Thinking Confidently – what is the gospel?

As part of the Evangelical Alliance’s “Confidence in the Gospel” initiative. We are pulling together 5 national consultation days to have the major conversations about how we raise confidence in the gospel across the nation. The first of these days will focus one of the most contentious and challenging questions we need to ask ourselves as evangelicals: “What is the gospel?” People from a range of different backgrounds assume they know the answer to this question and so it often remains an unnamed and unspoken elephant in the room in much discussion. I am pulling together some of the programme for a major conversation about this subject and wanted to brainstorm the questions with you. Love to know which questions I have forgotten and would love to hear who the key players both in the UK and wider afield we need to involve in this conversation. I am assuming in the conversation that participants have a high view of scripture and a desire to take it seriously in our contemporary cultures.

1. Does the gospel preached have to sound like Paul in Romans? Or Can it sound like Paul in Athens? Jesus in Galillee?

For many the gospel is the order and content of bits of the book of Romans. So for example – we must convict of sin first (romans 3:23), we must talk about Christ’s death next (romans 5:8) and then we must call people to confess with their mouths and their hearts (Romans 10:9). But the gospel according to Paul in Athens has space for a different angle. Jesus sometimes lead with grace first and then challenge. If we depart from the Romans model have we as some believe departed from biblical orthodoxy?

2. What is the difference between the gospel and the call to radical discipleship?

This seems to be what Don Carson is talking about by asking us to distinguish between the gospel and its entailments. He seems to be arguing that the gospel is news about what Jesus has done – but does not include our response to that news, see here:

By learning, with careful study of Scripture, just what the gospel is, becoming passionately excited about this gospel, and then distinguishing between the gospel and its entailments. The gospel is the good news of what God has done, especially in Christ Jesus, especially in his cross and resurrection; it is not what we do. Because it is news, it is to be proclaimed. But because it is powerful, it not only reconciles us to God, but transforms us, and that necessarily shapes our behavior, priorities, values, relationships with people, and much more. These are not optional extras for the extremely sanctified, but entailments of the gospel. To preach moral duty without the underlying power of the gospel is moralism that is both pathetic and powerless; to preach a watered-down gospel as that which tips us into the kingdom, to be followed by discipleship and deeds of mercy, is an anemic shadow of the robust gospel of the Bible; to preach the gospel and social justice as equivalent demands is to misunderstand how the Bible hangs together.

Not sure if I understand what he means. If the entailments are not “optional extras” but therefore “necessary inclusions” why does he make such a big deal between distinguishing between the gospel and its entailments. Surely its the same as preaching faith and repentance – trust in the gospel message and a calling for an appropriate response. A lot of the emphasis on what the gospel is has been too narrowly defined in terms of God and me as an individual who wants to go to heaven when i die because of Jesus’ death. Lets explore the full scope and scale of the gospel and its response.

3. Does the gospel always need to include an account of penal substitution?

Not wanting to resurrect old debates, but if we recognise both that Penal substitution is a clear biblical model of the atonement is it also admissible that there are other models present in scripture too. Have we preached the gospel if we have drawn mainly on the model of Redemption, Sacrifice, Victory or Reconciliation to name but four others.

4. What are the key motivators for calling people to believe? Is the threat of Hell an essential part of every gospel message?

Some argue that we have not preached the gospel if we have not warned people that if they don’t respond then they are facing eternal conscious torment in Hell. Even those that believe in eternal conscious torment are not always convinced that this needs to be a part of a gospel message for it to orthodox. Is it true to Jesus’ teaching that the threat of Hell was the primary motivator he gave for every evangelistic conversation?

5. Should the gospel sound like a self-esteem self help programme?

Some groups make the gospel sound like God’s main priority for your life is that you see yourself as loveable. Now working with traumatised children I am beginning to understand how important a correct self image is. But if the gospel stops there – surely we are missing some important elements of the gospel out.

6. Should you expect to get the “whole of the gospel’ across in every evangelistic message?

I have been preaching evangelistically I have been aware that there is a mental ticklist in some of the Christians listening to what I am saying. But is there a place for scene setting sermons that clear away the challenges or do we need to distinguish between apologetics, evangelism and discipleship? I would argue for a more seamless connectivity between these three areas.

Issues facing Evangelicals Today

Out of the ruins...

Looking forward to speaking at Moorlands College this week. They have asked me to speak (for a couple of hours) on the key challenges and opportunities facing evangelicals in the UK. I do not claim to have anything like a panoramic view of the evangelical scene – so thought I would post the issues as I see them and then ask my social media community to make their contributions. Hopefully that way we get a fuller and more accurate picture of what is going on. I have not worked out an order of priority – so feel free to make comments on that too:

5 key challenges

1. Uncertainty of the gospel leads to confusing gospel & culture

Despite a greater sense of missional vision in churches across the UK (see later) we are still struggling to articulate the gospel in “non excruciating” (as one student put it to me recently) ways. There is a growing embarrassment over using words in mission and when we do use words they are often borrowed words from one time bound articulation of the gospel rather than a biblically faithful, culturally relevant and Spirit dependent words.

2. Uncertainty of our role in Public life leads to retreat or Christendom

What is our role in relating to government and media? For some our country has departed so far from biblical values and norms that there is a retreat into a christian ghetto such that there is a complete withdrawal of the church from public life. For others they see our main job as trying to reinforce Christendom – for the church to reassert its once dominant role in the shaping of public life. For the latter this often revolves around hot button issues such as : abortion, euthanasia and sexuality. This leads to sadly a lack of grace in the way that we relate to government and media. There is another way to engage in public life. We look for what Leslie Newbigin called a genuinely missionary encounter with our culture. We assume that PostChristendom is a new opportunity for engagement – we seek to build a relationship with our culture in the same way that the early church did and that cross cultural missionaries have done for generations. We start with finding ways to bless babylon rather than continually chastise it.

3. Personality Driven Tribes and Market forces leads to Empire Building & replication

There is a lot of resource within the evangelical world – but a lot of it is being utilised in ways that encourage competition rather than co-operation. Because of the previous two issues: uncertainty about the gospel and relationship with the wider culture we have retreated into a christian subculture that is often defined by which evangelical tribe we are in or which personality we follow. So there are a number of parallel conferences, training initiatives, mission agencies that basically all do the same things but are divided over personality conflict, style or secondary theological issues. Our impact rather than being amplified is dissipated, the combined resources we have are huge but sadly the problem is we are busy building empires rather than seeking the kingdom.

4. Discipleship Deficit leads to Consumer Christians

As Bishop Graham Cray often points out, our culture is better at discipling us than the church. Because we have not adequately discipled our children, young people, emerging adults, adults and older people – our culture has done the job for us. There are many positive elements in our culture but there are some that are destructive. The Consumer, self-centred side to our culture is having far reaching consequences into the life, worship, teaching and mission of the church. As a result one of the key areas we are seeing catastrophic losses is the missing generation of twenty somethings who are not virtually absent from the life of the church. We are not equipping people to live life in the footsteps of Jesus and so when they get hit by the disciplemaking machine of our culture they have no defences and are blown away. With so many people wiped out of effective Christian life and service we are unable to effectively reach this generation with the gospel. It’s time we rediscovered the church as a disciple making community.

5. Colonialism and Good Intentions

One of our problems in the UK is that a colonial superiority complex lingers on and so we don’t know how to work well with our brothers and sisters in the global church. We could really use their help right now rather than us exporting some of our Christian subculture their way. A lot of the ways we relate to the rest of the global church is well intentioned but often inappropriate, arrogant and driven more by good marketing than good sense.


1. Greater sense of unity experienced across cities and towns and villages

The national scene may be seeing more tribalism, repetition and competition but across cities and towns we are seeing a greater willingness to work collaboratively than I can remember. Thanks to initiatives like HOPE, Foodbanks, CAP, Street Pastors etc, lots of local unity movements are springing up. My friend Roger Sutton in his work with the Evangelical Alliance is now in touch with nearly 100 of these local initiatives. Churches seeking the welfare of the city, seeking to reach out with good news to their communities are working together shoulder to shoulder.

2. More churches seeking to be holistic in their mission

It’s hard to find a church in the UK that is only doing Sunday Services and House group meetings. Most churches are doing something to reach out to their community. There is a greater appreciation of holistic / integral mission in the churches than I can remember. True this sometimes means we find it easier to do social transformation than evangelism – but at least we believe we ought to be doing both! I am working on a project at the Evangelical Alliance to address how we do the words part better of word and deed mission. (

3. Better social media communications networks

Communication is so easy – this must be an opportunity for us to be a body, a network, a connected generation of disciples seeking to bring transformation, hope, goodnews to our world. If James Davison Hunter is right that the key to significant social change is to network thinkers, leaders, doers in all sorts of spheres of influence – then the technology is there ready and waiting.

4. Strength and Wisdom in the Global Church

Our brothers and sisters throughout the world have been wrestling with the challenges of living as the people of Godin tough situations for a long time now. Our brothers and sisters never knew what it was like for the Church to have social significance, money and power and yet the gospel has been spreading at an amazing rate through Latin America, Asia and Africa. There is much to learn from their perseverance, creativity, faithfulness and courage.

5. Last but not least The Holy Spirit’s ability to transform any situation for God’s glory

I believe God’s power, glory and purposes have not changed. The same God that took a small minority of bedraggled and persecuted believers and used them to turn the world upside down is still alive and well today. The same God that helped to reform the church from heresy and hypocrisy in the reformation. The same God empowered Martin Luther King to turn the tide on racism through the civil rights movement. The same God helped Wilberforce and the abolitionists to turn the tide on slavery. He can turn the tide on the church in Europe.

So over to you…

There’s my first stab. What would you say are the key opportunities and challenges? Drop me a line below.


Let’s make a difference

The very kind people at Saddleback church let me use pastor Rick Warren’s private studio to make a quick video to spread the word about the national consultation on fostering and adoption. (special thanks to Justin Heglund for giving his time and talent for free to do this).

We are having 6 consultation events around the country to talk with current foster and adoptive carers, Christian social workers and Church leaders. If you are interested check out the dates below and then click here to register.

  • Tuesday, 19 June – Cardiff
  • Wednesday, 20 June – Belfast
  • Thursday, 21 June – Glasgow
  • Tuesday, 26 June – Manchester
  • Wednesday, 27 June – Birmingham
  • Thursday, 28 June – London

HTB leadership Conference

HTB leadership Conference Live Blog

Thanks to the very generous people at HTB I was given a guest pass for today. So thank you. There’s a real buzz in the Albert Hall as the worship band kicks off the day. I’m no expert but it looks like Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon and the guy from Hill Songs up front. The light show is amazing, the screen is the most high def I have seen at a conference. We sing some anthems and then we are off. I will try and capture as much as I can for as long as i can… here goes…

There’s a bit of a funny pause as the Bishop of London is running a little late – its fun to watch Nicky Gumbel fill the time – some great fun and games

Bishop of London is described as the man who preached the gospel to more people at one time than anyother person in history. We watch a clip of Will and Kate’s wedding. The Bishop talks about his upbringing and explains that his mentally disabled younger brother “humanised me and he pointed me to God.”

Describing his youth the bishop says:

“I was so conservative as a young person that my parents had to rebel against me.

“In 1968 I turned up to the interview for my theological college wearing a bowler hat.”

“As I left “I have to tell you Chatres a man with your views has no place in the modern church of England”

Of his time as Chaplain to Archbishop Robert Runcie the bishop says

“I had a worm’s eye view of the Anglican Communion.”

“Silence and stillness are our main educators” the only way to listen to them is “to get up very early.” The Bishop explains he got up at 5.30am and realised that the Dali Lama had already been up for 2 hours.

The Bishop’s tips to young leaders who want to grow as a leader:

“you have to have some gifts to start with. Some of the most saintly people I know are not gifted to operate in public. So you need some leadership gifts to get started. There are saints to learn from so the reading of history for me has proved to be a continuing education.”

The people the Bishop have most learnt from “the early church, I have been spending the last few days with St Augustine’s city of god. Augustine’s life and reversals and suprises and the fact that he was very busy bishop is remarkable. How much he packed in.”

How are we going to train up more young leaders? “I don’t think we have been bloody, bold enough – I think now is the time because we know over the next 10 years 40% of the full time clergy in London will retire. Now is the time to say that “being a servant of the word of God is the most thrilling way to send your life” – we need to be more assertive and “dare I say cheerful – I go round trying to spread apathy where ever I go… but I am buoyed up by the enthusiasm of what God is doing around.”

There is only one church – we need to think London and think Christian.

Matt Redman takes to the stage with LZ7 – great performance of 27 million –

Lz7 and Matt Redman at the HTB leadership conference

Christine Caine is up now – she founded the 8:21 organisation which is an antitrafficking group. She has written three books – they are a good summary of who she is says Nicky Gumbel. She is part of Hill Songs Sydney, church.

“A life unleashed”

“Stop acting like a Christian just be one”

“Can I do it all?”

Christine Caine at the HTB leadership conference

I am here representing the nameless and faceless nobodies who are doing our best for Jesus. I am one of the convicts from the colonies. I am Greek – I apologise for bankcrupting the planet. We thank God for Nicky and Pippa for unifying so much of the body of Christ. I am glad that I am alive right now – as a woman I wouldn’t have been allowed to speak at all.


I went to a mission at the university of Sydney I was a Greek Orthodox and wouldn’t set foot in a protestant church– there’s a greek Cypriot that is speaking – there was a funny little man called J John who was doing a mission. I was part of the leadership team at Hill songs for over 20 years.

We watch a video about “expired food” – My parents don’t believe in expirtation dates. We believe in a God who doesn’t believe in expiration dates.

“The one thing we need to know – is that he who promises is faithful – if god has spoken a promise over your business or your church – I wanto to speak faith to us this morning – more than anything else – we need to learn how to stir up the gift of faith inside of us. Jesus will do what he said he will do – he who promised is faithful. We need to come right back to whom we believe…”

(she’s speaking very very fast…)

Judges 2 – when Joshua and his generation died – another generation arose that did not know God. What a sad enidghtment it would be if another generation arises that did not know the lord. We don’t have the option to quit… (come on – says Judah Smith in the background)

Little bit of history of the Olympic games and the US 4x100m women’s team. They had the fastest individual runners and the best track record. But in 2 succesive Olympics they first passed the baton too late and the second time they dropped the baton. It doesn’t matter how good you are, how fast you are – if the leadership does not pass the baton on early enough or if we drop the baton then we will affect the future of the church for bad.


“Currently we have more slaves than there has been in the history of humanity – that’s not ok with me.”

“God has not called us just to do church – but to be the church that makes the difference.”

Christine spoke for an hour – she was very dynamic – she reminded me a lot of Danielle Strickland and I would shares many of her amazing strengths as well as some of her weaknesses.


For me it was inspiring to see a woman so clearly commanding an auditorium of over 4000 church leaders, some of whom would have a problem with women preachers and yet she was bold, articulate, inspirational, quotable and insightful. Was it a perfect sermon – ofcourse not. But I have yet to hear the perfect sermon from anyone. As a piece of inspirational communication it was excellent.


The take home points for me was a challenge and an encouragement:

The challenge is asking if we are waiting too long to pass on leadership to the next generation – I have been reflecting on this a little bit. Do we want a strictly come dancing approach to leadership transition. Where Arelene is replaced by Aliesha? Arlene was actually a lot more insightful than Aliesha – she knew her dancing – and could comment and critique because of decades of experience whereas Aliesha offers a fresher face and attracts a different demographic. Perhaps we need more diversity in our leadership. I hope this isn’t just my reflections now that I tick a different box on the survey form – 40+. But I recently met a young leader who has been given enormous responsibility and I just don’t think they are up for it yet. They have been appointed because of youth not track record, experience, gifting or necessarily character. My job is not to be jealous but to offer support – but still I question whether the challenge to hand over leadership quicker should be matched by an equal charge to make sure we do sufficient training and equipping to release this younger leadership.

My other take home message was an encouragement – Christine spoke with passion about her own story of closed adoption and only discovering pretty late on (in her 30s) that she was adopted and of a serious abuse history she experienced at some point in her past. Her openness about this history was helpful and highly appropriate and empowering for many people who live with these kind of issues in their past. It gave me hope for the many many children in our care system who have no access at the moment to a church community or a gospel of hope and grace. Its timely that in the national fostering fortnight this kind of story should be shared.

These conferences are fantastic places to network and meet people. I had some really helpful meetings with leaders from Alpha, New frontiers and New Wine so ducked in and out of seminars. They seemed to be of variable quality – a lot seemed to use the talk at you for an hour style of learning which ofcourse has a place – but from time to time it would be worth the church engaging with a bit of education theory.

More later…




Judgement Culture

Nice Surprise when I opened Youthwork Magazine

It was a nice surprise when I opened Youthwork magazine today to see a quotation from my Bible studies on four parables Jesus taught about judgement. You’ll have to buy a copy of the magazine to see what I said – but in the mean time take a look at short video from the Youthwork Summit where I was asked to speak on “Tell Young People About Judgement before you tell them about Love?”

Saddleback looking for local church plant leaders

During my recent visit to Saddleback church I met some of the team responsible for their Global Church planting initiative. I really enjoyed spending time with the guys there – they seem like really stand up guys with a heart for evangelism and mission. They shared with me the PEACE plan vision to plant churches in 12 major cities worldwide. One of these cities is London. We chatted frankly about the opportunities and challenges of Saddleback planting churches into some of the world’s “megacities.” They were adamant that they don’t want to airdrop in a franchise model of church but to plant locally led, contextually sensitive church plants. I also talked with them about the Saddleback brand attracting people away from other churches but they were keen to express that they are seeking to reach-out to not-yet-Christians. I explained that I am both excited and nervous about them planting. On the one hand in London for example there are more than enough churches already and there should be ways to bless and encourage existing churches rather than planting yet more. But on the other hand London is a city with a population of larger than many countries and it is far from being a reached city and so we need all the help we can get. I am hoping there will be plenty of opportunities for Rick Warren’s fantastic gifts and skills to bless many church leaders in London beyond the plant they are hoping to start this year. They are definitely trying to contextualise and this is behind the fact that they are looking for a UK leader for their new church plant – details are below. The team are planning to make a lot of visits to London and are expressing a real keenness to talk with local leaders before they plant anywhere.

For the right person this could be an amazing opportunity.

Saddleback Church

Global Leadership Search

Do you want to help plant and lead one of the 12 Saddleback Churches we’re planting around the world in 2012? If so, we could use your help in these cities:


Mexico City Buenos Aires Freetown Johannesburg

Berlin London Moscow Amman

Manila Tokyo Hong Kong Bangalore


If you haven’t seen Pastor Rick present the 12 Cities Initiative, watch it here.


Saddleback Church is seeking teams of two to three leaders to plant a Saddleback Church in these 12 cities. We are looking for lead pastors, associate pastors, worship leaders, and children’s leaders. The churches will target spiritually lost people in urban areas.


These churches are being established and resourced for two purposes:

1. Reach lost people in each of the cities

2. Serve as base camps for equipping other churches to work together in reaching the 3,800 unreached and unengaged people groups in the world.

Leaders selected to establish these “gateway” churches must be:


  • Vibrant, mature, and growing relationship with Jesus Christ that is evident to the people around them


  • Able to cast vision, gather people in pursuit of a cause, and effectively delegate and utilize the gifts of others


  • Strongly self-motivated entrepreneurial spirit that is resilient in the face of challenges and able to quickly and flexibly adapt to unforeseen circumstances


  • Skills in public communication


  • Heart for spiritually lost people evidenced by active personal evangelism


  • Full agreement with the theology and philosophy of Saddleback Church (see here), the Purpose Driven model, and the PEACE Plan


  • Personal experience and knowledge of the culture including fluency in both English and the primary language of the city as well as eligibility to reside in country


If you are interested in applying for a leadership position with one of the city churches, apply here.

Please contact with any questions.

What do you think?

There’s been a very interesting to this post since it went up on Saturday – would love to gauge your opinion – here is an anonymous poll – sadly only the first 200 respondents count.

Funded PhD Opportunity

Just been told about this amazing opportunity for the right person. A fully funded PhD is hard to come by – and this partnership with Bible Society could be really interesting. Check it out:

Newman PhD Studentship in the Use of the Bible in Schools

Newman University College Birmingham, in conjunction with the Bible Society, is offering a full fees PhD Studentship from 1st October 2012 (or as soon as possible thereafter). The studentship is open to UK and EU applicants, and is available on either a part time or full time basis. It will cover all tuition fees for up to three years of study (full time) or up to six years (part time), subject to the successful applicant making satisfactory progress in their studies; if the student takes longer to complete the PhD, he/she will be liable to pay additional fees.

Applicants must have a good first degree (1st class or 2.1) in Theology, Biblical Studies, or a subject closely related to the research topic, and an MA or MTh or other relevant postgraduate degree. Applicants will need to demonstrate clear evidence of the skills necessary to undertake independent research (e.g. details of research methods modules undertaken and/or successful dissertations completed). Those who are invited for interview will be asked to supply in advance samples of their previous written work.

The successful candidate will be free to negotiate with the supervisory team a specific research focus within the general area of the Use of the Bible in Schools. Applicants should provide in the relevant section of the application form a draft research proposal outlining the aspect(s) of this subject which they are interested in studying, and this will form an important part of the selection process.


Newman University College has particular research strengths in the areas of Biblical Studies and Education, and our postgraduate students benefit from a high level of individual support and dedicated office space. For further information about the Institutional research environment or the Theology subject area and its staff, please visit our website:


The application form is available from and should be returned by post or e-mail to:



Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Monday 18th June 2012; interviews to be held on Monday 2nd July 2012.



22 minutes


Every 22 minutes a child in the UK enters the care system, most of them need a foster home.

On any one day 59 000 children are in foster homes.

There’s a continual need for more foster carers as more children are in the care system than ever before and 14% of foster carers retire or give up fostering each year. Fostering is one of the hardest but most rewarding things you can do. It isn’t for everyone – the children that come into foster care have often come from hard places – they may well have suffered neglect or abuse, they may have all sorts of additional needs. If you want to make a difference in someone’s life – not just by sending money but by giving yourself. Fostering is a life changing experience.

Fostering will change you and your family. Yesterday I’d had a long day at work and yet when I got home I got the joy of teaching a little boy how to ride a bike with stabilisers for the first time – he kept shouting out “awesome” and punching the air – just a few weeks ago when he came to us – he was withdrawn and tearful a lot of the time – to see this little boy start to become all he can be is one of the reasons I became a foster parent.

Fostering Fortnight begins soon – check out this website to find out if you are the kind of person that should apply.



We need your help.

I believe that the church is uniquely placed to help with the need for more foster parents and to be a place of support and welcome to foster families. We are starting a consultation process so we want to hear from anyone interested in fostering and adoption –

1 Current and prospective foster carers – to understand your hopes, fears and experiences

2 Church and denominational leaders perspective – to understand how we can begin to change the culture in churches around fostering and adoption

3 Social work professionals – to get a grip on best practice

Your engagement will shape this project at every level. All of our plans are open so getting involved now at this early stage will really help us. There will be 6 regional consultations in Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Belfast, London and Glasgow – please check on the link below for more details.

Its high time that the church became known again for being good news to our culture and what better way than to offer hospitality, hope and help to some of the most vulnerable children and their families.

Please get in touch by registering your interest at our website here.

Social Media and Changing the World

Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

Here’s a 4 mins and 30 seconds long talk I was asked to give at the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town two years ago. It is interesting to reflect that this was the only talk given about social media at the whole 10 day long conference. A lot has changed since this talk was given. Take a look at the talk and then let me know what you would have said given 4 minutes to talk about this subject to an international audience.


Orphan Summit Day 2

Final morning session kicks off at Saddleback church – here’s a live blog.

The biggest predictor of homelessness in the USA is a young person who “ages out” of the foster system without family.

Now Family radio takes over the stage and we do a live recording that will be broadcast later:

Listening to Che A female FBI Analyst speaks at the Orphan Summit who entered the foster care system during he senior year of high school after her dad became an alcoholic and become abusive. She found friends who had workaholic parents and who didn’t notice that they had an extra house guest for a week or so. In the end the church took care of her and found her a way out of the abusive / nomadic system.

Foster kids don’t ask for help – you just need to see it and do it.

Che’s church decided to get involved with her life and got stuck into social services to work out how they could help. Che’s 7th grade Sunday school teacher stepped up and became her foster carer. When Che was getting married – there was no one to giver her away. So when the pastor asked “who is it that gives this woman away” Che’s entire church stood up and said “We do.”

Now hearing from another lady who was taken into care aged 12. But her Christian foster family let her down. They continually pointed her out as her foster daughter – she would be introduced not by her first name but as their foster daughter. They would

At 16 she was up for adoption – lots of people were really negative to her “why would anyone want you? Wouldn’t it be better to ‘age out’ of the foster system and you will have more financial assistance for college.” But she really wanted a forever family. She created a life book and her caseworker told her that a family were so impressed with your book that they made you a family book. When she opened the front page of the book it was her Department of Children Services manager and his family. She was 17 at the time and the family really wrapped around me and from the beginning she felt like she had come home.

Both women are asked to imagine that their foster mum or their adoptive father was there and to express what they mean to them. The women look nervous about this, and then the interviewer announces that they have a surprise for them and the foster mum and the adoptive dad – walk on to the stage. Its a very moving moment and both girls break down “We are professionals we never cry” they say. Che says to her

I feel loved because you loved me.


Dr Sharon Ford – State of Colarado Chldren Services
Susan Jacobs – special advisor for international children services – US Department of State
Honourable Inyumba Aloisea Rwandan minister of gender and family promotions
Rick Warren is chairing.

Rick explains that he was speaking 4 years ago at the Davos economic summit.

There are three sectors – public, private and faith sector.
The three legs of the stool bring stability – each of the sectors are needed.
Just like in a football game – you sometimes need to take out a big player by a team tackle.

The Orphan crisis is so big we need to team tackle it.

500 000 orphans were scattered across Rwanda after the 100 days that saw 1000 000 people massacred.
Immediately in 1994 there were 104 orphanages started and then a national education and recruitment process
They have no closed 70 orphanages because the children are adopted by many many Christians from the churches. People came and asked to the ministry and asked for a child – and they didn’t ask if the child was hutu to tutsi they just wanted a child.
There are 34 orphanages still running – but we want to encourage domestic adoption. There are now roughly 3000 orphans left (from 500 000).

Rick explains that he serves on the president of rwanda’s advisory panel and that Rwanda wants to be the first country in the world where there are no orphans and no orphanages.


Now ambassador jacobs-

Esther was adopted by Mordecai – kinship care
Moses was adopted – don’t think things worked out as his foster care – an abandonment
Hannah – handed her son Samuel over to a relinquishment

The state department completely support transnational adoption. We think the hague convention is the only way to guarantee an ethical transnational adoption. It provides a legal framework for transnational adoption. When the hague adoption is not used there are fears of kidnapped or trafficked and often the child is not legally available for adoption. See the following website.


Now Dr Sharon Ford from Colarado explains that at the age of 10 – 12 a child can consent to their own adoption – it varies across the US. A fragile young person they might say No. We need to ask them the right question
“who are the people in your life that you are really connected to”
“who do you want to be with you when you buy a car?”
“who do you want to stand with you when you get married?”
“who do you want to be there when you graduate from college?”

A lot of our older foster children in the US are not in family foster placement because there are not enough
It is families responsibility to raise children not the state.
Justice for kids who need to be kept safe – we need enough family foster homes for to keep them safe.
This lady is on fire – its so exciting to see such a senior so fired up for the children in her care.

Ambasador says “the government needs the help of faith based organisations to help children all around the world
Sec Hilary Clinton says “every child deserves a champion” if they can’t find a champion in his or her family

The number of one determinative factor if a child succeeds in life they need the involvement of a caring adult -it does not need to be a parent.

Kids want to be connected not with another kid in a gang – they want to be connected to an adult. Will you come?
Dr Susan Jacobs is amazing – she preachers fine sermon calling everyone to action.

That was an amazing session – a real model for conferences everywhere.


Now Kay Warren is on she is electric.

She asks a simple question “If I were to die who would I want to take care of my children?”
the answer is not an orphanage – I would want t a family for them. If I want a family for my children why should I want anything less for the orphans of the world.

Saddleback aimed to have 1000 families adopt – 500 domestically and 500 transnationally.
We are over

We all need children in our life – they keep you young, growing and humble. Children need you in their life.

8 reasons why you cannot solve any global problem

the first time you use it say “Rick Warren says”
the second time you use it say “it’s been said”
the third time you say it “i have always thought”

1. We have the largest participation

2. we have the widest distribution

3. we have the longest continuation

4. the church has the fastest expansion

5. we have the highest motivation

6. we have the strongest authorization

7. we have the simplest administration

8. we have the greatest conclusion