Church, Manchester, Faith, Punk

Archive for January, 2011

A rant free dull blog

I haven’t written much for a while about Christ Church Manchester. I have lost a bit of confidence in writing about it because I am not sure how I am supposed to write about what’s going on with out sounding like an ego driven pillock. My writing has also been concentrated in the humiliation that is my dadtalk blog and in trying to prove how cool I still am on the Sounds Good To Me Too.

Also, I have been trying to work out how you define success and failure when talking about church. My tendency is to get caught up in the numbers of people at key meetings which is a long road to frustration and loss of perspective. However, if you are starting something new then you need to be in reality about whether anybody turns up or not.

So the reality of CCM:City is that people are turning up and they are bringing their friends. The bigger picture is that community is being built and that the people we are getting are quality (with some genuine musical talent thrown in for good measure – MikeJonny). The even bigger picture is that Christ Church Manchester as a whole is picking up pace. A new venue for CCM:East is drawing close, our training academy is taking shape and plans are afoot for a music and arts academy.

Often I find myself being a very excited spectator who tries to claim credit for what is nothing to do with me!

Anyhoo, there wasn’t much ranting in that blog. I will try and rectify that soon.


Nick Sharp at Mobilise

This weekend I went to the Mobilise student workers conference and had a great time. I love hanging out with old friends and making new friends at these events and the student worker weekend has given me a fine bunch of guys and girls to become friends with and steal ideas from.

This weekends high point was the Saturday night preach/talk/comedy from Nick Sharp. Nick planted and now leads Grace Church Nottingham. His talk was characterised by some stunning honesty. At one point Nick explained that his church was NOT the best church in Nottingham and the reason for that was that he was NOT the best church leader in Nottingham. Brilliant.

He talked about his early days in Nottingham and the difficulties he faced in church planting. In particular he talked about how he got caught up in triumphalism, for example “we are going to to take our city for Jesus” or “we are taking our city for Jesus” and also with the constant discussion of numbers of people in churches (something I am VERY guilty of).

Nick was very funny and very challenging. His honesty was utterly disarming and entirely convicting. When things are going well, and currently we are experiencing some momentum and growth, it easy to get caught up the moment and stray into triumphalism which, as Nick pointed out, does not help anyone.

Nick used a good analogy when describing our triumphalism. When talking about church planting or growing church we often use army or war metaphors but they are often like a cavalry sweeping across a sunlight plain towards a weak and stupid enemy. He claimed the reality was far more like fighting door to door in Iraq against a well organised enemy that you can barely see and your only concern is to get home unharmed.

I am not a fan of Christians using war and army pictures to describe church life as most of us have no idea of what it means to be in an army let alone a war. Nick, however, used to be in the Parachute Regiment so he can pretty much say what he likes.

Jab in the ribs from Matt Hatch

Myself and a buddy have been working on a church planting blog for a while now. Part of plan for that was to do some video interviews. Our first was with Matt Hatch who leads Mosaic Church in Leeds.

So we went to Leeds and filmed Matt for an hour or so. We then sliced and diced the video into a whole bunch of snippets. I haven’t interviewed anyone before so I was concentrating pretty hard and consequently did not really listen to much of Matt said. This must make me the worst interviewer in the world!

Anyhoo, when I watched back through these videos I discovered this one –

The comment he makes about praying hard for a whole year knocked me sideways. It may be obvious to all you awesome people that read Christian blogs but to me it was a sharp jab in the ribs.

I haven’t prayed much. About time I fixed that.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how my blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,500 times in 2010. That’s about 16 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 97 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 206 posts. There were 13 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 618kb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 1st with 193 views. The most popular post that day was Not a History Maker.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for tim simmonds, worship music sucks, alphabetize cds, tim simmonds twitter, and tim simmonds blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Not a History Maker April 2010


Mind boggled Part 2 September 2010


Elbow Dropped by Joel Virgo July 2010


One year on September 2010


Where are the creatives? June 2010