Archive for September, 2011

Out of the Rubble

September 30th, 2011

In ancient times, any city whose walls were lying in ruins was in deep trouble. When a city’s walls were down, almost every night thieves and bandits from outside the city would come in and terrorize people. The city would be vulnerable to every conceivable kind of attack.

So when news reaches Nehemiah that the walls of Jerusalem are reduced to rubble, he’s devastated. He can visualise what’s going on and he’s haunted by the picture. As he goes about his everyday life, it’s overshadowed by the image of that rubble pile.

This is a picture that some of you can identify with. Maybe you’re in the middle of situations right now that seem overwhelming to you. It might be health related, or job related, or marriage and family related. When the pressures start piling up, perhaps you feel like you’re sitting in the same spot Nehemiah was at the bottom of the rubble pile – you’re just overwhelmed by it all.

But if you’ve been there, or if you’re there now, you know that at some point you have to make a decision. You’re either going to allow the size of the rubble pile to crush and defeat you; or you’re going to allow it to deepen your resolve to overcome whatever obstacle you’re facing. But you have to make a choice. It’s going to be pretty much one path or the other.

The one choice is to lie down in the rubble pile and give up. The other choice is to rise up in faith and figure out how you and God are going to deal with the problem and eventually overcome it. For those of you who are sitting in rubble piles right now, this is your choice to make… And only you can make it. And all heaven is cheering you on to make the choice for faith. The choice for discouragement and defeat leads to hopelessness and despair. The choice for faith, no matter how hard it is to make, will eventually lead to life. But you’ve got to make that choice.

Nehemiah sat right where some of you are sitting, and his response is hugely instructive. It’s this response that we’ll be looking at this Sunday in the second part of our series exploring the story of Nehemiah. Prepare to be inspired!

Categories: Preaching Series Tags: ,

Building for the Future

September 23rd, 2011

Where were you on the 22nd November 1963 when JF Kennedy was shot? Or on the 20th July 1969 when man first set foot on the moon? Or if that pre-dates you, where were you on the 11th September 2001 when the news of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers broke? There are certain days that start off like any other, but then something unexpected happens that changes everything.

It’s certainly not a new phenomenon:

One day Moses was on a deserted hillside, minding his own business, when suddenly he saw a bush burning! His life was never the same again!

One day David was looking after a few of his dad’s sheep, when one of his brothers came rushing up to him with a message, “There’s a guy called Samuel who wants to see you. He says he’s got some important news for you.” The whole trajectory of his life changed from that moment.

Gideon was hiding away, frightened of being spotted by his enemies. Suddenly, an angel appeared on the scene with an astonishing message from God. That was his turning point.

Paul, breathing out murderous threats against the church, suddenly saw the light!

And there came a day in the life of Nehemiah which started like any other but, by the end of the day, he was a changed man. He simply heard some news which transformed the whole motivation for his life. What news did he hear? Come along this Sunday and find out!

As we launch a brand new series looking through the story of Nehemiah, God may well come and speak to you and transform your whole life!

Categories: Preaching Series Tags:

Interest Life Groups

September 9th, 2011

When was the last time you met someone for the first time who was interested in the same things you are? It was fun wasn’t it?

Diversity is one of the truly amazing things about the Kingdom of God. So, while as Christians we have a family connection – things we commonly share – there is huge diversity among us. For instance, we all enjoy a huge variety of interests and activities.

We’re also passionate about sharing with others the one thing we have in common together – Jesus. That’s exactly the point of Interest Life Groups. All groups have a particular affinity that draws its members together, while reaching out into the city and communities in which we live, fulfilling the Great Commission and seeing God’s Kingdom come.

So, do you like cooking or critiquing others food? Do you have friends who would enjoy doing the same once a fortnight on a Saturdya evening? If so then sign up for the Cooking Club this term. Maybe you’re more into sports and are looking for an opportunity where your friends could come along too. Then sign up for our Badminton Life Group.

Global Gathering will meet each week with food and hosptiality the focus for the significant number of Internationals new to the UK in Churchcentral. Would you like an opportunity to be-friend those from other nations looking to make Birmingham their home? If so, sign up. Or maybe you’re free on a Wednesday morning and have friends that would love to hang out for coffee, share life life together and be offered the opportunity to receive prayer.

Interests groups are a great place to enjoy the company of your friends and introduce them to others in Churchcentral.

Categories: Central Life Tags: ,

Equipping Life Groups

September 8th, 2011

Have you ever been camping? Well, whether you love the great outdoors and sleeping under the stars, or whether you prefer your accommodation to have a different kind of star rating, the truth remains that if you are going to have a successful holiday you need to go equipped. Living life as a son or daughter of God, empowered by him and full of the Holy Spirit, is a wonderful adventure. However, no-where in the Bible do you find a promise that it will be easy. So we need to ensure that we are well equipped – equipped to live Godly lives in our families, our workplaces and among our friends. In fact in every area of life. Equipping Life Groups are for just that!

What kinds of areas can we be equipped in…? If you are married, then this term, sign up to the brilliant Marriage Course, that will give you time out to chat about the things you always meant to get round to (and maybe some you didn’t realise you needed to). You’ll be reminded of some things and learn others. It’s an enjoyable course that will help you grow in your relationship.

And if you have children, then we are running a Parenting Course using the excellent Positive Parenting material to help equip and support you in raising your family.  The course is open to parents with children of any age and in particular for you if you want to invite your friends who not part of Churchcentral.

As a Christian have you ever thought ‘this is great’ but surely there must be so much more!? A bit like you know the truth of God’s unconditional love; that you are free from condemnation, guilt and sin etc. but don’t always live like it. Then then sign up to the Freedom in Christ course.

In subsequent terms some of these courses will continue to run and we’ll also be adding in courses on money matters, how to read the bible for all it’s worth, getting started in the Christian faith and many more.

Sign up starts this weekend.

Categories: Central Life Tags:

Encounter Life Groups

September 7th, 2011

As you read through the pages of the Bible you can’t help but see ordinary person after ordinary person doing extra-ordinary things. How? They had an encounter with God which changed their lives and equipped them for the God-given task ahead.

If you are a Christian God has already done the extra-ordinary in your life, but we know it doesn’t just stop there. We want to be regularly pursuing God’s presence and encountering him. God saved us into a family, into his church, and we get to encourage each other, pray for each other and minister to each other using the gifts God generously gives to each of us.

Encounter Life Groups are all about encountering the power of God as we share our lives together over meal, pray for each other and expect God to change us.

Our Lordswood site has a choice of three Encounter groups for you to join on either a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night. If you go to our King Edward’s site then there are groups running on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you live in the north of the Birmingham then there is an Encounter group for you too. Details on student Encounter groups will be available as term starts.

Categories: Central Life Tags: ,

Life Groups

September 6th, 2011

At Churchcentral we believe that God has saved us into a wonderful family, his people, his church. We are part of a community of believers with Jesus at the centre. We value relationships with each other – relationships that celebrate, encourage, support and provoke one another to live life the way God intended. We also live in a magnificent city and are all part of local neighbourhood communities. In addition to gathering together on Sundays, we recognise how important it is to our lives, to the lives of those around us, and to the life of the church, to meet in smaller groups throughout the week.

We call these gatherings Life Groups. They are all about being community together to serve and reach the communities in which we live. We launch our all-new Life Groups this term with 14 new Encounter, Equipping and Interest groups starting from 27th September. Each day through this week in the blog we’ll focus on one of these different types of groups, exploring what the purpose is and how you can get involved. Sign up starts next weekend.

Categories: Central Life Tags: ,