Earlier this week I had the privilege of spending the morning with a motley posse of OAC evangelists. What’s more I even got to teach the Bible too! The theme they gave me was “The role of the evangelist in the local church” and I had 2 sessions in order to unpack that theme. The first session was more a theological framework for where evangelists fit into the local church. In the second session, however, I took a slightly different approach and chose to profile an evangelist from Scripture. The guy I picked was Philip who is the only chap in the whole of the Bible who’s actually called “the evangelist” (Acts 21v8). So I started to research Philip going all the way back to his first encounter with Jesus. What unfolded was a marathon investigation that truly blessed my socks off as I studied and that resulted in a 22 point sermon (that I managed to preach in under 45mins!! THAT’S A MIRACLE). The example of Philip the Evangelist seemed to encourage the men and women who were there on Tuesday, so I thought his example may encourage you too. So here are 22 things that Philip can teach us about the life, character and ministry of the evangelist:
The Good Book Company have been churning out quality gospel resources for ages now (but then I would say that seeing as I’m one of their authors). However, last week they sent me a copy of their latest resource and frankly – they really have hit the ball out of the park with it!
As the title suggests, Discovering Jesus Through Asian Eyes seeks to addresses 16 questions that many Asians ask about Christianity, the Bible and what it means to follow Jesus. Here’s the lowdown: (more…)
Really excited because today’s the day that Ignite Hope 2012 kicks off!
Ignite Hope is a youth-led initiative that runs from 4th-7th May. Essentially Ignite Hope is all about demonstrating and proclaiming hope to communities across South Wales in Cardiff, Newport, the valleys and the Vale.
What that’s going to look like on the ground is 800 young people putting the love of Jesus on display by dishing out an unfathomable amount of social action, acts of mercy, community outreach events and such like. But be in no doubt, the gospel is at the heart of it all, with Bible teaching sessions each morning and gospel preaching services in the mahoosive marquee located at the Hope village in Sophia Gardens. We are trusting that God is going to save mightily this weekend as many are exposed to the power of the gospel in both Word and deed.
You can find out more about Ignite Hope 2012 here.
I’m posting this to ask you to pray. My role this weekend is to teach all of the morning sessions at the Valley hub in Blackwood and also preaching the gospel at the main event in the marquee on Saturday evening. We’re also hoping to bring a couple of car-fulls of Trevethin Young People on the Monday evening too.
I’d be so grateful if you’d pray for all of this with us.
As you could probably imagine, an event like this is not cheap. If you would like to stand with Ignite and bless Ignite Hope financially, you can do so here. Your support would be gratefully received.
May God be glorified across South Wales this weekend!
On Tuesday I was privileged to join a host of Counties evangelists at their training day in Maidenhead. My reason for being there was to teach 2 sessions on the opportunities and dangers that social networking presents to evangelists and gospel ministers. It’s the first time that I’ve ever been asked to teach on this subject so it was a welcome challenge to get to grips with.
Both sessions were well received and I was asked at the end if I’d be willing to share my notes. Therefore I’ve posted the notes from session 2 below. Furthermore, I have also posted the audio of both sessions in their entirety (minus Q&A at the end). The audio quality is a bit sketchy cos I recorded it on my iPhone.
Hope you find it all helpful.
TWEET JESUS – SESSION 2
Opportunities to embrace
Connectivity to friends/family etc.
Finger on the Pulse of Culture
Dangers to acknowledge
Sabotage of Sabbath
Cultivation of Pride
Wasting time and life
Once its out there – it’s out there!
Make you content with shallow superficiality
Temptation to follow ungodly links
Easy to misinterpret
Replaces intimacy with God
Living in relationship with distant friends not local church
Tweeting in rage
Helpful Pointers & Questions
1. Don’t tweet it straight away – Stop. Think. Pray. – Why does this need to be tweeted?
2. Tweet more about the glory of God, the power of the gospel and the truth of scripture than about yourself?
– Who does this glorify?
3. Seek to edify and encourage others. – Who does this help?
4. Ask your wife/another trusted friend about tweet content and use of time – How am I doing with this?
5. Don’t tweet in anger/frustration – Will I regret this in the morning?
6. Take a day off each week and regular twitter sabbaticals – Can I stop?
7. Be wise in who you follow and who follows you – Is this person going to encourage me and others toward or away from Jesus?
8. Make prayer and scripture the book-ends of your day – Who’s voice is loudest in my life?
Scriptures to Consider
“You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
– Matthew 12v34
‘Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”
– Psalm 119v37
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
– Matthew 5v29-30
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
– Ephesians 5v4
“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
– Proverbs 10v19
“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.”
– Ecclesiastes 5v2-3
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
– 1Thessalonians 5v11
“Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”
– Proverbs 17v27-28
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
– Psalm 19v14
Just a buzzin’ little post this morning that once again flows from the humbling, joy-filled adventure that I enjoy as a dad!
I was driving my 2 eldest kids, Elen & Josiah, to school this morning and we were all singing along to a classic Hillsong Kids track “Let your light shine” at the top of our lungs! After the song finished, an excited Elen came out with this:
Another quick post to introduce you to Hill City’s latest outreach initiative – Beermats.
I’ve just taken delivery of 2000 customized beermats that have the Hill City Church logo on the one side, and the phrase “There must be more to life than this” on the other, complete with details of where and when the church meets, along with our web address and a description of oursleves as “A fresh expression of church that loves God, loves people and loves life.”
We intend to deliver these beermats, complete with a music CD, to every house in Trevethin in the hope that they will be used as what they are – beermats – by those who are sick of life as it is and hungry for life as it should be! I’d love to hear people testify in years to come that the turning point in their life came as they were drowning their sorrows one day when they took a second look at that random beermat that had been shoved through their letterbox…
Please pray for us that God would use these mats for His glory here in Trevethin!
On Saturday I’m travelling up to Birmingham to record a couple of new rap tracks with my mate Vision in his studio. The first is going to be a grimey little number called ‘9 Bars’ that’s all about my refusal to shut-up about Jesus, and my intention to flood the streets with the gospel.
The second will be an accapella track (that I haven’t written yet!) but it’s the third track that I’m most excited about. It’s a track called ‘Another Day’ that’s all about the value of life and how cheaply so many throw it away. The reason I’m so excited about it is that Michelle (my wife) is going to come up and sing the chorus for it. I’ve still got 3 bars of lyrics to write for this one, so your prayers for inspiration between now and Saturday would be greatly appreciated.
Once the tracks are done I’ll have a 5 track EP to give out as a free evangelistic tool to youths, inmates etc. and it’ll also be available as a free downlad from the Hill City website.
Just wanted to reassure those of you who regularly read this blog that I’m still alive and haven’t fallen down a manhole or anything. I just haven’t had a chance to post anything this week as I’ve been hectic preparing 2 sermons that I’d really appreciate your prayer for:
1. Friday Evening – Ignite onboard the Logos Hope (Evangelistic). I’m preaching the prayer of Jonah at a sold-out youth event onboard OM’s mahoossive floating mission station Logos Hope, currently moored in Cardiff Bay. Please pray that God’s gospel would take root in many young lives and that salvation would come.
2. Sunday Morning – Hill City Church (Pastoral). I’m preaching an important sermon on the subject of depression, based on Psalm 42&43. Depression is a huge problem in this valley (check out my earlier post). Please pray that God would speak through His Word to bring light and liberty into the lives of the people of Hill City (and beyond) who I love.
Thanks guys – Lessons I’ve Learned From My Little Girl series re-commencing soon.
A few weeks ago I had an email from a pastor in Newport saying that one of the young people I had taught to emcee at a youth camp last month, and who had done the Offensive course last year, wrote and performed a rap in church on Easter Sunday that was all about the cross. Apparently it brought the house down! Anyway, he did Offensive again on Saturday and I met his dad who was blown away by the depth and passion of the lyrics that his son had penned. When this boy rapped it for me, I was so impressed that I asked him to email the lyrics to me, so that I could post them up on my blog!
He willingly obliged so I’ve copied them below. I hope they’re a blessing to you! (Bear in mind this kid’s only 14!!!)
Stuff like this makes the Offensive course so worth doing…
V.1 I’ma follow him and I won’t give up / ‘cuz he took my place and he took the cup
He’d done nothing wrong yet he drank it up / so now I decided to lift him up
He was convicted to die, up on a hill / he was crucified like those who kill
He coulda backed down but he said your will / and he raised back up and he lives on still.
Yo! Jesus took all my sin away / it went down with him on the cross that day
‘cuz he was and is life, truth and the way / but you can’t keep living your life in the grey
So think about just what I say / where you gonna go on judgement day?
I’ll say again Jesus took my sin away / but the choice is yours at the end of the day
Chorus JESUS! It’s amazing what you did / JESUS! It’s amazing hope you give
JESUS! Your life’s how I want to live / JESUS! Assaulted now exalted
JESUS! It’s amazing what you did / JESUS! It’s amazing hope you give
JESUS! Your life’s how I want to live / JESUS! Assaulted now exalted
He carried the cross with his back ripped open / while all the people was laughin’ and joking
Roman soldiers threw lots for his clothin’ / stripped hung up on a hill in the open
Humiliated, up there he died / as he did “it is finished!” he cried
But, thing is he knew he would rise / and as a result I am purified
Yo it’s his salvation that I claim / it’s eternal life with him I gain
C’mon man you won’t ever be the same / I promise this in Jesus’ name
You won’t wanna turn your back again / you’ll just wanna give Jesus the praise
True man it means a massive change / but think it’s worth it in the end
V.3 Yeah it’s terrible how crucifixion killed / it’s hard to imagine it’s what God willed
But ‘cuz of the way Christ’s blood was spilled / the God shaped hole in my heart is filled
I just rapped a line about a God shaped hole / I believe it exists in every human soul
Without it filled life’s dark and cold / but get with God man he’ll make you whole
Something about salvation’s great / there ain’t like a point where he says “too late”
He’ll welcome you back in and he’ll call you “mate” / but that don’t mean you can say “I’ll wait”
‘cuz judgement day man it could be tomorrow / if that’s the case you’ll be filled with sorrow
Sorry pal but hell’s the place that ya go / unless Jesus Christ is a guy that ya know