Category «Church Matters»

Fellowship Group – what is in a name?

There is never a week when I do not get a response to my blog.  So following my recent blog, Without fellowship groups church life is a sham, I was delighted to receive a number of super comments: Great blog, Paul. Couldn’t agree more. Fellowship groups are all that you say and, in my experience, …

Loving the odd balls – or kissing frogs

Every church has its odd-balls. I certainly have had my fair share of people who for one reason or another do not fit in. I think of a young man who when he visited our home would frequently propose to our ‘au-pair’, and then on one occasion felt so down that he threw himself off …

Who is my neighbour?

“All true Christian preaching is expository preaching”, declared John Stott, and in my judgement rightly so. And yet there is more to preaching than expounding a text. We need to know what God through his Word is saying to us now. It is not enough to understand what God said hundreds of years ago. God’s …

Ambition can be destructive

The church, wrote Joel Gregory, a former pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, “is an institution divine in its original foundation but tethered to this celestial ball by every frailty to which humans are subject. Covetousness, littleness, jealousy, lust for power, ego, sacrilege, and a hundred other demons all lurk within the hallways”. Joel …

Ambition can be godly

Reading through the Letter of James, I came to the passage where James denounces “selfish ambition” (James 3.14, 16 NRSV).  I checked the underlying Greek word (eritheia) in the standard Greek-English New Testament Lexicon by Arndt & Gingrich and discovered that it was used by Aristotle to denote “a self-seeking pursuit of political office by …

Ministry Today UK 1994-2018

Some 24 years ago Ministry Today UK (then called the Richard Baxter Institute for Ministry) saw the light of day with a view to helping ministers to ‘survive and thrive’ in ministry. However, nothing in life is permanent.  Much as I enjoyed chairing Ministry Today UK (MTUK) and serving as the General Editor and Review …

12 Bible verses to learn

While waiting for some Indian friends to prepare a wonderful curry, I chatted with their eight-year old daughter. I discovered that although she goes to Sunday School, she had never been asked to learn a Bible verse.  Somewhat rashly I asked, ‘Would you like me to send you some Bible verses for you to learn?’  …

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 …