Saturday, 26 September 2009

Following something through

On Sunday our service will be a little different.

I am preaching on "Spiritual gifts in worship"

We will have a couple of songs to start, then the kids go out and we do notices.

Then I preach.

Then we will worship, with a real call, and an encouragement to bring spiritual gifts in worship.

I guess this is part of my journey, to make the teaching I have heard a reality in both my life and the life of the Church.

So much so, we are changing the entire structure and flow of our meeting to seek God and to step out in a fresh way in this area.

Friday, 25 September 2009

A new office...

I have a new office.

Upstairs, out of the way, and it is very, very small.

I have had to "de-junk" my working life.

Boy, I had a lot of junk.

I pretty well only need a laptop, pen drive and a few reandom cables yet somehow I have managed to accumulate boxes and boxes of stuff!

Lots of shredding, refiling, and organising later and my office environment will be much leaner and fitter than people thought I was capable of. It is a bit like my body really, only it took 3 days not 9 months.

It is all change. Aged 30 I am finally coming of age...

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

and so Alpha starts...

Here we are.

After months of preparation. Lots of prayer. Large scale publicity and a lot of faith, The Alpha Course starts tonight.

There are now over 30 guests signed up.

These include:
  • several neighbours / friends / relatives who Church members have plucked up the courage to invite
  • Guests from our recent Harvest Service and Baptism Service who were invited when they came on a Sunday
  • several students from South East Asia and Africa
  • someone who responded to a card being put through their letter box
  • At least 3 people who have had absolutely no contact with our Church in Shrewsbury whatsoever in the past except through our website.
What a wonderful opportunity to explain who Jesus is to people who are interested.

Sunday, 20 September 2009


Just been away for a week to a little cottage in Worcestershire where we have been before. It was good for the soul, as the last few weeks have been really, really busy.

This summer we have had our main hall redeveloped to prepare ourselves for the move to Two Sunday meetings in November. This has meant all sorts of practicalities, decoration and building work being carried out.

Our new Church Manager starts a week on Monday. That has meant putting everything in place for their arrival, including me moving offices this week has needed to be sorted.

With other elders on holiday over August, as well as administrative staff, it really has been a case of "chief cook and bottle washer" alongside a couple of other staff to get through the summer.

Add in changes to the leadership in two cell groups that I have been heavily involved in and I was running out of steam a bit. Last Sunday was our Harvest Service in the morning, which was an excellent guest service, followed by a members meeting in the evening.

A week away has been a great opportunity to rest, recharge, and maybe even refocus.

We came back early from our holiday because Esther's little younger sister Naomi was being baptised. As I walked in I saw the LCD TV in the foyer with a welcome message had been installed. I walked past the new welcome banner and into the main hall. The new carpet looks great, as does the new decoration, as does the new stage, and the new lighting, new banner at the front, new projector, and especially for the baptisms the new remote control camera that allows the pictures to go up on the big screen. It does not look too flash, but it is a real notch up on what we had before, and it all takes so much less time to set up and use, so much less hassle for those who faithfully serve. The Lord stopped creating, saw that it was good, and rested. I felt the same way this week!

None of this stuff matters. It is, in many ways worthless chaff that will pass away. But it is also part of resourcing a growth in our Sunday congregation. That is why I was really excited today. Four candidates were baptised and publicly confirmed their faith, including three teenagers and one adult lady who is a former alcoholic who has had her life transformed by the saving power of Jesus. There must have been around 300 people there this morning, it felt really full, really energetic, really on the front foot. And then as I left I scanned the Alpha Course sign up sheet and found 21 guests and 5 students from a local international school.

4 baptisms and 26 coming to Alpha, wonderful. This is what we are living for. Forget the kit and the bells and whistles. We want to reach 21st century society with a 21st century expression of Church, and to see the gospel reach more and more people so that they can come to know the power of Jesus in their lives.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

12, is the magic number

I have been trying to lose a bit of weight since the start of the year.

And have been learning a few hard lessons along the way.

On Thursday my weekly weigh in threw up a very pleasing result. 11 stone, 13 pounds and 6 ounces!

This is the first time I have weighed under 12 stone for over 10 years. I have had to buy new jeans in 32" not 34", and last week when I bought a polo shirt I bought a "small" for the first time I can ever remember.

Could I be 11 stone 8 by the end of the year? Doubling the original challenge, and losing two stone not one? Shaving a further half a stone off my doctor's advice?

It has been a real learning curve. Once you start "winning" in an area, you build faith for further progress. I think God is doing this in me now, because in the future areas of spiritual growth and development are going to require a clear goal, determination, discipline, and step by step progress. I also realise they will throw up all sorts of character issues and new ways of understanding myself.

So how did I celebrate going under 12 stone? Fish and chips! For the first time in many months! I don't think it did much for my regime but even newer leaner Dave is never going to celebrate with a Caesar salad!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Working Together, an appendix

Too much talking, too little action from me recently on this subject.

Until now.

7500 A5 flyers will be distributed within Shrewsbury by various Churches involved in running an Alpha Course this September, including about 2000 by us. This is a project I have chaired, with big hopes for future ways we can co-ordinate, publicise and grow our witness within the town.

I am really excited about what we can achieve for God by working together.

For those who like to stereotype newfrontiers Churches as not really working with others maybe this is food for thought? Of the six Churches represented one would not consider itself to be wholly evangelical, five would, three would be paedobaptist, three would be credobaptist, two have female curates who are currently leading the Church, three would lean to the complimentarian side at differing levels, there would be different levels of charismatic leaning, and one is led by someone who is a bit odd.

I think Alpha has a role to play as an agent for witness on the local church level, and agent of renewal within the Anglican communion and an agent of unity on an interchurch level, so i am really pleased we are doing this.