Nigel Ring on March 22nd, 2018

Steve Boon, executive pastor of Emmanuel Church in Brighton, and I continue to talk about multi-site church

Nigel:     So far we have talked about some of the benefits of multi-site as being geography and reduced travel, and also the identification with the local cultural scene. What would you say are the disadvantages of going multi-site rather than building a big centralised church?

Steve:    Yes, there are obviously disadvantages as well as advantages. One of the disadvantages is that with a church of our size there is always a turnover of people who leave for all kinds of reasons. Over one year it doesn’t seem to impact us much but over, say, five years you will have a number of people who may not have strong relationships or know key people in another site. Therefore, to balance that we hold all-church gatherings through the year to help communicate and work hard at playing to the ‘small’ as well as the ‘big’. Both are equally valued. That would be the main disadvantage for me when you are split apart geographically by 6 miles.

Nigel:     I remember from when I was with you up to three years ago I occasionally heard people talking about their site as the ‘XXX church’. Are you happy for people to identify with that community as the church rather than with the bigger church?

Steve:    We recently changed our name to Emmanuel. We encourage people to know first they are a part of Emmanuel Church, not Emmanuel ‘Brighton’, ‘Shoreham’, ‘East Brighton’ or ‘Hove’. It’s ‘Emmanuel’ followed by where they meet such as ‘Emmanuel at the Centre’ or ‘Emmanuel at the Racecourse’. This allows the venue to move around a lot.

Incidentally, not having to own the venues allows you to move around. This was bought home to me when I had the privilege to visit California with Joel Virgo (Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Church) and meet with Rick Warren (Saddleback Church in California) where he said – and I think I am right in quoting this – they had moved 71 times before they actually landed on their main church building. He saw that as a positive. That’s true for multi-site. You don’t have to land on a venue forever but you can move around. The flip side of that is that you can be always looking for venues. Church planters know that experience very well, and those that don’t have their own venue sometimes clamour and save up money to have one. So there are positives and negatives. Two of the biggest positives are you don’t have huge overheads and you have flexibility to move on as you grow.

Next time, in concluding our discussion, Steve will offer specific advice to those who are thinking of exploring multi-site church.


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Nigel Ring on March 15th, 2018

Steve Boon, Executive Pastor of Emmanuel Church, Brighton, and I have speaking about some of the characteristics and benefits of a multi-site church. Now we will consider some of the cultural issues.

Nigel:     I think one of the points you made earlier is that ‘multi-site’ reduces the amount of travel and so makes church meetings more accessible to those living close to that particular venue. There is quite a variety to the social profile of the different populations across the Brighton and Hove conurbation. How is that worked out within an individual site?

Steve:    That’s a really good question. The average age of our church when we did a survey a few years ago was roughly 38. I think we fairly resemble the city in terms of census and age groupings. Brighton has two universities and various colleges so it has quite a young, educated feel to it with a large population with degrees and quite a large number living on their own.

Where the sites are located tends to pull in the demographics from that area. Only one of our venues, or one of our eight services to make it even more pertinent, is an evening service in the centre of the city, and that particularly suits youth, young 20’s and undergraduates.

Another of the benefits of multi-site is that you can experiment at one service. Then what we learn can be applied in others. So the ability to be creative and innovative is massive. That’s one really exciting element to our model. It gets the best out of some people who love to innovate and push us on. For example, the guys who lead the evening service moved it out of the main hall for a season into what we call the Lounge. They also multiplied the number of services in the evening and changed the times, which is easier to do when you don’t have an entire church to communicate to. So you can see our site leaders have tremendous scope to innovate whilst being served with a central team working to a shared common vision and purpose.

Nigel:     What about the economic profile? For instance in the east of Brighton there is lower priced housing, estate-type accommodation, so presumably the people are generally poorer.

Steve:    I’m so glad you asked that question because I wouldn’t have thought to mention this. It certainly applies for the site led by Stephen and Emma Dawson who moved to that part of the City maybe 10 years ago. When they moved they were gradually joined by 20-30 couples and young families over a period of a few years. They served that community and ultimately planted a site there. Yet interestingly we have found consistently that they are one of the most generous sites we have. It’s been really lovely to see a site serve so faithfully and the impact they are having in their local areas is evident year on year.

Nigel:       I am impressed that you always seem to have the facts at your finger-tips!

Steve:      Yes, I enjoy tracking data, trends and possible projections so that true facts can be found, not just impressions. I believe that is important.

Nigel:     Does the predominance of one socio-economic group affect the way a Sunday service is run and its dynamics? For instance what about the length of the preaching? Some of the people going to that site may not have a very high educational level and be leading life through the week in different ways and with different traditions. Do you have any comments on that?

Steve:    The site leader is able to plan their service in a way that fits with their local demographic. However you just don’t know what’s going in sometimes when people are sitting on the seat or participating. Also, the involvement at site level in small groups is important and is touching about 80% so whatever we do at site level is serving those that come on Sundays regardless of the length of the preach or service.

Next time we will look at some more of the benefits and disadvantages of a multi-site church.



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Nigel Ring on March 6th, 2018

Steve Boon, the executive pastor in Emmanuel Church, Brighton, and I are continuing to discuss the multi-site philosophy of church.

Nigel:    Finance inevitably has a bearing on how you operate. How does that work in Brighton?

Steve:    As well as regular giving we have a Gift Day twice a year (some may refer to it as a capital campaign). This will be for our ministries helping disadvantaged people get up-skilled through our Pathways ministry and the other for planting churches. As a church-planting church we have the privilege of training up church planters at site level before sending them on. This has applied for Amsterdam, Ottawa and Berlin where all the current leaders first led sites or meetings in Emmanuel, Brighton. So our model intentionally provides a good training ground.

Nigel:     In 1985, when I was an elder in the church, we created five congregations, which rapidly emerged into five separate churches. This had not been our vision so two years later we pulled them all together again. Is multi-site the same or different from that model?

Steve:    Apart from a couple of the strengths and characteristics I mentioned earlier, multi-site is a tool and not a thing that you can’t change. We have a strap line that ‘everything changes but the gospel’. What was right two years ago is not necessarily what we are going to do forever. Taking an entire church week by week through the same biblical exposition is a big strength and I don’t think that was in play 30 years ago. Then the entire church can follow up in small groups through the week. Some people who talk about multi-site would suggest that perhaps the end result of a multi-site model would be many churches. I do not know what the end for our story is. We just want to be able to hand something on and I am sure the thing will keep evolving.

Nigel:     What would you say are the benefits of multi-site compared to just letting the church grow centrally ad infinitum?

Steve:    I think some of it is geographic and pragmatic, whilst also prophetic. For example in our context for Brighton, UK, if you’ve been there you would have noted that to the south is the sea, to the north are the South Downs (which are hills!), and so the only way we could go is left or right, but there is a limit to how far we could go left or right because there are other brilliant churches around.

One of the unwritten rules of multi-site is ‘don’t plant a site where your people are not, plant them where they are’, and so the first site was true of that – in fact all our sites are true of that kind of principle. That helps our local attenders easily invite their neighbours, friends, work colleagues, coffee friends, whatever it is, to a local venue rather than travelling in the car to one large venue for 30 minutes and pay city centre rates to park. Trying to reduce hurdles for some people to come to us is always in our thinking.

Also physical space is expensive in cities or towns or villages, so unless you are given something, or you have a big footprint then that will also be restrictive in terms of how big you can grow. There are always different options, buildings you can look at and try and expand to get bigger and bigger. But because we knew we were going to plant churches, multi-site being an evolving great tool gives us a vehicle of being able to multiply leadership in every single area to the degree that we couldn’t do with one venue, even with three or four services. There’s real strength to that. Having one major venue is not a wrong model. However for our vision, circumstances and leading, the multi-site model really serves us at the moment in helping deliver that vision.

Nigel:     If you had a bigger meeting with 1500 people I guess it would have to be that much more organised, slick and polished than if you had 150?

Steve:    (Laughs) I think the slick, polished thing would be the perception of a big gathering, but I don’t know whether that would be the goal. The more human we can make it and have the grace for when the powerpoint doesn’t work, or the PA speakers blow then that’s healthy from my point of view. Always keen we do not veer off of the grace led leadership whilst always doing the best we can for both the new visitor and the longest serving member.

Next time we will look at some of the cultural issues related to multi-site.



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Nigel Ring on February 28th, 2018

In recent years several churches have favoured becoming ‘multi-site’ or ‘multi-campus’ over growing a central congregation. This approach allows more flexibility to respond to the needs of a local community. Emmanuel Church in Brighton, formerly Church of Christ the King (CCK), was one of the first churches in the UK to adopt this model. Recently I had the opportunity to talk with one of the elders, Steve Boon, who played a significant part in his role as executive pastor in transitioning the church to this model.

Nigel:     Steve, how long has Emmanuel been running multi-sites?

Steve:    We launched our first site in the Shoreham area in Autumn 2011, and then, four months later, a third site in the east of the city at the Racecourse. Two years on from there we launched our fourth venue in Hove.

Nigel:     Does that mean you have four meetings on a Sunday?

Steve:    One of the venues has three meetings – one of them being a Polish service – one of the sites has only one service, and two of the sites have two services, but they all have plans to go to extra services at some point.

Nigel:     Do those services have a different flavour to them or is it just purely a convenience of time of day?

Steve:    Both. Multi-site allows the site leader to contextualise to their locality. In some locations its very high density with young families and we’ve noticed many gravitate to a 9am service. In other venues the 11am is extremely popular, whilst the evening meeting venue gathers in part young 20’s and undergraduates.

Nigel:     What are the key characteristics that define a multi-site church?

Steve:    There are different models of multi-site church and therefore there isn’t one right model that you can take ‘off the peg’. But it must fit the leadership vision. For us, we have the strength of one eldership team. We also have a central staff who specialise in various areas, such as finance, legal, website communications, worship, kids work, and preaching that serve all the sites. So this in turn allows the site leaders to lead their site, pastor people, welcome new people in, and serve everyone in terms of their local needs with the added value and strength of the weight of more central resource as things they don’t need to worry about. They help shape it, but they don’t need to carry all the oversight, organisation or management for it. So these are important strengths in our particular multi-site model.

Nigel:       Does this affect the way you carry out specific ministries?

Steve:    In the City we work with homeless people and various other mercy ministries, really trying to serve people. We put a lot of effort, time, prayer and finance into these. Such ministries unify us as one church across all the sites whilst equally allowing each site to play its part in their local community.

Nigel:     Are there things that are non-negotiable so that if they are not in place, for instance a common eldership, the church isn’t truly multi-site?

Steve:    I guess it depends on the denominational way you land on it in the role of elders. Our model is that we would have one eldership team, currently with fifteen elders.

Nigel:     How big is the church?

Steve:    We have about 1300 in Brighton, but we are also a church planting church.

Next time we will look at some of the options for implementing a multi-site philosophy.

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Nigel Ring on February 21st, 2018







October 8th 2017
As I arrived at the meeting place of Living Hope Church, Bath, one of the Regions Beyond churches in the Newfrontiers family, I received a WhatsApp message from Donna Bloomfield in Burundi.

“Yesterday we discovered that ‘army worm’, a devastating pest, has ravaged a maize crop grown by Albert, our newest team member. This pest has destroyed his whole crop .… and is already destroying crops across Africa. It is on the site next to the community of displaced people we are helping. It seems we therefore can’t plant maize with them as planned. We have prophetic words about fruitful farmlands and no more starvation … so we are on our knees seeking God for a way forward not just for us but for the nation. We are meeting this afternoon to pray and the whole team will meet tomorrow before we have to break the news to our friends. May God give us wisdom and a strategy right from his heart”.

God’s whisper
Earlier I had felt God whisper into my heart to share on prayer that morning. What an opportunity this presented for us, as a church, to stand with these dear people who were living in abject poverty and put prayer into practice!

While praying God led us to two scriptures:

I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:11

Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham….. And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. Gen 26:1, 12 

I shared these with Donna. The following day she responded that these scriptures had been hugely significant. “God led us so clearly today that we are to proceed and plant the maize as planned, trusting God that it won’t be devoured”. She explained that the team had felt God had spoken to them and asked them, “What does success look like?” and that it was actually to serve the nation in finding a way to overcome the pest that could otherwise cause starvation across the nation by devouring the staple crop.

They decided to go ahead as planned using the Foundations for Farming technique (originally called Farming God’s Way) developed by Brian Oldreive in Zimbabwe and taught to the Burundians by Mike and Annette Derry from the UK, who had themselves been trained in Zimbabwe.

That afternoon the team received a message from a member of the Foundations Team in Zimbabwe that washing up liquid, watered down and sprayed on the crops should kill the army worm. They went straight to Albert’s plot to test it and it worked!

Now they could also serve their neighbours by showing them this method to save their crops.

Let me tell the rest of the story in pictures.

October 10th
The next day planting begins.








October 26th – 16 days later








December 6th – a further 6 weeks
Faithful and diligent labour produces stands higher than the people! Some seeds have grown multiple stalks – previously unknown to the originators of Foundations for Farming.






January 30th 2018 – Another 8 weeks
Faithfulness produces abundance, with several stalks producing 3 cobs, but all significantly more substantial than those grown by conventional methods. The next field was planted a few days earlier according to traditional farming methods. Neighbours are now asking to be taught the new method.

God’s way                                                  Man’s way

February 2nd
Time for harvest










Lessons to learn
1. God delights to answer prayer
2. God honours faithfulness and diligence
3. God blesses those who are poor and downtrodden

Give us this day our daily bread….

Thank you Jesus!

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A culture of Honour
Harmony and mutual honouring are vital ingredients for a successful working relationship between elders and trustees. Where there is tension, or competitiveness for authority or recognition, there is discord, which does not honour God.

I chaired the trust for the Church of Christ the King in Brighton for over 30 years and was an elder for about 25 of those years. Throughout that time I sought to lead the trustees with an attitude of support and honouring of the elders while not shying away from asking penetrating questions. I felt this was the best way to serve the eldership; we could be a sounding board on which vision and values could be developed. With our expertise we could enrich and strengthen their decision-making with knowledge and skills that would not otherwise have been available to them. But we were neither managers of the church nor merely ‘rubber stamps’ to the elders’ decisions.

Faith – not optimism
One of the areas in which I most enjoyed my time in these roles was in the exercise of faith for finances. As a trustee I saw my role as being one of ensuring that the elders fully understood the financial consequences of strategy they were setting and plans they were making. I did not allow ‘faith’ to hinder the presentation of facts – if the budget did not ‘add up’ I made that clear. However, once I was confident that the elders understood the financial challenges any course of action might present, and were genuinely in faith (not optimism) that God would provide, I loved joining them in prayer to exercise that faith and see the provision come about. We had a wonderful history we had of seeing God provide on many occasions!

For elders and trustees to flow well together there should be robust harmony. This calls for spiritual maturity by all concerned to prevent opinions being expressed inappropriately and without humility. It must be acknowledged that all are moving in the same direction towards the same goal and the only discussion is around the route and resources to get there.

I like the analogy in the excellent paper “Guide to churches on spiritual leadership and trustees” produced by Stewardship. There the writer takes the analogy of a vessel at sea. The elders define the destination and then together they and the trustees chart the course and obtain the resources etc.

Division or Discord?
A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Matt 12:25). That is a principle which certainly applies to the church. The relationship between elders and trustees must be carefully nurtured and safeguarded. Working in harmony and with honour one to the other is a recipe for a strong church which honours the Lord. The alternative is discord and dislocation.

Elders are the spiritual, God-anointed and God-appointed leaders of the local church, the Kingdom-demonstrating change agent in the community. A charity is the world’s system to ensure that publicly donated funds are used for the charitable purposes specified. These two over-lapping entities, the church and the charity, can either be seen as being in competition, or they can work together in harmony for greater fruitfulness.

Represented by the elders and trustees respectively, the harmonious working of these two legal entities can only be realised if there is a mutual determination to achieve the best-of-the-best from both. But there is a choice. They can either be in conflict or they can support one another. It is for the elders and trustees to choose by their attitudes and actions which path to take. I earnestly urge you to choose the latter. That will bring glory to God.


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Nigel Ring on February 7th, 2018


The primary roles of a trustee of a charity are legal and financial, specifically

  1. Safeguarding the charity by ensuring that the objects and purposes for which it exists are observed both inclusively and exclusively i.e. not operating outside the purposes for which it exists
  2. Ensuring good stewardship of finance

Trustees are not governmental over the ministry and direction of the church; that is the elders’ calling.

There is a third important role which I will deal with first; being an informal ‘sounding board’ of the church members to the elders. Sadly, people sometimes put elders on a pedestal, something I hate and something that no good leader would ever seek. Jesus put a towel around his waist and washed the disciples’ feet. But the people may nevertheless be reluctant to tell elders their true concerns.

Church trustees usually have less profile than elders and as a result may be more aware than the elders of any concerns. They can keep elders informed.

Protecting the objects of the charity
Much that a church does under the umbrella of a charity is assumed unless specifically excluded. For instance, a charity is usually directed in some way to helping those who are poor or in need. So, although this may not be precisely included in the objects it is nevertheless a part of a church’s work and ministry.

But there may be other objects that are more specifically defined – overseas mission, training etc. It is the role of the trustees to ensure that all the activities of the church falls under one of the objects stated and that it does not stray into other unstated areas such as business. (Business is, in fact, possible under certain circumstances, but it is beyond the scope of this short series and needs to be handled carefully with legal advice)

All legalities must of course be observed. Particularly, there are various procedures and protocols that are the trustees’ responsibility. These include ensuring that appropriate safeguarding policies are in place (eg child protection), risk assessments are carried out and regularly reviewed, health and safety matters are being dealt with, and so on. Stewardship have some helpful papers including some on trustees such as Frequently Asked Questions.

Much of the income of a church comes from the generosity of the members, often sacrificially. It is the role of the trustees to ensure that such funds are handled responsibly and accountably in a way that reflects the trust and the purposes for which such funds are given. They protect the interests of the donors by ensuring that finance is not mishandled.

Part of this stewardship is ensuring that there is good practice in all matters related to finance, from handling cash to budgeting, keeping records, producing management accounts and so on. Also, that where donations are made e.g. to an overseas ministry, there is good accountability and the trustees are satisfied that the funds are used for the intended purpose.

They should also ensure there is a ‘reserves policy’ i.e. funds available to cover any reasonable but unexpected eventuality. Typically this is expressed in terms of a number of months’ turnover.

One important application of finance may be the employment of church staff. In overseeing this it is important that the trustees protect the interests of the staff through providing for pensions, regulating holidays etc without turning the staff, particularly the eldership, into ‘hirelings’. The staff should be managed by the spiritual oversight; the trustees must just ensure that all good employment practice is in place. For example, it is not for the trustees to create job descriptions but merely to ensure that, where they exist, they are appropriate and permissible.

Who should be trustees?
It is tempting to think that the elders should also be the trustees. This would remove the ‘two-headed monster’ syndrome referred to in part 1. But this denies the benefits of additional skills being made available to the elders which they may not already have, particularly legal, financial, building management, human resources etc. A carefully selected board of trustees allows such professional skills to be available which may be invaluable to the health of the church.

In the final part of this series we will look at the ways in which elders and trustees can work together.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own. Legal advice should be sought appropriately before acting on any of these observations.


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Nigel Ring on January 31st, 2018


As we consider the relationship between elders and trustees it is important to know what the distinctives are of these two bodies of people.

First, elders must be those who are recognised as being commissioned by God. One day they will stand before the judgment seat of God and be asked to give account for all the people in their care (Heb 13:17). If they have never been commissioned (ie maybe have just seen ‘elder’ as a title) there could be a few embarrassed faces! So laying on of hands for eldership is no light matter and should follow a period of serious prayer and seeking God’s mind. And this comes after there has been a thorough testing and proving of such men according to Biblical principles.

Job Description
You will not find a detailed job description for an elder in the Bible (nor for other leaders). Why not? It seems that God is more interested in the stewardship of his gifts and in character than in function.

First, God imparts gifting to potential elders and tests them to see how faithfully they use these gifts to equip, encourage and console the church (1 Cor 14:3). Second, he looks at character, as Paul spells out in his first letter to Timothy (1 Tim 3:1-7). Here are a few of the distinctives he specifies: ‘above reproach’ (v2), ‘self-controlled’ (v3), ‘manages his household well’ (v4), not ‘puffed up’ (v5), ‘well thought of by outsiders’ (v6), and so on. (This is not a complete list; I encourage you to study the passage.)

Once God sees mature character qualifications he imparts the skills and gifts necessary to fulfil the calling, which will vary from one person to another eg leadership, pastoral care, teaching, etc. and then appears to leave it to the individual to carry out the role in a suitable way. The ways in which these are outworked will be determined both by that person’s own spiritually mature judgement and also by the needs of the local eldership team working for the health of the church. That is servant leadership.

Tested first
Let me dwell a little longer on one specific character qualification, ‘well thought of by outsiders’ (1 Tim 3:6). This is similar to ‘tested first’ a few verses later when Paul teaches about the appointment of deacons (1 Tim 3:10). It is also echoed in ‘of good repute’ in Acts 6:3, referring to those called and appointed by the apostles to resolve a significant pastoral issue in the early church. Reputation and a good track record are vital for successful leadership. The people in the church need to have already demonstrated their willingness to follow these potential leaders before elders are formally commissioned to that responsibility. It is easier  and more comfortable to ‘commission’ than to ‘de-commission’, so it is wise not to rush such appointments.

Not democratic
Finally, there is one very important point to note. Having a good reputation does not imply that elders should be appointed by popular vote. Church is not a democracy. As already referenced above, in Acts 6:3 the early church leaders called for men of ‘good repute’ to be brought to them. These were ‘set before them’ (interviewed?) and then, after careful consideration, they prayed and laid hands on them (Acts 6:6). That is an important principle to follow for any leadership role.

What about trustees? We will look at the distinctives of these next time.

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Nigel Ring on January 25th, 2018


I am now returning to another of the questions I have been asked to address. This one is the most common of all the questions I am asked. It relates to the relationship between church elders and trustees. It is a good question and one that is important to consider seriously as, sadly, I have seen churches split apart because the relationship between these two bodies has been one of tension and disagreement.

Authority and the church
The core issue is ‘Who has the governing authority over the church?’ In order to answer this it is necessary to consider what, or rather who, the church is.

At its simplest the church is a community of Christ-followers who are seeking to live out their faith in total obedience to Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit and tenaciously holding to the authority of scripture, the inspired word of God. As such this community is a local demonstration of the Kingdom of God on earth, although I acknowledge that there is much about that demonstration that is imperfect; as some would say, ‘the kingdom now and not yet’ (ie we do not yet see the kingdom in all its fullness). It is for this reason that we still pray ‘Your kingdom come…’

From this definition it is clear that that church community is first and foremost a spiritual community led by God-commissioned leaders who hold the ultimate authority. For this reason it is vital that church elders understand the Biblical teaching on servant leadership; they are not there to lord it over the people but to serve them (cf 1 Pet 5:1-3). Failure to see this can result in autocratic leadership which is anything but Biblical.

But what about trustees, you might ask? Where do they fit in? Surely, as the guardians of the charity under which the church is constituted, they hold the ultimate authority? It is true that they certainly have an important role to fulfil which I will explore further, but the ultimate governing authority must rest with the elders if this spiritual community is to be led according to God’s order.

A two-headed monster?
Because there are two bodies who have a measure of authority into the church we have the possibility of a the church being a two-headed monster. This is because churches in many countries have to be registered with a legal instrument, such as a charity, and the trustees of that charity do have responsibilities, and thus power and influence, in the church. But if their roles are clearly understood the two-headed monster scenario disappears. It is not the inevitable result.

I have been an elder and a trustee – fulfilling both responsibilities simultaneously for much of that time – and it is possible to have such a high mutual respect that both bodies can function effectively and cooperatively to the health of the church and all its members. By working together the church can in fact be enriched since these bodies often exhibit different skills and giftings all of which can contribute to a more comprehensive view of leadership matters, and as a result they bring more strength to strategic thinking and the decision-making process.

In this short series I will seek to show you how these bodies can work together in harmony to the enrichment of the local church.

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Nigel Ring on January 18th, 2018

Regular readers of my blog will know of my love for and involvement in Burundi. We now have a need and I would really appreciate your financial help.

The Problem
Burundi is one of the poorest nations in the world and one that lives in crisis due to political instability. A few years ago a Burundian friend realised that one of the reasons for so many living in poverty was the cows. He felt God say ‘Cows are the problem – cows are the solution’. Since he implemented the ‘solution’ over 400 families have been lifted out of abject poverty and the number is rising steadily.

Why are cows the problem?
The traditional Ankole long horned cow is seen as a status symbol – the more you have the greater your status. Yet it is in fact bad news! It yields very little milk (max 2 litres per day for 10 weeks after calving), roams and overgrazes the land, keeps children out of school in order to follow them into the hills and so on.

Why are cows the solution?

  • The Friesian cow continuously yields up to 15 litres per day
  • It can be contained in a paddock, thus releasing the children to attend school
  • It can be fed elephant grass, a cash crop which provides income for the farmer
  • 15 litres are far more than most families need in a day so the surplus can be sold
  • All the milk is pasteurised so health is improved
  • Pasteurisation requires labour so provides employment
  • Families, especially children, get improved health through regularly drinking milk
  • Selling the milk provides others with employment
  • Income to the families from the sales allow for school fees to be paid, an improved diet etc

So this is a win-win good news story! Have a look at the video (don’t forget to turn on the sound!).

Milk for Transformation Enterprise 2018

Check out the new Milk for Transformation film and discover in just 2 1/2 minutes how a whole community has been transformed and lives are being impacted across Burundi through cows and their milk. In the coming days we will be sharing plans for scaling up this amazing enterprise so even more people can be helped and how you can be involved. Please like our page to keep updated!

Posted by Hope for Tomorrow Global on Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Milk for Transformation
This project has been running successfully for six years. During that time pasteurisation equipment has been purchased (some specially designed and built) to replace the crude method of boiling all the milk over charcoal. But, due to the current internal unrest it has been difficult to maintain the process; the equipment has had to be repeatedly relocated as it has no permanent home.

How you can help
Now land has been purchased and funds are being sought to put up a building. Are you or your church able to help this important initiative? I rarely use this blog to ask for money but I do so unashamedly now. Will you please help us? You can donate here.

For more information about this initiative please click here.

Thank you!

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