Archives For cvm

Quickfire: CVM Training Day

Date: Saturday 8th February
Time: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Location: Rising Brook Church, Stafford

This Saturday I will be heading to Stafford to give a talk at the CVM Training Day: Quickfire. Looking at the topic ‘Conversion Through Persuasion?’ I’ll be presenting a 20-minute TED-style talk covering the use of arguments, illustrations, and questions in our evangelism to men.

There are 8 other fantastic speakers presenting on a range of topics to equip as all as we seek to tell more men about Jesus.

Booking is available online.

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.

Read the full article on the Demolition Squad blog.
Read the full article on the Demolition Squad blog.

There was something very satisfactory about watching the Lions blow away the Barbarians in Hong Kong this afternoon. It was an encouraging start to the forthcoming tour of Australia and I think it has provoked a few headaches both for the Lions selectors as well as Aussie defence coaches.

The victory has settled the nerves and has ensured that we got off on the right foot. Serving up relief, optimism, and belief – but perhaps above all just a great feeling that we’ve won.

And men do love to win. And we love to want to win. We get inspired by great speeches – from the pages of history to the writers of Hollywood. Think of “We shall never surrender” or “Inch by inch.” These great pieces of oratorical genius get the blood flowing and focus our attention.

Read the full article on the Demolition Squad blog.

This post is a Demolition Squad post for CVM. Read the whole article here.

We are a confusing country to many looking on from the outside. Our football pitches are measured in yards and our rugby fields in metres. We take our beer in pints and our petrol in litres. (Yet we measure vehicle efficiency in miles per (Imperial) gallon – what?!). It rather threatens to make a mockery of the ‘united’ part of the UK, doesn’t it?

Yes, it’s confusing all right.

Equally, within the church in Britain there is confusion in how we should go about evangelism.

I Don’t Want An Argument

“You can’t argue someone into the Kingdom of God,” says Jim at pastorate to Bill, arguing that argument is not a valid method by which to bring someone to believe.

Bill is stumped by this. He has been at his local with his mates a couple of times in the last few months and on occasion the topic of conversation had turned to his faith. His friends’ curiosity, thinly veiled behind their cheap mockery, has led them to question Bill about why he’s a Christian.

Bill at his local

Bill has gone home from these times at the pub thinking about what he can say. “Why did I become a Christian?” he asks himself, hoping to uncover some little gem of brilliance he’s temporarily forgotten with which to respond to his mates.

“If only I could find that one thing, the knockout punch, the explosive-statement. I’d throw out the pin, toss my hand grenade-of-a-thought into the middle of the group, and just walk away.”

A slight, wry smile crosses Bill’s face as he visualises the feeling he’d get from this. But the trouble is, Bill is stuck. He can’t find that grenade.

Continue reading …

After spending a numbers of years working in evangelism and training around the world I returned to my home country in 2009. I returned in part because Carl Beech, leader of Christian Vision for Men (CVM), asked me to come back and work for the organisation.

Having seen a little of evangelism in overseas countries I was keen to stuck in on the ‘home front’. Through my 19 months at CVM I saw much of the country, much of the desire for people to share their faith with their friends, and the enormity of the task at hand.

During my time overseas I came to see the need for effective apologetics in evangelism. Apologetics, put simply, is dealing with people’s objections that stop them seeing Jesus. I grew to enjoy the discipline, find I had a gifting in the area and the desire to grow in it.

Every culture has its own challenges and obstacles. My time with CVM helped me to understand some of the current problems men face in the UK in their faith today.

In 2011 I was released from my position in CVM to study at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. My time in Oxford boosted my foundation in Christian Apologetics and opened up new areas of engagement to me.

Now I get to put all of this together!

It’s with real excitement that I can announce that Andy Kind and I will be heading up the Demolition Squad, the new apologetics arm of CVM. Through this new initiative we will be bringing apologetics training to the hundreds of men’s groups up and down the country that are fighting hard to see their families, friends, colleagues etc. come to know Jesus.

There is lots more to come, but for now read all about it here.

In late 2007 I topped the scales at over 200lbs (14st. 4lb or 91kg). I’m 5’7 (on a sunny day, in the morning). There was no way I could apply the usual “I played rugby”, “I’ve got a big frame”, “BMI doesn’t work for me” escape clauses.

I was overweight, out of shape, unfit and no matter which camera angle you tried, it always looked like a lazy porpoise snuck in the frame. Hiding under some ugly sweater didn’t work in the Hawaiian heat either …

The doctor was blunt. “Lose weight. Run.” (Actual words on medical report).

I got a kick start the next year when I became ill after an operation (no, not lypo) through a resulting infection (not a recommended weight-loss strategy). After a 3-month recovery period I decided to do something about my fitness.

Being the man that I am I pondered this fitness thing for a while, flirting with 3-mile jogs every so often. It wasn’t until 2010 when I joined a gym, changed my diet and became serious about things.

Today I’m 20lb lighter, dropped 7 points on body-fat and packed on quite a bit of lean muscle and my personal end goal is in sight.

What’s the Point?

Apart from living longer, sleeping better, coping with stress easier and not using boardshorts as a man-girdle?

The benefits of good health are well documented. The discipline it requires is good for the soul (see Proverbs).

Also, as a Christian I believe we should be honouring God with our bodies. If I believe that I have important things to do in life that make a real difference, and then neglect my body, slowing me down and dulling my effectiveness, what does that say about my commitment to the cause? We are to bring our bodies under control (1 Cor. 9:27) – it’s quite clear.

And here is an example of the fruit physical neglect can produce:

I was watching a YouTube video of influential Christian men sharing thoughts on an important topic, in a panel on the stage. Great video, great thoughts, really useful.

One comment immediately underneath the video said something along the lines of, “These guys can’t even practice self control – why would I listen?” All of the men on the stage were overweight, two of them seriously so.

This isn’t an issue of “TV’s ruined culture; to succeed you need to look good”. The commenter had a point …

Physical disabilities aside, it’s not going to kill us to get in shape and keep healthy. If we’re on a mission let’s take it seriously and stop making feeble excuses. What we have to do is too important to mess around.

Some Resources

There’s loads of good stuff online these days. Here are some great resources (two geared specifically for men – ladies, feel free to add recommended resources too!).

codelife: CVM launched codelife last year as a new way of living for men. Actually, it’s not really that new … It’s basically a new form of discipline, a code of living which is deeply rooted in Biblical principles.

There are 12 codes that you agree to stand by. Don’t worry, it’s not overly religious (see code XII) The whole set is geared towards personal discipleship and accountability. Code VI is specific to fitness – “I’ll keep my body fit and free from addictions.

Great to sign up to with mates or on your own. There are new resources being released (downloads, podcasts, videos, books) every month and conferences all over the UK.

Keeping fit comes easier when you change your mindset about how to live life. Codelife can help here.

The Optimise Clinic: Dr. Ben Sinclair realised the men don’t get into doctor’s clinics very often. So he created this service where the doctor comes to you.

Specific to men and with loads of helpful advice online, the goal is to get men fit and healthy to get the most out of life. www.optimiseclinic.co.uk

The Resurgence: A really useful repository of Biblical resources – articles, videos, podcasts etc. with a well-stocked Health section.

Tips on how to keep healthy alongside resources on why we should be healthy.

Such topics as: how to combat stress, lead productive and fruitful lives, what to do when you’re sick etc.

Interview

March 14, 2011 — Leave a comment

Why Men Need God And What Men Need At Church

A short interview recently published about my work with Christian Vision for Men.

From the Interweb

February 15, 2011 — 1 Comment

Blasting down to Oxford today. Looking forward to coffee with a friend (un-English is one of the most English cities?), seeing the city and sitting in on a forum at lunch.

Stuff from the web of note recently:

  • Reminders Are More Effective Than Rebukes
    Tullian Tchividjian shares some thoughts on how accountability can get a little out of hand. Reminds us to keep the focus on God’s grace rather than being hell-bent (my phrase – too strong?) on self-perfection.
  • Longreply Now Live
    From the Mailchimp labs (the brilliant email guys) here’s a nifty little tool that caters to the more verbose of us that find the standard Twitter reply length just too small. You need to sign up for an invite but mine didn’t take too long arriving.
  • Monday Sport’s Roundup
    Rob Barnett recently started a regular Monday column on the CVM Blog. All the sports from the weekend with a preview of what’s to come in the week.
  • The Good Book Company (UK/US)
    And finally, if you haven’t come across The Good Book Company check them out. A great collection of fantastic books and resources (look out for some reviews very soon) and at great prices.

And finally, here’s another look at Wayne Rooney’s wonder goal from the weekend … ‘cos it really is just that good. Still good, just not available on YouTube!

Watch this on Youtube.

Because at CVM we get to make fun videos :)

Shot In The Back

March 3, 2010 — Leave a comment

Thoughts on fighting on the same team.