Category Archives: Blog

7000!

It’s time to celebrate with Christians Against Poverty.  They’ve got some truly amazing news to share!

At their conference, The Gathering, they announced something truly staggering. Already this year, with three full months of the year to go, one thousand CAP clients have made a commitment to Jesus!

Not just that, but it brings the total number of commitments since CAP started to SEVEN THOUSAND!

Wow!

John say’s:
It seriously blows me away to think that the little charity I started in my bedroom office with a tenner has managed to bring God’s light into so many lives and increase his kingdom! It gives me so much joy to think that 7,000 people are now walking with God, experiencing his enormous love and bringing that light into other lives too.

People like Karyn, who said, ‘Since making a commitment, my whole life is different! I’m a completely different person. Even colours seem different!’

Praise God for Karyn and the thousands of others whose lives will never be the same again!

John KirkbyJohn Kirkby

Cool is not a good compass

If you spend time worrying about what others think about you, or you want to build your life on convictions not what is cool then have a look at this video.

The video was created by Q.

Q  was created as a place where church and cultural leaders could come together to collaborate and explore ideas about how the Gospel can be expressed within our cultural context. Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement, “Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals,” Gabe set out to reintroduce Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades from an American expression of Christian faithfullness; valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodoc and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.

Reasons to believe in the power of the Bible

Here is a story about how the Bible to changes lives,  first published by the Bible Society and you can find more stories, resources and ways to engage with the Bible on their website.

‘When you are at home, there’s a structure. When you are at university, that foundation isn’t there. I was on my own. There were new influences, new ways of thinking. So I was looking for a bit of a foundation. The Bible gave me an anchor without me realising it. My parents were living abroad so I needed some kind of truth and anchor in my life that I could trust in, something certain that wasn’t about popularity or appealing to people or fun. There was a lot of pressure to be popular and to be having fun. It was great fun, but it was also a bit hyped up. When I have to make a big decision I don’t go to the Bible for a yes or no answer. But reading the Bible is more about re-focusing my perspective and priorities and bringing that back to God’s plans. That’s really helped me at big life moments. I got married three years ago. We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, but I was wrestling with the question about whether it was the right time and wanted to get it right before God. I read Ecclesiastes 3 about there being “a time for everything” and that helped me make the decision. It was about giving God my decision. That was freeing, it made me feel joyful. It takes some figuring out. You have to wrestle with it and engage with it but you know it holds the truth, not a truth, and so that gives you certainty.’

Want to hear other stories read about the 82 year old who joined a Bible study group and wants to read the Bible in a year…

that you may believe and have life – John’s Gospel

Life group notes 15 Jan 2017
John 1:29-42

Knowing, following and sharing Christ

  1. Is there someone you feel like you know even though you have never met them? Maybe a presenter, author, public figure.
  2. John the Baptist makes a surprising admission, why is it such a strange thing for him to say. What does he really mean?
    v31 and 33
  3. Who else can we think of from the gospels who would have claimed to know Jesus but fell short of truly knowing him?
  4. What was it that opened John’s eyes to Jesus’ true identity?
  5. What two things do the first disciples of Jesus do?

Truly knowing Jesus is a gift of God, it is only when the Spirit opens our eyes that we truly ‘get it’. If you want to know Jesus for yourself you might like to ask someone in your group or someone at church to pray for you.

Alternatively you may like to mention someone you would like to come to know Jesus this year.
Life Group idea
Share those names with your group and commit to praying for them together. Revisit the list again in a few months and see if God has answered your prayers.

John 3:14-21 – We must share Jesus!

Listen to the talk on John 3:14-21 from Mothering Sunday.

John 6:25-35 – True Satisfaction – The bread of life!

Listen to the talk or download it.

Life Group Notes 2 Oct 2016 – John 6:25-35

1. Is there something we aspire to own, achieve or become that we believe will truly satisfy us?

2. A crowd of people are following Jesus, but what does he say they are looking for?

The context helps make sense of Jesus’ statement – John 6:1-15 & 26

3. Do we put a lot of energy into things that are temporary? How do we know? See verse 27

4. We might be worried that it takes a lot of hard work to please God. Why is the answer to the crowd’s question in v28 such good news?

Reading Ephesians 2:8,9 may help, you could try putting it in your own words.

5. What are the parallels between Jesus and the manna from the wilderness (find out what manna is in Exodus 16)? Who does Jesus say he is and why is he better than a sign or manna? v30-35

6. Do we believe that knowing Jesus could really satisfy our deepest longings forever?

Try to imagine the perfectly result of Q1 and that you had boundless energy to enjoy it, lacked nothing and could enjoy it forever! 
Knowing Jesus is far greater than that!

For further reflection read Ephesians chapters 1-2

John 11 – Hard times & tough questions

Download or listen to this talk on Hard times & tough questions from John 11.

John 14:1-14 – Hope in the face of death

Life group notes 14 May 2017

  1. Have you ever discovered something that changed the way you look at life? Not necessarily related to your faith!

    Jesus has washed his disciples feet, ate the last supper and predicted Judas’ betrayal. Yet Jesus is not thinking about himself he has the disciples and us in mind as he speaks to them, anticipating the grief they will experience when he dies.

  2. How can Jesus really expect them not to let their hearts be troubled in the face of death? How does he try to comfort them?

  3. What does Thomas help us to discover? What does Jesus’ answer tell us about our faith and the faith of those who believe in salvation by any other route?

  4. What does Jesus say is the answer to Philip’s question? How does this give us confidence that Jesus is the only way to the Father?

  5. How is it possible that we might do greater things than Jesus did during his earthly ministry? Think about the promise Jesus makes in v15 and beyond.

  6. Why should verses 13 and 14 give us confidence as we pray? How do these verses help us understand the purpose of prayer and of our lives?

Life Group idea
Think of a way you can pray together or help the church pray during ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ 25 May – 5 June.

John 15:1-8 – A spiritual health check

Download or listen to the talk on John 15:1-8

 

John 15:9-17 – An Invitation to joy

Download or listen to a talk on John 15:9-17

Life Group notes 13 November 2016

  1. Share the most remarkable story of love between friends you have experienced or heard about?
  2. Try to imagine together what the Father’s love for the Son must be like? How is it different to our love for one another? v9
  3. What do we think of when we hear the words, you must keep my commands or do what I say?
  4. When Jesus asks us to obey his commands, it is not in order to be accepted or saved. Jesus has already done everything for us, we don’t deserve it, it is by grace. God’s undeserved favour and gift in giving his Son! v13 Why is the alternative to grace so hopeless?
  5. In what things is Jesus inviting us to share? v11, 15-17
  6. Jesus’ command to love each is a gift, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to do. How will we be blessed if we obey Jesus’ command?

Find a practical way your group can share the love of Christ with someone else this week.

John 20:19-31 – Convinced?

Download or listen to the talk on John 20:19-31

New Services

A story of change

In 2015 we moved from having a weekly Communion service to a monthly service. To some that may seem like a step backwards, yet when you come you see what a boost this change has brought. An otherwise dwindling service has now been revitalised and become a place of encouragement and refreshment. The service concludes with a time in Aston’s Tearooms for people to share was is happening and reflect on the service over a drink or two. This time after the service can be just as significant as our time in church as we meet in the way the first church would done 2000 years ago.

An exciting time

As a church we have been prayerfully considering a trial of new services for almost a year. The discernment process has involved prayer, listening and sharing the things that people appreciate about what we already have. Now we are approaching the time when our hopes and prayers become a reality and it is exciting.

3 reasons why we have to change

These new services are a direct result of our vision to ‘share the love and joy of knowing Christ’. The services were a natural development of our desire to be more united as a church, to have opportunities to serve one another and share him with others. Here are 3 of the most significant factors behind the change.

1. Unity

Unity is at the very heart of our faith, God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons united in love. So as a church and the children of God, we were brought into one body, one family. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) feel that we can best demonstrate our unity with services which allow us to all meet together at some point. Moving to a single service would have made it impossible to accommodate the different styles of service we enjoy. So moving to two new services allows us to recognise and celebrate our diversity in terms of style whilst drawing us together as one. So we will be having a breakfast gathering where we can eat, encourage and share life together. United as one, yet maintaining a diversity in our services.

2. Serving

As we meet together and get to know one another more, we will discover the ways in which we can serve and help one another. We will also learn more about the community in which we live and how we can serve and share the love of Christ with our friends, neighbours and family too.

3. Sharing

Our new services will also allow us to share the things God is doing in our lives, the highs and the lows. It is as we share the impact that Jesus has in our lives with each other, that we will learn to speak about Jesus in everyday conversation and with greater confidence. This will give us the confidence of sharing what God is doing with others and inviting them to discover him for themselves. Having two distinct services, one formal and one informal will also make it easier for us to invite people to come along.

Joyful change

These new services will be a time of real joy, as we serve God and one another together. For some this will mean a real adjustment, yet we are making these changes for the sake of the wider church family and community. So from Harvest Sunday (Oct 2nd) till the end of February, we will be having two new services and a breakfast gathering.

 New services

The new 9am Holy Communion

The first of our new services will be a formal, reflective service with a traditional feel, including familiar hymns and liturgy. We will be introducing the screen to help those who cannot read smaller print, this will also make it easier for those who are unfamiliar with what is happening to join in.

Our Breakfast Gathering at 10:10am

This breakfast will be open to everyone and bring the members of both services and any guests together. This is the first time that the whole church will come together on a regular occasion and so it is really exciting! There will be plenty of new faces to get to know and people to speak to. I’m interested to see just how much food we are going to need!

The new 10:45am Informal Service

Our second service begins with the breakfast gathering and moves into an informal service with a blend of contemporary and traditional live music. There will be provision for people of all ages and will be more interactive and involving than the 9am.

You are invited to join us

If you are reading this then you are invited to join us for the start of something special, beginning on the 2nd of October, Harvest Sunday. Join us at 9am or 10:10am for breakfast. Or come for breakfast and stay for our 10:45 service.

If you would like to see the results of our questionnaire that went out at church and through our magazine you can take a look here.

What’s in a logo?

Netflix recently changed it’s logo and left people asking why? As a church we have different opportunities to communicate what we are about, and we’ve been reflecting on why we exist and how to represent that with words and with a logo.Logo small blue

‘Sharing the love and joy of knowing Christ’

Christ is central

A logo can’t sum up all of our vision , but we hope it reflects two elements that are crucial to all we do. The first of which has to be Jesus! We want to be focused on Jesus Christ, we want to know him and we want to share him with others! In too many homes today Jesus is either over shadowed by Santa or a swear word, even though he has transformed the world and displayed a love more powerful than anyone else who has ever lived. So at the heart of our logo is a cross, and the cross is a symbol of just how costly Jesus’ love was. The cross could symbolise death and it does remind us that Jesus died on the cross for us. Yet it is an empty cross because Jesus rose to life, and in so doing offers us new life  through him. So it’s not surprising that Jesus has to be at the heart of everything we do and that we think he’s worth sharing and shouting about!

A reminder of the past for the present

If you go through Willaston at the very centre of our community you will see a Millstone, it is a reminder of the past and the history of Willaston as a place of farming and production. It is a focal point and that is our second desire. Knowing Jesus moves us to consider how we can love others, especially when it is costly. For us the Millstone is a reminder that we can’t wait for people to come to us, but we need to be with them making a real difference in our community. A difference marked by our the love and joy we find in Christ. We want to serve you and share the love of Christ with you, who ever you are.

Why?

Why do it? Well it all goes back to Jesus, we love because he first loved us. Jesus showed a love so great that it brings life and flows out to others too. So the next time you look at our logo, I hope you see that Christ is at the centre of all we do and that’s why we long to love and serve you and help you to know the joy that comes from Christ.     

So let’s pray that we would have the confidence to go out and share the love and joy of knowing Christ through every part of our lives!

3 steps to a special Easter

Easter Sunday is an opportunity to hear the greatest news ever, a reminder of the day that changed the world. The day Jesus rose from the dead, delivering proof that there is life beyond this one and that Jesus is the way to find it. There will never be a day like it, no person or breakthrough will ever over-shadow it. Easter reminds us that this life after death is not only possible but open to everyone who believes in Jesus.

Easter Sunday then should be a glorious celebration, a real event, but maybe it feels like an anti-climax.

So how can you make Easter the glorious, joyful and memorable day it should be? Well here are three easy and practical ways to make it count.

1. Make every effort to be at church for Easter Sunday and invite others to come.



Some of you have holidays booked but you could leave after the service. If you are going to be away why not find a church where you’re staying and spend Easter Sunday with them. Maybe you are already coming and could help someone else get to church. If we have the best news in the world we should make sure we share it, so make sure to  invite your neighbours, friends and family. I think there are lots of people just waiting to be invited. You can do this any week, but some people are even more likely to come to church on Easter Sunday.

2. Help children you know to understand what Easter is really about. 



Bunnies and Eggs are fun but hardly life changing, so why not share the Easter story with your children or grandchildren, read it from the Bible, get them to draw or paint some of the story. Make an Easter garden to help you picture what happened or download the Bible App for Kids on your Tablet or Phone (available for Apple and Android) and explore the story A Happy Sunday together.

3. Take time to prepare yourself for Easter Sunday


Use the longer days to get up a bit earlier or take time to read about the cross and resurrection before the day itself. Why not read Matthew 26-28 or Luke 22-24, there is nothing like hearing first hand what Jesus did for us. 

To celebrate you might like to read Ephesians 1 and give thanks to Jesus for what he has done for us. Better still you could memorise a verse that reminds you of what Jesus has done. How about John 3:16, John 14:2-3, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Revelation 21:3 or 1 Peter 2:24.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

When we recognise our need for Jesus, nothing can take away our joy. As we are reminded of Jesus’ willingness to die for us, we can see it truly is the best news in the world. So let’s do all we can to make the most of it.