Impact is a great way to grow in God, in your character and gifting and to serve in a local church. It is a discipleship gap year where you develop and learn alongside others with a chance to discover your calling and be equipped for the life God has in store for you.
We asked some of our Impacters (past and present) to tell us about their time on Impact.
Micah came into his prophetic ministry about a generation after Hosea and Amos and was a younger contemporary of Isaiah during the 8th Century B.C. His home town was Moresheth, located about twenty miles southwest of Jerusalem, near the Philistine city of Gath.
Micah was a master of word plays, similes, and metaphors. This kind of speech was common among the prophets of the Bible. They were dealing with realities in their world, but they were pointing to a much larger world of God’s judgement, faithfulness, and compassion. Literal explanations could not do what these word pictures could.
Hardly a day goes by without another twist in the Brexit story – in the midst of so much uncertainty, how do we respond as churches and individuals? In this blog, Nigel Paterson, who represents the Catalyst Network with CARE in Westminster, offers a few thoughts:
As I write this, I have just come back from the Newfrontiers leaders ‘Praying for the Nation – a day of prayer for the UK’ at Westminster Chapel, London. My thoughts here are inspired partly from the day and from watching the Brexit story closely since it started. For me, this has included giving about 10 presentations on Brexit, in a professional capacity and usually to foreigners, during the past 12 months. With an issue this complex and divisive, how can we respond with grace, as churches and individuals?
Gareth and Nadine Bowley began an extraordinary journey 16 years ago when they moved into leadership in what was to become Reconciliation Road Church. The church is just South of Durban, South Africa. Check out this video update to learn more about this great church that is doing great unifying work in a community with a long history of division.
Last weekend saw the launch of a new Catalyst training initiative. For many years now we have been running Impact as a “Gap Year” programme from Woodside Church Bedford, the Leadership and Theology course hosted by Andrew Wilson at New Life Church Milton Keynes, and Broadcast, an online resource for church planters run by the team at Christ Church Manchester. This new course, God’s Big Story, aims to plug the gap between our other training courses and is aimed at everyone in our churches who wants to dig a bit deeper into their Bible.
Yesterday, hundreds of leaders and teams from churches across the wider Newfrontiers family gathered together in London for a day of prayer for the UK – lifting up their voices to cry out to God to move in this nation.
The day was characterised by a deep sense of relationship; as friendships were renewed, connections were rekindled, and a collective rise of faith was reawakened for what God longs do to in our nation and the part that our movement has to play in speaking life, hope, justice and mercy into our culture. As we shared communion together in the morning session, it emphasised especially strongly that we are united as one not by our own wisdom, strength or efforts, but by Jesus and his finished work on the cross. Resting in that truth and receiving again from him with a posture of humility, generosity, and open-handedness will increasingly enable us to deepen our work together as Newfrontiers spheres and teams – leading to a greater unity than anything we have known before. We are a family together on a mission, and opportunities like this to stand together and pray for one another emphasise how that togetherness will continue to characterise us moving forward.
Catalyst is working with key apostolic leaders representing many hundreds of churches all around East Africa, and recently held our now-biannual East Africa Apostolic Conference in Entebbe, Uganda to serve, equip and learn from one another.
It was an outstanding time of teaching, ministry and honest sharing, with some leaders coming from situations of intense pressure and persecution, whilst others are experiencing rapid conversion growth. There are areas experiencing near revival phenomena, rapid conversions and hundreds of baptisms…whilst in other, supposedly “closed” nations, to be a Christian is life-threatening and to convert is illegal. In one nation, for example, a leader has to destroy his SIM card and get a new one if he even phones a church leader.
It is often difficult to pin down the value of art. Most people would recognise that art, whether in the form of music, painting, writing, performance or something in between, is valuable. However, defining what that value is and why that should be the case becomes tricky.
One answer that can be offered is that art is valuable primarily because it can communicate a message. For Christians, this is particularly appealing, as we have a message that we feel strongly needs to be communicated! From this point then, it can lead churches to encourage artists in their communities to produce work in line with this goal, but potentially neglect other practitioners whose work does not communicate the gospel so clearly.
The Bos-Wash megalopolis includes eleven states from D.C. to Maine. In his most famous work, Jean Gottmann presents the distinct yet cohesive cities from Washington D.C. to Boston as a kind of supercity. It is the most heavily urbanized region in the country: “As of 2010, the region contained over 50 million people, about 17% of the U.S. population on less than 2% of the nation’s land area, with a population density of approximately 1,000 people per square mile, compared to the U.S. average of 80.5 per square mile.” (Wikipedia)
Tony Thompson, leader of Hope Church Luton, is one of the founders and the co-chair of FACES (Faiths Against Child Sexual Exploitation) – a partnership of Christian and Muslim community leaders working to oppose child sexual exploitation (CSE) in all its forms. In this blog, he introduces us to the work of FACES, and why it is vital that the church takes a proactive role in challenging the exploitation of children and young people wherever it is happening.
Child abuse is regularly in the headlines, much of it linked with religion. This includes Muslim / Pakistani grooming gangs; abuse by priests within the Church of England and Roman Catholic Churches, and more recently abuse by ministers in the South Baptist denomination in the US.