Posts Tagged "church"

How to listen when the preacher doesn’t have anything to say…

Posted by on Dec 18, 2020 in Blog | 4 comments

I always like to be fair, and as my last post was on how to preach when you don’t have anything to say, I thought it only proper to look at the other side of the coin – how to listen when the preacher doesn’t have anything to say. Now don’t misunderstand the motivation behind these posts. I am not anti-preaching, albeit I am not in the camp that believes the world might end if a church service doesn’t include a sermon. I think that preaching can accomplish an enormous amount of good and that the sermon remains the means through which the majority of Christian...

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How to preach when you haven’t got anything to say…

Posted by on Dec 15, 2020 in Blog | 4 comments

Amusing though the title is, let me start with the disclaimer that it isn’t mine, but was the topic given to Mark Oakley when asked to preach at a recent Church Times event. Now Mark Oakley always has something worthwhile to say – so do listen to his podcast on this topic, though other than for the title, I have taken this post in my own direction. Furthermore, lest you think this is for preachers alone, I plan to follow it up with a post: “How to listen when the preacher hasn’t got anything to say…” – so I am trying to make sure there is something...

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When you say “Pastor”: What Images of Clergy tell us…

Posted by on Sep 13, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

Don’t know if you have ever thought about the collective nouns for various professions. Some are perceptive, others tongue in cheek. Apparently one should speak of a “rash of dermatologists”, a “shower of meteorologists”, and a “boast of barristers”. When it comes to clergy the best I could find was “a rumble of clergy” – most were less flattering. What do you think of when you hear the word “pastor”, or “priest”, or “minister”, or “clergy”? The images that spring to mind are likely to...

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Towards a 21st Century Church (2): Time for the 500 year Rummage Sale?

Posted by on May 2, 2019 in Blog | 6 comments

In my earlier blog post “Towards a 21st Century Church”, I discussed four assumptions we should challenge if we are to make a constructive journey towards the future. In this post I explore Phyllis Tickle’s contested but thought provoking thesis that roughly every 500 years a “great emergence” occurs within Christianity during which a new and “more vital” form of faith emerges. Roughly stated, Tickle’s big idea is that every five hundred years the Church cleans out its attic and has a giant rummage sale. This enables the church to reevaluate and sometimes discard forms of faith she...

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Towards a 21st Century Church: Four Assumptions to Challenge

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 in Blog | 11 comments

Now that we are almost a fifth of the way through the twenty first century, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the church can no longer act as though it is still the twentieth century. People give various reasons for why significant change is needed – some of the more common contenders being that we now live in post-Christendom (and the church therefore no longer operates from a platform of privilege, nor can it assume that people have a basic understanding of the Christian faith); or that the postmodern turn in society has rendered everything relative, making the truth claims of the...

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