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All articles in category Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Article

November 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Discerning and obeying God’s will

Many today seek guidance over such things as work, education, employment and financial planning. But Christians have an omniscient and omnipresent Consultant, ever ready to help us when we call on him. Paul warns us in Ephesians 5:15–17: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because…

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Article

November 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

On His Majesty’s service

The Bible contains startling stories of slave girls and slave drivers, but what does it say about being a servant? My children are great, and generally do what they’re told. But there are times when, if I ask them to help, they sometimes say, ‘Not now, Dad. I’ve been working all day, I’m too…

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Article

October 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The ‘problem’ of unanswered prayer

‘Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies’. So states the Shorter Catechism, Q. 98. Its answer to the question ‘What is prayer?’ here is hard to better. Prayer is…

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Article

October 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The number one reason youth leave the church

When churches find a dearth of young people in the congregation, it is never long before questions start being asked. The questions become even more pointed when children, who otherwise seemed engaged, drift off when they become teenagers. Were there not enough programmes available for them? Were they isolated from their peers? Did we…

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Article

October 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Treasures at Geanies House

A few years before the last battle on British soil fought at Culloden, a fine country manor was being completed. The owners may have heard the gunfire on that April day in 1746. Today the Jacobite cause is forgotten, but the old manor still stands and contains more treasures than it ever did in…

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Article

October 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Deathly hallows: A Christian response to Halloween

Every Halloween, rubber skeletons, plastic skulls and various grisly, ghostly and ghoulish items appear in the windows of pubs, clubs, shops and shopping centres. But, strange as it may seem, they don’t — ironically — feature in the window displays of the local funeral director. I wonder why that is. Actually, I’m pretty sure…

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Article

September 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Writing for God: appreciating Christian authors

The reason for this article is to consider the subject of Christian authors and the writing and publishing of Christian literature. I recently submitted a manuscript to a Christian publisher who, in their acknowledgement promised to have a look at it later in the year and also thanked me for my support. Their appreciation…

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Article

July 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Missionary support: Let’s talk about money

Let’s talk about missionary support —  or, rather, let’s not. I think we have a problem with vocabulary and the language of ‘support’ is not adequate to describe the relationship between a church and the people who it sets aside for ministry. Friends and families support missionaries; they provide finance, they pray, and they…

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Article

July 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Sexuality: identifying Our identity

At present, two popular —  yet antithetical — positions about sexuality and identity exist within the orthodox Christian community. In their recent book Transforming Homosexuality, authors Denny Burk and Heath Lambert identify these as the traditional and neo-traditional positions. Both of these positions exclude from acceptable Christian behaviour sexual acts that are outside of…

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Article

July 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

How to be a successful church planter

With all due respect to the various people who write about church planting in the UK, I thought that it was time that I did everyone a favour by writing a short guide on how to be a successful church planter. The first thing to do is to define what we mean by success.…

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Article

July 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The Preacher and Politics: Seven Thoughts

This post is addressed to preachers and is about preachers. While many of the reflections may be useful for all Christians, I’m writing specifically with my fellow pastors in mind. [Note from the ET editors: this article was first published within an American context, but the principles are equally applicable here in the UK].…

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Article

June 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Too busy to rest?

Some time ago, I was talking to some colleagues from the organisation I worked for before I joined Mission Aviation Fellowship. One had come from Australia and said that, because of his work, he spent half his life with his family, and the rest travelling between various countries. After a detailed account of his…

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