Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Back to basics 1

Being in Tanzania back in December reminded me yet again what is important to us as a church. 

It is fantastic seeing the beginning of another campus for NCLC. As with a baby, the 1st few years are vital for the continued development and growth of church. The more we get right at the start the less damage control we have to do later on.
Having received the blessing of Judah Caleb Cook into our family 17 months ago the basics of having a baby are fresh in my mind. Babies are thoroughly dependent on their caregiver and expect certain things from them- food, shelter, protection, love and not forgetting clearing up the mess they make. Planting a church or a campus is not too dissimilar.

As leaders we need to feed the church community, provide shelter & protection, give it love and clear up the mess that they make. When you haven't done it for a while you can forget the sleepless nights, the worry of getting it right and the cost of a newborn. Our NCLC Tanzania campus has reminded me of all this. The team of the Cotteys and the Hintons are doing a phenomenal job in getting things started but those of us who are parents all know how much easier life is when you have the support of our community around us. We also know how draining it can be when we feel we have to go through it alone. The UK NCLC campuses need to make sure that this baby and her parents over here not only know intellectually that they are connected and supported by us but also practically.

A couple of months ago Dee and I had the privilege of being in the USA and regularly phoned our kids back home. It was so good to hear their voices. Whilst in Tanzania I have Face Timed or Skyped home. The difference of not just hearing a voice but also SEEING a face has been unbelievable. Technology has made life apart so much better. The old saying "Out of sight, out of mind" is so true. The reverse is also true. With people in our view, whether in person or via technology, they are always fresh in our mind. When we connect let's try to connect with the team there visibly. They are bringing up a newborn and she is growing quickly.

Let's stay in touch with every method possible. 

My next blog will begin to look a bit more closely at how to raise a healthy baby/church community.

Tell me how you will keep the Tanzania team in sight and mind. 


  1. Great blog, Jon. I pray for them and talk to Jimi on Facebook but reading this I must definitely get on and find the guys on skype so we can talk face to face and catch up.

  2. Thats great Pete, they will appreciate that.

  3. One main attraction of being part of a church plant in mwanza was that we get to stay a part of and plugged into our NCLC church family who we love so much. Even though we are many miles away we receive lots of strength and encouragement knowing that we are connected into such a vibrant community and that we are just extending that here. Any contact in any way from home is always like a breath of fresh air. We thank god for the priveligde of doing life with such an awesome group of people and for our amazing leaders.
    Really looking forward to the next blog. It sounds great. Dawn

  4. Really helpful image of the new born baby and we appreciate all those who are staying in touch with us and supporting us. Thanks