Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It’s not about us

1.  A friend I was at Vicar Factory said “....if you are going to read one book over the next decade make it ‘Surprised by God’ by Chris Green”. 

‘We need to grasp- or better, be grasped by- a vision of the divine nature and character. We have to come to know as fully as possible with life-determining force what God is really like’


2. I think I have already said this but ‘The man who made infinity’ made me cry even with my C in O-level maths. 

3. I was reminded at the weekend that it is the gospel that saves not us. It really is ...’power unto salvation’ 

4. The life of a missionary called Robert Morrison has gripped my heart. 

5. I have revisited Simon Walker who taught such a helpful course at college. His reflections on ‘Undefended leaders’ should be embibed by all who aspire to oversight of the local church. 

....’a leader is someone who takes responsibility for someone else’

‘Leading out of who you are’  p.17

6. Someone recommended a book to me called ‘Give up your small ambitions’ by Griffiths. 

7. ‘Child of God you cost Christ too much for him to forget you’ C H Spurgeon 

8. I told someone today, worrying about going on a difficult planting adventure, that the most invaluable experience of church I have ever had was in a church plant on an estate that never grew larger that 20 people. It’s not always about the numbers and on my reading of the NT letters they very frustratingly don’t tell me how many people came to which church......

9. I had a Holy Ghost experience in my local Tesco. 

10. I said in a sermon on Romans 10 at the weekend that the saddest words an unbeliever could ever utter might be ‘No one told me.’ 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Relational Pastor

Over the last few months I have been reading a book slowly and underlining most of it. I often have a few books on the go and this one was recommended by a wise retired Vicar who also happens to be my friend’s dad. As she said ‘Dad and his retired Vicar friends are suggesting it to young leaders as an essential and timely corrective to a wrong and increasingly seductive mode of operating they observe in church leadership today’ 

This among many quotes struck me:

“....the great temptation of power is control, and the great consequence of control is lack of relationship. The reason that intimacy is so difficult in ministry is you’re not in control- you’re in relationship. You have to enter a person’s life and they have to enter yours. The minute you start becoming obsessed with control, you lose relationship. Sadly, pastors can get really good at seeming relational, but they are being manipulative. They know how to play the emotional angles. I think that probably the leading characteristic of successful pastors today is their control’. 

The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb, p. 136

Monday, August 20, 2018

Tim Keller on Secular drift

I was struck by a piece on the BBC news app about 'Humanist Chaplains'. It has made me think a bit about the consequences of severing our Christian foundations which as been much aided by Tim Keller's talk to the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast. There is so much in this talk that it deserves to be shared far and wide.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saturday blog-sweep

1. I have been pondering Mike Frost's  'Pastoring in a post-Hybels world'.

2. Someone gave me 'Holy Fire' by R T Kendall which was response to John MacArthur's 'Strange fire'.  It makes a compelling and fascinating read. Measured, biblical and inspiring and one reviewer called it 'A landmark book'. I tend to agree. It's lit something afresh in me.

3. This is all truly horrific.

4. Interesting on 'a neutral state'.

5. Scripture before phone

6. Not every church service needs to be epic

7. The wise do not always weigh in

Saturday blog-sweep

 Some interesting books for pastors The State we're in Attack at dawn Joseph Scriven Joy comes with the morning When small is beautiful