Lead On - Resourcing your ministry, leader to leader

Welcome to the latest edition of Lead On, the monthly email with leader-to-leader input from CPAS. If you know others who may be interested in this email, please forward it on or send them a link to www.cpas.org.uk/leadon. Thank you.

It is coming

Some things are inevitable for leaders in churches. Sundays come round with incredible regularity. Tricky situations abound which need careful handling. And Christmas time will be busy - very busy.
While we encourage others to receive afresh or for the first time the ‘good news of great joy that will be for all the people’ (Luke 2:10), it can feel a little like we just have to get through and then collapse in a heap on Christmas afternoon. So what can we do to prepare ourselves well for the Christmas season? Here are a few thoughts, choose one (and if you have great ideas share them on the Lead On blog).

  • Read the gospel accounts of the coming of Jesus in your devotional times to personally be refreshed by the good news. Don’t read it with an eye to the sermon, but with a prayer to God: ‘Lord, renew my awe at this good news.’
  • Set aside an hour in the next week just to get your head around everything that needs to be done. Plan the best way to do it, and then work the plan. (Often best to plan in time for the unexpected, because the unexpected always happens!)
  • Plan a quiet morning (or book on a retreat) for mid-December before it goes completely manic in which to get away from it all and be with the one who is good news.
  • Personally commit to invite someone you know who isn’t a Christian to one of the Christmas events. This will keep us in step with our congregations, who we are encouraging to invite people along to the Christingle service, senior citizen’s Christmas lunch, youth party, or carol event in the town centre.
  • Think of someone you love and be creative in supporting them through whatever pressures Christmas brings for them. We are called to serve.
  • Get hold of three copies of an evangelistic Christmas booklet (see below), and ask God to give you an opportunity to give each one away by December 25.

Christmas is a wonderful reminder to us of all that God has done in Jesus. It is also a great opportunity to share the good news with others.

As leaders, may God help us to receive his good news afresh, be good news to others, and to share good news in every way possible with those who as yet don’t know the ‘reason for the season’. After all, take Christ out of Christmas and all you are left with is M&S!
Lead on.

Disciple-making in a consumerist culture

Neil Hudson works at LICC (London Institute for Contemporary Christianity) and helps churches think about developing whole-life disciples. In this article he explores what leaders can do to further disciple-making in a consumerist culture.
A consumerist culture is fun and frustrating. It makes us believe we are at the centre of life, but treats us as though we are simply customers with money to burn. It offers unbelievable choice, but stresses us out as we are overwhelmed by those choices. It suggests that anything is possible, but humiliates those who fail...
Read the full article


John Fisher recommends some books for your Christmas pressie list.
Beyond Busyness
Stephen Cherry (Sacristy Press)

There are lots of books on time management but this one is different. It is reflective, practical and creative. It will leave you with ideas you can make your own and has a helpfully pastoral focus, which affirms you rather than making you feel inadequate!
Developing Healthy Churches  
Robert Warren (Church House Publishing)

Any book by Robert Warren is worth a read. This one follows up The Healthy Churches Handbook in giving further realistic and practical approaches to growing churches. Included are useful study materials and leaders resources. It can be used at many levels in the church and is worth spending quality time on.
Christ in the Wilderness
Stephen Cottrell (SPCK)

Now for something completely different. If you need inspiration and like the art of Stanley Spencer this latest book from the current Bishop of Chelmsford is a gem. It will feed the soul and prayerfully point you heavenwards and with Christmas coming what could be more helpful?

Additional resource material

There are many booklets which can be given away around Christmas. Here are links to a few of them, most of them offered with a discount for bulk purchases.

And for those who are looking for a little help with the Christmas sermons, John Dunnett offers the following, and you may find further inspiration here:
  • The Christmas message in a one-liner: 'God with us - God within us.'
  • The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable. 
  • Three phrases that sum up Christmas: 'peace on earth', 'goodwill to all', 'batteries not included.'
  • The judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner: 'What are you charged with?' ‘Doing me Christmas shopping early’ replied the defendant. ‘That’s no offence’ said the judge. ‘How early were you doing your shopping?’ ‘Before the store opened’ said the defendant.

And here is an alternative way of doing some carol singing!

Leadership talk

'Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.'
Church leader Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:58

Next month...

Growing in Christ-likeness   

CPAS leadership specialist Charles Burgess reflects on how leaders can continue to grow in Christ-likeness.


Graham Archer reviews Developing in Ministry by Neil Evans.

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