The 19 Project: An Update

2 great things have happened this week…

Firstly, my book ’19’ will be released on the 27th October. This is a book for leaders of all ages but very much to those beginning on their leadership journey. I was 19 when I was given my first introduction to leadership, becoming the leader of the local church youth group.

Now, 28 years later, I am still leading in local church, and I am passing on what I have learned along the way. Things I know any young leader will need to learn so they can still be leading in 25 years time.

Secondly, the website The 19 Project is live. Very much coming from the premise of the book and my desire to help resource and raise the  next generation of young leaders, my hope is the site will become a hub of useful articles, free resource and eventually offer access to live Q&A’s, training material, connection with other leaders, and much more.

You can join The 19 Project and help to shape it for the future. It’s free. When you do this, you will be able to download a free chapter of the book, pre-order it at a discounted rate and take a quick survey to provide some initial feedback on the site.

Thanks for the support along the way. Not sure what is going to happen with this site but why not come over to The 19 Project now and stay in touch with all that is happening over there. You can find me on Facebook too. Click on the links below…

The 19 Project Website

The 19 Project Facebook

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What Would You Do in 2017?

Yesterday I asked a question about thankfulness. Having an attitude of gratitude is really important.  Recognising our blessings helps us to notice the good things going on around us and in us.

I was blessed in 2016 to visit Bangalore and spend time with Immy who leads our Xcel location there.

I was blessed to go to Israel and walk where Jesus walked.

I was blessed with healing, financial miracles and breakthrough moments too in situations.

I was also blessed to know that wherever I was, whatever I was doing, God was always with me. My awareness of this grew. It’s so easy to just get on with things and not remember this fundamental truth.

Don’t forget to share your thankfulness stories.

Today’s question gets us looking ahead to 2017. What would you do with your life in 2017 if you knew it was impossible to fail at what you attempted?

Again I’d love for you to share your answers. 

Stretch Yourself

To lead well in life is to know how to stretch ourself. It can be one of the biggest frustrations as we learn to lead well in life. 

It’s about being happy and content with where we are but actively stretching ourself for the future we want. We have to learn to live in the now while preparing ourselves for the future. 

It’s about working hard and being loyal to those who lead us but stretching ourself and becoming the person we need to be for all that lies ahead. If we only live for a certain future we may begin to resent where we are now and become unhappy, angry and overly cynical too. 

It is to understand that the stretch you want will not always come from others, instead you learn to develop, grow, stretch and increase your capacity. We do need to be equipped by our leaders but our personal development is (obviously) our own responsibility. 

It’s about learning how to create your own stretch. Even if it doesn’t lead to greatness or the opportunity you want, that is irrelevant. In the process of the stretch you will have become a bigger person. Then God can use you anywhere, not just in the place of our own choosing.

What do you do to help stretch yourself?

A Day in the Life of Xcel

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Sunday ~ what a day. It doesn’t happen by chance. We pray like it depends on God but BIG UP to the teams that work like it depends on them!!

Here’s some of the things I love about my church…

3 locations. Multiple teams. All about lifting the name of Jesus and with a desire to see transformation in local community. It’s a beautiful thing. The willingness of so many volunteers to come early for set up, sound check and to pray together.

Troubleshooting. Things don’t always run smoothly. The ability to take on an issue and just get on with it, no fuss, no big panic, it is fantastic. Here’s the best thing too, most people wouldn’t have even realised that anything went wrong. Me included sometimes.

Worship. Such an excitement about the place as we get ready to record a live album on Sunday 11th September. Checkout this short clip from yesterday and another new song. Save the date!!

That we are building something for God. Never underestimate the power of a big vision to engage. The Xcel 2020 vision is bold but full of opportunities for some ‘only God’ moments. There is a place for everyone to participate.

The people. Just love the heart of the people. Love that they are with us on the journey. I know we may not always agree on the best way to do things and that’s ok. That’s family. We can have our discussions and then we get on with it. People are what this is all about. Connecting with Jesus. Connecting with others within Xcel. Connecting with those who don’t Jesus yet. It doesn’t get any better than that.

I could go on. The adventure is on and I am glad to be a part of it. Why not join us this Sunday and find our for for yourself what all the fuss is about. Check out the website

46

That’s how old I am today. Happy Birthday to me. How did this happen? (Obviously I know the answer but how can I be 46?)

Closer to 50 than 40. My youngest suggested I make a list of 50 things to do before I am 50. Maybe. I think I would do just as well focusing and getting on with things I need to do right now. 

‘Better get on with it’. 

That was my thought this morning. With Gods help, the next 46 can be me, getting on with it, doing all that God would have me to do.

‘No more excuses’.  

I’m loving life and the adventure I am on, can’t wait for what’s coming next. 

Family Back Home

We have eaten for England this week, laughed at and with one another, been a little afraid on the rides together, but most of all, just enjoyed being with one another. 

Family fun is good for my soul. I am tired yet I am refreshed. 

Family fun brings us together. Shared experiences are always good. 

Family fun made my dad happy. He is full, which I hope you know what I mean, by watching his own children and all the family together. 

Did I mention food? Lots of food, especially cake. 

Only downside – I crashed the car. Well, I drove into a steel girder in the car park. Not something I really want to have to pay for but never mind. Nothing was hurt, except my pride. 

  

Family Future

Enjoying time with all my family. We survived a trip to Alton Towers and lots of rides. The sun even shine on us. 

Good to be with my 3 beautiful daughters. We don’t get to spend time like we used to. They have their own busy worlds so I feel extra blessed on days like today. 

I pray over my girls every day. I speak Gods best over them. I prophecy into their future too. Leader. Prophet. Pastor. 

I never want to dampen their genuine desire to live for God, to grow in Him and serve in His House. If I am allowed to be then I am a very proud and happy dad. 

Walking around today, having some laughs, being a little scared together was just what was needed. Now for curry and a good nights sleep. 

Less of the Secular

Listened to a Pastor last week make a passing comment about ‘not really doing secular’. 

It’s an interesting comment, one I do not have the full context of, but one that has certainly made me think. It’s made me observe my life too. 

  • Am I loving the secular too much? 
  • Does my love for the secular squeeze out my love for God?
  • Do I try and live too close to the edge  of my faith so I still ‘fit in’?
  • Should I give some stuff up in response to what Jesus gave up for me?

I think the answer to all of these questions is probably ‘YES’. If we are honest, the answer for nearly everyone would be ‘YES’. 

It’s so easy to fill time with anything. I’m not advocating the need to throw out the television or be quite so dramatic. For me it’s more a need to reflect and have a willingness to be really honest with myself. 

  • What actually do I think I can’t live without?
  • What behaviours as a Christian just make a mockery of me saying that I am a Christian?
  • Why am I wiling to settle for such a low standard when Jesus had called me to live the full life He has won for me?

It can be tough being a follower of Jesus. It can involve choosing to not do stuff that others consider normal. And here’s why…because the life God has for any of us is far superior to any temporary pleasure we can enjoy in the moment. 

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt 6:33)

Trust in the Lord, and do not lean on your own understanding (Prov 3:1)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬)

If you are a Christian I would love to know what you think about this.