When People Leaving Is Good

I love growth. I’m excited and encouraged when new people join our church. I am even more excited when they stay. I find it hard to say goodbye or to let go. When you have a small congregation (and the structure of what we have done in Bearwood means that we have a cluster of small congregations) it is painful and maybe discouraging when people leave. It can even be frightening. We don’t have a guaranteed steady pipeline of new people coming to fill the gaps.

Yet, there are sometimes good reasons why people leave. I’ve hinted and mentioned these in previous posts. Recently, I did some analysis about why/how people come and join us but I also included some analysis on why people leave.

Here are three good reasons for people to leave: 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

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

Decision Making and Discernment (More on Servant Leadership)


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

Belonging to The Church and to a church (Acts 2 v 42-47)

Last year our young people had a “Summer Camp” at home. The camp finished at our Nueva Vida Service with a bi-lingual celebration. I thought I would re-share here the talk I gave to round things off. This is the third part in our ministries series for those thinking about membership and baptism.

Source: Belonging to The Church and to a church (Acts 2 v 42-47)

Do I belong? (Romans 4:1-12)

Do I belong?[1]  This is a really important question.  It’s one we hear children ask, whenever they get frustrated, perhaps when justifiably chastised and shout out “this isn’t my real family.”  It’s a question that maybe some of us found ourselves asking when we moved to a new town or even country.  “Will I ever fit in here?  Will I make friends?  Will I fit in with the culture?”  Perhaps we’ve found ourselves asking the question about church.  “Can I belong?” Continue reading