Church, Manchester, Faith, Punk

Archive for November, 2011

How to lead nobody

Someone leading without anyone following is just someone taking a walk.

This is almost true. Jesus is our model for leadership and at times he was completely isolated.

Church planters start by effectively leading nobody. We can sometimes find ourselves in this position for a while. There comes a point when people start signing up to the new church and it feels like you are getting somewhere. It feels like they have bought into the vision and are ready to be led into the great unknown.

The reality is a little different.

Sometimes I encounter this expectation that leadership is a deeply idealistic position where people follow your vision, your ideas, your preaching, your theology or your gifting. To start with I don’t think this is true. When a church is small enough for everyone to know the leader (1 – 100ish) then relationship is what matters. First of all people need to like the leader, only then will they follow.

Lately I have discovered myself living a strange existence. I have been spending a lot of time convincing people that I am likeable (tough sell), whilst be myself and only needing the approval of Jesus not men.

Most people joining the church don’t care that much about our theology, our worship, our small group structure or our vision. They just want to feel like they can belong. Only once they have found there place in the community do they worry about the other things.


Contextualisation sounds like this

Here is the CCM:City take on Jesus Saves –

I think this is my favorite one so far. It has a fair bit of cross over and so is probably not pure dance music but it really thumps!

We want Manchester to hear us and be surprised!

All three songs that Mike has re-imagined are here –


Crying like a toddler (again)

I have been looking forward to writing this post for the last 18 hours.

Manchester has looked after the Simmonds family and CCM rather well in the last week. To be more specific, the churches of this beautiful city have really stepped up to the plate and slammed the ball out of the park on our behalf!

On friday I was sat with my good friend Nathan Whilians (from Kings Church) in a cafe. Nathan, being the good guy that he is, asked we what we needed. At that moment it occurred to me that this is a brilliant question and I cannot remember if anyone has ever asked me this question before. “What do I need?” is so much better than “What do you want?”.The things I want are stupid (people, money, recognition etc etc), the things I need are simple.

In a flash of reality I realised I needed God. I need God to move. I don’t need anything else. Nothing at all. Every perceived issue we have, every hope, every dream and every expectation all get addressed when God moves.

So I did what any normal bloke would do. I cried. right there in the cafe. Like a toddler (less stamping of feet but the point stands).

Nathan was gracious enough to wait for me to compose myself and then he prophesied over me and encouraged me while I did a bad bad job of getting my act together.

Fast forward by 48 hours and Sarah Smith from Vinelife was speaking at CCM:City. The Vinelife guys have been consistently amazing to us. They have served us, encouraged us, challenged us and very publicly supported and promoted us.

Anyhoo Sarah preached the Holy Spirit turned up, prophecy bounced around the room, Non-christians experienced God, Christians reconnected with God and our meeting was a mess (guess what? I cried. In fact I am crying now….).

You have to remember that we are a new church, we are fighting to exist and we are growing slowly. There is no reason at all that Kings or Vinelife should even know who we are let alone care that we succeed.

Something is happening in this city.