I’ve been neglecting this blog so to get a jump on 2010 I’ve made an early new year’s resolution to start blogging again. One of the most important things I really need to start blogging about in 2010 is a new church plant we’re involved with in Derby.
If you don’t know Derby is a medium size city (237,000) in the East Midlands right in the heart of England. It’s in quite a crowded spot with it’s bigger rival cities: Nottingham (think Sheriff of Nottingham) and Leicester only a short drive away.
An Anglican church in Duffield has been passionate about church planting for a while and has been praying for opportunities as part of it’s 10 year plan. The first church plant is being led by a guy called Jonty Rhodes who’s currently working as their Assistant Minister. Jonty has been chatting to us for around a year about helping him plant this new church. As a rough guesstimate, we estimate that less than 1% of the Derby population are evangelical Christians and that’s a generous guess, so there’s a massive need for new churches in Derby.
The plan is to start a non-Anglican church aimed at reaching the whole city from the vantage point of the West side of Derby – in the Friar Gate/Ashbourne Road area of the city. It’s quite a diverse area with a new University Campus and almost all the Uni halls of residence, lots of small buisinesses and a massive variety of inner city housing. I can think of half a dozen new housing developments off the top of my head building trendy inner city flats in the area. The rest is a real mix.
While we’re going to be physically in the West side of the city the aim is to reach across the whole city whether that’s though midweek Bible talks for office workers, inner city social action or just working with other inner city Pastors – we want to be a church that’s a part of the bigger picture of what God is doing in Derby.
I’ll blog more about this in the coming months, but here are some big prayer requests for the moment.
- Pray that we find a core team (12-20 people) keen to be a part of all the planning and praying for the church.
- Pray that they’ll be a good ‘gift mix‘ within the core group and that we’ll bond well and work well together to see a clear plan start to form.
- Pray for all the networking to be done in the local community and with the other Pastors in the city.
- Pray for the funding – that God will provide.
To give you a little more context, here are some of the things that have been decided so far (or we think have been decided anyway):
- We’re going to be called Christ Church Derby. The thinking is, that a church name can do harm if you get it wrong but not that much good even when you pick a great one. We went for a safe name that non-Christians would recognise as a church name.
- We’re going to be in the West side of the city (as already mentioned)
- We’re aiming to be a conservative church that’s contemporary in it’s focus (more on this to come)
- Our motto is: a church for people who don’t go to church. We’re not trying to sheep steal or spread the existing church across the city, we’re trying to reach non-Christians through building relationships with them. We don’t want church to be a place people just go to on Sundays but a way of life.
That should be enough for now. We plan to launch a website at the end of Jan so I’ll blog about that when it’s live. Please pray for us and pass the address of this blog onto anyone who might find it interesting.
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At Christmas I spoke on Mary’s Song in Luke’s Gospel. Mary’s Song is often to called the Magnificat because of how it’s translated in Latin and is a great passage. It teaches us a little about Mary and the kind of woman she was. I think the main thing we’re supposed to learn about Mary is that there’s nothing special about Mary. Mary is precisely the reason we should be excited when we read the Bible, because God uses ordinary people like us. Mary’s Song also teaches us a lot about God. In this wonderful song, three truths about God are bound together: his power, his holiness and his mercy. Miss out any one of the three or overemphasize one over the others and you distort the God of the Bible. The passage also teaches us even more about Jesus. Mary’s Song is embedded in biblical history. The God of Abraham is also the God of Mary and just as God made a covenant with Abraham that covenant was only possible through Jesus.
Here’s the talk:
and here’s the Wordle:
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But when I think of how many overpaid sports figures, and how many haughty business executives, and how many self-consumed celebrities, and how many prideful political leaders have, in their bloated self-conceit, tried to arm-wrestle with God, and in doing so, walk over people, I think of this verse.
Listen, if you’re all caught up in this world’s values; if you’re fresh out of options this morning; if you feel that you’ve been dealt a crumby hand in life, then I have a message for you: Bring your case to the Almighty. Don’t fawn after actors and make fame or wealth your great goal. Don’t despair over which party wins the most seats in congress. Don’t lose sleep over how unfair your boss treats you. And don’t seethe over how wronged you have been in your life.
Let the song of Mary comfort you: God’s just letting the powerful strengthen their position and exhibit their puny influence for a little while. But one day, He will say, “Enough!” One day, “justice will flow like water, and righteousness, like an unfailing stream” (Amos 5:24), washing away the wrong and setting all things right. Bring your case to the Almighty. He is the Helper of the helpless.
Preparing a talk on Mary’s song (the Magnificat). Came across this quote in a sermon online. Good stuff.
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