How important exactly am I? -when we demand too much in friendships

And now to Precosia.  In some respects, I find this the saddest of all the scenarios we have looked at.  Why do I say that? It’s not to diminish the seriousness of the other situations. However, I think that generally speaking we are more likely to get what is stake with the other ones.[1] When it comes to friends falling out, we may well underestimate the damage it does to congregations: unity is broken, ministries are disrupted and witness is compromised. Continue reading

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Training for Gospel Ministry is costly, life-long and valuable

I’ve been thinking a little more about the shape of theological training and the role of local churches in that, particular as we consider how to train and equip people for urban mission and planting.  I want to suggest five propositions. Continue reading

Discerning a Calling – Raising up new leaders

Our “Discerning a Calling” series of articles have mainly focused on the individual considering whether or not to pursue a particular calling. However, there’s also something to be said about our responsibility as church leaders to proactively watch out for people and encourage them to grow in their gifts. Indeed that’s where the primary responsibility lies.[1] Continue reading

The Same God or Different? (Part 2)

“Surely we all worship the same God don’t we?” This is another perspective on the “Which  God?” debate. Is it right for Christians to think of other religions (especially Abrahamic ones) as having essentially the same God. Continue reading

The same God or Different? (Part 1)

If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck and looks like a duck…. it probably is a duck.

So, when we talk about people believing in a god, do they essentially believe in the same thing? This question has two aspects. On the one hand it can be seen as supporting pluralism and interfaith movements. “We all worship the same God.” On the other hand, it may support the atheist and the agnostic position – all your gods are equally ridiculous and without proof.

This links to our earlier posts about different gods.  What we have seen is that the choice in the end comes down to two options. You either believe that this World is made by a sovereign, eternal, personal God would is transcendent and immanent, or you don’t.

Continue reading

Learning to See – pastors preachers, missionaries and planters

In earlier posts I’ve talked about the preachers need to exegete or understand 3 things before preaching: God’s Word,  The Congregation and himself (see towards the end of this post). What I mean by this is that we don’t just look at the text in isolation.

1. We need to apply it so we need to think carefully about the congregation- what is the application they will need in their pastoral circumstances and what will stop them from hearing or obeying.

2. We need to be aware of ourselves. What is in my own heart? What might prevent me from hearing, communicating and applying God’s word truthfully and Effectively?

I want to expand on this in two ways. Continue reading

Disciple-making churches won’t be able to fill their rotas

How do we know if our church is doing okay? One of the measures I’m tempted to look at is whether or not our rotas are going to be filled.  Do we have enough people to welcome, to do Sunday Club, to be in the music group, to preach, lead services, serve coffee and tea, staff children’s clubs etc. Continue reading