Advantages of the Multisite church planting model


The proliferation of multisite churches in the USA continues to increase. It is a trend that is also beginning to take a hold here in the UK. The basic idea for those who may not be aware is that a growing church which finds it doesn't have space for its congregation plants a site nearby that shares all the resources of the original church. In fact the new congregation is considered part of the original. It is one church, multiple sites.It seems from the rapid adoption of this model that … [Read more...]

John MacArthur accuses half-a-billion Christians of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit


See also the following posts: Strange Fire - A Charismatic Response to John MacArthur My review of the book Strange Fire: MacAthur accuses charismatics of being like Mormons John Piper responds to John MacArthur's Strange Fire Conference RT Kendall responds to MacArthur's Strange FireToday one in four of the two billion people who identify themselves as Christians are Charismatics or Pentecostals (ref).  I want to be absolutely clear that I am very happy to identify myself as … [Read more...]

Does unbelief in a pastor’s children disqualify him?


I was reading 1 Samuel 8:1-3 this morning where it speaks of Samuel's children not following his ways.Many modern pastors have experienced a similar problem when their children walk away from The Lord. Some over the years have been asked to resign as a result. The reason for this comes from Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:4. These two verses speak of the need for children of elders to not be rebellious, and in many english translations, that they be believers.Some have argued that no matter what … [Read more...]

What does it mean to be a living sacrifice? Terry Virgo on Romans 12

Above is an excellent sermon that Terry Virgo preached at Jubilee Church this past Sunday. Audio is also available to download. If you haven't already I would urge you to follow him on Twitter, and read his book Spirit-Filled Church.Here are a few bullet-point notes I took listening.Many think that if you become religious you take on many duties, but Christianity is not about what we must do but what Jesus has already done! In view of the mercies of God a response is called for, … [Read more...]

Ebenezer: thus far has The Lord helped us (1 Samuel 7)


In 1 Samuel 7:12 we see Samuel erecting a stone of remembrance. It struck me today that the reason he does this is precisely because we tend to forget. God's people have just been delivered because despite marginalising the presence of God they have repented, prayed, and fasted.But how easy it is to quickly forget the feelings of gratitude that most of us do feel when God answers our prayers. That job which we were given by God over time becomes in our mind a burden we wish we were rid of. Or … [Read more...]

The place of fasting in repentance (1 Samuel 7)


Today the church I am a part of Jubilee begins a church-wide call to prayer and fasting that will last three days. In one of those God-incidences I opened my Bible this morning to read 1 Samuel 7. God's people had turned away from pure worship of him. They had just deliberately marginalised the tangible presence of God among them. But despite this, God hadn't finished with them. God is an incredibly gentle, gracious and merciful God. He deals with us where we are and draws us forward. God … [Read more...]

Twenty-Five Responses to the presence of God (1 Samuel 1-7)


The following are a series of attitudes, responses, results and emotions seen when people come into contact with the presence of God. As we read the list it is quickly apparent that all of these effects happen today in response to God. I have written more about some of these already, so some of the words below are hyperlinks for more information. How we choose to respond to the presence of God is critical, and what happens to us as a result depends on the way we approach him.In the Old … [Read more...]

Supernatural displays don’t automatically produce faith (1 Samuel 5)


For both charismatics who believe that all the gifts of the Spirit are available today, and cessationists, there is often a nagging question in the back of our minds: why doesn't God do more of the stuff today?The theory goes something like this: if God would just be a bit more dramatic then surely people would immediately repent. The truth is even spectacular miracles don't automatically produce faith.In our circles we do hear sometimes quite dramatic accounts of when God heals today. But … [Read more...]

Right diagnosis, wrong prescription (1 Samuel 4)


The children of Israel were slow to learn. For generations the cycle had repeated. The book of Judges repeatedly explains that when his people were unfaithful to him he allowed their enemies to triumph over them. When they repented victory returned.So when they were defeated in Elis time they should have realised what they needed to do. Instead they realised the problem that God was fighting against them through his own enemies. But their solution was to rely on a formulaic approach. They … [Read more...]

7 tips on how to hear the Word of the LORD (1 Samuel 3)

Imagine the cessationists of the boy Samuel's time. They would have pointed to the relative absence of the supernatural, and said "Clearly God has stopped talking." How wrong they would have been. We see though, that even in Bible times there were seasons when "the word of the LORD was rare." How much less should we be surprised that over the centuries there are periods when it seems God is intervening in our world less, and others when he is intervening more. I know that some of my readers are … [Read more...]