Articles 

Relational Mission: Everyone a witness

In his third chapter, Mike deals with a perennial challenge for churches. How do we get everyone involved with sharing the gospel and making disciples? I’ve been around churches and church leaders long enough to know that this particular one can be very frustrating for everyone. The church leader realises all their time is taken up with church people, church people aren’t sharing their faith, no one is hearing the Gospel and before you know it your church is stagnating and on the verge of decline. So what do you…

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Articles 

Relational Mission: Raising sons & daughters

The second chapter takes a look at legacy and building churches that raise up the next generation of leaders. Mike’s case is simple: in order to fulfil the commission God has given us we need to multiply everything but not as business with franchises but as a family that grows and spreads. The majority of the chapter is taken up with personal stories and examples from others of how men and women are being trained, equipped and encouraged in their calling & gifting, in the context of warm & deep relationship. I have…

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Articles 

Relational Mission: A real family

I had the privilege of working with Mike Betts on producing this short book for our family of churches. You can read some of the commendations here. Over the next few days, I thought I’d work through some of the chapters and give a personal reflection on what they mean to me. The first chapter talks about church as family. Chapter 1: A real family After taking a short look at the relationship between the apostle Paul and the church in Ephesus, Mike identifies two key components to their relationship: deep…

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Christian Living 

Discipleship = maturity

The new life of the kingdom has two different effects. There is what the Gospel does in us and then what the Gospel produces through us. What happens in us is that we grow in Christ-likeness. What happens through us is that we grow in fruitfulness that produces a harvest. I’m becoming convinced that you cannot mature if you do not multiply but you cannot multiply well if you are not mature. What does the Bible say about maturity? Col 1:28 & Col 4:12 – Epaphras prays for maturity and Paul…

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Church 

Mature & Multiply

There are two main dimensions to being a disciple of Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is essentially what God has done for us, He will then work out in us in order to work through us. A disciple’s job is to apply the first (that is after all God’s work not ours) to the second and third areas. The way I talk about this is that as disciples we need to be maturing AND multiplying. In the conservative evangelical subculture I grew up in, the focus was very much on the…

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Christian Living 

The Son of Man came…

Reading the introduction to Tim Chester’s excellent book A meal with Jesus was one of those moments where a little insight struck me with great force. It’s a lesson I’ve used many times since as I’ve sought to explain why food is so important in the life of Grace Church.  There are three ways in which the New Testament completes the sentence, ‘The Son of Man came…’ ‘The Son of Man came note to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45); ‘The…

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Articles 

Come follow me

Discipleship is at the heart of the Christian endeavour. We are not simply believers in a faith tradition but followers of a person. In Mark 1:17 as Jesus begins his ministry he finds Andrew & Peter fishing by Lake Galilee and James & John mending their nets. His call is instructive. He called them to follow him and we see that Jesus designated the twelve that they ‘might be with him’ (Mk 3:14). It’s this invitation not just into service but relationship that defines our following; Jesus wants his disciples to…

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Church 

Church is family

In Grace Church we constantly wrestle with the form of church. How do meetings, gatherings and activities relate to the vision of church. We keep coming back to the Bible. Who does God reveal Himself to be in relation to the church? Well, one of the main ways is that He is a Father and His people are His children. The church then is a family. Families aren’t always the picture perfect, stress-free places we imagine them to be as we peruse the pages of the IKEA catalogue but we seek to invest…

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