From small beginnings…

Christian ministry, Church Planting, Newfrontiers, News
Last Sunday was a day of great celebration as the Kings Church Mid-Sussex met to celebrate the opening if their new building. In opening the meeting Jim Partridge, the Lead Elder, shared how the local Member of Parliament had said that what this church had achieved was a miracle. I like it when the world acknowledges the greatness of God! It all started in 1968. A small group of believers began to meet in my wife Janita's and my home in Scaynes Hill to study the Bible together. The co-hosting couple (we actually met in their home on the first occasion) suggested inviting a friend of theirs to come and speak - Terry Virgo walked through the door! In 1973, following a prophetic word he had received at his home…
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Toxic Charity – how churches and charities hurt those they help

Books, Christian ministry, Equipping, Good Practice, Poor, Relief and Development, Social Enterprise
This is a provocative book - a 'must read' for those working among people who are poor or disadvantaged, espcially in an urban setting. But first, the church I belong to (CCK, Brighton) was live on BBC television last Sunday? This  was a one hour Pentecost service. You can watch it on this link. When helping hurts In recent months I have been recommending widely When helping hurts. As the title suggests our well-intentioned generosity may sometimes cause greater problems rather than relieving them (but not always!). It looks critically at the damage we can cause, particularly with cross-cultural ministry among the poor, and suggests how we can improve our practice. Toxic Charity Here is another thought-provoking read to make you think through your stance on how you really can…
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The secret ingredient

Christian ministry, Development, Equipping, Good Practice, Poor, South Africa
Gospel Impact As I travel to churches helping them think through the key issues to launch a ministry with the poor I invariably contrast what the church has to offer compared to secular NGOs and aid agencies. There are areas of similarity and areas of contrast. The biggest contrast is that we have a ‘secret ingredient' - the Gospel. We are able to approach the ministry God has laid on our hearts knowing that we go into situations in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Angela Kemm I first met Angela in 1987. Working out of what is now called Jubilee Church, a Newfrontiers church in Cape Town, South Africa, Angela regularly stepped out of her comfort zone and went into the communities living in tents and…
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The joy of Serving

Administration in the Church, Christian ministry, Conference Administration, Equipping, Together on a Mission, Together on a Mission
A serving spirit I love being with people who have a serving spirit! Last week we had a great 'away day' with the team who were the ‘behind the scenes' people at TOAM. The purpose was to say ‘thank you' to them and to mark the end of over three decades of running major events for the Newfrontiers family. These began in 1979 with the Downs Bible Weeks (there is a video on this link). They were followed in 1991 with the Stoneleigh Bible Weeks and finally the TOAM conferences which began in 1990 though, in their present form as an annual conference with two streams, Leaders and Mobilise, they have taken place since 2002. We had with us some from Endis, the team who have served us with the…
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Development Studies from a Christian perspective – pt 2 – Becoming contributors to Mission

Christian ministry, Development, Equipping, Poor
Having explored some of the definitions of ‘Development' and ‘the Poor' in the last blog we will now look at some of the differences between the world's and church-based models. First, I would like to look at a variant of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of need. Maslow's pyramid of need Maslow was a psychologist who developed a theory of how our actions are determined by our physical and emotional states. In his pyramid he has five levels of need: 1. The physiological needs - food, water etc 2. The safety and security needs - protection including housing 3. The love and belonging needs - the need for belonging in a community 4. The esteem needs - personal recognition by the community 5. Self actualisation - to be what you are meant…
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Ministry Health Check pt 6 – The ‘NGO’ statements

Christian ministry, Equipping, Evaluation, Good Practice
Last time we looked at the statements that have a spiritual impact. In this final part of the series I list those statements that we would expect to apply to any work of this nature, whether Christian or secular, NGO or Aid Agency. These are coloured green in the PowerPoint presentation. 9. Who? It is clear who the ministry is for, why we are doing it and what is the best approach It is known what other ministries provide a good model and where there are the gaps in provision It is known what service clients want 10. When? The ministry has clearly defined objectives and activities with a structured schedule and budget There are short, medium and long term plans with a built in flexibility so as to be…
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