#MondayMeet – Kerry Thorpe, Mission and Growth Adviser

ftd1Jesus said he came so that we could live life to the full. Or words to that effect. At 5 years old I was at school with the future Duchess of Cornwall. At 10, I was being hunted by the Police, while on the run from my Cathedral Boarding School. By 15 I was Apprenticed as a Jockey in a Racing Stable. I had turned 21 when elected to the British Institute of Embalmers. By my 27th Birthday I was Ordained, had a London University Theology degree and a (particularly gorgeous) wife. The following year I turned down an offer from a Publisher to write my life story, on the grounds that I’d only just begun.

Two Curacies later I was seconded to the Billy Graham Mission:England project, writing up the story of the six Church Plants that I was working with, and tutoring a whole new generation of students (including the future Archbishop of Canterbury) on Parish Evangelism, Church Planting and growth. (Next name-drop alert.) Michael Parkinson suggested, in his interview with me at that time, that the church might introduce payment by results. He’d seen the press cuttings that said our church had grown from 30 to 300. It’s never that simple though, is it?

Two Parishes and three Church Plants further on (the burn-out and breakdown? You don’t want to know about that, it’s boring) and my writings have been translated into dozens of languages and displayed on billboards around the world. (Oh, go on then. ‘Alpha – an opportunity to explore the meaning of life. Starting soon at a church near you’.)

No time, or space, for the stories about flying light aircraft, bungee jumping or chairing a mission project that took the gospel on to the streets of thirty capital cities around the world in one year. Life to the full, Jesus, isn’t that what we agreed? Now I’m having a massive amount of fun training as a Life Coach.
The Psalmist said, ‘delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart’. It’s worth a try at least, wouldn’t you say? Oh, yes, the job – I’m the Canterbury Diocesan Mission & Growth Advisor. Let’s talk!

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