Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Finished another Alpha course last night
As usual the food was good and the organisation impeccable
We used the shorter dvd version of the talks which worked fine -There was a really good bunch of helpers

What worried me at the start of the course was that the people who came along were very diverse and I worried how it would all go. I needn't have bothered God really answered prayer and yet again we saw him working strongly in peoples lives !It is joy to see and certainly one of the most exciting things about being in ministry!

Monday, 22 March 2010

church weekend 2010

We had our church weekend recently
As usual it was wonderfully organised by Jude (with a little help from her friends!),it was a great time to build the strong relationships that are critical to any church ,especially a new one like ours .
We studied the Book of Acts especially Acts 11 and Acts 13 ,looking especially at the church at Antioch, and what we could learn from them ,which as it happens is loads and loads ,especially their love of Jesus and how they kept him at the centre of everything No accident then that they were first called Christians at Antioch!
We did other stuff too Walking , archery ,raft building ,drinking loads of coffee ,having lots of chat ,a quiz , a social night ,and we watched the very moving film " The Man who planted trees" which spoke to us a lot about change and the value of perseverance a very underrated Christian quality in my view!
Sunday communion led by Steve was special with time taken to pray together and really reflect on what the cross means

I left feeling very positive about this great body of people who have been brave enough to step out in faith and are called to be Shrewsbury Baptist Church
May God may God help us to be mature but never tame! May the reader understand!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Beyond Relevance: Home

Beyond Relevance: Home

Posted using ShareThis

some good thoughts here!

What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Final Thoughts: If you don't pass the people test, nothing else matters
If you do not pass the people test, nothing else matters.
Promotion without connectivity is destructive. I often share with church leaders that most of the churches in the United States should not promote themselves. Why? Simple. If your current membership is not actively inviting people or visitors are not staying, there are reasons why. If you do an advertising campaign, you are asking people to come in your doors only to realize why no one wants to invite anyone to your church. They never come back and leave to tell all their friends what they did not like about your church. This is not good marketing.
If you are connecting with people well, your membership will validate this by bringing their friends. If you are not, they won’t. The problem with your church-goers not inviting people is not their problem—as church leaders, it is our problem. It is not time to craft a message to get people to invite their friends. That is the equivalent of preaching a message on not falling asleep in church. It is our responsibility to want to make them want to bring their friends just as it is to keep people awake.
It is a sure truth that any person who has had a life-changing experience with Christ wants everyone they know to experience Christ. The problem? Most people are not ashamed of Christ, they are ashamed of their church. Having said all this, I am convinced of one thing. If members walk out of your service saying, "I wish my unchurched friend had been here," they will start to think about inviting their friend. If a member walks out of your service three weeks in a row and says every time, "I wish my unchurched friend would have heard that," nothing will stop that member from dragging that friend through your doors.
The heart of marketing is people. Don’t start with mailers. Start with people. Ask yourself, “What am I doing this week to learn how to reach people more effectively? It's time to evaluate. Are we creating an atmosphere that fosters growth or are we ministering unto ourselves?
Our love for the lost is found in how much we value them—in the time we devote to them in our sermons, in the signage on our campuses, in the red carpet we roll out to them on our websites, in the way we communicate and maximize the one opportunity they generally give us. Great marketing is founded on a heart that desires to connect to people right where they live, and loves them too much to leave them there. Ask yourself, “How can we enhance our reach this month without advertising? How can we be more about connecting with people right where they live, in everything we do?” That is where smart marketing begins.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Radio Shropshire talk 7th March 2010

I really enjoyed Michael Portillos series on great British railway journeys being repeated on the bbc at the moment and am delighted to hear they are planning a new series to be shown I think next year
I don't travel on trains often these days but I enjoy it when I do
One of the things I love is the chance get a coffee from the trolley, lean back in the seat , gaze out of the window and watch the world go by at great speed without moving a muscle ! to coin a phrase it really is letting the train take the strain!
Travelling on a summers day say from Shrewsbury to Hereford is a wonderful opportunity as you pass between Church Stretton, Craven Arms Ludlow, Leominster to enjoy the staggering beauty of the English countryside, but what I really enjoy is people watching! What are those people talking about at the allotment? Where are those walkers heading for? Who is that meeting the old lady at the station?,
You see people are fascinating. Rich people, poor people, old people, and young people - they're all fascinating. Everything about them - from the way they dress to the lines etched on their faces acts like a magnet to us. If we love people watching, it’s because we're naturally curious about other human beings
Curiosity may have killed the cat but we can't resist a peek at each other's lives we're drawn to each other - its part of being human.
God is fascinated with us one of the things that spooks people about God is they imagine that He looks at us like some terrible spy in the sky ready to step in if were having too much fun
But God is fascinated with because He cares for us - He loves us
The Bible stories prove that to us On one occasion a guy disfigured with leprosy comes to Jesus -This guy was a mass of sores and ulcers ,but the social consequences were much worse Leprosy was considered contagious. Lepers were ostracised from society, out cast ,untouchable- a man avoided by people he did not know and rejected by those he did , The leper comes to Jesus with faith, and says Lord you can make me well -What happens next is extraordinary- were told Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man I am willing Be healed!!!
The untouchable is touched by the hand of Jesus .Everybody matters to matter to Him
That is a demonstration of the love of God for all human beings and a sign that through Jesus- God longs to be in relationship with us
I suppose relationships of all kinds with other human beings are what makes the world go round

In my experience what really makes human beings happy is good relationships with other human beings and what makes us unhappy is bad relationships with other human beings
So perhaps we should all invest more time ,in our families ,our marriages .d our friendships ,our other relationships .that is a vital part of the secret of happiness but since we are all made in the image of God we should also seek to be in relationship with Him
After all didnt Jesus say that all the 2 greatest commandments are these?

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself

Do that and we will certainly stay on the rails!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

from Simon Barnes in the Times

These words from The Times by somebody who is not a Christian but I think all humans are made in The image of God.It is there our value is found

"What is Eddie for? A question worth asking, I think. The Nazis sent people with Down’s to the ovens, because they polluted the purity of the race. And before we shudder at such barbarity, we should remember that most women pregnant with a baby with Down’s syndrome choose to abort. It’s clear that many people believe that a child with Down’s has no point: that such a being is extraneous to human needs, a mere burden on society and, in particular, on the parents. Best get rid of them.

The reality of Eddie’s life contradicts all that. At school, he is held very dear. The headmistress has said that her school is a better place for his presence: because Eddie is there, the school’s small society has become more caring, more gentle, more at ease with itself."