Thursday, June 14, 2012

Apostolic Empowering

I loved teaching at a gathering of around 120 planters, pastors and wives here in Durban yesterday. The deep sense of brotherhood, obvious love for Jesus, his bride and each other was palatable. Rory Dyer, my dear and deep friend, hosted the moment with real tender courage. I suspect that is exactly what these times need.

The book of Galatians was used to expand and explore the biblical framing for clarity in the present day reality. Essentially, Paul is answering 4 major questions / accusations:
1.   The questioning of his apostolic authority,
2.   The assault of legalism on the churches founded in gospel-grace,
3.   The leaning to existential behavior where Christianity becomes reduced to endless encounters,
4.   The vulnerability to cultural imperialism - where we sell our culture as biblical.

We need every apostolic sphere to be steam in on all cylinders. The subtle undermining of these emerging spheres is foolish. It is partnering with the devil in his game plan. Take out the leaders and a generation is lost. Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.

God is raising up many new apostolic households / spheres. Just as there were many apostles in the New Testament, each with their own style, emphasis, ways yet being obedient to the Father, so too, there are many apostles being raised up in our hour.

They are not fancy CEO types nor celebrity, conference speakers. They are foundation layers, trench diggers, concrete workers. They are unglamorous but most necessary to empower a generation of new church dreamers on their journey. Some of these new apostles will be more Johanian - deeply invested in Communities of Love. Others will be big and large and home based. And others will take the more Pauline way of establishing works then, as they gain traction, they move on - the most challenging of them all.

Lets not be guilty of applying the arrogant comment: "Well I would not do it that way". That is not our call to make.It is not our story. But, by Galatians 2, we can applaud and endorse cool evolving God stories, watching as the Father does something very cool with them. Gracias.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Global Collaboration

Every season and chapter in a God adventure tries to find the vocabulary that will best describe what God is doing "in our day". These 'abiblical' words are scaffolding that help us adorn the bride, build the temple, empower the army.

"Missional" has been such a big word over the last while. Whilst we may get weary of the word, we simply must not get tired of the mandate.

"Global Collaboration" are two massive words for the next decade. They will define us, shape us, enlarge us, empower us, alienate us, activate us, separate us.

What will it look like?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I received a very delightful surprise call from Todd Wilson. As the leader of Exponential, catalyst for Future Travelers amongst other things, he had a very interesting proposal for me - Would I write a book about the way I have approached discipleship over the years?

The thought was both delightful and scary. Delightful as I have simply loved the notion, over the years, of investing into the lives of a few and launching them out on their God adventure. Scary, because I have no formula, program or matrix. This form of discipleship is simply doing life together. It may be a very small book.

I would love to hear your discipleship story... including a few in the book

Sunday, June 3, 2012

5 Years on

About 5 years ago we were in London in a prayer meeting, when a very weighty prophetic word broke into our time of worship together .

Several things made it important - not only did it call to attention the importance of the voice of prophets to whom God often speaks first, but it spoke of new alignments, allies, partnerships. These circles within circles created an Ezekiel-like notion of blurred lines... wheels within wheels. The future would be very different.

Now, half a decade later, it is remarkable to see how all of this is playing out. Of course there are some who were drawn to the excitement of the prophecy initially, until it became clear that it would disrupt the old order, so they retreated behind the fences of the known. Others wished and expected everything to change overnight and stepped from the prophecy because it did not happen fast enough. This discouraged them deeply.

I guess the lesson we have all had to learn is the humility needed to let God lead us through these unchartered waters, living daily with uncertainty. None of us thought it would be like this. Of course we were unfortunately guilty of mismanaging the moment and fragmentation went where multiplication was meant to pioneer.

Yet I am so grateful that the Father is righting the wrongs and building the beauty of his divine design. That word was not given for simple creative architecture. It was for the sake of taking the "gospel of the kingdom to all nations and then the end will come". When that soul is lost, some will defend the status quo while others will rage about the new, the eclectic, the radical.

It is not about either. It is, was and will always be for the sake of the gospel. To miss that is to draw earthly battle lines, losing friendships, defending causes, missing collaborative moments. If it is not for the gospel, it not worth anything. If we lose this we will be authors of implosion or institutionalization and not co-conspirators for gospel advancement - and that is what Jesus died for.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Back up

Dear friends

It has been some time since I last wrote. There are times when one needs to listen, heed, quieten a very cluttered soul to find access to heaven's throne of grace.

It is early in the the morning here in Capetown South Africa. The winter darkness, blankets the city with its dank reminder that cuddling in bed is where I should be right now. But an early time of prayer and sacred text reflection feeds the soul more than anything else. A cup of hot tea [don't know how to work Thomo's coffee machine] and some time in His presence is my very great reward.

In a few hours, I will be in a room with some of the most remarkable young mean and women in this great country. The privilege to open the scripture and scrum around Paul's personal pain, is one of the things for which I am most grateful in God's kindness.

These are such pivotal times. Don't miss them because the "demons" of demand clutter one's life from sitting in His presence. Staying in step with His Spirit is the most important priority right now.