one-to-one

By |2016-06-11T21:08:30+00:00June 11th, 2016|church life, discipleship, faith, fun, leadership, personal, theology|

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 [...]

lower

By |2016-06-22T12:28:43+00:00June 4th, 2016|church life, coaching, faith, leadership, personal, theology, writing|

"The gospel begins with our brokenness and inability, not our power and potential. Billy Graham once said that rarely is it someone's sin that keeps them from heaven; usually, it is their good deeds. In the same way, it is our false sense of ability, not our inabilities, that keeps us from the power of the Spirit. Thinking we can get along fine "apart from" him keeps us from the gift of power available in Him - John 15 v 5 When you finally come to the place where you realise you have no true power, then you are ready [...]

another day?

By |2016-06-11T12:11:43+00:00May 29th, 2016|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

Peter and John had been in the forefront of ministry but they weren’t alone. As soon as they were released from prison, they returned to the other believers. This Acts 4 v 23-31 passage has provoked me over the last few days. Who do you and I go to when things get tough? Simply put:- some days work out differently to the way we expect! It was only yesterday that Peter and John had made an entirely routine visit to the Temple. But look what had followed: healing, preaching, a huge influx into this young church, prison and an order to keep [...]

the door

By |2016-05-13T19:25:35+00:00May 1st, 2016|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

I was reminded of this poem leading our recent Evangelism and Witness consultation, some abbreviated words by Sam Shoemaker - The Door "I stand by the door. I neither go to far in, nor stay to far out. The door is the most important door in the world - It is the door through which men walk when they find God. There is no use my going way inside and staying there, When so many are still outside and they, as much as I, Crave to know where the door is. And all that so many ever find Is only [...]

five recent bests

By |2015-12-29T22:51:57+00:00January 1st, 2016|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, random, theology|

“For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy burdened," He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love.” Brennan Manning 1 [...]

favourites…

By |2015-12-29T23:01:01+00:00December 28th, 2015|coaching, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology, writing|

at year end. Here's some things that I've gathered quickly from the memories of the past months. Some of my favourite from 2015! books 1 The good and beautiful community, by James Bryan Smith 2 Visions of vocation, by Steven Garber 3 Yawing at Tigers, by Drew Dyck 4 Creating a missional culture, by JR Woodward 5 Giving blood, by Leonard Sweet discoveries 1 Swiss mountain-views with Julie, Northumbrian wide open spaces and Cornish coastlines were thrilling 2 Summer-sunshine water-play and pure silliness with Noah & Esther, sans wifi! 3 Culling a serious excess of stuff - was both helpful [...]

advent

By |2015-12-29T19:35:59+00:00December 6th, 2015|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology, writing|

I've seriously loved the journey towards Christmas this year more than most. I've discovered in a new deeper and fuller way. Having to preach our Advent Carol Service and then having designed our Resource Night to lean into this, means I *really looked up close. People have agitated me to post my best take-aways from my thinking about this, this year......So here goes! My advent manifesto is best captured as, 'ready, steady,.....wait!' Each year, during the season of Advent, the church sets off on a journey. We begin to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of the Christ-child, so that this [...]

following

By |2015-07-17T16:00:56+00:00July 14th, 2015|church life, coaching, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology, writing|

Jesus is what matters most...... Yet many things distract from this...... Matthew 4v19 says it plain in capturing the words of Jesus, "Follow Me!" When I was prepping, I read an old classic lengthy sermon transcript from CH Spurgeon. Here's some excerpts:-   "Every believer here wants to be useful. If he does not, I take leave to question whether he can be a true believer in Christ. Well, then, if you want to be really useful, here is something for you to do to that end:- "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."................The direction is very distinct [...]

five on Friday

By |2015-05-16T23:08:50+00:00June 5th, 2015|church life, discipleship, faith, leadership, personal, theology|

"If you're not outmatched by the task and desperate for His power, the water you're standing in might be too shallow." Louie Giglio 1 Functional unbelief is a dynamic near to us all. Worth engaging with. 2 Despite much persuasion from Julie, I'm not a kindle-man. Michael offers comment! 3 Gender, leadership and the church, David Capener's take. 4 Four rings: brilliantly composed here. Important stuff. 5 Perspectives from the pew, for those who preach!

five on Friday

By |2015-05-16T23:05:22+00:00May 29th, 2015|church life, coaching, discipleship, leadership, theology, writing|

“For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy burdened," He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love.” Brennan Manning. 1 [...]

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