Helen Askew wrote a great summary of what is join on for Kairos at this season on the Missional Communities Blog. You might find this a useful read.
Helen Askew wrote a great summary of what is join on for Kairos at this season on the Missional Communities Blog. You might find this a useful read.
At our Gatherings we are asking the question What is God doing? One of the things God does & is doing is Restoration
When I think of God’s restoration my immediate thought is Psalm 126 which talks about God restoring the fortunes of his people. The Psalm is split into four parts – there’s a story. a song, a prayer and a promise – have a look and see whether you can spot them.
God’s story is a restoration story – he is restoring human beings to the place that they were designed for. Each of us has a story of God’s restoring work. At least one story. These are stories of having our fortunes turned around, of experiencing freedom from captivity. BUT WE ARE SO GRUMPY that we forget God’s restoring work. In the Old Testament we see God’s people losing out because they got grumpy – moaning and grumbling about a perceived lack of provision crucially forgetting what God had done for them.
There is lots going on our lives – much that can make us grumpy. There are disagreeable things, things we don’t ‘get’ that frustrate us. People annoy us, little things irritate us & get under our skin. We make mountains out of molehills and are easily drawn into what one Bible version called “idle controversies”. We, the church, are so grumpy that we lose our grip on the story we have & the song of restoration that should be on our lips.
We owe the world around us some JOY!
When I reflect on God’s work of restoration in my life as the Psalm says: my mouth fills with laughter and my tongue with songs of joy. In other words I am joyful and communicate that joyfulness to others. Are you joyful? No? Try reconnecting with the story of restoration in your life and see what happens.
Last week at Base Camp I was telling the story of Kairos again – it’s great to have a story – and what a story! Every time I tell it (which is quite a lot!) I am reminded of God’s faithfulness- it is a story of restoration, of embracing new freedoms as a church. It’s been challenging & difficult at times, we’ve had to count the cost & pay a price but the prize is being able to say “The Lord has done great things”.
The next part of our church story is being lived out at the moment- how we closed MSCs in faith so that others could emerge. Two new MSCs this week, one the week before. More to come as we live out the adventure of restoration together in a community of communities.
In the midst of the challenges of living – do remember the story of God’s restoration in your life.
Seek in your communities both existing and emerging to sing the story of restoration. Don’t let grumpiness cost you the joy of the adventure we have with our restoring God.
We had a great time at the second evening at Base Camp looking at covenant and kingdom together. If you weren’t able to make it you can listen below.
Join us next week for Session 3: Following Jesus – Discipleship.
This term at central gatherings our sermons are going to be focussed on the question “What is God doing?” We are a church are trying to join God in the things he is doing in the world so the question is an essential one to be asking.
Each week we are going to explore one of the things the bible suggests God is doing. This week we answered: God Creates! You can read a short summary of the talk here.
We are made in God’s image! That means our creator has made us for relationship with him and given us a role reflecting him to the rest of creation. Our activity as MSCs is an outworking of both these things.
On Sunday I highlighted three aspects of the role: starting, blessing and sustaining.
With that in mind it’s worth spending a little bit of time praying, reflecting and discussing around those three words, is there one in particular that you might need to focus on as a community for a while?
What might God be calling our MSC to Start?
Is there a something new your community is called to initiate right now. This could be a response to need, a new activity that allows people of peace to draw together, a different way of supporting or helping one another.
Where might God be calling our MSC to Bless?
How can you speak, and bring about, goodness to those around you. Perhaps this could look like praying together regularly for people of peace and asking God for words for them or maybe you could think of some simple service type activities, giving out gifts, litter picking etc. that bless people and places around you.
How might God be calling our MSC to Sustain?
What is going on in the lives of people in your community that needs a bit of protection? Are there particular folk that need the rest of you to gather round and help. This could be really practical things: babysitting, gardening, money or it could be support through prayer, through listening or even through a bit of challenge. Are there people of peace connected to the community who need some of this sustaining work too?
Remember relationship comes before role.
We do run the risk that our MSCs simply become clubs of worn-out do-gooders. As you think about what God might be calling you to start, bless or sustain do also focus on your relationship with the maker – how can you as a community support and challenge each other in this area. Is it time to have a bit of focus on praying, worshiping, reading the bible together and meeting with God?
Last night was the start of Base Camp – 7 Weeks to acclimatise to conditions at Kairos.
Join us again next week to look at the key themes of Covenant and Kingdom. Weds 24th September, 7:30pm in the Kairos Room.
We’ve had a bit of a problem with the digital recorder over the last couple of weeks, so the talks haven’t been recorded. Hopefully its all fixed, but in the meantime here is a little summary of what was said last Sunday.
This term at central gatherings our sermons are going to be focussed on the question “What is God doing?” We are a church who claim to be trying to join God in the things he is doing in the world so its an essential question to be asking. Each week we are going to explore one of the things the bible suggests God is doing.
This week we answered: God Creates! Here’s a little summary of what I said:
The story of creation in the Bible points to the belief that life has meaning, that its not all just a random set of circumstances that has led to now.
Creation also reminds us that we are not the centre of the universe. As the maker God is! As Psalm 24 says:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”
In Genesis 1 we see that God makes people in his image. This points to two things we share with God: relationship and role.
Relationship: Being made in God’s image means we bear his imprint. Their is something in us that longs for his touch, as Augustine says:
“Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you”
Role: God speaks to man and woman and gives them jobs to do, they are to be fruitful, to spread across the world, to care for and oversee the rest of creation.
The problem is too often people try and take the role without the relationship. As people made in God’s image we need both.
Learning to be people who share relationship and role with God means we get to do some of the things he does. In creation we see God doing the following –
Starting: God initiates and brings light and goodness out of chaos.
Blessing: God blesses his creation. He says it is good and his words make it good.
Sustaining: God does not leave creation to its own devices, he continues to work nurturing and protecting it.
We are people who are called to close relationship with the maker, and to share in his role as the one who starts, blesses and sustains.
How can we do both those things as individuals and in our MSCs together?
Last week Mark wrote that he felt this would be a season marked by acceleration. I would imagine that two weeks into September many of us are certainly feeling the pace of life quicken!
We are seeing some exciting new things beginning to happen; one of these is the emergence of new communities. Over the next week two new MSCs will start. Rachel Wilkinson and Elaine Higgins are launching Stuffers, a community based on building relationship through craft, on Monday. On Sunday Helen and I are beginning our as yet un-named community focused on young families. There are other visions and ideas in the pipeline and I am sure we will see some more new communities starting over the next few weeks. Please do pray for these as they get going.
We are experiencing acceleration in other areas; for example I have had a few conversations with Kairospeople about good God-encounters with people as they go about their daily lives.
As things speed up it is a good time to reflect on the way in which we can sustain and equip one another as disciples and leaders. I want to point out some of the things we have coming up that are there to keep momentum going.
Gatherings – We’ve been at three Central Gatherings on a Sunday for a while now and have just moved them all into the main hall. It has been good to notice, over the last few months, the increasing sense of encounter with God at these times and also at our monthly Up gathering on a Sunday Evening. I’d like to encourage you to come to all these gatherings, particularly if you are currently not in a missional community.
Base Camp – Next week we are also getting going with Base Camp. I am getting excited about the opportunity to spend seven Wednesday evenings exploring Kairos‘ identity. During these evenings there will be worship, teaching, and lots of time to reflect and discuss together. Base Camp will suit a number of people: those who are new to Kairos and wanting to find out more about it, those who are not sure what community to belong to, those who have been part of a community for a long while and wanting to get a bit of time to refocus and those who are considering starting a new community. If you are planning to come along please do sign up on Sunday, or reply to this email to let us know.
Huddle – Huddles are the key place where discipleship of leaders takes place. We are continuing our rhythm of huddles. If you are part of one of the huddles then you should have dates for these, but do look out for a email soon to remind you when your huddle is meeting. Learning Community – We have a leaders learning community coming up on the 14th and 15th November. This will be a timely opportunity to revisit and build on some of the things God begun during base camp.
We recognise that launching and leading Mission Shaped Communities is demanding (as well as being a lot of fun), Gatherings, Base Camp, Huddle and Learning Communities are key ways in which we want to help you continue to be enabled and released to go. Please do prioritise them.
Offering for Chloe
Thank you to those who gave generously towards Chloe’s costs for this year. We have collected £2048 which covers what she needed to do the CYM course. Praise God!
10 years of Roll the Rock.
Andy is celebrating 10 years of work under the Roll the Rock name this year. On October 14th there will be a celebration and relaunch evening to mark this anniversary and he would love some Kairos people to be there. More details here.
A couple of links
Club vs Family: This is a good reflection from Nic Harding who leads Frontline Church in Liverpool.
Collecting Bras to Fight Sex Trafficing: A story from 3dm US about a MSC with a very focussed vision!
Have a great week! Ben.
Dear Kairos people,
As we near the beginning of September and the pace of life quickens I thought it would be good to write to you all.
There are some key things happening at the moment that it is good for you to be aware of.
We have stopped being a parish – now the world is our parish – this doesn’t mean we are all out for world domination! I think it does mean that we have to have a wider view, we choose not to be parochial in our outlook – we aren’t here just for Harrogate – this is just our starting point. Let’s be especially aware and prayerful about what is going on worldwide. I had a very challenging prayer request email from John White who is handling the communication for the network we are part of (Covenant Kingdom Network – CKN). Here is the text of the email for your awareness and prayers – I think it is self explanatory and if this doesn’t move you to pray then nothing will:
We have been asked to circulate this prayer request around the network. Initially, it came from Rick Joyner (MorningStar Ministries).
“Bart Peacher is a part of the MorningStar pastoral team, and oversees our Moravian Falls retreat center. He received this urgent prayer request today.
– Rick Joyner
The following message came to me from a dear Christian friend in Fair Hope who is extremely reliable. Please send out to your prayer teams.
– Bart Peacher
Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts.
“We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food too. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated it’s staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!”
Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region.
May I plead with you not to ignore this email. Send it to friends and Christians you may know.”
We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians.
Of course there is much else we can be praying for – I’d love you to be praying for Lifeline & Roll the Rock – two charities close to our heart, sharing our values, led by our own people. Both are seeking to develop and grow. Please pray persistently for Carl and Georgie Good (Lifeline) and Andy Wilson (Roll the Rock).
As a church we believe in giving opportunity to work out what God is saying and what to do about it and also opportunities for development as disciples. Here are some things that relate to this:
Nobody gets to the summit of Everest without stopping at Base Camp to adjust and acclimatise. Ben pointed out that you can go as a tourist to Base Camp or as a climber wanting to go on from there to the Summit. Base Camp isn’t for tourists…. it’s for those who are part of Kairos, or becoming part of Kairos to adjust further to being part of a church that believes in Mission Shaped Communities that go and make disciples.
At present we have a whole lot of people for whom Base Camp could be a really good opportunity especially as you explore ‘what next’ after the closure of some of the existing MSCs. Perhaps you are wanting to understand better the vision and values of Kairos or you have a sense of vision for something new but need some time to work it out or perhaps you just want to get to know others better – all good reasons to come on Base Camp. It’s going to fun!
Here are some of the things we will be looking at on Base Camp:
– Our vision and values
– The DNA of the Bible: covenant and kingdom
– Mission Shaped Community
– Practical fishing for beginners
– What is your mission?
There will be sign-up sheets in the 9am service and Gatherings.
It is a great joy when we see young people working out what God is calling them to do. Chloe Wilson is going to be starting a course with the Centre for Youth Ministry based in Nottingham specifically studying working with Families and Children. A significant part of her course is done via placement and she wants to do this with Kairos. We are excited by the opportunity this represents for her and us. We need accommodation for her and also some funding as we had not budgeted for this. We are looking to raise at least 2000 and so on the first Gathering of September (7th) can I invite you to come ready to make an offering either a one off gift or pledging a certain amount throughout the year. Lets all make this work!
We often use the phrase that we are a ‘community of communities’ – the community is all of us and is especially visible at our gatherings.
We gather weekly every Sunday at 9am for communion and I am excited that from September every third Sunday will be a specific focus on prayer for healing – do bring your friends, come yourself, bring the names of people for prayer – we look forward to seeing what God will do.
Our first central gathering of the new term will be on Sunday 7th September. We will continue with our pattern of morning gatherings on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sunday of the month at 10.30am with refreshments from 9.20am. These will all be in the main hall. On the 4th Sunday of the month we meet in the evening for The Up – a gathering for worship and prayer. If you are currently not in a missional community we would especially like to encourage you to come to all these gatherings.
We want to tighten up the way we do morning gatherings, including setup, welcome and hospitality and are looking for people to help us with these things! As a community of communities there is an element of “all muck in” to make this happen so during September, if you are able, please come along early (9:45am) to help.
We have set aside the weekend of the 10th-12th October for our annual celebration of Kairos. Please put this date in your diaries and calendars and keep it at the top of your priority list. The first bit of the weekend 8pm Friday 10th to 8am Saturday 11th will be a night of prayer. We’d love as many people of all ages involved in this as possible. On the Sunday 12th our pattern of worship will be different from usual with worship for all at 10am (there won’t be separate 9am and 10.30am services that day) followed by some workshop opportunities and lunch provided at 12.30pm. It would be fantastic to have everyone connected with Kairos gathering together for this day.
I’ve been thinking about acceleration and especially two things about it.
1) My ability to cause acceleration. As a driver I am aware of the ability I have to make acceleration happen and the effect of it on a vehicle.
2) That you aren’t always in control of acceleration. My eldest child has been learning to drive. He is turning into a very good driver but when I have sat in the passenger seat I have been all too aware of feeling out of control when he accelerates – there are points when you have to just simply go with it – trusting. This feeling is even more apparent when you are in an aeroplane.
I think this coming year is going to be marked by these two things – times when we have to take responsibility to press the accelerator and times when we will have to simply hold on and trust. Yes, I know this isn’t anything new to many of you – but it is amazing how often we act like passengers when we should be drivers and when we act like drivers when we should be passengers – I think we are likely to be ‘discipled’ by Jesus in these areas this coming year.
I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of you at Gatherings and Base Camp but do remember that I am more than happy to meet up with you to talk things through – do get in touch if you’d like to talk more.
What does being a disciple of Jesus mean for the 21st Century Christian and how should that affect the way we live and work? How should it affect the way our churches function?
How do we disciple those who aren’t in our churches?
What does it mean for mission?
This workshop is designed for anyone who wants to think through any of these questions
It will be a day of teaching, interactive workshops, networking and a chance to hear how God is bringing transformation through Missional Communities of ordinary disciples.
We will be running a youth stream alongside the whole day.
You will hear the story of what God has done in and through our church and others, and the principles we have learned along the way. There will be experienced Missional Leaders sharing their stories, and plenty of time to ask questions and interact with experienced practitioners.
Who? This Workshop is designed for church leaders and teams, those exploring Fresh Expressions, small group leaders, ministry leaders, elders and anyone who has an interest in growing a discipling culture at the heart of the church.
When? Saturday 27th September 2014 from 9.30am to 4pm
Where? Kairos Resource Base, Westcliffe Hall, Harlow Terrace, Harrogate, HG2 0PN
Cost? £25 per person (lunch and refreshments included), there is a discount for team members who are volunteers.