About Ben Askew
Posts by Ben Askew:
I woke one day last week to an article on the Today programme on Radio 4 about the Edinburgh fringe festival. They were discussing the one line joke of the year. For once this was not won by Tim Vine but by Ken Cheng. The joke is, “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change”
As we move into the Autumn it is clear that it is going to be a season of great change for us with Mark moving on, Ben’s curacy inevitably coming to an end and also Sarah’s move to Durham. I guess that there is something in all of us that finds change unsettling. In general I really like change and see it as positive, however over the last few weeks I found myself being unsettled by the changes we are facing. Personally we have even more change as Naomi leaves home at the start of September to start the New Wine Discipleship Year in York.
I’ve been really grateful for the time that we’ve spent at New Wine United and Inspire. It has been helpful to have some time with God away from Kairos. He’s been reminding me just how reliant we are on Him, His Presence, His Spirit to live out our calling to be disciples. To be followers of Jesus, to be those who spend time with Him, who become more like Him and who do what He does.
Towards the end of his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul writes “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
As I’ve reflected on these verses I think there are some important principles for us over the coming weeks. Let’s rejoice in our relationship with Jesus; for the works he has done in our lives and the works he is about to do. Let’s decide not to be anxious but to pray in every situation. Finally, at the start of this season we can decide that in every situation we face we will give thanks to Jesus who is Lord over all.
During the coming weeks there will be gathered opportunities to give thanks, rejoice and pray. Key amongst these are our launch (3 to 6 September) and central gathering on 3 September, the community of practice on 29 and 30 September and the feast on 15 October. The UP on 24 September will be an opportunity to worship and pray together Please prioritise these times as we journey together.
Connect… with God.I’ve found myself reflecting on Psalm 1 and Psalm 23 a lot this summer. Ps 1 tells us that the one who meditates on God’s word is blessed, like a tree planted by streams of water. Ps 23 reminds us that those who listen to God and stay close to him experience his protection and blessing. How can your rest time involve Jesus? How can you listen carefully to him? Over August we’re going to send out two prayer texts a week at noon. Could you (re)start the habit of pausing in the day and making sure you are listening to the Shepherd?
Connect… with Kairos. Part of being family is learning to rest together. There is a little less formal activity going on among us this month, but lets stay connected to one another. Why not join us at a 9am communion or one of the Summer Gatherings? If you are doing something fun could you invite one or two people from your MSC or the wider Kairos family with you? Use (or set up) a Whatsapp or FB group for your MSC to stay in touch, or post some stories, prayer requests or holiday pictures on our Facebook Kairos Family Group.
Connect… with friends. Summer is a great time to notice and connect with those friends around you who are leaning in and wanting some of what God has given you. Be on the lookout for new people – make the most of opportunities to get to know them and share stories together. Let God suprise you with simple mission opportunities as you slow down and pay attention to him.
We believe in training and releasing leaders!
As we approach the summer holidays, we are already planning the leaders‘ programme for the Autumn and Spring. This newsletter contains some key dates for your diary. To help put these dates and events into context, I’ve attached a reminder of our training approach for leaders that we believe is lightweight but robust, and is made up of four key elements.
1. Huddle. A monthly commitment of 1.5 hours where we look at issues of discipleship, leadership and life. This is the key forum we have to keep connected and be a place where you get to chew over the values and tools we use as a church, apply them to your own life and get sharpened in leadership and mission. The commitment is to the huddle leader, to the other huddle members (if you’re not there others miss out!) and to a life of discipleship. Please do make sure you’re prioritising this commitment as much as possible.
2. Community of Practice. A twice-yearly Friday evening/Saturday daytime for MSC Leaders where we get a chance to stop, take notice and reflect on how our MSC is going; what God might be saying about future direction and then to plan for the next 6 months. We try to plan these dates to give you enough notice about when the next one is so you can aim to be there.
3. Leaders‘ training evenings. These usually happen once a term and are designed to give us a little boost in-between the Community of Practice to keep us effective as missional leaders.
4. MSC Coaches. All MSCs have a coach who is there to offer 1-1 support and encouragement to each MSC. They are available however often you wish to meet with them but we recommend having a chat with them at least once a term. They can visit you at a core team meeting or just pop along to an MSC gathering to join in.
If you’ve not managed to make it to your huddle very much recently, then now is a great time to ensure that you prioritize these from the Autumn. We don’t want you to miss out on the training that is there for all leaders. If you are having trouble committing to the day or time of your current huddle, then have a chat to your huddle leader, as we may be making some changes to the days and times next term. We want to make this work as well as possible for everyone.
Thank you for all you do, we really appreciate you. Kairos just wouldn’t exist without you!! We recognise that not all of you are leading a specific thing within Kairos, some of you are leading in other contexts but we want to invest in and release leaders in all sorts of settings – if you have any ideas of how we could do that better please let us know!
Helen and Chris
Kairos are hosting another of our discipleship and mission workshops on Saturday 16th and we’d love you to join us.
We’re convinced that all Christians are invited to live as a disciple in every part of their lives, not just on Sundays in a church service. We will explore ideas about how to live as disciples in our neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, families and communities.
Join us for this workshop where you will hear about some transferable principles and tools as well as stories and examples of discipleship and mission in action. We will think about why size matters and how we might begin to see households of missionary disciples emerge all across our towns, villages and cities. There will be opportunities to discuss together in different workshops, time to worship and pray together and opportunity to connect with other like-minded people.
The day is suitable for church leaders, lay leaders and anyone who wants to live with more than a ‘Sunday-Christian’ mentality. The cost is £25 (concessions available) and includes refreshments and lunch.
More details and bookings at our Eventbrite page.
In our Central Gatherings this term we have been exploring some of the classic New Testament passages on the Holy Spirit. We’ve had some trouble with our recording technology so sadly don’t have all 6 sermons but do have got 3 recordings below, click on each title if you want to download the Mp3.
+Chris Edmondson on John 20:19-23 “Receive the Holy Spirit”
Ben Askew on Acts 1:1-11 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit Comes”
Ben Askew on Galatians 5:16-26 “The Fruit of the Spirit”
Join us as for a week of prayer, worship and mission.
Monday to Wednesday
3 Days of Prayer
Come to the resource base to pray at the following times.
7am – Start the Day
9am – Worship and Word
12noon – Reflective Prayer
4pm – Creative Prayer
8pm – An hour of worship and intercession
Passover Meals in MSCs
leave a comment if you want to find out more.
Churches Together walk and service
Meet 11:15 at Wesley Chapel or 11:30 at the Cenotaph
Simply Easter – 2-4pm, Westcliffe Hall
A chance for all ages to explore the Easter Story together. Expect craft, activities, fun, reflection and chocolate.
Whole Church Celebration at 10am with Communion.
Below are the latest three talks from our central gathering series on encounters with Jesus.