Archive for November, 2010

The media these days are always looking at the fundamental problems of anti social behaviour and crime and can they see the problem? The reports that I have surveyed show very few articles offering the solution to these young people. The main problem that I learned on Thursday at MMTC, was from Tim Hawkins. Tim is a very good youth pastor with a lot experience, and he came all the way from Australia, to give the exact knowledge and food to feed the ideas to develop the understanding of the youth; especially in this part of the country. He said; ‘The biggest item on any youths heart is always to meet ” a Challenge”‘.

If this is the case, then why aren’t we challenging the youth on the streets? There are so many people going out in the streets, evangelising, and proclaiming God’s word to commuters; but is it challenging them? Jesus didn’t just read the Torah to the Pharisees, and Sadducees, and teachers; he challenged them! That is what we need to do with people today!! The example below is the teachers challenging Jesus to his authority.  

The Authority of Jesus Questioned:     Mathew 21

 23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”

 24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

   They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”

 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

   Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

I know it sounds fundamental and obvious, but it is very easy to get to involved with being part of a church, or small group, or leading a talk; without getting yourself in a comfy hole, without occasionally cutting yourself on a piece of glass, or poking yourself with a sharp stone. In today’s world, we are all churches of mission, and we all need to go out and challenge the young people we know! This can create several positives:

1. It keep them entertained and focused

2. They will work to achieve something.

3. It will create questions, which could open doors.

4. It can bring them down to earth/ reality.

The youth culture is very competitive, and style, image and so-forth, are all evil items of creating a level of social acceptance.

I’m going to start in January with the youth group at church, a book by Tim Hawkins called ‘ Awesome on the inside’. It’s about transforming the focus of image from the outside, and focus on the image on the inside. It is very good, and I will update this blog to show you how it goes.

  My mentor has given a link to his blog post on how all young people are not all down and outs, but people who have low expectations, follow http://transforminggrace.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/do-hard-things-what-the-rebelution-means-for-grown-ups/

This is the latest item on the agenda! The problems that society have are being focussed on the life of the church.

I went to a vocations workshop about the sustaining practises that could help the life of a priest. It was really good, because it was open for discussion, but also it was good to share experiences with other clergy, and also the opportunity to work out strategies to prevent ‘spiritual and physical burnout’. The meeting was going smoothly, untill there came a point when we got in to small groups to discuss what we would do in certain scenarios. This then opened up the character of a lot of pertensial ordanands. The session turned in to a ‘agony aunt’  session. A lot of the women were getting emotional about ‘My relationship could change with my friends’, or ‘my husband wouldn’t like that’, or ‘I don’t like that’, etc. I sometime wonder how these people get so far with their own ministries, let alone, with the ministries they will conduct in the future. I know God will ordain them in what he wants them to do, but i do have a slight concern with the future of the church. There are so many people who are going forward for all types of ministry, but, have they sorted their own lives out, before they can conduct advise to any one else?

If these people are going to be the leaders of the church, then ‘Oh dear..’ I know that everyone has problems, including myself, but: if you don’t offer your problems to God, then you become burdened with a lot of rubbish, which could crush your ministry. If these people go out with problems on a major scale, they will be useless to anyone who needs spiritual, and physical support. I do wonder if a lot of people know what is in stall for them.

I went to the food bank again yesterday, and there are suggestions to go out and live like those who sleep rough, in order to experience some of the pain that some people face.  Could you imagine, any of those people who have a ‘status’ doing anything like this?   I woke up to the real world, outside of the church, when I  came to this neck of the woods, and I must say; God has shown me the reality of this world! I hope and pray tha the church as a whole can see it too. I don’t mean the whole church, but the local church.

My bible notes today are about being forgiven and cleaned. It brought up the passage in John 13, about Jesus washing his disciples feet. Jesus as the servant king, who will serve upon those who accept him. This passage some up the blog as a whole.

The church has people who have dirt in their lives, and especially leaders;  and they need someone to clean it away. Their sins need wiping away, and Jesus is the only one who can do it. Peter denies Jesus the opportunity to begin with, but Jesus said (13:8)

 ‘ Unless I wash you, you have no part with me’.

We should all accept Jesus, and to ask him to wash our feet (our dirt and sins) in order to live a clean life, and also offer to him the problems and desires that we have to him.

Feeling the strain!!

Posted: November 12, 2010 in MT Life, Problems
Tags: , ,

I’ve been in the MT role now for nearly 2 Months and I’m starting to feel the strain. It feels like I’m stretching my muscles but not quite pulling them. The ministry is still very enjoyable and I’m getting more involved with different types of ministry. This week was the dress rehearsal for the Noah play that the kids club will be performing next Tuesday and it’s still unprepared. Well it could be better, but I feel it needs to be closed up soon because the kids are getting bored!!! That was this Tuesday and I’m still recovering from it now.

The TNG group was also very enjoyable but wearing.
Youth ministry is great, I love it; it’s one of my biggest passion, but when you are thin on the ground it does strain you. It reminds me of what Bilbo Baggins says in the The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring at the start:

“it feels like butter scraped over too much bread!”

I’m starting to feel the weight but it does feel like being under the pressures that I had at university. Though I do look forward for having that time off, I do miss the routine of being busy, and sorting things out. I have recently turned 22 years old, it starts to feel that adulthood is becoming more a reality than anything else. In the TNG group discussions, I was asked, when did I really need my faith? The fact was, I was brought up as a christian, and I haven’t moved away at all; not even in my teenage years, but when I was at Uni, and I was mixing with sex maniacs, I had to really depend on my faith. It felt like I was the only light in a dark room. This is all true, and sometimes, when we feel like God is giving up on us, just remember that just because he isn’t doing anything immediate, doesn’t mean that one of his plans hasn’t been formulated.

The count down to Christmas is nearly upon us, can I keep the strain, without pulling the muscle? We will soon find out!

Feeling the strain

Posted: November 11, 2010 in MT Life, Problems
Tags: , ,

I’ve been in the MT role now for nearly 2 Months and I’m starting to feel the strain. It feels like I’m stretching my muscles but not quite pulling them. The ministry is still very enjoyable and I’m getting more involved with different types of ministry. This week was the dress rehearsal for the Noah play that the kids club will be performing next Tuesday and it’s still unprepared. Well it could be better, but I feel it needs to be closed up soon because the kids are getting bored!!! That was this Tuesday and I’m still recovering from it now. The TNG group was also very enjoyable but wearing.
Youth ministry is great, I love it; it’s one of my biggest passion, but when you are thin on the ground it does strain you. It reminds me of what Bilbo Baggins says in the The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring at the start:
“it feels like a little butter over too much bread!”
I’m starting to feel the weight but it does feel like being under the pressures that I had at university.

Well here we are folks… The final showdown between the nations favorite, His Grace the right reverend Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, verses the MT from Holy Trinity West Bromwich. The stage is Telford international centre, the bell goes at 11am.

 

 

If it was going to be a title fight, then I probably would win by agility. If though, the fight was down to theological knowledge; the Archbishop would surely win. It was interesting how someone of his authority and status, would want to talk for 5 mins to a person like myself. Let me set the scene first……

The Archbishop of Canterbury is on a Pastoral visit to the diocese of Lichfield (which I’m in), and he is in the area from the 5th November to the 8th November (my birthday). He was speaking at the Telford International Centre on Saturday 6th November in two sessions: 1) His lecture on heresy. 2) An all age worship with the Archbishop’s address.

His first lecture was very linguistic, and well structured, though some theological knowledge before hand would help a listener understand (degree in theology perhaps). After the lecture, we had a lunch break in the large hall, and there were loads of stalls and entertainment on show. During the time when i was bumping into friends of old, I saw the Archbishop walking about, and I thought I would ask him something that has really been bugging me to ask someone like him. When I had caught his eye, he came over and shook my hand. I didn’t believe it!!! I was now in the focus of a serious authoritative person. In one way, the head of the church of England (on earth). He asked me what my name was and what I was doing, and I thanked him for his lecture then this question:

‘Archbishop; How did you feel when you exploring your vocation/calling in to the church?’

He responded: ” Well, I was very nervous,and excited about the opportunity, but I never took my focus of Jesus and his teachings, and you must remember to walk with Jesus, and he will guide you, so don’t be afraid.’

I was stunned! The person on TV, Radio, Newspapers, was actually human! I gave me such comfort and joy to know that even the head of the Church of England (on earth) was nervous, and excited like myself, about the possibility of ordained ministry.

The photo really says it all. What a treat!

I said when I was younger that if I had a life ambition, it was to talk to an Archbishop of Canterbury. It has now been accomplished, and I’m so thankful to God, for giving the opportunity to meet such a man with authority and status.  So it was a clash of ministry, liberal v’s evangelical, but even so, we worship the same triune God, and that is what really counts!!!

 

As Mondays for an MT are very spontaneous, it leaves me a day where I could either catch up on reading, or even play some guitar, or sleep. Well, I wanted to help out and get involved with so more practical work, and it has always been on my mind to get involved with some other area of ministry. I found on a notice sheet that they are looking for some volunteers to help run the food bank in the town, and I was very happy to go along and help. I have never seen anything like this before, and I was really worried that something was going to happen. When I arrived at the centre, (they didn’t expect me) there was an element of surprise at my arrival, which is expected, and I couldn’t wait to roll my sleeves up and get some work done.

I was introduced to the other volunteers, and they shed some stories with me, and this gave me such a drive to get involved. It’s a clever and well organised process, and there were people who needed the food. When we gave out the parcels of food, the faces of the recipient change. It felt so moving; I have never seen someone clinch on to a tin of baked beans before. The stories that these people tell are shocking, but real! These are people who can’t afford to feed themselves or their families, and need assistance. It is a project/charity and I am so thankful for all the churches and people who give freely to this venture. 

I had to words that described the food bank as a whole. It is ‘Amazing’, and ‘Ridiculous’.

Its amazing, because of the generosity and level of people who get fed by the scheme and also the amount of food, and support. The other thing that makes it amazing are the stories that people tell and sometimes they are good, and others need prayer.

I use ridiculous, because they shouldn’t be in this situation to begin with. We are in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and there are still people who can’t live, or find food. What is going wrong? How is this happening?

I will say that long may it continue, and it will be an honour to continue to help these people out. There is a sense of doing God’s work when you speak to the people, or even when you hand over that lifeline.  I will try now and continue with this ministry in helping this project, and I prayer for all the people who help to keep feeling generous, because this is part of God’s work, and plan for these people.

It reminds me of what Jesus says about him being the Bread of life John 6:35

‘Jesus declared “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’

This is so true for all those people who need to feed on Jesus. Long may this ministry continue…………