→ Growing faith: Ten tips for going to church with your family


Christine Jensen:

Growing up in a family that didn’t go to church, I was determined when I married for ‘church’ to be the centre of our family. Of course, this was idealistic, and there were many moments when I thought it would have been easier to stay at home.

I hadn’t realised that this goal of mine wasn’t as easy as it sounded. I wanted my children to go happily, for church to be a delight to all family members.  But this does not always happen. We certainly had a revolt on our hands for a couple of years, by a couple of teenagers who simply did not want to go to a Bible Study on Friday nights in addition to one on Sunday afternoons with church to follow! I know that we should just go to church come what may as we want to meet the Lord, but are there any tips we can share about creating a positive attitude to what is a pretty important activity?

Read the 10 tips here.

Why be afraid of fear?


The day of the guest service has arrived: the culmination of weeks of planning, prayers, and many nervous “Hey, our church is holding a guest service this Sunday, and I was wondering…” type of conversations. To your joy and terror, a number of your friends said yes. (more…)

As good as it gets


“This is as good as it gets” the man assured me. I was initially shocked, but then deeply saddened by his statement. It was an astonishing statement—but there was no doubting the sincerity with which he was speaking. (more…)

Why you shouldn’t memorize Bible verses

Life, Sola Panel

flickr: chefranden

Well, actually, you should. But I got your attention, didn’t I? And I want to suggest there is something even better than memorizing Bible verses. Here it is: memorizing Bible passages.

I can almost hear you sigh. Who wants to be told they should memorize more of the Bible? If you’re anything like me, you tried to learn some Bible verses once, and you’ve forgotten them all, except a few stray words. And now I’m telling you that you should learn whole passages?

Yes, I am; but it’s not really a case of “should”. (more…)

Building new engines

Pastoral Ministry

In his recent Briefing article ‘What is church for?’, Phillip Jensen suggested that we are “somewhere between everywhere and nowhere as to the importance of church”.1 The same could be said about church planting. (more…)

BCP’s 350th!

Life, Sola Panel

I love my historical anniversaries. (Regular readers will know this, as do members of my church!) Anyway, 350 years ago today, on 19 May 1662, The Act of Uniformity received the royal assent in England. This enforced use of the Book of Common Prayer. There is a sad side to compelling the consciences of some Christian ministers, who preferred different ways of ordering their public church assemblies, but I will return to that another occasion. (more…)

Suffer the little children

Life, Sola Panel

The political pressure to redefine the meaning of marriage has recently become more intense and obvious in certain English-speaking countries. But you might have noticed that the vast majority of people in our society aren’t particularly concerned by these developments. Why is that? Here’s one possible reason: in the hearts and minds of the vast majority of modern Westerners, marriage has already been redefined. We just didn’t notice. (more…)

→ A debating trick gone wrong?


In a recent audio podcast from Freakonomics called “Soul Possession” they talk to a Christian guy who in debating atheists would try to buy their soul, since they placed no value in it… and also to the guy who took him up on his offer.

It gets bogged down a bit in the middle as they run away with the idea a bit, but it’s an interesting discussion: is this a rhetorical move gone awry, or a useful discussion to have?

Listen to it here.