Down is the only way up

Down is the only way up

Tony Kettle is part of the POD leadership team with decades of rich life experience. One of our Jubilee values is the importance of character over gifting or external appearance. Tony gives us some pearls of wisdom concerning the importance of foundations in our Christian lives:


There are a number of features that buildings, whatever their size, have in common and one of the most important is a foundation. So, it can be said that before going up, there is a need to go down.

The statement might sound weird but that is an essential tenet of building construction. The higher the building is intended to be, the deeper must be its foundation. It’s a principle that is found everywhere in life. If we have a goal, we have to set a foundation for it. If we want to work in a certain profession, we have to be prepared to face years of study and training. If we want to be a tradesman, we need to become an apprentice under somebody who is experienced in the trade concerned. This is what is meant by a foundation.

Viewed from another perspective, in order to find oil, mineral resources, diamonds and other precious stones, prospectors need to drill DOWN deep in the ground. Therefore, one needs to go down to find riches!!! Accordingly, to go up to where we want to be, we always have to go down. And going down takes us to places that don’t always resemble our goal. I can identify with this. In 1983 God gave me a deep desire – and a beautiful vision – to be involved in the mission field in the Great Lakes countries of East Africa. Over the years I have developed a passionate love for Africa, having spent a large part of my life in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. However, just over five years ago God brought me back to the United Kingdom – which certainly does not resemble my goal – my vision – but I have to bow to God’s wisdom!!! He directed me to Jubilee Church where I attended School of the Word in 2013/14. I subsequently realised that this intervention was necessary in order for God to create a stronger biblical foundation in my life and to address certain issues that required attention. In the interim, God’s goodness is so great that earlier this year He opened doors for me to go on mission to Zambia – a country that forms part of my vision.    

Nowhere is the concept of ‘going down’ more fundamental than in the life of the Christian. Our supreme example is the Lord Jesus Christ who gave up His Heavenly Kingship, came to earth as a human, was born in a smelly stable, became a humble carpenter and, completely undeserved, suffered a criminal’s death for our sin, before being resurrected and exalted to the right hand of the Father (Philippians 2:5-11). So, if we want to be Christ like, we need to follow His example of modesty, as the scriptures clearly indicate:   

“The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 15:33 ESV)

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11 ESV)

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you…” (1 Peter 5:6 ESV)

Most people see promotion as climbing their way, over everybody else, to the top of the pile! Jesus, on the other hand, sees it differently:

“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11 NKJV)

I am reminded of our Lord’s exhortation that, as “branches” of the “True Vine”, we bear MUCH fruit (John 15:8). On this point, when a natural branch of a vine or other fruit tree bears MUCH fruit – when it is heavily laden with good fruit – it sags DOWNWARDS with the sheer weight of it. So, that is the direction we should take!!!

Blessings,

Tony Kettle


Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

 

Jubilee Leadership School – Term one Testomonies

Jubilee Leadership School – Term one Testomonies

Term One of Jubilee Leadership School (JLS) has come to an end! After what seems like an age ago when the first sessions launched for the wider body, the term has suddenly gone so quickly.

JLS is a newly compiled course, consisting of material aligned with the core values of CotN and new material aimed at equipping the students for personal and organisational leadership. The course has been designed to be conversational and reflective, allowing for peer-to-peer mentoring. Each week a core topic is covered and a worksheet provided, highlighting some key questions, practical application and prayer points. The students have group time each week looking at a worksheet together and discussing. The first term covered some core biblical foundations for life, and core CotN values. Over 10 weeks, we looked at several biblical precepts in a fresh way, including:

  • The Kingdom of God
  • The Kingdom and Leadership
  • The Father Heart of God
  • Sonship
  • Hebraic Mentality in Leadership
  • Functions of a Kingdom Leader

The final week included feedback from each student on their learning, what God has spoken to them about and how their leadership has and will change. It’s incredible to see how God has worked in the lives of all the students and it’s been a privilege to be on this journey with them.

“I am pleased l was able to join JLS as l have enjoyed getting to know the other members of the team. Its been great delving into the scriptures and see once again how important it is to have our relationship with Father Son and Holy Spirit because everything we are and do comes from that – exciting times ahead” – Paula

The course has been facilitated by several speakers throughout the term, and by the amazing Emma Wilson, Ben and Anna Johnson who have helped serve each week. A massive thanks goes to them who have helped to make this happen, serving faithfully each week.

Looking ahead, we are really excited about Term Two, which works under the title of ‘Personal Leadership’. This term will take the students on a deeper journey in their personal lives and leadership. We are changing the format to a more modular format allowing students to sign up for specific modules, rather than a 10-week term.

“Jubilee Leadership School this term has been a great opportunity to grow by sharing our experiences of leadership under the inspiration of biblical principles. I was personally encouraged by the group discussions each week when we applied the teaching to our own settings. Early in the term, Andy Faulkner spoke on God as Father, which challenged me to go deeper in relating to Him as “Abba, Father”. For me this was one of the key foundations that put into context the rest of the term’s teaching on the Kingdom of God and our role as His sons.” – Daniel

We have two modules ready to go for Term Two, both of which are new to Jubilee and are going to be brilliant. The first module, called ‘identifying and growing in your personal leadership’, starts on Tuesday 8th January and runs for four consecutive Tuesdays. The first two weeks are being facilitated by Alex Afriyie, a fantastic leadership speaker and coach, who will be helping students to understand and identify their leadership journey and growth. The next two Tuesdays will be facilitated by Tony Faulkner, who will be taking students through a process called ‘strengthsfinder’, helping them to identify their core gifts and how to use them. We will have limited spaces for this module, so please book on by emailing your details to office@jubilee.co The module costs £30, to include all material.

I would like to say a massive thank you to all who have helped to make JLS happen, to the students who have turned up faithfully each week, completed their worksheets and made it a great term and to those who have prayed and supported us. We are looking forward to Term Two with expectation!

Much love, Dan

 

Freedom Thinking

Freedom Thinking

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1

What a powerful message in the lead up to Christmas. A fundamental core of our Christ message is the freedom that Jesus brings to us morally, socially, spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally.


Freedom Thinking

Chapter 4 of Galatians gives us the wonderful context for this powerful statement that ‘God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.’ (Galatians 4:3-7) With the major battlefield each Christian faces being in our minds, Satan wants to spoil our freedom with lies such as:

  • we are unloved rather than loved
  • we are ugly and ordinary rather than beautiful and wonderfully made
  • we have nothing to offer or contribute rather we can make a difference with our abilities and involvement
  • ‘no one cares about me’ rather than ‘we are cherished by God and part of a loving community of God’s people’?

The enemy is committed to ‘steal kill and destroy’, but the Word of God promises us freedom. Wrong thinking can place us in slavery, even after we become Christians. One of our key values in Church of the Nations is – Hebrew rather than a Greek mentality. This speaks of a biblical way of thinking (represented by ancient Hebrew or Hebraic) that brings freedom, in contrast to a worldly way of thinking (represented by ancient Greek). Here is a quick explanation of the differences between Greek and Hebraic thought.

Ancient Greek Thought

Alexander the Great conquered many of the great civilisations of the world around 323BC. He wanted to civilise or ‘Greek-ify’ the world – called Hellenisation. This way of thinking was human-centred ( not God-centred) and very different to the Ancient Hebraic thought found in the Bible (I elaborate further on) – and it still affects us today. Greek thought is about handling things in a legal way, as if you were in a court of law. As an example, my time at school was relatively functional and cold. We sang some fantastic hymns in assembly but, what I was presented with, was a version of God who was distant – if he/she or it even existed at all. Very much, ‘you are up there, and I am down here’.

Law Courts are behind the thinking of our large church buildings and cathedrals – often presenting God as someone who is distant and far off (reflected in their architecture and rituals) – giving you a sense that you can ‘taste a bit of heaven’ that awaits only when you leave this slightly ‘rubbish life’. One of worst extremes of Law Court mentality is children calling dad ‘sir’ – some generations may have experienced this in their relationship with their own fathers. Greek thought deals with philosophy, abstract thought, debating and theory. The word academic can mean ‘not of practical relevance; of only theoretical interest.’

“Greek thought deals with philosophy, abstract thought, debating and theory. The word academic can mean ‘not of practical relevance; of only theoretical interest.'”

Our surrounding culture has become filled with aspects of Greek mindset present in  Post Modern thinking.

  • Existentialism – you are a sum of your experiences.
  • Pluralism – we can hold many conflicting truths at the same time ‘You tell me your truth and I’ll tell you mine.’
  • Relativism – there are no absolutes, everything is relative.
    Disconnection with our past can weaken identity. The question is, can we truly formulate British values without reference to the influence, foundation and impact of our Christian past?

Ancient Hebraic thought

Hebraic thought starts with, and revolves around, Father and family. God reveals Himself as Father – the ‘source and sustainer’ or all-round-provider of everything we could ever need. The bible starts with Genesis – God who made us, who gave us a reason why we were made, and tells us our purpose on earth. God places us in families, a primary place of connection. Why? to learn from the example and life modelled to us by parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and siblings.

When it comes to our responsibility for the world around us, for education, social care and care for the vulnerable, it should start with family. Schools and hospitals and welfare are a blessing and a support, but responsibility should not primarily lie with the state – it should come from family. Personally speaking, the understanding of God as Father with me as His son has set me free from viewing God in a ritualistic and legalistic way. The result is a life of relationship, not of duty. It has been a journey of discovery and I still have much to learn. Ancient Hebrew thought is characterised by reality, what is concrete, the experiential and engaging with life.

“You may believe God is love – but do you believe God really loves you and wants to engage with your life? Not just the people next to you?”

You may believe God is love – but do you believe God really loves you and wants to engage with your life? Not just the people next to you? This has changed my thinking. God is not simply an ‘opinion’ to be pondered about, He is a real, living, breathing, and fantastic loving Dad who wants to live life alongside us.

Dangers for the Western Church

Adopting a Greek mind-set can result in the following:

  • church can become a spectator sport
  • chairs are arranged theatre-style facing a stage where the ‘hired holy man’ entertains the crowd
  • churchgoers receive their weekly input but their lives remain largely prayer-less, biblically illiterate and lacking outreach to others

For the hebrew mind, everything is theological (relating to the study of God). Kingdom thinking makes no distinction between the sacred and the secular areas of life. All of life is spiritual, known as ‘holistic living’. God is interested and part of every part of life – our trials and joys. ‘I have set the LORD always before me’ (Ps. 16:8).

What answer can we provide to counter this weakness of the Western mind-set in church context? We can get rid of the compartmentalised Western thinking of ‘Religion is a system of ethics, a code of conduct, an ideology, or creed’ by viewing our faith as a daily journey or walk with God (Gen. 5:24; 6:9). If a person knows God, he is daily at God’s disposal and walks in close relationship with him, along the road of life.

God invites us to live a life of true freedom. He shouts,

‘I am your loving Father. I want to walk with you in life. Will you walk with me?’

Let’s get our thinking right and walk in the freedom Christ has won for us.

– Article by Neil Pattison

 

Habitation in Tree Tops

Habitation in Tree Tops

As the youth work team we are enjoying our new surroundings! All of our youth activities are now in new venues, but we feel very blessed to have access to the facilities that we have. 

On a Sunday morning you’ll see Youth Time Out (Year 7-9) heading out at the beginning of the sermon. We meet for around 30mins in the staff room which is a lovely space. We’ve been exploring a whole range of different topics at the start of this year. Between now and Christmas we’ll be looking at a number of different aspects to do with following God at school.

“Seeing God move amongst our youth in many amazing ways is such a testimony of faith, love and healing. It blesses my soul to see our young people wrestle their way through life but trusting in God throughout each step.” – Brooke, Habitation Leader

Frequency (Year 10-13) are led by Ben J, Anna and Brooke and they meet on Friday nights at the Hub. They have been having some excellent evenings exploring the wonderful things that God is inviting us into as His children.

TNT (Year 7-9) are meeting over the road from Tree Tops at Christ Church. It is a perfect space for the fun filled evenings that we run and we are very grateful that we’ve been allowed to use it. TNT is currently meeting on a Friday night once a month.

We are really enjoying investing in these fantastic young people and we are on the lookout for a couple more leaders to join us. If you are interested and would like to find out more then come and find me on a Sunday or email me at ben.doggett@jubilee.co

 

 

 

‘Show Me The Way’ Cluster Weekend – Article by Hazel Pattison

‘Show Me The Way’ Cluster Weekend – Article by Hazel Pattison

At the heart of De Vere Beaumont Estate, just South of Windsor sits an 18th Century mansion house and hotel, and it was here that our joint Cluster weekend took place this October.

Jubilee Church are part of the ‘Acts Life’ Cluster, overseen by Dave and Carol Cape. This year we joined with some of the ‘Freedom Hill’ Cluster, overseen by Louis and Edna Els, for a combined time of fellowship, relationship building and inspiring impartation under the theme of ‘Show Me The Way’. It was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with old friends and begin to build and develop new friendships with leaders from other churches within the Church of the Nations family.

“The cluster weekend was a fantastic weekend away connecting and going deeper with old and new friends. It was a very powerful time pressing into God and one of the things God reminded us about was the power of communion. That we have a seat at the table but the enemy does not and we stand in victory in all He has done for us.”

– Ben & Anna Johnson

Spread over a full weekend we tasted a rich diet of teachings including sessions on The Five Pillars of the Church, by Louis du Piesane, ‘Acceleration From a Place of Pain’, by our very own Dan Maudhub, ‘Living with a Holy Discontent’, delivered by Neil Pattison, ‘Living in The Wide Open Spaces’ by Edna Els and ‘The Lords Table’, shared by Louis Els. Although the sessions were only 20 minutes long, each one contained enough meat to feast upon for a week and I have to say I am taking my time now to read through my notes and properly digest what was given!

These sessions are available for download (thanks so much to Lee Collier for making this possible) and I highly recommend them to you – you’re in for a real treat. To get access to the audio sessions, please email office@jubilee.co 

“It was a privilege to be at the cluster weekend. God’s presence was tangible from the moment we arrived. We were inspired by each speaker, particularly to guard our hearts and allow ourselves to enter the fullness of His presence. Dan M had a picture of a cracked egg that was made whole, and that summed up the weekend for me!”

– Josh & Rach Pattison

Alongside the sessions we had the opportunity to go on a tour of Windsor on the Saturday afternoon and learn a little more of our nations history from Neil-opeadia – fountain of all knowledge!

There was also plenty of time to sit and strengthen friendships over a coffee and hear what God is busy doing in other church families around the world. It was a wonderful privilege to be a part of something so much bigger, and so encouraging to be reminded again of how vast and diverse the Kingdom of God is.

– Article by Hazel Pattison

School of The Word Orientation

School of The Word Orientation

On Sunday 28th October School of the Word officially launched for the 2018/19 academic year and we as staff could not be more excited!

We welcomed three new students into the navy blue uniforms (and also into our hearts) – Emma Wilson from Maidstone, Ken Rich from Maidstone, and Joani Burger from South Africa.

After the Celebration we drove off to Cornwall in convoy, ready for a week away together full of activities, teachings and games and team challenges. The goal of this Orientation week away is to get to know one another, grow as a team, make memories and take some time out to listen to what God wants to do in our lives this year – a good foundation for the year ahead.

“Cornish Cream Tea, Pasties, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Berry Crumble, Lemon Meringue, Cheese Cake! Beautiful Cornish scenery, fellowship, new friendships and a NEW COUNTRY!

These are a few elements that could make for a great week. Yet, the Orientation with School of the Word included something even greater than these wonderful memories…

In both Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 we read that Jesus said that we do not live by bread alone, but every word of God. How true this is of my Orientation experience too.  Experiencing God through His Word will always be a highlight for me!” – Testimony from Joani Burger

 

One change to Orientation for this year was to begin our Inductive Study lectures whilst away. So our days were a combination of morning lectures, afternoon team challenges and activities, and then testimonies from each of our staff with a bit of fun thrown in to finish off the day. We learned over the week together that Ken is invincible, Emma exudes warmth and joy and Joani has a heart of gold – and we look forward to discovering so much more in the months ahead!

One thing I took away from this Orientation week is that you can make plans on paper and put together a schedule that you think will make for a great week, but at the end of the day it’s all about what God’s Spirit comes to do amongst His beloved children. And He did not disappoint. Through the teaching of the Word, solitude time, encouraging one another, vulnerability and prayer, we witnessed God on the move – speaking, giving vision, encouraging and challenging. And we all walked away from this week no longer as six individuals but as a team – a unit – ready to take hold of all this year has to offer and to do that side-by-side together.

Mel Lewis

Freedom

Freedom

‘Freedom’ – Sunday Celebration Series starting November 18th 2018

Freedom in Thinking | Neil Pattison – Nov 18th

Financial Freedom | Marcel Jung – Nov

Father’s Freedom | Andy & Barbara

Free to Serve | Steve Lee

Zeal for Your House Sunday Series

Zeal for Your House Sunday Series

Digging into the Word of God / Zeal for His Word.

I was really inspired by the way Mel shared so openly about how sometimes getting into the Word can be a real struggle, even as a leader. As she said #letsbereal! And many times it can be difficult to be real for fear of being judged or what others would think about you! But actually when you do share from a ‘being real’ point of view, you make yourself more accessible to others. I also like what Andy added at the end, how the enemy can come with one of his old lies; that you are the only one in the whole world that struggles with getting into the Word or whatever challenges you may be facing. When you hear someone else’s struggle, then you know that you are not the only one. We are human but God has made a way!!

“As Mel was sharing and giving us some home truths, you could see that the majority of us were in agreement with her.”

As Mel was sharing and giving us some home truths, you could see that the majority of us were in agreement with her. You could hear some ‘umm hmms’ from the body. I am a visual person and found Mel’s illustrations very useful and memorable. For example, her illustration using ‘cheese puffs’. We can sometimes reach out for things to fill the void that may seem tasty, cheap and easy to reach for, and provide quick satisfaction, but much like cheese puffs are actually empty of any nutrition.

Feasting on the Word of God instead, would provide nourishment to the heart, soul and spirit – with a plate of fruit, cheese and crackers to illustrate this. What a stark comparison! My personal food for thought was, what are the cheese puffs in my own life? Am I making sure that I am feasting on the nutritious Word of God first instead of reaching out for anything else?

Article by Eva

 

Parkwood Update

Parkwood Update

We are thrilled to announce the Jubilee Parkwood building project is moving into its next phase.

The submitted architectural drawings detailing signage and external finish has been passed by Planning without complications. Work has begun on the boarding up of windows and erection of palisade fence with site security.

The next step is the meeting of various different contractors on site to start the procurement process.

This is always an exciting phase as we see God’s hand in linking us up with the right local contractors, and providing opportunity for others to become involved in the project by way of contacts and sponsorship of different elements.

We thank God for the following already supplied or pledged:

  • Payment for a kitchen installation
  • Payment for a toilet block
  • Material donations
  • Acoustic report analysis for main auditorium
  • Landscape management advice

If you know of anybody in the building trade that can help, or have it on their heart to invest or be a part of a specific element, please contact me (Inus) at inus@jubileehub.org.uk

As always, prayer is crucial that God would guide us to link up with the right businesses and contacts, as well as His protection over those who work with us on site.

Article by Inus Joubert

MOSAIC – Who are we?

MOSAIC – Who are we?

What is MOSAIC?

Life is like a ‘MOSAIC’. We all come from different life paths, backgrounds and cultures, to create something wonderful and new together.

At MOSAIC we want to build community and offer a safe and welcoming place for older people to gather. We recognise that age does make a difference. People 30 years old are different from people 60 years old. Older adults think differently from younger adults.

Older adults are the fastest-growing age demographic in our society and in many churches. They are a “hidden treasure” of the church. We can’t ignore this important resource for church vitality and growth or the special gifts that older adults offer to Christ, the church and the community. Their life experience is invaluable to church life as a whole!

To meet over coffee and cake in a welcoming and friendly environment, and to engage in uplifting activities is a great opportunity to break into peoples’ often isolated lives and reach them with the love of Jesus.

We need one another (people need people), and this need, being met by the activities of MOSAIC, will express itself in healthy, nurturing and caring relationships. It provides an ideal opportunity to reach to unsaved, wider, older community. Our activities include talks, guest speakers, games, arts and crafts or outings, just to name but a few, while doing life together.

MOSAIC aims to form strong friendships and encourage each other to push deeper into a relationship with God. It’s never too late for God to transform our lives and the lives of others.

“It’s never too late for God to transform our lives and the lives of others.”

At MOSAIC, we want to facilitate a sensitive and open communication of the Gospel. We are trusting that MOSAIC will be a tool that God will use to serve the older and more mature generation both in and outside of Jubilee, and trust that they will experience the love of God and have a life-changing encounter with JESUS! We want to see the lost, older generation come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour! 

We meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 2 – 4pm, venue to be confirmed. For more information please come and talk to us!

– Article by Ray Skilton & Jutta Neumann