If you bit the big apple today you'd break your teeth. Nevertheless, great to be in New York with our friends Deryck and Cathy and their church, even though its fereeezing.
Last week I tried to explain the Why of Urban Renewal. The ripeness of need for an Acts 13 moment. A chance to model healthy, sane Word and Spirit ministry for the sake of the gospel. The joy of partnership between theological prophets and Spirit-led teachers. The possibility of equipping people in this regard.
But what about the Who? (Not the band, although I can't honestly understand why The Who are playing the Superbowl half time show, other than the guys who run the show are all trying to relive their 60's nostalgia at our expense)
That said, I am particularly excited about the Who of Urban Renewal. This is no ordinary group of people.
First and foremost, they are friends who have spent themselves on serving and leading God's people in a given place for long enough to see tangible gospel fruit there. They are not globe trotting, one night wonders using Jesus as a cover up for their ego trip. They are lovers of their local church, and I love that about them.
Second, they live on three different continents. We love the color and contrast of different cultures, and anticipate a particular richness from this diversity.
Third, they spend a lot of time in airports. In other words, what God has done through them has created a demand for their time and talents. These are not novices. They are seasoned. uniquely gifted people. with something worthwhile to say.
Finally, they are all really funny. We prophetic types tend to take ourselves far too seriously, so I asked people to come who would help us laugh at ourselves. That's an added bonus.
So who are the Who?
JD and ReAnn Daniel from Adelaide, Australia lead Coastlands Church, one of the fastest growing multi-site churches in South Australia. Still in their 20's, I always say that they have jam packed two lives into their short one. They first met, married and ministered in Los Angeles, drawn together initially by their common love and gifting for worship. They moved to Australia from the US eight years ago where they are now pastoring their second church. Having written and recorded countless worship songs,as well as pioneered Thirsty Worship gatherings, they have a unique ability to lead people through preaching, worship and the prophetic with contagious passion and innovation.
Mike Pilavachi is the founder and pastor of Soul Survivor Church, Watford, outside London, which he planted in the early 1990's with friend and worship leader Matt Redman. He also leads Soul Survivor festivals, Britain's largest Christian youth festival. A self-effacing, hilarious communicator who is also a prolific writer, Mike's close connection with the Church of England has enabled him to introduce many traditional churches to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He supports Manchester United Soccer Club but we won't hold that against him.
Mike Erre is teaching pastor at Rock Harbor in Costa Mesa, California, which has grown to around 6000 in ten years. A graduate from Talbot University, Mike's theological depth is matched by his contextual savvy and compelling communication gift. With a conservative theological background, Mike has been on a journey of discovering the marriage between Word and Spirit preaching,and his journey is one well worth learning from.
Todd Proctor is lead pastor of Rock Harbor. Initially the worship pastor at this rapidly growing church, Todd's visionary gift found him playing a role that he never saw coming. His humility and innovation have enabled him to gather and lead an exceptionally strong ministry team, without feeling the need to be constantly in the spotlight. His mix of worship leading and visioneering make him a unique gift to the church.
So there's the low down for the Who of Urban Renewal.
Chris Wienand and I will be somewhere in the mix, I guess, but we are delighted to be hosting these incredible friends for the duration of the event.
Registration starts on www.southlands.net this coming week.