Thursday, March 23, 2017

A middle class bloke doing ministry in a grass roots way, Simon Smallwood's RTU talk

Here's Simon Smallwood very humbly sharing how he's been learning to do ministry in a grass roots way.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Where are the socially deprived? Not in church! Graham Miller's talk at RTU16

This was an excellent convicting talk Graham Miller gave explaining how
- church mainly consists of University educated people,
- churches are being planted more in wealthy areas
- churches for the unchurched often aren't for the marginalised
- the socially deprived are usually outside our churches, so we need to get out there

Thursday, March 16, 2017

'Christ Centered Church' video from RTU now online

We had a Reaching The Unreached conference last November. This was the first talk on Christ Centered Church. If you want more information on RTU, please go to my Urban Ministries website.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Tribute to Bill Iddiols 1916-2017

I previously wrote about Hilda, when she passed, now Bill her loving husband has gone to be with Jesus too. Here are a couple of tributes to Bill.

I also wrote this song in memory of him.  I was working on this song when Bill went to hospital. When I saw the discomfort he was in I decided to finish the song for him and sing it to him. Before I could finish the song, Bill passed away and went to be with Jesus. I wrote the song with Bill's picture on my keyboard. I imagine him playing the organ to it with a smile on his face. I hope you can hear this in heaven Bill. Hopefully I'll get Shay's vocals on this soon!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Family Training

I've mentioned training for urban ministry a fair bit on this blog. Today, I want to talk about another type of training, family training. I don't remember anyone teaching me how important it is to make fun memories with your family, but I've found it really helpful to do so. In our family we spend time together not just praying, worshipping, reading the Bible, catechising, etc. we also like to have a lot of fun, whether thats playing Wii games together, swimming, or adventures in Richmond park. Enjoying together the good gifts God gives us.
Here's a tongue in cheek video of what I mean...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Faith is more valuable than we value (Faith and Trials)

We all have things that are important to us, relationships, housing, health, jobs, money etc. These are things we value, and might want to see grow. But these one thing that we often undervalue and even ignore, and its 'faith'.

Faith is trusting in God. Its such a valuable thing, but we probably don't value it enough. Spurgeon once explained how valuable faith is to God,

Our Lord in his infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon his people’s faith that he will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened. (Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006), Sept 3rd pm reading).

Here Spurgeon is saying that because God values faith so much, God won't stop us experiencing trials that strengthen our faith. Then he goes on to say,

You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been like unto fire.

Its so true isn't it? I can look back over the last two tough years and say that my faith in God is so much stronger as a result. When you feel the fire of pain, you have nowhere to run except God. As God stands with you in the fire (Dan 3:24-25), your trust in him is strengthened. You can never be the same after it. You know that when the next fire comes he'll be right there with you.

This is what Peter said in the Bible, 2,000 years ago,
'In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.' 1 Pet 1:6-7

Sunday, January 08, 2017

A Tribute to Mike Ovey. We need more Mike Ovey's

Today I woke up to the news that Mike Ovey had died. He was a great man whose life deserves far more than I can write here, but I would like to say a few words for why I am struggling with this news.

1. He had a brilliant mind that the church badly needs.
He taught me for three years during which he helped my brain work in a new way. He had a gift for getting to the heart of arguments, and following their trajectory. He used his intellect to look at every day problems in a way that many don't. For example, read his paper on victimhood, or his recent paper in Themelios on fear. We badly need this level of thinking in the church. We need more Mike Ovey's, not less. I just have to trust in God's loving wisdom, that in his economy Mike's entering glory makes sense

2. He wasn't Predujice, Paternalistic or Condescending.
As a council estate Christian I'm used to being treated a certain way by Middle Class church leaders. Not so with Mike. I always felt respected by him. Although he towered above me in intellect, he always talked to me as an equal. Although he was much higher in the British Class system, he never talked to me in a condescending way (although I didn't always understand his cultural references!). Although he was far better known in the Reformed evangelical world, he never discussed mission with me in a patronising way, but in a humble listening way. We so badly need more Mike Ovey's in the church, not less. I trust that God has a good plan for us.

3. He understood the need for both robust theology and contextualisation.
He knew that good contextualisation did not mean bad doctrine, but rather it would help teach and apply good doctrine. We need more Mike Ovey's, not less. I trust God will raise up other Mike Ovey's.

4. He prioritised God's word.
His brilliant mind didn't lead him to philosophise over the Scriptures, but instead he constatnly referred to them believing that God who cannot lie has chosen to reveal himself to us in the Scriptures. I wrote to him a few months ago to encourage him because during the recent Trinity debate he'd been interacting with certain Biblical texts, which others frustratingly ignoried. His reply, and his last words ever to me, included these words,
 'I feel more and more the force of Peter's question 'to whom else should we go?' [John 6:68] 
We need more Mike Ovey's, not less. I trust God will still see his word made known.

Thankfully, Mike has now gone to be with his Saviour. He knew there was no one better to go to, and he is there face to face with him. I do not understand why Mike is gone, because we don't need less Mike's, we need more. But I trust God has a good plan, and I know Mike is enjoying that plan right now in heaven with his Saviour, Jesus.

5. He was kind.
Probably the thing many of us will miss the most.

Lastly, prayers for Heather and the children