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

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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

Discerning a calling – Counting the cost

Jesus talks about the importance of counting the cost before embarking on a chosen mission. I want to talk here about the cost of moving into full time Christian work as a pastor or a missionary. Continue reading

What stops me using my gifts?

Our recent preaching series has been all about how we worship together and how we use our gifts to encourage one another, glorify God and help each other to hear what God is saying.  I wanted to round off with some thoughts about what can stop us using our gifts.  Continue reading

Decision Making and Discernment (More on Servant Leadership)

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How should we make decisions in church life? This is important when decision making is done by the group not by an individual. At Bearwood Chapel, we believe in plural leadership. We have a team of elders, whilst I’m paid as a full time pastor, I am not above the other elders in a kind of hierarchy but part of that team. We ask the church members to be involved in many of our decisions too. Continue reading

Discerning a Calling (5) – Looking forward, what next

So, you’ve talked with the elders, family, other church members and there’s agreement that things should progress a bit further.  What might the next steps look like?

Really at this stage we’ve just agreed that something seems right. We’ve not talked about how it might happen.

I want to suggest a few possibilities Continue reading

Discerning a Calling (4) When the answer is no

One of the questions we included on the list of things to ask yourself was “What if the answer is no?” By this, I don’t mean that you apply for a particular job and get turned down. I’m specifically talking about when you are considering a course of direction -maybe to get involved in cross cultural mission or go into full time pastoral work and you seek the guidance of your church leaders and they say “I don’t think so.” Continue reading