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Showing posts from September, 2003

Mad month

What a mad month. I've been away from home for nine nights and eaten more conference food than I wish to remember. That said it's been a fantastic time of new beginnings. It's been great to start to get to know Surrey CU, particularly with their Cell weekend which we've just had. A real focus on building community and being evangelistic. My session was on honesty & openness, titled not about sex... and it wasn't. Meanwhile Reading start back this week and with the FE Colleges in the area also up and running I'll be all over the place trying to show people how wonderful Jesus is, from the Bible.

Not about sex

Ephesians 2v11-22
There are no strangers in the new humanity created by Jesus blood (11-19a)

Image 1. A new Humanity
Jesus’ triumph at the cross means…
All the divisions have gone
Access all areas for everyone

In what ways do we discriminate between each other? (be honest!) How will you treat everyone equally in your cell? We’re all sinners which means failure is ok. How can you create an environment where there is “permission to fail” in cell? What will you do to ensure that God’s abundant grace flows in your cell? How will we grow from being strangers to being open with each other? God’s glory inhabits the new house when it is built on the gospel & the Bible (19b-22)

Image 2. Inhabited House
The inhabited house is built on 2 foundations… “Jesus blood” & “The Apostles” –
i.e. The Gospel, The Bible Get those in place and God moves in! In what ways are our individual lives built on these foundations? How can we build these foundations in cell? “Being Jesus-centred means being Bible-cen…

Student Alpha Conference

Alpha Conference was great. Very challenging afternoon session on Worship, Evangelism & Justice by Mike Pilavachi. Some strong challenges - first to see the connection between Worship & Evangelism (a point i've longed to see made for four years - on which see my article on Acts 17v16ff), but then to consider whether our lives are truly worshipful lives - do we live justly, mercifully and humbly - like Christ? I suspect we don't. And grace abounds from Jesus, who is all those things but it never absolves us of living in right response to the gift we've recieved from God. I know I need to think over this more and more than that to begin to act more justly, mercifully and humbly. The other big challenge for me was a seminar by Danny Brierley of Oasis to think about community - what impact am I having on the communities that I'm a part of - that then points to the sphere in which my life is to be led in justice, mercy and humility.

The Distress of Idolatry to the heart of the worshipper

If we profess to be serious about God - if we consider his name and his glory to be the most important things and indeed the things for which we were created then this will impact our lives. Driven by this as we meet together we will proclaim this in songs of great joy and truth. And we'll do it in the preaching of the Word of God faithfully. And it will impact our lives, it will be applied.

"Worship which does not beget mission is hypocrisy.
We cannot acclaim the worth of God if we have no desire to proclaim it" (Stott, 1967)

A great example for apologetics (or at least that is how it is used) is found in Acts 17 but so often we miss the backdrop of this great triumph of cross-cultural evangelism. What was it that drove Paul? In v16 we see him enter and observe the city of Athens and he is found to be greatly distressed at the idolatry he sees - men worship anything and everything - even unknown gods, but they do not honour the true Sovereign God. And so, he takes the gosp…
Day off work to rest and recuperate after the FORUM conference. Fantastic to see over 400 students getting a vision for the good news about Jesus and looking to tell their fellow students about it, with the aid of the new Life resources. Off to the Alpha for Students conference tomorrow and then on to meeting with students on campus

My job is to meet with students and study the Bible with them, the aim of this is to see them gain in confidence and joy in Jesus' good news, and so to push forward the witnessing communities of students (CU's) on campus as they seek to take that good news to students. This is a genius way to work - sending 18 year old Christian missionaries from across the world into the student world as students to take the good news of Jesus to students. These missionaries work for three years in the most transient population in the country whilst they study, getting to the heart of student culture and speaking about Jesus.