Dear churches…

I’m the kind of gal who grew up in the church. Church has always been my home, 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Are you a fake? Take the test. 

I read a news report recently about a pastor who had been forced by his Board to resign. In a statement, the Board said that he’d been repeatedly manipulative and selfish and was more interested in being at the front, than in pastoring the congregation. The statement also said they’d worked with him to fix […]

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 […]

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 […]

Growing up in church…

It was a cold, dark, starry night and I remember it clearly. I was just a little girl, now draped over a shoulder, sleepy-eyed and being taken home, ready for bed. It was our annual ‘convention’ at church, which for us meant services every night for a week, guest speakers and excited, floor-thumping, tambourine-led worship. […]

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 […]