I have recently begun working with the Porterbrook Training Network in South Africa.
The Porterbrook Network is a developing initiative aimed at contributing to a wider church planting movement by equipping individuals and churches to rediscover mission as their DNA through training, and resourcing. In practice a distance learning programme for developing missional leaders coming from the context of The Crowded House network, Although Porterbrook Training is now a separate entity with a wider ministry.
Our hope is to see churches reaching diverse peoples with the transforming Gospel of God (Word) and with a visible demonstration that the reign of Jesus is good (Christian Community).
What is the Porterbrook Network about?
- Biblical – deeply rooted in the Scriptures
- Practical – rich theology, applied in detail and relevant to real life
- Relational – because the Christian life was never meant to be lived alone
- Contextual – remain in your normal work and Christian community
- Accessible – no prior theological education required (average competency in English is needed)
- Flexible – schedule is adaptable to suit your circumstances
- Affordable – quality training at a reasonable price
E-mail me for more info: capetown AT porterbrooknetwork DOT org
Watch some students in the UK talking about their experiences here
“The Porterbrook Network is an innovative resource that offers affordable, high-quality training for mission and ministry in the 21st century. I warmly recommend it.” Tim Keller
“The Porterbrook Network is an excellent resource for equipping churches and individuals as we look at responding in a distinctive gospel manner to the needs in our nation and world.”Vaughan Roberts, Rector, St Ebbe’s, Oxford
So this is not quite a reflection on the past week in Woodstock as close to 2 weeks. So just a couple of snapshots and then a few reflections & developments going forward…
I continued to spend quite a bit of time last week on 1 Peter for the Wellington holiday club. I was quite pleased with these two posts (Gospel Suffering is Participation in the Life of God & Big Idea in 1 Peter), starting to feel like I am beginning to articulate all the strands and ideas swimming in my head surrounding this book.
The bad news, however, is that the Wellington holiday club is not going to happen due it seems to a change of heart by those in Wellington. It was looking likely that it was going to be a bunch of outsiders coming and running a programme in Wellington for the kids and then leaving and trying to get others to do follow up… never an ideal situation. And then we had problems with the venue and the accommodation. It seemed the writing was on the wall…
Maybe it was because I had just written this a few weeks back, that prompted me to suggest an alternative plan to Darrel.
“One thing I have to learn is to get more flexible and creative when my plans don’t work out. Simple church is all about “creating work” for yourself. When things don’t work I have to beware of defaulting to doing “ministry type things” that make me feel like I have ticked the boxes of productivity and significance. Rather I need to take those times to simply be there in the community – watching, listening and learning.”
As a result Darrel, myself and my family, together with about 10-20 young people are headed up to Bain’s Kloof on Sunday for 4 days of missional training. After trying to rework 1 Peter to fit into the new plan, I decided to rework it completely. As a result this week has been quite preparation intensive again – as I worked on The Story of God’s People: Missionaries, Family, Disciples; Missional Living, Decision Making, Possessions, Gospel Communities, Knowing your Neighbourhood… I am really excited about our time together. Praying that the Spirit would use our time to challenge young people to see the counter-cultural, radical, big life of the gospel and to dream big, impossible, audacious, Kingdom dreams together.
Due mainly to walls being knocked out of houses and the ever-present winter flu, our Tuesday prayer meetings have been a bit sporadic the past few weeks but we did manage to all agree to get together last Tuesday. We sat around in a half-renovated house in the dark praising and calling out to our God. It all sounds rather post-modern, and new liturgical doesn’t it? The actual story is a bit more mundane and yet bizarre – the electricity ran out at the half-renovated (better than their own house due to the presence of walls if you were wondering), house of a friend that Alan and Nicole were staying at, no-one could find any candles and the corner shop only opened in 30 minutes time. So no coffee and on top of that Alan could not find his glasses… not that they would have helped him that much. It was a plus point for having a Bible programme on your phone though.
On Tuesday I braved the chilly weather to tackle head on the weekly challenge of the Woodstock Lounge pub quiz. Had a couple of friends join with me – was good to catch up a bit between the questions. The advantages of having a bartender, lyrical poet and a health food store owner proved decisive and The Young League once again crushed the imperialistic tendencies of the other teams to emerge victorious with a (way too small) T-shirt and some bar snacks for our brilliance! Tenderpreneurs we are not…
The other thing that has taken quite a bit of my time lately has been working on a Regional Learning Collective for the Porterbrook Training. Colin and I have divided up responsibilities for Porterbrook in such a way that he is looking after all the distance for the rest of the country while I am going to try get some new collective learning initiatives going here in Cape Town.
Porterbrook in Cape Town is looking to enhance the learning experience for those students in and around Cape Town by encouraging students to participate in a common learning syllabus for the greater Cape Town area. To this end:
1) We will be holding 3 Regional Collective Learning Days with a 3-fold function of providing more information to those interested, introducing the curriculum based learning for that term and providing a forum for students to share how they are learning and applying the principles in their contexts. The first Collective Learning Day is 23 July. E-mail me at capetown (at) porterbrooknetwork (dot) org for more details.
2) We are going to be offering weekly tutorials for those not currently in existing learning groups but who would enjoy having the accountability and benefit of collective learning.
This coming weekend – you can best believe you will find me at the Woodstock Lounge around 5pm, having a Whale Tale Ale and shouting for (at?) the Stormers in the S15 semi-final.