2017 and All It Will Bring

gxnyoltxcr8-jonathan-simcoeThis week between Christmas and the New Year has seemed extra long this year. If you’re like me then you are probably beginning to miss the routine, the normalness of life and are done with rest and the switching off. It’s starting to feel like laziness is creeping in.

So, how are the questions? Let me encourage you to grab a piece of paper, purchase a new journal or even use your phone and answer them. Take 15 minutes and think about them. Your 2016 review. What you would do. What would stop you. Your relationship with God. Put something in writing. Be brave and courageous. It helps.

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it [Habakkuk 2:2 ESV]

It’s amazing how the simple transition from one year to another can provide an opportunity for a reset. To get back on track. To refocus and begin again.

God is on our side. He is not about second chances, He is about new beginnings. Use 2017 as that new beginning. With God at the centre of all of our hopes, our faith, our dreams – nothing is impossible with God.

Three final questions then as part of this week…in readiness for 2017 and all it will bring…

What’s your biggest challenge? What’s bugging you?

I’d be happy for you to share your thoughts but understand you may not want to. How about you let me know if you have found them useful or otherwise. Like I mentioned above, just make sure you think about them. They are big, helpful questions.

Tomorrow I will ask you one final question.

Unlearn Church?

The recent advertising campaign by Ford challenged us to UNLEARN.

UNLEARN Postman
UNLEARN OAP
UNLEARN Pets
UNLEARN Autographs
UNLEARN Everything

Ultimately they are wanting us to think differently about cars made by Ford. To see Ford differently. The strap line they used was to ‘let go of what you know’. See the video here.

For a few weeks now I have been thinking about this UNLEARN idea from a local church perspective and genuinely want to hear your thoughts. You may or may not be part of a church, that doesn’t matter.

Let me just say, I am not looking for an opportunity to become liberal in the message – the Good News of Jesus is just that and it will not change. I am not about to make some parts easier to swallow just because they challenge us. We all know the ‘how’ part can be amended. Perhaps the UNLEARN is part of this.

Here’s how I am approaching this thought:
1. Don’t think too long about the answer – your immediate thoughts are what I want to the 3 questions below…

Q1: What would it mean to UNLEARN church?
Q2: What do we need to UNLEARN to see our churches vision happen?
Q3: What do we think people not in church need to UNLEARN about church?

2. When it comes to the answers…
Be honest. Be creative. Think outside the box. Think about others. Be encouraging and positive. Keep it simple (so I can understand it).

3. Finally – let me know if you are a church goer as this will give me some context for your answers.

Let’s start a conversation and maybe UNLEARN church, seeing it as an opportunity to ‘let go of what we know’ and to learn something new that may be of benefit for those of us already in church and possibly of even greater benefit for those who are not going to church right now.

I know some of you are going to love this opportunity and thanks for getting involved.

An Important Question

This seems a little cheeky but that thing that bothers you, I hope you don’t mind but I have a question for you.

The job that frustrates you.

The marriage that seems lost.

The neighbour from hell.

The sickness that just won’t go.

The kids and their behaviour.

The financial decisions that are causing you so much stress.

The habit that has such a stronghold.

That tested friendship.

The miracle you so want to see.

Those people you would love too see become Christians.

The decision that needs to be made.

Have you prayed about it?

I’m sure you have, so ignore me. Yet I’m just curious, because if you are anything like me then sometimes we work really hard at trying to sort these things out for ourselves, we exert unending amounts of energy to resolve certain situations but we don’t spend the same levels of energy asking God.

Working hard is important. Praying is important too. Don’t stop doing either. But pray more.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. [Matthew 7:7-8]

What’s Your Question?

So we are continuing the God is… series at Xcel Church and we need your help. 

We are spending a little time unpacking aspects of the character and nature of God – that He is good and great, that He is my Father, that He is love, that He is with me and that God is holy. 

Preaching a series like this can bring moments of revelation which can change our view of God forever. 

Preaching a series like this can answer some of those tricky questions but can also bring more to our mind. 

Well, as a team we want to do our best to help you so tell us your question and then as part of UNITED on 29th March the panel can discuss it. 

Don’t be shy ~ leave a question as a comment.