Monday, November 21, 2011

Weston Super Mare

At the time of writing I have no Sundays available for ministry until well into 2014 so it was unusual that I was back in Weston after just a few months.

The reason was because when I was there  last June I only managed to get half way through the message and so, when a Sunday became available, I got the opportunity to finish the subject!

The senior minister Claude Ellerington has been one of my closest friends for over 40 years.  The associate minister is his son, Richard.  His younger son, Steve,is on the pastoral staff of the Elim church in Bristol.

Every time I visit the Weston church it seems that something has 'gone up  a notch' either numerically or spiritually.  As always, Marilyn and I enjoyed our time at this great church.

NW Regional Conference

Over ninety people attended the NW Regional Conference over two days at a top Blackpool hotel.  NLT member and Regional leader for the area Kevin Peat (pictured here with his wife Margaret) hosted the event and it was a delight for Marilyn and I to be present for the occasion.

I spoke at the three sessions to a group of leaders and spouses who it was a total joy to be with and the interaction between the teaching sessions were every bit as important as the seminars themselves.

Kevin and Margaret have created an environment in their Regions that is conducive to good fellowship and strong relationships and, for our part, it was an opportunity to meet both long-term friends in ministry as well as being introduced to leaders of churches that have recently joined our Movement.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Penzance, Cornwall

The pioneering of a new church requires a huge amount of vision, commitment and sacrifice, so when Dan and Jo Rubens (pictured here with their daughters) left the leadership team at Derby Elim to commence a new church in Cornwall it was an exciting prospect.

However, when the Derby church also released  two further families to join them - people who were willing to uproot their homes and resign their jobs to commence a new church, this was an demonstration not just of commitment but also of sacrifice.

The current venue is the modern and minimalist Penzance art gallery - a central and, currently, ideal location.

It was a joy to speak to the members of a church that was only months old but which had visibly grown in that short period.

If you plan to holiday in Cornwall during a Sunday in the summer - consider this church as one of your 'ports of call'

Brecon, South Wales

The opening of the new church building in Brecon is a huge tribute to the vision and faithfulness of the senior minister, Malcolm Jones, the local leadership and the church membership.

The celebration, at which the local MP attended, packed the new premises.  The photo shows a proportion of the congregation who were present for my official 'cutting of the tape' prior to the ceremony commencing.

Five members of Elim's National Leadership Team were present including the Regional Leader for the area, Chris Cartwright.  The speaker was NLT member Gordon Neale.  Brecon had been his first church when he entered the ministry over 40 years ago

Summit - on the road

Over the past twelve years there have been a number of Vision and Summit leadership conferences that have been held.  This year however the Summit conference went on the road travelling to venues such as Bristol, London (pictured), Scotland, Chorley and Coventry.  

The theme was 'Discipleship and Outreach' and the speakers were Gary Gibbs, Chris Jones, Mark Pugh, Nigel Tween and myself.  

The delegates had the opportunity, not just receive input, but to discuss the issues around the group tables as well as sharing their insights in a plenary setting.  The new-style summit ensured not only greater participation among those who attended but also a greater number of our churches around the country being involved.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Elim - Paisley

Its always a delight to be back in Scotland given that fourteen years of our ministry was in that country both as pastor and as Regional Leader.

My earliest memories of Paisely was of a congregation of around seventy people.  Today it is three tims that size with two morning services to accomodate the continued growth.

Wherever I travel on a Sunday there are two things that I value.  The first is visiting and ministering at one of our churches and the the other is spending time with the pastor and his family. 

This was especially true with regard to my time with Tom and Jennifer Paton and their family each of whom are fully involved in the local church.  Few things give more thrilling than seeing young adults, that you have known since they were first born, who are totally committed to serving God.

Back row left to right, Callum, Tom, Euan, Neil.  Front row Jennifer, Hannah, Kathryn (Callum's wife).

Festival of Life

Over thirty thousand people attended the 'Festival of Life' at the Excel Centre in London for an all-night celebration that lasted from 8pm to 5am.

It was held under the auspices of the 'Redeemed Christian Church of God'.  The other speaker  was Rev. Enoch Adeboye - the minister of the world's largest church in Lagos, Nigeria which has a membership of one million.  The walls of the church compound are three miles long