Archive for the ‘Tim Chester’ Category

Tim Chester’s book, You Can Change, will provide theological and practical help as you set out to change particular parts of your life. Pick up a copy today!


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The reason you struggle to parent the way you’d like to parent is because life is busy.

You do know that busy is always self-induced, don’t you?

Work is busy. Change your schedule or change jobs.

Our kids are involved in so many activities. Do less. Start with the thing they hate that you think is important.

We can’t keep up with everyone. Quit trying.

I’m giving you permission to give up trying to please the world with your parenting.

I’d also encourage you to pick up a copy of Tim Chester’s book, The Busy Christian’s Guide to Busyness.

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From Tim Chester over in the UK:

I recently put together some thoughts on ‘missional business’ arising out of discussions we have been having in [our church] …

Missional Business Vision

1. We like business
We like business. We believe business blesses the city by creating employment, providing services, generating tax revenue and resourcing mission. We want our network to have a culture in which business is affirmed and entrepreneurs are encouraged.

2. We like business people
We like business people. We want business people interested in Jesus to feel welcome and affirmed within our church communities. We want this to be reflected in our strategies, our application of the Bible, our prayers, the people we interview in meetings, what we celebrate and our talk illustrations. We do not want to warn against the dangers of wealth in a way that portrays business negatively, nor do we want to affirm the service professions in a way that business people find excluding.

3. Money is also mammon
We recognise that money is also mammon, a rival to God for our affections and a threat to our relationships. So we believe Christian business people need to be accountable to their church community for the way they generate wealth and the use to which they put it. We want people to be generous, avoiding excessive expenditure.

4. Free to rest
Work can be a way of finding worth, identity, fulfilment and security apart for God – an attitude that often leads to overwork. Our faith in Christ’s finished work of justification means we do not need to prove ourselves through work or business success. Our faith in God’s goodness means we do not need wealth to find fulfilment. Our faith in God’s fatherly care means we do not need to worry about our needs. So rest or sabbath is a sign and celebration of God’s provision.

5. Cultural profit
We believe the gospel shapes the methods of business. So we want a ‘cultural profit’ in which our products, our employment and management practices, the design of our premises, the conduct of our meetings all shape and renew the wider culture as well as pointing to the gospel message. Being in business gives us the opportunity to exercise authority in a way that reflects the liberating and life-enhancing rule of God. We will treat employees, customers and suppliers as partners. We will ensure our activities confirm with legal requirements and relevant codes of conducts. We will ensure our businesses bless the neighbourhood in which they operate and do not harm creation.

6. Gospel-shaped goals
We believe the gospel shapes the goal of business. Growing a business is not an end in itself, whether for power, prestige or prosperity. We believe Christian business people should commit their business to one or more of the following missional business models …

Missional Business Models

1. Lifestyle business
Developing a business to support a missional lifestyle. This might involve earning sufficient income in four days a week to release time for mission or working in a role that creates evangelistic opportunities.

2. Income generation
Developing a business to generate income to support church planting.

3. Economic and social renewal
Developing a business to bless the city by creating employment, providing services, generating tax revenue and facilitating the establishment of new companies.

All three of these models can be combined to some extent. But some people will opt for one instead of another. They may, for example, not invest as much time as they could to maximise income (model #2) so they have time for church planting (model #1).

Networking for Missional Business

The following are ideas for supporting the establishment and development of businesses within a church network.

1. A mentoring scheme
linking new entrepreneurs with experienced business people to help develop business plans, access resources, generate ideas and solve issues

2. A business club
business people meeting regularly for peer support and gospel accountability

3. Investment
linking investors with missional business opportunities

4. An investment fund
pooling savings to create an investment fund for missional businesses around the world

5. A holding company
creating a central company to create economies of scale for administration and legal compliance

6. A skills bank
providing free or low-cost start-up support (accountancy, business advise, design) plus a database of government and other resources for new businesses

7. Training
providing training in the vision and practice of missional business

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Asking (most) people to come with us to church is an unrealistic expectation:

Church is where we feel safe and comfortable. Church is where non-Christians feel embarassed and awkward. We offer people the gospel, but on our terms and on our territory. Put like this, it becomes clear that we must take the gospel – and indeed the church – out of our ghetto and into the world around us.

Steve Timmis and Tim Chester, The Gospel-Centred Church, 24-25.

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More from Timmis and Chester:

Think about the contexts in which you rub shoulders with unbelievers. What is the distinctive gospel behavior that should characterize your relationships?

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From The Gospel-Centred Church by Chester and Timmis:

We are not all gifted, eloquent, vivacious, engaging personal evangelists. But we are all children of God, saved by grace and heading for glory. Commending the One who has adopted, rescued and enriched us is an enormous privilege. This is the heart of God’s plan for me to bear a credible witness to the gospel in whatever context I find myself. The source of this consistent and believable witness is the sense of being gob-smacked by grace. Gripped by grace to the extent that it infuses our hearts and transforms our lives. This grace will also nurture within us a love for those who, in the words of Jonah, have ‘forsaken the grace that could be theirs.’

Loving God to the extent that we want to make His truth winsome, and loving others to the extent that we want them to know the God of truth is not the exclusive prerogative of preachers, evangelists and missionaries.

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From Tim Chester:

When our actions are not characterized by joy, it is usually because they are driven by false motives:

1. To prove ourselves to God
We obey so God will be impressed with us or bless us. We want to become our own saviours instead of looking to God for salvation.

2. To prove ourselves to other people
We want people to be impressed by us, to fit in or win approval. One result is other people set the standard. We live in obedience to people rather than to God.

3. To prove yourself to yourself
We want to feel good about ourselves. Sin becomes an offence against me, against my self-esteem rather than an offence against God.

What’s wrong with wanting to obey so we can prove ourselves to God or people or ourselves?

First, it makes obedience about me looking good. It is done for my glory. And that’s pretty much the definition of sin. Sin is living my way for me instead of living God’s way for God. Often that means rejecting God as Lord and wanting to be our own lord, but it can also involve rejecting God as Saviour and wanting to be our own saviour. Pharisees do good works and repent of bad works. But gospel repentance includes repenting of good works done for bad reasons. We repent of trying to be our own saviour.

Second, it denies the cross. Jesus died on the cross, separated from his Father, bearing the full weight of God’s wrath so that we can be accepted by God. When we try to prove ourselves by our good works we’re saying, in effect, that the cross wasn’t enough.

The justifying work of Christ on our behalf leads to:

humility (3:27) because we have all fallen short of God’s glory (3:23) and all depend completely on Christ

confidence (8:1, 31-39) because our hope is Christ’s finished work and not in us

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