The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff


Article by Tony Kettle

Beginning in 1959, mankind began to refocus on the concept of space travel, as, due to the miracle of modern technology and advanced media, many of us were privileged to closely and avidly follow the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programmes, which terminated in 1972, followed by the space shuttle and space station missions. All these endeavours were completed through the auspices and direction of the United States National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). Europe later came into the ‘space race’ with the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA).

With the tremendous public interest in the work of NASA, generated by the media, many men (and later, women) eagerly sought careers as astronauts, the term coined for those who were trained to travel into space. However, NASA (and subsequently ESA) developed extremely rigid criteria and qualifications required for entry into the astronaut training programme. They called these outstanding attributes “THE RIGHT STUFF!”

It occurs to me that God also has, in a sense, His own ‘space programme’, with His own ‘astronauts’ in training! We are those ‘astronauts’, if we are believers – dedicated, committed Christians. Why do I call us ‘astronauts?’ Because God has commanded us to “set (our) mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2 NASB – emphasis added). He has “…raised us up with Him, and seated  us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 2:6 NASB – emphasis added). We are “…partakers of a heavenly calling…” (Hebrews 3:1 NASB – emphasis added) and eventually we will be “…looking for new heavens and a new earth…” (2 Peter 3:13 NASB – emphasis added).

Furthermore, God has His own firmly established criteria – His own “RIGHT STUFF” – for whoever desires to become a (spiritual) ‘astronaut.’        

So, what is this “RIGHT STUFF” that is absolutely hallowed in the realm of space exploration – and how does it equate with God’s criteria? Let’s answer that question by comparing the qualifications for astronauts in the natural sense with those for God’s (spiritual) ‘astronauts’ in the schedule below:



(NASA) Generally only recruited between the ages of 27 to 37, although they could continue in service through their 50s.

“It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17 NASB).
“Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance…Likewise urge the young men to be sensible…” (Titus 2:2, 6  NASB).


(NASA) Usually a degree in engineering, medicine or appropriate subject. Need to be scientifically-minded.

(KINGDOM) God does not require that we have a university degree – but He has stipulated that “…we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NASB – emphasis added).


(NASA) Candidates are required to have at least 3 years experience in the field covered by their degree.

(KINGDOM) “And not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach” (1 Timothy 3:6-10 NASB).


(NASA) This attribute is essential because of the complex, difficult situations and problems that often take time to resolve.

(KINGDOM) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NASB).


(NASA) Given the fact that many recruits have been test pilots, and / or served in the military, plus the tragic accidents that occurred in some programmes, this quality has become virtually second-nature.  

(KINGDOM) “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6-7 NASB).


(NASA) In view of the dangerous environments and situations encountered by astronauts, thorough teamwork with crews is indispensable.

(KINGDOM) “so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26 NASB).


(NASA) Recruits need to adapt to living in unnatural environments in space, away from the comfortable familiarity of earth.

(KINGDOM) “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2 NASB).


(NASA) The rigours of living in unnatural environments for long periods demand a strong mindset and emotional stability.

(KINGDOM) “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).


(NASA) When serious, potentially fatal problems arise on missions, a strong resolve, perseverance, persistence and a determination to not give up is necessary.

(KINGDOM) “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NASB).
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NASB).

Astronauts, naturally-speaking, need to be IN a space capsule on a rocket, in order to escape the gravitational pull of the earth. Likewise, we, as God’s (spiritual) ‘astronauts’, must be IN Christ in order to escape the ‘gravitational’ pull of sin (Romans 8:1-2)!

A balloon needs to be COMPLETELY filled with hydrogen or helium in order to rise from the earth. If it only has a little gas, the balloon will just flop about! So, we need to be COMPLETELY filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) in order to ‘rise above’ the enticements of the world – to escape the ‘gravitational’ pull of sin (Romans 8:5-14). If we are not ‘filled’, guess what? We will just ‘flop about’ in life!

On the other hand, whereas a balloon, operating under the law of buoyancy, is limited in the height to which it can rise, the spiritual law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is NOT limited in its power.    By remaining “in Christ”, we can go as HIGH into the Heavenly realm as we desire (Ephesians 2:4-6).  So, we can escape the ‘gravitational’ pull of sin – we can become (spiritual) ‘astronauts.’

When the astronauts in Apollo 13 encountered major difficulties (the oxygen tanks exploded), they sent out the famous message: “Houston, we have a problem.” They had to rely on NASA, so far away on Earth, to help them return safely. Thanks be to God, we don’t have that problem – we have the Holy Spirit IN us to help in our time of need (John 14:17; 1 John 3:24)!

“Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might
and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.”

(Isaiah 40:26 NASB)

Tony Kettle

How Faith is Impacting Where You Are | Part Two

How Faith is Impacting Where You Are | Part Two

Daniel Ghinn, healthcare, technology and Jesus.

I lead a team that serves the international health industry with insights-led strategy. We created a technology platform to provide globally unique insights that inform our consulting for the world’s largest organisations in healthcare.

My career started in research and technology; as a computer programmer my passion was creating new things. In the late 1990s I was inspired by emerging internet technology which I believed was about to change all our lives, and I wanted to be part of that. So together with my wife, Jo, we launched the company that we now call CREATION. Within our first year, we started working with doctors, clinics, and healthcare companies. Today, we specialise in healthcare and work with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and influential organisations in health.

When we launched the company 21 years ago, we knew that Jesus had to be the head of the business. Since then I think we have been discovering what He really wants to do with it. One thing I have increasingly learned is that Jesus intends for His Church to be active every day for him, wherever we are. So I see my work as an integral part of being part of his Church, and I encourage those I work with to put their faith into action in this way too.

Some years ago when I was praying about vision for the company, God reminded me that even my wildest dreams do not come close to what He can do, because He “…is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Daniel Ghinn and Anni Neumann visit clients in Germany

I see my work as worship because I do it to serve the Lord first, and I believe He wants to work with me to accomplish His purposes. In every aspect of my work I expect God to inspire my thinking and to show me things I could not have known without Him, so that I can minister effectively through what I do. This applies to setting strategy for our company and leading the team, as well as working on individual client assignments.

At times God has given me a specific insight for a client to address needs I could not have known about; other times I have been able to pray for clients about issues they are facing, and they have seen a breakthrough.

This is encouraging but I am still hungry for Him to do much more through me and my team through our work. I believe the best is yet to come!

Daniel Ghinn

God’s Language Is Love

God’s Language Is Love

God’s Language Is Love

Ever since we could remember, we have been all about seeing other people do well and making progress in life. As a couple, the biggest pain we feel is the pain of injustice, deprivation and seeing people living below what God has called them to be.

We feel that part of our calling as a couple is to help others with whatever it is that we have. No matter how little or how small. Whether its time, materials, finances, our skills, or just being there for people. We look at loving others from the idea of being God’s outstretched hand to man and that Christ died for everyone irrespective of their beliefs, culture, creed or orientation. No one should be cast away because they are different in anyway. Everyone deserves to be loved. There is a joy that’s unspeakable and unexplainable when you stretch out your hand and heart to love someone else irrespective of the situation, circumstance or who they are.

John 13:34 – 35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Romans 5:5 “And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.”

Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

There is no one too hard to love and we all as God’s children have the capacity to love. One of the things God has given us as his kids is the ability to love.

Just as having a £10,000 cheque and you refusing to cash it doesn’t negate the fact that you have it. In the same way you have to make a choice to love. God’s love lives deep within you and resides in you 24/7, 365 days of the year. It is however your choice to choose to love irrespective of what comes your way, who you come in contact with or what you are faced with. None of us as His kids have the root of hatred in us. We choose to allow hatred and bitterness to grow and develop, we can however decide to stamp and uproot it and live a life of love.

You may say “I have been so offended by a particular person and I just cannot love them or anything they represent because of the hurt and pain I feel.”

Remember we live by faith and this includes living out the love life we already have. We may not feel like it, or be excited by it but in the same way we act out our faith by doing. When it comes to any other thing whether it’s a job, or business, our family, spouse etc, you have to act by faith and express your love by doing ‘love’…just love. Love expressed could be in a smile, a greeting, a hug, running errands, listening to someone pour out their heart, having coffee with someone, driving someone around to shop, etc- ‘Just do it’. 

Our faith works by love. Love is our language and our Father’s language. Loving others should come to us naturally as its our nature as God’s children. And know that every time you love someone and express it by doing, you are God’s outstretched hand to that person, here on earth. Never forget that and never stop loving!

Siji and Ibi

Photo by Mandy von Stahl on Unsplash

Rutland Woods

Woodland Workers

On Saturday 19th January a hardy bunch from Jubilee and Kings Reach spent the morning transforming the area around the lake in Rutland Woods. The first task was to get the campfire lit and burning well. The second job was to get the kettle on!

Then knowing that supplies of teas, coffees and hot chocolate were assured, the workers set about clearing away the undergrowth and many of the young willow trees that had grown up around the shores of the lake blocking the view and shading the waters. While the powerful strimmers tackled the brambles etc around the lake, picnic site and roundhouse, another group raked out all the dead leaves, logs and branches from the stream that runs into the lake and then out the other side down towards the boundary of the woods. Other workers did a great job sawing down the trees and  hauling them and the vegetation over to the bonfire which soon reduced it all to a pile of ash and smoked us all out!

It was a morning of hard work interspersed with hot drinks, hot sausage rolls and cool biscuits enjoyed around the campfire sharing stories and drying out feet that got too far into the lake.

We were all amazed by how much we accomplished in such a short time and by what a good time it was.

C:\Family Stuff\Jubilee\Rutland Woods\Pics\IMG_20180526_1123338.jpg

A massive “Thank You” to all those who helped!

Please join us for the next work party (yes it’s work and yes it’s a party) February 23rd.  


How faith is impacting where you are | Part 1

How faith is impacting where you are | Part 1

Phillipa on her journey in the Health and Fitness Industry

R – Reality

I – Integrity

S – Sincerity

K – Kindness

I have been in the health and fitness industry for over 25 years – quite amazing considering I was the one at school who avoided anything to do with exercise.  It was only after I had my third child, Matthew (who is now 27) that I found an aerobics class locally and realised that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  With a young baby on my hands, I would be up early every morning studying for my ‘Exercise to Music’ qualification, so determined was I to start teaching as soon as I could. I have since acquired many more qualifications.

Soon after starting classes in the community, my dream was to own and manage my own gym.  I have never had an athletic build, quite the contrary, but I was determined to encourage people of any shape and size to realise that exercise isn’t just for people who look the part and are comfortable in their bodies.  I wanted to demonstrate that the benefits of exercise are available to everyone and if I can do it so can anyone else.

Phillipa leading Aqua Aerobics class at Mote Leisure Club

My life has been all about taking risks. I’ve never been satisfied with going along with the status quo and after my fourth child had started school, I pursued the hard work of making my dream a reality. The time between receiving the dream and it coming to fruition in 2007 when I finally opened my own gym, Curves for women, was around 14 years.  It was quite a journey of faith, but as the Lord promises, our faith is always rewarded. I had the privilege of seeing thousands of women achieve their health and fitness goals over the 10 years I worked with Curves.

The exciting thing for me is that I am back in the Maidstone Community working as a Leisure Club Manager at Audley Mote Park, where I continue to have an impact supporting and encouraging the over 55’s in their health and fitness.

As my acronym above shows – these are the four things that I live by while taking risks to step out and trust the Lord with every step I take. You get close to people working in my industry and people soon learn whether you are genuine or not.  My heart is to demonstrate the reality of my faith in Jesus whilst keeping it real, being a woman of integrity, being sincere in everything I do and say, and treating all people with kindness.

I am so thankful to the Lord for the doors He continues to open for me to share His love and my faith and love for Him in the industry He has called me to serve in.


Photo by Meghan Holmes on Unsplash

How can we be more Christian in 2019

How can we be more Christian in 2019

How can we be more Christian in 2019

An article from ‘Church IS family’ Sunday Series

How can we be more Christian in 2019?
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (NAS)

Sometimes we hear politicians or national figures refer to the UK as a Christian country. Are we a Christian Nation? Have we ever been? The Cambridge Dictionary definition of Christian states: “of or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”, or “used to describe a person or action that is good, kind, helpful, etc.” I believe that neither of these definitions reflect the heart and power of the world-changing adjective or noun that is ‘Christian’.

Christian is an important term when we are considering how to live Christian lives, or how to operate businesses, schools and organisations on Christian principles or with a Christian ethos. It is much more than just ‘following the teachings of’, or ‘good kind, helpful, moral’ – the foundation of ‘Christian’ needs to include the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I suggest that ‘Christian’ means ‘transformed, informed motivated and empowered by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.’

An article in The Spectator (28 May 2016) commented, 
“A landmark in national life has just been passed. For the first time in recorded history, those declaring themselves to have no religion have exceeded the number of Christians in Britain. Some 44 per cent of us regard ourselves as Christian, 8 per cent follow another religion and 48 per cent follow none. The decline of Christianity is perhaps the biggest single change in Britain over the past century. For some time, it has been a stretch to describe Britain as a Christian country. We can more accurately be described now as a secular nation with fading Christian institutions.”

A report called Europe’s Young Adults and Religion, a collaboration between St Mary’s University in London and the Catholic University of Paris, found that 70% of young adults in the UK identify with no religion.

Percentage of adults identifying with no religion per country (UK/EU)

Although sobering, it is important that we are realistic about the state of the UK and cry out to the Lord for change. We should also acknowledge this brings opportunities for the gospel. 
Yinka Oyekan and “The Turning” movement (visit are demonstrating the opportunities this faith vacuum has created, seeing thousands of people turn to Christ on the streets of the UK and Europe. I am excited about 2019. So far I have spent 33 years as part of Jesus’ church and count it a privilege and a blessing. Let’s build on what Jesus has taught us over the last few years – it will mean taking risks, walking in faith and stepping out of our comfort zones. Are you ready to come on an adventure?

The heart of Christianity is your heart.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

The message of Christianity is bad news and good news; bad news if we want to do it ourselves – if we are full of pride and want to work things out our way; good news if we realise that, as people, we are morally and spiritually bankrupt and have no ability to save ourselves. The message of the cross and the heart of the term ‘Christian’ declares: it all depends on Him, not on us. Understanding this is the key to becoming ‘more Christian’ in 2019. Do you want to be more of a Christian father, a Christian mother, Christian doctor, a Christian teacher, a Christian midwife, a Christian student, a Christian business man/woman, or a Christian neighbour in your community? This means, whatever vocation we follow, being transformed, informed, motivated and empowered by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. In practice:

  1. Make ourselves available to our Lord Jesus – don’t put barriers in the way of ‘I can’t, I’m not good enough, I haven’t anything to give.’
  2. Constantly and consistently renew our minds by choosing to believe God’s truth and promises, and not the lies that cripple us.
  3. Accept His forgiveness and allow Jesus to remove our self hatred and the shame we feel of past mistakes.

Galatians 6:14 “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

So, let us start 2019 living more Christian lives, with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ being the heart of all we do.
Ask yourself: do I just do a job? Why am I studying these subjects? What is my part in my community or neighbourhood? Am I just going through the motions in my life? And the key question: How is my life going to be more Christian in 2019?

I look forward to our Christian adventures together in the coming year.

Lots of love Neil

Photo by Jessie Andrew on Unsplash

A Christmas Message

A Christmas Message

To our precious Jubilee Family

Happy Christmas!

Wow, can you believe we are approaching the end of another year? Looking back over the last twelve months we are overwhelmed at God’s incredible faithfulness and kindness to us as a church family. We have seen some huge changes and been through some major transitions including losing our church building, moving into our temporary home at Tree Tops School, and keeping our gaze upon the new place He has promised us in Parkwood! We have watched dear friends leave, but also welcomed in some wonderful new families and He has held us all in His loving embrace and brought us through it all.  

We have come out of Winter and are experiencing the joy and wonder of Spring and new beginnings.
The word ‘Acceleration’ was released as a prophetic statement by the Apostolic Council at the start of the year over all COTN churches, and launched us into a whole new wave of the Spirit that we are still riding.
In January we set time aside for us as individuals and as a church to consecrate ourselves afresh and seek His face. The birth of ministries including the prayer Power Hour, JLS (Jubilee Leadership School), Mosaic, and the re-launch of School of the Word are amongst many new things that have begun this year.

The end of June marked our Jubilee Family Weekend Away where Alex and Dorcas shared on the theme of ‘I hear the sound of the abundance of rain’ and we stretched our expectations for God to do the miraculous in our midst. We gave out wooden tent pegs with the invitation to put them in the ground at our Parkwood site as a prophetic act and declaration of ‘I’m putting my stake in the ground and I’m committed to the journey.’ It was a very significant time in the life of Jubilee Church and we believe it marked a poignant shift in the Spirit.

As we draw to a close this year we thank each one of you for being on the journey with us, for your love and support and for all you bring to the Bride of Christ. Thank you for serving our King and for remaining strong. We pray that this Christmas you will enjoy times of rest and relaxation, good food and time with family and friends and, most importantly, moments to reflect on how utterly wonderful our Jesus is and all that He has and continues to do in and through us.

What a wonderful opportunity on the eve of 2018 for us to pause and remember the gift of Life in the form of a baby that is still bringing ‘Joy to the world’ some two thousand years later!

Merry Christmas and may it be a rich and adventurous New Year for us all!

With Love
Neil and Hazel xx

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!!!


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 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