To know God and make Him known.
New video from Youth With A Mission (YWAM). 9 years ago I started my YWAM journey and I count it an incredible honour to continue to be working with them now.
Youth With A Mission now exists in over 150 countries and involves over 15,000 full-time staff. Be nature the organisation is decentralised allowing for growth and inspiring vision.
Unfortunately, a downside is that it can be hard to keep track of all that’s happening.
Step up the YWAM Podcast. Updated regularly this little gem brings together stories from all over YWAM and sticks them into one easy-to-digest review.
Authored by Bill Hutchison, one of YWAM’s Communications and IT gurus working with the International Chairman’s Team in England, the podcast comes with a page of links to find out more about the intiatives and programmes featured in the broadcast.
Well worth a listen.
The Reformation Generation is a new 4-week College and University preparation course for current and soon-to-be students. It’s running in Maui, Hawaii, in July this year. You can find out more about it here.
Can’t see the video? View it on YouTube.
Danny Lehman shares his thoughts on the future of YWAM and how movements born in the 50’s can transition well in the coming years to continue their spiritual cutting-edge. In his article Walking Backwards Into the Future of Evangelism Danny looks at how YWAM started and teaches us a few things from history:
Revival historians have pointed out that even the most genuine moves of the Holy Spirit to awaken God’s church are barely able to keep their vitality for 2 generations.
Advocating lesssons learnt by Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, Evan Roberts (1st and 2nd Great Awakenings in America and the Welsh Revival respectively) we need to ensure that we remain Biblically based and Jesus focussed.
Can I highly recommend the entire article to you to read. It is a fantastic vision for authentic Christianity that my generation would do will to learn from.
Danny concludes with this declaration:
They will be free‐‐free from the religious legalism of the past, the cultural bondages of the present and the fear of the future. They will have no part of religious politics, elbowing for position, easy‐believism, dead orthodoxy, cheap grace or sleepy Sunday morning Christianity. They won’t seek to be cool, but to be holy. They will climb the spiritual ladder down, like their Lord. With shields raised, swords swinging and signs following they will storm the gates of hell and set the captives free in the name of the Lord. And when they turn around from their backwards walk they will see Jesus who will welcome them home: “Well done, good and faithful servants, enter in to the joy of the Lord.”
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Open Theism seems to crop up from time to time in some form or another, unhappily so, in certain YWAM circles. I was reminded today of the problem of this way of thinking and some of the fruit that it leads to.
One of open theism’s strongest appeals is its claim to account for tragic human suffering in such a way that God is both blameless and caring. On the surface, this appeal appears strong. Upon examination, however, it is clear that open theism’s counsel is unbiblical, incoherent, and shallow. It is unbiblical insofar as it fails to account for the prevailing biblical vision of the God who reigns over human affairs and who ensures that his purposes are accomplished even through human wickedness and evil.
This and more from Adrian Warnock.
In my last few days working with YWAM Maui I have been helping to build the new website. Today we have gone live!
We think we’ve done a good job, so come take a look and find out more about YWAM Maui and what we do.
At the beginning of the year, I was encouraged by Carl Beech, to weigh up whether I was making my decisions out of courage, or out of fear. And you know what? That thought stuck with me.
The question is a personal one and really is between each of us and the Lord. For me, travelling, living out of suitcases, teaching in countries where perhaps people are hostile to the message of Jesus, my own fears may not be the same as for other people.
So where is my fear? What about, ‘Will Jesus come through with finances for me?’ Nah, YWAMers are known to live by faith, right? But looking at some of my decisions, I know that I can make a call based on whether or not I can pull it off financially, regardless of what I believe Jesus is saying. Where is the courage there?
I’m reading a book right now (for the second time, it’s just that good) called ‘Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England‘. It’s the story of a small group of MPs who, despite massive opposition from their parties and against the press and popular opinion, sounded the alarm bells about Hitler and Nazi Germany and fought for their cause with strength and much courage. They weren’t liked. Their message wasn’t appreciated. They were called ‘warmongerers’ and they clashed against the mood of the time. But they knew their job, their duty, and they courageously put their careers (and sometimes even their lives) on the line to get the work done. Without them, I shudder to think what would have happened to England and Europe as a whole.
Carl got me thinking, and on this subject I’ve been dwelling for a while, and will be for a while to come. How are we making our decisions? Out of courage, rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ who is King over all? Or out of fear? Fear of man, our shortcomings, our limitations. Here’s what Carl says:
“In what language were the Scriptures written at the time of Jesus?” This question came up in the DTS recently, during the Apologetics class, and we looked at the answer last week.
During the intertestamental period (400BC to 0AD) the Jewish Scriptures were translated from Hebrew into Greek, and we call this translation the ‘Septuagint’ (from the latin word for seventy, septuaginta). There are different theories for why this translation was undertaken, but what we do know was that the Greek language was fast becoming a widespread language during the expansion of the Roman Empire.
So when Jesus came along we find that the Jewish leaders, and the Temple, were using the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures to teach from. When we see Jesus quoting the Old Testament (e.g. Matthew 4:4) he would have been quoting in Greek. Also, the writers of the New Testament were all writing in Greek (albeit in different forms) and would use the Greek translation of the Old Testament when making reference to or quoting from it.
The ESV Study Bible has offered an online trial version of their complete Bible for the month of March. Along with a stellar reference Bible there are several great articles. Two articles of use here are: