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Symphonies, Orchestras, Circuses + Pop-Up Festivals of Flow

Life is About Flow…Blood Flows and Circulates Around Our Bodies, As Jesus said, ‘Whoever believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from his heart’

So, go ahead, Do What you are- go with the flow. Out of you will flow…so what is currently flowing out of you? Is it rivers of living water or has the flow been blocked up? 

A stagnant pool signifies that which is not flowing or moving, often foul-smelling or stale…showing little or no activity or vitality. It’s inactive or sluggish standing still without flow or current. Not circulating or flowing, standing still, not growing or changing; without force or vitality- undynamic- to become dull or inactive. Characterised by lack of development, advancement or progressive movement; as in a stagnant economy; a stagnant mind. 

Have you become stagnant?

Nothing Fresh Flows In, Nothing Fresh Flows Out….

The dangers of becoming so dull might not be apparent at first,, but the writer of the letter to the Hebrews says;

‘There is so much more [flow] we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, espeacially since you are spiritual dull [stagnant] and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now you ought to be teaching others. [flowing out to others]. Instead, you need someone to teach you again and again the basic things about God’s word. [constant need to receive more, even though you can’t stomach more because of being spiritually dull– it’s a paradoxical situation]. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognise the difference between right and wrong’ (Hebrews 5:11-14)

Did you notice how one overcomes spiritual dullness? 

Who through training’

In other versions it says; ‘who by constant use have trained themselves’

And yet another version says- ‘those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil’

To flow- we need to come to our senses, so to speak, excercise, train our senses to discern

If we don’t do that, we become like those Jesus spoke about here….

‘For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes- so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them’ (Matt 13:15)

Hearts that are hardened (well there’s no flow there then)

Ears that cannot hear (so not able to receive fresh revelation, fresh spiritual insight, fresh living water)

Eyes that cannot see (without vision people perish)

Hearts that cannot understand



Unable to Receive The New, The Fresh…


Mosquitos thrive in stagnant water- and we all know that mosquitos are blood suckers- they literally drain the life out of you leaving an irritating rash and sometimes, even infect you with disease. We cannot afford to stay stagnant either as individuals, communities, organisations or societies 

Mass movements are often a factor in the awakening of stagnant societies… And movement is needed in any stagnant situation

God’s Kingdom is characterised by flow. Whatever you are full of will naturally flow out from you…particularly if you are being constantly replenished. 

When you drink- do you drink only for yourself- or do you drink to the point of overflow so others can be refreshed from your fountain? 

Where and what are you drinking from? And what are you drinking?


A Symphony is an extended musical composition, most often written by composers for orchestra. It’s a work consisting of multiple distinct sections or movements, with the first movement in sonata form (sonata- meaning- ‘to sound’); the sonata being the first movement of multi movement pieces

But more specifically, a symphony (from the Greek- symphonia) means ‘agreement or concord of sound, harmonious’. The word in medieval times was used for consonance as opposed to dissonance. – symphonia describes various instruments, particuarly those capable of producing more than one sound simultaneously. In the sense of ‘Sounding Together

In the Steve Jobs film directed by Danny Boyle, the crafty writer Aaron Sorkin has Jobs saying, ‘Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra’ 

Overtures typically have a standard structure of three contrasting movements: fast, slow, fast and dance-like

During the 18th Century, ‘The symphony was cultivated with extraordinary intensity’ It played a role in many areas of public life including church services’ (Wikipedia)

The ‘Italian’ style of symphony became a standard three-movement form: a fast movement,a slow movement, and another fast movement. Over the course of the 18th century it became the custom to write four-movement symphonies

Are we able to flow with the pace set by the conductor and arranged by the composer, knowing when to go fast, when to go slow and when it’s time to dance so that we are truly able to ‘sound together’?

As Jesus said of children playing a game in the public square who complain to their friends, ‘we played wedding songs and you didn’t dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didn’t mourn or weep’

We refuse to be conducted, so we lose out on being part of a Symphony that ‘sounds together’

On another occassion, when it was after dark one evening, Jesus said; ‘the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear it’s sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit’ (John 3:8)

I can imagine Jesus saying; ‘I play the orchestra’ causing you to ‘sound together’ simply hear and go with the wind of my Spirit. Stop complaining when I change the pace or reset the tempo…I’m creating a symphony, a masterpiece’. Go with the flow…


A Quartet (small)
An ensemble of four people playing music or singing together or a musical composition for four voices or instruments… In classical music, the most important combination of four instruments in chamber music is the string quartet, usually consisting of two violins, a viola and a cello. But there are also piano quartets, consisting of violin, viola, cello and piano and of course wind quartets, vocal quartets and so on

Quartets are popular in jazz and jazz fusion music and are often composed of a horn (sax or trumpet etc), a chordal instrument (electric guitar, piano or Hammond organ) a bass instrument (double bass/bass guitar) and a drum kit
They are also of course well used in ‘Pop Music‘ from vocal quartets like barbershop quartets and gospel quartets; to the standard pop and rock music lineup of two electric guitars, a bass guitar and a drum kit- sometime modified by using a keyboard instrument (organ, piano, synthesiser)

Chamber Orchestra (medium)

A smaller orchestra is called a Chamber Orchestra and has about 50 musicians or fewer

Symphony Orchestra (large)

A Symphony Orchestra has between 70-100 musicians…

To play a Symphony, you need a large orchestra; a Large Instrumental Ensemble. 

These are mainly grouped into 4 Sections; (sometimes 5)




Percussion Instruments

Sometimes there is a 5th Section (or 5th Element) known as the Keyboard Section with Piano, Celesta, Electronic Keyboard, Electronic Instruments, Concert Harp

On the earth, many things are grouped into 4’s- for example- 4 types of personality, 4 styles of leadership (a reflection of the 4 living creatures around God’s throne in heaven) and so on, but in the Body of Christ we know that there are 5 primary types (Ephesians 4) in the building up of the Body of Christ (apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral, didactic)

What kind of orchestra do you identify with? Quartet? Chamber Orchestra? Or Symphony?

Does the organisation/organism you are a part of resemble any of these ensembles?

Is it characterised by movement, flow, sounding together?

Or is it stagnant, lifeless, dull?

Orchestra’s are usually led by a conductor who unifies, sets tempo, shapes the sound of the ensemble (source: Wikipedia)

In terms of the organization of the orchestra, every instrumental section has a principal who is generally responsible for leading the section and playing orchestral solos. The principal first violin is called the concertmaster (or ‘Leader’) and is not considered the leader of the string section, but the second-in-command of the entire orchestra, behind only the conductor

There’s a passage of Scripture in which the Apostle Paul lists some of the members of the orchestra (1 Corinthians 12:27-28). He mentions apostles are first. The word “first” is the Greek ‘proton‘, meaning “foremost in time, place, order or importance.” 

To ‘sound together‘, someone needs to go first and there is an order to which the sections and the players, play, in the creation of the divine symphony

To be part of a symphony in which we ‘sound together’ there is a need for a kind of apostolic organisation…by that I mean a sent flow of people that, for those looking on, might resemble a swarm, or maybe even a murmuration, and organised like an orchestra playing a symphony


Whilst in the flow,  I wanted to share with you something that my friend and collaborator Erik Fish shared recently (Erik is one of the ‘voices’ and ‘curators’ at this year’s europpean Newforms Gathering 2016)

‘Did you know that “lectures” are the absolute least effective way of helping people transform and remember a set of skills or information? Interactive Groups and Modeling are a much better way to train people than lectures. The challenge is that we, as the Church, often elevate the art of delivering a monologue lecture (it’s our common standard of what constitutes “church”), and thus set up the standard of becoming an “eloquent speaker” as one of the highest forms of leadership. Jesus and the apostles modeled and interacted quite frequently, and we can, too. [recently], I took a group of 20 YWAM students out […], modeling and interacting around Four rhythms of movements – Pray, Go, Gather, and Guide

Yes, I lecture, but they are usually shorter lectures, interspersed between times of modeling lessons in real life and interacting with one another. This is how I try to flow in all Disciplex trainings and teach others to do the same.
‘I wanted to share a worksheet that’s been helpful to me and my team of DMM (Disciple Multiplication Movements) trainers. [recently] we gathered and dove once again (with fresh revelation and encouragement) into Luke 10, Matthew 28 and the book of Acts. 4 rhythms of multiplication are present in the scriptures, as precedents in Luke 10. They undergird every movement I’ve seen or studied. I picture them not as mechanical “do this and you’ll create movements” but as canvases upon which we can paint with the Holy Spirit to create multiplication rhythms. I find they’re also a great diagnostic tool to help existing ministries transition into multiplication rhythms. (Find what rhythms they’re strong in, and where they’re weak). Anyway, wanted to share this with you if you might find benefit in it.’  (Erik Fish)

4 Rythmns of Multiplication are present in scriptures, as precedents in Luke 10

They undergird every movement I’ve seen or studied…

4 Rhythms of Multiplication

Sounds a bit like a Symphony….

Create Multiplication Movements with these 4 Rhythms

Go Ahead

Paint your canvass…
Contemporary Art Exhibitions, good ones anyway, incorporate the idea of flow; organising your content to take visitors on a journey (not too disimilar to those who arrange the aisles of your local supermarket in such a way that it helps the flow of consumers through the store, for example, goods placed at the start of an aisle do not sell as well and most people naturally look left first. They know that brands that sell best are always in the ‘bull’s eye zone’ – the second and third shelves from the top and so on).

One of the best curated experiences I’ve ever been a part of is the Biennale Festival in Venice, art and artists on display from every nation under heaven stretched out across the landscape of a city on water, in venues such as the Giardini of pavilions set in gardens to venues such as The Arsenale;  50.000 square metres (25.000 of which is indoor space) of the largest pre-industrial production centre of the world. 

Good Curation is about the power of selection and arrangement…in a world crammed with information overload, excessive choice, clutter and noise…good curation selects with a purpose and arranges to tell a story.

What Stories are you and your community selecting and telling the world?

How are you curating good ideas, information, resources; to power purposeful flow, so that you are not beating the air aimlessly. So that there is some purpose in the madness…


Flow in your natural atttire…many of us try to dress to impress…but we are each handcrafted, lovingly and wonderfully made, inside and out. We are already impressive…though clothing can act as a form of expression, whilst also protecting our modesty…we are fashioned for honour and to honour…but the current fashion industry often fashions vessels for dishonour

Tribal cultures have always expressed themselves through the garms they wear and that’s no different today. Sports teams and fans honour their stripes…businessmen and clubbers honour the dress code often set by others

Are you flowing in your natural identity?


The cameras are rolling, the scene is set, the actors are in position…lights, camera, action. Are you in position?  Have you read the script, learn’t your lines; enacting that which you have received? A method actor is one who literally embodies her part. In this way, one might say that Jesus was a method actor..He acted the script written about Him by His Father in Heaven. Towards the end of his life he said ‘I have fulfilled every word written about me’ 

Are you playing your part?


Roll up, Roll up! Step into the arena, into the auditorium, the amphitheatre of non-conformists, trouble-makers, prodigies, iconoclasts, rebels,  revolutionaries, mavericks, entrepreneurs, artists, change-agents, wild cards, loose canons. Let the show begin…


All the tribes have arrived…they are each flowing in their distinct tribal identity, their brand colours, their flags and idiosyncrasies….their diverse genres of music, their selection of food and delicacies and clothing choices…

The bands have struck a chord, the DJ’s are spinning the wheels, the scent and whiff of freshly cooked food of all ilks fills the air like a murmuration. The colourful array of patterns and images, costumes, arts and artefacts fills the land like the feast of Tabernacles

A river of creativity and rest flowing through the throng of tribes….a mashup of styles, a unity in the diversity…seeming contradictions and paradoxical values held together by a cause greater than the individual constituent parts.

Are you Full of Life?

Are you in Your Flow?

Are you in Tune?

Who Are You Flowing With? 

The 3rd Movement of the Symphony is in full swing….

The Party’s Started

Let The Games Begin…
(Have you started your own pop-up homegrown festival? Creating new forms of art, composing a whole new world of sound, curating Movemental gatherings? Flowing in your element? Let’s connect….Murmurate…fill the earth…)

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