Monthly Archives: October 2009

Lessons from the silver screen…

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I was watching one of those ‘Behind the Scenes’ bits of a DVD recently. It was amazing! I was blown away by the incredible amount of detailed planning and precision that was necessary for the smallest of scenes. As someone who is a ‘big picture’ person, I am incredibly thankful for all the details people who are on the team for Trinity North East. It is true… there are just so many things that need to go into organising a new church community deliberately focussed on reaching people with the gospel of Jesus through the faithful proclamation of God’s Word. And more often than not, I feel completely out of my depth!

So far my strategy has been simple! I have tried to build a core team that contains lots of details people. They are amazing. Yes, they keep me honest by asking lots of annoying questions! But … I love you guys! As much as it pains me to say this, I know that their attention to details will ensure that Trinity North East is much much more welcoming, loving, prayerful, hospitable and generous than I could ever imagine. Again, thanks for coming for the ride! I know you aren’t interested in glitz, glamour or Oscar awards, but your faithfulness is much appreciated!

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Judgement Day…what will happen to whom and when?!

god-comes-to-judge-on-judgement-day I am trying to get my head around what happens at Judgement Day. At the moment all I have is lots of questions. Who does God judge on the last day? Everyone? (2 Corinthians 5:10 – all face the judgement of God; cf also Jude 15)

Some other questions: What is the basis of God’s judgement (of Christians – grace or good works or both? How do you make sense of Revelation 20:12 and still hold to justification by faith?

Also, in what sense has God’s judgement begun? 1 Peter 4:17 reminds us that God’s judgement begins with the family of God. How does this work?

Lots of questions, would appreciate your thoughts and/or hints for further reading.

Celebrate good times!

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One of the joys of having a large family is that there is always something to celebrate! Another birthday or milestone achieved etc etc. I am wondering what to celebrate at Trinity North East next year? 1st Anniversary? Kids birthdays? Baptism/Commitment Sundays? Communion?

Or more significantly, what are the theological grounds for celebration in our gatherings?

Look forward to your thoughts…

What a weekend!

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After publicising the Trinity North East weekend away some time ago, let me tell you how it went… it was brilliant! We had 52 adults and about 30 kids away with us for the weekend – a HUGE number given how many people had to apologise that they couldn’t make it. Going away for a weekend is always a risky thing to do.. will anyone come along? Will the kids sleep at night? Will the food be any good? Is it really necessary anyway? With regard to the last question, part of the challenge for us is bringing together people from 5 gatherings at Trinity City and people from Trinity Hills as well as some others, and trying to build a sense of community before we launch in February. My strategy was that the best way for people to get to know each other was to take them away. We had some great time in the Word with some terrific talks by Paul Harrington on 2 Peter. There was a ‘Ministry Expo’ on Saturday afternoon that profiled some of the key ministry areas next year. And of course the ‘compulsory’ family fun night as well, an absolute cracker!

Thanks for your prayers, we are one step closer to planting!
(PS See Paul Jansen to look at the photos!)

Starting a church full of Mary’s!

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I have been increasingly anxious over the last couple of weeks as Feb 2010 looms larger and larger. The deadlines get shorter, the lists get longer and the brain just ain’t what it used to be! And then all of a sudden I have to preach on Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-43. Sometimes a Bible passage just hits you between the eyes!
‘“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.
And so here is my thought… how do you start a church full of Mary’s? No, it is not a call for Roman Catholicism, but a call to build a church where members are first and foremost disciples who regularly sit at the feet of Jesus. People whose first priority is to spend time in the Word of God.
Yes, there is lots to do. Yes, the lists are getting longer. Yes, the demands will undoubtedly increase. But as a leader I need to remember the priority. As my first responsibility is to be a disciple, I need to spend time in the Word. Slowly. Deliberately. Unhurried.

A church full of Mary’s, not Martha’s… now we are talking!