“What’s in it for me?”
It’s an ugly question isn’t it? It’s the sort of question we ask before agreeing to do something for someone. It’s ugly because it reveals our hearts as deeply self-centered rather than longing for God’s glory and the good of others. We’ll only fold the laundry, make a phone call, or arrive to something early if there’s some personal benefit for ourselves.
Why, then, does the Bible so often appeal to personal rewards when motivating us to serve? Continue reading “The Rewards of Ministry”
Unless you had shares in Zoom you are probably facing some sort of reduction in income during the Coronavirus pandemic. That may have happened already if you lost your job or your customers, or it may happen over the coming months as your industry slows. We’ll all need to learn how to get by with less.
The book of Proverbs has some helpful wisdom at this time (as it does for all times). Continue reading “Proverbs on Contentment”
“Social distancing” will surely be a contender for the word / phrase of 2020. While for some of us, it might still have novelty value or provide us with a welcome excuse for more family time, for many single people in our church communities it is bad news indeed. There were already plenty of challenges around connecting with couples and families before the pandemic, but now there are legal and health-related reasons for people to be closing doors to each other. The coronavirus lockdown may be a hard time for some single people.
There’s a lot to say about being single at a time like this and as a married guy I won’t add too much.* However, I do want to give encouragement and ideas to married people as to how they might care for single people during a time of physical distancing. Continue reading “Caring for Single People During COVID-19”
So your kids are at home.
As well as the general stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, now you suddenly you need manage schooling? How is that even possible?
Apart from a few ideas I really don’t know. So I’ve asked some experts: three homeschooling mums from our church. The question: What tips can you give the rest of us for managing schooling at home? Continue reading “Schoolkids at Home. What do I do?”
With the COVID-19 pandemic underway, many of us are now finding ourselves members of online small groups. We used to gather in someone’s living room or a church hall but now we’re supposed to meet in an online “space” using new technology and apps. How is this supposed to work? Will it be good for Christian growth and community or will it be just too different?
Those questions still lie ahead for many of us, but for now, a more urgent question is practical: “How can I love my online group?” Continue reading “9 Ways to Love Your Online Small Group”
Are you stuck at home because of the coronavirus? Quarantined, self-isolated, or socially distanced? Now that you’ve completed that series on Netflix / Disney + / Amazon Prime etc, you might be wondering how to fill the day. Thankfully, there’s plenty of great stuff you can do, even more so if you’re a follower of Jesus. This time could be, in some ways, a highlight of your year. So here’s a few principles and practical ideas. Continue reading “At Home. Got time.”
What is the culture like on our University Campuses? This is in an interesting question for me as a pastor in a student congregation (and also father of a teenager). A recent book that examines university culture is The Coddling of the American Mind: How good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation for failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt.
Continue reading “Review: The Coddling of the American Mind”
No-one starts their marriage with the intention of having an affair; our wedding vows, after all, include the promise to “forsake all others and be faithful”. Yet some sort of infidelity occurs in approximately 20% of marriages.¹ Christians are not immune and most of us know, at least to some extent, the terrible impact adultery can have on families, church and ministries. One insight that can help prevent sexual unfaithfulness in marriage is that it rarely happens spontaneously; rather, it is often the result of many small steps. If we can recognise that we’re on the path to adultery, we can apply wisdom and get off before things go any further.
Continue reading “The 25 Steps to Adultery”
This week our church small group leaders met to think about improving prayer in the life of our groups. I thought I’d write down all the ideas we came up with while they’re fresh in my mind. These will be good for group leaders, but probably helpful for group members as well.
Continue reading “Ideas for Prayer in Small Groups”
No Christian I know, myself included, finds prayer easy. We struggle with distraction, lack of motivation and lack of conviction about the value of prayer. We need constant encouragement to keep praying and grow as pray-ers. Which is why I was so pleased find this book by Tim Chester: You Can Pray.
Continue reading “Review: You Can Pray”