Thursday, 29 September 2011

Great feedback from Alpha

On Tuesday evening we gathered in the church offices for the first night of Alpha.  31 of us heard about who Jesus is, ate homemade cake and drank tea, coffee and hot chocolate.  It was a great night with outstanding people serving tirelessly until 10:45 packing everything away.

Here is some of the feedback that has been received:

"It was such a good evening - I was on such a high when I got home it took a while to come down to earth!  It was so exciting to be there with my friends who don't know Jesus yet & listen to you speak so clearly & sincerely about Jesus & who He is."

"Both my guests really enjoyed the evening, so much that I had to prompt us to leave the Slug and Lettuce at half 11 last night! One of my friends was asking so many questions, but before I could give an answer, the other was butting in coming out with all this truth! This is amazing and an answer to prayer"

"I really really enjoyed tonight, everything I hoped it would be a more. So much I want to say and ask and discover but it's trying to get it all into words.  Furiously making notes now so i can get it altogether."

These are three different stories from three different people.  I know that God will work amazingly again on this course - please pray for his kingdom to come, for lives to be transformed, for grace to abound and for guests to return.

What a God we have, let's thank Him and give Him the glory for all he has done, is doing and will do!

Friday, 23 September 2011

A provocative statement that I am working through!

I read this sentence earlier this week and it has been living with me since:

"A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument."

This was written in the context of a book about the Holy Spirit called 'Good Morning Holy Spirit' by Benny Hinn.  Now I know that that name puts different thoughts in different minds.  There is such a mixed opinion of Mr Hinn and this blog is not a statement endorsing or attacking the man.  I just thought this statement was provocative.

In one sense I fully agree with him.  When sharing my personal story, no one can say it didn't happen without any integrity (as long as I'm not making it up!)  My personal walk with Jesus and the way that I live that out and communicate it will be the rebuttal to any great argument against Him existing or being God.  People will not always see it that way, but my experience will be my experience.

I think the danger of the statement is that our experiences can become the bench mark that we live by.  The person who experiences the baptism of the Spirit will point to that and say of course it is as it is written in the book of Acts.  Likewise the person who is healed.  However the person who has not been healed or who has prayed for but never experienced the baptism can rightly say to anyone trying to present a case that their experience is of no healing and of no Holy Spirit power.  Who is right?

This can only be settled I believe when we take our experience and line it up against what scripture says.  If my experience does not line up with the flow and body of scripture then my experience cannot be the bench mark. We cannot bring the bible down to our level of experience or we cannot add to the bible because of our experience.  The Bible must interpret our experiences and be the high water mark of what we expect God to do in our lives.

As you can see this has exercised my mind and will continue to do so as I think about the way I pastor and teach and counsel and live and love and be the follower of Jesus that I long to be.  I love the gist of the statement for evangelism purposes and as long as the experience is always measured against the great plumb line of God's word.

These are just initial thoughts and I'm sure they will continue to stew!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The two week countdown to Alpha has begun

With only two weeks left to go until the next Alpha course starts, it's time to start inviting people. We've got 9 people signed up already, will you or your friend be the next person to sign up.

I found  this story on the Alpha website and found that it gave me a fresh desire to invite someone because you don't know what God will do if they say yes, regardless of how reluctant they might be:

Alpha Testimony Sophie from Holy Trinity Brompton on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Back after the Summer Break

It's good to be back after the Summer break; a Summer that was inspiring and wet! It was great to be back among the church family again and as always a privilege to be able to preach.  

I'm so looking forward to this term and over the next couple of days I shall headline a couple of things coming up that will enable us to invite friends to an event that will be what they need.  As always it would be great to have your suggestions as to what sort of events we can be running in 2012 as we start to plan for the coming year.