Month: April 2009

Freestyle Sex Ed.

In the spirit of the previous post I thought I’d share this little video of MOBO award-winning Chrustian rapper, Jahaziel, rapping some freestyle lyrics about sex. Really inspiring and a great clip to use with youth.

Enjoy…

Offensive Little Rapper

Teaching at Offensive09A few weeks ago I had an email from a pastor in Newport saying that one of the young people I had taught to emcee at a youth camp last month, and who had done the Offensive course last year, wrote and performed a rap in church on Easter Sunday that was all about the cross. Apparently it brought the house down! Anyway, he did Offensive again on Saturday and I met his dad who was blown away by the depth and passion of the lyrics that his son had penned. When this boy rapped it for me, I was so impressed that I asked him to email the lyrics to me, so that I could post them up on my blog!

He willingly obliged so I’ve copied them below. I hope they’re a blessing to you! (Bear in mind this kid’s only 14!!!)

Stuff like this makes the Offensive course so worth doing…

V.1
I’ma follow him and I won’t give up / ‘cuz he took my place and he took the cup
He’d done nothing wrong yet he drank it up / so now I decided to lift him up
He was convicted to die, up on a hill / he was crucified like those who kill
He coulda backed down but he said your will / and he raised back up and he lives on still.

Yo! Jesus took all my sin away / it went down with him on the cross that day
‘cuz he was and is life, truth and the way / but you can’t keep living your life in the grey
So think about just what I say / where you gonna go on judgement day?
I’ll say again Jesus took my sin away / but the choice is yours at the end of the day

Chorus
JESUS! It’s amazing what you did / JESUS! It’s amazing hope you give
JESUS! Your life’s how I want to live / JESUS! Assaulted now exalted
JESUS! It’s amazing what you did / JESUS! It’s amazing hope you give
JESUS! Your life’s how I want to live / JESUS! Assaulted now exalted

V.2
He carried the cross with his back ripped open / while all the people was laughin’ and joking
Roman soldiers threw lots for his clothin’ / stripped hung up on a hill in the open
Humiliated, up there he died / as he did “it is finished!” he cried
But, thing is he knew he would rise / and as a result I am purified

Yo it’s his salvation that I claim / it’s eternal life with him I gain
C’mon man you won’t ever be the same / I promise this in Jesus’ name
You won’t wanna turn your back again / you’ll just wanna give Jesus the praise
True man it means a massive change / but think it’s worth it in the end

V.3
Yeah it’s terrible how crucifixion killed / it’s hard to imagine it’s what God willed
But ‘cuz of the way Christ’s blood was spilled / the God shaped hole in my heart is filled
I just rapped a line about a God shaped hole / I believe it exists in every human soul
Without it filled life’s dark and cold / but get with God man he’ll make you whole

Something about salvation’s great / there ain’t like a point where he says “too late”
He’ll welcome you back in and he’ll call you “mate” / but that don’t mean you can say “I’ll wait”
‘cuz judgement day man it could be tomorrow / if that’s the case you’ll be filled with sorrow
Sorry pal but hell’s the place that ya go / unless Jesus Christ is a guy that ya know

Trevolution Link-Up

link-up logoTrevolution continues to be a massive hit with the youth of Trevethin with anywhere between 40-50 youth attending on Monday nights. However, a door has just opened for us as a Church to build even further on what we’ve already got going on…

Following a fantastic week of assemblies in West Mon Comprehensive School recently, I was invited (along with my 2 awesome Ministry Apprentices – Pete and Heth) to meet up with the Deputy Headmaster. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of us partnering with the school to work with some of their pupils who, for various reasons, might need help, support and encouragement to engage more fully into school life. As we are already in relationship with many of these young people through Trevolution, it seemed a logical progression to extend our commitment to them beyond the club atmosphere of Monday nights and into the daily reality of school.

Consequently, this Friday afternoon we are starting Trevolution Link-Up. Link-Up will be a weekly hour-long session in a specially designated class room with pupils (initially in Year 7) during which time we can really draw alongside them to listen to them, build them up and mentor them.

We’re really excited about this and about the potential to serve these kids with grace and compassion. God’s finger-prints are all over Link-Up and it’s a door that He’s clearly opened up for us. We’re also really honoured and humbled by the whole thing as it was the school who approached us about this, not the other way around (and when you consider that it’s my old school – it’s a jolly miracle!) However, we’re also feeling quite daunted too! This is a massive responsibility for us and we don’t want to let the kids, the school or the Church down by being either complacent or inconsistent.

So please would you pray for us this Friday. Please pray that as we work with these precious kids, the love of God would be evident through our words, deeds and attitudes and that the gospel would take root in their lives.

Offensive Training

flyer-frontJust another quick post to let you know about an evangelism training day that I’m running at Woodville Baptist church in Cardiff this coming Saturday. Offensive: Cross-Driven Mission is an evangelism training course for youth, youth leaders and students that I have been running for Ignite for 4 years now. While the course has definitely been steadily improving each year, this year promises to be a whole new beast!

Rather than running as a monthly event over a 6 month period, we’ve decided to do the whole thing in a single day. Furthermore, rather than me doing all the teaching, we’re now introducing 6 fantastic practical seminars throughout the day. Issues covered include: 

  • Digital Mission -Dan Clemo (Storm VC)
  • Words That Work – Pete Hodge (OAC)
  • Fighting On Our Faces – Carl Brettle (An Open Door)
  • Telling Your Story – James Richards & Simon Matheson (Banah Ministries)
  • Relational Evangelism – Peyton Jones (Pillar/New Breed)
  • Creative Outreach – Dai Wooldridge (Going Public Theatre Co.)

The whole day costs £20 which includes a T-shirt, donuts-all-day and a copy of the Offensive book that I’ve just had published. If you, or any young people/youth leaders/students that you know are interested, please feel free to book your place online and I’ll see you on Saturday. Otherwise, would you please remember to pray for the event, that God will use it to inspire those who come to both embrace and understand the gospel more deeply, and to take it out into their world with a fresh sense of passion and urgency.

flyer-back

Caffeinated & Elated

new breedOK so the Coffeerence is over and it was immense. This post is to simply tell you what went on, and why I’m so buzzing about the whole New Breed thing:

New Breed Coffeerence – 18th April, 2009
Well I turned up at WEST at 9:30am and after being given a load of grief for no apparent reason by the caretaker, I started setting things up in the Chapel. Peyton arrived soon after with coffee on tap and a crate of donuts, and from then on it was plain sailing! People started turning up from about 9:45 onwards and by the time we started at just gone 10am there must have been around 30 of us there. To me the most encouraging thing was just how young the delegates were – most in their twenties and thirties, some in their forties and fifties, and some even in their teens! Regardless of whether or not they all choose to roll with New Breed or not, I was just blessed to see so many Christians from this generation who see church-planting in Wales as an adventure worth pursuing!

After a great time of sung worship, Peyton kicked the first session off with an introduction to New Breed and an overview of the journey so far. He told us that church planting was like jumping out of a plane and that while we weren’t experts, we had done it, were still buzzing off it and were now committed to encouraging others who are crazy about the gospel to jump too! After sharing how his church plant, Pillar Community Church, had come about, he handed over to me to unpack the New Breed mission statement:

“New Breed is a network of church planters who are dedicated to planting biblical, missional and radical churches in Wales.”

I simply emphasised the need for a Welsh church planting network that both understands and loves this nation, and then spent the rest of the session explaining the importance of planting churches that are Biblical, Missional and Radical:

  • Biblical – Rooted in Scripture
  • Missional – Reaching the lost
  • Radical – Redeeming Culture

I closed the session by offering every one the gift of a pebble – small, hard, apparently insignificnat and neither glamorous nor impressive, yet unquestionably useful and unique – just like church planting!

Following a very quick caffeine pit-stop we then gave each person who had come an opportunity to share their own hearts and burdens for the gospel in Wales, and it was really exciting to hear what they had to say. I was just so encouraged to hear how God is speaking to so many people across the nation about the same urgent need to plant cutting edge, gospel-preaching churches.

In the final session, Peyton introduced New Breed Jump School – the first of two exciting training programmes that we are looking to launch in September. Jump School is 3 weekends of intensive, practical training held at different points throughout the next academic year and is essentially the access-point to join the New Breed Network. It will be taught by various church-planting experts and practitioners who have been there, done it, jumped out of the plane and lived to tell the tale…

I then briefly mentioned Hill City Church, before introducing the second Training programme – the New Breed Course. The details of this are still very much up in the air but we are in advanced conversations with Highfields Church about the prospect of running a church planting training programme to compliment the Network theological training course that they already run. If this goes ahead it will be a 30 week course broken down into 3 ten week terms, that will go much deeper into practically and theologically preparing people to plant biblical, missional and radical churches. I then shared the second part of the mission statement:

“New Breed assists in launching cutting-edge churches by providing innovative training and practical support for church planters by church planters.”

I ended the session by explaining the four benefits of joining the New Breed church planters’ network:

  • Get Excited – Shared adventures
  • Receieve Encouragement – Shared Burdens
  • Gain Experience – Shared Wisdom
  • Be Equipped – Shared Resources

I closed in prayer and then opened up a time of Q&A, in which me and Peyton tried our best to answer as many questions and queries as we could.

We rounded things off, chatted with as many people as possible and then legged it as quick as we could, not wanting to incur the wrath of the caretaker!

From what we’ve heard so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, though I’m sure there were a few who didn’t quite get it/were a bit freaked out by it! We handed around a notepad for all who were considering joining New Breed to give us their deets and we’ll be sending out enrollment forms for Jump School in the near future. I guess we’ll know who’s up for the jump then!

The audio of the sessions will be available very soon on the New Breed blog.

Thanks to everyone who came, contributed, shared passion, drank coffee and got excited with us! May God use you all mightily to see this nation transformed by the power of His awesome gospel!

New Breed Coffeerence

a5-1Tomorrow is a massive day for me and my mate Peyton. The New Breed church planting vision, that we’ve shared for several years now, has been steadily gathering momentum and taking shape over recent months. Tomorrow we’re hosting the first ever New Breed Cofference at WEST. It’s a gathering of like-minded church planters and ‘would-be’ church planters, who are united by a passion for seeing radical churches established in Wales that both embrace Scripture and engage culture without fear or compromise.

At the Coffeerence we’ll be explaining exactly what New Breed is all about, unveiling some of the really exciting training and networking opportunities that have recently sprung up, and listening to the hearts, dreams and burdens of each of the delegates. We’ll also worship together, pray together, and drink a ridiculuos amount of coffee in a very short space of time!

Can’t wait!

Please do pray for us tomorrow – that despite us two bone-heads being involved, God will still show up to speak, bless, encourage and inspire.

It really is my prayer that tomorrow will be a significant day for the gospel in Wales!

Easter Reflections Pt.3 – The Resurrection Changes Everything!

resurrectionEaster Sunday was a special day for Hill City Church. It was our first public Resurrection Celebration as a church and what a day it turned out to be! We had lots of new faces and visitors with us as Michelle opened the worship time with Thine Be The Glory – the Behemoth of Easter anthems. I did the kids talk about chickens, eggs and new life, then dished out a bunch of Kinder Surprise eggs. There was hardly a dry eye in the house as Michelle bravely told the story of how God had healed her and given her the gift of new life in the midst of dark depression as a teenager. Finally, James preached a simple, passionate sermon about why the resurrection is such good news and should remind us that:

  • All our sins are completely forgiven
  • Jesus is totally tustworthy
  • Our hope will never die
  • Jesus can still give others new life like He did for us

After the service we had an Easter Feast, during which time I was able to sit in the gorgeous sunshine outside, chatting with some new people, sharing their stories, explaining the gospel and even talk about possibility of baptisms in the summer. Buzzin! The mad thing is – who the dickens am I to talk to anyone about life, love, God, grace and hope? I was as lost as anyone, dead in sin and destined for hell! So what changed me? Christianity? Nope!

Christ!!

I met Jesus, or rather He sought me out and saved me! My hope is a living hope because Jesus is alive! Trusting a dead Jesus is like putting lip-stick on a corpse – pointless, stupid and a bit sick (just like religion!) But trusting a living Saviour – well now that’s completely different and it’s what sets Jesus apart from all other saviours!

The resurrection changes everything!

There’s thousands of people I could speak to in Trevethin alone who, like me, could never turn their lives around by their own releigious efforts. Dead people can’t do jack! But Jesus – well if He beat death itself, and the same power that rose Him from the grave is at work in me and making me like Jesus, then there’s no one that I can ever meet who is unchangable or beyond help and hope! The beauty is that whoever turns to Christ can have precious new life because Jesus is alive.

Literally, the resurrection changes everything!!

Easter Refelctions Pt.2 – The Significance of Saturday

jesus-in-the-tombI was privileged to be in Parc Prison on Saturday morning, rapping for around 25 Young Offenders and sharing the good news of Easter with them. While it’s always good to preach to a captive audience (lol!) it was amazing how gripped they were, how challenged they seemed to be and how warmly they responded to me telling them that their sin was horrific to a holy God and fully deserving of death, but that in Christ they could know forgiveness and newness of life. However, as I was preaching, something struck me really hard (nothing to do with a prison riot, praise God) and that is the beauty of Easter Saturday!

And I got really excited about it!

Think about it, those of us who know Christ and love His gospel are crazy for the cross on Friday, we rave about the resurrection on Sunday morning, but Saturday kind of gets lost in the middle! And it shouldn’t! Alright there didn’t seem to be much happening as Jesus’ body lay lifeless in the tomb following His brutal crucifixion, but that time in the tomb is as central to the gospel as the other 2 days, as the Apostle Paul reminds us:

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve…” (1Corinthians 15v1,3-4)

Paul also wrote this to the Romans:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6v3-4)

I used to love singing an old school hymn back in the day of my EMW roots that had this immense chorus:

“Living, he loved me; dying, he saved me;
Buried, he carried my sins far away;
Rising, he justified freely, for ever:
One day he’s coming—O, glorious day!”

(They don’t write them like they used to!)

On the cross Jesus literally became sin and bore the full weight of God’s wrath for it all. Then He was buried, taking with Him every remnant of our sin, shame and guilt. When Christ arose He was no longer the sin bearer but the death defeater! No longer the suffering servant but the glorious, victorious redeemer! I am free from my filthy, rebellious past because it was buried with Jesus, and when He rose again in newness of life, He left my sin that He had suffered and died for, in the grave – never to be seen again!

That’s why I got excited about Easter Saturday, and that’s why a room full of criminals, with pasts they would love to be able to leave behind and forget, also got excited about it! In fact they responded to the message with rapturous applause!

Praise God for Easter Saturday!