SamuelAt Banstead Community Church, we are continuing to read the Old Testament as part of The Big Read and are reading through Samuel together as a local church during the months of November and December.

Here’s an overview talk on Samuel I gave and the accompanying handout.

Download MP3

Download Handout

More talks in the The Big Read series can be found HERE.


JudgesThe Big Read – Judges

Powerpoint Pictures: Flags of the following countries – UK, Spain, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Israel, Thailand, Tonga

Can you tell which country has the following flags? [UK, Spain, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Israel, Thailand, Tonga]

Of those countries which one is the odd one out? [Israel because it has no King or Queen]

Like today, Israel at the end of the book of Joshua had no human king to rule over them and in the book of Judges we see that having no king was disastrous.

The tribes failed to drive out and destroy the remaining Canaanites living the land and ended up becoming like them.  This brought God’s judgment upon Israel and He allowed other nations to invade Israel.  Yet God was merciful and raised up judges like Ehud and Gideon and Samson to save Israel.  But these judges couldn’t give the people long term peace and security.  And the priests who were meant to be leading the people to worship God and obeying His commands failed to do this.

The book of Judges ends with the people of Israel in a total mess.  Instead of worshipping God, they were worshipping false gods.  Instead of living God’s way, they were living just like the other nations were.

Twice we are told that the reason for this was because they had no king:

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” (Judges 17:6)

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” (Judges 21:25)

But the book of Judges reminds us that we have a King.

One who leads us into battle against our enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil.  In fact, our King by His death and resurrection has already defeated these enemies.

Our King can give us peace and security in the Promised Land forever as He gives us eternal life in a new heavens and new earth.

And our King brings us back into relationship with God and by His Spirit enables us to worship Him.

Without a King, we would be in a mess spiritually and morally like the people of Israel at the end of Judges were.  Praise God we have a King.  Let’s trust Him and follow Him.

More talks from The Big Read for Kids can be found HERE.


Renderklippen_058Brian Croft:

“Scripture must first be our guide when evaluating a young man’s desire for pastoral ministry (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). 

Here are 10 other characteristics I look for that I feel are… very important for pastoral ministry

  • A deep love and burden for people and souls
  • A clear, personal love for Jesus
  • A warmth in personality that people respond to well
  • A unique ability to understand and explain God’s Word
  • An ability to emotionally engage people both public and private
  • A clear communicator
  • An authentic, honest awareness of his heart and personal brokenness
  • A humble teachable spirit
  • A clear possession of wisdom and discernment into life and struggles
  • A strong ability to empathise to a hurting person 

Pastors, look for these in the future pastors in your church and consider your own character in light of these qualities.”

(Photo: Koosg)


file4021285826512A great question for a local church to ask their new pastor.

Andy Prime:

Have you come here to die?”

“Are you here for the long haul?”

Are you here to do life deeply with us?”

Have you come to one day return home, or are you making here your home?”

“Have you packed your coffin?”

(Photo: MSP)


Links10 links to check out over the weekend…

(Photo: Ryan McGuire)


file0001386936588Joseph Chamberlain:

“On every committee of thirteen persons

there are twelve who go to the meetings having given no thought to the subject and ready to receive instructions.  

One goes with his mind made up to give those instructions.  

I make it my business to be that one.”

Matt Schmucker:

“My own experience with church committees would lead me to add one more individual to Chamberlain’s cast of committee characters:

the one or two individuals who come to thwart progress.”

(Photo: sideshowmom)


DenyThe Big Bible Adventure – Mark 14:27-31

Powerpoint Pictures: Spider; Puppy; Grumpy Toddler; Clown; Person with the flu; Lion; Darth Vader

If you turned around and in front of you were the following things (Spider; Puppy; Grumpy Toddler; Clown; Person with the flu; Lion; Darth Vader), would you stay or would you go?

Would you run away or would you stay where you were?

[For each things get the children to stand up if they would run away and stay seated if they would stay]

After Jesus and his disciples had finished eating the last supper He would have within them before He died, they went together to the Mount of Olives, and there Jesus began to teach His disciples.

Jesus told them: “You will all fall away.” (Mark 14:27)

What Jesus was saying to them, was that it would be long until He would be arrested and put to death on the cross, and when that happened, all the disciples would run away.  None of them would stay by His side.

When Peter heard this he declared: “Even if all fall away, I will not.”  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today – yes, tonight – before the cock crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” (Mark 14:29-30)

Peter was certain that he would stay by Jesus’ side.  Even if all the other disciples were to run away, he was so sure that he would not.  But Jesus makes it clear He will, even telling him that he would deny Jesus three times before a cock would crow twice.

So will the disciples stay by Jesus’ side or will they run away?  Will Peter deny he knows Jesus three times?  We’ll find out soon enough.

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

(Image: Bible Illustrations from Sweet Publishing)


file621289667886John Samuel:

“Are church planters biblical?

If we are going to restrict ourselves to biblical terms, it seems to me we have a choice of two biblical terms.

We should either talk about ‘evangelists’ or about ‘pastor-teachers’, as in Ephesians 4. (I am assuming that the apostles and prophets are foundation gifts and not around today.)

Did the Apostle Paul know nothing of the role of ‘church planter’?

On the contrary, he was the ‘church planter’ par excellence.

But he never used the term. He only talked of evangelists and pastor-teachers.


Maybe because the apostolic, biblical categories and language we should be using are those of ‘evangelist’ or ‘pastor-teacher’.

The question is not, ‘am I (or is he) a church planter’ but ‘am I (or is he) an evangelist or a pastor-teacher’?”

(Photo: mensatic)


IMG_8819Penelope Trunk:

“People actually don’t mind working long hours when they are engaged.

Burnout is not a result of how much work you’re doing but what type of work you’re doing.

So instead of organising time into work time and personal time, you could organise it into time when you like what you’re doing and time when you don’t like what you’re doing.”

(Photo: RoyalHoliday)