Cringe-free All-age Worship

On Sunday I helped to lead an all-age service at St Nic’s, where I am Associate Minister, looking at the story of Jonah. I had some interesting and encouraging feedback from the congregation; one person told me that they had brought a family they knew along, and that they so enjoyed it, they were planning to come … Continue Reading

Performance and Worship

This is a guest post by Steve Stickley. Steve and Janet run the Footprints Theatre Trust, and are long-standing members of St Nic’s, Nottingham. I am sharing these thoughts as someone who is Christian and also a professional performer. They are intended to stimulate discussion with a view to re-evaluating our thinking and practice when it comes … Continue Reading

Those hideous modern worship songs

Today I was caught out very nicely by a fantastic blog post at The Gospel Coalition: Here are some of the things I really hate in a worship song. Too simplistic, banal, lacking in depth, shallow, doctrineless: Consider that one that just talks about unity among brothers that only mentions God in passing at the very end. … Continue Reading

Is ‘our God greater’?

Over the last few months I have found myself less and less comfortable with the song by Chris Tomlin that has the chorus: Our God is greater, our God is stronger God you are higher than any other Our God is Healer, awesome in power Our God, Our God… At first I thought that the … Continue Reading

On the cross when Jesus died, was ‘the wrath of God satisfied’?

I recently posted on Facebook a link to the decision in the Presbyterian Church (USA) to drop the  hymn “In Christ Alone” because the song’s authors refused to change a phrase about the wrath of God. The original lyrics say that “on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” The Presbyterian Committee … Continue Reading

What is an Anglican?

I have just picked up, from the IVP bookstall, The Accidental Anglican by Todd Hunter. Hunter came to faith through the Jesus Movement, then planted churches with Vineyard, before becoming an Anglican bishop with the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the ‘protest’ Anglican church supported by Anglicans from Uganda [correction: Rwanda]. I was most fascinated to … Continue Reading

How often did Jesus’ followers fast?

How often did the first Jesus-followers fast? Was it an occasional thing, focused on specific events or causes? Or was it something more habitual and regular, an integral part of their devotional life? As most studies of the subject point out, fasting in the Old Testament was associated either with particular festivals (such as the … Continue Reading

Nine reasons why you should fast

1. Jesus said so Jesus didn’t command fasting as a spiritual discipline as such, but he appears to assume that that is what his followers will do. In the so-called ‘Sermon on the Mount’ in Matt 5–7, he says ‘When you give…’ (Matt 6.2), ‘When you pray…’ (Matt 6.5) and ‘When you fast…’ (Matt 6.17). … Continue Reading

The secret of a good all-age talk

Here are my Ten Commandments of speaking in an all-age context. What are yours? 1. Don’t call all-age services ‘Family Services’ However nicely you put it, using the term ‘family’ in any title will put off the (on average) 40% of your congregation who are not in a nuclear family. Even ‘Church Family’ does it. … Continue Reading