Where has the evangelism gone? February 16, 2015Posted by thehutch in Ponderings.
Tags: church, dan kimball, faith, mission, missional
The other day, I was challenged to read a post on Facebook from Dan Kimball talking about the word ‘missional’ and how the word is often used, yet it appears rare that salvation stories follow.
Has the church confused its mission with acts of service? Have we dumbed down? I believe that we should be engaged in acts of mercy/service/good deeds but I am also convinced that these should be accompanied by an evangelistic challenge (recognising that this can take different forms) that sees some accept faith in Jesus.
When we talk about being ‘missional’ – what do we really mean?
Seek the Welfare of the City February 6, 2015Posted by thehutch in church.
Tags: christian, church, city, community, faith, inner city, london, marginalised, mission, outreach, poor, urban
“seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you…pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
God loves the city but the way we act as Christians does not always demonstrate this. We have chosen a mission field that fits our comfortable lives rather than the mission field of God. God wants everyone in the city to know Himself but we can act with fear and trembling when it comes to certain ‘no-go’ areas. Our own well being is linked to the well being of ALL the people that live near us and around us….note that…ALL! This is real community and we need to see ‘all’ of the city as our mission field and that includes some people that we will find difficult, uncomfortable and not necessarily those that we would associate with.
In my current role, I speak with churches and groups who desire to make a difference. The first thing that I am asked is for the ‘winner takes all’ strategy, thankfully they do not quit when one is not offered. There are things that can be done;
Pray for your community
Blindingly obvious but often a step that is missed
Be in your community
In a mobile city this step can be ignored but it is often the poorer and more marginalised that are least mobile and forgotten. The organisation that I work for is seeking to adopt a strategy for key workers of ‘live, work and worship’ in the community. Not everyone can adopt this but it is worth considering
Know your community
Be the expert of your community; who lives where? what is available? where are the services? what is the history? Be the sage of the area….it matters!
Love your community
This can be done in many ways. Pick up litter as you pass, open your home to people, be available to people, talk with people, listen to people. Love the people and care for the environment, you will be surprised how people respond.
Seek the welfare of the city….go for it….be amazed at what God can do!
Quotes for those doing mission in urban areas January 29, 2015Posted by thehutch in quotes.
Tags: church, city, london, mission, outreach, planting, quotes, urban
“You don’t need to be from a place of disadvantage in order to serve the disadvantaged” Kenny Borthwick
“The poor and disadvantaged know things about the kingdom that we need to learn” Kenny Borthwick
“Decline in the church seems to start in the family” David Voas
“Parish geography needs further thought as more communities are gathered than geographical” David Voas
“Sometimes we need to break concrete before we can sow seeds within the soil” Mark Russell
“The challenge for evangelists is to be results expectant and not result dependant” Mark Russell
Assurance of salvation January 19, 2015Posted by thehutch in Ponderings, Uncategorized.
Tags: beach mission, bible, devotion
latest facebook devotional for Emmanuel Beach Team
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
1 John 5:11-12 (NIV)
If you were to buy an autograph or an artefact, it is likely to come with a certificate of authenticity. This is the guarantee that what has been bought is genuine and it ensures that the buyer can have confidence in the item being bought. We often want to know that the results of our work our good, we want to know our destination.
So it is with our faith, how can we know that we are saved? How can we know that we have eternal life? Our certificate of authenticity is Jesus. He guarantees our life, ensures life and it is all assured- Jesus certificate is sealed with his blood and cannot be rescinded. How wonderful a thing this is.
If you have Jesus, you have life. Guaranteed!
Lay down your life January 9, 2015Posted by thehutch in thoughts.
Tags: beach mission, bible, blessed, devotions, Facebook, faith, thought
Latest short devotion for the Team
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” 1 John 3:16 (NIV)
The search for love and the desire to be wanted is within us all. Think of all the love songs, the films and the tragedies of life that are centred around the need to ‘love and be loved’. This verse tells us of the greatest love of all and the response that it should invoke in each and every one of us.
The greatest sacrifice known to man is shown in those willing to sacrifice their own life for another. We have recently celebrated the 100 Anniversary of the First World War and many tributes have been paid to those who gave their lives for our freedom. We have also celebrated the birth of a baby, whose whole purpose in life was to face death so that we may have true life. This is love beyond measure – Almighty God chose to reveal himself in Christ Jesus, as an infant so that through His life, death and subsequent resurrection, that we may have life.
The life of Jesus demands a response – if we accept it, it tells us what we ought to do as well. Are you willing to sacrifice your own desires, dreams and riches for the sake of others? The Christian life requires that willingness, this is no easy thing, a willingness to lay down our own lives for others.
Favourite Queen Songs January 2, 2015Posted by thehutch in personal.
Tags: Brian May, discography, favourites, freddie mercury, john Deacon, music, queen, Roger Taylor, songs
One of my favourite bands is Queen. Whilst they lost their frontman over 20 years ago, the music still lives on and has not been lost to the mists of time. I was fortunate enough to see them play live in Manchester 1986 and enjoy putting on an album or two when traveling. With this in mind, I thought that I would write my top ten favourite tracks – it may change next week – no mean feat when you look at the back catalogue….here goes, in no particular order;
1) Love of My Life
2) Hammer to Fall
3) These are the Days of our Lives
4) In the Lap of the Gods
5) Seven Seas of Rhye
6) One Vision
7) Don’t Stop Me Now
8) Somebody to Love
9) I Want it All
10) You’re My Best Friend
and 11) “Only the Good Die Young” but as a tribute song without Freddie on vocals
This list was really difficult as there are so many more favourites but for now, these are my top 10.
Lavished on us….. December 29, 2014Posted by thehutch in thoughts.
Tags: beach mission, devotional, emmanuel, Facebook
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
The strength and depth of this verse is overwhelming. Love was not just given to us, not just passed on….it was ‘lavished’ on us. It was given with great abandon and with a flourish. The father has given love in abundance, in great measure…..wowser! And we can be called ‘children of God’ – a title of greatest honour, to anyone who receives Him and believes in His name – and in that, we can have certainty, no searching for certificates of authenticity, we can know it with assurance.
How is this love demonstrated? Through the life of Jesus (celebrated at Christmas), His death and His resurrection. He gave of himself that we may have life. He ‘lavished’ love on us…..with complete abandon…..awesome! So, children of God, revel in it!
Are you busy? Busy doing what? December 17, 2014Posted by thehutch in quotes.
Tags: busy, michael hyatt, priority, quote, value, work
“Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?” Michael Hyatt
In the search for excellence, we need to ask ourselves some important questions. Is our activity;
You may be busy but busy is not always the answer!
Your desires? December 16, 2014Posted by thehutch in church.
Tags: beach, devotion, emmanuel, Facebook, mission, team
Another short reflection for the Facebook devotions of Emmanuel Beach Team
“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17
The ‘Black Friday’ deals were a revelation in the UK this year, the clamour for belongings and the desire to have more ‘stuff’, yet despite this, there will then be the boxing day sales and the new year extravagance. The opulence of the super wealthy against the world’s poorest people is beyond comprehension, yet we continually see the tension for the people that love Jesus – how much ‘stuff’ is necessary? Jesus was born in a borrowed stable, died in a risen tomb but now sits at the right hand of the Father. It is not worldly wealth and possessions that will sustain us, it is a heart set on Jesus. There is nothing wrong with having possessions, it is how we view them and how we use them that matter. What are the important things in our lives?
Do you love Him? Will you obey His commands? Do you walk like Jesus walked? One thing that money cannot buy – eternal life. However, it is freely given. Where are your desires placed? In the will of the Father? Get it right and true life will be yours.
Walk as Jesus Did December 12, 2014Posted by thehutch in thoughts.
Tags: 1 John, Beach Team, bible, devotion, emmanuel, Facebook, thought
Another reflection for the facebook wall of Emmanuel Beach Team:
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6 NIV)
People copy others all the time, don’t they? The latest fashions, the latest trends, the latest styles – the flavours tend to change with the seasons but it is amazing how much we love to be a copy of others. The book of 1John has started with a pronouncement of witnessing to Jesus, the need to walk a Holy life and then mentions that “if we love Him, we will obey His commands”. Then we have the modern day conundrum – copy someone, but make it Jesus. Walk as Jesus walked – in close communion with the Father, in the light of His goodness knowing freedom from sin because of Christ.
We need to live our lives as Jesus did, abandoned to the Father and pointing to Him with our lives. It is no easy task but we have Jesus and we have each other – this is the community of faith, this is the Church.