Being There – Leading by turning up

Leaders get used to being up front and doing things. So, it’s great to have lots of leaders ready to take the initiative. Continue reading


The important link between pastoral care and church discipline

We’ve been working through a teaching series called “Believing and Belonging” at Bearwood Chapel.  It’s based on some studies we put together for potential new church members. We’ve looked at questions including “What is a healthy church?” and “Who should be a member of a church?” We’ve also talked about leadership, baptism, communion, gifts and giving. The last talk is all about “Church Discipline.” In fact, going back to the original studies it is about pastoral care and church discipline.

This is important because, church discipline gets a bad press at times. We don’t like the word “discipline” it sounds harsh and authoritarian, Yet, discipline is a very Biblical concept. Continue reading

Can I be a faithful follower of Jesus without attending church? (5 Reasons why the answer is “No”)

This is a question that @PremierRadio asked on twitter today. At last count 38% voted yes, 52% voted “no” and 10 % not sure.

How would you answer?

I voted “No.” Here are my reasons.

1.       It is actually the wrong question to start with. Church is not a venue or an event that you attend. Church is the people of God. You don’t attend a church, you are part of the church. If you belong to Jesus then you belong to his family meaning that you are a member of the world wide and historic church. Your membership of The Church is reflected in and demonstrated by your membership of a local church. Continue reading

Getting involved – being part of your local church

On Saturday evening, we spent some time talking and answering questions with our Nueva Vida Congregation about what it means to get involved and be part of Bearwood Chapel.  I thought it might be helpful to share the main points I made here: Continue reading

Discerning a Calling 10: Who do you go to for advise?

Actually, like most of the articles in this “discerning a calling” series, the question is relevant to decision making generally.  I want to suggest that who we go to for advice (and when we go) will shape the advice we get and may tell us a lot about how far we have already gone down the road of making a decision. Continue reading

Why faithful church membership matters

How we learn to live together as God’s people will affect how we live in the wider world. This was a point made early on in our teaching series from 1 Corinthians.  It means that talking about church life isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be an introverted,  naval gazing exercise.

So, throughout that series on what kind of church we should be, we talked a lot about the church being a community or family of God’s people, where because God is faithful in his love to us, we should be faithful, loving and accountable to one another. Continue reading

Sticky church

A little while back A visitor to our church asked a member how long they had been part of the Chapel. They were surprised to discover that they had been there for over 30 years. You see, sadly being part of a church family for the long term is not always the norm. Continue reading