Wednesday 10 December 2008

Some things I like about Newfrontiers

This is in response to Phil's post on the same subject.

Like him I will post later regarding what I view as weaknesses.

Anyone may have all manner of different experiences of Newfrontiers, some positive, some negative. This is a subjective assessment of what it means for me.

I agree with much of what Phil said - so will not repeat some of the good points he makes, which are:
  1. They care passionately about the glory of God
  2. They care passionately about the mission of God
  3. They care passionately about caring for the poor and needy
  4. They care passionately about the Word of God
  5. They care passionately about the presence of God
  6. They know how to give generously
  7. They're learning how to make big calls
  8. They value relationships
  9. The humility of their leaders
Here are mine, off the cuff, things I appreciate.

1) FRIENDS: Yep, pure and simple. I have made many friends in newfrontiers. I like keeping in touch with people I trained with. I like the people we work with locally, and have friends in different places I have met through different projects, mission teams and church visits. I like the people who lead churches we have planted. From Edinburgh to Brighton, from Mumbai to Cape Town, from Brisbane to the next place someone I am friends with goes to plant a Church, I have friends who I know through newfrontiers. I appreciate this immensely.

2) LOVING THE LOST: I like the way more and more Churches are being geared up for mission and for expressing the gospel practically and through direct outreach. I like the way people think about Alpha and Blowing your Cover and Just Walk Across the Room. I like the way there are evangelists who help co-ordinate and encourage mission regionally and nationally. I love the way Frontedge is gaining momentum and actually making mission part of the DNA of each Church. I like the way there is always a gospel preach at Newday. I like the way the teenagers go out onto the streets. I like the way at every level, the church is being mobilised for mission.

3) CRACKING ON WITH IT: I like the way people crack on with it. I like the Church planting teams going out. I like the ministries to the poor starting. I like the new initiatives. I like the way Stoneleigh Bible Week finished even when it was successful. I like the way people just crack on with it - just as we are here in our little bit of it.

4) WORDS AND ACTIONS: I like the way people say stuff they actually do, and hear stuff then actually do it. Mission, church planting, praying for the sick, charismatic gifts, caring for the poor - the challenge goes out and people actually respond. Over the last ten years I have seen the movement change direction, change emphasis and respond to the different prophetic words and different preaches. I like that. I want to respond. I want to be living for what will come not protecting what is. I want to do what I say and say what I do and I am inspired when I see others doing it with their whole lives, like moving a faimly to Tajikistan to plant a church for example.

5) PEOPLE MATTER: This is slightly different to "friends" because these are people I have no ongoing relationship with in a "let's go for a coffee and catch up" sense, but they are people I have met. In short, I like lots of the people I have met. I like their humility. I like their good humour. I like their desire to serve. I like the way they are interested in me. I like the way Steve Tibbert asks after me and cares about me. I like the way Terry Virgo carried his own box of books. I like the way Adrian Holloway asked what we are doing here and does not think he has all the answers. I like the way David Stroud asked me how I am "after being married a year now" which is a good call for someone who knows hundreds of elders in 200 churches. I like the way David Holden does not mind me taking the mick out of West Ham. I like the people.

So to summise - yes I can agree with Phil's points entirely, but summing up this little post I could say - I am priviledged to spend my life building the church, for mission, with some godly humble people, many of whom are my friends.

But is Newfrontiers perfect? Nope. Not at all. That will be my next post.

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