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Posts Tagged ‘change’

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: ,

Ocean-Bound

June 5th, 2011

As we set course on a new season in the life of Churchcentral, God wants us to understand something of how he is changing our life together in order that we can have faith for it, be encouraged, be challenged by it and so that we can pray in line with God’s good and perfect will. As Mark has been praying into our next phase as a church together, God spoke to him in the form of a picture, in order to help prepare us as a church for what God has planned ahead.

God showed me a harbour – this is where Churchcentral has been for some time now, gathering a group of vessels together. Different boats, all shapes and sizes, colours and specifications. It has been as though the people on land have heard a call and got into their boats gathered together and begun to fish. But God is calling us out from the harbour. The open sea is waiting.

Now the sea is a different prospect altogether… rougher, deeper but it’s where the real catches of fish are to be found, those who are far off and who God is calling (Acts 2: 39). If we are to be able to go into the open sea some things need to change. A group of small boats will not make it – God wants to shape us into an ocean going vessel; a ship where all are committed, playing our part, no matter how big or small to the smooth running of the operation. There is a coming together that needs to take place to leave the small boats and step on board the bigger ship.

There is a price. The small boat is familiar, holds happy memories and security. You can be the captain of your own boat. You can come and go from the group when you please. But, you will never see the ocean, fish in the depths, reach far off shores, see real power at work.

God is calling us all to get on board, he is calling us out to the ocean, the ship is waiting, the adventure is waiting. Nets are ready to be manned, the engines are fuelled up, Jesus is setting us on a course for the bigger, deeper, more powerful things and is inviting us to step on board. Will you leave the small harbour-bound boat and come to sea?

Categories: Central Point Tags: , ,

Setting The Pace

January 14th, 2011

Like thousands of others, Jonny found himself stuck in his car in gridlocked traffic last Friday. A very brief snow shower brought all the main roads in the city to a virtual stand still. God used the experience to speak about what he is doing on a spiritual level:

I’m the one who sets the pace. I can bring people to a stop and I can propel them forward. I can make them still and I can excite them into action. I can obstruct progress and I can clear the way. Ultimately, whatever skills are possessed or efforts undertaken, it is me that causes movement or stagnation…

The condition of my church in England over the past 50 years has not been normal, free flowing traffic. It has been a traffic jam that has been at a crawl. This is not how my kingdom usually advances. This is kingdom advance at a standstill and I have brought it to a standstill.

However, just as I can bring to a standstill, I can set things in motion. Just as I can block the path, I can also clear the road. I want my people to start to pray expectantly for a break in the traffic – for things to go from a crawl to an open road. I want them to pray for increased speed of breakthroughs in individuals’ lives, for believers who have been stuck for long periods of time to be suddenly moving very fast. I want them to pray for the quick, violent release of leaders and for leadership gifting to develop in individuals at breakneck speed. One minute they looked like they would never travel faster than 10 miles an hour; then suddenly, they are racing along at the national speed limit…

When the road clears, individuals get to their destinations more quickly but also masses of static traffic is dispersed quickly. I want to speed up individuals, churches and my church within this nation. You will look back at the days of snow traffic and wonder how you could have moved so slowly and your children will be amazed that you thought that a traffic jam was normal traffic. But I used that time to teach you to be still and know that I am the one who causes movement, that I am God. Now I want you to experience what it is to know that I am God while travelling at high speed.

As a church we’re certainly believing for an increase in momentum over the coming twelve months. This Sunday we will be sharing a little more about what we think this is going to look like in practise.

Categories: Central Point Tags: , ,

i-sex

December 3rd, 2010

I’m not sure that there’s any area of life where there’s been a greater sea change in recent years than in the whole area of attitudes towards sex and sexuality. As recently as the 1960s, married couples on TV weren’t even allowed to be in bed together unless they were fully clothed and one of them had a foot touching the floor. Just forty years on, a study found 20,000 scenes of suggested sexual intercourse or other sexual behaviour on prime time TV in a single year! And the vast majority of these sexual encounters took place between unmarried people by a ratio of six to one.

Now the change I’m talking about here isn’t that people misbehave sexually far more nowadays than they used to. That’s been going on since time began. What’s changed in our culture isn’t that people struggle with sexual immorality. What’s changed is people in our day are denying that sexual behaviour has anything to do with morality — that morality is even a relevant category.

This whole change in attitudes is epitomised by the character I recently saw on a prime-time TV show who was horrified that people might think that at 30 years old, she’s still a virgin. Up until 40 years ago people were usually embarrassed about being sexually active outside marriage – about sexual immorality in general. Nowadays, people are genuinely embarrassed about not having been sexually immoral.

Our culture’s attitude towards sex is that there are no objective moral absolutes; that whatever’s agreed upon between two consenting adults goes. But I believe in our heart of hearts we know better. And I know that regardless of what’s in our hearts, the Bible certainly teaches something better. So, this Sunday we’re going to examine God’s intent for human sexuality. It just might be the most important talk you ever hear!

Categories: Preaching Series Tags: ,

Change is Here to Stay

December 1st, 2009

As I think back over our history together as a church, two things have always remained constant: JESUS and CHANGE. Jesus, who is the head of the church, continues to grow his church… and more people mean more changes! These changes come in all kinds of different ways. They come in the form of new Christians, new leadership, new facilities, new strategies and new mission opportunities. Although the growth can certainly be challenging at times, it’s a good thing that forces us to rely more closely on Jesus and his leading.
Over the last year it’s fair to say we’ve seen more change than usual. Among other things, we’ve moved to two meetings on a Sunday, started a new Alpha Course in Bearwood, launched a Life Group for Senior Citizens and taken on two new members of staff (Russ and Steve)! And then, of course, from 17th January we’ll be meeting every Sunday in both Lordswood Boys’ School (at 9.45am) and King Edward’s (at 11.15am). When we take a step back and look at all that’s going on it becomes apparent that Jesus is doing something quite remarkable. Churchcentral is definitely an exciting place to be at the moment!
As we look forward to the busy Christmas programme, let’s do so with a growing sense of faith and expectation. We’ve got two Carol Services (on the 6th and 20th December) and once again we’re joining forces with other churches in Birmingham for the Carols in the City event in the middle of the city centre (on 12th December). These are going to be fantastic Jesus-centred events… who knows what they will lead to?!!?

Categories: Central Point Tags: ,