A Forest of Kingdom Outbreaks

In 'The Man Who Planted Trees, Jean Giono describes his experiences that flowed from a chance encounter with a Shepherd when he was on a walking holiday in the French Alps. He recounts how after about three days of walking he came to a barren and colourless stretch of land where almost nothing grew and … Continue reading A Forest of Kingdom Outbreaks

Amos and the ‘Church is Great Today’ Delusion

A friend of mine who lives in Darwin at the ‘Top End’ of Australia had in his back yard a very large and beautiful Mango tree, that is until the day he went outside only to find the tree crashed to the ground dead. The problem, one not unfamiliar to those who live in the … Continue reading Amos and the ‘Church is Great Today’ Delusion

The Day the Atheist Asked for Prayer

‘Coffee with Spirit’ started about two years ago in a Community Centre café where there are always many people present, there for a coffee or snack, or to participate in one of the regular schedule of events in the Centre. The group meets weekly, always at the same time and day. This is so clearly … Continue reading The Day the Atheist Asked for Prayer

It’s Time for the Geese to Fly Again

In Northern Europe, where I grew up, in autumn it is often possible to see wild geese flying south to winter in warmer climes. The other day I was reminded of this when I came across a talk I had given a few years ago in which I used the southward flight of the wild … Continue reading It’s Time for the Geese to Fly Again

What Shall I Paint Today?

A baby comes, hours new, a cause to meditate on purpose, meaning and mortality. What is this space between entrance on this mist-like, ephemeral stage (stage right) and our inevitable exit, also mist-like (stage left)? What is Time’s blank canvas given by God’s Grace, and what should we paint upon it? What is our part … Continue reading What Shall I Paint Today?

A Beautiful Spectrum

One of the constant problems I have is trying to explain that the ’Unbounded Church’ is a ‘Concept’ not a model. To really grasp this means understanding that the principles for Christian Community found in the New Testament can be expressed in a multitude of different ways. This means that a wide variety of designer Missional Communities … Continue reading A Beautiful Spectrum

True ‘Success’ Can Be Replicated

It is not uncommon to be told about a particular church which is very ‘successful’. The story usually contains accounts of growing attendances, thriving youth groups, new families etc, and also sometimes a charismatic leader. Such churches often then become the ‘model’ we are all to copy. Where such a story is true we should … Continue reading True ‘Success’ Can Be Replicated

New Shoots Amid Silent Bells

The small building stands, weatherboard, old and quiet now, a family home- unremarked, but where once hoards of children Sunday chattered. A clue nearby, a small tower and still the bell, but for long years silent. Where once the church, Jesus’ families in numbers gathered, no longer so. But silence and death’s symbol, yesteryear’s relic … Continue reading New Shoots Amid Silent Bells

Unblocking the Salt Shaker

Most of us have at some time or other had a problem with a salt shaker. You know the time when at dinner you go to sprinkle some salt on your meal and nothing comes out. This is not because there is no salt in the saltshaker, it could even be full, but because the … Continue reading Unblocking the Salt Shaker

The Kingdom and the Darkness

A year or so ago I visited my great grandmother’s church. A very old stone building set in a stonewalled, grave-filled enclosure in an English hayfield. Weather-faded headstones spoke of centuries of ‘saints’ that had walked this place. But it was on the inside, in the cold, small space of worship that the ‘overwhelming’ happened. … Continue reading The Kingdom and the Darkness