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Developing the Spiritual Life of Mission-Shaped Disciples



The Surf Project

Jono and Beth Griffin lead an exciting discipleship movement for youth in Ireland called The Surf Project ( They came for some intensive Inspire leadership training from 11-12 November with Phil and Sam Meadows and Caroline Brown, who is an Inspire missioner and active developer of Inspire for Kids and Youth. It is great to be developing a partnership with The Surf Project, as Inspire helps them figure out how to connect their events with small group discipleship ministry, and we are really looking forward to seeing how they can help the contextualisation of Inspire discipleship for young people. Exciting times.


Leaders Lunch in Bristol

Over 60 church leaders gathered on 13 November in Bristol for an Inspire lunchtime ‘conversation’ on the theme of discipleship. The event was led by Inspire Missioners Stephen Newell, Sharon Lovelock and David Lawrence. After lunch together David opened up the subject of discipleship by noting that nearly every church denomination and stream is working on a discipleship agenda - but often without any clear definition of what such an agenda entails. Following discussion the group considered the four elements of Inspire’s Way of Life as a framework for forming disciples in the local church. The feedback from participants was good and included a positive response to the proposed School of Mission-shaped Discipleship sessions being planned for Bristol in 2015. These will also be lunchtime leaders’ events, held in Woodlands Church on January 29th, March 19th, April 30th and June 18th.


Steering Group Retreat

Steering Group is the governing body of the Inspire Movement. It includes our Trustees, and the whole Group is responsible for providing support and direction to the Movement as a whole. The Steering Group has made it a practice to go on retreat together each year, to renew itself as a spiritual fellowship, and to listen for God's leading. The leader of our Prayer Team, and organiser of the retreat, offers the following reflections: 'On the weekend of June 22nd, the Group had a wonderful retreat along with some of our families at the Westwood Christian Centre just outside Huddersfield. Our hosts made feel really welcome and they also joined us as strangers in our midst for our sessions which was a real blessing. It is hard to sum up a weekend in just a few words, but it was a time of encounter and blessing as God met with us and dwelt among us. We had time and space to worship and reflect, to be challenged and re-visioned, to minister to each other as the Spirit led us, to laugh and cry, to breathe in the beauty of God's creation all around us, to be still and to listen, to be renewed, refreshed and restored. In that place of God's welcome we rediscovered what it means to be a fellowship of co-workers, united in the love of Christ and in service to the Inspire Movement'.

Be Inspired

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest” (Luke 9:46-48 NIV).

Do you want to be great? Jesus does not rebuke the disciples desire for greatness, just their understanding of what that means. It seems strange that they should be arguing about who would be greatest at the end of a day full of weakness: Their misdirected desire to build tents up the mount of transfiguration; their powerless attempts to cast out a demon; their inability to understand the repeated instructions of Jesus... It could be that Jesus spent some time encouraging them, and building them up with promises of the coming kingdom. But they skipped the lessons of weakness, and went straight for their own aspirations of personal greatness. The lesson of weakness is that anything great about us must flow from the greatness of God, whose own wisdom and power flows in and through us. In ourselves, we will always have the weakness and vulnerability of little children. But just as the greatness of a child is rooted in the guidance, love and strength of their parents, so our identity and aspirations must be rooted in our Heavenly Father, the King of the kingdom. And it is only when others embrace us in our weakness, because they see the King who is with/in us, will the kingdom of God come through us. So, let us aspire for greatness. Let us live as children of God. Let us place our weakness in his hands. Let his wisdom and strength flow through us. And let the world ascribe greatness to the one who sends us and shines though our words and deeds.