Month: April 2011

A Rest from the Rant

OK here goes…

Basically I’m taking a break from blogging. There are 3 reasons for this:

1. I simply haven’t got the time anymore.
I have so many things that I’d love to write about, but with a young family, a growing church and multiple other projects and commitments – time is a commodity in short supply. I need sleep more than a blog right now!

2. I am actively trying to combat pride.
I have become increasingly aware that pride is forever lurking in the shadows of my life and I don’t want to give it an inch cos God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4v6). Truth is, I don’t think that blogging necessarily leads me towards humility, but rather towards pride. This isn’t true of everyone who has a blog, but I have identified it as an issue for myself, so I’m taking action. (I’m strongly considering jacking in Twitter for the same reason!)

3. Some of the comments are doing my head in.
I have no problem with people posting comments on the blog (either positive or negative) but it feels that recently some of the posts have become a soap-box for people to air their own views about whatever they want – regardless of whether it’s got anything to do with what the post is about. I haven’t got the time or the energy to keep monitoring this. (I know that it’s possible to turn comments off, but in light of the last 2 considerations – I’ve just decided to knock it on the head!)

So there we have it. I’m not permanently cancelling the Rant, just not gonna post anything for a while (probably quite a long while!) For all those of you who have followed the Rant and contributed in anyway over the last few years – thanks a lot! It’s been a blast. I’d value your continued prayers.

For His glory


Pure Passion 2011

Quick heads-up about an upcoming event that I’m involved in.

Over the last few years myself and my friends Tim Bannister and Mark Galozzi-Hibbert have felt the need to make a big deal about celebrating the grace of the cross of Jesus on Good Friday by worshipping, proclaiming the gospel and breaking bread together. We call it Pure Passion. Naturally it’s free and everyone’s invited!

Last year around 150 people joined us at Woodville Christian Centre in Cardiff, and this year the venue and the format are the same. So if you’re free at 7pm on Good Friday (22nd April) why not swing by and join us as we seek to make much of Jesus – the King of the Cross!

Hopefully see you there.

Street Essentials

Really appreciated this short YouTube film produced by Duncan Forbes.¬†Duncan is pastor at New Life London and a co-contributor to the Reaching the Unreached blog. This is the first in a series of short films called Street Essentials that seek to bring theology down to street level – something that’s very close to Duncan’s heart. If it’s something you think you could use in your context there are a set of helpful questions that can be used alongside it to stimulate conversation and discussion. Let me know if you’d like to know more!

Hope you enjoy it…

Know Your Mission-Field

As part of my Acts 29 church planter application process I had to submit a document that proved I had analyzed and understood the socio-demographics of my mission-field – Trevethin. This is an important, albeit challenging part of the church planting process. I had already done a little research into this but last week I came across some new facts and statistics that increased my compassion, prayer and commitment to this estate that I call home.

Check it out:

  • Trevethin is among the 10% most deprived communities in Wales.
  • Trevethin is the most deprived ward in Torfaen.
  • Torfaen is the 2nd most obese ward in the UK (after the Shetland Islands!)
  • Torfaen is the anti-depressant capital of the UK – 11 out of every 100 prescriptions are for anti-dperessants.
  • The top 7 counties for anti-depressant prescription in the UK are all in the Welsh Valleys!
  • Trevethin is trapped in high interest, easy access borrowing via door stop lending, thus reinforcing the poverty cycle.
  • Domestic violence is a significant issue in Trevethin.
  • The percentage of economically inactive people in Trevethin is among the highest in Wales.
  • Trevethin has one of the highest numbers of cohabiting couples with dependent children.
  • In 2017 Trevethin will have one of the highest numbers of children aged 5 and under.
  • Trevethin has one of the largest numbers of children on the protection register in Wales.

I know that all our communities in Wales have deep need and as a friend of mine posted on Twitter earlier:

“The greatest problem with our country is not social deprivation but a spiritual deprivation. Its everywhere!”

I couldn’t agree more with that statement as social change without gospel change is essentially cosmetic surgery! However, understanding the issues that are confronting your community opens your eyes to gospel opportunities, stirs your heart to love, stretches your faith in prayer and generates fresh gospel urgency!

That’s been my experience at least!

Can I encourage you to do some research into the issues that are currently confronting your community Рyour mission-field! It might just inspire you to go deeper, further and braver with the gospel.