In the past few months I have had the great privilege of teaching the book of Deuteronomy to a hundred Italian students at the Padua Biblical Institute (www.ifeditalia.com). That teaching only included six hours of lectures, a couple of essays and some personal reading on various themes so it was necessarily limited, especially for such a long and complex book.
My time at LTS.
Being at LTS gave me the invaluable opportunity of having a season that was devoted to study and preparation for pastoral ministry. During the course we spent time in the different books of the Bible and studied all the major doctrines. The writing of the essays afforded us the occasion for studying particular subjects in depth (such as the end times and the Christian’s relation to the law). Some of us found keeping within the word-limits a challenge but appreciate that such restrictions helped us to form the ability to communicate clearly and concisely!
Your husband feels called to ministry – but how do you feel?
Some, no doubt will respond very positively to such a thought: the idea of a husband in the ministry, with the opportunity to support and serve alongside him seems an exciting prospect.
Others will be feeling totally overwhelmed: you can’t imagine why the man you married wants even to consider such a path. Surely that can’t be God’s will for you as a couple, as a family?
Or maybe you think, ‘Well it’s just another job. It won’t affect me much’.
Vulnerable Adults is a name given to a very diverse group of people. It covers people with both physical and intellectual disabilities, and also older frail and confused people. The safeguarding of vulnerable adults is becoming an area of concern like the safeguarding of children. Almost every local church has within its purview a number of older people and often other adults who have intellectual and physical problems. The way churches respond to such people varies massively and sadly in many instances.
For the past 15 years I have been involved in a small church plant in London’s West End. Covent Garden and Soho draws visitors from all around the world but also has a growing multicultural residential community. Recently I moved to pastor a church in Thamesmead, south east London. Although Thamesmead is only 10 miles away it is very different. Here there is a much larger community with many who originally come from countries such as Nigeria or Ghana. What follows are simply a few reflections from my own experience in seeking to make Christ known in a multicultural society.
Here’s an obvious fact: when you go to your first pastorate, you’re new. You haven’t grown with the rest of the church – your spiritual progress and personal circumstances have been independent of theirs up to now. Two lives are converging that previously ran only in parallel – the new pastor’s life, and the life of this particular local church. So both the man and the church have to work at getting to know each other, allowing for the fact that God has led them along different paths thus far. This is one pastor’s perspective.
[Geoff Thomas began his pastorate at Alfred Street Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, in 1965. He writes for us here on the benefits and dangers of a lengthy pastorate in one place.]
Covenant in Eden?
Covenant, representation and probation are the three key features of Adam’s relationship to God (and his own descendants) in Eden. The concept of ‘covenant’ here however needs further justification.
Every gospel preacher, wanting to emphasise that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, will have contrasted this gospel with the attempt to gain salvation by works. It is worth reflecting, therefore, on the fact that when the Lord Jesus Christ is asked by a lawyer ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ he answers, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ When the lawyer repeats the two great commandments, concerning loving God and loving your neighbour, Jesus says, ‘You have answered correctly; do this and you will live’ (Luke 10: 25-28).
Dispelling common myths about church planting
Unproved or false collective beliefs are often used to justify our lack of involvement in church planting. I think it’s time to discuss some of these issues and to dispel some of these myths. Why not begin with these four?
We have enough churches already
Simply put this myth would have us believe since England has a rich spiritual heritage and church buildings dot the landscape of our country surely there are enough churches already.