What does urban mission and ministry actually mean?

What do we mean when we talk about urban ministry?  When we talk about an “Urban area” at its simplest, we are distinguishing between urban and rural -between built up, heavily populated areas, towns, cities, conurbations and less densely populated areas, villages, hamlets etc. There is of course the “suburban” category used to identify outlying, reasonably prosperous suburbs of towns and cities. Continue reading

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So you want to do urban mission?

I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be involved in urban mission whether that’s pastoring an established church, working with an existing church to see revitalisation or helping to plant a new church.

There’s so much attention starting to go into how best to serve the Gospel in urban and multi-ethnic contexts and there’s some great people around with lots of experience both of making mistakes and getting things wrong and of seeing God work in the middle of mess to bring blessing and fruit.

So, whether or not you’re just starting out and testing a calling, looking for training and a way in – or you are already engaged in urban ministry, here are some great places to find support and encouragement. Continue reading

Training opportunities – Deadline approaching

The deadline is fast approaching for September’s intake on the Union School of Theology’s GDIP programme. 

This is a great way of training for Gospel ministry, gaining a theological qualification, studying with others whilst gaining lots of practical experience of pastoral ministry. Continue reading

Clarifying Faith

You ask, “So when did you become a Christian?”  One person replies “I went forward at the Billy Graham Rally in 1984.” A second person says “Ooh I think I’ve always been one.  I can’t remember a day when I didn’t love Jesus.”  Which one do you consider to be a believer? The first, second, neither or both? Continue reading

10 ways to improve Biblical Literacy

Here are some further thoughts on improving Biblical Literacy.

  1. It starts with children.  Look at your teaching programme for your Sunday School and also what you do with your midweek clubs.  We try to use a programme with our 4-11s that will take them through the whole Bible.  With our 11-16s, they are either joining in the main Sunday morning teaching programme at our 9:30 service or have their own study group that follows the same teaching as the main sermon at our 11:15 service.
  2. Encourage people to learn the books of the Bible so that they know their way around it. Talk to them about how and why it is structured the way it is. Explain about the different types of literature including narrative, poetry, prophecy.
  3. Plan in opportunities to give overviews on how the whole Bible fits together. This might include a teaching series or even special days such as “walk through the Bible” events. We have tried

Continue reading

The Garden (Genesis 2: 4-25)

We now get what many scholars take to be a second and possibly contradictory creation account.[1]  By the way, I think it is unlikely that someone would just stick two contradictory accounts side by side: common sense tells me that. There are also good reasons found in the text itself for rejecting that suggestion and we will see them as we work through the passage. Continue reading

Can a Christian date a non-Christian?

This is probably one of the most challenging questions many Christians are going to face. The desire for a relationship, to be able to share your life with someone special is huge.  There is both the positive desire to meet that special someone and the negative fear of loneliness if we don’t. Continue reading