Category «Church Matters»

Leaders need to rise to the challenge

Our youngest grandson, David, is into ‘thumb war’ in a big way. As some will know, the game is played by two players, using the thumbs to stimulate fighting.  The object of the game is to pin the opponent’s thumb, down to a count of three.   As we discovered, it’s a great game to enliven …

Jesus offers acceptance and hope

One of the trips Caroline and I took when we visited Alaska recently was to visit the old gold-rush town of Skagway.  We took a bus up in the mountains, and then came down on an old-fashioned train – the views were impressive, even though it rained most of the time.

Good News for the poor

A few weeks ago I was leading a Bible study group on Jesus’ mission statement – often termed the ‘Nazareth manifesto’ – as found in Luke 4: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to …

Thank God for colleagues

Ministry can be a lonely business. Just check Google and you will see a host of entries featuring the loneliness of ministers. For although ministers are surrounded by people, most are not surrounded by ‘colleagues’: rather they work alone. When I was inducted to my first pastorate, I too knew something of that loneliness. I …

Mastering emails

Can there be life without emails?   It is almost impossible to life without them.  Yet, of course, emails are a relatively recent.  The first major commercial internet service providers hit the scene in the early 1990s.  AOL and CompuServe showed up in 1995, and Hotmail in 1996.  By the beginning of the 21st century email …

What is the best English version of the Bible?

In my recent survey of Bible reading habits of Baptist ministers, the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible was clearly the most popular version of the Bible. For in response to my question, “What is your preferred English version of the Bible”, 62% opted for the NIV. AV/NKJV                                  5%                               NIV (TNIV/RNIV)                      62%                             RSV/NRSV                                16%                             …

Ministers need a system to read the Bible

Earlier this year I sent out a survey to ministers serving churches belonging to the Baptist Union of Great Britain in which amongst other things I asked them: “What scheme(s) are you currently using for your reading of the Bible?”.  I received the following answers from 175 ministers: The Lectionary – 13% Printed Bible reading …

Rites of passage for the grieving

Grieving is part of the cost of loving and takes time.  It is generally reckoned that the grieving process can take anywhere between two to five years, and in some cases even longer.  Clearly the latter part of the grieving process will not be as acute as the first few months. But thank God, time …