The new year is a good time to look back with gratitude for the previous 12 months. However difficult the year may have been for you, God will have been at work. Identifying what God has done leads to gratitude and builds faith for the new year. It’s a good time for looking forward to what He will do this year. It’s a time for praying, planning and practicing the Way of Jesus. As Jenny (my wife) and I have been seeking to transition our missional community to more of a Microchurch, we have also been given the opportunity to plant two new Microchurches in towns/ villages outside Liverpool, with people who have come to faith through our Alpha courses. Practicing the way is vital for every leader. We must lead by example and ensure that we don’t slip into ‘performance’ mode in our leadership. We must embody the genuine characteristics of those who follow Jesus. We need to model the way we want others to follow.

The snow always makes everything seem fresh and new (before it turns to slush and ice), and many of you like me will have smiled this week as you drew back the curtains to see a sea of white. This innovative snow sculpture (see above) in our local cemetery made me smile, a lot.

And as we gather for our annual National Teams Gathering on 6/7th Feb in Cambridge, again we will be asking God, ‘What’s new?’ God is always doing something new and it’s our joy and privilege to discern and cooperate with that. John McGinley is our keynote speaker and his book ’The Church of Tomorrow’ points towards some of the new things that God is doing. Together we will be listening for God’s word to us and going back to our contexts with renewed faith for all he wants to do.

God bless you as you embrace the new year.