Power, complacency and sending – Implications from David and Bathsheba for church life

“I would never do what David did … I would never be unfaithful, take advantage of someone else, use violence against a rival.” That’s what our minds tell us isn’t it. We see David’s sin in terms of the extreme actions. We compare ourselves to him and we feel better about ourselves. Continue reading

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Justice in the Church


One of the fascinating things we see in the New Testament is Paul’s confidence in the local church as a place where justice can be done.

“When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So, you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer[b] sues another—right in front of unbelievers!”[1]

This is fascinating. The first place where people should start to receive and experience justice is in the church.  This happens first of all because as we have seen entry to the church is through the Gospel, membership of this new community comes through faith in Christ. This means 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

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

5 headline propositions on multi-cultural church

The last article was an attempt to think through one of the major debates about cross-cultural mission. For those less interested in the technical, academic discussion, I thought I’d try and summarise things with 5 headline propositions about urban, cross cultural church planting. Continue reading

Church Health Check

Last week, we talked about the pressures that we face which might discourage and even overwhelm us. We saw that the churches, John was writing to were under intense pressure too. They were the minority in a cruel, Godless empire.  They faced opposition and persecution. We will see some of that this week.

However, you know, often the greatest pressure that causes discouragement, despondency and even suffering does not come from the outside but the inside.  How many people have experienced tearful, sleepless nights because of what was said to them by another believer or the fall out at the church meeting? How many have ended up just drifting along aimlessly due to a lack of good teaching and discipleship. How many have ended up burnt out and given up because of bullying in the church (and you know, sometimes that’s because of overbearing leaders but sometimes it because of bullying members who oppose leaders because they see their own status threatened).  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