Empowering Leadership

This week we had the honour of hosting Tom and Beth Camacho, who oversee coaching training for Vineyard USA. In sessions on Friday night and Saturday morning, Tom presented an introduction to Empowering Leadership through the use of coaching tools for our leadership community. The sessions were full of helpful and insightful tools for us to use in the different leadership environments in which we find ourselves. 

In principle, God's desire is for us to multiply ourselves by equipping, empowering and releasing other leaders who can go on to empower others. This is part of the DNA of the Vineyard movement, where our founder John Wimber taught us that "everyone gets to play". He explained the process of releasing ministry to others as "I do it, you watch. We do it together. You do it, I watch. You do it alone." He modelled a 'coming alongside' leadership style which we can see in the lives of Barnabas and Saul in Acts 11:25-26. For a whole year Barnabas met with the church and taught great numbers of people, with Saul by his side. After this, Saul separated from Barnabas and himself began to teach as had been modelled to him. 

Coaching is the process of coming alongside someone to help them discover God's agenda for their life and ministry or to get clarity and confidence in addressing life’s challenges and then cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that agenda become a reality. Coaching is not about telling people what to do, but is more about listening well and asking insightful questions. In cooperation with the Holy Spirit, coaching can help a person or team sort out where they are, identify obstacles, set goals for the future, discover where God wants them to go, and then help determine how to best get them there.


There are three important skills to learn when we think about how to coach somebody:

  1. Discovery listening involves developing the skills necessary to listen in such a way that we really understand what our coachee is saying. We might summarise what they are saying periodically without evaluating it, invite our coachee to say more and allow them to fully unpack their ideas before we give input and pay close attention to their body language, tone of voice and emotions. 

  2. Asking insightful questions is a key skill in coaching. Good questions are open-ended rather than closed-ended and create opportunity for deep reflection, helping the person think in a more helpful way about things.

  3. Cooperating with the Holy Spirit to find the intersection of the passion, wiring and gifting that God has put in the person we are coaching. We are mining for the gold of the nature and image of Christ in each person, drawing out the son or daughter God created them to be. 

The key to coaching is that the responsibility for growth and development remains with the person being coached. We don't take on their development, we just come alongside and partner with them and the Holy Spirit in their growth. 


If you are interested in reading more, the recommended textbook for this coaching method is 'Coaching 101' by Bob Logan. An excellent 12 page summary of the book can be found here


Alternatively come and chat to Rosie so we can look at developing some further skills in this area in the spring.

It's Christmas!

Whether you love it or not, Christmas is a very special time for us as we celebrate our King coming to live as one of us.

This year, we have a Christmassy theme throughout December, with services on the 4th & 11th. On the 18th, we have carol services at all three services, and Kids Christmas parties as well. Service times are 9.30, 11.15 & 17.30.

On Christmas Day, we're having a short meeting at 10:30.

To finish off the season, and enter the new year, we're meeting for an evening of worship on 1st January.

We hope to see you there, and we hope you'll invite everyone you know to come and celebrate with us!

Thank God It's Monday Series and Q&A

We're excited to be starting our new series this Sunday and we want to hear from you!

This series we'll be looking at God's heart for our work life, in whatever sector we are.

On Sunday 20th we've invited a great panel of speakers to come and answer your questions. So if you're a full-time parent, a business executive, educator, waiter or a decorator this is your chance to ask any questions you may have about work life.

Maybe you're wondering how to handle a specific situation well, perhaps you have a question about what the Bible says about your work, anything at all. No question off limits!

You can tweet them (#tgimseries), send them to us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/vineyardbham/) or if you'd like them to be anonymous you can fill out your question in the form below:



Prayer - 'Give me an hour and I'll give you a whole new life'

We're in the middle of our Week of Prayer and we're excited to see God moving and hear His voice! Today we asked one of our leaders for some of his thoughts on prayer.

Sometimes when I want to pray I can feel condemned and ashamed. We can all have feelings or thoughts in our mind which stop us chatting with Father God. We are in a battle with a real enemy and he often comes to us with whispers of discouragement and puts negative labels on us. These labels bring shame and stop us being who we really us – we are all equally sons and daughters of the King with full access to Father God and His Kingdom. When the Trinity speaks to us it is in love, ‘there is no fear in love’ 1 John 4 18.

As we enter this week of prayer I felt this whisper from the enemy again ‘who are you to pray? Have you forgotten you are rubbish at praying? Let the intercessors do it…’

Satan is scared of our prayers; he wants to put us off through his lies. This week we can be confident Jesus will take us and our prayers to Father God, Romans 8 34. I want to be all in for Jesus and let Him bubble up His river of life in me as he promised in John 4.

Praying for an hour can seem a daunting task hence the resources available. The time slot is a helpful focus, but the point is giving a window in our day to allow the Father to love us. The Father is jealous for you, passionate to refresh you with your true identity and His spirit.

A couple of weeks ago we saw a video during the service which looked at how Jesus called Peter to give up all he had to follow him. In the clip Jesus turns to Peter and says ‘Give me an hour and I will give you a whole new life’. Spending that hour with Jesus transformed Peter’s life. As you consider whether to sign up for an hour we want to encourage you that this time in prayer, however you do it can change your life. 

I encourage you to tell someone about the lies you may hear and take the opportunity this week to give time to be loved by our Father.

Tom Husbands

In prayer we engage with God and He changes us. As God changes us in prayer He drives us out to be justice-seekers, peacemakers, healers and bringers of good news.
— Justin Welby

The Me I'm Meant To Be - Made Unique

This week Andrew talks about how God has made us unique, and encourages us to think about what we bring to the party. If you haven't already you can listen to it here.

Questions for personal reflection

Key Verses  - Hebrews 12:1, 2 Peter 1:3-12 1 Peter 4:10.

  • How comfortable am I appreciating and describing Gods handiwork in my life? (Does "my soul know it very well"? Ps 139)
  • What can Jesus bring into a situation because I'm present? What have people described to me in terms of my of character or skills?
  • What have I observed myself? What’s brought me joy and satisfaction?
  • With my strengths how can I move from raw to mature to empowered?
  • What people, resources, environments or experiences might I need to help me in that development? 
  • If you have authority… Who can I encourage this week? Say what you see. Both in the present and who that person is becoming.
  • Where is that encouragement most needed. My friendships or family, Church or work?


  • Daily examine - A way to pray and reflect from the Jesuit Christian tradition.
  • Flow -  Insight on what happens when high challenge meets high skills / strengths. Ted talk and a book summary.

The Me I'm Meant To Be - Made To Flourish

This Sunday was the start of a new series. Jesus describes the life he made available for us as 'life in all its fullness', in this series we'll see how to become the "The Me I'm Meant To Be"

This term we are excited to be focusing on Alpha in our cell groups, so they won't be following our sermon series. We would still love you to engage with the Sunday teaching so we'll be posting a few questions each week to help you with your own personal reflections.


Here are some things that were raised in Sundays talk:

When thinking about 'The Me I'm Meant To Be' it's helpful to be aware of the things competing with that. What do each of these look like for you?
- The me I’m pretending to be
- The me I think I should be
- The me others want me to be

- What is God inviting you to be in this season of my life. What does the most alive - mature version of you look like?

- What’s the personal best that God has in mind? Think about your faith character and the roles you fulfil.

- How’s your vitality bucket?

- What are the replenishing people, dynamics, activities and engagements that predictably fill you up?

- What has the opposite effect for you?

You are more than your results

My failures in life are many. I got 4 O’level’s but failed to get the 5 I needed to study for 3 A’levels. I sat professional exams but my biggest fail there was an ungraded paper, the second time I sat it. I froze and walked out of the exam. I haven’t completed my degree yet because of ill health. 

BUT I managed A+ assignments at college, firsts in some of my degree assignments and I achieved my really tough professional qualifications. I ran a successful marketing department in an international bank and was promoted again and again. I moved into ministry and God has blessed so many of my steps, taking the things I write around the world. 

The sum of my life is not my failures or even my successes, but they are a part of my story. Some were hard to swallow and tough to walk through but I kept putting one foot in front of the other and chose alternative paths when they were presented to me. 

If you’ve had results this summer, are receiving them today or have some to come, whatever the outcome, they are not the sum of you either! Grab hold of hope, know that closed doors can sometimes be pushed ajar or you may be being diverted to other things. Whatever the path, there will be blessings if you continue to work at what God sets before you with all your heart. 




The churches in Birmingham, along with lots of other arts organisations, humanist societies and other faith groups, launched an initiative last week to live out Jesus’ words: ‘love your neighbour’ (www.loveyourneighbour.org). It’s a phrase taken right out of Jesus teaching and he defined who our neighbour is in the most famous parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29).

Loving your neighbour is right at the core, not only of what Jesus taught, but of the radical, counter-cultural treatment of strangers and migrants found in the Old Testament law.* We are called to love those who live close to us, perhaps especially when they are culturally, economically or racially different to us, while still faithfully looking to Jesus as our only ultimate hope for lasting joy and peace. As a country, we are realising that recent political changes, poverty, and uncertainty, have brought tensions to the surface which have resulted in a sharp rise in hate crimes and racial abuse, as well as a general climate of fear and mistrust across cultural lines. Birmingham, as a ‘city of refuge’ with a struggling budget, has felt this more than most. As a church, however, we are not surprised, and our response is to remain faithful to what we have already been doing and to explore other ways to live Jesus words.

The world we live in is broken, full of dishonesty and fear, but it is also a world into which God has come, full of truth and grace, to help us change the world by changing us and calling us to step fearlessly into self-giving love of those with whom we share it. Loving our neighbours isn’t new – we’ve been doing this for a long time - but we can hear the cry of the kingdom we live in and respond to it by making our voices louder with news of the kingdom where our real citizenship is. We can respond to migration with GrowBaby, with clothes and supplies for small children in need, with free English lessons, with Foodbank parcels, with friendships on Sundays and through our communities, and with prayer. We can buy coffee for our colleague who voted differently, take a struggling family out to lunch, or pray for our neighbours of a different faith or none.

Over the next few weeks, why not challenge yourself to follow Jesus’ second-greatest commandment, take extra steps to reach out to those around us in all sorts of ways, then share what God’s doing on Facebook, twitter and Instagram, with the hashtag #loveyourneighbour, so more people get to see and celebrate what it looks like to live for a kingdom where the stranger is welcomed in and darkness is no more.

*E.g. Deuteronomy 10:19; see also Matthew 5:43-44, Luke 10:27.

The Parables of Jesus - 'Truth in a Story'

For our sermon series this summer we'll be looking at the parables of Jesus, with teaching taken from Luke's gospel account. The challenge for July and August is for "Everyone to read every one" of the parables. 

Some people downgrade the value of the parables as if they were just simple stories to engage a younger generation! In reality, a parable is truth contained in a story. Jesus' parables used imagery that many in the crowd would have recognised and paradoxically they can both reveal and conceal truth depending on the heart of the listeners.

10 The disciples came to him (Jesus) and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them” 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”

15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.
— Matthew 13:10 - 15

Eugene Peterson captures it well in “the message”.

“Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it.”  


Jesus didn’t code his teaching to prevent some people from understanding, as everyone would have understood the imagery. His teaching divided the listeners into two groups based on their own heart responses. 


The invitation this summer, is for everyone to read every one!

Print off this PDF so you can keep a track on the ones you’ve read.

Everyone read every one


Tips and questions to help you get the most of each parable


  • Try reading each parable in a couple of different versions. The message has a conversational style that can compliment some of the more systematic translations.
  • The Kingdom is the rule and reign of God, it’s both the now and the not yet. Kingdom living requires a mindset shift so what is Jesus teaching me about the character of God and the nature of God’s kingdom? 
  • What is going on during, before and after the parable? Did a problem prompt the parable? Was Jesus dealing with a question or an attitude? What else does it say? What was the response of the listeners?
  • How am I invited to think differently and live differently in the light of this story?

The Flood of Compassion

You will be aware (unless you were on holiday) that we have suffered plenty of unusual weather here in Birmingham over the last couple of weeks. The amount of rain in the city has resulted in a large number of flash floods in areas across the city, one of which was here at Church. On the same day just a few miles from us here, Heartlands A&E department were suffering more substantial flooding which caused the hospital to declare a Major Incident. 

The flood water caused a significant amount of damage to many areas in the hospital despite the magnificent efforts of the staff. One of the members of staff on that day was Birmingham Vineyard’s very own Aimée Wright. Aimée works as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner at Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals. The Sunday after the flood Aimée described to us the devastation of the Children's A&E department, having to be closed for three weeks whilst the damage was fixed and everything in it thrown out and replaced.

The Children’s A&E department lost all of its donated toys and play equipment in the flood. This equipment is there to help when children come in with a wide range of problems. There is also an adolescent room which suffered some damage to their equipment and toys. This room is for teenagers who may not be able to leave the building or have contact with many people. Both rooms and the equipment in them provide some sort of ‘normal’ life and entertainment for the children and young people that they may not otherwise be able to experience. Aimée explained to us that unfortunately the toys and equipment, donated or was paid for through fundraising, weren’t covered by insurance, so there was no way of replacing the equipment and all of it was thrown away. The current situation is that they only have four toys which have been recently given. 

One of our four canvasses here at church is Compassion and Justice. Through some of the activities at church, through our cells and communities we aim to show God’s compassion, justice, love and mercy to those who need it and this situation is a great example of this. So, because of your generous giving as a Church we were able to donate £500.00 towards the cost of some new toys and play equipment for the Children's A&E department. Also Aaron has asked our youth to consider donating £10 each to help replace some of the much needed equipment in the teenagers room. The whole A&E department will be reopening in the next couple of weeks and we hope the new toys will be there ready to use. 

So thank you Church. Thank you for being generous givers so that we can bless others – your giving makes such a difference.


Summer Services

Summer is here!

Can you hear the hooray echoing through the hills?!

We're really excited for all the things that God has got planned over this summer - how He's going to speak to us through fellowship, rest, and gathering at Church festivals.

This summer, we're going down to just 1 morning service and 1 evening service (rather than 2 in the morning and 1 in the evening).  We will have events running every week throughout July and August, either at, before, or after the services. For details, just see above!

Community Sunday

One Sunday of every month we don't have church in our central building, but get together in our smaller communities around the Birmingham area and do church within different contexts. This last Sunday we did just that and our different communities  had Teddy Bear Picnics, prayer walks, barbeques, family celebration services, and much more!

Below are just some of the photos of what went on:

Big Church

We had a wonderful time getting together as one big family on Sunday. There was time to hear what God's been doing in and with our youth recently, then Andrew and Rosie shared some of our story as a community, bookended as always by some really God filled prayer and worship! 

The talk is now live on our podcast (simply search for Birmingham Vineyard on your favourite podcast app) or on the listen page here on our website, so you can catch up with the sermon if you missed it.

Announcing BVAdvance

We’re really excited to announce BV Advance - our new full time voluntary year which will help 5 interns grow and develop in their walk with Jesus, learn new skills and develop their leadership potential. 

Through serving, teaching, studying and having lots of fun, we want to help them be all that they can be and discover more of who God is and His plan for their lives. There will be opportunities to gain experience in a wide range of ministry areas. They will accompany the staff team whenever they equip churches and minister around the country and there will be the opportunity to go to the Vineyard National Leaders Conference in Nottingham and on an amazing missions trip to Malawi. There will also be training and optional extra theology study through Vineyard Hub Training. 

The year will start in early September and conclude in late August 2017 and has only a minimal cost attached.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in this opportunity, please head here for more details and an application form

God on the move!

On Sunday we were really excited to see God heal several people who had physical injuries. One of the stories that was told was this one about a healing that has happened over the past couple of weeks. This is what Eleanor said:

"Some of you will know I injured my wrist at work a few weeks ago in April. At the next B30 community prayer event, 2 friends very kindly offered to pray for me because I couldn't even grasp something without dropping it and feeling sudden pain. My wrist felt pretty weird, warm and tingly at the time, and when I got up the next morning it was free from pain for the first time since the injury, even though my grip was still rather weak and my wrist was noticeably less flexible than the other one. But after the prayer I was able to put my own shoes on, squeeze out toothpaste with my left hand (as opposed to my teeth!), turn on taps and hold things. This felt amazing! I’d been getting so frustrated before as half my hand didn't seem to move, even when I willed my fingers to work. 

Then the following Sunday one of the 5-year olds in Discovery Zone wanted to pray for it too, so he and his Mum prayed for my wrist to increase in strength. It was so sweet and brave of him and I've been able to use my hand as normal all week since! God is so so good!!"

It seems as if healing is one of the areas that we are really seeing God at work, so lets press in and ask Him for more in the weeks to come! 


Emergency Needs Met!

Imagine arriving in the UK with nothing for your three year old child, or arriving with a baby due in two weeks. That’s exactly the situation two families faced this Easter weekend. The social network of Facebook connected Christians across the country and has meant that as they arrived in Birmingham our Grow Baby project was able to help. They chose nappies, clothing, new cot blankets, a pushchair and toys. We don’t officially open our doors until 15 April but we aim to be Jesus’ hands and feet to families with under 5’s and there’s no time limit on that is there?

They weren't our first customer either! Through our Foodbank contacts we've already helped a mum who was using the services of one of Birmingham’s shelters. Thanks to donations from our church family she received beautiful clothes for a newborn, nappies and other essentials.

If you want to help us restock we’d love more nappies and newborn clothing. Oh and a request I couldn't meet; baby wipes and nappy sack bags would also be very handy. If you have some time to spare and would like to join us being Jesus’ hands and feet then please contact Wendy and Rob Slater who lead our Grow Baby team on: growbaby@birminghamvineyard.com

Week of Prayer

As a community we look forward to these weeks so much, it's an opportunity to refocus our lives and really prioritise listening to God. 

This week we will be looking at the events leading up to Easter. The goal is to encourage each of us to spend time in God's presence.

We would love to encourage you to pray wherever you are during the week and as a community we want to cover the entire week in prayer, so we're asking everyone to sign up for at least one hour on the 24-7 prayer space below. You could pray with a friend or your cell group, during your commute or on a walk, the possibilities are endless! 


Good Friday? No, Great Friday!

Our week will culminate in an all church event called 'The Presence' on Friday 25th March. 

10:15 - 11:30  :  We'll meet together for hot cross buns, tea and coffee followed by a short service.

11:30 - 12:30  :   A time of more reflective personal prayer and worship

Daily Themes and Resources

We will be looking at some of the event leading up to Easter Sunday as a focus for each day and will send out daily resources to help you with that. If you would like these resources sent to you each day and are not yet on our mailing list you can contact us here to give us your details.

We'll also link the resource sheets here throughout the week so you can download them.

How to break up an hour

Family Prayer Resources

Monday - Preparation

Tuesday - Weeping

Wednesday - The Fig Tree

Thursday - Passover & Agony

Friday - The Trials & the Cross

A new Alpha course commences...

Our fifth Alpha Course is starting tonight! We're so excited to be welcoming a new course load of guests through the door. There's still time for you to invite people in your circles - it's a great opportunity for people to find answers to their biggest questions around faith and God. 

Look forward to hearing great stories in 7 weeks time!

Big Church, Great Church!

We had Big Church on Sunday! It was such a special time of being together in God's presence. Check out the photos below!

 Christy Wimber graciously came to speak to us and shared an empowering message of God continuing to use His power, despite our weakest moments. Listen to her talk here

Our kids also had an amazing time, led by Powerpack Ministries, with fun games and Holy Spirit encounters.

We just can't wait until the next one on 22nd May.