particular direction. It's as if he's been urging me to move but I haven't always known what to do about it. But now things are becoming clearer for me and I feel I can share them a little more widely.

Back in the late summer, Tony and Felicity Dale were visiting Nettle Hill in the UK (see also the afternoon session and a meeting in Coventry). I contacted them beforehand to see if we could meet up and we were able to spend an afternoon together in the Cotswolds. We had a pub lunch and spent some time chatting.

I explained what I was experiencing. I told them that I felt there was a new move of the Holy Spirit coming, that we were at the beginning of a new phase. Over the last decade or so there's been a great move towards simplicity and organic growth in the church. In particular the CO2 and Luke 10:2 ideas, and a sense of the value of listening and hearing seem to be centrally important. Also I have felt more and more convinced that there'll be a major return of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in every aspect of church life.

I was encouraged and excited to discover that they felt much the same. I don't mean to put words into their mouths, and they will speak for themselves, but I can tell you what I am hearing from the Lord.

After they returned to the USA I've had some correspondence, mainly with Felicity. They have been led to prayerfully examine the book of Haggai, and Felicity has blogged on that topic several times. I have been feeling the need to delve into Ezekiel. All three of us have been impacted by Roy Godwin's book The Grace Outpouring - the publishers have kindly allowed me to publish extracts from the first chapter.

One need I feel acutely is to create a space on the web for discussion around these things. I set up Organic Wine, a wiki, for that purpose. But it has never felt quite the right thing. And just a few days ago I visited Coventry Cathedral and the Spirit poured out more for me to ponder.

My mind is more settled now, things are becoming clearer. It's like a new day dawning out of the mist. Partly as a result of Coventry I now think that Organic Wine is not the way forward. Instead I'm going to move that information here, onto All About Jesus. It won't be open to editing here, but it will form a repository of material on the internet that I believe will be fundamental and important.

There are other voices saying similar or related things and I'll point you to them whenever I can. The discussion will take place, not on a special wiki site, but in the to and fro of comments on many of the blogs out there, at meetings, and via other internet facilities. This is already happening and I don't think another website is either necessary or helpful at this stage.

The next step (at least for me) is to reorganise the CO2 tab on this blog so that it becomes much wider and more general in nature. Watch this space!

18 October 2011

THOUGHT - Making things new

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What does Haggai have to tell us about church life today? Do we need to carefully consider what we are doing?

Stones from the Temple Mount in JerusalemFelicity Dale posted an article recently in which she explains how she and Tony were prompted to look at a passage from Haggai.

She writes...
We remember the days when, back in England, God's presence was almost tangible when we came together. Sometimes we were unable to stand in his presence. There were healings and miracles. We never dared go into his presence with unconfessed sin, because we knew that the Holy Spirit would reveal it publicly. This was not a manufactured glamor and glitz, but the presence of God--his glory-- among his people.
I remember those days too, so do some of my other friends near and far. We still have meetings like that sometimes. But it doesn't happen often, certainly not every time we meet as it did in the late 1970s.

Felicity continues...
For a while now, Tony and I have been praying that God would fill these new wineskins of simple/organic churches, with his new wine, his presence. We've been praying for our situation that whatever we touch would bring the presence of Jesus with it--whether that's our business, our home or our gatherings.

What does it mean for us to build God's house? For his house to be more important than anything we're doing ourselves? (This is not a theological statement: I know that Jesus is the one who builds his church.)

I sense Jesus saying to us, 'It's time to let me do what I want to do amongst you. Stop getting in my way.' The book of Haggai has a great deal to tell us (so do many other passages, for example the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel and the people of Israel in the desert in Exodus).

Haggai spoke out the word he received. 'Yahweh Elohim says, "Give careful thought to your ways"' .(Haggai 1:7)  We, too, need to give careful thought to our ways. Jesus was quite clear that he is the builder and we are the stones. (Matthew 16:16-18) Notice that he also says where his house will be built - on the rock. The Temple in Jerusalem was built on a particular rock, the one on which Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac, the one where the lamb was caught in a bush. The rock is still there, the Temple is not.

So the knowledge that Jesus is the Messiah is the Rock on which the new house will be built. Let's begin to take the stones to Jesus so that he can get on with the building. We must carry the stones to the Rock.

As long as I build my own house instead of allowing Jesus to build me into his house, water and bread will be withheld. (Haggai 1:9-10) Has our Father had us on a diet? Yes, I rather think he has! We've been on a spiritual diet for years, even decades. The Living Water and the Bread of Life are Jesus. He himself is Water welling up within us, he is the Bread that sustains us. He reminded the evil one in the wilderness that 'man doesn't live on bread only but on every word that comes from Elohim's mouth'. Jesus himself is the real Bread, he is also the Word.

What is 'my own house' that I am always so ready to build? I think it can be many things. It can be a denomination, or a meeting place, or a tradition - but might it also be house church, a home, or my blog? Dare we ask ourselves the hard question? What is my house? Will I give that thing up so that Jesus can use me as a part of his house?

It's not for me to tell you what your house is; it's for each of us to work out for ourselves. Give careful thought to your ways! If we listen and hear and are obedient, those amazing times of his presence amongst his people will return. You'd better believe it!

Here are three more passages to send you on your way, what do they say to you?

'Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.' (Acts 14:11-17)

'See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.' (Isaiah 43:18-20)

'You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.' (Leviticus 26:9-11)

See also: Who's house am I building? - Building the church - House and garden

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25 September 2011

Coventry (Ricoh Arena) - Open to change

< 24th September 2011 | Index | 10th October 2011 >

This was an encouraging meeting where a number of small groups meeting in Coventry and Market Harborough came together and Tony and Felicity Dale had been invited to speak.

The small, organic meetings in the area come together like this every other month in a room at the Ricoh Arena.
Meeting at the Ricoh Arena
Today we began with Psalm 40:5 'Many are your wonders, too many to recall' and Psalm 139. The Lord knows us intimately and he has clear plans for our lives. Mark shared that he and Becca will be emigrating to St Louis in the USA in the next few days and although they have mixed feelings, they sense that this is part of Father's plan for them.

Giles reminded us that despite the distractions life brings, we can train ourselves to tune in to the Holy Spirit.

Felicity and Tony told us they've been on the organic church road for ten or fifteen years now whereas in the UK we are just beginning the journey. They explained the background to their going, how abandoned they had felt for nine years after arriving, and how things had started to change with a study of business principles in Proverbs and some breakfast meetings for children.

They also explained that truth has been restored in wave after wave of change in church life down the ages. The wave of organic church, making disciples and reproducing families of believers has been (and continues to be) absolutely huge. Especially in India, China and the Middle East but also now in America growth has become very rapid.

In the Reformation period the Bible was put into the hands of ordinary people. But today the church is being put in the hands of ordinary people! We need to be 'looking outside our walls', meeting in Starbucks for example. We heard stories about people who had done extraordinary things resulting in abundant new followers of Jesus. Sometimes just turning something around can make a big difference. Instead of trying to tell my story I could invite people to tell me their stories. The greatest need is for ordinary people to get out there, not just 'special' people.

Movements are far more effective than individual programmes. Why? Because movements contain the seed of the next generation within the current generation. They are self-propagating. But we need to lay the right foundations with an emphasis on ordinary people and relationships. 'No empire building, no control, no glory' captures the mood. We can put money behind building on godly principles. Getting to know one another is essential. Much of the church thinks we're crazy and the world has no idea what's going on.

It's really not about 'simple church', it's about the Kingdom. The Spirit will speak to us in the UK, but we need to get people together and agree on the foundations. The world won't just come to our churches or to our homes - that's why we need to go out!

Please note - this article is only a superficial account. But the meeting was recorded and you can hear what Tony and Felicity said for yourself (recording provided by simplechurch.co.uk).

< 24th September 2011 | Index | 10th October 2011 >

24 September 2011

Nettle Hill - Church planting, afternoon

< 24th September 2001 | Index | 25th September 2011 >

More from Tony and Felicity Dale during the afternoon session at Nettle Hill. This time the emphasis was more focussed on issues around church and church multiplication.

The Last SupperTony and Felicity again took turns to speak to us. Tony began by contrasting addition and multiplication. In the 1960s and 70s many new, small churches were formed in homes in the UK. Some gifted leaders began to build larger and larger churches from these beginnings and in many cases there were hubs with new groups planted out from them. This is addition, and one of the problems is that it requires the training of more leaders.

Multiplication is very different and focusses instead on planting churches that plant churches that plant churches. To do this we need to find people of peace and influence among their own circles of friends, family or colleagues (for example). We don't need to find new leaders because the person of peace is the labourer. We only need to help them.

The acronym MAWL was explained. In the first generation we Model church, but in the new groum in daily life.p gathered around a person of peace we Assist. We do not attempt to draw the newcomers into our own existing group. Members of the new group are encouraged to go out to find further people of peace.

In the third generation we Watch them work independently although we're still there to answer questions and provide feedback. And in the fourth generation we Leave. Meanwhile the person of peace we originally found will be modelling church in the second generation, assisting the third generation, watching the fourth and leaving the fifth.

This process can be hugely successful. In South Korea, for example, if we counted networks of small meetings as 'a church', the nineteen largest churches would all be such networks while the twentieth would be Jonggi Cho's Full Gospel Church.

There are huge numbers of small, organic churches in the USA now, involving more people than the Southern Baptists.

An important point is that foundations can be laid only once, so they need to be laid right. This is likely to involve letting go of all kinds of things we might prefer to keep.

We did an exercise in thinking about a variety of biblical examples of people of peace, for example Lydia, the proconsul in Acts 13:7, and the Samaritan woman at the well. We were encouraged to ask ourselves what exactly it was that made those individuals people of peace. No two are the same and we need to learn to recognise them when we come across them in daily life.

We are 'fishers of men' and should think of ourselves like some of the disciples - commercial fishermen, not rod and line enthusiasts. We are not in the business of taking fish one at a time, but should be thinking in terms of netting large numbers. If we learn to live like Jesus in our everyday lives it will be transformational!

We also watched the video 'Upside-Down Leadership'. Very good and well worth viewing, I'd recommend this to anyone.

Please note - this article is only a superficial account. When the recordings become available I'll add a link to them here so that you can hear what was said for yourself.

< 24th September 2001 | Index | 25th September 2011 >

Nettle Hill - Church planting, morning

< 23rd September 2011 | Index | 24th September 2011 >

This was a great day. The Dales were visiting from the USA and were sharing about aspects of church planting. It wasn't training in the way we normally view it. It was a sharing of real life stories and it was much more about people than the things we plan and do.

Giles introduced the day by reminding us that we're looking for organic growth. He referred to Romans 15 where Paul explains that he speaks of what he has seen and heard. Stories are good.

A North American IndianTony Dale continued this theme. He pointed out that speaking from the front was almost unknown in New Testament times. When Eutychus fell from the window, the word used for 'talking' is not 'monologue' but 'dialogue'. They were having a conversation.

The first story we heard was about Tony and Felicity's journey to America and how when they arrived they felt abandoned by the Lord. They'd come from such exciting times in Britain during the outpouring of the Spirit in the 70s and 80s, and now they didn't fit in to the church scene in the USA, work plans failed, and life became very difficult. It's often a struggle to listen and obey in such circumstances, but this is key in the journey.

Felicity took us through a listening exercise called Virkler, it involves four steps.
  1. Becoming free from distraction
  2. Focussing on Jesus
  3. Listening to the flow of spontaneous thoughts
  4. Writing them down (they can be weighed later)
Virkler is more fully described on the CO2 page (about half way down). We spent a few minutes on this exercise, then reported back with things that had seemed significant. There was a clear pattern and we were encouraged by that.

We heard how Tony and Felicity set aside several times each year just for listening together with friends. She described one of these times on a mountain around a campfire when someone saw in their mind an Indian on a hill surrounded by a ring of fire and also a bungalow with two basements. It later turned out that this was very accurate and the key to resolving some difficult situations.

Tony and Felicity continued to take turns at leading out thoughts right through the day. They told us about times in the 1970s and 80s when everyone would share openly in the meeting and how these were times clearly arranged by the Spirit. They have no doubt that Jesus want to lead his people and transform our situations.

We (plural, jointly) have the mind of Christ. We need to hear the quietest people and encourage them to share, this is treating the weaker parts of the body with greater honour. As the Charismatic Renewal developed and matured we stopped hearing through everyone. Some became famous or led large movements, many others were left out. Eventually we were left communicating head to head instead of heart to heart.

Change doesn't happen naturally, we need to plan and act to make space for the 'little' people. Our job is to make disciples, Jesus said he'd build the church himself.

It's useful to bring groups of unbelievers under the influence of the word. If we can do that their lives will change. It's a process of coming under the rule and lordship of Christ. We should ask people to follow Jesus, not join what we're doing. Follow simple patterns, eating together is important. Getting people talking is essential because we remember much more of what we express than what we hear or read. Multiplication generally happens outside our existing context; it's at the fringes and with unbelievers.

Success is not measured in terms of size; it's about multiplying the small. We need to lay down our view of success and look for transformed lives instead.

Please note - this article is only a superficial account. When the recordings become available I'll add a link to them here so that you can hear what was said for yourself.

< 23rd September 2011 | Index | 24th September 2011 >

17 May 2010

News - Internet postings, interviews and more

I have five items for you this week. Dip into these and follow up any individual items that catch your attention, the Holy Spirit will lead you to the things you need to see.A megaphone
  • My friend and accomplice in Christ, Sean, greatly enjoys David Wilkerson's Blog. And with good reason. For a taste of his writing read 'He brought us out to bring us in' or 'The spirit and power of Elijah'. Great stuff! His posts are challenging, exciting, and thought-provoking.

  • More on Felicity Dale's book, 'An Army of Ordinary People'. This time she's interviewed by Roger Thoman.

  • Frank Viola responds to someone who is troubled by the confusion over the term 'organic church'. This is a useful response because it points out very clearly the difference between allowing Jesus to take control and merely going through the motions to the best of our own ability.

  • The House2House e-letter contains some clear but necessary thoughts on spiritual warfare. Spiritual oppression on our lives can easily be mistaken for no more than a series of coincidences or 'just bad luck'. Don't believe it for a moment! Tony Dale reminds us that if we can identify the enemy's interference then we can (and should) resist. The e-letter also contains some useful links to various resources.
  • Simplechurch.eu links to a series of helpful stories from the church in Europe.

10 May 2010

NEWS - Jon Zens, Tony Dale, Neil Cole

This week's news roundup contains four items.A megaphone
  • Frank Viola interviews Jon Zens about his book on the place of women in the church. He expresses some interesting views and backs them up with detailed Biblical scholarship.
  • Felicity Dale interviews her husband Tony on women in the church. Obviously the subject is topical with two mentions in this week's news!


  • Neil Cole responds to Brian Hofmeister's report of having difficulties making organic church work. Part two of Neil's response is still to follow. (See also my recent post.)
  • The latest Nomad Podcast brings you an interview with Stuart Murray of the Anabaptist Network.

03 May 2010

NEWS - Interviews, meetings, CO2

This week there are five news items to mention. A megaphone

  • The next meeting in the Moggerhanger series is planned for 6th June. Add it to your diary! It's not going to be at Moggerhanger this time, instead we've booked a room at Hinchingbrooke Park on the edge of Huntingdon.

    There'll be a full article about this in the next day or two - so watch this space. (See the report of the last meeting.)

  • Frank Viola has interviewed Felicity Dale about her book 'An Army of Ordinary People'. It contains encouraging and challenging stories of real-life people involved in organic church life and growth. This book was originally published ten years ago but is just now being republished in an updated version.

  • Wolfgang Simson has announced a 'Starfish Unconference' in Helsinki, Finland. You'll have to move fast on this one if you want to go, it takes place on 15th and 16th May.
    Read on Scribd...

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