A pre-figure of Generation Z appears in Acts 20 where we read how a young man called Eutychus was hearing a sermon that sent him to sleep and he ended up ‘pushing up Zs’. He fell out of the window and would have stayed pushing up daisies, until the apostle Paul did something dramatic that raised him back to life. There are presently six living generations. How many can you name? I had heard of Boomers and Busters, got my head around Generation X (I’m in that bracket) and Generation Y (millennials b. 1980-95) but unlike marketeers and media people I was way behind the curve when it came to Generation Z, the tweens and teens of today (1995-2010). As someone who wants to reach the world for Jesus, that’s pretty much inexcusable- because this hugely populous group are the influencers of tomorrow, living in a world that has radically changed from when I was a teen. I first heard someone tackle the importance of reaching this burgeoning group of potential world changers (or self obsessed narcissists depending who you […]
How did Peter get to follow Jesus and become a leader? Jesus selected him. How did Matthew get to follow Jesus and become a leader? Jesus selected him. Luke 5: One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore… After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Jesus called some fishermen and said “Follow me.” He went out and saw the tax collector who was by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Why did he do that? Because Jesus picked him. […]
Despite what many people in our culture may think, anyone who reads the Bible will soon discover that Christianity is NOT a system for Good people trying to live good lives. When people say, ‘I don’t believe in God or Jesus – but I’m just as much a good Christian as you..’ You can be sure that probably through no fault of their own they either missed the point or were given a description of Christianity that was about religion and rules and quite rightly rejected it. But the REAL gospel – the good news, starts with the bad news that you’re not good. You’re more sinful than you ever dared believe; and more loved than you ever dared hope. Because of the cross of Christ, if we exchange our own messed up record, we get his spotless one. That’s how we end up being ‘counted or reckoned as good.’ Justified, the Bible says. Because of Jesus taking the punishment for my sins, I’m justified – it’s ‘justasifI’d’ never sinned. If that’s all news to you, please get hold of […]
While 82% didn’t, 18% of churches grew.
Now I see why that is slightly encouraging.
Tomorrow we finish a series I have loved us going through at Ivy, all about David. We’ve been in his life for months and learned a lot. But as we draw a close on his life, I’m left wishing he finished better – and praying that I will finish well. David was a man after God’s own heart. But as we track through his life we know that David’s heart was often broken. All of our hearts are broken by sin. By wrong things we’ve done and things done to us. Last week we saw how at times, temptation won and sin reigned in David’s heart and controlled him. If you want to check out my video teaching on that fall with Bathsheba it’s available free on ‘Ivy Player’ on www.ivymanchester.org now Now while David was forgiven of that because he turned to God in repentance, consequences came back to bite him. That’s something we often forget ahead of our sin, or even post confession. Consequences. There were consequences with regard to how much God could bless him, because that […]
I’m disturbed that the church has made DISCIPLING a new kind of industry in the last 5 years or so. Everyone’s doing conferences or writing books with plans and formulas to ‘disciple’ people. As if it’s a verb – not a noun.
I have felt so GUILTY about prayer. Because I am rubbish at it.
There are few Christian warriors of the mind these days. Most retreat into personal piety or good works. We follow someone who died at 33. Don’t live a life that doesn’t offend people, if we don’t live as if we don’t care if we die, we will be impotent.
These notes from Matty’s talk at our new gathering at Ivy Sharston form our discussion notes for this week’s grow groups Church is about people with a purpose It’s not about a building Discuss: Why do people HATE church? One of the worst things Christians have done is make God boring One Internet thread Matty found described Christians as the most judgemental people Read James 2:14-20 Maybe it’s not about being more relevant but more real. We talk as if we have the monopoly on love – but the world wouldn’t agree. We talk as if we have the monopoly on generosity. People love to do good works and give. We should encourage and recognise that. Read Matt 5:14-16 What does ‘shine’ mean to you? The message version says be generous with your lives. It’s not (just) about the money! Discuss What makes a church a church? The Bible word ‘oikos’ we translate in the Bible as household is really a gathering of community, extended family. Is your grow group an oikos? What matters? 3 things Love one another Get […]
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 […]