Browsing articles from "October, 2011"
Oct 5, 2011

What a failed Pastor taught me about gospel ministry

At a recent meeting of the West Midlands Evangelical Leadership Forum we heard from Richard Underwood the FIEC Pastoral Director.

Towards the end of his session he shared four Big Ideas that were a great help to me and all who battle with accepting our limitations in ministry. These are the truths that must be embedded deep into our hearts, lives and ministry.

1) Be human

Richard said ‘please never use the word ‘only’ and ‘human’ in the same sentence.’ Not only do we have needs but we were created with needs. Our limitations, the limitations of time, gifts, resources, energy, wisdom  are needs by design.

What a help to be reminded that God has made me to be dependent on him. I cannot make it on my own in ministry because I was not created to make it on my own.

2) Be humble

Gospel ministry means remembering that we are not only are we human but we are fallen. As we look back and look forward in ministry ‘at no point do you ever function in the way you are meant to do.’

Our very falleness will mean not just weakness because we are human but failure because we are sinful.

Again, we are cast on God not just for strength for each day but for mercy and grace to cover our sins and renew our lives.

3) Be honest

How much damage is done by ministers to ministers because we fail to apply the gospel to our ministry?

It was amazingly honest of Richard to begin his session saying he had only two qualifications for speaking to us. Firstly, he knew and loved the Lord Jesus and secondly that he was ‘a failed Pastor. Forgiven, restored, set-free to minister again.

How many of us come close to ever describing ourselves in those terms?

The result is that when we meet up together we’re likely to do as much damage as good. Richard challenged us as to how easy it is for ministers to meet in competitive pride. Our natural desire for self-justification is not only a denial of the gospel but a massive disincentive to real honesty and a refreshing reality in ministry and prayer.

4) Be filled with hope

Because Jesus is Lord and he will build his church we can continue to minister each day knowing that it is not all about us.

We may be human, we need to be humble, we must be honest and we yet we can continue to minister in hope, rejoicing in the fact that he uses who he uses and that includes me.


Oct 4, 2011

Wow! Daily Mail publishes ‘Amanda Knox GUILTY’ story in error

Malcolm Coles on his blog highlights this extra0rdinary reporting of the Amanda Knox case.

When the Judge read out the verdict at the Amanda Knox trial later last night he began by finding her guilty of less charges before acquitting her of the murder of Meredith Kercher. However, on hearing the word ‘guilty’ from the mouth of the Judge the Daily Mail published this pre-written on-line article.

The article is complete with invented quotes from Prosecuting lawyers!

The moral of this tale, as if you didn’t know, don’t believe everything written bythe papers.

With thanks to The Alethiophile for pointing me to the story.

Oct 3, 2011

What excuse at the BBC for its silence on the fate of Iranian Pastor sentenced to death?

Update: Seems that the BBC do have something to say after all – it’s just that the BBC can’t spell his name correctly and that their search engine isn’t very sophisticated.

How is it possible that a search of the BBC News’ website should return ‘no matches’ when I searched this morning for news of the fate of Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani. How is it possible that obsessed as the BBC is with the fate of Amanda Knox, et al., it has nothing to say or report on a man who has been sentenced to death for the crime of becoming a Christian in a Muslim country?

Visit the Sky News website and you will find up to date news. Search the Guardian, the Times, and this excellent post on New Statesman site for detailed coverage. But for some inexplicable reason the BBC is silent on this human rights story.

Oct 2, 2011

John Piper’ s book THINK available as free audio download

Christian audio has a great range of books to listen to including one free download a month. This month it’s John Piper’s Think.

Oct 1, 2011

It’s all about me – when social media is really self-promotion


Are we ‘cultivating an online evangelical culture of self-projection. Trying our hardest, of course, not to look like we’re self-promoting. This is not where God’s power lies.’

Dan Ortland asks some hard questions about our use of Social Media.


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