The Culture section of my Sunday paper covers the same things every week: plays and music, opera and ballet, books, movies and the rest. And only very rarely is anything remotely Christian covered. Which a moment’s reflection would show, is very odd. Because, before the last half century, any artistic contribution only made sense with
Next year will see a second “Passion for Life”, as evangelical churches across the UK co-ordinate their evangelism for one intense week. If youd like to find out more, and perhaps get your church involved in the events, there’s a promotional vimeo clip here (requires Flash). And 10ofthose.com is already offering the training DVDs for small groups.
The gospel is all about growth. Jesus’ kingdom will be one over every tribe, nation and language. The earth will be filled with his glory as the oceans cover the sea. He told parables about growing plants, frothing yeast, bursting wineskins, full harvests – did he tell any about decline? That means the gospel grows
I was sure the speed limit was forty, but the police were equally sure it was thirty, and so I found myself on a Speed Awareness Course, finding out about the dangers of speeding, and tips for driving safely. One of which was to select the right gear by listening to the engine. Choose the
Thanks for stopping my my blog since August – I’ve enjoyed starting it up. The top three posts for the year were: Go away, said the welcome team What prayer and ministry of the Word can never do It’s not a sin Actually that’s a lie – the top post was the free e-book version
Round about now, even the cheeriest of people starts to have a twinge of sympathy for Scrooge. As the last turkey slices are eaten, the first Christmas presents are broken, and the credit card bill pops through mail, who doesn’t think, ‘Bah, humbug”? Well, Christians don’t. Or we shouldn’t – but it took an evening
I’ve been spending a bit of time recently with some local volunteers. Non-Christian volunteers, working for a secular organisation. And I’ve been rolling up my sleeves and being a volunteer too. A bit – not as much as them. The result is that I’ve been able to talk to them, as we’ve been doing stuff
Apparently we live in a VUCA time. VUCA was an acronym developed by the military to summarise contexts like Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Everywhere is in a state of permanent change, and always has been, but VUCA describes something particular: Volatile. Issues can flare up suddenly, with no warning signs. Change has
Well it can be – or, at least, every week if you get your creativity working. John Piper has a brilliant book out, called Fifty Reasons why Jesus Came to Die. It’s published in the normal ways, but as usual with Piper you can get it as a free pdf
As a preacher I often find myself quite constrained at this time of year. There are some brilliant preaching opportunities coming round the corner (Carols, Christingle, Crib service, Midnight, Christmas Day), but they have quite a predictable shape to them. Carols: fifteen minute, punchy and throught-provoking evangelism. Christmas Day: fifteen minutes if I can hold
A friend just described two churches to me, and I didn’t expect what he told me. One is a church planted about nine years ago, established and growing solidly – around 100 people on a Sunday. The other is enormous, one of London’s largest, with an international congregation and reputation, and a leader you’ve probably
A fresh look at the back-story of Christmas – good for Carol services: Click on the link Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
So you wrap all the presents, put then in the car and head off for Christmas with the relatives – but on the journey the labels fall off. Ever tried to play ‘Guess the Gift’ as you try to put the right label back? Like me, you’ve probably put the wrong one back on. Which
The Behaviour carriage must always follow Believing – if it comes first, we’ve made a train wreck of the gospel. But where does Belonging fit in the sequence?
Common sense says I’ve got some work to do. Twice now I have met in a debate with the same Muslim speaker, and handled questions from a curious, polite, mostly Muslim audience. And on each occasion I have heard an intake of breath as if I have said something that has possibly stepped over the
A new S curve doesn’t cause failure. But it seems to. Think through the initial phases of a new curve as we’ve seen them: the hidden hard yards, and then the resultant growth. Those hidden hard yards take time, and money, and prayer, and committed people away from the original curve. And for quite some
Obviously, sometimes it’s necessary to bust through the internal shape of an S curve and defy its inherent decline. We need to do something new – start a new service or ministry, or even add someone to the staff. The question is, when is the right time? Can you do it too early? Of course.
Reposted. Russell Powell writes at SydneyAnglicans.net – Beloved Australian evangelist John Chapman has fallen asleep in Christ at the age of 82. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their
Very rarely does a church grow larger than 150 (plus or minus). Very many are smaller, and a handful are larger – they tend to be the ones we have heard about, so if we are not careful we assume they are the norm. But they are not. The pattern seems to be that a
The ‘S’ curve. So many things seem to follow this shape that it’s easy to think it’s entirely and irresistibly natural. Mathematicians call it a Sigmoid curve – a horizontal line lifts up, and then gently falls. In the next few blog posts I want to think about some aspects of it for gospel ministry, so