About Ben Askew
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It’s all very exciting especially as we really haven’t done a lot to bring these things into being. As a leadership team we have just trusted God, listened to what He’s been saying and had conversations with people around our favourite questions ‘What is God saying & what are you going to do about it?’
Where do you need to trust and wait on God for your MSC right now? It may be you are looking for the next stage of development if you’ve been going a while. It may be that you are just beginning and it all feels a little vulnerable and you’re not quite sure whether people will actually turn up. Here’s one thing I’ve been thinking about this week…let’s be people who lead with the spiritual authority we’ve been given and assume that people want to be involved and invited, that God is working in people’s lives and that He is working towards the vision He’s given you. Let’s be people who are confident in what God’s called us to and who are people who just trust Him as we do what He asks us to.
Have a great week! Helen
The Feast is our annual whole-church celebration. At 10am we will gather to worship together, give thanks for the year that has gone and focus on vision for the year ahead. This year we are delighted that Bishop James will be joining us again to preach.
After the gathering we will have lunch together before hearing from Mark and exploring the different aspects of life together as Kairos. Do stay on and bring some food to share with others.
There will be no central gathering on the 2nd October.
Last week as we worshiped, read the bible and prayed each day at Resource Base I sensed God speaking about deception and obedience to his word.
At one point Andy Wilson shared a reflection on Genesis 3 and challenged us to discern where in our lives deception might be happening as he spoke I was reminded of two things.
Firstly what Henri Nouwen said in relation to prayer: “A life without a quiet centre easily becomes delusional.” Spending time with others in prayer connects me with Jesus the way, truth and life. I am earthed in him and the delusions of grandeur, control, self-salvation are exposed as lies. I am drawn to the quiet centre and there I find rest for my soul.
Secondly I was reminded of a strange reading that we had the day before. 1 Kings 13 is the story of how a prophet brings God’s condemning word against a bad King, Jeroboam. The prophet has been told by God to not eat or drink (presumably on his way home) or return home the same way. Then this prophet is tricked by another prophet (probably jealous) into eating and drinking. Our prophet-hero then gets killed by a lion – God’s judgement on his disobedience and the naughty prophet finds his corpse lying on the road with the lion and the donkey he was riding on standing by. Interestingly verse 28 presents a kind of tableau picturing a corpse on the ground and a lion and a donkey standing beside it with the comment “The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey”.
The story is sad, disturbing, upsetting and profoundly prophetic. As I have read it I find myself seeing a few things in it.
1) Watch out lest we become people who cause others to fall (in Genesis 3 terms – I can be the serpent!) I bet the naughty prophet wouldn’t have tricked the good prophet if he had known the consequences. We need to guard our hearts against deception not only by others, but ourselves. As Nouwen pointed out – we are prone to being delusional. Let’s grow in self-awareness.
2) If God has called you to do something (given you his ‘word’) then obedience to it has to be all the way to the end of that assignment. This means you need to watch out for temptation and deception that can come from unexpected sources. I think this is vital for us: follow through the assignment God has given you – if you are part of a mission shaped community, starting one, hearing God’s call – then follow through.
3) The prophetic tableau in this story of the corpse, lion and donkey communicates two choices that are presented to us as we follow through God’s word. You can be like the donkey, obstinate, proud trusting in your own way, making your own decisions (and ending up like the corpse). Or you can be like the lion (representing the lion of Judah) trusting in God’s word. I choose trust. I want to be a lion not a donkey! You?
Have you seen our latest video? Chris and Kathryn tell us about the Links story:
As we’ve talked with some of the new leaders over the summer the question that’s come up a couple of times is “what shall we do together?” The answer is quite simple – when you get together do Up, In and Out. As you get your rhythm going, as you try to live out your kingdom calling, simply make sure that when you get together there are regular rhythms that help you build relationship – UP to God, IN with each other and OUT to the world. You could do all three in one time together (eg. eat together and share stories of your week – In, worship, read the bible and pray together – Up, plan a way each of your community could bless someone around you in the following week – Out). You could also focus on a particular direction in different gatherings (as Chris and Kathryn mention in the Links video above).
Perhaps your community is re-booting after the summer and you are wondering what to do. Perhaps you are thinking about getting a new community going and aren’t sure how to start. Simply make sure you have a good mix of Up, In and Out together.
What do you think? We’d love to hear back from you. Why leave a comment and tell us what your current Up, In and Out pattern is or tell us a story about an Up, an In or an Out activity that worked really well.