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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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,…

Read More
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.…

Read More
Church 

How Many Christians?

Philip Jenkins asks, ‘how many Christians were there in the year 200?‘ and the answer is not very many. At least not when you consider the population of the Roman Empire. For the sake of argument, let us suggest a global Christian population of perhaps 250,000. That represents a stunning expansion from the small groups we glimpse in apostolic times, but the number is tiny when we think of the vast geographical extent of the large world, from Mesopotamia to Britain. It is also a tiny fraction of that world…

Read More
Church 

The death of the church

Todd Dildine recently did a four-part series on you guessed it, ‘the death of the church’. It’s an analysis of the American scene but I think has much wider implications. In Part 1 he assesses the landscape and sees that in America it’s not only the church that is declining but in fact community organisations of almost every conceivable sort. The collapse of the American church and the breakdown of the American community are tied together. When you take a critical look at our society you will discover that America…

Read More
Church 

The resurrection of Jesus (links)

There are several posts here all dealing with the historical evidence for the resurrection and inevitably they cover similar ground but also with slightly different contributions. But before I share all of that one extract stood out to me from Scot McKnight  I know all of that, I said. I know all of the alternative suggestions and reasons given by some why the resurrection couldn’t have happened. I know about the confusion of the gospel accounts. I know all of that and yet, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christ…

Read More