Church, Manchester, Faith, Punk

Archive for March, 2011

The Right People – Part 2

I am writing a series of blogs about the people at Christ Church Manchester that make me look good. The idea behind this is to prove that a church is only as good as the people that are part of the church and our church is packed full of people who make me look awesome! I suppose it is a little bit of a reaction against the celebrity status that church leaders sometimes get. Like they are the only reason their church is any good. Piffle, I say.

So far I have told you about Chloe and Tim. Today I will tell you about Emma Odih.

I met Emma at Newday. I explained to her that we were the best church in Manchester and when she moved up she should just join us without visiting any other churches. Thankfully, she fell for it and joined us.

On here first Sunday she said she was going to bring her friends along. I nodded politely but inside I was a big pile of unbelief (Sorry Emma, I should never have doubted you). Over the next few weeks she brought a long a whole bunch of people, some of them came back and some of them have committed to us.

Now because Emma is Godly and is probably a better Christian than me, we asked her if she would lead a Mission Group for us in her halls. She said she didn’t think she would be able to do it, which is probably the greatest indicator available that she would be an amazing Mission Group leader. So after a few weeks of arm bending she agreed to lead the group. I promised I would bring a crowd of people to get her started and Emma thought could get a few mates along.

On the night of her first group all of my invitees bailed out and Emma got 8 people there. Her crowd included 6 people who had never been to CCM before, and most of them were still in the early stages of working out their faith, if they had any faith at all. In other words, Emma started a proper Mission Group. The best thing I did was get out of the way.


The Simple Pastor

This weekend we had Phil Whittall preaching morning and evening at Christ Church Manchester. Phil leads hope church in Shrewsbury and will be known to most of you as The Simple Pastor.

Phil is a good friend who is brighter than me and I called him into CCM, and CCM:City in particular, because he talks and writes about issues that very few church leaders (especially in Newfrontiers) talk about. He has thought carefully about living generously, simply and with a clear understanding of what consumerism does to us.

He challenged us about how we view our possessions, our attitudes to money and our attitudes to the poor. In the best possible way, I felt challenged and a little guilty. Personally, I realised that I whine about money. I whine about the amount of money I do or do not have and I whine about the amount of money CCM has and does not have. Lets not be naive, we are not rich but we do have all the money that God has allowed us to have. Therefore I choose contentment.

Contentment does not mean an end to faith or prayer but it does mean a beginning to trusting God and an end to whining.

Anyhoo, Phil is off to Sweden in the summer to plant a church in Stockholm read his blog.

He also played us this video –

The Right People

Yesterday I told you about Chloe. Chloe is awesome for putting together a mission group out of nothing. Kudos to her.

Today I shall tell you about Tim. I found Tim on twitter 18 months ago. He came along to our meetings when we were The Chapel in Baa Bar. 14 of us in a room doing our very best to be 15 people in a room. Tim in a strange way gave us hope.

I guess he was an indicator as to where we could be if a few of the right people joined us. Tim is one of the right people and he joined us.

He decided to stay in his halls (the glorious Owens Park Hall) for an extra year because he wanted to be a missionary. He led a small group that the CU gave him. He was given a list of mobile numbers and that was it. Out of that list 7 (I think) joined CCM:City. One day he sat in the dinning hall reading his bible, that got him someone else to bring to church. She in turn brought two of her mates.

Tim does all our design, anchors the meetings, and generally helps us to be much better than we are.

Tim makes me look awesome!

(He does sometimes wear braces, which is a shame)

Next I will tell you about Emma.

Why I am completely awesome

I am made to look completely awesome by a few quality people.

CCM:City started in September 2010 with about 20 ish people and has worked up to about 40 ish people in recent weeks. We maxed out at 50 a few weeks back and have hovered around the 35-40 mark for a couple of months. Basically we have doubled since September.

Obviously this is awesome. I have felt an odd pride at how things have been going but not really a pride in myself (although I am incredibly proud but that is a whole other blog post). I have been proud of our core group.

Last year our core group consisted of about 8 of us. We battled through and got a few small victories that meant we could start in September with a core of about 15. This 15 has got us to 40 ish by inviting all their friends. Some of their friends liked CCM:City enough to come back and some of them brought their friends a long. Winner.

Now let me tell you about Chloe.

Chloe led our first mid week mission group. This group started with me telling Chloe to start up a group and giving her no people to start with. Obviously Chloe is awesome and turned her group with nobody in to a group that was so big we could turn it into 2 groups. She did that with little help from me in 3 months.

Chloe made me/us/CCM look good.

Tomorrow I will tell you about Tim.

Rob Bell free zone

So this blog sucks and to make it worse I hate bloggers that don’t blog for ages and then write about the fact they haven’t blogged in ages. I have become that lazy blogger I despise. But I have been inspired to recommence by Fatroland. Fat Roland is an award winning Manchester blogger who writes quality blogging about strange electronica and whatever else he fancies. His strength is his consistency in frequency and quality, he just keeps going and he keeps a high standard.

One of the reasons I stopped blogging here was a slight crisis in confidence in blogging. It occurs to me that I now am a leader of a church. I am not the main leader, the number 1, the head honcho but I get paid and I run a bunch of things. So at Christ Church Manchester I am in charge of CCM:City which is a site/campus/crazy idea of Christ Church Manchester. I am in charge until my boss (the church leader) decides someone else could do a better job. This is a scenario I am enjoying a great deal. Currently we are growing with new people.Ssome are christians, some are not christians and some have no idea either way, but they are all quality people who I love to hang out with.

So I guess I am in leadership in a church in some way or another. This was the case last year but it didnt matter because nobody turned up at any of the stuff I ran and so I couldn’t really view myself as a leader because I was just a guy renting a room in a vodka bar with the vague hope some people might show. Now is different. Now we have some people and some stories.

I have noticed that a huge number of church leaders have blogs and largely they are dull. So dull that a lot of them argue about books that havent yet been published and whether some bloke they have never met may be a universalist. Yuk. I was worried I was becoming one of those guys.

I guess I locked myself up a little bit. So I am going to try and unlock this blog. I promise never to talk about Rob Bell. Not ever.