Nic Harding has just released an expanded and updated version of his book ‘Living on the Frontline: A Beginners Guide to Spiritual Warfare.’ It’s a must read for anyone wanting to learn both the defensive ways of warfare prayer, but also how to pray to see God’s Kingdom advance in our nation. Listen to him talk about the book with Ben Askew.
Part of our vision as Kx is to see 1 missional expression of church planted for every 1000 people in England and Wales. That’s over 56,000 missional households, communities or churches in every neighbourhood across our villages, towns and cities. Now, we’re not going to be able to do this on our own – God is doing exciting things across our nation with lots of different churches, networks and organisations. But we want to plant our flag in the ground to say this is one of the key things we are focusing on over the next few years and hope you will join us in praying for and seek to plant #1in1000 in your area.
Here is a #1in1000 story from one of HBC Chester’s Missional Communities, called “Welcome” Missional Community.
‘As part of our missional community, we have operated a group called ‘International Forum, Chester’ for about a year. This group aims to welcome and engage with internationals in the Chester area. The IF group meets monthly in a neutral hired venue and has a talk for 20-30 minutes on a topic of international interest. Our numbers of attendees vary between a handful and 20. We have several Muslims from different countries who really enjoy the group and have become good friends.
In the summer we put on an additional event in conjunction with our broader Missional Community and wider people of peace. We had a BBQ in the local park and played ‘croccer’, a camp game based on cricket using a football. Our Muslim friends loved this event, and one of our Ugandan friends went to town bringing his BBQ and lots of food to share. Meanwhile friendships deepened and conversations went to a new level.
Our friends are asking questions about Christian faith and we have been able to share discussions in a natural and respectful way.’
One of the training options that we offer to churches is our Learning Communities. These are generally 4 immersions spaced out over 2 years and are an intensive way of getting teaching, process time and strategic planning for church leaders and their teams. The Tunbridge Wells Learning Community have just finished their 3rd immersion and Sean Dooley sent us this story about how they’ve been raising other leaders up to run LCs themselves.
“One of the great things about the Tunbridge Wells LC is that it has been the vehicle for Frontier Leader Training. We are clearly modelling to all the participants on the LC the taking of LC leaders around the discipleship square (see diagram). We deliberately point out to the participants on the LC that, for example, ‘Andy Strajnic is now doing L3 as a LC leader on this third immersion. Please encourage and support him.’
We call it Frontier Leader Training because we are taking a select group of people who have not only internalised missional discipleship, but are living it and have the anointing to coach others in it. Our hope is that they will be the guys that will develop missional discipleship training for other church leaders in their relational networks, using the 3DM material. In other words, that they would be leaders on the frontier of training church leaders in mission and discipleship. In turn doing what I have done with them – training other Frontier Leaders. In fact, Phil Stokes is doing that as I write!
I spoke to Paul Maconochie (Director of 3DM USA) recently and he reminded me that getting a movement going requires doing the same things, in the same way, over and over, until people ‘get it’ and begin to run with it themselves. The guys we are training are leaders on the frontier of making that happen in our nation and that is no overstatement. There are still thousands of churches in our nation that have not even begun to ask the right questions about what is wrong with the church, let alone begun to search for the answers. There is still massive scope for Learning Communities.
Those currently on Frontier Leaders Training are Andy Strajnic, Phil Stokes, Nic Bradshaw and Richard Glazier.”
FORM is an intensive year-long discipleship internship for young adults, currently running in 4 locations in the UK and also in the USA. Here are a few stories from this years trainees at Form Fort Wayne, Indiana about what God has done with them over the past year.
“FORM Fort Wayne year number two was a great success! We had nine new trainees and three young adults returning for a more intense year of leadership training. Here are some questions we asked them with answers…
How has FORM been worth the investment of the cost and nine months of your life?
Without FORM it would have taken me probably nine years instead of nine months to learn to hear the voice of the Lord – Hannah
It help me grow in commitment- Ross
FORM has been worth the cost because it has made a substantial and lasting difference in how I view my relationship with Christ, my relationship with others, and what following God with my whole life really means – Malachi
FORM has drastically changed my life. It has pruned my character, altered my life goals, produced many skills I was unaware I had, and has given me a deep hunger and thirst for Holy Spirit, His presence and His power – Wardell
It has taught me how to live opposite the American dream and truly live a life worth living and for a worthy God -Hayden
I think Form is an amazing opportunity. Giving up a whole year to hear/pursue God I think is something God really honors. If you allow Him, God can radically change your life through Form. It is definitely worth your time because it teaches you how to live in community and gives you some great tools to help you in your relationship with God -Brandy
It has shifted my perception of ministry and forever changed my approach to reaching people with the Gospel. Form experience = Priceless – Daren
How have you changed the way you live?
I consult God more with my decision making – Ross
I have an increased focus on intentionally making room for God’s will in my days and decisions both through more set aside time to spend with Him and a greater awareness of His desires for my life – Malachi
I no longer chase money, relationships, or self gratification. I now prioritize my time to read the word, pray, seek Holy Spirit, and share the Kingdom with everyone around me by sharing the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection – Wardell
I’ve gained freedom from sin struggles, as well as I don’t spend all my time worried about the pursuit of the American dream – Hayden
I quit neglecting the “little” stuff and do them despite not knowing the end results – Dan
Creating predictable patterns and rhythms. Used to fly by the seat of my pants, now I’ve learned to keep my belt on, and fastened tight – Daren
I’ve started to see my life differently than I have in the past. Everything is an opportunity. I have started to become more aware of God in day to day life. I’ve started to put on the armour of God before I go to work. I’ve started to see ways I can fight against the enemy. Praying/talking to God is becoming even more important to me – Brandy
You can find out more about Form USA here. Look out for some stories from the UK Form Trainees soon!
Recently at HBC Chester we held an evening with a couple of baptisms – one of the people being baptised was Penny. Penny is a member of the Core Team for one of our Missional Communities – Welcome MC. Penny’s decision to be baptised is a result of the growth in her own personal discipleship journey and a significant part of this have been the commitment Penny has made to be involved in our regular IPODs (Intentional Places of Discipleship – our version of a huddle).
The Welcome MC has developed a strong focus on the People of Peace that a number of the Core team have and they have held regular gatherings where these people have been involved along and they have also started up an “International Forum” This takes place once a month and includes the people of peace telling their stories of living in the UK and what life was like in the country of birth. As a result of the developing and strengthening relationships within the MC Penny was able to invite these People of Peace to come and witness her baptism and to be involved in the evening gathering that it was a part of. At the baptism, 12 people of peace came along, heard Penny’s testimony and began to see the wider context of church and community that the Welcome MC belongs too.
Mark and Anna Burgess lead Oikos Peru, a movement planting extended families on mission in cities and villages. They’ve recently been in the UK and have visited some Kx Churches. Here is a short update about what God is doing with them.
Our Missional Community’s vision is to reach our neighbours around the area we live in Liverpool.
We started with 2 other families, so 6 adults and 6 kids in total. We wanted our MC to be an extended family on mission, so it was important from the start to build it around stuff that works for the kids and with people that were willing to share their lives with us.
So every Friday, 5pm we gather together for food. We rotate between our houses (all spitting distance from each other), and we do it ‘bring and share’ style. Easy – no fuss. So 5pm till 6pm we eat, chat, catch up. We draw the kids into a bit of prayer. Occasionally we’ve had a kids bible story. We regularly have neighbours join us. Then 6pm till 7pm we alternate between dads and mums accountability. So one week the dads take the kids back home and the mums meet together, then the following week the dads meet.
We try and focus this around the learning circle and 2 discipleship questions (What is God saying & what are you going to do about it?) We pray together. We find that because we’re sharing what’s going on in our lives through our Facebook, when we do meet, we can pray for one another with greater understanding. More recently another family have joined us that we led to faith a while back, but have been on the fringes for some time. It’s been a real joy to see them get committed and grow in their faith.
Once a month we do something more outwardly focused, so we tend to invite neighbours over for a drink, or extended one of our birthday parties out to the MC and neighbours so we can connect with them. We have a cycle of bigger outreach events for our housing estate, summer BBQ, bonfire night, Christmas carols and christingles, Easter egg hunt etc. Loads of people turn up to these and we’re building relationships with our neighbours.
Here is a great bit of story from a church which has been involved in Learning Communities and how they’ve seen growth in their church and development of new missional communities.
“I had in mind to thank you properly for all the support you give to the wider church and particularly the help to us as a church. It has been invaluable and we see the kingdom advancing through your endeavours – Thank you so much; we see you as a real gift from God to the church.
Despite not attending the latest round of learning communities we are making steady progress with our missional communities. As you know, we decided not to go for the big bang and started with two pilots. We now have 3 MC’s and plans for a 4th and maybe a 5th. The pleasing thing is that each one has started ‘bottom up’ with people approaching the leadership. Inspiring stories are starting to come and it is exciting:
– We have one group for the ‘more mature’ and have an event this Friday to which we expect about 20 ‘not yet believers’ from nearby sheltered accommodation where we have been given an open door to go in and out.
– We run a group for families with children with disabilities and special needs. This is proving a real blessing for families and we are even getting people referred to this group from outside – amazing.
– We have started a third called ‘Cafe of Hope’ for all the contacts and friends we make through the cafe.
– For our next one, which is in embryo, we have a vision statement and leader for ‘Life cycle’, based upon the men’s cycling group but with a wider remit.
This term our sermon series has been based in the book of Romans. As we have done this we looked at the ‘one another’ verses that can be found in the Bible (did you know there are over 50 of them?), so we called the series ‘Love One Another-Living as Family’. This is how we introduced the series to the church:
“We are looking forward to exploring what these different ‘One Another’ passages mean. One of the ways we are going to do this, that we’d love you to start thinking about will be to encourage everyone to get to know one another better by eating together in each other’s houses; a sort of ‘Come dine with me’ but without the rating system! The value behind this is to enable us to get to know each other better and give attention to who we are called to be as the people of God.
The series is going to start on 29th January and will last for 9 weeks, so get the dates in your diary and perhaps put up 1 Peter 4:8-9 on your fridge. ‘Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. Open your homes to each other without complaining.’
And if you really want to go deep, the greek word for ‘One another’ is ἀλλήλων, pronounced ‘ah-LAY-loan’. Try and drop it into conversation during coffee time….people are certain to be impressed.”
We’ve had a number in the church talking about how they have loved getting to know different people through this series. They’ve been invited to houses and then on the back of that have been inspired to invite people to their houses in return. These people then themselves go on to invite people and so on.
One of the great things about it is that it’s encouraged people from across the ages and different groups in the church to meet together and find out about each other which is helping to give a greater sense of family. We used the twitter hashtag #tweetyoureat to share the fun!