Saturday, 23 March 2013

Pastor Richard's Stag Day

Some say he is a Special Forces chaplain ...

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Love to the uttermost

With Easter fast approaching, it is easy to miss the true meaning of the holiday weekend. 

I thought it would be helpful to encourage as many of us as possible to use a daily reading plan that John Piper has just released called “Love to the Uttermost”.
It starts this Sunday (24th March) and finishes 8 days later on Easter Sunday. Each day will take about 5 minutes to read and the insights are so helpful. 

Given we are soon jumping from two to three congregations, reading this together will help us feel part of one community preparing for Easter.   

It has been released as an ebook in various forms:
Note: To load the eBook on a mobile device it may be necessary to view this post from within your device, then to click the download option. A limited number of paper copies of the pdf file will be available this Sunday.

Do consider using this tool to help you prepare for Easter; I’m guessing that you like me want Easter to be more than just time off with chocolate!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Two emails of thanks ...

Yesterday, Scott and others from RFC ran a drinks station outside the church offices for the Reading Half Marathon. Today I got two emails from friends in my tri club TVT:

"Hi Sean - I think your church did a station at the Reading Half. Just like to congratulate them on an outstanding job...The best music on the route and a massive cheer for the TVT runners. If it wasn't your church you should join it, lol, ... Dave"

"Hi Sean - just a quick email to thank Scott and members of your church for the nice and warm welcome we received as we came to your London St feed station. Although I think I was the only one that took a warm drink I know that the reception was very much appreciated by the group - regards Derek." 

The second one from Derek was because he looking after the family & friends of Ged Clarke (who tragically died at the race finish last year). They were walking the route before the race started as a tribute and we had arranged to offer them drinks & a clap of recognition.

I got round in 1:30:28 ... 

Friday, 15 March 2013

the Reading Post ...

I was asked by the Reading Post to write a short article for this weeks edition.

Focus on Faith: A church is not just a building

March 14, 2013

Sean Green is the founding pastor of Reading Family Church and a wannabe triathlete
A walk through our town centre reveals that Reading people are happy to reuse their buildings.
Waterstones was once a chapel, the Corn Exchange is now an estate agent, and Riley’s Snooker Hall is becoming the home of LifeSpring church.
For the last 80-plus years, people have gathered in that building on the Oxford Road primarily for leisure... but from Easter all that will change. (for the full article click here)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Cheering on the runners

This Sunday 15,000 people will be running past our church offices for the Reading Half Marathon. Many of these will need a drink and all will really appreciate being cheered on!

So once again, we are running a drinks station which you can be part of by arriving at 10am at the front of the church offices on London St.  

We want to be a church that both celebrates and is part of much of what is going on in our town and this is a great opportunity for that. And yes I am running but trying to not chase a time ... kind of. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Partnering with apostles

The word ‘apostle’ means a sent one who is not merely a messenger but also one who bears the authority of the sender. It's a bible word used to describe three categories of men:
Jesus as the supreme Apostle (Heb3v1); sent by God the Father with Gospel truth; He was given all authority & perfectly represented the one who sent Him.
The 12 Apostles who witnessed Jesus life & resurrection and their teaching has formed the foundation on which the whole church, throughout history, has been built.
The apostles of the ascension given as gifts to equip God’s saints until she comes to maturity & unity (Eph 4v11). 

Ephesians 4 apostles desire to call all people to the obedience that comes from faith and they are characterised by the following activities: 
#1 Proclaim the overall purposes of God in the earth:
• It was to be a work of Grace.
• Bringing all things under one head – Jesus.
• Outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our lives
• The church having a central role in God’s overall purposes.
• The cross removed the barrier between God & Men and Jew & Gentiles.
• All promises made in the OT are now fulfilled in Christ.

#2 Establish churches in the way Jesus did; creating communities where lives are inter-weaved and characters reformed for God’s glory. 

#3 Lay & re-lay Foundations of the Gospel for each generation and cohort of salvation, working hard as master builders. 

#4 Mission Motivators; to go to the unreached regions of the world, catching churches up in missionary zeal (Rom15v24).

#5 Concerned for the poor. Paul choose to delay his visit to the church in Rome in order to ensure an offering for the poor in the Jerusalem church was personally delivered (Rom15v25-26).

Family but not hierarchy: Because God is in very essence Father, His plan when He created the world was to extend his rule & blessing through families: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons and so on. Apostles are to bring a Fatherly leadership to local churches. Churches are not to be groups of people who responded to certain apostles teaching and so joined his organization… Rather churches are to relate to his warm fatherly leadership (Rom16v1-16).  

Exploring who we can partner with: So the question that naturally arises is “If apostles are a gift to a local church to help stimulate mission who is ours?”. That’s a great question that we pastors are trying to answer … just to be clear we are not asking “what can an apostle do for us?”. Rather we are asking: “Which apostolic team can we partner with in the ongoing mission to reach the world for Christ and the nations to obedience of faith?”

We are part of a family of churches called Newfrontiers and have been partnering with David Devenish in mission overseas (Russia and Croatia). David is now forming an apostolic sphere in the UK called Catalyst. Because of our history with David and him being an established apostle in Newfrontiers, we are exploring if we should work closer with him. 

David will be with us on Sunday 14 July.

This will be an important day for us as a church, please do all that you can to ensure you come to hear him speak. We must receive all of the gifts that Jesus has for his church to safeguard us from becoming a Golf Club Church.