MSM .. a great opportunity

msmA slight detraction from my thoughts on silence …. which will continue … but the Mission Shaped Ministry course starts again at the end of the month …. it’s a really good course for considering stuff about …. well mission really!

If you are interested in mission this course is a good one to consider … whether you are thinking that maybe you are into setting up a fresh expression, or whether you are involved in one and want to reflect on what you are doing, or whether you want to develop some skills to help your church be a little more involved in mission …… well have a look at this.

This year we are meeting on a Monday evening in Maidstone with a few Saturdays and a weekend involved …. but all that stuff is on the flyer which you can look at here.

Oh … yeah … also … not that am biased about this course … but I should mention I am one of the tutors on the course …. but don’t let that put you off …. if nothing else you can rely on me to make amazing inappropriate comments … just to make you think of course … and not simply be controversial for the sake of it!

Please … look at the flyer …. the course is £250 … incredible value for the program if you look at it (that’s 2/3’s the cost of my Gills season ticket but usually far more entertaining!)

sales pitch over!

but sign up … really … do it!

going where you fit

Last night I was involved in the last teaching session for this years MSM course which we ran in the Bluewater Management Suite.

The group have been great to work with and the last session always has a lot about reflection on what we have learnt and looking forward, and being commissioned, for the future.

msm learnI was encouraged last night with stuff that the students shared. You can read from the image what this years students felt were some of the important things that they learned.

I love reading them all … but I am particularly struck and challenged by the last comment on that flip chart … ‘going where you fit’.

For me … that kind of sums up Christian life and mission. Rather than trying to engineer or manipulate things … mission, and by that I mean ‘serving and loving people Jesus Style’, can only happen out of a context where one feels ‘at home’. By that I mean a place where you feel accepted, where you can see you are growing to love the people that inhabit that space and where you are welcomed by those that already make up that community.

Sometimes that acceptance can take a little while to appear, and I remember it took around 6 – 8 months to start to feel accepted in Wetherspoons at the start of my curacy. Before this acceptance, however, it was clear to me that I resonated with these people in some way. For a time that was enough. The same has been true of the locations and spaces I inhabit now.

So …. I often get asked by others starting or changing their ministry ‘how do I discern my calling?’, or ‘how do I know what God wants me to do in this town?’ …. my answer has now been simplified by these inspired words ….

simply go where you fit

I’m happy with that!


teams and jelly babies

IMG_1093Today has been a very varied day.
I started in a primary school where I work 4 hours a week as chaplain. I had some interesting conversations there with pupils and staff.
Next I went to vicar club …. aka Chapter. We chatted about a few things and shared information. I

The lowlight of the day was trying to get Terry the greyhound to go on a walk.Last night he walked fine. This morning he was reluctant but walked. This afternoon and this evening he refused totally. The poor dog has been traumatised by recent events and I guess it is going to be a long slow road to mental recovery!

On a better note, the highlight of the day was teaching on the MSM course. This evenings session was on team roles and behaviour. It’s always fascinating to see how people view teams and how people operate in teams. It’s funny to think that tonight I will actually be paid for getting people to build as tall a tower as possible using nothing but spaghetti and jelly babies. The two teams did quite well, although I don’t think i’ll be asking any of them to do any work on my house! Setting up a church or new initiative … well I think some of them would be quite cool at that!

I think with teams it is important to remember that each person brings a set of unique gifts and insights. As each person joins the team should change to incorporate and be moulded by those new gifts and insights. Teams, to be teams, need to grow people and relationships and not just be task orientated. I think if they concentrate ontasks only then what we have os not a team, but a working group. But … I guess this is a topic for a different discussion!

So …. The course is really good … so if there is one near you and you are thinking of enrolling …. go for it!

Powerful stories

20130930-160808.jpgThis last Saturday saw the launch of this years MSM in the Kent area.

There are 32 new students on the course this year. As I listened to some of their stories throughout the day I was struck by both their variety and their desire to connect in a real way with those outside the church structures.
I think this course is an excellent course – well as one of the teaching team you would expect me to say that … but I am seriously looking forward to learning from these people as they share their experience as well as seeing them ‘grow’ as they Ty out new ideas and listen to each other.

Saturday was a really great start and I went home thinking what a great privilege it will be over the next 10 months or so as we travel together. I think it is a pretty exciting time for the church in Kent.

taking a risk to bring hope

msm-logoOne of my roles on the MACE team for Rochester Diocese is to teach on the MSM course. We have recently completed the last course and publicity is now available for the next course that starts in late September. I’ve linked below to the official video from the MSM site …. take 7 minutes to listen before reading on ….



I know you will think I am slightly biased, but this course really is what is says it is …. a one year part time learning journey in a supportive community’ that will ‘equip you for a lifetime of good practice and learning in planting and sustaining fresh expressions of church’ …. there may be other courses out there …. but this is a great course and is well worth considering.

Whether you are exploring how to start off, or are an experienced pioneer; whether you are wanting to learn qualities of ministry, or a person who really wants your church to be more effective in mission ….. then why not consider enrolling on MSM. There are 6 or more different teachers on the course, all coming with loads of different experience of mission in varying local contexts.

Individuals are welcome … but i think it is definitely of more benefit if 2 or 3 people from a church or fresh expression come together and discuss the issues together both on the course and in their local context.

Intrigued ….. then look at the course flyer here ….. and if you would like an informal/non committal chat please get in touch … oh and did I say this is a great course?

I hope to hear from some of you ….