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US pastor tells Norwich leaders to hold vision

Norwich Christian leaders were encouraged not to settle for second best in their ministries, while balancing vision with reality, by US church leader Jeff Lucas at a Transforming Norwich leaders’ lunch last week.

JeffLucas450International Christian communicator, broadcaster and author, Jeff Lucas, is a Brit who is part of the pastoral team at the 10,000 strong  Timberline Church at Fort Collins in Colorado.
 
Speaking to church and Christian ministry leaders from across Norfolk at a Transforming Norwich lunch at the Norwich Family Life Church in Norwich on May 16, Jeff (pictured above) was very frank.
 
“Sometimes I don’t want a purpose-driven life or to make poverty history or stop the traffic or reach the bloke next door. Sometimes I just want to live,” said Jeff.
 
“Fellow leaders, don’t just survive,” he urged, “don’t go into maintenance mode, don’t stop taking the risks, don’t be addicted to the consensus, don’t take the easy way out. Mere survival is never ever going to satisfy you.”

Jeff said that the Timberline church really started to grow when a stripper named Nicky turned up, read the whole New Testament in three days and got baptised. 18 of her colleagues turned up for the baptism in their fluorescent outfits and that day the church turned into one where broken people ministered grace to fellow broken people.
 
TNLeaders450Jeff, who was formerly part of the Spring Harvest leadership team and holds positions with high profile Christian magazines and child poverty charity Compassion, ended on a positive, while realistic, note.
 
“As passionate people we need to balance idealism, vision and purpose with a realistic understanding of what we are dealing with in our churches, which is humanity,” he said.
 
Transforming Norwich chairman, Rev Mark Fairweather-Tall (above), said: "I believe time together like this has the potential to be really significant for the city of Norwich. There are many great churches and Christian organisations which have the same call to be a light for the gospel among our communities. In meeting together we can build stronger relationships, encourage one another and share ideas which will benefit the Kingdom."
 
The next Transforming Norwich event is its AGM as a part of the Celebrate Weekend when the Bishop of Norwich will be the speaker. It takes place on Friday June 7, 3pm at Chantry Hall, Chantry Road. Everyone is welcome. 
 
www.timberlinechurch.org

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