Saturday, January 31, 2009

Alan Hirsch's Six Elements of Apostolic Genius

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At the centre of the mission of God is the unchanging concept that Jesus is Lord. Jesus transforms lives, he changes lives. He is Lord.
For churches to be effective in the 21st Century we need to build around this foundational theological truth 5 other elements. (See Alan Hirsch's Forgotten Ways Website here)  (The rest of this blog is snatched from His site - and is attributed to him!)

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1. Missional-Incarnational Impulse: This element describes the twin impulses of remarkable missional movements, namely the dynamic outward thrust and the related deepening impulse which together seed and embed the gospel into different cultures and people groups.
2. Apostolic Environment: This element will relate to the type of ministry (and by extension the type of leadership) required to both initiate and sustain metabolic growth and impact. Apostolic creates fertile environment required initiating and maintaining the phenomenal movements of God. We simply cannot get exponential movements without it.
3. Disciple-Making: Essentially this involves the irreplaceable, and lifelong, task of becoming like Jesus by embodying his message. Disciple-making is an irreplaceable core task of the church and needs to be structured into every church’s basic formula.
4. Organic Systems: This will explore the appropriate structures for metabolic growth. Phenomenal Jesus movements grow precisely because they do not have centralized institutions to block growth through control. Here we will find that remarkable Jesus movements have (1) the feel of a movement, (2) structure as a network, and (3) spread like viruses.
5. Communitas not Community: The most vigorous forms of community are those that come together in the context of a shared ordeal or, communities who define themselves as a group with a mission that lies beyond themselves—thus initiating a risky journey. Over-concern with safety and security, combined with comfort and convenience, have lulled us out of our true calling and purpose. Everyone loves an adventure. Or do we? The chapter on communitas aims at putting the adventure back into the venture.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lots of Change

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Who would have thought I'd be out of Training College, driving around in a nice red Holden Commodore, settling the baby into a room of her own, and mowing the slab of lawn out the back... So many changes in such a short amount of time.
* A new baby (now eight weeks)
* Our first appointment as Corps Officers in The Salvation Army
* New home
* New car (don't own it though!)
* New weather conditions!
* Moving away from the family

For some change is hard. For others change makes them thrive. Most people are in between - you know - if the change is for the better then lets do it, otherwise keep things the same!

Some may fear following Jesus, because of the change their life will take. There may be a challenge from God to make new friends, to live a different lifestyle, to have different priorities in life, etc, etc. What can I say though - following Jesus is living life to the fullest - even if it means 'change...'

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Success on the Journey

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Reading through parts of Genesis, I came across a story of Abraham's servant being asked to go find his son Isaac a wife. The servant prays and says, 'May it be that when I say to a girl, "Please let down your jar that I may have a drink" and then she says, "Drink, and I'll water your camels too" - let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac' (Gen 24:14).

Anyway, the prayer comes true, and then he says, 'When I came to the spring today, I said, "O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come." ' (Gen 24:42)

I found myself saying that if this guy was able to pray for success on his journey, and God answered that prayer, then surely we can pray and ask God to give us success on our journeys?

Maybe success will be the growth of God's Kingdom in your city? Maybe it will be faithfulness through a tough situation, maybe it is bringing justice and peace into unjust circumstances? God help us be successful on the journeys we are on...

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Possibilities are around us

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We've arrived in Palmerston. The weather is hot. The Palm trees are green. The gheckos are friendly and there are lots of young children around!

I've been reflecting and praying lots about the potential that this area has for the Kingdom of God to expand as people begin following Jesus.

When the Lord asked Moses to send out some guys to check out the land in Canaan he sent out twelve spies. They glanced over the hill country, surveyed the landscape, analysed the opposition and brought back their own opinion on whether the Israelites should take the land. How many of the twelve saw the potential? How many of the twelve came back with a positive call to action? Only Caleb and Joshua. The others complained about the situation, and saw too much room for failure.
When it comes to seeing potential in a situation, who are you going to be? One of the twelve who step back and say, ‘Whoa, no thanks’, or will you be a Caleb and Joshua who say, ‘We should go…for we certainly can do it’ (Num 13:30).

This year in ministry, I'll be saying... 'God if this is your vision, then we can surely do it. Jesus if this is what you want me to do, then I will do it'

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Incarnation of Christ and Everyday Life!

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Busyness. Trying to make a good wage. Feeding the family. Looking after the kids. The hustle and bustle of everyday life. Worshipping together every weekend. Reading the Scriptures.

No doubt this reflected everyday life for the Jews back in the first century. Then something amazing happened. Jesus came onto the scene.

As Eugene Peterson puts it:
'The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory...' (John 1:14)

Things in first century Palestine were about to change. The Incarnation of Christ* had occurred. The World would never be the same.

Jesus' life was the ultimate example of holiness, love, power and grace. The life followers of Jesus try to emulate.

Thank you God for Jesus meeting us where we're at. Praise God.

* Check out Ross Langmead's book, 'The Word made Flesh: Towards an Incarnational Missiology'

Friday, January 9, 2009

What is God's name?

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My 7 year old nephew recently said to me confidently, 'I know God's name.'
I looked at him interested and said, 'Ohh ok. What's his name?'
'How'd you find that out?'
We met some friends tonight for dinner. As we were eating dinner together at their house, I said appreciatively, 'You can't get Lasagna like this at the shops.'
The reply came, 'Ahh, yes you can. This Lasagna came from the shops.'
Awkward silence...
Nothing ahead of you is bigger or stronger than the power of God behind you. 'Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power' (Eph 6:10).

The Pursuit of Happyness

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Have you seen the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness ? Just watched it recently. Based on a true story, Chris does his best to find stability in life, pay the bills, get a decent job and care for the family. Life hits rock bottom as he pursues happyness. What if we pursued something that would give us more than just happyness, but inner joy? What if we pursued the following of the one called Jesus; the one who promises to give us life to the fullest?
'Vision gives team members direction and confidence. And when they have direction and confidence, the team is able to develop its potential and go to a whole new level' (The 17 Indisputable laws of teamwork, p.100).
I read a quote from a guy named Jeremiah recently, 'No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you' (Jer 10:6-7).
'How can this strange story of God made flesh, of a crucified Savior, of resurrection and new creation become credible for those whose entire mental training has conditioned them to believe that the real world is the world which can be satisfactorily explained and managed without the hypothesis of God? I know of only one clue to the answering of that question, only one real hermeneutic of the gospel: a congregation which believes it.' - Lesslie Newbigin

Transforming Mission

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Well, here I am. My name's Pete Brookshaw. You may have been reading my blog at We'll I've changed the name. I wanted a name that suits the passion I have for the mission of God. The passion I have to enter into discussion about mission.

Why don't you update your blogrolls and help me get the name change going... Thanks!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mission - The Basic Elements

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If you're looking for an indepth, online analysis of Mission, then check out this amazing entry on a blog:
I've linked it on the side toolbar called, 'A Primer on today's missional church'

A primer means, 'any book of elementary principles' (

In 1988, the Anglican Consultative Council produced these five marks of mission:

1. To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom
2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
3. To respond to human need by loving service
4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society
5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain the life of the earth

They said mark number one is really a sum of what all mission is about. Check it out here

Lets proclaim that good news. Jesus is alive!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Experiencing Genuine Community

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Last night, Jo and I dedicated our little baby Shekinah. In the presence of many family and friends, we promised that we would do our utmost best to raise Shekinah up in a Christian environment, where she would learn and understand the gospel.
Moments like these create a deep sense of community. Churches should be places where people feel respected, loved and cared for. Not just from the minister. Healthy churches are communities of faith, where no one falls through the gaps. People sense they are a part of something beyond themselves. They are a part of God's family.
As soon as things get tough, don't run from the family. People I have spoken to recently have told me about feeling disconnected from the Church family. Just like an immediate family, you shouldn't run everytime you have a disagreement. You sort things out. Love one another.
When we dedicate our lives to following Jesus, and to living like Jesus, we will experience ultimate community together, within the folds of God's family.

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