Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weston Super mare

Claude and Sue Ellerington are close friends and so it was especially good to be with them at their church in Weston. Both their sons, Richard and Steve, also pastor at the church.

As I did not have a free Sunday for quite some time they set up a mid week meeting. It was an amazing attendance and a joy to have the opportunity to minister at this great church.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sporting Marvels

I was first introduced to Sporting marvels five years ago. Three men showed a media preesentation in my office of a vision that was then only embyonic. What I saw was one of the most moving evangelistic opportunities I have ever witnessed. The three who came to Cheltenham were John Bullock (seee last posting) and two men who were top rugby proffessionals in Wales, Phil Davies and Clive Jones who are members of Porth Elim church

I was to learn of young sports mentors who would work in schools as role models and committed Christians with a specific goal of reaching the towns and villages of the Rhondda valley.

The purpose of my visit was to minister to the team members who have come to the Rhondda from all over the world. I met people from Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria and the USA - as well as members from the Rhondda itself. The ministry is based out of Porth Elim but embraces other churches throughout the area. To learn more about this amazing ministry visit

Porth - South Wales

The Porth Church is unrecognisable from the small church I first encountered forty years ago. My wife Marilyn hails from that part of the world and this was the church that we were married in.

John and Debbie Bullock have taken the congregation to five times its original size and are doing an awesome job there.

Just before I got up to speak I decided to change the message that I had originally prepared. Having made this decision John, not knowing what I had decided, brought a prophecy to the church on 'transformation' which was the the very subject I had decided to address. Debbie's sensitive leading the worship ensured a memorable night.

Metroplitan West - leadership Day

David Campbell, pictured here with his wife Mandy has one of the widest remits in terms of care for churches and pastors of any Regional leader in our Movement. When I speak at his Regional Days I am not only impressed by the numbers who attend but the proportion of the Region who are there. David covers two regions - metropolitan east and west - and is of course a member of Elim's national leadership team as well as being a close personal friend.

I greatly enjoyed being with the men and women in the leadership meeting for Metropolitan east that was held in the excellent Chelmsford church complex that had been made available by fellow NLT member, Mike Sherwood.

The day was a very special time and my input was made even easier by the sensitive worship leading of Penny Upson who is part of the ministry team at Chelmsford.

I stayed for the evening to witness a celebration to mark the retirement of Tony and Brenda Tween. The church was packed into the overflow areas as tribute was made to their many years of faithful service in the church

Breakthrough Conference - Newquay Cornwall

Mike Robins, senior pastor of Newquay Christian Centre, has transformed the church in the years that he has been been there. He has taken the congregation from thirty people to almost three hundred and built a church complex which has plans afoot for much greater expansion. Not only is Mike committed to the local church - he also has a heart for ministers.

The Breakthrough Conference, at which I was the closing speaker, focussed on ministers who had smaller churches who were looking to learn how to break through to the next level of growth and effectiveness. Mike has certainly earned the right to speak on that subject and the people I spoke to who had been there for three days prior to my arrival appeared massively appreciative of the input that they had already received.

School of ministry

The School of Ministry is part of the overall training program of RTC but specialises in short term input from ministry practicioners over a one year period. Gary Gibbs gives leadership to this excellent department and my visit annually is to speak on the subject of 'Building Bigger People". Prior to meeting the group I was told that 'this year's intake were a great group of students'. My time with them certainly confirmed that impression.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bangor - Photos

Bangor - Photos

Bangor - Northern Ireland

Without doubt Bangor is one of the most exciting and innovative churches in our Movement. For many years the senior minister was Bill Crawford but, by the time he had retired, he had put in place execllent leadership in the form of David Beckett, Gary Beattie and, in the last few months, Hugh Moore.

The building is one of the most imposing structures in the city. It is known in the area not only as one of the largest churches in Ireland but also as a major conference centre. The building is state-of-the-art whether one considers the main auditorium, the restaurant or the sports hall.

Throughout the Sunday I was there over a thousand people were in the congregation. The worship was led by the full time worship leader and Arts Director Suzanne Hanna. The songs that she has recently written will become part of Spring Harvest's worship programme this year.