What is it about the patterns of being Christians together, that lays us open to spiritual abuse – both as perpetrators and victims?
Each one had constructed a ring-fenced zone, where sin could roam free but still safely caged. Had none of them watched Jurassic Park?
Even the best of us can get caught in a bitterness of spirit, whether to an individual, a group, a type or even a whole church.
Thermometers can tell you what’s happening, but they can’t change anything. Enter the thermostat.
The team leader looked me straight in the eye. “I’m only here because someone took a risk with me when I was his age. I want to do for him, what someone did for me.”
The culture sees independence as maturity, but for us that’s not good enough. Interdependence is maturity.
I’ve just watched a small team have a bit of a wobble. They didn’t crash – the event they planned went smoothly in the end, and no-one outside the team would have spotted that there was a problem. But there was, and it’s easily solved.
I keep a list of preachers I run through as I am preparing a sermon. Particular preachers have gifts and emphases I want to learn to copy, and I find it really helpful having a physical document to print off, where I can force myself to see whether or not I have addressed each critical issue. The
In every leadership task there’s an easy part and a hard part – and they just keep on coming
Yes, having friends will involve risk. But what kind of cold, non-relational beings would we be if we never took that risk?
One weakness in much preaching today is that it is quite individually applied, and in a way that can be transplanted from one church to another without too much difficulty. It is not focussed enough on a particular congregation, and therefore lacks the force to move that church to better obedience.
In Paul’s mind the potential elder must show a double gifting from Romans 12: an ability to teach must be partnered to an ability to lead.
Do you have a passion to see the lost found, and the found built up? Do you have a desire to see the gospel understood, churches planted, men and women converted, children growing in their faith, and for you to be playing a part in that for the rest of your life? Do you treasure your time in God’s Word, and love to see it opened among his people so they are dazzled by his wonder? Then you’ve identified what he means to aspire and desire this noble task.
That’s what Diotrephes heard – that he would be first, that he would be like God. That he would rule the church, that he would be its saviour, that he would be its sole source of truth, that he would be the exclusive centre of its relationships, and that he would be worshipped.
Moses first of all points us to Christ, and then allows us to learn a vital lesson: Leadership decisions are the hard ones, because the easy ones have already been dealt with. The reason that issue is sitting on your desk is because, if anyone else could have cracked it, they would have done.
A church I know has just stopped running its mums and toddler group. It’s stopped bumps and babies. It’s stopped – well, it’s stopped doing everything except bible studies. The argument is that it’s too easy for us to be distracted from doing what we ought to be doing by what is secondary, and attractive,
I can’t remember when I first heard the idea that Christian ministry is a relay race, but it’s a powerful metaphor: each generation passes the baton on to the next, and here we sit at the end of a line of faithful witnesses, passing it on yet again. It’s powerful – but I’m increasingly convinced
…as you can see from the video in the sidebar, I’ve been having a bit of a health battle. I haven’t been blogging about it because that’s not how I process those kind of experiences, but I’m getting back to a good place now, and my energy levels are returning So I reckon the blog
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
Well, of course you might. That goes without saying. The question is, are you likely to? And, do the risks of changing what you’re doing outweigh the risks of staying where you are, or even moving in the opposite direction? And, just how far would you have to go for that to happen? If you