Skip to main content

Leaders who form a culture of grace and change

In the last few weeks Jesus has been teaching me about being weak. I'm freshly reminded that I'm in the middle of my sanctification not at the end of it, and as an unfinished person I'm not strong - despite my own deep sense of self importance.

I felt that afresh preaching on Sunday - probably the second illest I've been when preaching. For the second time in two months I was the fourth victim of the family cold - there's only so long you can spend in the company of illness before you get ill too! I have to ask myself did I fall ill because I've been burning the candle at both ends but I think the honest answer isn't that on this occasion. The weakness of my voice yesterday and its absence this morning is a helpful reminder of my lack of strength in myself and that Christ who became weak for me is my strength.
We don't want leaders who don't know the gospel - what use would that be... but we must not confuse knowing the gospel with the absence of weakness and struggle and sin. A blameless man isn't a sinless man - but someone marked by transparency, growth and struggle with his own sin.

It's important for those who lead to remember that they're just on the journey with everyone else. Paul Tripp's phrase about a pastor being someone in the middle of their own sanctification liberates me to fresh generosity with others...  when the DNA of a church includes that conviction of unfinishedness in ourselves (along with the utter finishedness of Christ's cross-work) there is liberty to bear with one another and carry one another's burdens.

According to the Strengthfinder test one of my top 5 strengths is 'Achiever'. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm good at achieving, but it implies that I like to accomplish things every day. The gospel disarms me completely. Here I come with my hands full of good works and knowledge and Jesus, smiling, takes my hands and turns them over letting all my stuff fall to the ground, inviting me to simply look to him, to receive from him.

Eternal life isn't for good people or geeky people... it's a free welcome into the life of God.
Sermon: The Life of God #5 - Dave Bish


  1. Loving this - particularly the unfinishedness in ourselves and the utter finishedness of Christ on the cross. Thank you.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…