We don’t need Divine Rehab but Divine Rescue

CENTER CHURCH – Tim Keller  (Ivy GG notes – much of this material comes from today’s Ivy GG Leaders Day; thanks so much to all who made time to attend and for all you’re doing at ‘the church that meets at your house.’) I have been very inspired as I read Tim Keller’s latest book, Center Church. Check out the video summary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_ZWlPUmVug I downloaded it on my Kindle and began to highlight in yellow important phrases and concepts as is my usual practice, but there’s so much there it ended with what looks like a Christian version of the Yellow Pages! DISCUSS: Do you read regularly or is that something you find hard to make time for? If so how might you overcome that challenge so you keep on growing? What have you read recently that’s encouraged, inspired or challenged you? I outlined my understanding of what I’d read in the book to our leaders as follows: The ‘model’ of church isn’t what’s most important. We have at one end (D.F.) the DOCTRINAL FOUNDATION. What we believe – and as […]


The Cross That Sets Us Free

Colossians 2:13,14 “…you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. I took this photo on my iPhone the other day, just passing the Albert Pub in Didsbury and noticed how they’d put up a warning sign to deter parkers, on a cross. Ever been clamped? I got my car clamped once – and I could tell the guys who did it just loved their job! Grrr… it was so frustrating to be stuck like that, subject to punishment. Not able to go where I wanted. Captive! I didn’t have the money to pay them and contested it vigorously because (unlike this one) the sign wasn’t clear or even visible from where I parked. Finally, a friend agreed to pay half and then I paid the vultures who held my car, and was free! I was so struck by how this pub has put their […]


God looks at the inside. Visitors don’t!

Continuing the Richard Reising insights… Marketing is biblical. At various times it says, ‘Jesus perceived their thoughts / reasoning in their hearts – and said….’ What was he doing? Managing their thoughts. Reshaping them where neccessary. We have to have a finger on the pulse of what people think about us. We have to be aware – and adjust. (that’s not ‘people pleasing’). A great example occurred at Pentecost. Acts 2 – in the midst of crazy charismania, when people were thinking, ‘What on earth is this?” Peter stood up to manage their perceptions; ‘We’re not drunk as you perceive, this is what the Bible says, let me explain…’ Peter was sensitive enough to know, ‘I have to manage this perception.’ Result? Thousands were won to Christ that day! In fact, God is the ultimate marketer. If you’re a Christian, it’s because He did whatever it took to reach YOU. He knew exactly what to do. Everything the church does ‘markets’ for good or ill.   Someone will quote 1 Sam 15:7 where it says, ‘God looks at our heart.’ Well […]


Debra Green – Mountains or Fountains

My notes from this, the first talk in our 40 Days of Ivy DNA Series: RELEVANT. People are surprised when we as a church are normal rather than ‘religious’ Text –  John 4- the samaritan woman at the well. 1) Jesus asked – ‘Will you give me a drink?’ This is a very controversial conversation for him to have at all. He’s showing us the type of Saviour he is. He’s speaking to her in her language, about her every day life and needs. Connects with the familiar. If we want to be relevant we need to offer and speak into what people need. Cf Breathe City Church in Stoke- their ‘When‘ ministry: giving clothes to the poor in the city. Thousands of clothing packages given. When we meet the felt needs of people, we’ll be relevant. We’re not relevant because the worship is great or the preaching is good: people outside of church are not even asking about that anyway! But if we help people and connect in people in prison, in debt, when we are marked by hospitality, […]


DEBRA GREEN: Nehemiah 10 – 13. The house of God.

Debra rounded off our series tonight. She began by talking about competing voices – a time in the week when there were 2 sat navs going in the church, which one do we listen to? God’s word to is the Bible, and Nehemiah kept having to come back to that, and call people back to what the Lord had said. 10:28 Now the rest of the people—the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding— these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes. At what age can a child understand and come into the things of God? Josh 24:15 – Choose who you will serve! As for me […]