How accurate is your nativity play?

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The Sunday School nativity is one of the great traditions of Christmas.  Dish out a few carboard crowns and tea towels, find some white tunics and tinsel, then get the children to act out the events of Christmas.  But how accurate are our nativity plays and how much do they rely on tradition rather than… Continue reading How accurate is your nativity play?

Preaching at the carol service

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So, it’s Sunday evening in the week before Christmas and the church building is packed.  This is probably the largest gathering you are likely to see all year, even if you pastor a large congregation.  There are lots of visitors. You recognise some friends and family of church members who have come with them.  Then,… Continue reading Preaching at the carol service

Hillsong and paying for Christmas

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Hillsong London are reportedly charging £10 for a ticket to one of their “Carol Concerts”.  These “concerts” are taking place at various times on Sundays in December, replacing the usual services at the church’s locations.  The Hillsong website refers to them as “performances.” There are a number of concerns I have with this.  Some of… Continue reading Hillsong and paying for Christmas

Dwelling is more than contextualisation

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The other day, I was discussing with a group of potential church planters what it means to plant a “missional church”.  Now, I guess that every church should be missional so, when we use the phrase we are suggesting that a church is not resting on its laurels as an established entity in the community… Continue reading Dwelling is more than contextualisation

Why I’m relaxed about mums and toddlers groups

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You’ve probably at some point seen one of those TV shows where they engage one of the most awkward comedic scenes possible, the one where a dad heads into the scary world of “The Toddlers Group.”  There he finds himself like a fish out of water, alternating between being an object of curiosity and of… Continue reading Why I’m relaxed about mums and toddlers groups

Welcoming visitors to church

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The primary purpose of a Sunday church service is to enable God’s people to gather together to worship God, hear Scripture, pray, receive teaching and use their gifts to encourage and build one another up.  I say this because in recent years there’s been a bit more debate about what The Church is trying to… Continue reading Welcoming visitors to church

What shall we do with Halloween?

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It’s strange isn’t it that October 31st has become quite the big deal in some ways, yet less so in other ways.  In fact, that’s true of this time of year generally.  Back when I was a child in the 1970s-80s, there were things that were big about late October/early November.  Bonfire Night was fast… Continue reading What shall we do with Halloween?

Is there a sudden appetite for ritual and tradition?

We can draw hasty and sometimes wrong conclusions to major phenomena -especially when the media magnifies them.  For example, there have been quite a few people suggesting that the period of mourning and the Royal Funeral demonstrated a great attitude for ritual and tradition. Here is one example in The Daily Telegraph Om a side… Continue reading Is there a sudden appetite for ritual and tradition?

I am NOT Jesus

John Stevens mentions on his blog a new video game “I am Jesus.” The idea is that the game simulates various events from Jesus life in order that you can get to know the events of his life through experiencing them.  John rightly points out that whilst this may seem like a great idea, the… Continue reading I am NOT Jesus