Dear churches…

I grew up in the church. Church has always been my home and my safe place and I knew from an early age the dangers of becoming a ‘church hopper’. There was a frequently used analogy, ‘a coal out of the fire, on the hearth, quickly goes cold.’ And I think that’s true, being part…

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When your pastor has an affair…

Years ago, I was part of a thriving, lively church, with a lovely pastor, who had an affair. I arrived at church one Sunday morning, all expectant for a great service, but there was an unexpected somber tone to the meeting. At the end, it was announced that one of the pastors had admitted to…

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When celebrities do good things…

I was watching a TV chat show the other night. You probably know the kind; celebrity interviewer deposits 3 or 4 other celebrities on a sofa, grills them lightly with safe, pre-arranged questions, all the while hoping there won’t be a monstrous clash of VIP egos.   Usually, the celebs are wheeled in by eager-eyed…

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Don’t be afraid

I had an amazing experience recently. I got to spend the day with an exiled Chinese pastor who’s been tortured, imprisoned, beaten and subjected to mock executions.   All for believing in Jesus.   Throughout the day, I heard stories of people meeting Jesus in the most unreached places in the world, ancient communities in…

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Ribboned tambourines, Pentecostal dancing and the loveliness of growing up in church. 

Some friends and I were chatting recently about church and some of our experiences growing up.  Somehow or other, I stumbled across a sweet/silly little video of a church elder trying to rouse a congregation to worship and I was instantly transported back to the ‘revival days’ of my childhood.   As a child, going…

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There’s more than one way to do it…

I went to a church once that was really Not My Thing. The service had songs I couldn’t connect with, a simplistic, dry sort of preach which left me rather irritated and to cap it all, a style of service so alien, I didn’t know if I was standing up or sitting down. To be honest,…

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What if church was more like the Apple Store? 

On Boxing Day, I dropped my iPhone and shattered the glass.  Although still useable, I delayed getting it fixed, because I knew it would cost about £100.  This week though, after another little chunk of glass fell out (and I was leaving little trails of glass slithers behind me), I finally made an appointment to…

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Beautiful branding, fab coffee, but no one spoke to me….

Earlier in the year, I was visiting a friend who was looking for a church home. She’d had her eye on one particular place, so one Sunday morning, we steadied our newbie nerves and went to visit. The church was ablaze with welcome signs, flags and invitations to join small groups, mission trips and community…

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