What does a Christian do with the Bible?

What place should the Bible have in a Christians life? Any tips?

An essential Christian discipline is to read or listen to the Bible regularly through the week. It would be a shame if the secular news cycle had more of a voice into your life each week than the Word of God.

The battle to put the Word of God before the word of the world is ongoing. Each time you read or watch the news (an activity which in itself is not wrong), you subject yourself to the opinions of the journalist who is accountable only to an opinion that makes news! Our secular press are rarely accountable to anyone but their ratings – it is not difficult for truth to get lost or skewed in the pursuit of a growing readership.

Continue reading

God makes himself known – look at his Word!

The clearest way to know God is to listen to what he says!

One of the first things that we learn about God in the opening Chapter of the Bible is that he talks. ‘In the beginning God created’ and how did he do that? By his word ‘And God said: ‘Let there be light’…., and then God said: ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters…, and then God said: ‘let there be sky’… and so it goes on for seven days (Genesis 1:1-2:3).

Each of the special acts of creation come about by the word of God. What he creates is new and wonderful and he does that by uttering his words.

If the significance of that is lost on you, give it a go! Test the power of your words. Create something by your words and only your words – ‘Let there be a ham sandwich’! How did you go? I think I can guess!

Continue reading

Lessons Learned

101 5pm church update header

Friends it has been a while since the last 5pm Update (a good indication that things have been a bit full on!) – in fact there has not been an update since I returned from Study Leave for Easter. Thanks for allowing me time to get away.

Study Leave meant that I could attend a series of Conferences, visit a series of Churches and check-out some theological colleges. Refreshing? – Yes! Challenging? – At times! Educational? – Mostly! Beneficial? – I hope so, but you will need to be the judge of that.

There were so many times that I just felt immensely thankful to God for Trinity City and for 5pm Church and for the leaders we have and for the ministry that we do – and thankful because I could see other examples in the States of similar ministries or conversely I could see examples of things that were not done half as well as how Trinity does it (under God of course).

Here are 5 reflections with 5 corresponding challenges which may be of benefit for us.

Continue reading

Why leave a ‘church’?

101 5pm church update header

The question ‘Why leave a ‘church?’ may be a dangerous question to ask, especially on a church blog!

The reality is that all churches have people leave them – for both wise and unwise reasons. It is worth spending some time thinking about why one would take the step of leaving a ‘church’ and then further considering how to do that well. That said, I am hoping that no one reading this will in fact leave 5pm Church as a result!Trinity City 'Five by 5' Challenge - hand

In the previous two articles we have considered ‘What is ‘Church’?’ and then ‘What to expect of ‘Church’?‘ which as background should help establish that leaving a church should be thought about carefully – that is not a decision that should be made hastily or prayerlessly. If ‘church’ is about God’s people gathering as a family in Christ around his Word, it should give some pause for thought to a person when deciding to stay or to go. Leaving means leaving a family and a place where God’s word should be key to their fellowship.

Changing churches or leaving church altogether is no small thing.

Continue reading

What to expect of ‘Church’?

101 5pm church update header

The beginning of the year is often the time when people check out church (‘It is a new year, thought I would give it a go’), join church (‘I have moved and want to make this my church’) or leave church (‘I am making a life change’).

As such, it is reasonable that one consider ‘What should I expect of ‘Church’?’.

In the last update Trinity City 'Five by 5' Challenge - handwe considered ‘What is Church?’ and suggested that church was a place for believers (whilst still open to not-yet believers) and a place where God’s people gathered as a family in Christ. Expectations of church then are important because they help a person decide whether this church is doing what it should be or not.

There are a couple of ways to arrive at an answer.

Continue reading

Belong or Believe?

101 5pm church update header

Why is it that we belong?

There is a tension often in Christian communities – the tension of wanting more and more people to feel comfortable and welcome so that they may enjoy a sense of belonging to a body which likes to be together. Yet on the other hand, being a people who believe and respond to the Word of God – when at times that Word challenges, or confronts, or asks something of the person which is not that comfortable.

Which comes first? Belonging or Belief?

Continue reading