My Week: Thursday

Being away from home can mess with the normal routine, so it was good to wake up in my own bed, spend some time praying and reading at the start of the day. 

Back in the office and getting to work. Thursday was a mixed day but mostly preparation…for Sunday, for the future, for Kerina’s birthday. 

Sunday is coming. I’m looking forward to being in Darlington, preaching a message for our new series ‘Love Ran Red’. I’m meditating on two questions ~ what happened when love ran red at the cross?’

The cross is where our humanity and God’s divinity intersect. Nothing else on the planet can satisfy us in any way like the event of Jesus Christ on the cross. 

The second question is more simple ~ what should we do in response?

As for the future, plenty to think about after our couple of days away. Now to do the work. Website. Leadership. Systems. Bangalore. Prayer. Growth. Finance. 

As for Kerina’s birthday ~ it’s a surprise. She doesn’t like them so always good for winding her up. 

Add to this some extra pick ups and drop offs for my girls and a visit to the hospital, it has been a full day. 

This has been my day. Doing my best to play my part in building the local church. What’s your day been like?

My Week: Tuesday

Growing to the Next Level

This where I have been all day with Kerina, John, Lisa, Glyn and Jean, and another 49 church leaders and their teams. Sharing ideas and having honest conversation about how best to grow the church.

 

It’s exciting to think where Xcel Church can be by 2020. We have our vision and it’s beginning to take shape. 

As we know God, find freedom and discover our own purpose, together we will then be a part of seeing it complete and making a difference. 

My head is slightly mashed as we have discussed the current reality and looked at opportunities along with listening to sessions about vision and systems too. 

I know, that like me, if you call Xcel Church your home that you are ready for the future and growing a large, influential Christ-centred church. 

Are you ready to make it happen?

My Week: Monday

Conference weekend was AMAZING. So much to think about so why not relax, chill and think about all that God has been saying. 

Or not.

Maybe head off to a 3 day Learning Community with 49 other churches to share and learn together about how to grow church. 

I’m looking forward to gleaning some wisdom, some ideas and some inspiration. My desire as Exec Pastor had always been to do the best I can, so times like these, though tiring are really beneficial. I’ll share some thoughts as we go through. 

City on a Hill

  
Loved this session from Mal Fletcher, to stretch the mind and my thinking. 

The church is created for influence

Influence is not a product of how we manage the past and present but how we engage the future 

Social change does not happen immediately but incrementally 
To shape the future you must engage the present change
If we don’t shape the future, we will be shaped by it
Need a new ‘Theology’ of Thought – the importance of mind in Christian living

We have a 2-fold mandate

  • salvation – fishers of men
  • cultural – salt & light

Remember: Christ is the head of ‘ALL’ things 
Find the tune the world is humming 
Be willing to think about an answer and not just throw out a verse

About tech…questions to ask: 

  • How can we use it to honour God
  • Exercise stewardship?
  • Build relationships?
  • Fulfil responsibilities?

A new theology of grace
= to include the previously excluded

  • Truth is the measure of our exclusion
  • Truth is what keeps us aligned with truth
  • Need both grace & truth

Fascinating stuff and so thankful for people like Mal Fletcher who cause us to think differently about how we live out out Christianity

Time to Get Back to It

Been a strange day today. No sunshine. No warmth. No horns continually beeping. Less traffic. A lot less traffic. Way fewer people too. And no Immy either.

Yet, like I said yesterday, I am glad to be home and back to it. After some family stuff a quick visit to the office.

Time to catch up. Talk Bangalore with my Lead Pastor. Send some messages. Sort a bunch of little things for the weekend and Conference.

Time to think ahead. Just plan the week and organise myself. If I don’t know what needs to be done then how do I know if I have done the right things. The danger is just a lot of energy expended on good things but not necessarily the best things.

Time to reflect. Last week was amazing. It’s surreal to think that I was there hanging out with the incredible Immanuel. So it’s good to reflect, remember and then act on the right things.

Time to be the best me. Not wanting to sound arrogant but this is my heart. To be the best I can be and what I am supposed to be doing. Check out my previous posts about this idea.

Time for some more writing. I am behind on my goals and that frustrates me. Nothing but procrastination and being busy with other ‘stuff’.

Time for some sleep. Not quite yet, as I write this it’s only 4pm. A good sleep is important to keep you fresh and healthy, part of helping us in all these other endeavours.

What is it time for you to get back to?

No Place Like Home

After what felt like an endless plane journey and trying to sleep on the worlds most uncomfortable chairs at Dubai Airport ~ I am home. 

Big hugs from my beautiful family and the beginning of telling Bangalore stories has begun. 

More importantly I come home to Xcel Church and the best of families anywhere in the world. Love that we get to worship together, pray together, and believe in faith for great things together.

Home is good for my soul. I may be very tired in the natural but being in church is good for my spiritual energy, my soul and my relationship with God. 

Home is good for my heart. To keep it refreshed and connected with the one who is continual transforming my heart. 

Home never stays the same. There is always room for something new. We are on a journey as Xcel church. Nearly 50 years and we are believing that the best is yet to come across our 4 locations. Hope you are too. 

Heading Home

Our trip is coming to an end today. We are making our way to the airport via the massive Pheonix Shopping Mall. Thank you to Immy for looking after us so brilliantly and for our driver Stalin. I would not have wanted to be driving here.

  
I didn’t really know what to expect before I came so it’s difficult to comment. The extremes of wealthy and poverty are evident, especially as I sit in Mall with every designer label you could name. 

The traffic is insane. No one stops for anyone. Crossing a road here would be like walking across the A1. 

The weather for us has been beautiful, sun shine every day and 35°. Can’t wait to be back in Aycliffe and a lovely 5° (not). 

  
Shopping for furniture was fun, bartering for the best price. We got there in the end and bought Immy a bed and mattress. 

Thanks for praying for us and checking in with all our social media posts. Here’s to the future of Xcel Bangalore. Why not be a part of the mission trip in August and you can experience it all for yourself firsthand. 

Time to Get Planning

We have had a busy 3 days so far traveling from one side of the city to the other meeting people, looking for furniture and getting a feel for where Xcel Bangalore can be most effective. We’ve tried plenty of the local foods too and not just curry.

One of the key reasons for coming was to help Immy set his plans for the future in line with the vision of Xcel.  

Planning is important for a few reasons…

1. It shows people that want to be a part of Xcel in Bangalore that we know what we are doing. 

2. It creates a simple track for Immy to travel along which in turn keeps him focused and making the right kind of progress. 

3. It provides accountability, alignment and an action plan for Immy and the team he will grow. 

Check out this quick video from Immy which gives you a little more insight into the city…