More then ever – the world needs church

‘This brings me to one of the more controversial elements of historic Christian plague ethics: We don’t cancel church. The whole motivation of personal sacrifice to care for others, and other-regarding measures to reduce infection, presupposes the existence of a community in which we’re all stakeholders. Even as we take communion from separate plates and cups to minimize risk, forgo hand-shaking or hugging, and sit at a distance from each other, we still commune.

Some observers will view this as a kind of fanaticism: Christians are so obsessed with church-going that they’ll risk epidemic disease to show up.

But it’s not that at all. The coronavirus leaves over 95 percent of its victims still breathing. But it leaves virtually every member of society afraid, anxious, isolated, alone, and wondering if anyone would even notice if they’re gone. In an increasingly atomized society, the coronavirus could rapidly mutate into an epidemic of despair.’ Lyman Stone ‘Christianity has been handling epidemics for 200 years

Church interrupts the rhythm of a fallen world with the breath-taking, life-giving food of the gospel. Church is the only place where real life is found. Church is the closest place to heaven on earth. Church is where Jesus meets with people. Now more than ever the world needs church.  Continue reading

Church: Help Through Jesus – Life From Jesus

What is Church?

The first question I wanted to answer at our first ever launch team meeting was: ‘What is Church?’ Now – happily – no one in the launch team was actually asking this question! But really – isn’t this a question we should be continually asking, and making sure we have clear in our minds? What is church? What is our mission? Who are we, what are we meant to be doing? Continue reading

What does it mean to be culturally engaged?

“We want to be a church that engages with the surrounding culture” – but what does this mean? What does it look like? And isn’t it dangerous/compromising?

These are all good questions! For some the concern in such an idea is that the church will water down certain truths for the sake of not offending the culture. I understand this concern! You need only look around briefly to see churches that have compromised, whether it be on their stance on certain sins, the exclusivity of Christ as the way to God, or even a dismissal of certain essential elements of worship.

So to answer question of what we mean when we say we want to engage the culture in a relevant way – let me first of all make clear two things we do not mean by it…

Continue reading

Resurrection: Fantasy, Fact, Faith.

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Over Easter at Worthing Tab we had our usual Maundy Thursday seminar. For the last couple of years we have looked at the subject of suffering and how we can only understand the suffering in the world by understanding the suffering of the cross. This year however we had a seminar on the resurrection of Jesus. In the seminar I wanted to explore the resurrection under three headings – fantasy, fact and faith. You can listen to a rough audio recording of the seminar via SoundCloud linked below – I’ve also given the seminar outline below. I should also say thanks to Glen Scrivener for his help in thinking through some of the issues for this seminar.

Resurrection Seminar Part 1

Resurrection Seminar Part 2

Questions

Outline:

1. Welcome

2. Introduction

The purpose of our Seminar this evening is to examine the Resurrection of Jesus Continue reading

Revved up with somewhere to go!

Saturday 27th September will be forever engrained on my memory. My Ordination Day and Induction at Worthing Tabernacle. It was such a precious day in so many ways – but it was also a ‘weighty’ day as I made promise’s before Almighty God and before a congregation of church members, family and friends:

Doug, before Almighty God and before this congregation, we ask you:
Do you believe in the One Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and are you trusting Him for your salvation?
Reply: I do so believe and trust.
Do you believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God and the only rule of faith and practice?
Reply: I do so believe and practice.
Is it your intention to love and serve the Lord your God and the members of Worthing Tabernacle, working together with your brothers in leadership, for the good of this local church and for the glory of the Lord?
Reply: By the grace of God it is.
Will you preach the Word of God, do the work of an evangelist, shepherd the flock and discharge your calling faithfully, according to the grace and the gifts given to you?
Reply: With God’s help I will 
Doug, in view of the promises you have made, we now commission you to serve as the Assistant Pastor of this church. May God bless you and be with you as you serve with us. 

It’s a week on now from when I made those promises and as I reflect on them I am excited, Continue reading