Church 

Church planting in Europe

At the end of September I was privileged to be at one of my favourite conferences. I don’t go to many but this is my favourite. For one it was held in Malaga, so while Sweden was fast heading into a cold and wet autumn, for a few days I got to go back to summer. Malaga is also a beautiful city, with ancient Roman ruins, a marina full of expensive yachts, the castle & cathedral. It’s definitely worth a visit. But nice as the weather and location was, I’d…

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Church 

Good church leadership

I found this note but I’ve no idea whether it was notes from my own talk or someone else’s. If I’m taking notes from someone else I usually note that down and I didn’t in this case, so I think it might be me that’s responsible for what follows. Good leaders are a gift In Romans 12, Paul describes a whole variety of gifts that a church needs to be healthy. People giving generously, teaching, serving, encouraging, caring, using gifts in worship. Each of those gifts is to be used…

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Church 

Partnership for the Gospel

I’m very fortunate in that Grace Church Stockholm is not isolated or solitary. We’ve made many connections with churches around the world, but each time a new opportunity arises, what I’m looking for is partnership. In Philippians 1:5 Paul talks about ‘the partnership in the gospel’ that he shares with the church in Philippi. A few years ago I listened to PJ Smyth dig into Philippians 1:1-30 to show what this means and these are my notes. How partnership feels It feels like we are in Christ (v.1-2) It feels…

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Church 

Six steps to making your church better

Here are seven steps that show us what ‘loving one another looks like.’ And just so we’re clear about how important the command is: Jesus, Paul, Peter and John all tell the church to love one another. It was a command of Jesus, repeated by his apostles. Jesus: Jn 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” Paul: 1 Th 4:9 “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to…

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Church 

No biting in church

There are many things in the Christian life that can be hard to understand and faith in God can throw up as many questions as it does answers. Equally there are many things in the Bible that are easy to understand. Of course easy to understand is not the same as easy to do. Jesus expected that His followers would continue to live out His teachings (Mt 28:20). Jesus expected that the life of his followers would be seen by others and Jesus expected that the watching world would notice…

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Church 

3 tips for short-term students on how to get involved in a church

We recently had a Dutch student who came to Stockholm for a four month exchange program. She quickly became a part of the church and when she was leaving I asked her to share her thoughts on how to become a part of the church when you only have a few months. This is what she said: Your mindset is the most important. Don’t think that it is not worth it to invest in relationships with people from church, just because you’re only staying for a short time. Instead, do…

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Church 

Is the World’s Next Missions Movement in Ethiopia?

From Christianity Today. First a little context. In Ethiopia, evangelicalism is growing at a faster rate than even the booming general population, already the second-largest in Africa and projected to exceed 112 million people by 2020. According to the World Christian Database, in 1970 the Horn of Africa nation had about 900,000 self-identifying evangelicals, about 3 percent of its total population. By 2015, that number swelled to almost 19 million, or 19 percent of Ethiopians. Then some grand aims for a church in a developing nation: Each year in January,…

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Church 

Make Sunday Mornings Uncomfortable

Rebecca McLaughlin outlines her & her husband’s three rules of engagement for Sunday worship services: They are: An Alone Person in Our Gatherings Is an Emergency Friends Can Wait Introduce Newcomers to Someone Else So, this Sunday, let’s take a risk. Let’s reach across the small divides to others as we imitate the one who spanned the great divide for us. And let’s urge our friends to do the same, because the harvest in our gatherings is plentiful. We may never know what difference a small act of welcome made.…

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