Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Subtitled ‘How to develop extravagant givers in your church’, this book by Nelson Searcy is a very useful addition to a leader’s bookshelf. Involved in ministry in New York and Florida, the author also coaches senior pastors on a regular basis.

The issue of resourcing the ministry of the church cannot be avoided if there is to be growth! A systematic and prayerful approach to giving has to be established in the life of any thriving church and Nelson Searcy has provided a book on ‘biblical stewardship in our current church culture’.

This is a book that lays out lots of ‘how to’s – its practical approach covers ways of encouraging and developing giving among the people of God. It will give all of us food for thought regarding the ways that we do and don’t do the giving and receiving of money to support the work of our local churches.

The issue of money needs serious and regular thought in the lives of our churches as far as I am concerned. This is a book to help provoke thought – and provide insights!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Meaning of Marriage

It’s been an established pattern for Deb and me to read a book on marriage each year. This year we were fortunate enough to be able to have The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller and I can wholeheartedly say that this is the best book I have ever read on the topic!

Keller brilliantly integrates levels of cultural awareness, biblical truth and pastoral application. There are also good chapters on singleness which I found very helpful. Since Deb and I finished reading it I have praised this book wherever I have spoken on this important subject and would highly recommend it – especially for those in ministry leadership.

It also proved a helpful resource for our recent King’s preaching series called #TrendingNow where we covered topics such as intimacy, identity and also the internet. 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Last Words of David: Praise!

At the end of his life (1 Chron. 28), David stands before the nation’s leaders and the people and speaks to Solomon his son, the one who is to carry on the work, and says - have a vision, remember you are chosen, stay devoted, work on the plan, know the encouragement of God, here are some resources in order to complete the work, and he leaves a legacy for the future.

While this is about a specific national leader setting a major project in motion which would shape the nation’s life and the worship of God for a long time to come, the story has much to say to us. Whether it’s about church life or our plans for the future for our family or career, God has planted dreams in us, sometimes many years ago. I encourage you to pray those plans out before God and ask Him to guide you in implementing them. Then be prepared to work hard as you commit yourself to God’s purposes in your life.

All this so that when you come to the end of your life you will be able to look back and say without many regrets, ‘I served the purpose of God in my generation’.

‘David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, 
“Praise be to you, O LORD, 
God of our father Israel, 
from everlasting to everlasting...’  (1 Chron. 29:10)

As a result of all that was done, praise was given to God. The fulfilment of David’s dream to build a house for God was to ensure that the praise of God would continue from generation to generation for a great God who rules and reigns, searches and examines, enables and strengthens, loves and provides from everlasting to everlasting.

And we seek to play our part in building something that will also stand for all time – not buildings but the Church of Jesus Christ composed of the lives of those who come to be part of His Kingdom and to serve the purpose of God in their generation. That is something to praise him for!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Last Words of David: Legacy

1 Chron. 29: 28 says of David, ‘He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honour’. The NT records it like this, – ‘For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep...’ (Acts 13:36). I don’t know about you but when it comes to my moment of falling asleep I hope it is said of me that ‘he served the purposes of God in his generation’. I think you would like that said of you – that you stayed on course, you didn’t get distracted, you stayed good-hearted and fulfilled what God had given you to do. I hope to live to a good age like David, and to lead this church for the greater part of my life, then to hand on the church to a younger generation who I trust will go further than we have gone.

It’s not that we haven’t still got great things before us but I honestly believe that the true test of leadership is legacy – and I trust and hope that what we build over the next 10 – 15 years will build a foundation for another generation to build on and go even further, because we recognise that we are building on what the generations before us laid down. We are not ‘the’ generation – we are one of the generations and we are doing something for the future, as our ancestors in God did before us. In the context of King’s the development of the Lee building alone is an investment for the future and is something that I believe God will use for generations to come.

Perhaps you are a single Mum or you are in a season of life where you are raising young children. My mum did not have a big career. She stayed at home, supporting my Dad in the success he achieved in his career, and spent most of her time raising two sons. As she reads this - she’s one of my fans and adds to my blog hits every week – I want to say to her a big, ‘Thank you, Mum!’ I am very, very grateful to her, that she invested in me. The greatest thing you might do as a parent is to lay a foundation in your children for a generation that will serve God and fulfil their potential in Him.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Last Words of David: Resources

With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God...’ (1 Chron. 29:2)

To fulfil any vision takes resources – whether we are talking about raising a family, going to university, setting up a business or taking out a mortgage and it is the same in church life. What you see and experience at King’s, for example, does not happen by chance; all we do is funded by God’s people. In 1 Chronicles chapter 29:2-9 we see that David, from his success and out of all the resources he has gathered through his life and reign, leads the people into a massive offering to bring together everything needed for the building project for the temple. And they raise the money and then there is a prayer of thanksgiving (29:10-13). Read it through. Does it seem familiar?

This prayer is the Old Testament foundation for another great prayer that we know in the New Testament – it’s called the Lord’s Prayer and it’s rooted in this Old Testament prayer! We are used to building projects at King’s so I find it encouraging and reassuring that the Lord’s Prayer is based on this prayer about a building project!

You have to find a way to resource the vision God has given.  There is a lot of truth in 1 Chron. 29:14 where David says, ‘Who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand...’ I wish that all Christians believed that. Some of us think it’s all ours and we will give God what’s left over. That’s not God’s perspective and it should not be ours. It’s all His and ultimately all your gifts and resources come from Him anyway. If you have a gift and have been chosen it’s because of the Sovereign One, not you. That’s why we give thanks to Him for all he is doing in this church and in our lives – it’s his grace. If you have that perspective it changes everything. If all Christians lived that out then the resources released for the Kingdom of God and what we could do together as a result would be remarkable. But some of us just live giving God loose change, as though we are tipping God. There are some strong words elsewhere in Scripture about such an attitude.