HIGHER THINKING BLOG
Outcomes Conference 2020: Meet Matt Bird
Meet Matt Bird: Keynote Speaker at The Outcomes Conference 2020
Matt Bird will be among the keynote speakers for Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes Conference 2020. Today we invite you to learn more about Matt and how he is on mission to unite leaders to transform their cities for God’s glory!
Matt Bird is an international speaker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He has spoken in 30 countries to more than a million people, authored 10 books and writes for The Times newspaper.
Matt is the CEO/President of Cinnamon International a non-profit which helps churches build life-giving relationships with those in greatest need position churches to transform their communities and cities. He is also the CEO/President of Relationology International a company helping businesses grow through the power of building effective relationships.
Matt is a video blogger best known for ‘A Minute with Matt’ where he features people he meets around the world and what he learns from them about relationships.
Matt has been a Councilor in local government and co-chaired the 10 Downing Street ‘Community Advisory Group’. He lives in Wimbledon, London with his wife Esther and their three children where together they are active members of St Mike’s Church.
Next up is an excerpt, written by Matt Bird, from the e-book, Purposeful Living: Financial Wisdom for All of Life. This work was compiled by SuperChristian as a way to inspire faithful stewards for God’s glory around the world. It shines a light on Matt Bird’s heart and how God is using Cinnamon International to change lives.
Governments around the world are becoming increasingly aware of their inability to solve social problems from the center. Austerity is only making their job harder and dramatically reducing the resources at their disposal. This is creating an unprecedented opportunity for the global church to respond by demonstrating the generosity of Jesus in their local communities.
The Bible gives us plenty of stories to draw on for inspiration. When Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem he encountered a community of ten lepers who stood at a distance and called out to him for help (see Luke 17:11-19). Whilst leprosy was a common condition during biblical times, lepers were considered to be outcasts who were both spiritually and physically unclean, and so forced to live in communes separated from society as a whole.
In an act that would have seemed outrageous at the time, Jesus cleansed the whole community of leprosy. In doing so, he didn’t simply restore their physical health, he enabled them to re-enter mainstream society and economically empowered them to work for a living, rather than beg. The incident provides a perfect demonstration of Jesus’s passion for the spiritual, physical, social, and economic transformation of communities.
If you recall the story, then you’ll also know that only one member of the former leper community returned to thank Jesus (see Luke 17:15). It’s also worth noting that Jesus didn’t ask for this response. In fact, Jesus made no demands of those He healed, in the same way that He makes no demands of us. He acts purely out of love
When we do what we do in a community we should do so with the same generosity that Jesus showed those lepers. To love others as Jesus loves us means that we serve them and share to meet their human needs regardless of whether they ever come to Christ or ever come to church.
I’ve seen this kind of attitude and approach transform communities. But getting a church more involved in the community can be hard. To get started, consider this example. The Cinnamon International has developed five steps for churches wanting to engage and transform, but not sure where to start.
- Calling: What is Jesus calling your church to do in the community? What is He already doing and how could you join in?
- Community: What are the most pressing, and least met, social needs within your local community?
- Civic: What public provisions are already being made and where is that capability most stretched?
- Church: What skills, resources, and assets does your church have that could make a difference to the people most in need in your community?
- Choice: What is your church going to do to set up a best practice social action project that uses the resources and assets in your church to effectively meet the needs of your community?
EMBRACE BEST PRACTICES
To get started, I suggest you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We have identified effective, best practice church-based community projects that have been replicated across multiple churches. In the UK, this looks like a menu of more than 30 church-based community projects applied in 3,500 local churches. We’re now starting to use the same model globally to create effective church- based community projects that have relevance and impact. In many cases, these churches have been able to measure their social and economic impact in ways that enable the church to build effective partnerships with civic leaders and agencies.
At a time when the relevancy and credibility of the church is questioned, the most powerful apologetic the church has is the transforming power of the love of Jesus in action through His people. The Bible says that faith without action is dead (see James 2:17) and therefore faith with action is alive and well.
So, let’s do it together!
August 31, 2019 is the next early registration deadline. Yes, that’s tomorrow!
What are you waiting for? Today is the day you need to save your seat for epic transformation.
What is Christian Leadership Alliance?
Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.