The Newforms Taster Day was held at the Corringham Safety Centre on Saturday 16 March 2013.
Some 22 people attended from across Thurrock, Farnham in Surrey, and Colchester.
Why ‘Newforms’? Because we were gathering to explore new forms of church and new ways of mission. Newforms is the resourcing and training wing of Mission Britain, a growing movement seeking to disciple disciples into discipleship and discipling…
The event was facilitated by Ben Taylor (below right) from Somerton in Somerset, with the help of his friend Dave from Glastonbury and David Beales from Colchester.
This is the gist of what was said, discussed and learnt in the morning session, as taken from Tim Harrold’s notes.
What is God saying?
Already in groups, we prayed together, and sought to hear the Holy Spirit.
A list of what God was saying to everyone was made:
- God is doing a new thing – do we perceive it? (Isaiah 42:19)
- He’s creating to new wineskins for new wine to be poured into (Matthew 9:17)
- It’s time to seek God
- The church is leaving the building
- We’re to be pioneers not settlers, with a new generation of pioneer leaders being birthed
- We’re to love and tolerate
- We’re to join in with what God is doing
- We’re to be like the woman by the well – giving away what we’ve received (John 4)
- We are to be sacrificial (Romans 12:1)
- Show courage (Joshua 1)
- Understand the new theology (Romans 12:2)
- We’re getting back to the gospel
- Listen to God and seek him wholeheartedly
- Find God’s people
- There’s no magic formula or model
- Like a tree with a trunk, branches and leaves, everyone is part of the whole, each with their function
- Have a coat of many colours, like Joseph – reaching across the ‘tribes’ (Genesis 37:3)
- Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22)
David Beales of DNA Networks, Colchester, brought a word for Thurrock:
‘I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’ Acts 18:10
David said: “… the vision of Jesus that Paul had in Corinth, in which He assured Paul that He had many people in this city; Jesus also told Paul that he would come to no harm. Yet the next verse speaks of all sorts of trouble that subsequently happened – nevertheless, Paul was not harmed. It seems that when you imitate Acts style of mission and evangelism, trouble gets stirred up, but you in Thurrock won’t get harmed.”
Ben asked: “How do we start churches with people who don’t know anything about Jesus?”
He went on, “The question isn’t what kind of church you are in, but are you hungry to know what Jesus is doing and do you want to get on board with it? The question isn’t what should church be like, but do we want to get involved with what Jesus is doing?”
“Adam and Eve were told to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1:28) – have we been, and are we being, fruitful and multiplying?”
Ben described how parking in Grays Multi-storey had been complicated for him and Dave, two ‘simple West Country folk’ – they found that getting a ticket was difficult, and didn’t realise that they needed to punch in the registration number. He likened this to how we’ve made it so complicated for people to get to know Jesus, and that much of church is geared up to stop people passing on the good news.
The focus in all of this is to teach people to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus. So, are we prepared to completely die?
… is a movement which help people grow, something that a lot of what we currently do prevents.
An inevitable part of being a disciple is to ask, “How am I passing this on?”
And if we’re not, what are the things that are preventing us from doing that?
Ben used the example of the Woman by the Well in John 4:27-39. While the disciples were off looking for lunch, Jesus’s food was to do his Father’s will. The woman then went and told everyone about what had happened.
Jesus wasn’t the problem. The woman wasn’t the problem. The disciples were the problem – us!
“Look around – it’s now!” urged Ben, “Kill the idea that ‘it can’t happen here’. What we’re currently doing is barely holding ground let alone taking ground. We need to be the George Foxes of our generation – we’re in a time of battle”.
We were then shown the following videos:
The Vision of William Boothe who founded the Salvation Army – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzGLWy7b9yQ
The Circuit Riders, who were pioneers and not settlers, who cast off the bounds of comfortable Christianity – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdzPAhKQPgI
Ben took us to the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:1-24, and asked, “What is the seed?”
The seed IS Jesus, and when it’s sown (in obedience), it results in multiplication. Part of the process is OUR DEATH (John 12:24).
So it’s important to sow in GOOD SOIL, but how do we find that good soil? The sower is depicted as scattering the seed, not sowing it in straight lines.
At the same time, Jesus didn’t go around performing random acts of kindness, but had a strategy – this was to be ‘fruitful and multiply’, because we can’t change the soil.
To close the morning session, Ben showed this video, Multiplying Disciples and Churches in India – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huRXbVFw2SE
More to follow.