Missions Feed

Baptists in the house

It's been an interesting weekend with a Baptist theme

.Spoons at ngatiawa

We enjoyed having Rodney MaCann here a few times. Rodney has been National Leader of the Baptists for most the past decade, and has recently handed over the reigns to Craig Vernall. Rodney's son, The Venerable Stu, is on the Ngatiawa team, where he functions, among other roles, as the official psalter. Which makes sense coz his dad is also an opera singer. 


But we also had a team from Carey Baptist College in Auckland as part of the UMEC urban missions training. We gave them a hard time, of course, making them do horrible mission related tasks like chopping chicken heads and carrying a pottery kiln that weighed a gazillion tons, and fed them Luwak poop coffee from Indonesia. Which Joseph didn't mind at all. 


Baptists chopping heads

They did really well. And they were a joy to have around. Although I was a little disappointed they knew so little about WIlliam Carey.

"Isn't he the founder of our school?"'

Ahhhh . . . . no . . not directly.

Umec baptists

Best time we had was doing a session in our yurt and our truck where we told stories of getting through borders without bribing corrupt officials, getting sensitive documents out of one country and into another, helping out with earthquake relief, and leadership training memories all done through the truck, the same truck 

there were sitting in. 

Hope to see this crowd again. They go from here to get some urban mission experience in Wellington area through the other UV teams.

Next month: Graham L. from the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Australia comes here to teach on prayer. This Baptist monastery started in the 1970's and is still going strong. Looking forward to hearing their story. 

Videos from Underground Ministries Roundtable

I just uploaded some videos I took at the Global Roundtable of Underground Ministries which we held at Cornerstone Festival in Illinois last year. Sorry it took so long to get the videos up. Hope you enjoy them.

Attendance was a little spotty in places because most of us were also involved in Cornerstone Festival [I taught 3 seminars] but we managed to have some really good discussions about what God was doing in our countries and what new movements were springing up.

Here is a taste of our morning worship, this time led by an American, a Romanian and a Portuguese. And a Canadian on his big drum.


Olgalvaro Bastos Jr from Brazil kicked off some interesting discussion about the emerging church in Brazil and the need for "new wineskins for new wine." Denny Hurst (Portugal) added some history of the hippie movement in the 1970's, Calvary Chapel, the Christian rock scene and other precedents for this new movement. 

Other leaders shared their point of view on the new wineskins. In this video there are leaders from USA, Canada, Chile, NZ and Brazil.

The discussion on wineskins continued with Romania, Canada, and Brazil and America.

There are more videos. I will upload them when I get a chance.

My book - Your help


Last year was amazing. Your gifts enabled me to spend time in Turkey, China, Indonesia, Egypt, and Eastern Europe to equip missional leaders and their networks in those countries. And because we traveled most of those countries in our 4x4 overlander, the whole family could come along for free. It was a great experience. Life-changing, actually, for us and for the ministries we strengthened. And we did it on a shoe-string.

I want to write a book and give you copy. More about that in a second.

In 2012 we will be primarily in Asia, with NZ as our home base. The family is here in NZ now, living in a Mongolian style yurt. It has a dirt floor so its a bit cold at nights but we are building a platform for it. Being homeless is great for getting around on a budget but when winter comes its not as much fun. Bringing the truck (our home) over here will solve a lot of problems, as well as enabling us to continue the journey. From NZ, the next port of call would be Capetown when the time is right to return to Africa.

Yurt jones

We have 2 big needs right now.

1. I am flying overseas today to pick up the truck and continue the journey. I will be driving 4000kms through 6 countries. More details on which countries in my newsletter shortly. I need diesel money - about US$1500.

Paypal account is Jonesberries@gmail.com

2. Our truck is currently in Turkey but we need to ship it home to New Zealand where it will be our Asian base for the next season. Shipping cost is US$4,780. There is a container ship leaving early March which is not a lot of time but if enough of you kicked in a little bit, we could do it for sure.

The book.

Here's the thing. If you donate US$10 or more, I will send you a copy of my e-book based on my 35 country trek, a journey that has given me new perspective on the global Christian movement as well as my own life priorities. I hope to start a kick-starter thing but don't have time right now but if you give to PayPal and leave your email, I will make sure you get a copy of the e-book as soon as it is finished.


Can you pass on the need on your blogs? Facebook? other media? It would be a huge help. And we could also get the truck before winter.

And if you have a larger chunk to donate [God bless you] or want to do a bank transfer then read on for directions.

Continue reading "My book - Your help" »

Pioneer Mission Leadership Training


Great news for training for Anglican ministry and ordination, especially young people working in pioneer urban situations. I have blogged about this a few times along the way because we have been supporting this process in a number of ways. Heres the news:

CMS has been given the BIG THUMBS UP to train ordinands in pioneer ministry. Press release here.


Well done, everyone. Especially Jonny Baker who is very very excited about it and also Mark Berry who is berry berry excited.

Practices of a new Jesus movement


I visited a number of Asian countries in 2011 and was amazed at the dynamism and commitment of the young Jesus followers.

One network, in a country that I will not mention, stuck out to me as an outstanding example. They have started almost a thousand new communities, many of them multiplying into the second and third generation. And like many new movements in the non-Western world, a Sunday worship service as an evangelistic entry point for potential members, has not been part of their ministry portfolio. Which was the subject of my somewhat provocative post a few days ago, 9 Reasons NOT to plant a church in 2012.

So if they didn't start worship services, how did they start a replicating movement of Christian communities and how do they maintain such a high level of spiritual growth?

Of course it's hard and a little presumptuous to claim which elements of their ministry are the most important but . . . here are 11 practices that I think have contributed to their success:

1. Bible study.

The Bible studies were simple and regular. And there was a lengthy program of discoving Jesus in the gospels which took months to complete. Most who completed the study decided to follow Jesus by the end. Discipleship was based on an "obedience-based approach" to the Scriptures that happened around their 3 simple Bible study questions [see 4. Simple habits]. When the group meets again, everyone is held accountable to do what they said they were going to do and this way the Word becomes an integral part of life.


2. Open houses.

The people were hospitable to visitors who seemed to come at any time of the day or night. Their houses were full of young people living there while their lives were being transformed. I did not see any buildings used for worship or church functions. Bible studies and events took place in the houses, with young people sitting on carpets and mattresses, but I would not classify it as a house church movement, since there was no regular worship service to invite neighbours into.

3. Fringe focus.

The primary influx was young people from the margins, the underbelly of society and those discarded by it, drug addicts, and postmodern sub-cultures rather than mainstream folk. I have seen this trend all over Asia including Japan. Most of the leaders I met had come from these backgrounds also.


4. Simple habits.

Nothing took a lot of skill. Teaching Bible, sharing jesus, leading AA-type meetings, no need for a charismatic superstar to attract an audience and in fact, there wasn't one. Anyone could lead after a short time of instruction. The Bible studies, for example, were based on the same pattern:

After reading a passage together, they all answered 3 questions:

1. What does it say?

2. What does it say to me?

3. What I'm going to do about it?


5. Good business products.

Financial sustainability came partly from their micro-businesses. The organic products from these businesses were among the best and healthiest in the country, even if they had not yet found a way to promote or distribute them widely. They had also innovated in the production process and believed God gave revelation that is helping them produce more and better goods and in a way that blesses the environment rather than taking from it.


Continue reading "Practices of a new Jesus movement" »

Growing Cafe Churches Singapore Style

Tim Wong flew home to Singapore yesterday but we are still talking about his cafe-churches or "missional cafe communities" as he calls them.

“It costs $20 million to buy land and build a church in Singapore. For that much money, we could buy 100 coffee shops.” Tim Wong

6a00d8341c5bb353ef015393e04a4b970b pi

What's interesting to me is that Tim's dad was the co-author of a church planting book that I was forced to read in Seminary called Growing Churches Singapore Style: Ministry in an Urban Context by Keith Hinton and James Wong.

Canon Dr James Wong, a speaker at Lausanne 74, has shared the same principles on sustainable church planting that his son espouses with his fresh expressions of church.

Less capital cost and funding is required to get new churches started. It also allows for more flexibility and mobility of the centers of witness and worship. The house-churches can always be located where people are found to be most responsive.” James Wong [Evangelism in High-Rise Housing Apartment Buildings, Lasuanne papers, PDF]

Want to read the full post? Go to this spanking new group blog and check it out.

Emerging Philanthropy: NOW Funding, not SOON Funding

Sometimes, you need NOW funding to assist an emergency situation. When an earthquake hits, people need resources immediately. They have no house and only the clothes on their back. If its cold, their families will freeze. Rescue workers need to be fed or they will stop shifting bricks and more people will die.

Fundraising takes time and you need the funds NOW and not SOON, not even THEN, and forget about LATER.

$1000 in the first week of an earthquake is like $10,000 in the second week.

In Turkey this month, we badly needed NOW funding to assist the earthquake relief in the first week.

Earthquake zone arriving philanthropy

But unfortunately, most foundations and trusts cannot act that fast. There is paperwork and permissions and the presentation of proposals and the estimate of expenses and the signing of papers, etc.  Most foundations can help with SOON funding but very few can help with NOW funding.

Continue reading "Emerging Philanthropy: NOW Funding, not SOON Funding" »

Resourcing Missional Entrepreneurs (without creating charity cases)

Prague. Yesterday I spoke to a group of Christian business professionals and Foundation leaders from USA about how to resource missional entrepreneurs in Europe in a sustainable way, ie, without creating eternal charity cases. These people, all of them very friendly,  are part of a European tour organized by Fred Smith of TheGathering.com and Lee Behar of The Maclellan Foundation.

image for the gathering presentation

I talked a little about what we have been doing in the past ten years in Europe and some of the best practices we have observed from our collaborators. In hindsight, I thought the presentation was a little too heavy on the strategic side and lacked some warm human stories. . . . Oh well. After I spoke, my good friend Sasa Flek shared about the Bible21 project which was excellent.

But here is my presentation. And if you happened to be in the audience, then please accept my humblest apologies.

Epoch2011 giving away $50,000


Big event tonight in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre. I received an invitation to be a part of Epoch 2011 but unfortunately, I am in the wrong part of the world tonight. From what I can see, the event is a celebration of Christian ministry and creativity. I like the idea of making the selection and funding process something more visible, more accountable, more open, more celebratory. What not throw a party????

7 people will receive cash awards tonight totaling $50,000. There was a big list of potentials but only a few got nominated. Read on to see who they were. Or buy a ticket to see them yourself. 90% of ticket proceeds gets given away.

Sorry I cant be there but i hope you all have a fabulous night!!!!

Continue reading "Epoch2011 giving away $50,000" »

European Church Planting Survey

Hey. If you are starting churches in Europe then we need your input. There is still time to get your information into a survey hosted by some friends of mine.

Go here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/eurochurch


Church planting

I noticed that most of the groups represented are European or American mission groups but very few are from outside Europe, despite starting lots of new churches inside Europe. And 90% of respondents have been MALE which makes sense because the "church planting" thang is quite a male way to look at the European mission project and less integrative than  . .  say . . 'missional social enterprise' in which many of my female colleagues prefer to invest their energy.

Also, one of the categories is "emergent" church planter or networker and although it is not clear what that word means, I chose it to represent the simple, non-institutional churches or monastic centers [including holistic missional enterprises] we are helping to start in European cities. You might choose it to, even if you dont like the term.

One of the observations arising from this survey is this: Its really hard for church planters to accurately measure their impact, both personally and for their church/ministry and for their community. Especially their wider community. One of the problems of a sharp focus on church planting is that it can be unhelpfully self-referential in its critical approach and accounting of a holistic impact beyond its four walls. Counting bums on seats and numbers of new communities tends to rule as the main measurement criteria. A few other tools are helpful but there is a need for something more comprehensive.

But some of us want to change that. One of the projects we are sponsoring is a tool to measure holistic impact. Its called the Transformational Index. Later this month a team of people will gather in UK to add some final touches. I will not be there but will let you know what happens. You can read more about it from Brad Sargent.

But if you want to know the real brains and heart behind this project, then you need to meet the girl who started the emerging church network.