Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Christian DNA Groups hits the web!

Pretty excited to hear my Christian DNA groups book is now available via the BUGB website:  

Christian DNA GroupsNew to the Online Store, this resource written by Nigel Coles (West of England Baptist Association, Team Leader/Regional Minister) seeks to encourage discipleship, engagement and authenticity.  Priced at just £6.00, click here to place your order.

Friday, 19 October 2012

God sees diamonds

I was in Koln last week for the conference. Always a fascinating gathering of diverse and creative people with a heart for Europe and church planting in common. Gerard Kelly shared something, but I was also brought into contact with this poem he wrote previously. Having repeated the phrase 'if it doesn't kill you, it does you good' to myself many times this year, I'm finding Gerard's 'God sees diamonds' a much healthier and kingdom perspective - sorry to miss you to say 'thank you' Gerard, but this has been an immense blessing ....
(apologies for changing the spelling in the last line of the first verse!!)
We believe… 
…every human being 
has a worth worth seeing
Every name is a sound worth saying
Your potential a prayer worth praying
You see coles - God sees diamonds
We believe in the grace 
Of the gifts God gives
His breath in everything that lives
Greater gifts to be discovered
Deep in you, disguised, dust-covered
You see coal - God sees diamonds
We see traces of truth
In the yearnings of youth
God’s image in imagination
We crave a community 
that will honour audacity 
And cherish the dreams of its children
You see coal - God sees diamonds
We see God seeking
A servant generation
Kindness as the kindling
To Kick-start transformation
Love as liberation
Of a captive creation
We are digging 
for the diamonds God sees
written by Gerard Kelly

Monday, 15 October 2012

Big Hearted in WEBA

We've just had The Big Hearted Tour with Chris Duffett pass through the WEBA region and I believe shall be all the better for it.
Chris - apologies for the photo, but I forgot I had my camera, until nearly too late, but it's probably your best side!
Those of you who know Chris will not be surprised he's manage to help a number of people overcome their fear of the 'e' word. One thing we need to work out, however, is how we can encourage more people to engage with the agenda Chris is bringing to our attention. That is, the desperate need for Christians to engage other people, in such a way and with such an appeal (what Ray Brown, when at Spurgeon's used  to describe as 'winsomeness') that they ask us the questions.
Chris has also, rightly, rebuked me - 'what's happened to your blog?' I'm not sure whether it's the encouragement someone's missing it, or something else, which has provoked me into blogging today, despite a remaining overfull inbox, but thank you Chris.

One thing I've been aware of for a long time, is the fact we don't know what to do with evangelists. Hopefully, BUGB will get full marks for making one BUGB President, but if this becomes merely a nod in the right direction, then Chris' Presidency will be in danger of becoming tokenism of the worst kind. Obviously, at least to me, we cannot dump the responsibility for this on Chris' shoulders, so we need to work out how we can better equip more people in our churches as 'e-Christians'. 

-  If Ephesians 4 is, first and foremost, a local church text then it's reasonable to expect a good percentage, of any church, to be primarily gifted in evangelism. Some have suggested 10%, but I'd go for 20% - on the basis five times 20% equals 100%!

-  The response to Chris' Ministry is people who feel they are not primarily gifted in such a way, discover they can do it. So, shouldn't we (local Ministers in particular at this point) nurture far more people to believe they can act evangelistically, even if they are not primarily evangelists?

Whatever, we do, let's do something to rescue evangelism for the local church.