How to listen to evangelistic sermons (when you already are a Christian)

At any one time in a gathering there will be Christians and non-Christians present. This presents the preacher with a challenge.  Does he primarily focus on preaching to the Christians to edify and build them up or does he focus on evangelising the enquirers. Either way, he risks leaving part of the audience behind. OrContinue reading “How to listen to evangelistic sermons (when you already are a Christian)”

How to listen to topical sermons

Instead of focusing on a specific Bible passage and drawing out the things it has to say, a topical sermon starts with an issue and tries to find out what the Bible says about it. For example, the sermon might deal with an issue in church life such as prayer, giving, worship or evangelism. AContinue reading “How to listen to topical sermons”

How to listen to doctrinal sermons

Sometimes the aim of a sermon is to help us grasp a specific Biblical truth more clearly. This should not surprise us. We keep insisting that what we believe affects how we live.  We may use a one off sermon or even a short series of sermons to teach on a particular doctrine. For example,Continue reading “How to listen to doctrinal sermons”

How to listen to expository sermons

Are you sitting comfortably? The answer is “probably not” if you are in the typical church pew or crammed into a packed hall with little leg room.  So hopefully the sermon will be short, sharp and snappy though you’ve got a feeling that it might not be.  Expository sermons have a reputation for being longContinue reading “How to listen to expository sermons”

The Challenge (Genesis 3)

At this point, all looks well. God has created a good creation, fit for purpose. Humans live in that Creation, enjoying a garden paradise under God’s rule and blessing. They are responsible for caring for and ruling over creation. Then things start to go wrong The Enemy The Serpent’s cunning (v1). The snake is introducedContinue reading “The Challenge (Genesis 3)”

Beasts, Dragons and a COVID vaccine passport

What if someone with a lot of wealth, tech no and power, maybe someone with a name like Gill Bates was able to get a vaccine into you that changed your DNA? What if the authorities insisted we had a digital passport to prove we had been vaccinated or tested. Isn’t that like the markContinue reading “Beasts, Dragons and a COVID vaccine passport”

The “both – and” of mission

Republished from the archives (2018) One of my personal passions and priorities is to see people get involved in urban mission, making disciples who make disciples in communities where there is practically no gospel witness at the moment. That’s why I keep pointing visitors to faithroots.net to our ActBC pages. That urban focus means thatContinue reading “The “both – and” of mission”

Gifting, discernment and abuse

This is the sermon mentioned in my article about spiritual abuse Worship is about                Glorifying and praising God                Encouraging one another up /being a witness                Hearing God speak to us? How do we know that it is God speaking? By Knowing our own limitations (v 1-2) A question about Spiritual things –Continue reading “Gifting, discernment and abuse”

Idolatry and Abuse

I am republishing this article from 2016 in the light of recent challenging news stories How can we be alert to the risk of abuse, manipulation and control in church life?  Sometime back, I  preached on 1 Corinthians 12:1-3. I talked about how the devil wants us to stop hearing God and instead turn toContinue reading “Idolatry and Abuse”

Reflections on Grief

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall see God” These reflections arose from a sermon preached some time back on 2 Samuel 1. Mourning the death of a faithful servant of God This year we have stopped to mourn on a couple of occasions. As a church, we said goodbye to one of ourContinue reading “Reflections on Grief”