Can one person really change the world?

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Here is a truly amazing story of how!

I had the privilege of travelling to Italy this year, and while there my host took me to where a Waldensian had a Bible school. He told me this true story.

In 1170, Valdo, who was a merchant from Lyons, was converted. He felt he had to preach the Gospel and teach the Word. He sold all he had and worked as an itinerant preacher. His dream was to bring the church of his day to what it was during the time of the Apostles.

The Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Valdo because he was preaching and teaching but was not a priest. He continued to preach and formed small communities, which were forced to go underground because of the Romans. He also personally financed the translation of the Bible into French.

Because of opposition, Christians (Valdo’s converts) fled to North Italy to what is now known as the Waldensian Valleys. A Bible school started – remember this is before the reformation – where students trained for 3 years and then for another year for the purpose of spiritual maturity. Their only text was the Bible. The students were sent out in twos knowing that if they didn’t die from natural causes, they would certainly be persecuted and martyred.

Most villages in the north of Italy can trace their Christian heritage back to the Waldensians. In fact there are Waldensian communities in most parts of Italy.

What an amazing heritage. And it began with one person who was uncompromisingly sold out for Christ.

Some lessons to take hold of today:

  • The only text was the Bible. They believed that God spoke to people through His Word. Do we believe God could speak through His Word and His word alone?
  • The result of students being sent out was communities of faith. What is the result of students being trained and sent out today? New communities of faith, new churches?
  • They believed the church of Jesus Christ is made up of those who believe in Him and live according to His Word. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them” Matt 18:20. How small can churches be and still be effective? Maybe small is the new big… it’s certainly easier to multiply small than large.
  • They were totally surrendered to Jesus. Persecution and death could be the result of preaching and teaching. How surrendered are we to Jesus? Is HE truly Lord of our life? Their legacy remains to this day! What legacy will you leave?
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2 Simple Keys for Successful Church

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What are the 2 key words that will empower people to keep pioneering and planting churches? And why are people hesitant about pioneering and planting churches?

1. Sustainability. 

In the past we prioritised the church (church plant) over family, finances, and relationships. Not purposely; it was mostly very subtle. So how about we church plant another way?

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7 Keys Question to Measure Spiritual and Emotional Health

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Do you feel too overwhelmed to enjoy life, family and ministry? Unable to sort out the demands on your time? Feeling overrun? Are you doing your best work as a leader and yet not making an impact? Feeling stuck, powerless to change your environment?

If you answered yes to any of those questions then it is time to give yourself a quick emotional and spiritual health check.

Emotional and spiritual health is so important for every person, and it’s especially critical for leaders. It is important to keep an honest check on yourself, because the reality is no one else will.

Below is a checklist where you can mark yourself. 1 = low and 5 = high. 

Some tips:

Don’t think about it too much, go with your gut. 

Be honest with yourselves as there are NO right or wrong answers. 

The ones you end up marking 1 or 2 are simply indicators of what to work on. 

I received these from the late Jerry Cook. I found myself using the list in many leaders’ meetings over the last decade. He wrote many helpful books, such as “A few things I knew since I thought I knew it all”. His best-selling book though, is a classic, “Love, acceptance and forgiveness”.  

Here is the check list… enjoy!  

7 Elements of Spiritual and Emotional health.

1.My awareness and acknowledgement of God’s presence. Heb 13:5; Col 1:25.    1 2 3 4 5                

2.My ability to recognise and respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Gal 5:25    1 2 3 4 5

3.My ability to sense and respond to the needs of those close to me. James 2:14-17.  1 2 3 4 5

4.My ability to verbalise my faith. 1 Peter 3:15    1 2 3 4 5

5.My ability to see and appreciate beauty. Ps 19:1-4    1 2 3 4 5

6.My ability to live a life of worship. Ps 117:1-2  1 2 3 4 5

7. My sense of destiny. Eph 2:10 1 2 3 4 5 

Good on you for taking the time to assess yourself.  Now what has been highlighted for you that you need to work on? 

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Transformational Leaders to disciple the Nations

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Two years ago I had the privilege to travel to Chennai India and meet Dr R (Bobby) Gupta, the President of "Hindustan Bible Institute".

26 years ago I first met Bobby Gupta at a church planting forum in London. I remember that day well. He spoke about His "Hindustan Bible Institute" (HBI), training leaders to begin new churches. (HBI began in 1952). The students fully graduate when they have planted a church, or are part of the team that plant. It was so exciting when I first heard about it and I’ve remembered the meeting ever since. My dream is to see Bible College’s in Europe do the same!!

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How to activate abundance into our lives

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How do we breed healthy abundance into our lives? …by actioning one simple step that’s easy and will take only about 3-4 mins.

In fact, if every church planter, business leader or church leader, or in fact anybody simply does this about once a day, changes would begin to happen in their world!  It’s excellent seed to plant into your life. Please understand this is not a magic formula. They are just great declarations to build your life on!

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Are we addicted to addition?

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When we think about church planting, are we thinking too small? Are we thinking of planting a tree or planting a forest?

Let’s think of it this way. The true fruit of another apple tree is not another apple, but another apple tree. No one knows how many apples are in one apple seed, over the years it could be thousands. That's the power of nature. If God is behind and in what we are involved in, where are we seeing multiplication?

I would suggest addition is not going to win Nations for Christ. It’s good, but it’s not the best. May I say God seems to have other plans. Read on…

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