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

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So where do good works fit in?

Over the last couple of days, you’ve been able to read a few articles on the subject of good works and how these are not the same as the Gospel. These include Stephen Kneale on what is Gospel work as well as two articles here on Good news to the poor and the relationship between Good works and Good News. Both Stephen and I have argued that Good works are not the same thing as The Good News. Continue reading

Mission: Is Going Optional?

What is a missionary? Who should go on mission? For quite some time, mission has been seen as the optional extra of Christian life.

–          Missionaries are an elite type of Christian who go and work for a mission’s agency and write prayer letters in order to generate financial support

–          Mission is something you “go on.” It’s an option for young people who want to go abroad for a short period of time. Continue reading

Rethinking church and mission – What is the local church’s role?

Stephen Kneale kicked off some thinking about the local church and mission with few blog posts recently.[1]

Eddie Arthur has followed up with a post looking at what Mission Agencies can and in his experience do contribute.[2]

The fascinating thing is that in the follow on conversation there hasn’t really been much disagreement from the following propositions. Continue reading

Creation, Mission and Worship

Because we live in a good world which a good and purposeful God has made, this helps us to understand a little bit more about why we are here and what God has made us for.

The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith asks the question

“What is the Chief end of Man?” and the correct response is “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

This answer is rooted in the story of Creation. If God is purposeful, then we have a purpose too and our purpose relates to him. Continue reading

The provocation

I’ve been posting a few articles around whether we make “both/and” or “either/or” decisions. Part of my reason for this is to help us think about how we make decisions which consider all possibilities.  This is an example of using a provocation to challenge assumptions. Continue reading