Monthly Archives: May 2014

London church plant

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I tried writing this post once already and a friend (‘friend’) told me that it was boring. How do you announce a church plant and manage to make it boring? Well, apparently I achieved that, so let me try again.

We’re planting a church in London! Our home church is sending us, and we’re aiming to get it started later this year. There’s only nine of us at the moment, but we think God’s in it so we’re going to give it a go anyway.

One of my motivations for writing this blog is to get the word out so that people like you might join us! If you’re seeking to be part of a church plant in central London, and interested in helping to get this work off the ground, read on.

WATERLOO(ISH)

Our hope is to be as close to Waterloo station as possible. Since we don’t have a building we’re not totally sure where we’ll end up, so all I’m committing to at the moment is that we’ll be in the South Bank area.

My family have been living in Kennington for two years now, and we’ve come to love the area. It’s central London but feels that bit more residential. Waterloo itself is an iconic location, being one of the busiest train stations in the world. Within a stone’s throw of the station you have wealth and poverty, white collar and blue collar, and the diversity of race you come to expect in London. Continue reading

The inspiring example of James Fraser

Phil Moore, leader of Everyday Church in Wimbledon, has written a series of blogs describing lessons from the life of James Fraser.

Fraser was a pioneer missionary to the Lisu people in China in the early 1900s . I remember reading a little of his story when I was a child, and in particular the account of his prayer life which proved more effective by far than his personal witness and evangelism!

Phil has spent a couple of months immersing himself in the life and writings of Fraser, seeking to discern the vital elements that made his ministry so effective. It is no exaggeration to say that the man’s legacy continues to ripple on through China to this day. To us who long for revival of true Christianity here in Europe, we would do well to pay careful attention to these gleanings from Fraser’s life.

I recommend sitting and reading these posts in one go, but if you don’t have the time, make sure you bookmark them: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

 

Grace Over Abortion

When my younger brother was dating Jenny Clavijo, there was a time when they had to confront the past, and in particular, Jenny’s abortion when she was a teenager. As you can imagine, it was a raw and difficult thing to talk about. But grace wins, and God’s kindness is such that our past does not have to control our future.

Joshua and Jenny got married and they now have a beautiful daughter, Noa. In this video Jenny talks very honestly about her past and God’s dealings with her. I found it deeply moving, and I’m sure you will too.

(Credit goes to Andy Mehigan @andymehigan for the brilliant work in filming and editing the video, which is part of Westminster Chapel’s stories series.)

 

What happens when Pride writes your Sermon

This is one of the those paragraphs that hurts in a good way:

“How frequently does pride go with us to our study, and there sit with us and do our work! How often does it choose our subject, and, more frequently still, our words and illustrations! God commands us to be as plain as we can, that we may inform the ignorant; and as convincing and serious as we are able, that we may melt and change their hardened hearts. But pride stands by and contradicts everything, and produces its silly ideas. It pollutes rather than polishes; and, under pretence of gripping illustrations, dishonours our sermons with childish ornaments: as if a prince were to be dressed in the clothes of an actor, or a clown. It persuades us to paint the window, that it may dim the light, and to speak to our people in ways they cannot understand. If we have a plain and cutting passage, it takes off the edge, and dulls the life of our preaching, under pretence of filing off the roughness, unevenness, and excess. When God charges us to deal with men as for their lives, and to beg them with all the desparation that we are able, this cursed sin controls everything, and condemns the most holy commands of God, and says to us, ‘What! Will you make people think you are mad? Will you make them say you rage or rave? Can’t you speak soberly and moderately?’ And so pride makes many men’s sermons; and what pride makes, the devil makes; and what sermons the devil will make and to what end, we may easily guess. Though the subject may be of God, yet if the style, and manner, and purpose is from Satan, we have no great reason to expect success.”

(Slightly paraphrased from Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor)