Fellowship like this causes headaches and eye strain. It is literally disembodied. The oppose of incarnational. Touch screens are clever, but they don’t enable you to, well, touch.
In the blizzard of questions about how we do church-in-quarantine, the central question remains, ‘What will practically, relationally, build love between us?’
Consumerism would say, we will offer what is directly relevant for you, and you can ignore the rest; countering that mindset means seeing the relevance of it for someone else, and being delighted that it’s happening.
I see people’s eyes glaze over with a sequence of announcements. They reach for their mental ‘mute’ buttons, or ‘fast forward’ buttons, or whatever you do to get over the ads and into the programme.
People listen to our announcements with their guards up – it’s their habitual response to being told about something.
If you know what you’re praying for, you’ll know why you’re announcing it.
Ever since Rick Warren popularised the model in ‘Purpose Driven Church’, there’s been a growing move of churches clustering their life around what are called the ‘5Ms’: Magnification, Membership, Maturity, Ministry, and Mission. The idea is gaining traction, and therefore some push-back, so here’s my angle.
If our church took the approach of simply transporting a student-church model for training and equipping, we wouldn’t begin to resource our people.
So what if one week the analogy we used for our services was to be like a roller-coaster ride? Or a walk in the forest? Or a surprise party? Or a great epic? Or the movement through the verses of a well-known, or unknown, hymn?
St James Muswell Hill is hiring not one, but TWO senior staff, both members of the clergy team, preaching, taking services, and sharing in the pastoral and leadership responsibility. You can find out more about us at http://www.st-james.org.uk.
I went to a strong, hearty conference recently, full of talk about gospel work and initiatives, and the theme was ‘standing shoulder to shoulder.’ And I thought then, as I still think, that that’s all very well, but it’s still very independent. The model is that strong (i.e. larger) churches can help weaker (i.e. smaller)
We all get stuck trying to think creatively and clearly about a church or ministry. Imagining new stuff is hard, improving old stuff a bit easier, but staying in a rut is the default option. One exercise I use is called ‘The Rule of 10’, and it’s dead simple and really helpful. Just draw three
Christians need church – and I take it you know what I mean by that. All Christians need the sustaining power of God’s Word preached, prayers, fellowship, relationship, and praise -what we sometimes call ‘the means of grace’. We can structure those formally or informally, scale them up or down, make them contemporary or trad,
We have just had our church’s Annual Meeting, and once again it has proved a useful exercise – but not for the obvious reason. We are an Anglican church, and that means we do not run our business by a series of congregational votes: we elect a council at the Annual Meeting, and then each
We have a little rule at the church council: on most issues we don’t discuss and decide at the same meeting. It’s a high value for me, because I’ve learnt the hard way the price I pay for steamrolling something through. Years ago, but still fresh in my mind, I thought we were all sorted
One of the questions I ask myself regularly each week, is how does this coming Sunday move ‘The Project’ on? If that sounds a bit ‘management speak’, let me explain. In the biggest of pictures, ‘The Project’ is to adore God as his people, and to do so in a way that encourages us to
There are some common elements in faithful Christian ministry that will be true and transferable across the world. These will be as true in a small house church as a multisite megachurch. There a couple that it’s almost a cliché to list them But they’re essential. Hard work. Gospel work is a joy, a privilege
I met someone the other day who plays in the orchestra for the Lion King, the big Disney musical. I’ve seen it, of course, and it’s a great show – much better than the cartoon, and with many moments of genuine theatrical beauty for the adults, as well as humour for the kids. And that
In a series of earlier posts I suggested that there is a whole banquet of New Testament activities that count as ‘ministry of the Word.’ It can’t be reduced merely to preaching sermons: there’s discipling, leadership, counselling, evangelism, apologetics – all need God’s Word opened and applied. But I’m pretty sure I missed one on
To Wales, then, for a couple of conferences on church planting. Waleswide is an initiative of a range of evangelical churches, to establish the idea of Wales as a 21st century mission field. Those two sentences contain at least three ideas that should make us shake our heads in disbelief and wonder – and the reason