Monday, 28 February 2011

Parable of the rich fool

We are preaching through parts of  Luke's gospel in a series called "Encounters with Jesus"
Yesterday we looked at the very powerful  passage in Luke 12 v 13-21.The parable of the rich fool
Steve preached a challenging sermon on our attitude to money and things .He brought out once again the uncompromising message of Jesus to be rich towards God.
We also sang some great songs and the hymn Take my life and let it be, an easy enough tune to follow, but I find very tough words to sing like; "Take my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold"

We also showed this

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Curry Night -reflections!

There was a great turnout at our Curry Night!
When we started doing these special meals for the local community we used to worry that enough people would come ,now we worry that we have enough food!We did ...just!
About 130 people of all ages, came and a large number ,possibly even a majority, were not from the church but from the community around the building.
There were parents of children who come to our Friday night children's work,parents from our toddlers work,people who we had met from our lunch club, and a good number who had just seen the posters or been invited and come along.
There was a great buzz about the place and at the end of the evening people lingered for a long while chatting over tea and coffee.It was a great opportunity to build relationships with our neighbours
Over the course of the evening a couple of people asked when I was going to speak. I think they meant preach! In reality I was speaking all evening, but on a one to one basis rather than to the group as a whole

I was also asked why we do these evenings. It is a very reasonable question. Here is my answer;
  • To bless our local community- we don't charge though there is an opportunity to give to a local charity (last night the local primary school). We want to be welcoming to our neighbours, to say we are not a private club we want to know you,to serve you,to share with you..Churches have known for generations that eating together is an important part of that process.
  • To give people a chance to make an easy invite.-It may be tough for some people to ask people to church but initially easier to ask them to a curry night .It did interest me that a number of spouses of people who come regularly to church were much happier coming last night than they would be to a service.Stepping stones are important sometimes.! Yes ,of course, we want people to become Christians but becoming a Christian is often a process that takes time. That is why it is important to invest in relationships
  • To demonstrate to everyone, including ourselves, that we are about serving the local community.This is not really about the food or whether we like the everything else it is about building relationships through which the love of Jesus can flow
Thanks to Phil Whittal for pointing me towards these words from Tim Keller
 A missional church’s people are outwardly focused, so involved in the local community, and so alert for every opportunity to point people toward Christ, that evangelism happens naturally through relationships.  Because of the attractiveness of its community, the contextual nature of its message, and humility of its people, a missional church will discover significant numbers of people always in the midst, ‘incubating’ and exploring Christianity.  It must welcome them in hundreds of ways.  It will do little to make them ‘comfortable’ but will do everything to make its gospel message understandable."

Thanks to everyone for so  much hard work and making so much good food.We will do it again sometime!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Acts 6 moment

I have just got back from a church leaders meeting.and I feel full of hope!

We spent the early part of the meeting rejoicing in how far we have come as a new church in a short time,the hurdles that have been overcome, the prayers answered ,the blessings we have known,the joys we have shared together and the journey we have travelled.  It is good to reflect on God's goodness  and having reflected, we gave thanks to God.
We then chatted together about the large numbers of opportunities that are opening up before us both in the town centre,where our new building will be completed either late this year or early in 2012 and in the area around the Crowmoor building. We even talked about some things we would love to do in a few years time but are unable to do yet
We finished by thinking about some of the changes we may need to make to how we do things and how we organise structures in order to take advantage of those opportunities It felt like a bit of an Acts 6 moment.
 In Acts 6 the apostles reorganise the ministry of the church to allow them to keep the main thing the main thing (i.e the prayer and the ministry of the word)
We all recognise the need to develop more leaders and we are working hard to identify peoples giftings and callings
All this and I was still home by 10pm !

Busy days,exciting days  but also Happy days!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Curry Night!

Friday night is curry night!
Over recent years we have run a number of these evenings
We have done Christmas brunch,harvest lunch, afternoon teas ,Italian evenings and most recently an unplugged music evening
The aim is give folk who belong to our church the chance to make an easy invite to people in the community who we are called to love and serve.
We have been surprised and delighted by how many people who live nearby have come ,and already over 100 are signed up for  this night,including many who don't come to church at the moment.
This  is a great opportunity to build new friendships with a whole variety of people with the added bonus of good food and any money raised going to a local primary school.
I am looking forward to it!