Some outtakes or summary from Sunday’s talk with our church family……. From the brilliance of Jonathan Edwards – the puritan, not the triple-jumper! As a young adult mid 1800's – Jonathan Edwards set down on paper a series of thoughts and practices to help cultivate growth in grace. These resolutions are immense, and Edwards would re-read this list at least once a week to keep his mind focused and renewed. The result: A man of humble godliness, who was to become a significant spark used to ignite one of the greatest revivals known to history. Even many unbelieving scholars admit Edwards may [...]
"Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources, and thus they attempt very little and they always fail........... All giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them!" Hudson Taylor 1 Liz on the dangerous game of ministry comparison. 2 Nick writes, We are not our failures.... 3 Things no one tells you when you get married! 4 Habits to learn early. Valued choices. 5 Neil Cole on more than a one-hour meeting!
Alongside and distinct from growing homegroups I've been so encouraged by increased life-on-life discipleship. We're nurturing that in triplets and they're motoring! New combinations, unlikely combinations and kingdom combinations are popping up in surprising ways. Here's why I think they matter.... Up-close discipleship invites everyone to bear his or her weight. It nurtures self-leadership and growth in accountable ways. We want what God desires in his church, and that's spectators! Spiritual health comes through hunger and engagement. And simply put, prayer takes us to a pure place. Passive consummation and low-level silliness are diminished, when we sit with others and [...]
"At the back of it there lies the central citadel of obstinacy: I will not give up my right to myself - the thing God intends you to give up if ever you are going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ." Oswald Chambers 1 Baggage worth reclaiming? 2 Helping the quality of our application in preaching 3 Exploring our cutlure's blindspots on calling 4 Mark Dever on four elements of the discipleship process 5 Seven key relational sklls in leadership
Being disciples of Jesus in the everyday stuff of life is the call to all healthy followers of Jesus. Regrettably, many Christians have unwittingly embraced the practice of church as a once-a-week event rather than a community of Holy-Spirit-empowered people; that 'ministry' is done by some on Sunday, rather than the 24/7 calling of all believers; and that “discipleship” is a program rather than the normal state of every follower of Jesus. God has called his people to something bigger: a view of the Christian life that encompasses the ordinary, the extraordinary, and everything in between. Here are some of my favourite takeaways from [...]
"We need to be honest about our lame, half baked message and our even lamer attempts to dress it up and make it look sexier than it is. My sense is that we’d do better to admit we haven’t fully discovered the depths of this story and simply invite people to start digging for it with us again?" Hugh Halter 1 Making disciples in the everyday stuff of life. Worth thinking. 2 Strong leadership inspirations. Fresh angles on this. 3 What Donald Miller does to renew creativity. Two things. 4 Leading like Bonhoeffer. Great stuff. 5 Beware of second-hand spirituality. [...]
"Your ministry doesn’t need the flair of your inflated ego; rather, it is your authenticity that will most effectively motivate those you serve in leadership. And that genuineness is most often communicated in a soft tone that has no relation to bravado— a well- reasoned argument that can be coupled with passion to get the attention of internal and external constituencies, and a caring and gracious spirit that attracts around it people ready to listen and respond." Roger Parrott 1 Philip Yancey on small being large. Gods economy and our stuff. 2 Five reasons churches don't grow! Simples. 3 "If you [...]
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5 v 1-2 1 Don't be defined by what you're against: its about embracing Jesus! 2 A great summary of the themes of Dallas Willard's life and legacy. 3 "The Spirit is like a bird, fragile alloy of heaven" Spirit break out....... 4 Don't be a practical atheist! Small things matter.... 5 If you don't plan your life.....someone else will? Focus!
"Why did Jesus Christ sacrifice himself to the point of death? Faith answers – to expiate for our sins. Why did he rise in such splendour? To show us the meaning of our redemption. In his death, we recall that we were dead because of sin. In his resurrection instead we have a perfect example of our resurrection in grace. Since Jesus Christ rose immortal to a life of glory, we must say with St. Paul that we too must rise immortal in the life of grace, firmly resolved to never again subject our souls to spiritual death." St Pio [...]
“Truth lies in character. Christ did not simply speak the truth; He was truth. truth through and through, for truth is a thing not of words but of life and being” FW Robertson. 1 Discipleship and the spaces we're invited to belong in. 2 Ten things pastors rarely want to hear, here! 3 Jane Williams brief lecture on adoption, the church family & theology. 4 The rocks of evangelism are being challenged. 5 "The best decision anyone can ever make is to be a follower of Jesus Christ." Brilliant words from Archbishop Justin in the Lambeth Lecture