Feeling Inspired

It’s been 16 months since my last post. That’s the longest gap by a country mile since allthewrightwords started. Why? Challenges of life, busyness, sometimes not having any of the ‘wright words’ let alone all!

Anyway, to break the silence means there must be something worth saying and there is: I’d like to talk about the Inspire Movement.

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As a follower of Jesus and church leader I’m always reading, thinking, talking, praying etc. about how I can see God at work more in my daily life, how I can help others to know the love of Jesus, and how I can encourage others to do the same.

I can say with confidence I’ve found the most amazing thing that does these things and more!

The Inspire Movement is radical – it’s the only thing I’ve seen that puts discipleship and mission together. ‘Discipleship’ is about how we learn to become more like Jesus, and ‘mission’ is about how we share his love with others through word and deed. The whole concept of ‘mission-shaped discipleship’ that Inspire speak of  puts the two things together and is really helpful because I tend to compartmentalize my life when actually every part of it is about following Jesus (no matter what I’m doing there’s no point where I stop being a Christian!). So I love Inspire because they are doing something I’ve never heard of before but it’s fundamental to following Jesus because that is all about giving everything to God.

Matthew chapter 22 verses 36-40 says:

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

What Jesus is speaking of is whole life discipleship, which impacts mission because if we love God and others we will express this. Inspire’s ‘mission-shaped discipleship’ is based on Bible teaching and John Wesley’s theology. It uses small groups of 3-4 known as ‘bands’ to help Christians of all shapes and sizes to hear God’s voice and see him at work in their daily lives. Inspire provide resources to equip those want to explore this and they are really great, not to mention they are free, and there are tonnes of them! It’s powerful being part of a ‘band of brothers’ (or sisters) who have got your back and know that you’ve got there back too.

One big bugbear I have about church is when Christians pretend. I don’t think we’re real enough half the time, at least in my corner of the world. We pretend things are ok when they’re really not, and often we don’t say when we’re floundering and we don’t get challenged when we need it either. We don’t move on if we live like that. Inspire helps break that down because at its core is a desire for authentic relationships. Right from the off, Inspire is about relationships – with other people, but with Jesus at the centre. It involves encouraging one another to become more like Jesus, as the small bands intentionally invest in one another. It’s not a Bible study or prayer group (although the Bible is used and prayer happens) but it’s relational, led by the Holy Spirit, and it enables vulnerability. It may sound like an oxymoron but there is a great strength in being vulnerable! Inspire doesn’t just encourage Christians – it’s also helped some who don’t yet believe to actually trust Jesus for themselves, because they have seen Christians unafraid to question or be vulnerable and have seen God at work in response to that. Plus, when Christians grow more confident that God is at work in their life it will become a natural everyday thing to want to share that with others.

My life was changed forever when I became a follower of Jesus. Years on I am quite literally ‘Inspire-d’ and very much see Inspire as being the best thing I’ve ever seen for both discipleship and mission. It’s something that I hope to be part of my life for many years to come, regardless of which church I’m part of and where I live. It’s worth noting that Inspire is not a course/programme to be rolled out, but a movement that resources those who want to grow, and the bands could last for years and years. The more committed folk are the more they will get out of it! And the more the world will change.

Click here to see the Inspire vision or please contact me if you’d like to talk about it. Following Jesus is always an adventure, yet it feels in some ways as though it’s only just the beginning for this disciple!

God bless you for reading.

Matt

 

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Posted in Adventure, Awesome, Bible, change, Discipleship, Evangelism, Fellowship band, help, Holy Spirit, Inspire, Jesus, Mission, power, Prayer, Questions, Safe Place, The Inspire Movement, transformation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Roman Road: a new journey!

Exciting news: The Roman Road is going down under!file (2)

That’s right – 15 copies will soon be on their way to Sydney. To my knowledge this is the first time the story has made it to Australia so as you can guess I’m really giddy about it. More importantly though, I’m giddy about the fact that it can help the 15 young readers to know Jesus.

Please pray for them.


On another note, if you have read The Roman Road before I’d value your thoughts on other resources that could go with it. Obviously there is the holiday club guide, but does anyone think there should be something else, like…

…a leaflet to explain the verses in the story?

…a sequel with the same characters? (Standing Firm touches on themes The Roman Road hinted at but it doesn’t use the same characters and is for older readers)

– The other day I found some notes I’d been working on which were the beginnings of a sequel for TRR. For whatever reason it stayed as a draft and I haven’t opened it for about 4 years. If you or anyone you know has read TRR, would you/they be interested in reading a sequel to it?

Posted in Adventure, Children, Read, Standing Firm, Story, The Roman Road, Wright Way Publications | Leave a comment

World Book Day 2017

logoSoon it will be World Book Day 2017. It’s on 2nd March in the UK. It’s a great way of encouraging children to read books, champion their favourite stories, and discover new ones. They even get to dress up a character they love. And I’m pretty sure the teachers enjoy getting involved in this too (I know I would!). I help run a children’s club at church and sometimes when the children arrive in costume you can tell they’ve been enjoying World Book Day.

Sam and Maximus are on a journey but where does this road lead? What excites me this year is that one young lad I know has just read The Roman Road for the first time, and on 2nd March this year he’s going to dress up as Max! He will also be taking the book into school, which will help other children get to know the story. This was a really encouraging thing to hear. Max is the Roman soldier pictured here, and his friend Sam is on the right. Both are based on people I know.

Have you read The Roman Road yet?

It’s a fun adventure to read, and an invitation for you to go on one of your own…

 

Posted in Adventure, allthewrightwords, Armour, Awesome, Bible, Book, Children, Encouragement, Evangelism, Fantasy, Friendship, Fun, God, Heaven, help, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus, Journey, Keep Going, Life, Read, Scripture, Second chances, Standing Firm, Story, The Lonely Zebra, The Roman Road, Think, Wright Way Publications | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Happy Zebra

Ziggy the zebra enjoyed his recent trip!

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He is now safely back home and told me he has a really good time telling his story to lots of great children aged 4-7, and making some new friends along the way. Claire, who did the artwork for his story, was even able to do a book signing! Ziggy would have helped but it’s hard to hold a pen with hooves. Trust me, I’ve seen him try…

If you would like to find out more about what he got up to, and if you would like to use The Lonely Zebra for a children’s programme in your church, please click the link below and go to the bottom of the page.

https://allthewrightwords.wordpress.com/the-lonely-zebra/

Enjoy!

 

Posted in Compassion, Friendship, help, Keep Going, Love, Meaning, Standing Firm, Story, The Lonely Zebra, The Roman Road, Wright Way Publications, Ziggy the Zebra | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making a Board Game…

This will be a short post…

I’m making a board game about angels.

It’s been play tested, the game mechanics have been worked out and the art work is being finalised…

…But I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know how to get it made, who to approach, and how to launch it.

Does anyone have any ideas please? Comments below, or email jesusistheway@live.co.uk

Please get in touch if you can advise me – I’m a little stuck right now but believe this game has great potential…

Thanks!

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Ziggy’s Adventure

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Ziggy thought his story was a real page turner!

Have you read The Lonely Zebra yet?

Ziggy the zebra is currently on another adventure as we speak, travelling to tell his story at a children’s event next week.

He’s been reading and reliving his story, brushing up on his words, and making sure he does it justice. Maybe you’ll see him there?

Or maybe you’ll see him in the pages of The Lonely Zebra. Either way he’d be grateful of your company, and keen to tell you what he has learned about friendship…

Posted in Adventure, Book, Children, Standing Firm, Story, The Lonely Zebra, The Roman Road, Wright Way Publications | Leave a comment

Would you befriend a Lonely Zebra?

Zebra SouthamptonHere is a photo of a zebra, spotted recently in Southampton.

Someone asked me the other day “Can zebras really cry?” I don’t know the answer to that question – not for every zebra anyway, but Ziggy the zebra can. Who will stop him feeling sad?

Pick up your copy of The Lonely Zebra and see if anyone will help him!

Posted in Standing Firm, Story, The Lonely Zebra, The Roman Road, Wright Way Publications | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

YOU ARE SPECIAL!

I haven’t blogged for a while but here is a story by Max Lucado that I feel the need to share. Enjoy!

As someone who cares far too much what other people say or even think, it’s nice to be reminded that each one of us is special, and there is someone whose opinion matters most of all. 🙂

Posted in Book, Choice, Encouragement, Keep Going, Max Lucado, Meaning, Standing Firm, Story, The Lonely Zebra, The Roman Road, Wright Way Publications | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lonely Zebra Reviewed!

20160510_154859The Lonely Zebra has just received its first review on Amazon! You can read it here.

It’s currently being read in the north and south of England, both as a bedtime story for young children and as a children’s talk in churches. Some adults (big kids) seem to like it too, and the pictures are being very well received by all ages.

Have you picked up your copy yet? Stop a zebra from crying and buy your copy today!*

*No manipulation intended – just playing along with the theme. 🙂
Posted in Read, Standing Firm, The Lonely Zebra, The Roman Road, Wright Way Publications | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Communion with Doughnuts?!

As a Christian minister I lead and attend communion services. For me they are one of the most powerful times to be in church, but it can also be taken in small groups. It’s a reminder that we can literally come into union with God because Jesus’s body was broken, his blood was shed, and he died and rose again for us. It’s a reminder that all can belong to God’s family no matter what our past, because Jesus has paid for our mistakes.20160501_173004

Communion is often done with bread (sometimes wafers or crackers) and wine (sometimes fruit juice or squash). One of my favourite times in communion was when the leader dipped pitta bread into wine and then popped it into people’s mouths, so they had both elements together.

I don’t know how many churches would take this up, but I wondered about using a jam doughnut for communion. If I was ever giving communion to someone and there was no bread or wine nearby, I’d have no problem using a doughnut. Two birds with one stone and all that…

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