There is one God who is Father, Son and Spirit. Simple.
The concept of the trinity – one God in three persons – is both stunningly simple yet astoundingly complex. But more importantly, it is foundational (and I would argue that it is paramount, even) in terms of understanding anything about who God is and what he does.
There are many great books (Delighting in the trinity by Tim Chester, plus the relevant chapters in Doctrine by Mark Driscoll, Knowing God by JI Packer and Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem), web resources (such as the section on 'Trinity' at theResurgence.com) and other resources (listen to 'Three in One' from the God Unlimited album for something a bit lighter!) that we can turn to in order to engage with the doctrine of the Trinity. However, the best place to go to understand God is in his word, the Bible.
One of the broader aspects of my role as an Assistant Pastor is to serve our church and the wider church by planning and leading a few larger-scale Christian conferences, youth events and training days. At one such Christian event recently, I was approached by a number of youth workers who were asking me about a video that we had used in one of the main sessions. In particular, this person wanted to know where I had got the video from, so that they could use it in their youth group. When I explained that we had bought the video from worshiphousemedia.com for $19 (£12), their faces often fell. "So it's not on YouTube, then?" was the normal the reply. Some even asked me to email it to them anyway. While I sympathise with the mindset of resourcing free or cheap media for use in churches and their ministries, it is a mindset that is at best unhelpful and at worst illegal.
According to one newspaper I read recently, businesses in the capital were due to take a hit of multiples of millions of pounds on the morning of 17 September 2013. Why? All because of the release of a new video game: Grand Theft Auto V.
Aside from the financial cost of 'GTA Flu' (as an expected 19% of working men take a day's sick leave to play the game), there is something else about GTA5 which bothers me. As you search through news reports, blog posts and the assorted media hype over the game, people seem to be asking every question about GTA5 apart from one...
For a recent workshop at the Growing Young Disciples conference in London, I put together an infographic to help people begin to understand the complexities of social media and how churches and/or ministries might engage with it. A number of people commented on how helpful it was, so here it is for you to view, share or download.
I recently gave a workshop entitled The Social Network: Reclaiming social media at the Growing Young Disciples conference in London. A number of people asked about if/how they might be able to get access to some of the material in the workshop (eg handouts, etc).
Here are all the files used in the workshop for you to download and use as need be (These files by Alan Witchalls are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License).
Most of the battles faced by the average Christian over his/her lifetime can most effectively be dealt with by remembering what you are in Christ: if you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are a justified, reborn, increasingly Christ-like, persevering citizen of God's eternal kingdom.
There is no doubt that Twitter is a unique form of communication. If you don't believe me, just try explaining it to someone who has no prior understanding of twitter and you'll soon see the glazed expression of incomprehension! How can pastors and churches best use twitter a) as an effective tool for general communication and b) as an effective tool for pastoral ministry?
For 364 days of the year, parents lovingly and carefully reassure their children that there are no monsters under the bed, that the boogie man won't jump out of the cupboard and that whatever happens, Mummy and Daddy will do their best to protect them from the nightmares of the world outside. Then, on the 31st October we chuck all that out of the window, get them to dress up as monsters, dead people or even the devil, and then encourage them to practice extortion on neighbours by demanding they give us treats or else!