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white paper exercises January 11, 2017

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We dream of a blank sheet of paper, we often talk about people acting as if they have a blank piece of paper, but is it really possible? We all have our own agendas, ideas and ‘baggage’ that we bring to the table. A genuine ‘white paper exercise’ is rarely that, there will always be a smudge, always something that will rear its head.

However, it is possible that the smudge becomes a vignette that surrounds the ideas, that helps focus the mind and liberates the soul. In truth, a whitewashed exercise will rarely create anything – we need the creativity, the added colour, the freedom to express. What we need are not white paper exercises but freedom to contribute.

When around the table, allow everyone a voice. Tolerate every…yes, every, idea. Explore all options. Let the creativity loose and see what happens.

City of Dreams December 5, 2016

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Manhattan beauty

Lest We Forget….. November 11, 2016

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Theology of Place – Quote October 16, 2016

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“Among the “cooler” circles of many of my hipster urban church planter friends, it is common to hear an anti-“bricks and mortar” bent. If catacombs and homes were good enough for the first-century church, it is good enough for them. This is fine if we accept that ecclesia is simply a one-to-two-hour-a-week event that can happen in borrowed space. But if Christ-centered community is something more than a weekly gathering, then redemption of place and community re-enter the equation. What we need is a theology of place.”

in ‘View from the Urban Loft’ by Sean Benesh

Local Church in an Urban Landscape October 14, 2016

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There is a rising number of ‘resource church’ labels being bandied around these days. It is a fresh take on the old latimer model and with the size of the urban centres increasing exponentially the Cathedral system needs greater support. It is not a bad thing but it may be helpful for these churches to know what they are resourcing, what the strategy is and if there is a need for them to be bunched together.

This is not a rant but a plea for some fresh thinking. Local church takes on a whole new understanding in a large urban sprawl that has good transport links. Community looks different in many places and there is a willingness for many to travel. A local church can be a fair distance from where you live because local is smaller (not the same in an estate – there are exceptions, especially for those for whom travel is not an accessible option) but this tends to be less likely for the poorer families and communities. Their local is not quite the same.

Wouldn’t it be great if the resource churches used their resources to enable those with less freedom rather than use resources for ‘bigger and better events’ in their own setting? This is the intention for many but can easily be forgotten…..let’s make sure we keep it on the agenda so that every community has access to ‘local’ christian witness, whatever your definition of local.

Domain expiration May 9, 2016

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Apparently my domain has expired. Don’t fear, I didn’t feel a thing and so the surprise is just that.

Am investigating and hope to restore normal service soon

Update: I now have a new domain name….hutchblog.org

Why? January 18, 2016

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Have you ever wondered why people do the things they do? Tell me, why do some people;

  1. phone me to ask if I have read their email? – just do one or the other, not both, you are duplicating workload.
  2. leave a phone message to ask me to call back when they could just leave a better message? – this is just lazy and adding unnecessarily to workload
  3. read their presentation directly from notes and give you the handout? – just give me the handout. If you do a presentation then add life to the written page.
  4. pay for a gym membership to do step training, yet do not walk up escalators? – one is free, the other extortionate
  5. attend a concert, make a poor recording on their phone and then buy a professional recording to watch? – ignore the poor recording and engage in the concert

There are many, many more but these were the first few that came to mind. What would you add to the list?

Leadership Conference 2015 – Day Two Morning Session 1 (RAH)  May 5, 2015

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The morning session kicks off with some traditional choral worship before embarking on the usual worship central set, A new song was in the mix that could well be an anthem in the summer festivals and beyond.

Interview with Jo Malone

Despite a tough upbringing, with determination, all things are possible. Came to faith listening to Jackie Pullinger. Sometimes the thing that comes at you to destroy you, is the thing to make you. (reference to cancer). There are many things that I can’t do but I can create fragrances like nobody else in the world. Gone back to the thing that ‘I can do” – similarities with what Robert Madu said yesterday. When everything is stripped from you, does potential exist in you? Do you have the right to recreate yourself? Where do you start? Three things – passion, resilience and creativity. Its nobody elses responsibility to make your dreams happen – its yours!  (cf Jesse Owens story).

There is a need to surround yourself with the right people. Innovation comes from inspiration and this comes from the people that you surround yourself with. Everybody has moments where they are wrong and mess up – successful people are resilient and push through. Plan A changes from moment to moment and the failures help us – we need ears to listen to other people. 

Inspiration – Innovation – Integrity – Ignition – Instinct – the compass to successful business and life

Interview with Cardinal Vincent Nichols – joined by Archbishop Welby

a short introduction to his life and a recognition of God’s guidance in his life. Key moment when receiving a letter saying ‘keep your hand to the plough’ – no ide who the sender was, apart from the fact that he was a priest. Prayer is important but you must find a way and a place that suits you, be faithful in it and also try to be adventurous (different methodologies). What does it mean to be human? This is a challenging question that must be aligned with Christian faith – with the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

Key lessons in leadership: single most important thing is the quality of the relationships with those you work with. This is more important than the projects we are working on. Much of the leadership is currently with the clergy – greater similarity to family life than business life. Leadership exercise is a judgement on how far you can push someone without damaging the relationship. There needs to be a real bond between people in order to exercise leadership successfully within the catholic church. 

Pope Francis – wants Bishops to be men who ‘smell of the sheep’ – looking for people who will exercise leadership with an understanding of life – in the poor places, the marginalised groups. 

We learn a lot from failure – we can shy away from people who have failed, this is often a mistake, especially if they have learned from them. It is then that we can become wiser and stronger.

Justin Welby joined the interview; a high priority is for the Lords renewal of the Church and this will be done in prayer. In prayer we can be reminded of both unity and division. We need to see unity across our divisions in order that we may see Jesus honoured in our world. 

Between Justin and Vincent – there is an implicit trust with one another. There is real progress in seeing churches work together and the relationship is growing (eg the trafficking projects) because their is a ‘wind behind us and we are just setting the sails’. 

A deep commitment to human relationship, particularly the poor and those on the edge. 

Welby; The things that destroy peace are not the external events but the internal – divisions within the church. We destroy the peace of the church and its ability to be peacemaker when we fight one another. 

There is a need for people to see unity, it is visible symbols that will brek into the lives of people. We cripple our witness when we are not united, people need to see the church united, this is how we will see the world brought face to face with Jesus Christ. 

Assurance of salvation January 19, 2015

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latest facebook devotional for Emmanuel Beach Team

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
1 John 5:11-12 (NIV)

If you were to buy an autograph or an artefact, it is likely to come with a certificate of authenticity. This is the guarantee that what has been bought is genuine and it ensures that the buyer can have confidence in the item being bought. We often want to know that the results of our work our good, we want to know our destination.

So it is with our faith, how can we know that we are saved? How can we know that we have eternal life? Our certificate of authenticity is Jesus. He guarantees our life, ensures life and it is all assured- Jesus certificate is sealed with his blood and cannot be rescinded. How wonderful a thing this is.

If you have Jesus, you have life. Guaranteed!

Love…. November 13, 2014

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Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” Leo Tolstoy

Unlike the song, loving is not easy. In fact it is hard, painful, messy, costly but it is also joyous, wonderful and exhilarating. I never forget being accused of ‘loving too much’ in reference to a team that I was leading. They meant this negatively but thankfully, I received it in a positive light. It was meant in a negative form as they believed that by loving my team, the hard questions would not be asked.
They missed the point – the hard questions were asked BECAUSE I loved the team. It was a necessary part of loving. Love is a two sided coin, hurt and pain on one side, joy and hope on the other. The good news is that love is a special gift and one that can be experienced by all people.
If you lead a team – love them and recognise that love can be costly but it will also be most rewarding.