Matt, Heather, Jones & Macrae:

ChurchVenture  HOME PAGE

Our passion is to build communities that are loyal to Jesus.

Please ...

  1. Watch our video
  2. Subscribe to our blog
  3. Consider supporting us. Follow the green button ...
Watch Video Full Screen

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So I made a mistake

I wanted to make a brief update and let people know that I prematurely uploaded a video interview I did with Rhianna from Atlanta. I reported that she had been completely healed of her Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) condition which was in fact unverified by a doctor at the time and has since been shown to be inaccurate. Broadcasting this on the internet created a lot of attention and disappointment for the family once they had it checked out.

Rhianna did experience freedom from pain during ONEBLAZE which was a real answer to prayer considering how physically demanding the week was. Those around her, not being familiar with her condition, were not able to tell if her spine had actually straightened up, and of course it is virtually impossible for Rhianna know. So, with the excitement over the pain going we all assumed a complete healing -- it was an honest mistake.

I wanted to publicly apologize about this and ask for forgiveness. I have expressed to Rhianna's Dad my deep regret about this. My desire for the youth of ONEBLAZE has been to see them grow in maturity, strengthen their relationships with their parents and release them to follow Jesus with a wholehearted boldness. In publishing the report on the internet I circumvented her parents authority which was a real lack of judgment on my part and I am truly sorry for it.

For those of us who believe in miracles it can be easy to make exaggerated claims without any accountability. I wanted to make it clear that I got this one wrong and hurt some people in the process. I hope I only have to learn this one once! As a young leader I have learned a valuable lesson.

The last thing I want to happen is for this to cast a shadow on the wonderful things that happened at ONEBLAZE in St. Louis 2008. During the event 7 of our youth indicated they had received physical healing, 4 became Christians and many had life changing things take place. We truly had the best conference ever and I know that a new generation of church pioneers is being raised up. I will be posting a full report on my blog soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

ONEBLAZE in St. Louis 2008 Photo Slideshow

What a week! 185 campers from across the USA worshiped Jesus, learned from the Bible, served the community and were changed forever with a vision to plant churches in the top 100 cities of the USA! If you attended or are interested checkout this ONEBLAZE photo slideshow (roughly 300 photos). Please forward this to any youth or counselors who don't receive my blog updates.

ONEBLAZE Photo Slideshow

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another Salvation at ONEBLAZE 2008

After years of church attendance and coming to ONEBLAZE, Emily from Union, Missouri realized she needed to give her whole life to Jesus and become a Christian. She is full of joy now and feels Gods presence with her. See my short video interview ...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Prayer for Scoliosis at ONEBLAZE 2008

I have made an important update about this post. Please read it here.

Rhianna from Atlanta has had Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) for about a year. One of her shoulder blades sticks out because of this and she has constant pain -- day and night. She was prayed for in one of our meetings and experienced some healing. It's been a couple of days and she still has no pain.

Rhianna is scheduled for an operation which would require 3 months out of school. Keep praying that she will be completely healed and not require this operation any longer.

(NOTE: I removed my video interview until we hear more details about Rhianna's progress)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Salvation at ONEBLAZE 2008

In our second evening meeting Sam, a catholic girl from the North East, realized that she was not a Christian and decided to follow Jesus. The girls had a party in the dorms that night to celebrate!!! See the brief interview with her ...

Healing at ONEBLAZE 2008

In our second evening meeting we received a word of knowledge about someone with a problem in their elbow and suffering from headaches.

Wes from Arizona responded to the word. He hurt his elbow playing tennis and after an MRI scan the doctors told him that they couldn't do anything for it. He was stuck with the problem. So, we prayed in the name of Jesus and his elbow was completely healed and he's been free from his headaches so far. Watch the video below for more ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ONEBLAZE in St. Louis 2008

This week is one of the most exciting weeks of the year for us. We have about 185 campers at our annual Newfrontiers-USA youth conference. Our vision for ONEBLAZE is to raise up a new generation of church pioneers. To do this we are training them to think and act differently.

Each afternoon teams of young people go into the community to serve. Some are running kids camps that focus on soccer, basketball and art, and others are doing food drives, building pirate ships for local kids or making signs for our family fun day on Saturday. This morning we trained everyone on how to engage with people and start conversations. This is a critical skill that the younger generation needs to learn in order to connect people to Jesus.

Last night I preached about the big picture. God is calling us to leave the small things and go for the big thing. He is calling us out of the Shire (Lord of the Rings), with its safe, picturesque, generational and traditional backdrop and into the great city of mordor -- the heart of the enemies activities. I gave them a vision to reach the cities of this nation. Cities have more people and more influence which makes them strategic for the advancement of the Kingdom. We'll never change things from the small rural areas.

So, big picture "CITY" and small picture "HOW TO HAVE A CONVERSATION" are two ways we have started to build the vision into this generation. Our goal is concerned with mobilizing these young people to engage in the mission of God -- which is to make disciples of all nations.

I can't wait for tonights meeting where my good friend Seth Hein will speak about sin and the wonderful nature of God's grace! My other good friend Sean Stewart will also be interviewing ONEBLAZERS about how their service projects went and relaying any exciting stories.

This camp is very different on a number of levels and it is amazing to have my wife and son around for much of the activities. Hearing Heather pray in our meetings and seeing people play with Jones is such a joy. We are one big family together on a mission.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Together on a Mission

Heather and I just returned from the Newfrontiers leadership conference Together on a Mission in Brighton, England. Here are some of the highlights:
  1. Simon Brading (I think he's about 20) lead us in worship throughout the week and did a fantastic job. We received a number key prophetic words in our worship times and Simon helped this flow through his sensitivity of song choice and leading us in responding.
  2. I got to interview an old friend of mine Steve Whittington who is a church planter in England. It should appear on this blog in the next few weeks.
  3. I am so proud of my wife who sang a prophetic song from the stage.
  4. Terry spoke on Stephen and Philip from the book of Acts. On his Philip message he effectively taught on two stages of Philips ministry. He was proven in character and submitted to the apostles even in the midst of phenomenal public ministry success. Terry wonderfully showed how to preach in word and deed. Preaching Christ and seeing miracles.
  5. Dinner with Mark Driscoll. In conversation I learned that he is always funny, humble (he genuinely wanted to learn from us) and the most missiological person I think I've met.
  6. After a series of positive remarks about Newfrontiers Driscoll said from the platform "And now I will hurt you". This is my favorite quote from the week because it's humorous, masculine and greatly beneficial. He had A LOT of helpful insights into our movement. Encouragements and corrections.
  7. Increasing our fruitfulness through more kinds of church planting. Introducing multiple services and multiple campuses in addition to new plants. Driscoll effectively destroyed the misconception that to BE the church we need all the same people worshiping together in one room at the same time. We need to start more services not so that our existing members have more options, but to reach new people and those who are not going to make it to a 10am Sunday meeting. The same thing goes for new campuses for those who live further away. Brilliantly obvious!
  8. Targeting the cities. Cities are the culture forming wombs of our societies and the further upstream we become the more we affect the regions within our nations. And then the nations to the world.
  9. Newfrontiers UK is currently planting about 10-12 new churches a year. We need to be planting 70-100 for the size we are.
  10. We need to be on the look out for more men in their 20's as a source for church planters. Yes, they will be arrogant, foolish and risky, and yes they will be perfect for church planting!
  11. Heather and I received a powerful prophetic word from Julian Adams. We attended his seminar entitled "Things Above" and he picked us out of the crowd and spoke of leadership gifting, church planting experiences, more synergy in our marriage and too many other things to mention. Download message 12 on this page. You'll find it at time signature 16:00 - 19:00.
This was the leadership conference NOT to miss. However, if you did miss it then you can download all the Together on a Mission main sessions here. Use the nav on the left to see the seminars, training tracks and mobilise sessions. I'd specifically encourage you listen to Mark Driscoll's messages -- even if you have heard a lot of his stuff before.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I just had dinner with Mark Driscoll ...

We are at the Newfrontiers leadership conference in Brighton UK and just got through the first day. After the meeting tonight some of the guys from the States decided to go for a beer. I took the initiative to invite Mark Driscoll to join us and he agreed. I bought him a large battered cod and chips and I think he liked it -- although he didn't drink any beer!

Myself and Bryan Mowrey (and a few others) got to chat with Mark and Scott (president of Acts 29) for about an hour. We discussed the process of church planting, baptism in the Holy Spirit and participation in worship. What an amazing opportunity to pick their brains and make a connection.

I very pleased about our time with Mark and his influence on our Newfrontiers churches.