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Prayer

January 6th, 2012

Prayer – It takes a minute to learn but we’ll never master it in our whole lives. There’s so much to pray for but, according to Romans 8:26, ‘we don’t know what we ought to pray for’. It’s the activity that falls off most quickly when we’re busy, but in the busyness it’s the most important activity. It’s the part of our relationship with God that often we’d wish God would axe, but the most godly people all seem to agree that it’s the most productive, joyful and fulfilling experience there is!

How confusing! However, setting aside all the complexities of prayer, here’s the deal: if we don’t pray, we don’t get!

2011 was a tumultuous year and, from a human perspective, 2012 doesn’t promise to be any more comforting. However, God has given us a tool by which we can lay our requests before the one who is most able and most eager to change things for the better. Our nation, our city, our friends and our church. We just need to ask.

That’s why we’re kicking off 2012 with a half week of prayer:

We’re meeting on Tuesday, and Wednesday evening next week at St Francis Hall from 8-9:30pm and on Thursday evening at StarCity from 7:30-9pm. For all the morning people out there we’re also meeting on Tuesday and Thursday morning at the church offices from 7-8am.

Categories: Central Point, Events Tags:

Emerge

July 1st, 2011

EMERGE has arrived! It’s been a long time in the planning, development and strategising, but at last, it’s on the map, in the calendar and finally, last weekend, on the road! Andy Back takes up the story…

I have long been committed to the age group of young teens between 11 and 14 years – kids who are too old for Sunday School, and yet too young for a traditional Youth Group. It’s been fulfilling, hilarious, sad, exciting and brilliant to see young people packed with potential, to help them to discover the truth about God and his love for them, and to see many of them flourish.

So it is with the young people at Churchcentral. They many not be many in number at the moment, but they are certainly noisy, energetic, constantly astonishing, competitive and rewarding.

Nathan, Ben, Olivia, Josh and Wei Xi (plus our most recent addition, Reuben) have enjoyed our first few meetings, so we decided to put their skills to the test with the first-ever (but probably first of many) West Midlands Spycatcher Caper, which is a fancy name for a clue-based tour/puzzle/orienteering/supervised rampage, which included having to spot various team members disguised as shoppers in Wolverhampton’s shopping centre. I was alarmed to see several of them set upon a nice gentleman calmly reading his Sunday paper (James Serpell) and then surrounding a dear old lady, who turned out to be Becky Wilson. Pam Serpell wore some extremely bright clothing and a well-pulled down cap and bamboozled several, while my waterproofs, bushy beard and tam o’shanter fooled no-one but got loads of double-takes from other shoppers as I strolled around before I was challenged by the EMERGE youngsters.

It was a jolly day, with great weather, fine food, lots of fun and laughter, and some of the most appalling e-number-ridden green fizzy pop I’ve ever encountered, which had an alarming effect on already-hyper-enough-thank-you young chaps.

It was great to have Jo Chumbley with us to lend an air of calm, and Pete Halford as well towards the end of the day, when we discussed a Scruples question about dodgy friends, wild promises, parental love and some significant theology about God’s protection.

I believe being a part of EMERGE will have a positive effect on these young people and the many more who will, in time, be entitled to attend. Please pray for us as we seek to honour the excellent work the parents of these young people have done to provide us with a group of lively, informed, spiritually receptive and highly delightful young people.

Categories: Central Life, Events Tags:

More Worshipers in this City

May 20th, 2011

It will have been difficult to have been around the church for the past few months without hearing about the vision which God has clearly spoken to us about; to multiply sites across Birmingham in order to see Jesus the most talked about person in the city.

That is an exciting vision, and something I love about it is the thought that this means more worshipers of Jesus in this city, and more places across the city where His excellence is proclaimed and He is worshiped! Bring that on!! If you’ve attended any Churchcentral meetings you will have seen that we are committed to worshiping God together every time we gather, through music, song and heartfelt spoken praise, as well as by welcoming and prizing the work of the Holy Spirit amongst us through the various gifts He gives to us (prophetic words, healing, tongues, interpretations and the like).

I am passionate about building a church where God’s praise is made glorious (Psalm 66.2). In order to do this across multiple sites we are going to need more worship leaders. Over the summer months, while the various training tracks are running, I am going to be running a track for a number of people in the church that already have led, or could lead worship across the sites in future. I am excited about this, and in faith for God to equip and raise up more leaders who can lead us each week into God’s presence.

Secondly though, we are going to need more gifted musicians. I’m sure you’ll agree that we are already extremely blessed by the people God has given us who give not only their talents but their time and commitment to serving us in playing regularly. Part of what makes leading worship so enjoyable for me is working with other musicians to create music that brings God glory and helps the church worship Him.

But we are keen to find more musical talent! So, on Saturday 28th May we are creating an opportunity for musicians to declare their interest in playing in a worship band at one or more of our Sunday morning site meetings, or at other more occasional events such as the Christmas carol service. We’re interested in musicians of all kinds, whether you sing or play an electric or orchestral instrument. In terms of the standard we’re looking for, it’s of a reasonable level, but we’re also looking for people who have a heart to exalt God and to serve. The event will provide an opportunity to meet others who serve in worship and play a couple of songs together. If this is something you would be interested in, please click here to email Owen or you can call either Owen or the church office (0121 200 1995) for further details.

Categories: Central Point, Events Tags: , ,

…Life Live from Zimbabwe!

February 22nd, 2011

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At the end of February 2010, Phil and Claire along with their two daughters Hannah and Sophie moved from Birmingham and Churchcentral to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and New Creation church; part of the Newfrontiers family. Since arriving they’ve got fully involved in church life, and Phil has started building his own business. A year on from moving the family are now beginning to feel integrated and that Zimbabwe is their home.

If you want to find out more about what they have been up to, what it is like living in Zim and all the exciting things that God has been doing then come along to our Churchcentral ‘Life Live!’ event on the 12th of March where we have exclusive footage filmed by Jonathan from when he visited them at the end of January.

Categories: Events, Global Focus Tags:

‘KidzKlub’:

February 8th, 2011

Custard? Check. Ketchup? Check. Gravy granules? Check. Toothpaste? Check? And jelly worms? Check. This is pretty much an average shopping list for a Saturday morning ‘KidzKlub’. There aren’t many other places in Birmingham that on a Saturday morning offer a free foot spa complete with mussels and wet noodles or a complete flee check and facial cleanse for your monkey. However if you roll on down to ‘KidzKlub’ in Weoley Castle that is exactly what you will find and much more besides!

We have dressing up, games, pantos, prizes, stories, worship, and not forgetting the good old pie in the face! Every Saturday morning general hilarity, fun and chaos descends upon the small church hall hidden away in the depths of Weoley Castle.

The work of Megan and Paul Tucker and the ‘KidzKlub’ team over the last three years is clear to see when you look around at the engaged and excited faces, most of them from non-Christian backgrounds, as they listen to Bible stories, sing songs of praise and cheer as their favourite leaders get covered in slime and gunk.

KidzKlub is really working to serve the local community in providing a safe and fun environment for local kids to ‘hang out’ on a Saturday morning but also by showing them who Jesus is and how much he loves them.

God is clearly moving in Weoley Castle and is using ‘KidzKlub’ as a real instrument to do that. We are really excited as to where God will take us over the next term and over the next year, we are hoping to see an increase in numbers and God really using ‘KidzKlub’ to benefit families that live in and around Weoley Castle.

It is such a fun morning and if you want to get involved please talk to Megan or Paul Tucker.

Spur One Another On…

January 21st, 2011

Hebrews 10 throws out clear challenge: “…and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…”. This comes after the writer reminds the Hebrews of a God who promised and is faithful!

Following Jesus is not a solo project! We are supposed to do it in community, with others around us, encouraging, helping, spurring us on!

If you are a student at Churchcentral the student weekend away is an excellent opportunity for all of this. From the 18th - 20th of February it is a chance to get away, have a brilliant time developing and deepening relationships with each other while totally focussed on our God who is faithful in every way. Year after year students return having made great friends and having heard clearly from God. Many last year described it as a “must”. It is a weekend jam packed with fun, food and good company. It has been an amazing success in the past and this year is going to be no exception.

Book in this Sunday with a £10 deposit and get the whole weekend for the bargain price of £49! It’s your last chance before the price rise. For more details talk to Steve and Danielle Wheeler.

Categories: Central Life, Events Tags: ,

Cross-Cultural Training: John and Mollie Oldfield

November 23rd, 2010

Following another Churchcentral ‘Cross-Cultural’ training day we caught up with John and Mollie Oldfield, two members of Churchcentral with a vast experience and passion for Internationals to find out what it was all about:

CP: So, what exactly is a Cross-Cultural Training Day?

J&M: It’s a day organised especially for the church (although others are very welcome to join in), to get together and share our cross-cultural experiences, learn from each other and support each other.  The programme is different each time – and sometimes we have someone from outside of Churchcentral to speak. The idea is to give some training and encouragement, as well as a challenge to us all to reach out to the many cultures around us, both at home and abroad.

CP: What kind of things happened this Saturday?

J& M: We were focusing on the international guests we have seen coming to the church, both students and others, as well as looking at the many asylum seekers who live in Birmingham.  Jo Sharman talked from her experience about the work of Restore – a ‘churches together’ group reaching out to asylum seekers in Birmingham and Sam Keong shared about the work of the International Team in Churchcentral.  We then had a really helpful session from Connie and Ellie, who shared very honestly what it was like being a foreigner in Birmingham, and the difficulties they faced.  All together it was a very challenging and helpful time.

CP: What is it that makes you so passionate about Internationals?

J&M: Our passion for Internationals has been with us since the 60′s when God put the desire for Mission in our hearts.  He is the God of the Nations, and one day we shall be with those from every tribe, language, people and nation praising him around his throne – so why not start now!

CP: What is your vision for Internationals at Churchcentral?

J&M: We would love to see our church reflect, in every way, the international city we live in – where barriers are broken down, with everyone playing their part, displaying their cosmopolitan background and adding their rich diversity to the life of the church.

Students: The Loft

November 9th, 2010

What is the Loft? Is it a large empty space used for storing old and disregarded household items, or maybe funky coverted apartment unit? Then again, is it a reference to the upper room where Jesus and the disciples shared the Passover meal?

If you are a student then The Loft is an exciting new project that has been set up to encourage, build up and equip Churchcentral students. Running every other Sunday in the Beorma Bar on Birmingham University campus the vision behind the Loft is that of student workers Steve and Danielle Wheeler and it is their passion and heart for students that has really driven this project forwards.

Since its launch at the beginning of term, the Loft has seen a healthy mix of both current Churchcentral students and newly arrived freshers socialising, relaxing and learning more about God together. The first week was kicked off by Jonathan who brought a powerful message that was both relevant, encouraging and clearly speaking to many that were present. Since then as a group of students we have enjoyed in depth Bible studies, powerful times of worship and have really experienced God pouring his blessings upon us.

Most recently the Loft enjoyed a visit from internationally renowned DJ Moyma for an evening of good music, good company and good fun. This was a brilliant chance for students to, relax and get to know one another whilst doing their best to impress on the dance floor!

By providing a safe environment in which students are able to practice and explore their spiritual gifts, the Loft seeks to help prepare and equip students to survive university life as a Christian, helping them to reach out and to share the gospel with their friends. Come along at 6:30pm next Sunday and check it out for yourself.

Categories: Events Tags:

Jonny Mellor about Alpha

September 1st, 2009

CP: What is Alpha, and how will it look different at Churchcentral this term?

JM: Alpha is a course designed for people who want to investigate the Christian faith themselves. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, ask difficult questions, eat, drink and enjoy! And just to make sure nobody misses out, this term we are not just doing one evening Alpha, but two.

CP: So why have two locations?

JM: We’ve run evening Alpha in Selly Oak for the past few years and know that Selly Oak is an excellent location for students and for others who live locally, however we wanted a second location for people from other walks of life or other areas of Birmingham . So two of our Life Groups are spearheading a new Alpha in Bearwood. Selly Oak Alpha gets a change of venue to the Selly Sausage and Bearwood Alpha will be held at Casa Italia (a fine Italian restaurant just off Bearwood High Street- we have the whole top floor. Woo hoo!) The format of each will be the same: there will be a free meal, then a short talk on an element of the Christian faith, then (the best bit) a chance to discuss

CP: Can anyone come?

JM: Too right. If you’re not a Christian, you’ll love Alpha as it won’t be Christians hammering you into submission, but a chance for you to explore the claims of Jesus at your own pace. If you’re a Christian who has nagging questions that maybe you’ve felt too embarrassed to ask elsewhere then Alpha is for you. If you’re a Christian who knows how good it is to be loved by Jesus, it’s the perfect place to invite your friends so they can get to know him themselves. Anyone who has an inkling that there might just be more to life than work, food, TV, booze, sex etc. would love Alpha. Oh, by the way, Selly Oak Alpha is not just for students and Bearwood Alpha is not just for people from Bearwood Life Groups. You can go to whichever one you wish.