Ever heard a lorry reverse? that beeping sound.. I heard  (comedian) Paul Kerensa reverse once after we booked him at New Wine North. His joke about the paternity of Prince Harry went down like a fart in a lift. His immediate beeping noise got him out of the situation and he pulled off a great gig.

You should know your audience when you write or say stuff; dissing maths on your blog when you live and work next door to Warwick Uni… yeah, sorry! I’m learning. Consider me beeping in reverse.

Anyhoo…

Before I really knew anything about this parish. About Coventry, about you, about this context/audience. I’d listened and asked God to give me some direction on where we should go together. I don’t claim to hear God perfectly, though I am careful to share thoughts for discernment and to check whether what I think He says fits the context of our actual lives.

What I felt God gave us was a triangular vision to help us gain some momentum. Every church loses some momentum in an interregnum.

Some you may hear the whiff of a life-shape and roll eyes or switch off, but this video, set out the idea I’m building on. The triangle is even hidden behind a mountain! The Base leaders and Staff team have now worked out with me the Triangle vision I (we) think God is calling us to:

the jesus pattern OUT:

From an newbie’s perspective it seems that this church has been sowing and serving well for a long time. The influence of this church upon friends, families, communities and the area is significant. So we aim to reap where you have sown. Just the other day I was digging over one of the vegetable beds in the vicarage garden. I got about two thirds of the way down before I felt I should stop, I then noticed the head and asparagus poking through the ground and soon there were 10 or 12 that I could have unknowingly hacked to pieces. In my keenness to plant and see fruit, I could have destroyed what was already there. Sometimes it takes an outside eye to see the good things that are so normal we can miss them.

So we will be offering some mission/evangelism training either this term or in 2016, issuing a list of dares to each missional community ( I want to see who bravest and craziest!) and small group and we will be looking at doing Alpha big in Oct/Nov. I reckon we could all get one person there and accompany them through, how awesome would it be if we did?

PS. the bravest are those who take the biggest step forward from her they are now, not the ones who do the scariest things.

IN:

I’ve seen and learned a lot through asking you guys to ask me questions. I also have my own take on the mess of our modern lives. In some ways, without wishing to sound like a politician we’ve never had it so good. Yes we been through recession, but all of us live within the top 10% of richest people in the world. We have the luxury of arguing over what should be done about people drowning in the Mediterranean, not experiencing such hardship.

I’m passionate about us releasing each other from our affluenza, from the deceitfulness of wealth and the worries of this life, Jesus wants us full of joy, this is not the same as being happy. My friend, Martyn described joy that deep down happiness of the soul, being content in every situation, regardless of our physical well-being. Another friend and I were once having a conversation about Christians and ecological living. He’s one of those annoying people who buys everything ethical, recycles everything and seems to have the time and understanding to work all these things out. He was frustrated that no one else seemed to bother. In standing up for myself and others like me I found myself saying that we’d all do it, if someone just made it simple.

It feels so complex, doing the right thing is often so complex. So I strive for a simple life, simple decisions, simple (yet deep) faith, simple pleasures and simple solutions. That conversation was an epiphany for both of us. If he could make ethical living simple he would release it to more people. If I could make a life of discipleship more simple, then I would make it more attainable for more people. I’m hoping  we can explore this together, we’ll start this on Sunday with a new sermon series. Entitled Keep It Simple Sunshine, K.I.S.S. for short. This acronym is one of the watchwords of the British Army and other such organisations. The usually the final word is stupid not sunshine. We’re all going to do this together in ever base and start with a video of me preaching so i can be omnipresent!

I do not want us to beat each other up about the things where we live a less than perfect life, I am also a realist about the effects of sermons, what we’re looking for in the series (which will take is all the way through the summer) is that we begin open conversation with each other. I’d love to learn from some people how to do life better and have them learn from me. For us to be open and humble and admit we don’t have it sorted and that this modern life can be rubbish. To  share our joys and struggles and find ways forward. To live in hope that we can be fruitful disciples not seed that has grown up unfruitful. My suggestion is this: If one of the topics challenges you to change something, find another disciple who is excellent in that area, or just a step ahead of you and invite them round for a drink or a meal or take them out and pick their brains, their heart, their soul and drink from their wisdom. . You’ll encourage them and learn something. What have you got to lose? I’m looking forward to asking you guys for some advice…

UP:

So, let me introduce “THE GATHERING,” No not a new movie. Our Gathering. Where all our bases can come together and enjoy being one church 3 times a year. At a city venue, not at any of our regular places of worship. A chance to enjoy being part of something BIG, getting hold of how we are reaching the city and enjoying God and each other and thinking wider. We’ll meet in June when I’ll setting you some dares(OUT). In November where we’ll be talking big vision (UP) and then February where we’ll have some family fun (IN). We’ll be doing this at least 3 ties a year going forward unless you guys don’t show up!

You’ll see some small changes to how we worship over the coming weeks, but nothing drastic. What we will be doing is to start to live out “the unforced rhythms of grace” by planning a year of worship that will build a white hot centre of worship that inspires and attracts and centre us on the presence of God.

This is not vision, this is direction and building momentum.

Let’s go places together.

We start by walking, we’ll getting running when we’re ready.