Creating a Kingdom Culture 

In his book, An Unstoppable Force, church leader Erwin McManus argues that the church ought to shape culture by knowing and living out it's own Christ-formed ethos.
"Ethos - the fundamental character or spirit of a culture, the underlying sentiment that informs beliefs, customs and practises of a community, group or person. To simplify, an ethos is expressed through spontaneous recurring patterns."

What is the ethos of our church?


Do we value the culture of the Kingdom or do we live more by the culture of this world? 

The Kingdom of God? Or the Kingdom of the World? Which is it to be?

It's actually not to hard to make an assessment of this.

Just listen in on a few conversations.

People will talk about what they're passionate about.

People will share with others what really matters to them.

Are our conversations Kingdom conversations?

There's another way to test this.

Do something wrong today.

And then see how people react.

The comments. The emails. The texts and the twitter feeds. Even those emojis.

They all say something about the culture, the ethos, we subscribe to.


We're surrounded by a culture of rights, legal codes and opposing opinions. 

In contrast the kingdom of God is defined by a culture that celebrates peace, forebearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self- control. (Galatians 5: 22-23)

Where do you want to live?

The world as we know it?

Or the kingdom where each person is valued because of the values of God.





 



 

Keith Wilson, 16/05/2019

Does God do Religion?

 Now there's a stupid question! How could God not do religion? It surely comes with the job description. God must be religious.

But does God really like religion?

Over the years I've met many people who have been hurt by religion.

They may have been hurt by religion directly. 

A church has let them down. Religious people have said or done things that even now - years later -  it still really hurts.

Bad.

People also feel hurt by religion indirectly. 

They see wars on the news. They hear or read things people claim God supports.

Religion.

It can be real bad.

Before we can expect to be heard those of us who follow God need to sometimes just say sorry.

Sorry.

God never meant it to turn out that way.

Religion can turn out bad.

But it also has the potential to be tremendously good.

We're studying the book of James at the moment.

In James 1: 27 we read: Religion that our God accepts as pure and faultless is this...

We hold our breath waiting for it.

..to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

You can hear the gasp.

This wasn't what people then thought religious people did. 

To be honest it isn't what people today think religious people do.

Yet for centuries Christians have been at the forefront of developing hospitals, homeless shelters, schools and even orphanages.

Much of what we take for granted today started when someone looked at their Bible and fell in love with the religion that God accepts.

When asked what the greatest commandment was James' half brother  gave 2 closely linked answers.

Love the Lord your God.

Love your neighbour as yourself.

What might our religion begin to look like if we took words like these seriously?

 

Keith Wilson, 29/04/2019

The F Word 

A recent poll uncovered some of the words people find hardest to say.

Here are some of the top words people find hard to say.

Rollerblading.

Deterioration

Refrigerator

Colonel

Micellaneous.

How did you get on?

Can I add one other word to the list?

Forgiveness.

I forgive you.

I accept I'm forgiven.

Difficult words to give and receive.

That's why this Easter we're hosting 'The F Word Exhibition' from the Forgiveness Project. It's a thought provoking, challenging exhibition of 23 people whose life stories have been radically impacted by tragedy.

And forgiveness.

Some are Christian. Many are not. The theme of forgiveness runs deep and wide. 

And it's central to our Christian faith.

To launch the 'F Word exhibition' we are hosting an evening with Gillian Dare. Gillian will be speaking about the issue of forgiveness in relation to her work in the Middle East and Iraq. 

Our prayer is that people will come to the exhibition and want to discover more about the Christian forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not only a tough word to say. It's also a  costly word to achieve.

At Easter we remember the forgiveness that Jesus bought for us through his death on the cross.

Please do join us on Wednesday 17th April at 7pm. The exhibition will run until Saturday 20th April.



 

Keith Wilson, 04/04/2019