Friday, 29 July 2011

Signing off for the year...

Well what a year it has been... Tomorrow I head to Cornwall with family and some close friends to invest time and create memories! I'm glad to hit this finish line.

Family Growth

This year has been a year of growth and learning in many ways. The most significant addition for us personally was the birth of Mabel. We have now made the stretch from husband and wife, to husband and wife with Rufus, to husband and wife with Rufus and Mabel! I'm told that to go from one baby to two is one of the more difficult transitions to make and so far I think we are doing okay. The addition of Mabel has changed all of our relationships within the family. Chloe and I face a different challenge - There is always someone who needs help! Chloe and Rufus now are no longer alone together for longer periods of time and quality time between anyone requires far more planning. We are adjusting all the time but after three months we feel life is manageable again. It has been another year of amazing blessing and fun for us a family.

Church Growth  

Our Church has experienced growth this year. We have had around forty people join us. I have had the privilege of meeting and getting to know many new people. I love the way people make themselves at home in our Church so quickly. Many have gone home over the summer and I look forward to catching up at the start of next term. Across the Church we have also had another 13 babies born and we're expecting I think another 8 or so. New people and new babies would suggest a time of blessing!

New Staff  

The staff team this year have been a real joy. I think we have served well, worked hard and laughed lots. We had a really good time at Brighton together at the New Frontiers Leadership Conference. I have enjoyed genuine friendship among our team which includes Andy, Matt, Dan & Laura. Matt Giles has written an album packed with truth from the letter of Ephesians which has fed me well and we have had a new website built. Dan Partridge particularly has been an outstanding addition. He is a good young man who is learning lots and a man that I would want on any bus on which I'm travelling! I can't really imagine working without him.

New Responsibilities

I became an elder (or senior leader) in our Church in Feb. My role has been evolving more and more. I now take more responsibility for preaching, Church vision, leading in team contexts, overseeing some outstanding ministry/small group leaders, and Church finances. We also planted a second meeting on a different site! I have enjoyed the transition and the increased 'weight' which I have been able to carry. It was through somewhat of a financial challenge that we decided I would take responsibility for this area and I thoroughly enjoyed leading the Church through the process. I get a lot of energy and enthusiasm from challenging situations and I look forward to more in the future.

I will enjoy my break and look forward to teaming up with the guys and being back with the Church in a couple of weeks time for another year of adventure.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Looking Good - Reflections

Preaching every week

We are into the final week of our 'Looking Good' series at Church. This is the first time that I have preached four weeks running. (Five weeks if you include the final talk from the previous series.)

It has been an interesting learning experience. I have appreciated the continuity of thought and prayer in preparing and also the opportunity to build from week to week. I have also appreciated the encouraging feedback from various members of our Church.

Pride vs humility

During the series we have built on two definitions:

Pride: Self exaltation. (Making yourself look good.)
Humility: Serving others for the glory of God. (Making Him look good, because He is good!)

Going deeper

Here are some reflection questions for those who have enjoyed the series:

How well do you celebrate the success of others?

How well do you pray for the success of others?
How much do you look to encourage others?

How willing are you to ‘step up’ and take a risk?
How willing are you to ‘step back’ and take a back seat?

How do you respond to trials? Faith/Frustration?
How well do you respond to correction?

How grateful are you?
How good are you at laughing at yourself?

How much do you value God?
How much do you value him being made known?

If you want to check out this series you can find it here.