Friday, 8 April 2011

Jubilee Plus

The lead elder of our Church, Martin Charlesworth, has started blogging at Jubilee Plus, "Where justice & mercy meet".

This is part of his new role within Newfrontiers helping to develop social action and political engagement.

As always, a new team has been formed. There are no one man bands.

It is really interesting to see how something which was stated as a value is being turned into a reality. It will be really exciting to see the progress of this new venture.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

David Oliver

I first came into contact with David Oliver at a Care for the Family event in Shrewsbury that our Church hosted about 7-8 years ago.

He later came to a Mission Shrewsbury united service and again was very well received.

Fast forward 5 years and we are planning a Men's Day and both my colleague Martin and myself both thought of David.

My brother knew him well from his time working at Care for the Family so I was able to get his email address and send out a speculative invitation.

I was surprised that David remembered me. He even remembered when i took him and his colleague for a curry after the event 7 years ago. He seemed up for it and so the idea was birthed.

With him coming for the men's day it seemed an absolute home banker to ask him to stay for the Sunday too. Daniel chapter 1 brought to life and brought into real life in a way I have not heard before. Not like that.

I think one of the reasons David stands out is whatever I or my fellow elders say about the workplace. However highly we value it. However long we worked in it before become a full time elder. In the back of their mind, or on their lips is the simple thought "Yeah, but it is easy for you, you work in a Church".

What hits you about David Oliver is that he is a really successful businessman. He is not some prosperity gospel type, but rather humble, funny and raw. And he is doing it, living it, seeing it. His stories are from real people he meets, real success he sees and real mistakes he makes.

And he is 100% evangelical, charismatic, local Church. Prayer in the workplace. The prophetic in the workplace. the kingdom of God in the workplace. Suddenly people are seeing a bridge between their Church world and their work world that they had never seen so clearly before.

So in other words, he is a high flyer in the business world but he is one of us.

Having preached on Sunday morning many people responded for prayer, and as I left someone who I deeply deeply respect, the kind of bedrock church member who you really trust what they say said to me "I think that is one of the best outside speakers we have ever had"

If you are looking for a speaker to encourage your Church in the area of seeing the impact of your faith in your workplace: I am yet to find someone better than David Oliver.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Gathering the blokes

We had a great day on Saturday with about 50 blokes out at a nice venue in the Shropshire countryside.

We were priviledged to host David Oliver as a guest speaker and he was simply superb.

Three main sessions on the workplace (wherever that is, home, education, the office, high paid, low paid, retired) and then one really pithy session on the myth of work/life balance and what our time is really worth.

He really was exceptional.

In a movement really seeking God along the lines of the "Everything" conference I thought what David brought was absolutely nail after nail being whacked on the head.

We worshipped. We prayed. And the sight of a room full of blokes laying hands on one another, some loud, some quiet, some weeping some laughing, all seeking God, will live with me for quite some time.

We finished the day with a Hog Roast as the spring sun set over the walled garden. As I went to bar I thought Wood's Parish seemed an apt choice!