Links10 links to check out over the weekend…

(Photo: Ryan McGuire)


70HAdrian Reynolds:

“There is no alternative to a settled long-term ministry

in which the preacher gets to know and love his congregation

and is able to preach to them as his own people.”

(Photo: Ryan McGuire)


796229_38700663Bobby Jamieson:

“Basically, I’m recommending a way to translate “calling” into a more biblical idiom. 

If you say you’re called to pastoral ministry, 

what I hope you mean 

is that you aspire to be an elder, 

and that you aspire to devote yourself to preaching and teaching.”

(Photo: riesp)


IMG_1293 (2)Brian Croft:

“God is the one who calls pastors to ministry, and the specifics of that calling are clearly outlined in God’s word.

The word of God is sufficient to provide us with an outline of a pastor’s divine calling and to instruct in how he should prioritise his daily schedule.”

  1. Guard the truth: “A pastor must be committed to the word of God and the apostles’ teachings and be willing to preach, teach, and defend them when they are contrary to the culture.”
  2. Preach the word: “A pastor must faithfully preach the whole counsel of God’s word, carefully explaining the meaning of the text and applying it to the lives of those under his care.”
  3. Pray for the flock: “A pastor should be an intercessor, bringing the needs of his church before God and modelling prayer both publicly and privately.”
  4. Set an example: “A pastor is an example to his flock and should always be aware that others are looking to him as a model. While a pastor should model righteous behaviour, he must also model confession and repentance, acknowledging he is also a sinner and teaching his people how to apply the gospel to life.”
  5. Visit the sick: “Pastors should visit those who are sick and in need of care and encouragement, and they must train others in the congregation to help care for those in need.”
  6. Comfort the grieving: “In the face of death, a pastor should grieve with those who grieve and should sensitively remind those who are grieving of the hope and encouragement of the gospel.”
  7. Care for widows: “The must-neglected biblical teaching calls for pastors to be responsible for the widows of the church and to find creative ways to model care for widows by involving their families and other members of the church in caring for these special women.”
  8. Confront sin: “Pastors need to confront sin and lead the church in the exercise of discipline in the hope of repentance and restoration.”
  9. Encourage the weaker sheep: “Though we can be tempted to easily dismiss people who are slow to change, God calls pastors to model patience and persevering hope by working with those who are difficult, despairing and challenging.”
  10. Identify and train leaders: “It is the primary responsibility of pastors to identify, train, and affirm leaders in the church. Every pastor should have a plan for doing this in his local church and should be actively seeking out the next generation of leaders.”

[These are] the things he must do to care for God’s people in particular.”

(Photo: butkovicdub)


4The Big Bible Adventure – Acts 8:1-25

Powerpoint Pictures: Farmer sowing seeds; Child feeding ducks; Money thrown in the air; Dog running towards pigeons; Bull chasing people down Spanish street; Confetti; Rubbish

Can you think of things that you might see scattered? [Seeds; Bread; Money; Pigeons; Confetti; Rubbish; People]

The disciples had been telling people about Jesus in Jerusalem, and a number of people had become followers of Jesus.

Now like the religious leaders didn’t like Jesus, they didn’t like His followers telling people about Jesus and tried to stop them.

Some of Jesus’ followers were put in prison, while one man called Stephen was killed for talking to people about Jesus.

His death caused the Christians in Jerusalem to scatter.

“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” (Acts 8:1)

The next step of the plan began, because as these followers of Jesus were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, they told people there about Jesus, and some of those living in Judea and Samaria became followers of Jesus too.

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)

So Jesus’ followers had told people about Him in Jerusalem (step 1 of the plan), and Judea and Samaria (step 2 of the plan). Next step was to the ends of the earth.

More talks from The Big Bible Adventure can be found HERE.

(Image: Bible Illustrations from Sweet Publishing)


3The Big Bible Adventure – Acts 2:14-41

Powerpoint Pictures: Tsunami; Tornado; Volcano; Heatwave; Avalanche; Earthquake

What do all of these things have in common? [Tsunami; Tornado; Volcano; Heatwave; Avalanche; Earthquake]

All of these things are unstoppable.

They can’t be stopped.

And that’s the case with the message about Jesus.

Nothing can stop it from spreading around the world and people becoming followers of Jesus.

After the Holy Spirit came, giving the disciples the power and help they needed to begin telling people that Jesus was alive, that same day in Jerusalem, Peter got up and preached a sermon (a kind of talk) about Jesus to a large crowd that had gathered.

Peter told them about Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, and that He was the Saviour who they must trust in and the King they must obeyed.

And lots of the people who were listening did just that.

“Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (Acts 2:41)

3000 people at least became followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. In fact every day the number of followers of Jesus went up and up.

But not everyone in Jerusalem was happy about this. But their unhappiness is going to lead to Jesus’ followers to start telling people about Him in Judea and Samaria.

More talks from The Big Bible Adventure can be found HERE.

(Image: Bible Illustrations from Sweet Publishing)


2The Big Bible Adventure – Acts 2:1-13

Powerpoint Pictures: Torch; Batteries; iPhone; iPhone Charger; Deflated football; Football Pump; Car; Petrol; Toilet; Water

What do the following need to work? [Torch; iPhone; Deflated Football; Car; Toilet]

Jesus had returned to heaven, and the disciples had returned to Jerusalem to wait.

To wait for the Holy Spirit to come and give them the power they needed to tell everyone around the good news that Jesus was alive, risen from the dead, and the Saviour of the world.

10 days after they watched Jesus leave, they were altogether in a room. It was the day of Pentecost, a Jewish festival, when something incredible happened.

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:2-3)

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come. And He did.

The sound of wind (the noise of a hurricane), the tongues of fire, the ability to talk in other languages they had never learned, were all signs to make it clear to the disciples that the help, the power they needed had arrived.

It was now time for them to get on with the plan. Telling people about Jesus in Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria, and then onto the ends of the earth.

Ready. Steady. Go!

More talks from The Big Bible Adventure can be found HERE.

(Image: Bible Illustrations from Sweet Publishing)


1The Big Bible Adventure – Acts 1:9-11

Powerpoint Pictures: Ball; Piece of Paper; Rubber Band; Bubbles; Child

What will happen when I throw these different things up in the air? [Ball; Piece of Paper; Rubber Band; Bubbles; A Child]

They will come back down.

What goes up, must come down, and that is true of the Lord Jesus too, because after His resurrection, He spent 40 days proving to His disciples that He really was alive, then after this He went up.

Jesus didn’t die. No, He went up to heaven. And His disciples watched Him go. They saw Him get taken up and then a cloud hide Him from their sight.

Jesus had returned to heaven.

As the disciples stood starring into the sky, (you would, wouldn’t you?), two angels appeared next to them.

“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

Jesus has gone back into heaven, but one day He will return. What goes up, must come down!

But in the meantime, the disciples had something to do. They needed to tell everyone that He was alive, but before they could get on with the plan of telling people in Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria, before moving onto the ends of the earth, they needed to wait.

Wait for the Holy Spirit to come and help them do this. So the disciples returned to Jerusalem and waited for the Holy Spirit to arrive.

10 days later something incredible happened.

More talks from The Big Bible Adventure can be found HERE.

(Image: Bible Illustrations from Sweet Publishing)


Band of BrothersA key part of our elder’s meetings is time in God’s Word and prayer which I usually lead.

Here’s the first part of a series working through 1 Kings 1-11.

Download my notes on 1 Kings 1 as a pdf

More notes can be found HERE.

(Photo: Signaleer)


UTWEvery Tuesday I want to highlight on this blog a great resource that is available from and some great deals for you to check out.

This week’s resource is a recently released book on studying the Bible in small groups: Unleash the Word by Karen Soole.

“This book has been written to help anyone who has responsibility for leading a small group Bible study, whether it is a group for teenagers, students, women, men, old or young.  My aim is to give you a vision for your task, to help equip you to read God’s Word and finally to give you confidence to lead others in Bible study.  I hope this will also encourage you to open up the Bible and read it one-to-one in a variety of settings.”

Unleash the Word is available to buy HERE.

And while you’re visiting you might like to check out the latest offers on a number of resources including some great books for those in your church to read this summer.