Is it time to rethink – or even drop – our ministry training schemes?

What if we were to close down our Ministry Training Schemes and start again?  Up and down the country for the past 2-30 years, churches and Gospel partnerships have been running these schemes. They tend primarily (though not exclusively) to be run from churches with high student numbers and a scheme typically involves One dayContinue reading “Is it time to rethink – or even drop – our ministry training schemes?”

Peace (Matthew 8:23-33)

“I just wish things could get back to normal.” Have you heard other people saying that? Have you found yourself saying it too?  If I were to take you back to February and March, how did you feel then? Perhaps you were anxious but there was also the adrenalin of being in this together tooContinue reading “Peace (Matthew 8:23-33)”

Preparing that delicious (spiritual) meal

In a recent article, I suggested that people sometimes feel like they aren’t fed in church because it is like raw, bloodied meat, substantial but unappetising. Others feel unfed because the meal is all sauce and no meat.  So I thought I’d double down on that imagery! I want to suggest to you that whilstContinue reading “Preparing that delicious (spiritual) meal”

Notes on teaching through Proverbs

I’ve been posting some talks and articles on Proverbs recently. A few years back we did a teaching series through the book and it was highly enjoyable. Many Christians find it helpful to learn individual proverbs. However, we tend to shy away from running expository series through the book because the literary style is veryContinue reading “Notes on teaching through Proverbs”

Skin Deep? (Matthew 5:17-48)

“It doesn’t apply to me though.”  That seems to be the general attitude of British people to laws we don’t like. If you need to pop up to Durham for a few days and the lockdown rules say no, then you can probably find an exception. Rules about unnecessary journeys don’t apply to me ifContinue reading “Skin Deep? (Matthew 5:17-48)”

Happy People (Matthew 5:1-12)

“I’m not happy…” the words that you dread at the start of a conversation because you know that it is highly likely that you are the cause of the unhappiness and that they are expecting you to do something that will turn things around and help them to be happy again.  Sometimes it is straightContinue reading “Happy People (Matthew 5:1-12)”

How Theological College helped prepare me for Gospel ministry

I’m republishing some articles I wrote a little while back about training for urban ministry. I want to share a few thoughts here about the positives of formal theological education and why I recommend it.[1]  There’s a temptation to see training as primarily academic and therefore irrelevant to the day to day life of ministry. Continue reading “How Theological College helped prepare me for Gospel ministry”

Light and Beginnings – Matthew 4:1-17

Last year, the lady who lived next door but one to us died and her daughters sold the house to another family. They haven’t moved in yet. The house was quite dated in many ways and too small for them. They have ripped it apart, tearing out fixtures and fittings, replacing windows, knocking down anContinue reading “Light and Beginnings – Matthew 4:1-17”

Hastening Christ’s Coming

Why do we get so frustrated when we see people breaking the lockdown rules? It’s the same reason that we used to get frustrated at school when the teacher said that we would be kept behind longer if people kept messing about. We just wanted everyone to behave so that the detention would end andContinue reading “Hastening Christ’s Coming”