Our very good friends Roll the Rock are hosting a Youthworkers’ Learning Community in April. Head over to their website to find out more.
Monthly Archives: February 2016
There is much that is good happening across Kairos Network Church right now. It’s great to see so many people getting involved with what God is doing. Our MSCs are meeting in a variety of places – homes, pubs, community centres, pre-schools and of course in the Kairos Room. 9am Communion is also gently growing, as people discover this valuable place of worship, prayer and stability.
The story of Kairos is that God is at work among us as we focus on releasing communities of disciples in the mission of Jesus. We want everyone to be able to confidently tell that story. If you and your MSC are planning something interesting please tell us. If you have had a go at something and its worked, or even if it was a bit messy please tell us, if you took a photo of your MSC in action please show us! Be confident about your bit of the story and tell it!
As well as telling our story, we want to get better at asking others to tell theirs. If you are interested in finding out what is going on with an MSC then ask. If you want to know what it is that you can be praying for, for MSCs, for Lifeline and the other ministry areas that are emerging amongst us – then ask!
How do you ask? Who do you tell? Well the short answer is anyone and anywhere! There are lots of connecting points: 9am Communion, The Up, Central Gatherings, Huddles, etc… How can you make the most of these to share a bit of your story and find out someone else’s? We also have a team working to keep communication flowing as well as we can – look out for stories on What’s Up What’s On and MSC News, keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube feeds. You can easily contact us on any of those platforms or email KairosComms@gmail.com. Go on, try it out – ask us a question, tell us something. Let’s get better at sharing our story together.
Over the last 8 years I’ve been involved in developing and planting a church that is focussed on releasing people as disciples who fully participate in the mission of God. It became clear early on that the most important thing to do was listen. This was followed by the recognition that listening without making a response was foolish – the two had to come together. Another recognition was that hearing and responding had to move from being in the hands of the specialists to being for every Christian everywhere. One of my deepest desires is to see that everyone involved in my sphere of influence is able to hear God, respond obediently & go where he leads.
Cath Livesey addresses these things in her book “My Sheep Have Ears“: distilled from many years of being an ordinary practitioner- a hearer & responder. She uses practical illustrations and stories to help us see how we, as ordinary ‘sheep’ of the shepherd, can hear his voice in the ways unique to us, as well as the whole flock benefitting from hearing God.
In the chapter entitled ‘Learning to tune in’, Cath focuses on the change of mind that is required. I love how practical, biblical, and simple her approach is – if you struggle to have a personal practice of listening or are helping others to do so, this chapter couldn’t be more helpful.
Furthermore, she helps us explore why prophecy is actually normal for the church, and for all disciples. Cath gives simple steps to being able to hear God for others; moving it from the super-spiritual zone it often occupies in the church to very practical. The more you read the more you run out of excuses about being unable to hear God’s voice!
Where the first three chapters focus in on our personal & individual activation as sheep that can hear & respond, chapters four to six examine more deeply the gift of prophecy, the function of prophetic ministry in the church and crucially how to support and release this for the benefit of everyone. This is especially useful for church leaders & those who are recognising that they have a call to grow in the prophetic ministry as a gift to the whole church and not function as rather spooky, slightly nutty, self-servers!
She handles relevant scripture carefully, unpacking passages in a comprehensible and thought provoking way. Making clear the benefits gained by all God’s people if the ability to hear God is fully released, both as a normal fact of life for all disciples and also a gift to the whole church, ministered through people who are called to be ‘ministry’ prophets.
In the final part of the book Cath helpfully engages with different types of God’s revelation and how to respond as God reveals things to us. Cath makes comprehensible what lots of others make incomprehensible, giving practical steps and leaving you with a real sense that you can respond to what God is saying.
I have a must-read list of books to do with discipleship and mission. This book goes onto that list because it is crucial that we grow in being able release the whole flock to hear and respond. My Sheep have Ears is a vital contribution to this. Read it!
Cath is part of Accessible Prophecy, a ministry helping churches grow a prophetic culture.
“Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave to you”. Joshua 1
We can’t separate love and obedience. We might like to try sometimes but we can’t. Jesus says “If you love me you will obey my commands” (John 14:15) Paul says: “I want to know Christ… so forgetting what is behind I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me.” (Phil 2: 12 – 13). To the people of Israel in Joshua 1 God says: “Be strong, I’m with you, be careful to obey my commands.”
Following Jesus is supposed to be simple – Love God and do what he says. Leading or being part of an MSC is supposed to be just as clear – be a community that loves God and follows his way.
Too often we complicate it with our buts and ifs. How does this work?, What about so-and-so? Did God really say that? We muddy what is simple, when God would want us to stay clear and focused.
So how do you keep your MSC simple? The Up, In, Out triangle is a really useful tool here. It’s modeled on Jesus pattern of life; time in intimate connection with the Father, time with close friends and family, time serving the world in Mission. How do you lead an MSC? Make a regular pattern of doing Up, In, Out together. You won’t be able to do all of this in one meeting so fix some simple repeatable patterns across a month and stick to them. Sometimes this will mean doing more than one MSC thing a week; if that’s the case then you are doing it right!
The other way to keep it simple is to regularly come back to what God told you to do in the first place. Every MSC grows out of a sense of vision or purpose: a thing you want to be, a part of the world you want to make better, a group of people you want to bring to Jesus. As you started there may well have been bible verses or prophetic pictures that were particularly import. Obeying God’s call means regularly coming back to these and using them as the measure. How are we doing with this… what are we doing well? What needs to change?
We recently did this with Ohana – we got together and looked at the bible verses and descriptions that we felt God give us as we started. We reminded ourselves that we are called to help families flourish and to see that no-one is left behind. To see one generation tell God’s work to the other (Psalm 104) to make sure the lonely find a place in family (Psalm 68). It was encouraging! We realised what we were doing ok! We reminded ourselves why we exist and we got some good challenge about what might need tweaking in each of our lives.
What has God called you to do as a community? Go looking for the things that will remind you, then simply do it.