Archives For christian vision for men

Demolition Squad Update

September 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

In November 2012 the Demolition Squad was set up at Christian Vision for Men (CVM). Since that time Andy and I have got to work, writing blogs and engaging in the debates that followed.

As well as writing the blogs we had a great time at the annual summer conference, The Gathering (video coming soon!). Getting the opportunity to equip Christians in the UK with tools to share their faith was exciting and rewarding. Andy and I had a lot of fun!

Listen to the Demolition Squad podcast in iTunesNew Podcast

Our latest development from Dem Squad R&D is the new Demolition Squad Podcast. Starting with Intolerance Andy and I chat about a variety of issues confronting the message of Jesus. We engage serious topics with a splash of humour and hope that these talks are useful and thought-provoking.

View the podcast in iTunes or Feedburner.

Recent Blog Posts

The last 9 blog articles from Andy and myself.

January Reflection

February 4, 2010 — Leave a comment

As the first post after a few months of absence I’m going to look back on a great start to the year. But first let me back up a bit.

Last July I started work with Christian Vision for Men in England, moving back from the US where I was previously working with YWAM. I came on board working closely with Carl and was immediately thrust into the world of UK evangelism and training, clocking up thousands of miles on the roads (which I’ve actually acquired a taste for – beats plane travel for ease and minimal fuss). I’ve visited dozens of churches, been involved in several regional days and one national conference.

I also put my hand to the website, creating a blog, worked on some videos, set up some online booking/purchasing stuff, and made copious cups of tea.

In the middle of all that I moved from Bath to Derbyshire as the offices relocated to the middle of the country.

There’s been scheming and dreaming, long hours and big tasks. I’ve been thrust into an environment where dreams can be realised quickly but with that comes the responsibility of following through with the idea and delivering. CVM at it’s core is small and robust, always aiming to punch above it’s weight. Many people would be surprised to see how much we accomplish with the size of team that we have. It’s a truly exciting environment, one where there is always a strong sense of purpose, direction and provision from God.

Which leads me to some of the events of January. On Friday 22nd Jan we sent out an appeal letter as we were facing the very real prospect of going under as an organisation. Thanks to the new email system we just integrated (gotta love the Chimp) I was able to track opens, clicks etc. Within minutes donations started coming in, and in, and in … An email sent out at 4 in the afternoon on a Friday generated such a strong response that we were soon heading out of the woods.

The money spoke of the dedication of the band of brothers that stretches across the UK with the same heartbeat to see men saved. But more than this it was the messages of support that caused me to catch my breath. Blokes (and lasses) were standing by us, not letting us go down. It really was very humbling. I joined CVM because I felt that they were a group of real people with a clear and purposeful calling. Apparently, hundreds of people across the UK think so too.

The lessons that I learnt in YWAM were being reinforced in CVM. Where God guides, He provides. Whether that’s $1000 for a plane ticket to a foreign mission field or £20,000 to keep a home-grown mission agency going.

The next thing to unfold was an article published on the Times Online blog by Ruth Gledhill. Picking up on an older CVM survey the article outlined some of the aims of CVM also highlighting the urgency that we face as a national church. Ruth Gledhill’s blog being well-followed as it is, was soon picked up spawning many other blog pieces, some friendly and some otherwise. Before my eyes suddenly many people who wouldn’t be talking about CVM and talking, commenting, blogging …

It was a fascinating scene to observe. My feeling is that this is the beginning of something.

That feeling is more than just some thoughts on the blog world but part of a bigger belief that this year God will use CVM is some pretty huge ways. Codelife is on the horizon as are many, many other exciting projects. Who can know where we will be in 12 months?

I’ll endeavour to keep my thoughts coming now … Stay posted!

talkinghead

October 1, 2009 — Leave a comment

CVM have just launched a new website called talkinghead.

Quite simply it’s men, sharing their stories, on video. Lots of men; lots of videos.

Check it out!

On Sunday morning, or whenever you corporately meet, take a second to glance around and conduct a quick demographic survey. If your church is like mine there’ll be a fairly healthy smattering of kids, married couples and older folk but there could well be a gap in 20-30 single somethings, and an even bigger gap where the guys should be.

You could dismiss this by saying something like, “Young people grow up and then move away for university” – but does this answer the question? If you’re in a town or city then surely there will be people moving in to the city replacing those who are moving out.

I think it’s time to own the fact that by and large many churches struggle with retaining young men and women when they enter their twenties. Rather than simply explaining away this phenomenon I think it’s pertinent that we work out how we’re losing these people and how we’re going to get them back.

Being a man isn’t a problem, it’s the solution

The church was started by a man in his thirties with a bunch of his mates. They all had jobs and some had families. After 3 or so years of training Jesus (the guy who started the church) left eleven guys to get on with it. Of these eleven, ten were martyred for their beliefs. The love that these men had for Jesus led them to give everything they had for the church. This is the calibre of man that Jesus picked to lead the church. 2,000 years later and the job spec hasn’t changed, but perhaps the candidates have.

To succeed as a man in life you need to show some determination. To father and lead a family, hold down a job, provide a future and encourage men around you takes grit and courage. Through all of this a man’s character is shown and every aspect of his god-given manhood is used. My question is, do we encourage any of this in church or not?

Let me explain what I mean.

I wonder if you know of this man? He’s competitive, and likes sports. He’s stubborn and doesn’t like to admit he’s wrong. He wants to be right and win the argument, oh, and he wants to have lots of great sex.

Stereotype? Maybe. But here we have him. Now, let’s look at how some churches may see him. He’ll be branded as: strong and not meek/mild, proud and not soft-hearted, arrogant and divisive, and lustful and degrading to women. He’ll know sooner rather than later that he’s just sinful and all he desires are wrong. He’ll either have to neuter himself or leave the church. Not once will he be encouraged in who he is.

However, I don’t think this is how Jesus sees him. Sure, he might be misusing his passions – but our God is a redeemer, not a large anti-testosterone pill. Instead of pre-condemning the up-and-coming men in the church we should celebrate them and encourage them. Let’s look at them the way that a loving father who wants the best will look at them.

This guy I mentioned could be viewed this way. He is competitive; he’s not satisfied till he gives his best. He’s stubborn; he’ll fight for his faith. He regards truth highly and wont settle for anything less. Oh, his healthy sex-drive is a great ingredient for a healthy marriage, which is the core of a healthy family.

If we decide that we don’t need to defend truth, or work hard for our Lord and Saviour, and that easy compromise is preferable and healthy families don’t rate that highly then sure, we don’t need young men in the church. We can condemn all manly desires as sinful and not welcome and we can effectively skim off the boys as they reach manhood.

But if we wake up and realise that we value God’s truth and that it is under attack, that compromise is as disgusting as it is rife and that the family model is so far off from God’s plan, then maybe we’ll think about making at an effort to keep our boys instead of repelling them and take the effort train them to become the men God is calling them to be.

If we lose the young men, we lose the church. Game over. But if we give the guys a glimpse of how God sees them and how He wants to use them, then watch their natural talents come into play as they grab hold of life and pour their lives out for the church in love for their leader, Jesus.

Carl Beech has just finished a four-part series entitled ‘Real Men Don’t Do Church’ over on the CVM Blog. Looking at why men might not find church in the UK appealing today, Carl analyses the problem before offering helpful advice on what to do about it.

“Most men completely by-pass church.  They see it as a place that according to a BBC radio survey is for wimps, women and irrelevant!  Let’s not make the mistake of thinking that when the “wheels come off” in a man’s life they look to the church.  A small minority might, but for the most part their perception of what/who Jesus is and stands for will be quite the opposite of what they feel they need in a crisis.  So what are we going to do to put hairs back on the chest of the Gospel?”

Read more …

New Blog From CVM

August 3, 2009 — Leave a comment

As mentioned last week I have been working on a new blog for Christian Vision for Men (CVM). Well, today we’ve taken it live!

Come take a look and read about some of the stuff we get up to working with CVM around the country. To get things started, Carl writes on evangelism geared up for men.

Blogging on Blogs

July 24, 2009 — 1 Comment

It’s been a while – too long – since I have blogged. Part of the reason is my new job with CVM. Another part is that I’ve been waiting to finish a few books which I haven’t done yet. And sometimes when I’m done with my day I decide that I’ve actually looked at a screen too much.

But my time with CVM has been great. Busy, sometimes long days but always full of fun and privilege. I’ve been up and down the country and been a part of those wonderful things called meetings again – something that my time in YWAM adequately prepared me for (YWAM: Youth With A Meeting). I haven’t stopped learning and find that I have many varied tasks on my agenda.

One of those is looking at our internet technologies. There will be lots that I will be involved with, starting with a new blog. So despite my blogging drought blogging has been on my brain. To get the project rolling I’ve started asking questions such as:

  • Why blog?
  • What makes a good blog?
  • Who should write a blog?
  • What style of writing do the best blogs employ?
  • etc. etc.

Over the next few day I hope to answer some of these questions (insights welcome) but to start things off I thought I’d just list a few of my daily reads. One of my morning routines is to open up NewsFire and browse through the headlines. Taking a look now these ones catch my eye (in no particular order).

1. Challies Dot Com
Maybe more popular in N. America than the UK (?) Mr Challies seems to set the bar for Christian blogging. As well as providing a strong model to imitate technically I happen to be of the same theological persuasion (more or less) so there’s plenty of happy reading here.

2. LICC
The London Institute of Contemporary Christianity publishes high-quality, relevant, thoughtful articles on how Christianity interacts with all ‘spheres of life’. A clean, well-structured site that delivers crisp content. Subtle and a good case of the medium not getting in the way of the content.

3. TheResurgence
A collection of bloggers here, but of course, noted for one Mr. Mark Driscoll. Great concise content with plenty of relevant links.

4. The Blue Fish Project
Moving closer to home here … Maybe this could be said to be a blogger’s blog? Plenty of links to posts and interesting bits and bobs with fresh content on a regular basis.

5. Peter Hitchens
Old-fashioned columnist? Maybe. But he can write, and so I like to read what he has to say.

6. Pro-Existence
Mr Rick Pearcey (of the Pearcey Report) keeps a blog on current affairs. I perhaps don’t read this as much as I did when I was state-side but because I know the angle that the author is coming from I will always head here to gain another insight on a relevant topic.

7. Mac Rumors
I’m a Mac fan. So I follow Mac news. Enough said?

8. The Unofficial Apple Weblog
‘Ditto.’

And they’re just 8. Does anyone have any thoughts to offer? I attended the Band of Bloggers Conference (nice blog template) earlier this year and picked up a host ideas but I’m always looking to learn more. Over the next week I’ll look to share more of my findings and stay tuned for the new blog from CVM!

Earlier this year I left YWAM in Maui to head back to England to work with Christian Vision for Men. Well, The 1st of July sees me start in my new role as Aide to the CEO – one affable fellow by the name of Carl Beech.

Who are CVM you might ask? Well, CVM are a bunch of people working together under a simple vision statement:

“Equip the church to introduce every man in the UK to Jesus Christ.”

Pretty simple really, eh?! There’s a fight on our hands in the UK – only 700,000 men attend church in this country. These guys have been fighting for a while and now I’m jumping in the trenches with them.

It’s all pretty exciting really. As a national ministry there’ll be plenty of travel, meeting lots of new people and seeing some old faces. I very much look forward to it all!

Christian?

May 1, 2009 — Leave a comment

The speeding fine from Dave Lodge on Vimeo.