Church 

Why gather? Friendship

Have you ever asked yourself, why you go to church? It’s a good question to ask from time to time. One good reason is friendship. In fact being friends is a great reason to meet together. Some people may think that friendship is an inadequate reason to go to church because you can be with your friends anywhere. And there might be something in that, it’s not a bad reason but by itself it probably isn’t enough. The thing is in the church we’re friends because of someone and for…

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Articles 

I’m all alone

I’m going to start light-hearted because as I wrote this piece, all I could think of was this: Who do you sympathise with, Donkey or Shrek? Is there a difference between being alone and being lonely? The difference mostly resides in whether or not being alone is a choice or not. The default self-coping mechanisms of introverts everywhere is to ensure there is time to retreat in order to rest, recover, think. A parent of small children is often desperate to be alone, to not have another person constantly there.…

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Christian Living Links 

Rediscovering hospitality (bumper links edition)

I noticed this year more books, talks and articles on the subject of hospitality than ever before. A lot of it was sparked by the release of Rosaria Butterfield’s book The Gospel comes with a Housekey. I’ve long been convinced of the importance of hospitality and we attempt to practice it too. So it was natural for me to bookmark and to share. The Gospel comes with a housekey Rosaria Butterfield Calls You to (Radically Ordinary) Hospitality (TGC) Radically Ordinary Hospitality by JD Greear 3 Ways to Show Up—and Speak Up—to the Lost (TGC) Christian…

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Sweden 

The relational challenges of living in Scandinavia

The Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark & Finland regularly feature at or near the top of every quality of life index you can find. Like this one from the OECD or this from the Economist or this one from the World Economic Forum which has them taking 4 of the top 7 spots. So all in all good places to live. There is though one area where instead of featuring near the top they instead cluster right at the bottom. And it’s a big deal: how easy is it to make friends.…

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Articles 

All the ones that didn’t stay

I may have said this before but church planting, and church leadership generally, can be tough. As I heard Andrew Wilson say, with reference to Mark 6:48, it can be like rowing a boat into a headwind. Painstakingly slow. You need a tough skin and a soft heart and it’s not always to keep those things from getting mixed up leaving you unteachable and unapproachable. One of the hardest aspects for me in the struggle to establish a church and set a healthy culture is when I think of the…

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Church 

Baltic Pioneers

So as the summer holidays recede into the rear view mirror it is helpful to reflect on some of the things that happened before ploughing ever onward into the busyness of autumn. One of the highlights was a short camp we went to in Latvia. Hosted by our friend Matt Medd, it was a gathering of church planters from across Scandinavia and the Baltic nations and their friends and families each one connected to the Relational Mission family of churches, which is part of Newfrontiers. There were about a hundred people all told at the beautiful…

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