Over the past decade, there has been a renewed interest in church planting. It’s something I write about quite a bit with a particular focus on reaching urban contexts. Since we moved to the West Midlands, we have been linked with an initiative first known as 2020 Birmingham and now as The Birmingham Collective. The… Continue reading The Fragility of Church Plants
Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK – or nowadays the British version of “Mothers’ Day.” The original concept was a celebration of the church as mother but it has evolved into a day celebrating mums everywhere and an opportunity for children to buy mum flowers, gifts and cards. Churches still tend to do something… Continue reading The joy and pain of celebrating Mothers’ Day
A little while back I wrote about how churches can experience a form of PTSD or complex PTSD. You see, a church can experience trauma leading to experiences and responses that affect the life of the church. Trauma for a church might include: A split where members of the church fall out, argue publicly and… Continue reading PTSD and church revitalisation
It’s funny how things said can suddenly take on a whole new level of poignancy. On Friday morning I was involved in two little twitter threads. The first was started by Daniel Blanche sharing the lines of a beautiful worship song: The second linked to a TV discussion that Graham Nicholls of Affinity was involved… Continue reading On grief, anger and agendas
Over the past few years, I’ve written and spoken quite a bit about the problem of abusive cultures particularly in the context of church life. First of all, my concern is to see us doing better in letting what we believe affect how we live so that doctrines of grace lead to cultures of grace.… Continue reading Trauma, grief and response to abuse
Here is the latest in our series of daily expositions/mediations #TheDailyDose – we are looking at the book of Habakkuk and here are vital words for anyone struggling, fearful, grieving or even angry at wickedness, evil, suffering and persecution. The reading is Habakkuk 1:1-4. We are attempting something new from this week. As well as… Continue reading How long?
31 ‘Do you now believe?’ Jesus replied. 32 ‘A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 33 ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In… Continue reading Hope for the scattered, fragile and fearful
I recently wrote an article for the Grace in the Depths website outlining the common signs and common causes of depression. I did so because one of the challenges we face when talking about church leaders and depression is identifying that someone has depression. The second and related challenge is that often the subject remains… Continue reading When your pastor gets depressed -what might have caused it?
I’ve mentioned when talking about my experience of depression that whilst not everyone experiences suicidal thoughts, the same type of feeling can be experienced either as a desire to hit the self-destruct button or to run away and hide. That desire to flee can come of a sense of being overwhelmed, anxious and not knowing… Continue reading Hard Pressed (Psalm 3)
The pandemic has been a period of loss for all of us. For some of us, it will be as basic as the loss of a normal way of life, the loss of the freedom to go about our days, getting out of the house and seeing people. Along with that, there will be the… Continue reading Joy comes with the morning