Christian ethics is not primarily an individualistic, one-on-one-with-God brand of personal holiness; rather it has to do with living the life of the Spirit in Christian community and in the world. (Gordon Fee) “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thess 5:14) Now you are the body of Christ and individually members … Continue reading Living Community
This quote from Scott Sauls is so wonderful in it’s description of true friendship: “Real friends see each other as long-term companions and give to each other the rare gift of long-term loyalty. Instead of using each other, they serve each other. Instead of keeping score with each other, they support, champion, encourage, serve, forgive, and strengthen each other. In real friendship, the flourishing of … Continue reading What does a real friend look like?
Let me be clear, I’m very grateful for zoom, skype and more lately google meet. They have enabled a kinda of face-to-face meetings in a season of pandemic, lock-downs and growing isolation. However, I think the following quote from Scott Sauls sums up why I’m looking forward to ditching zoom (well mainly) and reengaging in true cheek to jowl community. “Unlike true friendship, relating to … Continue reading Why I can’t wait to ditch zoom
One of the great mantras of our generation is that the world is your oyster. However, I want to suggest that it is part of the reason community life is fragmenting and is the result of people who have lost touch with what words such as commitment, community and fellowship really mean. Commitment, community and fellowship require people to shrink their worlds to ‘this’ group … Continue reading The world is NOT your Oyster
Sometimes, simply allowing scripture to speak is the best approach to tackling a subject. Why don’t you read the following words, very slowly, and then imagine a church community living this to the max. After a few minutes revisit that imaginary church but include yourself in the mix and see what impact it has upon how you think, feel and act: 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, … Continue reading Church Unity
Over the course of the past few days I’ve been rereading Selwyn Hughes’ book Christ Empowered Living. This book more than any has helped shaped my theological framework for pastoral care in the local church. However, what struck me afresh this morning was the combined impact of the following two quotations and their relationship to the trinity and true reality. “The father loves the Son and gives … Continue reading The essence of reality
Today I’m at home preparing some teaching notes for our new leadership training streams that kick off in a few weeks at Life Church . Digging out a book I purchased when I was 14 years old (!) I stumbled across this challenging quote that I would suggest can be applied as much to the UK culture as the America: “Many Christians have been infected … Continue reading A virulent virus
I’m writing this article early on Friday morning, as Britain awakes to a new era. For many this is a morning of sweet joy; for others it’s a bitter aftertaste that just won’t go away. My purpose in writing this article is not to comment on the politics of the remain or leave campaigns; there has been quite enough of that already! Instead I want to try to answer a simple question … Continue reading Post-referendum Special: So what do we do now?
‘“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”’ (Matthew 28:19 NASB) I believe the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 demonstrate the importance and value he places on baptism. On the eve of his ascension to heaven, Jesus declared that the defining mark of his followers would be baptism. Baptism was … Continue reading 1 in 300: Baptism
I’m often asked, What do you teach about giving? and Do you believe in tithing? Here are my answers: We don’t talk much about tithing at Life Church. To be clear, tithing is a biblical idea, and even Jesus honoured the Pharisees for their commitment to tithing their mint, dill and cumin. However Jesus also said ‘Woe to you’ – in modern language, ‘Buddy, you’re in trouble!’ Why? Because they had neglected … Continue reading 1 in 300: What does Life Church teach about giving