Our 930 and 1115 Congregations are currently exploring 2 Samuel 14-24. These chapters tell the story of Absalom’s rebellion against David. Alongside the main teaching, we are encouraging people to reflect on some of the Psalms providing reflection, commentary and response on the events. Our preacher on Sunday picked up on Psalm 3 which David wrote about the time when he was on the run from Absalom. Continue reading
I thought I’d share an example with you of our congregation leaders thinking through how to connect up the teaching series with the rest of the service over the next few months. We are coming to the end of 2 Samuel (ch 14-24) and so we did two things. First of all, the preaching team met together to look at the big picture of what is coming up. The the congregation leadership team (11:15) spent a bit of time thinking about implications for songs, prayers, responses additional readings etc. This is what they came up with.
We often, and rightly, focus on King David as a type of Christ. However, if that’s the only typology we see in him then we risk a shallow, surface reading of the Old Testament that misses a lot of helpful pastoral teaching. Continue reading
I’ve been writing a few articles in response to a challenge raised on twitter about whether churches were safe places to refer abuse victims. Continue reading
I recently wrote about how we can work so that churches are a safe place for abuse victims to turn to. I want to follow up by saying a bit more about how we deal with abusers and bullies. Abusers are bullies. They use power to influence, control and manipulate others who they perceive as weaker for their own gain and gratification. That power may be based on physical strength, hierarchical position, popularity or the ability to influence through charisma or intellectual capability. Continue reading
How are we to respond to the troubles of life? How are we to deal with difficult people? How are we to react to opposition and injustice against ourselves?
I am thinking about people facing the following situations
– A colleague is trying to undermine you at work, to blame you for things going wrong or take credit for something you have done.
– You constantly come up against the crushing injustice of bureaucracy in the immigration or benefits system
– Life is simply hard because of health, work, housing, financial worries.
I saw a very sad comment on twitter the other day. The comment was that the person would never refer an abuse victim to a church to seek help. They didn’t say it to gloat or to condemn. Rather, they said that it made them sad/angry to say this. Continue reading