Posted date: 3 Feb 2015
Meet Nathan Blackaby
We ask him 12 questions, you might be surprised by the answers!
1. What was your favourite toy when you were growing up?
I had a few toys that I treasured, like a tatty one-eyed toy dog that had a hole under his tail where I would hide sweets, or a complete space ship with an alien crew, all knitted! Velco arms and legs the lot. But of all the things that stand out was the day the Atari arrived at home and me and my bro, with paddle controllers on wires, set about hitting a ball to each other for hours. Good times.
2. What was/is your nickname and why?
For a while I was known as ‘Big Nath’ which was weird because at 5.11’, lets call it 6 foot I am neither big or small really, so I don’t know why the name was used, but when I went to Brazil for a trip it was even used there as ‘Natanzao’ in Portuguese.
3. What do you like about working for CVM?
I like the fact that CVM doesn’t just point and say 'oh look there are not enough men in church', or 'wow isn’t it difficult for Christian women to find a good Christian man these days', CVM are actually committed to change this by effectively equipping and engaging the church and individuals to boldly step out, share their faith and see a revival of men coming to faith in Jesus Christ. So for me it’s an incredible privilege and opportunity to be part of this vision and movement in the UK and wider!
4. How do you relax?
I am a bit of a gamer to be honest. I try to relax by exercising and being outdoors and reading, but if left alone, I game!
5. Name something God has shown you, since being a Christian, that has shaped you.
In my 20s I had a moment of frustration, having been raised as a Christian in an amazing home and with a loving family, I was restless. I would hear about what Jesus was doing but never saw it and it troubled me, but I was also afraid to let go and trust God with my life. But I did, I remember praying ‘Jesus I know you, I trust you and I am tired of hearing about what you are doing, I want to see it!’ God is still answering that prayer 10 years on. After training at Bible college my wife and I, with one child at the time, moved to Brazil to work with Teen Challenge as Chaplain and in men’s prison ministry in Recife.
The outcome of that time was that I came back to the UK with no doubt, having seen myself that there is power in the name of Jesus. He is setting people free and transforming individual lives, families and communities, and this has changed my life in a huge way.
6. What's the most played song/tune on your iTunes list? (Don't lie to sound cool)
I am a serious music listener and the most played songs (there’s two) at the moment (Spotify, not iTunes I'm afraid) are ‘Knight Moves’ by Chilly Gonzales, and ‘For – Peter – Toilet Brushes – More’ by Nils Frahm (Try it, it’s amazing at about 8 minutes)
7. What's your vision for your role at CVM?
My vision is to continue the movement in introducing men to Jesus and the church to men. How that is done is a commitment to prayer, a continual focus on quality resources, training days, events and calling Christian men to stand with us and lead a revival.
8. What do the Blackabys most like doing as a family?
Walking – we live in the Peak District and you just have to walk. We do a lot of talking and sorting the world out together when we walk the lakes and hills.
9. What are your favourite two movies?
'Big Trouble in Little China' and 'Bourne Ultimatum'
10. What's your top two tips for starting or running a men's group/ministry?
Firstly - Prayer. I really believe that ministries must be born in prayer and move in prayer. We can run events and hand out tracts but it is essential we are men of prayer who carry the church and Jesus’ mission on our hearts. Secondly – Dig in. Disappointment and discouragement is part of the journey but when one person turns back to Jesus you get clarity on why you're doing what you're doing.
11. What hobby, that you DON'T do, would you do if you had the time?
I would be big into wood turning in my shed.
12. How can people best pray for you?
Some pointers please. Pray that I continue to lead this movement in strength, discernment and inspiration from the Holy Spirit who continues to open doors where there are no doors! And please pray for me and my family as we navigate the busyness, like many do, of three small children, work and studies.
You can contact Nathan here