Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This is a most remarkable time of the year. As the winter chill begins to knock on our door, and the sounds of Christmas are matched with the smells of Thanksgiving, I am so glad to be living in America.

Thanks giving is my favorite American Holiday. M and I love being around a table, well presented, with oodles of food - each masterly 'chef-ed' to family perfection. Of course, the music has to be elegantly celebratory. The lights need to soften the corners of the room with regal ambiance. The cutlery and crockery has to presented with motherly affection and the wines chosen with fatherly revelation [OK that was a little dramatic!]

Tomorrow my family will sit around the table and we will thank the Lord - what a story! What a privilege! What a life! We will savor the moment. The palates will be satisfied. The eyes a little tender with gratitude but the hands will be steady as we toast...

An amazing God whose kindness has enveloped us;
A wondrous gospel that never ceases to surprise us;
Family who have journeyed on several continents together;
Friends who have stood with us in some of the darkest moments of our lives;
Strangers who have stepped into a space of our lives thru divine generosity;
Community that remains God's loudest redemption trumpet call;
A limping world that still breaks our heart, but we will continue to give ourselves away to love you.

Have a reflective thanksgiving, never losing its sheer beauty.

Muchos gracias

Friday, November 18, 2011

November Update

What a wild couple of weeks.

I loved the time in the UK. Traveling with Brian Barr and Phil Woods was sheer, raw fun. From the endless banter, tireless sense of adventure, and hilarious and passionate theological debate was deeply refreshing.

Having a closer peep into the Soul Survivor story with Mike Pilavachi was a great honor as they have been a rare nursery that has discipled so many remarkable worship leaders. This friendship has been brewing for a while.

Our invasion of the Dooley home in Reading UK, was due to Sean and Nola's kindness. The three "Mouseketeers" hopefully brought love, energy, and humor into their lives - nothing like traveling across London for several hours, late on a Sunday night, to go and connect with Mark and Lizzie who are planting "Reality London". Fell in love with them. The plant is struggling to gain traction as they seek to cross the great hurdles of US to UK culture / from LA to London context. Our dinner in the pub after the evening gathering, is one of those Holy Spirit moments that will remain in my mind for a long time.

The couple of days that we went away with a collage of pastors was a rare treat. With my desire being to bring some of the young UK pastors into the room with some of the young USA pastors, I had prayerfully hoped that their would be journey's shared, lessons learnt exchanged, and friendships established. I think this happened. Of course being away with a group of young guns, there will invariably be combat and competition — a created game being the center piece of international rivalry. Who would have thought that Readers Digest can provide such an international incident! Thanks to the Virgo boys and their mates... you guys are remarkable.

The last weekend was with our dear friends at Kingsgate Church in Kingston. M and I feel so privileged to have been in this story from before the beginning — as the seed of the plant was sown, to 2 handovers, through to their name change and new city. They are doing so well and I am so proud of them. A visit there is always a huge treat for us.

Yesterday I spent time with an event called "Exponential LA". The idea was to take the annual large church planting event and earth it in smaller gatherings around the USA. I felt very honored to walk these delightful planters through Heb 12:1 - 2 [although we rarely exegeted the text — we got into many and diverse convos... which I hope was helpful]

Getting ready for the last trip of the year. M and I are off to New York. The leadership transition from Deryck and Cath to John and Jenna Starke is going to be a very weighty and grace-filled moment. I have watched a group of Jesus following, gospel loving, church engaging folks take on the great NYC challenge. Their journey is to be mightily applauded. Sunday will be very special for all of us involved.

Next week I will start blogging again as the year draws to a close. Thank you.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Off to London in an hour. [Friday 4 Nov]

Will not be blogging much while I am on the road... will keep you posted via twitter

Back Monday 14th November.

Big conversations with the London Reality guys, Mike Pilavachi [Soul Survivor], Steve Timmis, Keath and the crew at Kingsgate as well as a few days bringing together young US pastors and young British pastors...

Keep you posted

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Attractional not enough

I am so interested in what the church looks like in a "Post Modern, Post-Christian" culture.

Have we been sluggish in our impact in Europe because we are still trying to do church in an attractional way [designed by "moderns, boomers"]?

But those days are long gone on Europe and many parts of the USA. The assumption that people will come to our cool hip shows, has proven to be without result. Hillsong has got it right because they plant in expat communities with massive brand recognition.

For the many plants wrestling with the raw challenge of the gospel in Europe and the city shadowlands of the USA, the way they have been taught is simply not contextually clear nor culturally sensitive.

I suspect the answer lies with "Missional Communities"... not just missional. Nor just communities. But both together and that is very different form the way we have done it before.