After many years at Typepad I've decided to move blog to www.steve-jones.org
Typepad has been nice to me!!
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Today is my last day with Methodist Church as their regional training officer - what a 5 years I've had.
Thoroughly enjoyed working among the Methodist people - real down-to-earth spirituality. Many of the 'nominal' Christians have left these last few decades so what remains are committed, Christ-like saints who faithfully do the Jesus stuff in their towns and villages. I'll be staying connected with these dear folks through my membership of Sidwell St Methodist and the Simply initiative so it's not really a good-bye but I'm no longer a big cheese in the region - probably good for my soul - these titles can damage us if we're not careful.
I'm moving on to more fully engage 24-7 with the Simply initiative and with my wonderful tribe ...
Great to be out again - after 6 weeks of bed-bound recovery from a 'near-death cardiac experience' (!), starting to venture out again ! Enjoying Penzance harbour, Truro, Sennen Cove, Porthcothan, St Ives and Lizard - amazing places !!
Hope to be back at work with Simply www.luvsw.net by late Sept, early Oct - I'll see what the doctors say !?
Thanks everybody for cards, prayers, meals and support over last few weeks - it is amazing to be loved.. I am deeply moved ..,
Gorgeous sunrise over the Exe estuary - out for an early morning cycle!
Doing lots of training & speaking this week - Plymouth youth workers and some community workers in West Somerset. Preparing today...
Got a young 'minister in training' shadowing me in a week or two- that should be fun, having someone alongside me for 2 weeks - poor bloke!
Also launching some small groups or hubs in next few weeks here in Exeter - some based around spirituality, one based around personal development ..
Have a great week
The much waited-for Ironman triathlon weekend is here - done lots of training and prep. Never done more than 5.5 hrs of continuous aerobic activity - this is 8.5 hrs so I'm going to be pushing my body to places it's never been before!
I'll report back Sunday evening - those of you who pray, please pray - those of you who don't, please cross your fingers!
Thanks all for your support as I've prepared for this big day..
Luv ya all - Steve
- Andy, Donna, Ed, Francis - great food Andy !
More personally the exciting news is that I'm going to be released to spend more time and energy developing Simply... from September 1st. Although I had thought of spending half my time with a new training network within the Methodist Church , after much soul-searching we decided that I need to jump in with both feet into this exciting opportunity !!
So big changed for me cos I have much enjoyed serving the Methodist District especially with my two friends Pete Pillinger and Dave Martin. I will miss them dearly but they'll still be around...
Ironman is in 5 weeks and if you want to sponsor me - click here - all the proceeds go to the charity, Simply...
Been having time with my tribe and away serving at ECG in Scarborough - great place..
Simply... had a great Open Day in a local pub with built in roast and pint! Great chat and real clarity coming on ways forward for us all.
Still thinkin and prayin about the next phase for me from September 1st when my current contract with Methodist Church ends...
There's some interesting possibilities - it's just the uncertainty has been hanging over me for months, if not for over a year.
Getting ready for the Ironman - you can sponsor me here. Still struggling to get the cycle speed up but training hard ! COME ON JONESY !
Tribe doing well also..
I'm so blessed to meet new friends ... Friendship is a big deal - isn't the movement Christ started supposed to be just a bunch of friends having friendship with God and welcoming all into friendship ...
Much of church structure has been formed, I'm guessing, when friendship has broken down and we needed something else to hold us together??!!
When I look at the life and example of Jesus, I see a counter-cultural lifestyle where His life choices shouted His message louder than His words - giving extra authority to His already radical Good News of the Kingdom. The Kingdom He spoke of was upside-down - He led by serving others, He loved His enemies, He spoke in hidden whispers and viral stories, He taught using questions not answers, He loved to break religious rules, He hung out with those on the edge of His society, the prostitutes, the mentally ill, the uneducated, the powerless, the poor, the children.
The 7 weeks are meant to symbolise the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert preparing for His big 3 years of public ministry - denying himself food, company, power or privilege. Check out this little cartoon for more info about the 40 Days. Followers of Christ for centuries have been using Lent to mirror this ‘denial of self’ in order to sharpen their lives and their spiritual practices before the celebration of Easter.
7 Weeks of Lent 2013
Feel free to join me for the 7 weeks or for as much as you fancy or not at all - contact me here
Had a few days of struggle with illness, ill and injured children and the death of my amazing Gran...
"Our Gran will never be forgotten - a rock to many. So many great memories from childhood and beyond - what a full life she led - she means so much to family & friends. We'll see you soon Gran - put the kettle on..."
We had a wonderful celebration of her life at Bramhall Methodist Church on Friday.
My daughter slipped off her bike and bashed her head - concussed... so struggling a little but that's all part of life and following Christ I guess - it ain't all roses!! but His story has got a happy ending...
I love this time of year - had a good break with the family... great day out to Sennen Cove near Lands End then watched sun go down at St Ives with chips by the christmas lit harbour... a heavenly family time.
Good day with swym yesterday training some youth leaders in "Mastering Change" - sounds posh but wasn't.
Next few days meeting with a Simply Hub here in Exeter and chatting to folks who want to start a hub where they live... real exciting time for Simply. Got an Open Day coming up so if you want to come and find out more about Simply... book in here for free.
Got loads of catching up with the Regional Training Officer role on Wednesday !!
Big personal challenge for me this week is to try an do a 55 mile cycle (thats the Ironman 70.3 distance I'm attempting in June) so I'll see how my training is going.??!!?? I've lost over a stone and a half since I began training in the summer! I'm still overweight though so kick me into shape and motivate me when you see me next!!
I also got on my bike and watched the sun rise on new years day over the Exe Estuary - beautiful !!
Saddest news was the passing away of my dear Granny Bet yesterday - I'll probably blog about her amazing life of over 90 years at some point - A real inspiration to hundreds of folks in south of Manchester area... She's at peace now with her God - "put the kettle on Gran - we'll be there soon !!"
Salvation Army - had some great chats with senior folks from Salvation Army and we got excited about all God is doing around churh-planting, partnerships and fresh expressions of church across the SW.
Grassroots Up - been very encouraging to find myself connecting with many grassroots folks across the region who are about to start simpler expressions of church and are exploring connnecting with Simply... as a resource for encouragment and nurture.
Google+ Let Down - shame, tonight I was all set to have an online hangout with my friends exploring Simply... from across the region and Google+ really let us down and didn't work... :(
Learning from Paul and his journeys through these 2 books
Within 10-15 years he had developing Christ-centred communities all over 4 provinces of the Roman Empire and made himself 'non-essential' by the end of the process - now thats real mission and real leadership. What can we learn from Paul ?
Having such a good time developing the first Simply 12's with some friends - good food, good chat and lots of laughter - I was made for this kind of stuff.. What is Simply 12's?
'Simply 12's' are a key part of the Simply... movement.
Very simply speaking they are simply based around the ways of Christ. How did he seek to change and influence the world for good? By spending His time with a small group of guys and gals - that was the essence of what He did... no curriculum, no formality, no distance - he shared His life. They caught the flavour of what He was about by basically hanging out -
Jesus used this method...
M - Modelled and showed his followers what 'fulness of life' was.
A - Assist - let them have a go really early - alongside Him, no pressure - doesn't matter if you succeed or fail
W - Watch - 'now you go do it on your own and I'll watch and offer some feedback at the end
L - Left them to it, no heavy-handed interference just trust and support
Simply 12's are looking to Christ's method all the time - the MAWL stuff above but also keeping the wonderful balance of HIGH, WIDE, DEEP and LONG
Leaders who are part of Simply 12's, commit to...
GOT QUESTIONS ?? WANNA CONNECT ? CONTACT ME ANYTIME
Enjoying some time cycling to beach - hoping to do 35 miles +.. We'll see ...
Week of admin catchup ahead, leading 2 safeguarding sessions in Torbay, got a Simply... leadership 'hangout' tonight using Google+ !!?? And 2 'bands' - where I meet with close friends and share our lives, support and pray for each other..
Got my website back from the militant hacker !!! Wow, I think we all need to wise-up around web and email security - I've had several nightmares these last few weeks.
Got so much from the launch of the Pioneer Connexion last week - video and website here. Pioneer are seriously planning to equip hundreds of church-planters who will work in partnership with Methodist Districts, Circuits and Churches to RESTART many closing congregations.
This week doing street work on my patch, meeting some Exeter Simply friends tonight around food, hanging out with some parents from my kids school, praying lots, maybe meeting a good friend who wants to connect with Simply from Dorset, plus facilitating the wonderful team leading Exeter Food Bank in discussion, reflection and future-building, two safeguarding training sessions in Tavistock, staff meeting and Exeter Street Pastors meeting, lots of meals and hopefully time for dissertation and triathlon. Then a relaxed weekend with the Tribe... all good stuff !!! I'm just so aware though that the good can be the greatest enemy of the great, the focused...
Peace and Goodness to you and yours this week, Steve.
dad, husband, homemaker, pioneer, activist, equipper and researcher - planting churches/hubs, developing leaders, nurturing movements ...