Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yeovil, Somerset

The vast majority of my time when interacting with the local church is spent in ministering to the local congregation.  However on some occasions a senior pastor invites me to spend time with his local leaders which usually consist of fellow-pastors and Elders.

It was on such occasion that I visited Yeovil - an excellent church whose senior pastor is Howard Davenport (pictured with his wife Emma and their children).  During the evening I was able to listen to the vision of the church leadership for their area and also share and answer questions about the vision of our wider Movement.  I very much enjoyed the time spent.

My visit coincided with the conclusion of a major refurbishment of the church that entailed the redesign of the front entrance and foyer areas and the upgrading of the multi-media in the main sanctuary (pictured).

Cork, Ireland

West Cork Community Church is situated in the small town of Bandon and led by Brian Synnott.  Though the Republic of Ireland is often not the easiest context to grow a church WCCC has grown by 25% in the past few months with the primary growth being among young people.

At the Sunday Morning service there were a number of first-time decisions for Christ and it was, as so often is the case, a pleasure to minister to a group of people who are so open to, and hungry for, the Word of God.

When spending time with Brian and Doris is was great to hear of their vision not just for the community on which they are ministering but for the whole of Ireland.  I trust and pray that all of the plans that they have shared will come to fruition.  It was a joy to be with them.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ripley, Derbyshire

The Elim church in Ripley is one of our smaller churches. Smaller churches however often reflect large and expansive levels of commitment and this is certainly true in this case.  

The pastor of the church is Philip Yendle (pictured here with his wide Sheila) who was a successful lawyer before taking early retirement to lead the work in this area.

Our Movement honours those who minister without salary in order that local communities can be reached with the gospel.  Philip and Sheila are two wonderful people doing an excellent job.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ambilly, France

Luc and Rachel Favre pioneered a church in Thonon France and in the past year or so have also taken over the leadership of the church in Ambilly which has a state-of-the-art building at the foot of Mont Blanc.

Flying in on the Friday Marilyn went to speak at a women's event in Thonon while I spoke at a men's meeting in Ambilly.  Saturday was spent teaching at their small Bible school and we then flew back from Geneva airport having spoken at the Sunday morning service in Ambilly.    It was a busy schedule and we are always grateful for the warm hospitality of Rachel and Luc when we stay in their home.

North East Region

Gordon Neale is the Regional Leader for the North East and Midlands Regions. I speak at a Regional Day (attended by most of the ministers in each region) every two years.  On this occasion I was at a three-day retreat in Scarborough.

Other people participating the in the conference were Alistair Cole, Paul Hudson and Kevin Peat.

As so often is the case, there is a great atmosphere at meetings of this nature and there are few things more inspiring than participating in worship with so many Elim Pastors and their spouses.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Teen Challenge

Teen Challenge is possibly the most respected, and certainly the largest, ministry in the world that exists to serve, in a Christian environment, those who have  endured addictive lifestyles.

The reason for my visit to Willoughby House - the phenomenal new facility near Leicester - was to minister to the staff members from around the UK.  It was a huge privilege.

I arrived at a time of transition.  Jay Fallon (pictured left) is an ordained Elim minister who for some time has been the the Teen Challenge Field Director.  To say that he and his wife Fiona do an amazing job is an understatement.
However Phil Hills, who until recently had been the pastor of the Elim Church in Dundonald, and who is Chief Executive of Teen Challenge UK had only days earlier been elected as the vice President of Global Teen Challenge.  Globally, Teen Challenge has 1100 centres in 93 countries - a total of 26,000 beds

With this powerful team now in place there is no limit to what will be achieved, under God, in the days that lie ahead.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Bow to Target Conference - Bristol

The Regional Leaders and myself have been travelling throughout the Movement with a leadership Conference entitled "From the bow to the target".  On this occasion we were in Bristol and the host Regional leader was Chris Cartwright and, apart from myself the speakers were Kevin Peat, Gordon Neale and David Campbell.  The weather was dreadful yet the attendance was amazing.  I can think of very few things  I enjoy more than spending times with the leaders around our Movement.  


  When anyone thinks of 'Telford' in Elim circles their mind is most likely to go to  our annual Bible Week or the S4G Gathering.  But our congregation in Telford has been there for many years.  However. when a few years ago Leslie (pictured left) and Joan Burke went there a few years ago there was only around a dozen people in the congregation and a dilapidated building.  What met me on my arrival was a family friendly congregation of around ninety people in a brand new church building - a great testimony to sacrifice  tenacity and solid ministry.

One of the pleasures of visiting church on a Sunday is spending time with the family of our leaders and pictured above are(left to right) Sarah-louise, Rebekah, Denver, Joan and Chloe.