Irrevocable gifts and calling – the danger of out of context Bible verses

One of the biggest dangers to healthy life is our ability to rip Bible verses out of context and misapply them. One such example is this verse: 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable[1] I’ve heard this verse used by people to justify continued support for people who seemingly had a gifting orContinue reading “Irrevocable gifts and calling – the danger of out of context Bible verses”

Whatever happened to the local church? A response to John Benton

I hope I can cheer John Benton up a little here. In his latest Evangelicals Now column he asks what has happened to the local church. The answer is that is is alive and kicking. That’s because Jesus is Lord of his church. To be fair, we’ve seen our share of the big city centreContinue reading “Whatever happened to the local church? A response to John Benton”

Fallow Ground

Ancient Israel was expected to observe sabbath years (every 7) and jubilee years every 50. Those years were meant to allow for the release of slaves, cancellation of debt, return of property to tribal/clan ownership and rest for the land with the fields left fallow. Whilst those laws were specific to Israel and so notContinue reading “Fallow Ground”

New Horizons – next steps (Early 2021)

Here’s the next update for our plans. As you will know, I finish with Bearwood Chapel on the 31st December.  We have said that we are open to wherever God leads us and over the past few weeks that has led to some fascinating conversations. We have been challenged and encouraged to hear about bothContinue reading “New Horizons – next steps (Early 2021)”

Pastors get depression too

I want to share with you the results of a little survey I did via twitter. It is important to emphasise that these twitter polls don’t count as scientific surveys with appropriate proportions of people and adjustments. Therefore, the percentages are a little meaningless. So, what I’d encourage you to do is to look pastContinue reading “Pastors get depression too”

Flourish – Valuing women in church life

Here’s the video of our later After Eight which includes a helpful interview with Sophie Killingley based around Aimee Byrd’s book “Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.” We want this to be the start, not the end of the conversation.

“Put me to what you will…” What the Covenant Renewal service says about our view of gifts and ministry

What do you enjoy doing around the house?  I love making deserts like rice pudding I would say that’s my gift. I enjoy making them and I enjoy sharing in eating them with others. I don’t mind getting out in the garden and cutting the lawn either.  I’m not so keen on drying up orContinue reading ““Put me to what you will…” What the Covenant Renewal service says about our view of gifts and ministry”

Pastoring in a pandemic

One of the most read, most quoted, most promoted books amongst Christian leaders is “The Reformed Pastor” by Richard Baxter.   Baxter was a minister who served in Kidderminster at the time of the English Civil War.  The book describes his methods in seeking to care spiritually for his parish. It is also one of theContinue reading “Pastoring in a pandemic”

“I trace the rainbow through the rain” Anxiety, Depression and Burnout

It’s a busy Sunday morning at the end of a busy week, I’ve preached twice, tried to resolve some technical hitches and followed all that up with a pastoral conversation.  Then I find myself sitting in the church lounge sobbing thinking “I can’t go on anymore.”  A conversation with another elder who just happens toContinue reading ““I trace the rainbow through the rain” Anxiety, Depression and Burnout”