Monday, March 29, 2010

Scott Marques serving at Crossroads

Stephen Manhanga introducing Scott Marques

It was wonderful having Scott Marques, Apostolic leader of the Newfrontier churches in Zimbabwe, come and share God’s word at Crossroads.

Scott started by sharing about himself and his family life of being married to Claire and having 2 children. He then went on to encourage the church to make right decisions in marriage and to marry for life. He said we can enjoy life if we treasure God.

2 Peter 1:2 – 3 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” God has given to us everything we need for life. We think others have a better chance for life than ourselves or that it’s easier for others but God has given to us the same rain, same body and everything for life and godliness. God is interested in my soul. He is interested in the decisions I make. The decision for righteousness is not easy for some. What God wants of all of us is the same.

Scott preaching at Crossroads

Our lives are not about money or politics but about God. We need to apply the word of God to our lives. Life is reading God’s word and by the power of the Holy Spirit, living His word. Jesus died so that we could be free forever – free to live as He designed us to.

1. Do you know Jesus? Have you received Him as your savior?
2. If you have, live a life in a way that glorifies Him in everything we do.
When we know the life of Jesus, we may have many challenges: hunger, poverty, imprisonment but, no one can take Jesus away from me.

Scott leading the church in prayer

By Molly Manhanga

Thought for the week

Isaiah 40:28 – 31

“Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable,
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He
Increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”

Nigel Ring at Crossroads

Nigel Ring

Nigel shared from Isaiah 68:1 “The spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”

Jesus came to bind up the broken hearted and to set the captives free. To bind up means to support, like a bandage on a wound – to make whole.

Nigel Ring preaching at Crossroads

Some think captive and prisoner are the same in the scripture but here captive is to captivate; its positive, to catch up. It’s the opposite of prisoner which can be negative, meaning to try to break out. Jesus came to free the prisioner.

We have a choice.

Nigel Ring at Crossroads

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tree Planting at Crossroads

Nigel Ring shovelling soil around a tree he planted at Crossroads
It was just GREAT seeing people getting involved in planting trees at Crossroads. It's one of our aims to have trees planted strategically in our grounds. It was wonderful seeing Joy Colverson, Nigel Ring, Mrs Sibanda - the village head also getting their hands dirty. The majority of trees that were planted were fruit trees. We hope to see the "fruits" in due season.....

By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The activity of an Administrator

Nigel Ring
The Jesus Model!
Mark 6:37 – 38 “But He answered and said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ And they said to Him, ‘Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?’ But He said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have? Go and see.’ And when they found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish.”

Debriefing is an important part of Administration. Jesus did this.
Look at what resources are available (What have we got against what we are going to do) need to achieve the feeding of the 5000. Important to know where you are going.

V39 – 40: “Then He commanded them (disciples)to make them (people) all sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties.” He is re-establishing authority, managing people. Who do we go to? Creating order

V41: “And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.” Exercise faith (Jesus fully man and fully God) Delegation took place. This can be a very strategic training operation.

V42: “So they all ate and were filled.” Mission accomplished

For the administrator, achieving of the goal is not the end but cleaning up afterwards.

V44: “Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.” The disciples knew how many people were there (grouped in 50’s and 100’s)

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

“Jesus is our GREATEST example of an administrator. Praise God!”

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Seven Churches

Stephen Manhanga

We started the year at Crossroads Community Church by doing a series on the 7 Churches from Revelation 2 and 3. Stephen Manhanga – leader of Crossroads Church felt God saying that if He had to walk through Crossroads today, what would He find and say? What areas would be commended and where would we need to change and improve? The seven churches were:

1. Ephesus: The Loveless Church: Revelation 2:2 “I know your works, your labour, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;……” V4 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
2. Smyrna: The Persecuted Church: V 9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)…..” V10 “…..Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
3. Pergamos: The Compromising Church: V13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is…….” V14 “But I have a few things against you because you have those who hold the doctrine of Balaam………” V16 “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly……”
4. Thyatira: The Corrupt Church: V19 “I know your works, love, service, faith…….” V20 “ Nevertheless, I have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants……”
5. Sardis: The Dead Church: Revelation 3:1 “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead……..” V2 “be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before the God.”
6. Philadelphia: The Faithful Church: V8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door and no one can shut it, for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
7. Laodicea: The Lukewarm Church: V15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or not…….” V19 “As many as I love. I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

The series was excellent as we not only examined ourselves individually but corporately as a Church.

We are looking forward to the Five Family Values next at Crossroads.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One on one with Nigel Ring

Nigel Ring

It was an awesome privilege spending time with Nigel Ring at Crossroads Community Church as he shared God’s word, and also having him spend an evening in our home. I managed to catch up with Nigel after dinner and this is what he said:

M.M: Can you briefly tell me about your background?
N.R: I was born in Sevenoaks in UK. I did my schooling at Marlborough College and went to Cambridge University for 5 years where I studied Mechanical Sciences (Engineering) at undergraduate and post-graduate level. During that time I met my wife Janita – the most beautiful girl in the world. We married and have 4 children: Jez 39 years, Nikki 37, Becky 26 and Suzi who is 22. I have 2 grandsons: Gideon who is 14 years and Ethan who is 2¾ (3/4 is very important at that age!).

M.M: From Engineering to Administration – how did you cope with the change?
N.R: Because I knew God called me to ministry, it was emotional at the time but, I never doubted it was right. It wasn’t a crunch change but an emphasis change. Leaving the job I loved to something new and unknown was both emotional and a bit strange as I had had quite a high profile and was now starting again. However, God is so good; it really did not trouble me.

M.M: What are some of your highlights of working with Terry Virgo?
N.R: It’s a HUGE privilege having Terry as a friend and observing his humility and prayer life. It’s also an incredible privilege and pleasure to work with a company of men who could hold high positions in the secular world and yet are not jostling for position. There was also the excitement of not having a clue of what administration was about or where we were going in specific terms and yet seeing the favour of God on Newfrontiers.

Nigel visiting a home near Crossroads Community Church

M.M: Any administrative challenges?

N.R: Challenges administratively are there to be positively overcome. I’ve faced challenges of growth, faith, size, finance. Faith and finance have been the biggest challenges– yet, they deepen your prayer life! Another challenge is mobilizing people who are not paid, and the human relations and dynamics that go with it. Also, discerning the difference between healthy traditional culture and Kingdom culture – making sure Kingdom culture wins. Many are inclined to give priority to traditional culture.

M.M: Amongst your travels around the world, what would you say is the uniting factor of the different people groups and the major differences amongst the people groups?
N.R: From a Christian perspective – it’s an immense privilege and of great interest to travel to various cultures and be accepted as Christians despite the huge differences in culture, finance, background etc. This is the uniting feature.
Differences are conspicuous in clothes and food but other common differences are seen in the attitude to time, marriage and so on. One other difference is often seen when something goes wrong. Do you seek to find out ‘what’ and ‘who’? This highlights the difference between ‘blame’ cultures - where people need to know ‘who’ so that they can avoid the same error in future - and ‘shame’ cultures – where people must not be shown up in front of others, so the issue may not be addressed.

M.M: How best would you describe your experience at Crossroads Community Church?
N.R: I LOVED it. There is very healthy energy in the church. I loved the serious amount of time given to international prayer in a rural context yet you’re keeping up with what’s happening around the world. There seems to be good community life. It was FUN. I’m impressed with Steve and you on how you are integrating the Foundations programmes into the Church as a lifestyle rather than a project.

M.M: Any words of encouragement?
N.R: There is a real spiritual hunger that people want to see Kingdom advance on earth as it is in heaven; a very real participation of members functioning together – it’s what Kingdom Community should be. I’m encouraged with the energy going into ministry with the poor – helping them to become active participants. I’m proud of Newfrontiers and the serious attention given to the plight of the poor.

M.M: Thank you so much Nigel. It was wonderful getting to know you more.

Interviewed by Molly Manhanga

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Review - Axiom by Bill Hybels

Axiom by Bill Hybels

Axiom is a book on “Powerful Leadership Proverbs”. It’s an excellent easy-read masterpiece. I love it!
Axiom opens up with “Language Matters” and concludes with “Finish well”. The book is broken up into 4 main chapters: Vision - (Strategy), Team Work – (Communication), Activity – (Assessment) and Personal – (Integrity). What I really liked about this book is that each little chapter within the its main chapter is short and links are provided. The content is solid and full of wisdom. John Maxwell says: “Bill Hybels is a leader’s leader. Learn from one of the best as Bill shows you how to harness the powerful and memorable leadership proverbs that live in every true leader.”

Some nuggets are:
1. Language matters! The right words will make the vision talks soar.
2. Vision: paint the picture passionately.
3. Know the season you’re in.
4. You’ll never take big hills without making bold moves.
5. Excellence honours God and inspires people.
6. Is it sustainable?
7. Only God: He can accomplish activities that no human being could possibly orchestrate.
8. We got to do this together.
9. Character, competence and chemistry
10. Pay attention to greetings and goodbyes.
11. Admit mistakes and your stock goes up.
12. Facts are your friends.
13. Pseudo Community or Real Community – where are you?
14. Disagree without drawing blood
15. Keep short accounts

The call and gifting of the Administrator

Nigel Ring
1 Corinthians 12:28 majors on spiritual gifts. “ And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” Administration is clear in the list of spiritual gifts (Under authority, in authority)

Gifting and measure are not the same. Total trust must exist between the elders and the administrator. “Praying is the most crucial time” Hearts are revealed as the leaders are transparent before God.

God goes first for character. 1 Timothy 3: 8 – 10
1. Dignity – appropriate (respecting the person for being the person)
2. Not double-tongued: (not totally honest, hidden agendas, slanderous, no hint of undermining a person’s character etc)
3. Not addicted to much wine
4. Not fond of sordid gain
5. Clear conscious – faith in operation
6. Good husband/father – (one wife) proving ground on what goes on at home
7. Credibility
Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”
1 Peter 3:7: Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”

It's much easier to appoint than to disappoint

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

The liberating role of Administration

Nigel Ring
If we function out of our gifting, we’ll be frustrated. We need to be fulfilled. I Corinthians 14:12: “ Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel”. Gifts are to edify and build up. The purpose of the one day seminar is to help us recognize and value administration as a “God-given” gift.

What is administration?
1. It’s a ministry which seeks to enable the church to meet with God (i.e. the people)
2. Reach their God-given potential
3. Fulfil the great commission
Through practical, efficient and inconspicuous support to church life.

Administration is the oil. Provided it works, you don’t know it is there.

“The Lord’s church is an organism and He does not call his servants to fill ‘offices’ in it……………..His resource is the anointing that He gives to each member according to their call…………We are not called to hold offices or be bearers of titles that carry an implicit authority.”
• Anointing
• Fruit

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Faithful Steward Training at Crossroads

FSP training session at Crossroads Community Church

I just LOVE the time when different church leaders come together to learn the same values and impart them to their churches. It brings such a unity of purpose and togetherness.

Discussion group on the five family values

Recently we had a Faithful Stewards training programme at Crossroads Community Church where leaders from 6 churches came together to learn more about Foundations for Farming and Foundations for Family. The Churches represented were: New Life for All Church, United Penticostal Church, Zion Church, Brethren in Christ Church, Seventh Day Adventist and Crossroads Community Church.

Stephen training the leaders at the Crossroads Demo plot

Part of the training included feedback from the leaders on Church life, Family training, Farmer Groups and other community issues. The five family values in Foundations for Family were presented by Stephen and Molly Manhanga while Stephen presented the Foundations for Farming sessions on weed control: top dressing, mulch, pests and disease management as well as a review of the farmer Group handbook. Much interaction and discussion took place between sessions and during meal breaks.

Catering Ladies carrying water ……with such JOY.

It was an excellent training time and we look forward to the next session.
Molly Manhanga

Thought for the week

Psalm 121
" I will lift up my eyes to the hills -
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all
He shall preserve your going
out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even

A few minutes with Joy Colverson

Joy Colverson

M.M: What is your favourite quote?
J.C: “.” Bill Wilson.

M.M: What are you passionate about?
J.C: Seeing people saved

M.M: What is the weirdest food you’ve eaten?
J.C: Ducks feet

M.M: Who is your favourite Bible character?
J.C: Ruth

M.M: Who has influenced you recently?
J.C: It’s a book I’m reading at the moment called “The Case for Faith” by Lee Strobel

M.M: What is your current favourite album?
J. C: “Hallelujah” by Michael W Smith

Joy Colverson praying at Crossroads Community Church

By Molly Manhanga

Southampton, U.K calling in at Kezi, Bulawayo

Joy Colverson

It was wonderful having Joy Colverson, a good friend, visit us in Kezi, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Joy and I worked together about 5 years ago and I love her servant heart. Joy attends Kings Community Church in Southampton. She shared from Psalm 139:13 – 14 and 23 – 24 which says:

“You made all the delicate,
Inner parts of my body
And knit me together in my
Mothers womb.
Thank you for making me so
Wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is
Marvelous – and how well I know it.”
V 13 – 14

“search me, O God, and know my
Test me and know my thoughts.
Point out anything in me that
Offends you,
And lead me along the path of
Everlasting life.”
V 23 - 24

From Psalm 139 God made the decision to create us. He created us because He loved us. Sometimes we think that because we are not very important we cannot achieve anything on our own, but we can. We need to decide to do something because one person really can make a difference.

“ I am only one but still I am one,
I cannot do everything, but I can do something and because
I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something I can do”

Joy standing next to a tree she planted at Crossroads

Summarised by molly manhanga

Friday, March 5, 2010

Maximum Impact by John Maxwell

It’s not about setting goals. It’s about soaring beyond them. It’s not about satisfying expectations. It’s about raising the standard.

“Happiness is growth”

I really LOVE reading John Maxwell’s books or listening to his CD’s. Recently, I listened again to “Growing yourself, Growing others and Growing together”. It’s brilliant. Some gems I received again are:
1. I need to grow on purpose: Initiate and activate. As I grow, I’ll change.
2. Team work makes the dream work
3. Am I goal conscious: focusing on the destination, motivating people, goals are seasonal and when the goal is reached, we plateau. Or, am I growth conscious: focusing on the journey, maturing people, growth is a life- long process which changes people and you keep on growing.
4. All too often “we overestimate the event and underestimate the process.”

Growth Principles
1. Growth is not an automatic process.
2. Growth is the great separator of those who succeed and those who do not; those who grow and those who do not.
3. Growth takes time and only time can teach us some things.
4. The more we grow, the more we know we need to grow some more. It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
5. Growth equals change: you’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.
6. Growth inside fuels growth outside: “What am I becoming?’
7. If what you did yesterday still looks so big to you, then you’re not growing today.
8. Take responsibility for your own growth.
9. Determine which areas in your life you need to grow: grow in the areas of your strength.