Monday, April 17, 2006

New Service

Had a great time at church yesterday. The palce was heaving. For some time now we have ran 2 services on a Sunday morning. Our early bird service at 9 am saw over 180 get in early. That's a good 40 up on our usual attendance. Maybe they just wanted to be free to enjoy the rest of the day!

Our most popular service is our 11 am service. Yesterday we had over 300 people crammed in with some extra seat out in the foyer. Add to this 150 in our Kids Church for their own special programme. It was great to see so many people celebrating Easter Sunday.

The exciting part was introducing our 3 rd Service on a Sunday at 5 pm. We want to continue to give people the opportunity to meet Jesus. It was a good start with nearly 90 in attendance.

Our creative team put on a great performance with a drama - Worth it All. With a number of people committing to follow Jesus for the first time.

Happy Easter

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Years Roll By!

Had a long telephone conversation with a Guy I went to college with about 24 years ago - Andrew Georgiou. We don't see each other that often, maybe bump into each other at a meeting or conference from time to time. But of course our conversation drops back into old acquaintances etc. etc. It yet again reminded me how quickly time passes.

It only seems yesterday when I met Andrew for the first time when we both arrived fresh faced at Mattersey Hall - AOG Bible College. In fact we didn't even really get on in our time there. I was in my know it all stage and was very often arguing with someone. (Hopefully I've changed a little but that's for other people to say)

It caused great amusement at the time within the student population when we both announced that we were both going to work in a church in Milton Keynes and even more laughter when it was discovered we were going to share a house together. I'm glad to say that during our time in MK we developed a little better of a friendship. If you have read other parts of this blog you will know that I stayed in Milton Keynes. Andrew moved away but has kept serving God in every church he has been a part.

It was good to talk to him again and to know that although we are not quite as fresh faced as we used to be we are still radically committed to following Jesus and advancing His kingdom.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Why make it simple when we can complicate it?

Over the last two days I feel like I have swung like a pendulmn. From one extreme to another. If you have read other entries in this blog you will know that I have committed my life to a radical devotion to God's kingdom. My motivation is to personally become more like Christ and assist others in that journey.

On Monday night I met with a few guys who share my passion in life. We have been watching a set of DVD's together produced by Willow Creek Community Church entitled A2. The series looks specifically at the church that existed in its infancy immediately after the death and resurrection of its founder Jesus and described in the second chapter of Acts in the Bible.

Bill Hybles simply communicated his take on Evangelism. He took what many of us Christians are sometimes inexplicably afraid of, telling another human being what Jesus has done in our lives, and simplified it to something that was easy and within reach. Being open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, leaving our place of comfort and holding out the hand of friendship and assisting people on their Spiritual journey without bringing judgment.

This was followed today by a seminar on Church government and Charity Law. Of course it is vital that we ensure that everything we do as Charities and Churches is done in the very best of order and to the highest of standards. That is of paramount importance. Sometimes it seems though that the church in Acts 2 had a much more simple outlook. They met together regularly, listened to and applied the teaching of the leaders and met each others needs. No mention of companies limited by guarantees, directors, trustees etc.

Maybe its better to keep a simple life for a simple person and leave the complicated stuff to those God has shaped to understand it. Maybe that way we will be more effective in our quest for the extension of God's family.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Listened to a Podcast of my favourite preacher at this present time - Erwin McManus. He made the following statement: "Your life tomorrow is shaped by the choices you make today."

Its very easy to get in the blame game when we find ourselves in difficult situations. Its something in our past. The way our parents brought us up. Our partner or kids. Our job or our boss.

Our lives are only a series of choices away from disaster. God saw fit to create us with the ability to choose. He must trust us to make some good choices maybe even more than we trust ourselves. Its easy to blame other or our circumstances but maybe we need to be big enough to admit that we made some dumb choices and start working hard to make some good ones.

Monday, February 27, 2006

An hour on Sunday

Spent the day at a conference hosted by Willow Creek Association UK. I was privileged to listen to Nancy Beech, one of the Teaching Pastors from Willow Creek Church in the USA, present to us from her book "An Hour on Sunday."

Once again I was amazed at the clarity of communication and challenged by the humility and vulnerability portrayed by the leaders of Willow. They have made an incredible impact both in their home city of Chicago as well as 1000's of churches throughout the world. Looking at what they continue to achieve the first reaction can be to think that there is no way we can reach that dizzy heights but some how you leave with some simple steps to put into action and an understanding of the difficulties and struggles they faced in getting there.

One of the things talked about was recollecting a trip to Italy. On that trip she saw many great and famous works of art. It reminded me of my own recent visit to Rome and my trek through the Vatican and various churches. All these magnificent pieces of Art had been commissioned by the church or were now displayed in the church. The churches were home to and for the greatest artists of the time. How times have changed great artists would not see the church as the place to portray their masterpieces. Our churches today are by enlarge seen as boring, dull and irrelevant not a home to the innovative.

Lets try to claim back some of the words that should be used to describe what is God's greatest gift this world His Son Jesus and His followers the church. Maybe one day when asked what comes to mind when you hear the word Church the first word that pops into minds will not be boring. Maybe oneday it will be surprising, relevant, transforming, inspiring, fascinating, exciting and motivating.

Guess that's what I have to become.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Jerry Springer Comes to Town

Seems like "Jerry Springer the Opera" is finally coming to the theatre here in Milton Keynes. It has made the front page of our local paper the MK Citizen, or at least a handful of Christian's views have.

Having purposely tried to watch this show when it appeared on the BBC around Christmas I have to say in my opinion it is dull, boring and uninteresting. There was much publicity at the time with Christians picketing the BBC and sending various threats.

Do not get me wrong I think the message that the "opera" sends out we could do better without but I sometimes think that the message we send out as Christians does more harm to the message of Jesus than this production ever could.

One lady is quoted as saying: "God will be making His own judgments about this and that judgment could come down on Milton Keynes." It frustrates me that we continually talk about God's judgment on people so quickly. Jesus rarely judged people in this way. When he did it was the religious people that he was hard on. Why because they were hypocritical. The said one thing but did another.

To the rest of humanity he brought a message of Grace and Love. He was the friend of the common man was at ease in the company of those who may even have been looked down on by society. To the lady who was caught red handed in the act of adultery he did not condemn but said go and don't do it again. The the terrorist that was killed along side him he welcomed into heaven by His side.

Followers of Jesus were first called Christians because the people around them looked at them and said they were like Christ. Although Jesus never used the word grace he continually conveyed it in everything he did.

Lets not threaten people with Gods judgment lets bombard them with God's love. Fear will bring a short term restraint but love will motivate transformation for life. People will do things out of love that they will not do for anything else.

Park and Ride

Back home in Milton Keynes and Sunday comes round again. This is what we have worked towards during the week. Sunday starts early arriving at Church just after 7 am. By 7.30 am its a hive of activity.

The seats are being set out, PA plugged in, refreshments arranged, musicians tuning up. Our Early Bird service starts at 9 am with our second service following on at 11 am.

A couple of weeks ago we introduced a park and ride scheme. Our Car Park can not hold the number of cars we get to our second service particularly. We managed to secure the use of a nearby college and people then take a 5 min walk or catch our shuttle mini busses.

Today I joined some of the guys to assist direct the traffic and had a great time. I am also sure our neigbours in the surrounding streets are a little happier with the surrounding streets free from traffic.

Its a great problem to have and we need to continue to lift any lids that stop people coming to Jesus.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Scotland Again

Just returned from a few days up in Inverallochy in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. I spent some time with my old pastor and friend Roger Blackmore.

I first met Roger back in 1976. I was 13 at the time. I was at a summer camp in Perth and Roger who had recently become Pastor of my home church, Cairnbulg Assembly of God. He had popped up to see a number of the young people who were away from ho,e at the camp. Unfortunately I was ill and needed to go home. That 2 hour car journey started a friendship that was to help shape my life.

Roger was to become the model and inspiration for my life. He introduced me to a life sold out for God. From then on I only ever wanted to be like Roger and serve God for the rest of my life.

I eventually went off to Bible College and Roger ended up moving to New York. It was great to meet up with him last week with a view to getting our respective churches involved in joining together to run a mission in our old home town. We met with many of my contemporaries of 20 years ago and we have started planning to do something together in the Summer of 2007.

What amazes me even more is even though my contact with Roger has been sparse to say the least for the last 15 years we seem to have developed a very similar outlook on church life. We see Grace as being the dominant force in the universe. Our churches have a very similar outlook and vision and we even seem to have similar favorite preachers.

Thanks Roger I am still inspired by you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Our Church here in Milton Keynes continues to grow. This week we had a great baptism service where two ladies shared how their lives had been changed through an encounter with Jesus.

It took me back to my own baptism when I was only 13. Nowadays we construct a small pool in our church which we use. Growing up a stones throw from the North Sea we held our baptism services on the sea shore. They were great occations when many of the villagers turned up to watch the spectacle even though they never usually attended church. My memory maybe playing tricks but I think there was around 1000 people on that Sunday when I along with a few of my friends declared to everyone around that Jesus was number one in our lives.

I also remember that the sewerage pipe which dispensed all of the villages waste into the North Was quite close to the site of our service. With the tide in and the waves rolling in you were never quite sure what might float past. Enough said.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Opportunities Galore

With Chrismas a mere memory and having returned to work after the the New Year in Scotland my thoughts are turning towards the year ahead.

I am excited about all the opportunities that lie ahead and the fact that I have a free hand to write the script. I am sure challanges and difficulties will be there but I am also confident that I am able to meet them when they come with God's help.

With desire and comitment I want to follow Jesus in 06. My desire for this year is summed up in the heart cry of the Apostle Paul writing to Phillipian believers. He had worked hard to connect to god by doing what he though God wanted him to do without sucess. Then he was confronted with an encounter with Jesus that changed his whole value system. On looking at his vervent religious activity to gain God's approval he counted it as dog dung.

We realised that he was being called into a radical relationship of love with Jesus which was not about rules and regulations but a love affair. He said that the object of his life now was to get to know Jesus in an intimate way. To be transformed on an ongoing basis so that his desires and passions would become the same as God's.

I have a number of specific goals I want to achive this year wich include personal, family and church but to radically follow Jesus and His example is my highest goal.