Thursday, 26 January 2012

Terry Virgo @ RFC

At the Members Meeting this week, Scott spoke about how we see Jesus as the head of RFC and He leads us through the Apostles & Prophets of the bible and the apostles & prophets of newfrontiers. So it is very exciting to not only have the prophetic gift of Julian Adams with us on April 22 but also the apostolic gift of Terry Virgo at our morning meeting on 18 March and our evening meeting on 25 March

It's been 4 1/2 years since Terry spoke here and I am personally delighted he can come again. He was only able to offer one set of dates this year, the morning being on Mothers day. I realize that this may be tricky for those who need to travel but I really didn't want to wait until 2013.

Do put all these dates in your diary.        

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Radio Berkshire

I have been asked to comment tomorrow morning on Radio Berkshire about the latest Church of England statistics showing a decline in Reading ... 

To be honest, I'm clearly not qualified given we are a non-denominational church and we are seeing growth. 

Tune in around 7:50am and hopefully I will say something sensible and not mention those swans of a past interview.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Beautiful things at RFC

Cardboard Testimonies from Reading Family Church on Vimeo.

As mentioned in my sermon today - here are the suggestions as we together prayer through the 'Believeing for our tomorrow' booklet over this week. 

Monday (p2-3): Write down a significant moment in your walk with Jesus. Pray about it. 

Tuesday (p4-5): Write out a prayer, thanking God for past or present friendships. 

Wednesday (p6-7): Which words of the RFC Vision most resonate with you? Write them out and pray into them. 

Thursday (p8-9): Write down, and then thank God for some of the things that He is already doing amongst us.

Friday (p10-11): What amazing things would you like God do amongst or through RFC over the next decade? Write them out and pray into them. 

Saturday (p12-13): It is Jesus who builds the church. Write out a prayer asking Him to release what is needed and your desire to co-labour with Him. 

Sunday (14-15): Write down and pray into what your contribution to RFC could be: serving, giving, praying … or even faith filled resting!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Essential listening for this Sunday

This Sunday we shall be reminding ourselves of what God has called us to as a church. To prepare I have spent time this week reviewing some of the prophetic words that are shaping us, in particular those from Julian Adams. 

Please do listen to this 7 minute prophetic pre-amble to his sermon when he was with us 12 months ago. 

Julian will be back with us in April: we are co-hosting a conference with him on Sat 21 April with our friends at Kerith Community Church. Julian will also be speaking at both our morning & evening meetings on Sunday 22nd April.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Back to a prophetic word

On 13 March 2011, Chris Hall from Brickhill Baptist Church, gave the following prophetic word to us at RFC:

'He is pleased with the faithful way in which you have served those people He has already given you and He intends to give you 'a great harvest of souls '. He wants you to earnestly seek Him for guidance as to how you are to nurture, serve and disciple these new people. This is not to find out how to reach them because He will bring them to you. I sense that you will need to be prepared not only to think about buildings but also about how you operate because this new group will not simply be an extension of the growth you have already seen but something quite different in numbers and kind. I believe this needs to happen before the 'harvest' will come.'

Over the past year our Sunday attendance has significantly grown, as has the breadth of our collective life-stories. This word encourages all of us to earnestly seek God for guidance as to how we nurture, serve & disciple these new people and those He is yet to bring us.

I hope to talk into this on Sunday as I speak about us 'believing for our tomorrow'.     

Friday, 13 January 2012

New sermon series

On the 5th of February will shall be starting our new series in Judges. This OT book records a season of extraordinary Holy Spirit activity amongst God's people. 
We have much to learn from Ehud's, Deborah's, Jephthah's, Samson's & Gideon's successes and tragic failures. They were people like us: chosen by God, empowered by the Spirit and fully reliant of grace.

If you want to read ahead turn to Judges 3:12-30 and see how a moment of solitary courage changed everything.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Sermon Sunday

Every so often it's helpful to do things differently. This Sunday we have asked six people to preach, 3 in the morning & 3 in the evening. We have been doing this off and on for a few years and I sense this is a good time to get back to it. 

On Sunday morning Dorothy Dix, Peter Harley & Mark Amos will be preaching and in the evening it's Jonathan Fernandes, Glodine Munemo and Josh John.
This is more than just a 'good thing' to do at the start of the year (although it is that); I fully expect God to speak to us through each of them. Please do prayer for them as they finish off their preparation this week!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

RFC Members Meeting

One of the many great things about the people at RFC is their faith and generosity, expressed in their giving to support the church.

As pastors we rightly feel the weight of responsibility in stewarding these liberal gifts of worship; and we want to endeavour to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men (2Cor8:20-21).

As such we would like to invite all church members (and those who want to become members) to a Members Meeting on Tuesday 24 January, 8pm @ church offices.

At this meeting the pastors will give an account of the last financial year and also outline the Financial Plan for the next 3 years (and yes, it is ambitious!).

If you have any specific questions about this please feel free to email me at the church offices.

Hope to see you there.     

Thursday, 5 January 2012

RFC - a church or a movement?

This week I spent some time with the senior pastor of a vineyard church and I asked if I could read the thesis he wrote for his Masters degree.

In it he quotes research that suggests 'most churches operate on the 80/20 rule - with 20% of the church doing 80% of the work. Growing churches operate on a 50/50 rule, but to be movement you need 80% of the members mobilised'.

Pastors ponder these things.

I still dream that we could build a community who are 'mobilised' in their faith. By 'mobilised' I mean a growing relationship with God and are self-motivated / responsible for what Christ has entrusted to them.  By this definition I want to be a pastor of a movement, not an 80/20 church. I suspect we at RFC are around 50/50, if only because of the demands of two Sunday set-ups and the size of our children's work.

Last night at my Tri club, one of my buddies was surprised to hear we don't have a building and I don't wear robes on Sunday. Although I do want the former, I really don't want the latter if that means only the special few do the 'God stuff'. One day I hope he'll know different because he will be part of a Jesus centred movement we call RFC.   

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A day of fasting & prayer

For those who are around and want to be involved ...

This Thursday (5th Jan) a number of us are going to humble ourselves through fasting and then gather at the church offices @8pm to seek Gods face through worship & prayer.

Everyone is very welcome to join us as we set apart this day at the beginning of a new year.

If you can’t make it, hopefully we will see you on Sunday morning or evening.