Friday, April 27, 2007

Bad stuff has to come out

I have been very challenged this week after listening to a podcast from Newspring Church by Perry Noble. They are in the middle of a series called Americas Idol.

Based on the book of Jonah, this last week he was looking at the subject of character. God was more interested in developing Jonahs character than he was in the tremendous success Jonah had just seen in Nineveh. So many people had just got right with God yet Jonah was angry with God. Then we see God dealing with him in the forth chapter. Dealing with character issues.

God is passionately interested in getting the bad character traits out of our lives. He sometimes applies pressure to get them to come to the surface.

This week has been a particularly difficult week. Busyness and pressures with arranging the Ultimate Event at Alton Towers have taken their toll and I have been only to aware of some of the traits I need to deal with in my life.

I need to spend a little more time with Jesus if I'm going to become a little more like him.

Wake up call!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

9 Days and counting

Time for posts have been very limited over the last couple of week. Our annual event at Alton Towers Theme Park is now only 9 days away.

Although we plan for a year ahead it seems like there is so much to do in such a short time now. We still need to sell around 2000 tickets and logistics range from ensuring all the contractors are arranged to buying some towels for the artists. My life is nothing but varied.

This year we are launching a new initiative with our friends at Music Wire. We have developed a programme in the form of a CD entitled Ultimate Love. It will be the first in a series named Ultimate Life. They will tackle some of the major issues in the Christian life in the form of songs and provide resource to help in each area.

The first is Ultimate Love and points the way to the worlds ultimate act of love: Jesus sacrifice for humanity. Every person attending the event will receive a CD. Please pray with us that many many young people will experience Jesus love for the first time on the 5th May.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Back door theology

Today I watched a video webcast of Perry Noble speaking at Unleash Conference. Amongst many other things he talked about what is commonly known as the back door to the church.

Many people when criticizing his church Newspring, have said that the back door to his church was as big as the front door. That is saying that as many people are leaving than joining probably because of lack of care etc.

Perry suggested that a back door was really needed in the church. His reasoning was the church needs a back door because in the bible the church is likened to a body.

I haven't laughed as much in ages.

Nice one Perry!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Putting the finishing touches to the literature to promote the Starfield concert in MKCC. Copy of the front above. Quite pleased even if I say so for myself.

Words I wish Jesus never said

I came across the following as part of a series a church was teaching their Young People. I though it was both great and challenging. I am sure we will use this in some way at MKCC over the next couple of years.

Words I Wish Jesus Never Said

Sell Your Possessions
Our stuff can have a grip on our life. We always want more (no matter where we are at). We need to let go of our stuff or the notion that our stuff is more important that our relationship with God.

Jesus as the Only Way
In an unfamiliar place, it is so freeing to know one way to get somewhere. Lots of roads can get very confusing and cloud how to get to your destination.

Forgiveness is when you have every right to punish someone and you choose not to. - Forgiveness is about a clean slate. In our culture, we tend to say, “Its ok,” but we hold onto it and still keep score.

Lose Your Life
What does it mean to surrender our lives to God?

Reconcile with Others
You must make your relationships right with others in order to have a right relationship with God.

Make Disciples
It is our responsibility to disciple others.

Anything else you wish he had not said?

The Mess in the Messenger

Read some difficult news today about Westside Family Church in the USA. It has transpired that their Pastor for 17 years has resigned because he has had an affair. I am sad today for the church, the pastor, his family and the other family involved. I will pray for them all over the next few days.

Dan Southerland did an incredible job in communicating this news to the church and starting the healing process. Watch the video of the message here. It will take 30 minutes but worth the watch.

Dan makes a statement: "The mess in the messenger does not negate the message." Although in no way can we condone an affair. This sin does not negate the message that this messenger has been sharing. I think of some of the things in my life I am not t too proud of. I am so thankful that God is still prepared to use me in communicating this message.

Pray for the Westside Church, pray for your Pastor and build good relationships around you to help protect you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Youth Do

Met last night with a couple of guys who are heading up our Youth Ministry at MKCC. It is probably the area in our church that we need to invest some more time, talent and money to make it more effective.

Ryan & Sean are relaunching the youth programme. They are dividing it up into more specific age ranges. School years 7 - 9 and years 10 - 13. This will allow them to focus on each group a little more. They are kicking the whole thing off by hosting an evening for all the parents where the young people will serve food and take part in some music and dance. In this day and age its important to get the parents involved after all they are the taxi service to get they young people to church.

We are also planning some events later in the year. In June we have a visit of a great rock band from the states: Starfield. It was great to sit with them and start to plan all the logistics. Its a bit of a new venture for us in MK but I am sure it will be a great evening.

Monday, April 16, 2007

We've Got Mail

Started our new Sunday teaching series on Sunday. Had a blast. I set the scene for the next 7 weeks and talked about the subject "Too busy for God" based on the letter to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2.

In preparing it really brought it home to me again that in our busyness, especially as pastors, in serving God that it is so important that we don't loose out on this incredible intimate relationship that we have with our loving Father. This quote really brought it home. "If we miss out on intimacy with God we are in danger of becoming like travel agents just passing out brochures to places we have never visited for our selves.

Next week we look at "Is the Christian life really worth it?".

Although preaching 3 times on one day certainly takes it out of you so I spent most of the day today at home. Also visited the dentist to get a couple of fillings ans spent most of the afternoon with a very fat lip with my wife laughing at me as I tried to drink coffee without dribbling.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Like i've never been away

Just returned from a week away on holiday over the Easter period. It was a great quiet break back home visiting my Dad in Inverallochy.

I've paid for it today though. With our annual event at Alton Towers less than 4 weeks away things are very hectic to say the least. Catching up on a weeks worth of e mails took a few hours.

Had a very productive day though. We are putting together a great new initiative in conjunction with our friends at Music Wire. An event programme which contains a CD. The CD is titled Ultimate Love and contains songs that tell the story of God's message of love and salvation as well as some notes on following Jesus. More of that later.

I also took delivery of printed backdrops for our new Sunday teaching series starting this weekend. We produced the graphics but they were printed in to giant banners and laminated by STW Signs. They have done some great work for us at very reasonable prices. Check out one example below.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Denomination: Dead or Alive

Since birth I have been associated with the Assemblies of God denomination of church life. My family were part of a the Cairnbulg AOG church. Once I had started to follow Jesus and knew I wanted to commit the whole of my life to His cause I left home to attend the national AOG Bible College, Mattersey Hall. On gradation I went to work in an AOG church, Milton Keynes Christian Centre. I now Pastor and lead the church with my friend and Senior Pastor, Mark Sherratt.

Unfortunately I never became an AOG minister. I had some difficulties with their statement of faith. I didn't really believe anything different to the majority of ministers and even some of the senior leadership but that did not matter. It was somehow OK to ignore the stated beliefs of existing ministers but a different matter for anyone wanting to join.

I've just spend a few days at their annual conference joining their business sessions as an observer. They were debating some changes which they felt that would bring the denomination into the 21st century and create a structure for the denomination to flourish in the future. It was interesting to listen to the debate and good points were made on both sides. In the end the conference voted for the change in constitution which in simplistic terms gave the leaders more power to lead. Which in the end I suppose is a good thing. You have got to give leaders the freedom to lead.

I was left still wondering its relevance to us as a church in Milton Keynes. (The views here are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of the whole of MKCC) It seems to me that denominations have to constantly try and prove their worth by creating departments and posts which they can point to and say what a great job we are doing.

The bare facts are that we are so busy trying to build local church here in MK that we have very little time to invest in a denomination. National initiatives just don't seem to connect with us or our people. Much of our mentoring and resource comes from other local churches such as Willow Creek, Saddleback, Hillsong and Abundant Life Church Bradford.

So I am left with the question I posed in my title. I suppose the answer is both. It remains alive to many local churches throughout the UK but it is also becoming more and more irrelevant to many.

What do you think?