SEPTEMBER 2010 Issue 108 £1.70
TOP TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HEART Healing is one thing – building health is another matter, says Mark Ryan PRAYER 10.10.10
Joel Edwards calls 100 million Christians to pray an end to poverty
The ultimate training exercise
How RAF high flyer Sarah Bird hit rock bottom
Chaplaincy: not just for Anglicans! Elim’s Iain Hesketh on being a Police chaplain
ALSO Should Christians care for the environment?
June 4th - 11th 2011 Telephone the Elim Office for a booking form
0845 302 6750 Elim Conference A4 ad.indd 1
EDITORIAL John Glass on discovering destiny
I FOUND GOD’S LOVE ON A TRAIN An incident on a train led to Sarah Bird finding Christ after she hit rock bottom
10 NEWS from Elim and the wider Church
30 DOCUMENTARIES TO INSPIRE YOU Gary Wilkinson and his documentaries on the Pentecostal outpouring in Britain 32 PEOPLE SHOULD BE QUEUING UP But what’s it like to be a visitor to your church, asks REACH Director Gary Gibbs
12 OUT AND ABOUT WITH THE GS John Glass opens his diary
35 HOW IS YOUR HEARING? Pastor Sarah Whittleston says we need to learn to listen when God speaks to us
14 WE MUST SPEAK UP FOR THE POOR The plan to get a hundred million Christians praying for God to bring an end to poverty
36 WE SHOULD BE GOOD STEWARDS We must look after the environment, says Mark Pugh in this month’s Summit column
19 GLORIFYING LORD OF THE DANCE Here’s a novel way of sharing the gospel!
37 BOOKCASE reviews with Richard Dodge
20 BUILDING A HEALTHIER HEART Everyone needs building up to be the way God intended them to be, says Mark Ryan 23 ‘IN THE CHAOS I WAS AT PEACE’ Life has been tough for Marcia Wrighton ‘It was God who upheld me,’ she says 25 WOMEN FIND OUT TRUE WORTH Julia Derbyshire writes for Aspire 26 MEET YOUR NATIONAL LEADERS We introduce you to the men who head Elim on the National Leadership Team 28 ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF ELIM! Direction talks to four men who are leading an exciting new dawn in Elim’s musical history
39 MINISTERING TO THE WORKERS Chaplains can change the atmosphere in the workplace, says Elim minister Iain Hesketh 40 THE KING OF ROCK LED ME TO JESUS Ruth Jones explains how she found Christ after listening to Elvis Presley singing 42 PRODUCING BETTER BELIEVERS AW Tozer on the importance of growth 44 GOD WAS WITH US ALL THE WAY We felt we were making a difference, says Karen Green after a mission to Macedonia 45 MUSIC REVIEWS with Mark Wreford 49 ANSWERS with Michael Meyers 50 AND FINALLY with John Lancaster
Church Direction Representatives: please advise any alterations to your order before the 10th of each month
Direction Magazine is the official publication of the Elim Pentecostal Church @elimpentecostal www.elim.org.uk 0845 302 6750
Elim Pentecostal Church
Editor-in-Chief: John Glass, General Superintendent Publishers: Elim Pentecostal Church Elim International Centre, De Walden Road, West Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 4DF Charity no. 251549 (England)
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2010: Discovering Calling all: pastors, leaders, elders, youth leaders and department leaders for an inspirational leadership conference Telford International Centre 2nd-3rd November 2010 The Speakers: John Glass, Mike Pilavachi, Dave Smith, Malcolm Duncan, Mark Greene, Philippa Stroud, Philip Jinadu
Book three places and weâ€™ll give you an extra place free! Book online: By phone: or email:
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F I R S T WO R D S
Discovering destiny on the road to somewhere else Five hundred years ago the great explorers chartered ships at phenomenal expense and risk to their own lives. Other intrepid adventurers scaled mountains, crossed continents and delved into ocean beds. In our generation they have navigated space in an attempt to expand horizons and exceed the limits of endurance and knowledge. For most of us hidden worlds can be traversed by exercising no more than our fingertips as Internet search engines open up a world of data that could never have been imagined just two decades ago. Google processes a billion searches a day – up from 150 million just three years ago. The three most popular searches are ‘sex’, ‘God’ and ‘jobs’. If there was a common denominator between the three perhaps it might be designated, ‘fulfilment’. I began this piece referring to 500 years ago because it was around that time that the most famous of all explorers, Columbus, set out to find the New World. In his journal written in 1492 we learn that the man who discovered America actually set out to locate India with a view to converting it to Christianity. This is why the aboriginal people he came across on the continent were designated ‘Indians’ in his report to his patron King Ferdinand. One wonders how many great treasures have been discovered, ‘On the road to somewhere else.’ The greatest book that authenticates the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, Who Moved the Stone?, was written by a man whose sole original
object was to research the subject with a view of debunking the story. Most significantly, Saul of Tarsus set out on a quest to destroy the Church, was arrested by God on the road to Damascus and became one of the greatest apostles and church planters the world has ever seen. Could it possibly be that the ‘road’ on which you and I are currently travelling, which may appear to be so ordinary and mundane, will be one that God might surprise with an encounter for which we had never searched. He seems to revel in such delights as he startles Moses with a burning bush on his quest for a sheep. Many years ago, when tidying up the garden for the family that would follow us as we moved to a new pastorate I saw something gleaming in the soil. My quest was about as ordinary as it gets – looking for weeds. What I found was the engagement ring my wife had lost some years before – and this just the day before we left. My prayer today is that, in the ordinary and the commonplace, God will bring to light in your experience the delight of Isaiah’s discovery, ‘I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name’ (Isaiah 45:3). John Glass General Superintendent Elim Pentecostal Church
A remarkable incident on a train helped RAF Flight Lieutenant Sarah Bird to find Christ. She wrote her story for Direction
I hit rock bottom, then found God’s love on a train journey
Above Sarah Bird, who went through a breakdown before finding freedom in Christ Main image The day Sarah was baptised by Elaine Roberts in the River Jordan
I first said the ‘sinner’s prayer’ at around the age of ten when I attended an Elim Pentecostal church in Wimborne, Dorset. I remember how this felt very natural and, because it felt so natural, I went to the front at several altar calls to make quite sure I had done it right! After all, I had been praying to God throughout my childhood. Shortly after this brief, initial introduction to the Elim church, I went away to boarding school in the New Forest, where I remained until the age of 18. I kept a crucifix under my pillow and prayed that God would protect me during the frequent night terrors and lonely times I suffered. Regrettably, I was not discipled in any way and though there was a church parade every Sunday, we would
join with the local boys school, so during the short and rather tedious service, there were far more interesting ‘subjects’ to be distracted by. My home life was turbulent and the family fell apart when I was 15. I felt lost and lonely. Still at school studying for my exams, I felt I had no control or outlet for the painful emotions I was experiencing, and this was when I began to deny myself food as a way of maintaining some ‘sense’ of control. It was the start of what would be many years of battling with a destructive eating disorder. I joined the Royal Air Force when I was 20 years old. Initially as an enlisted Airwoman, I completed my training as a medic. Then in 1997 I was accepted for Officer training and in the
November of that year, after six months of intensive leadership training, both academic and physical, I graduated from RAF College Cranwell as a Commissioned Officer in Her Majesty’s Service. It was a very proud moment. For the next 13 years I moved every 18 months or so to a new appointment in a different part of the country. I put God in a box on the shelf and took him out when I needed him. However, this wasn’t often, as the Mess parties, dining in nights, skiing trips, expeditions and the hedonistic lifestyle didn’t leave much room for the Lord. By this time I was estranged from my family and had been for many years. I carried a great deal of anger and pain from past events. This
anger, mixed with a rebellious spirit and a great need to find comfort and acceptance was a lethal cocktail. The military can be a tough environment to work in and I was subjected to a great deal of harassment and abuse during my time in Service. My postings included tours in Northern Ireland and an operational detachment to the Gulf in 2003, not long after the initial outbreak of the second Gulf war. I lived in a communal tent in the desert for four months and although I enjoyed the work, as it was meaningful and necessary, this proved to be a very testing time for me spiritually. Heartache, combined with ‘control eating’ and the operational demands led to a serious depressive episode. I returned from the Gulf
‘I felt a huge gap in my life. I got to a point where I was reliant on prescription drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and coffee to get me through the day’
weighing in at barely six-and-ahalf stone. I had suffered these depressive bouts on and off throughout my career; however, I was able to maintain my workload and, having been promoted to Flight Lieutenant, was now receiving high recommendations for promotion to Squadron Leader. The depression continued. I felt a huge gap in my life. I got to a point where I was reliant on prescription drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and coffee to get me through the day. Something had to give. One night in 2005 I fell on my knees. Crying and shaking, I cried out to God. I told him he needed to show up and help me! I would give it all back to him and stay faithful if only he would show up. The passage
he gave me as I reached for my rather dusty Bible was, ‘I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding’ (Jeremiah 3:15). The next day I felt different; calmer. My next posting, which was imminent and had already been confirmed, was changed for no explainable reason. Something I would once have hit the roof about but I felt I heard God say ‘go with it; you asked me, now go with it’. To cut a long story short, I went to the new appointment and within weeks, was welcomed into the fold of a family of supportive Christians. It’s funny how you think you’ve been through the hard stuff and had a breakthrough so you’re in for an easy time... because that’s how it works, isn’t it? This wasn’t God’s plan for me. I still had many demons to face. I was still suffering from clinical depression and this was getting worse, not better. Due to a change in my personal circumstances, I was back on the road of prescription drugs. I had already made a suicide bid in 1998 which had landed me in hospital for several days and this seemed to be an equally low point. Although I sought psychiatric help and prayer, I eventually suffered a breakdown and was admitted. The difference was, I never gave up on God and, as I recall, I never blamed him either. Through the fog of what was happening, I knew he was there and, although I was falling, I trusted him to catch me. I look back and now see clearly that God allowed me to break so that he could fix me again. Yet when God fixes, he makes you stronger than you ever were before the cracks began to develop. Previous to this breakdown, I had been moved to MOD in London to which I commuted daily on the train to and from
my house in Stamford. One particular evening I traversed the underground and, as I got to Kings Cross, I was tired and lonely. This was rush hour and I couldn’t afford to be picky. All the same, I chose a carriage, boarded it and sure enough, soon spotted a free seat on my left. I plonked myself down with a muttered ‘thank you’. I looked left to eye my fellow passenger. The lady smiled at me. ‘Strange for London’ I thought! Soon a gentleman came up the aisle and told the lady she was sitting in his seat. She moved to the only spare seat left available – opposite me. She started to rummage in her bag and placed what looked like a Bible case on the table. These days I had been taking my pocket Bible on the commute and finding great comfort in it. So I was prompted to fish my little Bible out and I also placed it on the table. The lady eyed it and, after a minute or two said, ‘Excuse me, is that a Bible?’ I got a little embarrassed and admitted that it was indeed a Bible. At this point the train conductor came to check the tickets. He inspected the lady’s ticket and informed her that she needed to pay an extra £39 (or so) as her ticket did not validate her to travel at peak times. Now, for some reason, I had stopped at the station to take out £40 before boarding the train. So while the lady and the conductor were discussing this issue, God very clearly spoke these words to me: ‘Pay for your new friend.’ I put the money on the table and said, ‘Please allow me to pay as a gift.’ The lady seemed taken aback and initially refused, but at my first insistence she very graciously accepted. The train journey seemed to go so quickly. We talked freely and I spilled my heart out to her. When we both got off at Peterborough station, she of-
Clockwise from top left: Sarah in the Kibera slums during a mission to Africa; Sarah in the Gulf in 2003; and sharing the gospel with street girls in South Sudan
‘I had been taking my pocket Bible on the commute and finding great comfort in it. So I was prompted to fish my little Bible out and I also placed it on the table’
fered to pray for me. I was delighted and in the dark, cold station she said a prayer with me that warmed my heart and the tears flowed. We swapped details and a few days later I received a beautiful thank you card which was propped up on my computer at my desk in Whitehall. In the midst of my breakdown, the lady I had met invited me to go to Israel. Amazingly, at a time when I couldn’t even tie my own shoelaces, I managed to make the decision to go, and completed the booking forms. Several weeks later and back at work after a time of recovery, I cleared my desk at MOD as I left to travel to Israel with this relative stranger and a group of people I had never set eyes on. I felt the urge to clear my desk completely and clear my computer’s hard drive. I had a strange thought that I wasn’t going back. I knew the name of the lady I had met on the train. I knew she was a Christian. I had no idea she was an ordained evangelist with her own ministry. This lady, Rev Elaine Roberts, not only baptised me in the River Jordan during our time in Israel, where I was also baptised in the Holy
Spirit, but she became my very dear friend, spiritual mother and mentor. Just as God had promised all those years before – ‘a shepherd according to my heart’ – he remained true to his word. I never did go back to work at MOD. In fact I never wore my uniform again. My last day of service was 24 March 2009, but I was on extended leave for nearly a year. During that time I completed the Ministry Equipping School under the tutorage of Elaine and throughout this time God continued an amazing work of healing and restoration in my life; not only with my health, but also with my family. My parents and my big brother are a real blessing to me now and a great source of encouragement. At Christmas 2009, I returned from three months’ mission work in the Sudan where I really learned to rely on the Lord and develop my relationship with him. On March 24 2010 I was formally offered the position as Elaine’s Personal Assistant at World Mandate Ministries, exactly a year after my last day of service in the RAF. All things are possible with God!
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Pastor’s prayer answered after car stops working Strings are attached to reach out! Members of Zion Christian Centre in Halesowen used puppets to reach young people and families. Open Air Campaigners evangelist John Heywood said, ‘The Good News of Jesus is unchanging. But our methods need to be suitable for the people to whom we minister. We wanted an approach that was more youth and child orientated.’ The afternoon programme took place in May and marked a first time effort to use the puppet theatre outdoors. Spirited tunes of contemporary Christian music were accompanied by puppetry mime. This served to draw not only children and teenagers, but parents too.
Remembrance over massacre Missionaries in Zimbabwe held a special prayer service to remember the anniversary of the Vumba massacre, which took place on 27 June 1978, when 13 Elim missionaries and children were killed. Elim Missions has asked for prayer for the nation of Zimbabwe, for a turning to God and for change to take place in that nation.
An Elim pastor stepped out in faith – and ended up with a £10,000 car. Pastor Errol Beamish, from Potters Bar Community Church, was left needing a new car when his motor stopped working on the school run. With four children, Errol knew that a car was a necessity, so he got on his knees and began to pray. He said, ‘I’d been listening to this tape talking about how to ask God for something. I’d seen a Honda Jazz that I liked but it was £13,000 and I knew I couldn’t afford it. But before I
left the showroom I’d prayed, “Father, that is the car I would like.” I thanked him for it and left the showroom.’ But Errol was shocked when, just a few weeks later, he was given a gift of £10,000 to buy a new car. ‘I went to a prayer meeting where I was told that one of the
pastors had just passed away so I asked about buying his car. The lady who organised the meeting told me his sister was selling it and it was a Honda Jazz for sale for £10,000 ‘Then the lady rang me back and said, “I’d like to bless your family with £1,500 towards the car.” But she showed up with a cheque for £10,000 and said, “I really believe that God has spoken to me and I want you to have it all.” ‘I was totally gobsmacked. I’d prayed and thanked God for the car but didn’t expect to get it that way.’
Rachael Orrell and David Robinson
Saltmine teams up with RTC to offer degree Saltmine Theatre Company has partnered with Regents Theological College to introduce an accredited degree in Performing Arts and Theology. Validated by the University of Wales, it is the first of its kind in the UK. Course leader Richard Hasnip said, ‘We need to be fluent in the language of performance because that is how stories are told these days. This course is designed to help people share their faith in the most creative way
possible.’ The announcement comes after the new leadership appointments at Saltmine of David Robinson and Rachael Orrell. Rachael said, ‘I am delighted to take up this new post. It is an exciting time for Saltmine as we seek to contribute to the story God is writing in the world around us.’ David added, ‘I am very much looking forward to leading the organisation with Rachael, someone I know who will bring energy and integrity.’
Mark tuks into a difficult challenge Elim’s youth leader Mark Pugh and five members of his team will ride the length of Great Britain – in a tuk-tuk! The Serious4God Director will ride in the three-wheeled vehicle for six days, in an effort to raise at least £20,000 to enhance the youth ministry’s work. The feat – from September 27 till October 2 – will see the team travel from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Mark said, ‘It will be uncomfortable, cold and we’re really praying for safety on the roads! A tuk-tuk has the potential of getting up to 45-50mph, but I think every bone in our body would be shaking if we did that kind of speed! ‘We hope churches will join with us and sponsor us to help us raise our target.’ To sponsor Mark and the crew, visit www.serious4god.co.uk
Cash raised for homeless by young sleeping rough A group of young people from Elim River Church in Canning Town, London, found out the hard way what it’s like to be homeless when they slept rough on the street. Youth leader Caitlin Coates said, ‘It was difficult not to feel that it would have been better raising money to decorate a homeless night shelter in a simpler and more comfortable way.’ One member of the group, Elicia Westley, said, ‘It gave us an insight into what homeless people have to put up with every night of their lives. It’s been an important experience that I will certainly not forget.’ They raised more than £1,000, mostly from church members, and said that what they had taken from the experience was not only a glimpse of
The young people sleep rough to raise money and awareness
the harsh reality of homelessness but a determination to bring change to their communities. One of the youngsters said, ‘Through the whole night, I knew that I was going to be going home to a bath and my bed. However, homeless people don’t have that luxury. They have nothing, and I believe that what we did brings them something – it brings them hope that
there are people out there who want to help. Hopefully one day their lives will change.’ River Church pastor Dave Gill commented, ‘For all of the young people involved, the experience of sleeping rough has led to a much deeper appreciation of the issue of homelessness and the realisation that we should never close the door on our own communities.’
Church nets success after move event
Elim’s Dunamis Church in Ealing kicked off its move into a new area with a mini-World Cup tournament and fun day. FA coach Paul Sevier helped host the football tournament at Clayponds Park in South Ealing. Dozens of children and parents went to watch and take part in the fun day, but the highlight was the football tournament. Pastor Charles Hammond said, ‘We are delighted the Ealing fun day proved to be such an enjoyable experience. Dunamis Church moved into the area last month and we want to engage with the local community.’
Baptism of 20
Twenty people were baptised on June 27 at the Montalban Church in the Philippines, overseen by Elim missionaries Willard and Marjorie Baxter.
Direction goes out and about with John Glass
Connect Centre, Wells When I was originally booked to be in Wells it was for the official opening of the exciting Connect Centre, otherwise known as the ‘white building’ in the heart of the city. Due to building delays this has had to be postponed for a few months, but I spoke at this innovative church on the Sunday morning anyway. The church is led by Stephen and Jill Fowler (pictured) and they are assisted by their son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Sue. Direction Magazine will be featuring Connect once the project is well underway but,
United Christian Broadcasters UCB are at the cutting edge of Christian Broadcasting in the UK and, in my view, are one of the most significant and effective organisations in our country. It was my privilege to take part in a Celebration and Dedication service to commemorate the answer to a 23-year prayer – the granting of a national broadcasting license – now in DAB. People travelled from as far as New Zealand and the USA, and the speaker at the event was Bob Gass, author of Word for Today. Chris Bowater led the worship.
suffice to say, the vision is to act as a catalyst to a multiplicity of community projects in this area of Somerset. It is a hub of
community action and care and a model of what effective and compassionate Christianity is all about.
Wembley Christian Centre Eighteen years ago a small group of women planted a church in the heart of Wembley. At the forefront of that initiative was Sokemun Ho and Vanessa Richardson. From that day Sokemun (pictured), for several years an ordained Elim minister, has pastored the church. Twelve months ago the congregation purchased a third of an acre of land that included a building, now used as a church, and a detached house. Subsequent to the commitment of a wonderful congregation, the complex has been renovated and it was my privilege to speak at the dedication of the land. Local Elim ministers were present as was the Mayor and the newly elected MP for the area. Far from being complacent at the completion of this dream, an
The Barnet church commenced with a Nurses’ Christian fellowship that was encouraged to start a congregation by Wynne Lewis, who was then the senior pastor of Kensington Temple. Subsequent significant input was given by Colin Dye, the current senior pastor of KT. The church has been led during that period by Diane Druce and Doreen Skelton – two amazing women. It was my privilege to speak at the 25th anniversary weekend. There are a number of reasons why I appreciate the leaders and congregation at Barnet. One of them is that they cover me in prayer as I travel around the country. At the beginning of every year I provide them with my diary and, over the past ten years, several of the congregation have committed to pray daily for Marilyn and myself.
artist’s impression of the future development of the site was displayed during the service. This is a great achievement by one of our Movement’s finest women pastors who, apart from giving leadership to the church, also heads a local dental practice.
My time in Coatbridge began with an evening celebration attended by Elim churches in the area and was followed by speaking at the Sunday morning service. The music at both meetings was provided by Chris Mercer who has achieved a great deal of recognition on both sides of the Atlantic as a Gospel recording artist. The development of the Coatbridge church is an evidence of the faithful and dedicated work of David and Linda Bell and their family who re-pioneered the church some years ago. It is always good to be with them and with the church.
As reports take some time to get from ‘meeting to magazine’ you can keep up to date in ‘real time’ by visiting elimgs.blogspot.com, or on
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Sunday 10th October (10.10.10) is a day to change the world, according to Christian organisation Micah Challenge. Their aim? A hundred million Christians worldwide praying the same prayer, ten million promises of Christian action, and 1,000 conversations with politicians. We spoke to International Director Joel Edwards
We should speak up for the poor, as the Bible tells us to Above Micah Challenge International Director Joel Edwards
How was Micah Challenge born and why did you get involved? At the end of the last Millennium Christians had become very active in issues of justice and were very involved in Jubilee 2000 and then Make Poverty History. In September 2000, 189 nations made a promise to reduce extreme poverty by half by the year 2015 through eight promises, which are known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A number of us felt that this was a very godly thing to do and that it was filled with potential for prophetic Christian action. But two other things were taking place at the same time. Micah Network, a collection of over 300 relief and development organisations, was being formu-
lated, and the World Evangelical Fellowship was being reshaped to become the World Evangelical Alliance, with links to a community of 420 million Christians. Micah Network was particularly influential in shaping and resourcing Micah Challenge. I was privileged to be there at the outset, and we had many meetings to set up a global Christian response to these incredible promises. This became Micah Challenge, which was launched at the United Nations in October 2004. It has 40 national coalitions and is committed to deepen Christian response to the poor as well as holding governments to account for the promises they have made. I was privileged to chair the international board from 2004 until January 2008 when I became International Director.
What are the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? End hunger Achieve universal education Promote gender equality Reduce child mortality Improve maternal health Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases Ensure environmental sustainability Develop a global partnership What is the 10.10.10 campaign? We are in a momentous year for the MDGs. We are two-thirds of the way towards fulfilling our promises to the worldâ€™s poorest people. This month the world will meet in New York to evaluate its performance to date, and we think itâ€™s really impor tant for Christians to ď‚„
remind themselves of where we are in relationship to these promises, but also to raise awareness to an unprecedented level across the Christian community. October 10th is a Sunday – normally our Micah Sunday – so we wanted to put these issues right in the heart of our worship, but also to point outwards to our prophetic role within civil society. On 10.10.10 we want to see 100 million Christians praying the same prayer, based on Nehemiah chapter one. We want to see ten million Christians making our promises to the poor; and during this period we also want to talk to 1,000 politicians, reminding them of our promises to the poor. What are your dreams and aspirations for 10.10.10? I guess I am after a very simple, but critical thing. After idolatry, matters of justice are the second most mentioned issue in the Bible. I would love to see this issue positioned in the womb of the Church, and the Christian world become critical prophetic players in bringing God into the fight against injustice. Why is it so important that churches pray on the day? Prayer changes things – and people! I believe that God will hear us when we pray. And because we are putting justice right at the heart of our prayer and worship I believe we will come close to the mind of God and the Scriptures. Hopefully our praying will also open us up to make our promises, and that is transformational. One hundred million people praying the Nehemiah prayer will move the heart of God. But, it will also move our hearts – to act and change the lives of the poor. Can you tell us about a story on the ground that has influenced how you
The Micah 2010 prayer The aim is that a hundred million people will be saying the words of a promise and a prayer on 10.10.10 as follows: O Lord, our great and awesome God, loyal to your promise of love and faithful to all who honour and obey you, hear our prayer. We pray for those who live in poverty, we cry out for those who are denied justice and we weep for all who are suffering. We confess that we have not always obeyed you. We have neglected your commands and have ignored your call for justice. We have been guided by self-interest and lived in spiritual poverty. Forgive us.
‘Prayer changes things – and people! I believe that God will hear us when we pray’
We remember your promises to fill the hungry with good things, to redeem the land by your mighty hand and to restore peace. Father God, help us always to proclaim your justice and mercy with humility, so that, by the power of your Spirit, we can rid the world of the sin of extreme poverty. As part of your global Church, we stand with millions who praise and worship you. May our words and deeds declare your perfect goodness, love and righteousness to both the powerful and the powerless so that your kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen
feel about seeing poverty reduced? I am inspired by so many of our national co-ordinators who are doing amazing work with very limited resources – and often in very difficult situations. But, I have been particularly impressed by the work in Zambia where they have established very effective relationships with government at the local and national level. In one incident, money sent for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in a rural area was evidently misappropriated. After involvement from Micah Challenge, the availability of antiretroviral treatment increased by 43 per cent the following year. Which countries are most affected by poverty? It is important to say that poverty is everywhere. Britain has two million children who are living in poverty. But poverty is most evident in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Haiti and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, which is lagging behind more than all other areas in the world.
How do you feel about recent high-level discussions on MDGs at the G8 meeting? Our recent G8 and G20 meetings were a disappointment to us. Serious promises made in Gleneagles 2005 were not followed through – particularly in relation to the $50billion promised to Africa. And even the $5billion committed to reducing maternal deaths which have failed to improve over the last five years is still only a portion of the amount needed to respond effectively to the half-a-million women who die during childbirth every year. It is understandable that world governments prioritised issues of domestic deficits, but disappointing that they failed to be robust in their promises. What is really devastating for the world’s poor is that everyone expected this to happen. And that most nations failed to reaffirm their commitment to giving 0.7 per cent of their GNI in oversees aid. This poverty of political will and generosity is fatal for the world’s poor.
Do you feel world leaders are moving in the right direction to keep their promises? No! There are very few exceptions here. Britain has decided to ring-fence its overseas commitment and the USA is moving in the right direction. But overall we are adrift and will not deliver on our promises for another 100 years at the present rate. Should Christians be crying like the prophets of old cried for issues like poverty? Let’s re-read what many of the prophets had to say about injustices in their day. Now imagine what Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah or Jeremiah would say about fat cats who prey on poor people. That’s what we should be saying – loud and clear! The Church doesn’t need to play politics in relation to the poor. We just need to do what the Bible says, and speak up for the poor (Proverbs 31:8; Jeremiah 22:16) as well as act in their interest. Is there an issue of apathy in the Church today? The great news is that the Church is getting much better at responding to social issues. I am really encouraged by the slow thaw that is taking place away from apathy to action. But we need a massive acceleration. We need to stop believing that speaking truth to power is to be politically compromised. We have to do a lot more to make justice a biblical issue rather than a political one. We need to be wholly impatient with the predictability of our worship events that can become sanctimonious merrygo-rounds in the absence of a call for justice in the world. We just need to be known as the Church. If Christians don’t feel passion for poverty issues, what would your advice to them be? Don’t resist it! It’s a good and
‘The Church doesn’t need to play politics in relation to the poor. We just need to do what the Bible says and act in their interest’
godly flow. Go with it. Then ask if there is a particular passion on your heart. It may be something to do with helping children. Or it could be trafficking. It may be teaching or health issues. Don’t feel bad about not having a passion for everything. Then look up Christian organisations who will be able to tell you what you can do. Every one of them will have a menu of choices from giving to going. And they will also tell you where to raise your voice. And don’t be surprised if you follow this trail and God changes your life completely, because that’s what doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God is likely to do to you (Micah 6:8). Have you got any resources at Micah Challenge to help motivate Christians? Internationally renowned worship leader Martin Smith has contributed a theme song for the Micah 2010 campaign called You Have Shown Us. You Have Shown Us is part of an album of worship focusing on justice, mercy and humility, available from Kingsway. I’ve written a set of Bible Studies called Just Mercy to accompany the journey of faith many churches will be embarking on, together with a set of essays by many well-known authors on the Church’s responsibility to the global poor; Micah’s Challenge. Other supporting downloadable resources are available to Churches for help in planning activities on 10.10.10.
In the wider Church, Pentecostals can be seen as concerned with moving in the Spirit. Do you feel Pentecostals could care more about social action, advocacy and the poor? Yes I do. The Pentecostal Movement is uniquely qualified to respond to issues of poverty; firstly because most of us as Pentecostals have come from or remain within poor communities. We understand the anguish of the Spirit for anything that keeps us in bondage. But we also know the power of ‘redemption and lift’ – God’s ability to elevate us to a better standard of living because of our life with Christ in the Spirit. And Pentecostals who are doing an incredible job are positioned in poor and affluent communities because we are experiencing some of the fastest growing churches, with very powerful ministries. What we need is a gospel for the poor that doesn’t slide into a prosperity, health and wealth message that ignores the poor, but a gospel of healing and power that puts our resources and growing wealth at the disposal of the poor. And because we really do believe in the Spirit’s power to break chains, we should be the greatest advocates for freedom that the world has ever known. To find out more visit www.micah2010.org or www.micahchallenge.org.
GS gives Micah Challenge his backing Elim General Superintendent John Glass has thrown his backing behind Joel Edwards and the Micah Challenge. He says, ‘Joel Edwards, in his former role in the Evangeli-
cal Alliance, acted as a spiritual statesman as he addressed the issues of co-operation across denomination and network structures. He has now transferred his considerable gifting
to concern for the poor, the dispossessed and the marginalised via the Micah Challenge. I encourage all our churches to seriously consider the issues that he is highlighting.’
8-9 October, 2010 New Life Church Hull are looking for a
Youth Pastor New Life Church in Hull is a vibrant and growing city church meeting in four locations, with more locations being planted each year. New Life is a Pentecostal, Spirit filled Church with a passion to see God’s power and presence impact thousands across the region, nation and world. We are looking for a Youth Pastor to oversee and run our growing youth work, currently organised into three different groups consisting of around 60 aged 12-18.
and the A Common Heritage and an Uncertain Future A unique conference to be held at the London School of Theology Green Lane, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 2UW (5 minutes walk from the Northwood Tube Station)
Responsibilities: • Pastoral care for youth • Running youth services, clubs and outreaches • Missions, pioneering new groups, teaching and moving in the gifts of the Spirit
• Previous experience vital.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Dr. Mitch Glaser
Dr. Calvin Smith
Dr. Richard Harvey
Dr. Jules Gomes
and a special concert with world-renowned Messianic Jewish artist Marty Goetz The purpose of this conference is to explore the often tense relationship between the Church and Israel and to provide insights into the Middle East crisis encouraging Christians to pray and evangelise among Jews and Moslems – in Britain and abroad. Sponsored by Chosen
People Ministries UK and Kings Evangelical Divinity School (Formerly Midlands Bible College)
020 8455 7911
Teen Challenge UK is a Christian charity registered in the UK and operates nationally to help young people who have developed life controlling problems, especially drug and alcohol addictions, and also to offer preventative help to those who may be in danger of doing so. We currently have the following vacancies at one of our centres in South Wales:
Centre Manager: Challenge House – post ref CM1 Challenge House is a supported housing service for men between the ages of 18 and 35 who have histories of problematic substance misuse. We are looking to recruit a centre manager to lead, support, inspire and assist the dedicated staff team to help these young men to gain and maintain freedom from their life controlling problems, including abstinence from the use of drugs. The successful applicant will already have: a good awareness of issues related to substance misuse, a track record of contributing to the leadership of teams, a commitment to the ethos of Teen Challenge UK- which is grounded in the organisations Christian heritage and practice, a passion to see socially marginalised people taking their rightful place in society and an ability to mentor clients and team members in pursuit of goals. The successful candidate will gain: a competitive salary and the fulfilment of investing in the transformation of lives, families and communities.
Senior Support Worker: Challenge House – post ref SSW1 Responsible to the centre manager, the role involves working as part of a team to provide pastoral care and support to residents in the centre. The post holder will; • Work shifts as part of the support team, 40 hours per week as per rota • Meet regularly with and provide advice and support to a designated group of residents • Help residents to develop plans to meet their goals • Provide a role model of personal effectiveness • Deliver prepared teaching materials to groups of residents Salary details for both posts available on application and leave entitlement is 20 days per annum (plus bank holidays in lieu). For an application pack please contact our National Executive Director, Jay Fallon on 01269 844168, email email@example.com Closing date for both posts 17th September 2010
Salary: £15,000 per annum with opportunity to increase through grant funding. Applying in writing, with CV, to Jarrod Cooper before 30 September 2010 Jarrod Cooper, New Life Church, Bridlington Ave, Hull, HU2 0DU Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance Assistant Sales Ledger for 204 year old Christian Charity Reporting to our Director of Finance, the job involves the collection of fees for services rendered. Direct debits are processed and records kept using accounting software, together with the usual management reporting, and residents’ and local authorities’ contracts. There are also general office duties, as part of the team at our head office. We are an Investor in People and provide excellent staff training. We are a friendly team of committed Christians who feel privileged to have the opportunity Jesus Himself described in Matthew 25:40. If you feel the Lord is drawing you to this role, you will:
� Be numerate and competent in Excel and Word with bookkeeping skills � Have previous experience with Opera or similar accounts package � Be able to work under pressure for tight deadlines � Be confident in using the telephone with a wide range of people � Have skills in basic correspondence, including standard letter responses Read more about us on www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk For an information pack or apply, go online or contact us below: Phil Wainwright, Director of Human Resources email. email@example.com telephone. 0300 303 1400 The Pilgrims' Friend Society, 175 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2AL Pilgrims' Friend Society is a registered charity (No: 1134979) and a limited company (No: 07169875) registered in England and Wales. Registered office: 175 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2AL
Deborah Anderson introduces her novel way of sharing the gospel – through the spectacle of Irish dance
Pupils glorify the Lord of the Dance! Deborah Anderson heads up a dance school with a difference. Not only do her pupils get trained in traditional Irish dancing, but the mum-of-three also heads up Zephaniah Dancers – a Christian ministry which presents the gospel through dance. She explains, ‘My pupils are trained to present the gospel through the medium of Irish dance – to bring forth the good news of the gospel in a unique and dynamic way. ‘The God-given vision for Zephaniah dancing is to bring healing and restoration into people’s lives and for people to come into a true and living relationship with Jesus.’ Deborah, a member of Portadown Elim, has come a long way from when she started out in her garage in 1995. After vowing to hang up her dancing shoes because she had spent all her teens in competitive dance, Deborah felt God was calling her back. ‘I really had no desire to go back into the dance world,’ she remembers. ‘As a strongly competitive dancer in my teens I felt I had done enough dancing to last me a lifetime. God was very gracious with me and kept prompting me to pick up my dance shoes once again, so in the end I gave in.’ Now 15 years later, Deborah has her own dance school and her pupils have performed all over Ireland. But her heart is for Christian ministry. She says, ‘My first love in the Irish dance world is Zephaniah dancing. It plays a vital role in the daily life of my dance school. I
Above Deborah Anderson Main image A poster advertising the dancers
started to teach the girls to dance to Christian songs which they seemed to enjoy and, slowly but surely, the ministry and competitive dancing started to grow. ‘I then asked God for a name for the girls to go under when they went out to perform, and he laid the name Zephaniah on my heart. A book in the Old Testament, the name Zephaniah means, “God is in the midst”. ‘I believe that God is in the midst of the children as they dance to him. Our key verse for
Zephaniah dancing is Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing”’ And this Christmas, the Zephaniah Dancers will perform at Belfast Waterfront, fulfilling a promise given to Deborah 15 years ago. ‘A couple of friends invited me to a Christian concert in the Waterfront Hall,’ she remembers. ‘That was the night God spoke right into my heart, that some day I would take the children of Portadown to the Waterfront to present the gospel through Irish dance and drama. The dancing would be used by God to bring healing and restoration into people’s lives and the eyes of the world would look into our dance.’ The show is entitled ‘A Christmas Gift’, and chronicles the story of the nativity. Deborah explains, ‘The show opens with a big celebration dance for the betrothal of Mary and Joseph and goes right through the story to the birth of Jesus, the coming of the wise men – comically named Paddy, Pat and Patrick – to the killing of the innocents by Herod.’ The show is scheduled for the 17th December, and tickets are available priced £15 for adults and £12 concessions. Proceeds will go to funding orphanages in India and Zimbabwe, as well as to a local hospital. • For more information and tickets visit zephaniahdancers.com
Receiving healing from the Lord is important, but staying healthy is another matter altogether, explains Elim minister Mark Ryan
The building blocks that are needed for a healthier heart
Above Elim minister Mark Ryan
I live on a building site at the moment and I love it! I have moved to a new house where some of the other houses are not yet built. I don’t know what I like the most: the newness of my home or looking out every day and seeing the progress of the homes being built all around me. My home situation reminds me of my life in God, some things are finished and brand new and other things are a work in progress. A wise way to approach the matters of the heart is to see that God has made a ‘brand new’ statement over it while still seeing there are deeper works of progress that God wants to achieve with all of us. Before we talk about building
the heart in health, it is important to recognise that a healing work is often required. The healing of the heart often centres around three areas; the heart often needs healing from a ‘crystallising event’ that has so blocked our progress that we need to get God’s mind and care on this event so that we can learn to live through it. Tiger Woods, the world’s best golfer, is obviously in need of healing from the disaster of the death of his beloved father. It’s not that we ‘get over our crystallising events’ but that God shares his life and mind with us so that we can learn to let those events be part of who we are and how we live life to serve others.
The second area of healing in the heart often centres around unhealthy ties to a person or situation. These soul ties are often mistaken for the source of life and security. The heart is healed from these unhealthy ties as we recognise where healthy sources of love come from and what real destiny and purpose is. Thirdly, the heart is often damaged by stronghold beliefs that ‘set themselves up against the knowledge of God’ (2 Cor 10:5). These stronghold thought systems are demolished as we come to realise a liberating truth that changes our world view and our self view. Healing is one thing, as vital as it is, but health is another. It is
that thinks it is finished and there is nothing left to learn. When Jesus asked his disciples to ‘follow’ him he was asking them to commit to a life of learning and receiving. The healthy heart needs to keep growing and learning so that we become more pilgrims than settlers. Regular learning rescues the heart from becoming a fossil of what it knows rather than alive in what it is discovering. What are you currently learning about Christ? Building Block 4 – The environment… of affirming relationships As much as we don’t like to admit that we need others, we need to admit that we need others! No heart grows alone. We all need to find some people who speak well into our lives. We need to encourage others. It is in this environment of giving and receiving from others that our hearts are nurtured and built. Even Jesus saw the need for community during his ministry and life on earth, and we should not assume we are any different. Let us place our heart in the environment of affirming relationships. health we need to build for: Building Block 1 – Unconditional love No matter who we are or how long we have been a Christian, our hearts need always to return to the unsurpassable truth that we are loved and accepted by all that God is – we need to regularly marinate our hearts in this wonderful truth. We are loved and valued by the most impor tant person who will ever be! Building Block 2 – The repeated question… is that true? When we think something we automatically think that it is true. We can be a prisoner to
‘The healthy heart is built when we pause and ask ourselves if what we are repeatedly thinking is actually true’
our own opinions. The healthy heart is built when we pause and ask ourselves if what we are repeatedly thinking is actually true according to the Scriptures. A heart cannot flourish in health if it is never watered in truth. This is why the psalmist cries out, ‘Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.’ (Ps 51:6) and this is why one of the pieces of spiritual armour is the ‘belt of truth’. (Eph 6:14) Build your heart by repeatedly asking – is that true? Building Block 3 – The habit of a lifetime… following and learning The unhealthy heart is the one
Building Block 5 – Take action… use your gifts and talents Your heart is like an engine; it is supposed to have an output. It is healthier in motion. Many hearts have seized up because they never get to experience the joy of seeing talents and gifts played out in the real world. When we use our talents there is a ‘grace flow’ as we interact with the world. As we engage in this interaction our heart is built because we learn to be used and we learn to deepen what we have received. Health comes as each of us uses ‘whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms’ (1 Pet 4:10).
Life has been far from plain sailing for Marcia Wrighton, daughter of Elim evangelist George Miller. ‘It was God who upheld me,’ she says.
‘In all the chaos I was at peace’
It’s time we all realised how fragile and precious life is and how we need to make God the centre of our lives. This realisation has taken me more than a few years, many wasted, trying to go at it alone, me thinking I knew better. It took many failures and questioning whether the world would be better off without me. And it took the death of my friend Maggie to bring me to realise I was on a path to hell. I fell to my knees and cried out to God, ‘Help me, I can’t do this any more.’ I woke the next
morning with a peace that I cannot explain. I began to pray more, read the Word, and I began to get life sorted out. It was at this point that God brought me a gorgeous, Spirit-filled husband, Adam. We were blessed with beautiful children. After our son Omari was born Adam said that was enough children, yet while showering one day, I heard a voice tell me I would have a son, a man of God, and that I should I call him Isaiah. I never told anyone at that point; I had never heard God
‘It took many failures and the death of my friend Maggie to bring me to realise I was on a path to hell’
Above Marcia with Adam and three of their children
this way before and thought I was wrong. I then became pregnant but sadly miscarried. We were both devastated, I remember it happening and screaming, ‘Jesus, Jesus. Please help me’. Adam and I prayed, giving it all to God and asking him to take the burden and pain away; we placed it all in his hands. We were told that it would be at least three months before we could try again. I was surprised to discover I was pregnant a month later and with twins! We thanked God for his gift and were very excited! In August 2009, after a
difficult pregnancy I went into labour. The consultant decided she wanted me to deliver in theatre. My midwife questioned this, but God had it all in his hands because Elisha was born naturally, then Isaiah was breech and distressed, and I ruptured. Had I not have been in theatre and had the epidural, then Isaiah and I would probably not be alive now. I was also struggling to breathe and begged to be put to sleep while they finished but they refused. Thank God they did, because my heart started to fail, but this had not yet been recognised. If they had anaesthetised me, I could have died. We continued to thank God for his blessings and were sent home. I was still unable to breathe easily, and getting worse. Thankfully, one midwife decided it was wasn’t normal, and I was admitted to hospital. Alone, frightened and missing my beautiful family, I prayed for strength. A verse kept running through my head, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom should I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1). Here I was, a daughter, wife and mother with newborn babies, on a cardiac ward hooked up to monitors, unsure of whether I was going to live or die. I know it was only God that upheld me – in the midst of all the chaos I was at peace. I felt like I was being held. I knew I wasn’t alone; God was by my side all the way. They had to get my resting heart rate down from 155 beats per minute. The procedure to do this is supposed to be painful, but I silently quoted Psalm 27 and didn’t feel a thing. It worked; my heart rate dropped to 100, then I prayed it would drop to 90 overnight and it did! I was told that if fortunate I would eventually get better, but that wasn’t expected, and that
‘Whatever your circumstances, rejoice. Even if you don’t feel like it. The Lord was, and is, my salvation!’
Above The Wrighton children welcome twins Isaiah and Elisha to the family
I’d be on medication for life or would need a transplant. I came home, thankful for God’s mercy, and slowly began adjusting to a different lifestyle with full-time care to help me cope. Adam and I learned we were loved – all the prayer and support overwhelmed us. God has promised me he will heal me and he will in his time. Friends and supporters prayed all around the world in December 2009 in preparation for my heart scan. On Christmas Eve I got the news that I had gone from having a severe problem to a moderate one, and from ten per cent usage of my heart to 40 per cent! God will fulfil his promise and strengthen my heart, but I
need to ‘wait on the Lord’. God has given me the desires of my heart; my husband, children, a loving family and friends, but most importantly a secure relationship with him. Whatever your circumstances, rejoice. Even if you don’t feel like it. The Lord was, and is, my salvation! I knew we should name our son Isaiah, but needed God to confirm it to Adam. I knew Isaiah meant, ‘The Lord is my salvation’. Adam had chosen the name Elisha for our daughter, I asked him to find out what it meant and he became very quiet when he looked it up because it means, ‘the Lord is my salvation’. Along with Psalm 27 what more confirmation did we need?
Aspire A passionate ministry for women in Elim
Women find out their true worth Julia Derbyshire and seven women from City Gates Church in Ilford travelled to the Philippines to share the love of God What do you get when you take eight women, the Word of God and the prayers of a local church and fly them over 10,000km to the Philippines? The answer... City Women/ Aspire Conference 2010, entitled Above Rubies! The conference ran over a three-day period, comprising two days of teaching and a pamper day at a prestigious spa resort. Prior to our arrival, and consistently throughout, everything ran smoothly due to the hard work and vision of Pastor Glenn and Nadette Isaguirre and the staff at City Gates Academy. Three different workshops were held, designed specifically to address key issues faced by women. They were: 1. Nurturing children God’s way 2. Health and wellbeing 3. When two become one Additionally, there was poetry, worship, dance and lots of time to have fun and build lasting friendships. The women were left empowered and the conference became the talk of the town! Also, 17 cohabiting couples have registered to get married since the conference.
‘We saw God meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs’ Above Julia Derbyshire and the team from City Gates
Two hundred copies of the Bible, printed in the local language, Tagolog, were given out free, along with Certificates of Attendance and a bag filled with goodies for every woman who attended. Seventy of the attendees were treated to time in the spa, the majority of whom had never experienced a day like that, or an afternoon away from the responsibilities of parenting. Available to each lady were
massages, pedicures and manicures, as well as a haircut from a professional stylist, plus use of the swimming pools and the surrounding gardens. And what is a girly day without the use of a karaoke machine for a sing-along? Many women committed their lives to Christ and we saw the power of God meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each woman, who left knowing her worth is far ‘Above Rubies’.
MEET THE NLT We introduce you to the men leading Elim, the National Leadership Team
John has been General Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal Church since 2000. Prior to this he was Elim’s Regional Superintendent in Scotland and pastored churches across the UK, including four that he pioneered. John joined the ministry in 1970 and is a third generation Elim minister – both his father and grandfather led churches for the Movement.
Kevin has been a member of the National Leadership Team since 2000. He is Regional Leader in Scotland, the North West of England and North Wales. Kevin was ordained as an Elim Minister in 1990. He was an Assistant Pastor in Derby before moving to Glasgow Elim, which he led until 2004. He has a heart for seeing the leaders who minister under his care move increasingly towards wholeness so that they can minister more effectively to others.
Mark has been a member of the National Leadership Team since June 2010. He is the National Director of Serious4God, Elim’s youth department, and has pioneered and led the development of initiatives such as The Gathering, an annual youth conference, Serious4Youth Ministry Course, a University accredited training programme; and online resources such as www.iprayer.co.uk
Simon has been a member of the NLT since June 2010. He is the Senior Pastor of Elim@Bristol, a thriving city church, and previously led the Elim church in Glasgow. Simon is a talented singer and songwriter and built a career as a performer and song writer, which included, amongst other highlights, representing Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest.
DAVID CAMPBELL Location: St Albans David has been a member of the National Leadership Team since 2001. He is Regional Leader of Elim’s Metropolitan East and Metropolitan West regions, where he provides covering and leadership to around 130 churches. David has become a well known conference speaker both in the UK and abroad – particularly in Canada. CHRIS CARTWRIGHT Location: Cardiff Chris has been a member of the NLT since June 2010. In October 2010 he will become Regional Leader for Southern England, South West Midlands and Wales. In his 13 years leading Cardiff City Temple, Chris has seen it grow significantly to become a vibrant city church with a national and international ministry. CHRIS JONES Location: Wales Chris has been a member of the National Leadership team since June 2010. He is Elim’s International Missions Director, heading up Elim’s overseas ministries. He has ministered in and led churches across the UK, particularly in Wales, where he continues to live and worship. GORDON NEALE
Gordon has been a member of the National Leadership Team since 1992, when he became Regional Superintendent for the Midlands. He is currently Regional Leader for both the Midlands and the North East. Gordon graduated from the Elim Bible College in 1970. He was Assistant Pastor in Hull, where he met his wife, Kay, and then led churches across England and Wales.
Colin has been a member of the National Leadership Team since 2003. He is Senior Minister of Kensington Temple London City Church, the largest church in the Elim Movement. Colin travels extensively throughout the world, and is also founder of the International Bible Institute of London which has become one of the UK’s leading centres of training for ministry.
Nigel’s passion is the local church – he has been leading, building and equipping Elim Pentecostal Churches for the past 30 years. He has led churches in Islington, Scarborough, Halesowen and more recently the Birmingham Christian Centre, a church which grew to over 800 people from more than 40 nations. In November 2004 Nigel was appointed Director of Training for Elim and Principal of Regents Theological College.
Stuart has been a member of the National Leadership Team since 2006. He is Senior Pastor of Christian Life Centre (CLC), an Elim Church in Selly Oak, Birmingham. Stuart is married to Amanda and they have three children, Matthew, Gareth and Lydia. He became senior leader of CLC in 1994, and the church has grown significantly under his leadership.
At this year’s Elim Bible Week, a quartet of worship leaders descended on Prestatyn. Mark Wreford looks ahead to an exciting new dawn in Elim’s musical history
The Movement’s alive... with the sound of Elim! Above On stage at the Elim Conference in June Main image L-R: Stephen Gibson, Ian Yates, Joel Pridmore and Sam Blake are Elim Worship
Elim Worship is a new venture with a rich heritage. If that sounds a little confusing, allow me to explain! Elim Worship is headed up by a group of four Elim worship leaders: Stephen Gibson, Joel Pridmore, Ian Yates and Sam Blake. Each has been on a different musical journey and they all lead in various churches around the country. One of the things that unites them is their passion for Elim rediscovering its voice and sound. Stephen explains, ‘We want to express the DNA of the Movement in music and worship.’ The four men are all established songwriters and wellplaced to encourage their fellow musicians around the nation, each having been involved in various recording projects as individuals. But now the four
are writing together, and the aim of this collaboration doesn’t end with them. ‘The Movement should be creating its own sound by interacting with the churches,’ says Joel Pridmore. And General Superintendent John Glass is excited about the abundant possibilities this project offers up. ‘Elim is blessed with a wide spectrum of gifted and anointed worship leaders’, he says. ‘When four of them asked to meet with me to talk about the development of what they termed the “Elim sound” it turned out to be one of the most exciting and creative interviews ever conducted in my office.’ Stephen Gibson Stephen is the assistant pastor at Elim Christian Fellowship in
Paisley, Glasgow. Each of the four involved contribute to Elim Worship, but the administrative element particularly sees Stephen come into his own. For Stephen, an exciting part of the new venture is the rediscovery of Elim’s own sound. ‘I did a project while I was studying on the development of worship leading in Elim, looking from an historical perspective. Elim has such a massive heritage in terms of worship music. My sense is that during the rise of the Charismatic Movement 30 years ago, Elim lost some of its own sound. We want to rediscover the sound of Elim.’ Stephen leads and plays keyboard and, like all of the leaders involved, is an established songwriter. His latest album is called Overtaken.
Joel Pridmore ‘I do need some inspiration of some kind,’ confides Joel Pridmore, discussing songwriting. ‘Either something that God’s saying, something which is coming up, something which I’ve been through or someone else has been through.’ Joel, a regular leader at River Camp along with Sam Blake, then explains how he writes songs for each year’s theme at the camp. ‘I try to write about reality and take the truth of God’s word into that reality,’ he explains. ‘I started out as a drummer before I was a Christian. ‘I ended up singing because we didn’t have a singer and I asked the band to show me a few chords on the guitar and I ended up writing songs from there!’
‘It turned out to be one of the most exciting and creative interviews ever conducted in my office’ John Glass
Ian Yates It’s been a 12-year worship journey for Ian Yates, but it all began with Delirious? ‘I was really inspired seeing Delirious?,’ he explains, ‘and then I got into a rock band and then that kind of folded, and I got the opportunity to lead worship in different events. I’d always been leading in Bootle Elim Pentecostal Church.’ Guns N’ Roses are generally not well thought of within the Christian community, but they certainly inspired the guitarist in Ian and that is surely no bad thing! ‘When I saw Delirious? it was really fresh and really relevant and I thought, “I’d love to be involved in something like this!” I’m really into encountering the presence of God when we worship at the moment.’
Sam Blake As a white worship leader in a 95 per cent black church, Ealing Christian Centre, Sam Blake is well qualified to talk about overcoming cultural boundaries. ‘I suppose really, as a musician, every time a new culture comes in, you learn from them and educate them. You learn what they enjoy and you educate them with what you enjoy.’ Sam leads at various events including New Wine and alonside Joel Pridmore at River Camp and he’s clear that worship is not about the style. ‘Although we have many ethnic groups,’ he explains, ‘and it’s great to engage with them, the culture is a God culture and people have to engage with that. I seek to start where people are at and take them on a journey.’
Direction talks to filmmaker Gary Wilkinson about his three-part documentary on the beginnings of the Pentecostal outpouring in Britain
Documentaries bring history to life At the beginning of the 20th Century, a small group of believers earnestly prayed for revival in England. Little did they know how God would answer that prayer – an answer that would impact the Church worldwide. It was the birth of Pentecostalism which awakened people to a new relationship with God. Over a century later, Gary Wilkinson, an independent Christian TV producer, felt led to produce a series of documentaries on the events that led up to this great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the effects that it had on other high profile men and women – in particular, Smith Wigglesworth and the Jeffreys brothers. Gary’s own interest was sparked by a series of events which saw him working in Sunderland in 2005, where Alexander Boddy first saw a revival. While reading a book on Smith Wigglesworth, he realised that the revival had started in a church that he walked past every day. He went to interview the minister and was intrigued by the history that had taken place on his very doorstep. He decided there and then to produce a documentary which, five years on, has been broadcast on UCB and international TV channels. He says, ‘The interesting thing for me was what God did in this little church in Sunderland with Alexander Boddy, affected not just the UK, but the world. Then I came across some of the stories that came out of Sunderland, like
Above Independent TV producer Gary Wilkinson Main image All Saints Church Hall, where the Sunderland Revival took place. In a fascinating twist, the building is now used by Monkwearmouth Christian Fellowship, an Elim church, led by Mark Drew
those of Smith Wigglesworth and George and Stephen Jeffreys. Books have been written, but no documentaries made.’ What started out as one tenminute documentary turned into three half-hour DVDs, the first of which is entitled The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. ‘The empowering of the Holy Spirit and the speaking in tongues wasn’t a common thing that you would see in the late 19th century, but there were some people who were interested in searching the deeper things of God,’ explains Gary. ‘People were coming from all over the country to see what was happening in Sunderland.’ One of these people was Smith Wigglesworth who became the subject of his next documentary. He says, ‘Smith Wigglesworth was interesting for me. I researched his life. When he went to Sunderland, he hadn’t been able to preach the gospel. He could pray for people or share his testimony, but when it came to preaching the gospel he was
tongue tied. It was his wife who was the preacher. But when he received the Holy Spirit in Sunderland his tongue was loosened and he was able to preach the gospel. He wrote to his wife telling her although she didn’t believe him at first. But when he came home, she said it was like he was a different person.’ The third documentary focuses on the Jeffreys brothers. Gary explains, ‘When it came to the Jeffreys, I had heard of them but knew nothing about them. I did a bit of research and again it came back to Sunderland. They were all intertwined. ‘They were integral to the beginnings of the Elim Church as well as AoG. Alexander Boddy had heard about the Jeffreys having some meetings in Wales and went to see them. They told him their heart was for evangelism and he invited George to come and speak at the Sunderland meetings. ‘George then started the Elim Movement in Ireland. People seem to know more about George than Stephen. Stephen was the evangelist and George was the apostle and church planter.’ Now, Gary hopes that people will be inspired by his documentaries. ‘God takes the small things and uses them to do tremendous things,’ he says. ‘For me, these documentaries are about looking back at the history of the Church and being encouraged to go on and do similar things.’
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From Elim’s evangelism and church planting department
REACH Director Gary Gibbs invites readers to do some thinking about connecting people to God’s family
Why people should queue up for Back to Church Sunday Above Gary Gibbs Main image It’s worth facing up to the challenge of Back to Church Sunday to see people welcomed to your congregation
I met a man the other day who loves God, plays worship tapes in his car and takes opportunities at work to share the gospel with his colleagues: the only problem is, he doesn’t go to church. He and his wife have impeccable Pentecostal credentials: born-again, baptised, Spirit-filled and tongues speaking. But, they don’t connect to any Christian community. There are tens of thousands of people like this across the nation. They even have a spiritual designation – they are the ‘dechurched’. As we approach Back to Church Sunday this month – on September 26 – it’s worth fac-
ing up to the challenge of what kind of church we are inviting either the dechurched or unchurched to. Of course the old adage is still true that ‘...if you find the perfect church, don’t join it because you’ll spoil it!’ Even so, I believe that from time to time it’s worth the pain of asking ourselves a few important questions if we are to be more effective, not only in attracting new people, but keeping them. Why should they come? In other words, in a society where the most precious commodity many people have is
their time, what is it about our gathered Christian community that will mean guests feel it was an hour or two well spent? There are so many areas we could do with thinking through; everything from the quality of the coffee to the style of worship and preaching! Even the time we meet (and the day?) might be worth looking at! What will they experience? I remember it well. I had taken the risk of inviting a not-yetChristian friend along to a ‘normal’ Sunday morning service. I don’t know why, but a couple
The diary of a church plant... With Justin Tattersall
Stories and insights into Elim’s pioneer church plant in Grangetown, Middlesbrough.
See the seeds grow
of hyper-charismatic members thought that the presence of a ‘sinner’ in the midst gave them a reason to show off their ‘sacred prophetic dancing’. As they mimed the rebuilding of the temple in a revelatory manner during the singing of Let’s Go Up to Zion, I clearly remember asking the gracious Lord to immediately beam them both up to the heavenly realms in a physical manner. Sadly, the Lord chose not to answer me in the way I had requested. The point I’m making here is not that we try to ‘con’ visitors by playing down the fact that we are Pentecostal Christians; it’s just that I wish we would use our sanctified common sense! There is a particular Elim church which I have been to speak at a few times: the worship is vibrant; there are often tongues and interpreta-
tion as well as prophetic words brought. What I’ve noticed is that there is a tremendous sense of inclusion in the service. The pastor, in a very laid back way explains what is happening so that guests are respected, even in their ignorance! What will bring them back? My friend Michael Harvey, who founded Back to Church Sunday, says that he has never met anyone who thinks they belong to an unfriendly church. The significant issue is not whether your congregation is friendly, but whether they are befriending. To put this another way, do the regulars in your church view themselves as guests or hosts? Some of our members have been coming for more than 40 years, but still think of themselves as guests.
That’s why they are not proactive in speaking to newcomers, or making sure that the fresh face is taken for a coffee at the end of the service, or introduced to the pastor and/ or other church people who are at a similar stage of life. At its worst, that’s why they get annoyed if someone sits in ‘their seat’! And the final bombshell... There may be a totally different way of ‘doing church’ which doesn’t rely on bringing guests to a service to hear the gospel. In some instances, alongside our existing models, we may need to investigate ‘missional church’ in order to reach the unreached. Type this into Google and see what you discover. I’m sure we will be hearing more on missional church in the years ahead!
I had one of those weird moments the other day as I travelled on the bus to work: I was listening to Chris Tomlin singing, You’re the God of this City. One of the lines reads, ‘You’re the God of these people’ and, as I looked at about 25 people all sat in individual seats, some with iPods in, others staring still half asleep, others reading the paper and others playing on their phones, I felt like I heard the gentle voice of our Father saying, ‘These are my people – they just don’t know it.’ God, what will it take for Grangetown to turn to you? What does it take for the eternity that you have placed in people’s hearts to be awakened; for them to realise who their Father is? With the exciting news from John Glass recently regarding church planting initiatives across the UK, this prayer becomes even more pertinent. Across our land, there are millions of people who do not know God. We have an incredible opportunity to see many more pioneer church plants like Grangetown germinate. Like no other time in our history, we have more people in our Movement who could get out their comfort zones, relocate, change careers, be released into bivocational ministry and give it a go! This sounds flippant, but with all my heart I mean it! Are there others who are willing not to rely on funding, or even ordination and simply give it a try? Start it in your home, your community centre, a coffee shop, you name it – wherever people can gather. Feel free to get in contact via the REACH office; it would be great to talk some more. Speak soon! From Justin, a relocated, career transformed, non-funded, non-ordained slightly eccentric Elim church planter!
NEW LIFE NENW LIF EW LE IFE MARCH 2010
Issue 193 • 40p GOOD NEWS STORIES
FAITH STRONG IN SHATTERED COUNTRY – PAGE 4
FAITH STRONG IN SHATTERED COUNTRY – PAGE 4
Issue 193 • 40p GOOD NEWS STORIES
I’M GLAD I HAD A BIGGER BROTHE R WOMAN WAT A ‘WALKING CHINGMIRACLE’ ME...
STEPHEN BALDWIN REVEALS HOW HE GOT OVER HIS FEARS ABOUT TV REALITY SHOW – P3
FAITH STRONG IN SHATTERED COUNTRY – PAGE 4
Britain’s best outreach newspaper
Issue 193 • 40p GOOD NEWS STORIES
HOPE IS IN HOPE HAITI IS IN HOPE HAITI IS IN HAITI
How I’ve HoHw o wI’vI’eve beaten bebat eaen ten cancer ca nc caner cer STEPHEN BALDWIN REVEALS HOW HE
GOT OVER HIS FEARS ABOUT TV REALITY
SHOW – P3
WOMAN A ‘WALKING MIRACLE’ WOMAN A ‘WALKIN G MIRACLE’ STEPHEN BALDWIN
A womAn considers herself a “walking
REVEALS HOW HE GOT
OVER HIS FEARS ABOUT
TV REALITY SHOW
by Becky Barlow
said we would have miracle” after beating specialist to wait and see.” breast cancer. After being told about playA womAn Linda Whalley, from Blacking aconsiders waiting game, Linda, who Barlow by Becky pool, had to have a mastectomy, was also told she may develop herself a “walking but it was her Christian faith bone cancer, decidedspecialist to turn to miracle” said we would have beating that helped her throughout her after her faith and prayed.to wait and see.” breast cancer. ordeal. “This wonderful peace came After being told about playA womAn Linda Whalley, Linda 61, said: “They found over from me and I was ing as calm as Blackaconsiders waiting by Becky game, Linda, who Barlow pool,in herself had to have two cancerous lumps my anything,” she said. was a mastectomy, a also “walking told she may develop but itI was breast – both primary. was her Christian “It didn’t matterbone whether I faith miracle” cancer, decidedspecialist after to turn to said that helped herlived beating riddled with it. or diedher because I knew throughout we would have her faith and prayed.to wait breast ordeal. and see.” I would be OK cancer. going in God’s “This wonderful peace dying Linda 61, said: came Linda Whalley, After being told about strength. “They found over me from Blackand playI was as pool,the ingcalm as game, two option had a waiting cancerous lumps to have “They said the only “After operation, as I a mastectomy, in my Linda, who anything,” she said. was also but it moved breast – both was told she may develop was surgery and then I might being into reprimary. Christian I was was her “Itthe didn’t faith matterbone that whether helped I decided riddled and cancer, with it.covery have to have radiotherapy room, I suddenly felt her throughout lived to turn to or died her because ordeal. her Ifaith knew and prayed. chemotherapy as well. this hot burning sensation on I would be OK going in God’s Linda 61, said: “This wonderful peace “I asked if had gone too fardying my chest. “They found strength. came two over me and I cancerous said the“Ionly – I didn’t want to go “They through was option chatting away to in a THE Beatles drummer Ringo year, says life improved after his lumps was as calm as “After themy operation, breast anything,” as Ishe said. was – surgery both surgery if I was going to die and nurse putting things away andI Starr has revealed how God has faith strengthened. He admitted then primary. I might was being was into“Itthe moved re- matter have to worwith didn’t have radiotherapy anyway. I wasn’t actually whenriddled I wentand backit. to my room, he had “stepped off the path”. become a reality in his life. covery whether I room, I suddenly lived orfelt died because ried about dy i ng,chemotherapy because I as I felt need ● Full story... Page 5 Starr, who will turn 70 this well.fine. I didn’t this hot any I knew burning sensation dying I would THE Beatles drummer Ringo onWhalley “I asked be HEALED... Linda knew where I was going. Theif had ● Continued Page 5chest. OK going in God’s gone too on far year, says life improved my after his strength. Starr has revealed how God has – I didn’t want to go “They said the through faith strengthened. He admitted was option chatting away was surgery and “Ionly become a reality in his life. to the “After a surgery if I was going operation, as then to die he had “stepped off the path”. nurse I might was putting I have to away andmoved Starr, who will turn 70 this anyway. I wasn’t actually being have radiotherapy things wor● Full story... Page 5 into the rewhen I went and THE Beatles drummer back to chemotherapy my covery room, ried about dy i ng, because room, I suddenly well. Ringo year, says Iasfelt fine. I didn’tthis Starr has revealed need “I asked Iif had knew after life improved hotany where I was going. burning sensation felt gone too on The ● Continued his become a reality how God has faith strengthened. farPage – I didn’t my5 chest. HEALED... LindaonWhalley want to in his life. He admitted he had “stepped Starr, who will surgery if I was go through “I was chatting off turn 70 this away to a ● Full story... Page the path”. anyway. I wasn’t going to die nurse putting 5 things away and actually worried about dy when I went back i ng, because to my room, I I felt fine. knew where I I didn’t need was going. The any ● Continued on Page 5 HEALED... Linda Whalley
Starr is shining... after Starr finding is God shining... after Star finding r is God shining. after finding God..
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In a special guest column, Sarah Whittleston, one of the pastors at Gloucester Elim church, shares on the art of listening
God speaks, but are we listening? I remember that time of anticipation and apprehension towards the end of the summer term – excitement at the prospect of what the summer held and nervousness because ‘report’ time loomed. I can still feel the report pages weighing down my bag, as I walked down the mountain from school (I grew up in Wales, so lots of mountains!) and caught the bus home. I was worried as most pages read something like this: ‘Sarah is doing well but could do better if she talked less and listened more’. I don’t know if anyone else identifies with that kind of report? That lesson of listening from school days still challenges me in my walk with God. Throughout the Bible and through history we hear God speaking, to individuals and nations, to prophets and kings, to fishermen, tax collectors, lepers and a teenage girl called Mary. As they listened to God, and as they responded in faith and obedience, lives were transformed and situations changed. God continues to speak but have we learned the art of listening? In the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15) Jesus challenges his listeners then and now, ‘He who has ears to hear let him hear’. The farmer (God) scatters and sows the seed (his Word) onto the soil (our hearts) with four different reactions: the path, the rocky place, the thorns and good soil. It is not simply about four different types of people and their response to God and his kingdom message, but provokes us to examine our hearts. Sometimes we can be quick to apply
the seed, the Word of God, to a particular area of life but resist it in others. For example, you may have good soil for worship, but be thorny ground when it comes to helping the poor. Or you may be open to what God has for your future, but closed to what he says about a certain relationship. Luke 8:14 says, ‘And the seed that fell in the weeds – well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun,’ (The Message). God is speaking, but what crowds out his voice in your life? What are the thorny issues that distract and hinder? God gives us the privilege of prayer, but communication in any relationship has to be a two-way thing. The Living Bible challenges us, ‘If anyone has listening ears, use them now!’ Remember the phrase, ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ when crossing the road? Jesus did just that with his disciples. When he was alone with them he took time to explain the meaning of the parable and impart wisdom and truth. When was the last time you stopped to hear from God? Looked at his word? Listened to his voice? It’s important that we learn what it is to live a life of prayer rather than having a prayer life that we keep in a box. Prayer, communicating with God, is not simply about setting time aside to pray, but including God in all of our time. God is speaking to us, in the mundane and routine, at summer camps, during school
‘God gives us the privilege of prayer, but communication in a relationship has to be a two-way thing’
Below Sarah Whittleston says we should learn a lesson – and listen
or university, in meetings, when we walk the dog or on our way to work. Are we listening? Sometimes we may look at ourselves, our appearance, our personality, our gifts, our job, our family background and not think much of ourselves, or wonder what sets us apart from the crowd. Yet Jesus, the son of God, knows you by name and calls you to follow him. He is the good shepherd and will lead and guide as we listen to his voice. Are you listening? Not the kind of listening we do with background music on the iPod or cheesy music in a lift, but actively listening for and to God. Jesus encourages us, ‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me’ (John 10:27). Take a lesson from school days: learn the art of listening!
• Regular columnist Mark Pugh is back next month!
‘The first thing I had to address was my consumerism,’ writes Serious4God Director Mark Pugh in this month’s Summit column, where we look at the environment
God has entrusted us to be stewards of his own creation
Above Mark Pugh
C O L U M N
Whenever I’m responsible for looking after something that belongs to someone else, I always feel the weight of the responsibility and probably look after it better than I would if I owned it. Whether that means driving the ‘courtesy car’ a bit slower (probably helped by signing what feels like a multi-million pound insurance excess agreement), or feeding the neighbour’s pet rabbit the exact prescribed amount or ensuring that I take my shoes off before stepping onto the carpets when
‘house-sitting’ for a friend! I realise the person who owns the ‘borrowed item’ will care about the ‘returned condition’. In these situations we know the item is not ours, it belongs to someone else and we don’t have the right to use it as ‘we want’ but should use it in line with the owner’s expectations. If you’ve ever loaned someone a clean, sharp-bladed lawnmower and received a muddy, blunt-bladed machine in return, you’ll probably know something of the grace that is employed in such circumstances. You would
have preferred to get it back in good condition. While this makes complete sense, there was something of an anomaly in my life regarding some of the things that God has entrusted us to look after. While I knew that ‘the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’ (Ps 24:1), I also had an understanding that in the end times the earth would ‘wear out like a garment’ (Hebs 1:11). Every news item that highlighted the eroding coastline, extinction of species, plundering of rain forest resources, spillages
of oil and the rise of ‘carbon dioxide induced global warming’ seemed to affirm the Bible’s prediction and make the end times imminent. Environmental considerations not only seemed an unnecessary addition into an already complicated world, but who was I to postpone the return of Jesus by sowing patches onto the ‘wearing garment’. I wasn’t alone in my approach, with some arguing that the instruction to ‘be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it’ (Gen 1:28) means that we can do what we want with this world. Also, the revelation that Jesus will create a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ (Rev 21:1) has resulted in believers around the world feeling ‘theologically justified’ by living their lives unconcerned about ‘this earth’, and hence unconcerned about one of the greatest challenges of our times: the environment. I believe there will be a ‘new heaven and new earth’ and I’m convinced that we’ve been given this current earth to enjoy and use. But with research showing that we are exploiting, or even plundering the resources of this world, surely we have to consider the quality of our ‘stewardship’? There are scientists who predict that if we carry on plundering at our present rate, by the year 2050 we will need two planet earths to sustain our way of life! We don’t have two planet earths. It’s like the overdraft from our consumerism is getting bigger and bigger – surely that’s not the way of good stewardship? Stewardship begins in the heart, and the first thing I’ve needed to address in my own
life is my consumerism. If I have an attitude bent on plundering more resources for the convenience of my consumeristic lifestyle without giving something back through ways such as recycling, switching lights off, not leaving the TV on standby, turning the heating down and using less paper etc then I wonder what God would think about this ‘borrower’? This is not an unconnected issue for the life of God’s people. We’re called to be disciples, followers of Jesus, and while we read nothing of him switching off light switches, he clearly introduced values of his kingdom that are based on the needs of others (opposite of consumerism) and stewardship. Should our churches consider using renewable sources of energy? Be located in areas accessible by public transport ‘Let’s not get judgmental or prescriptive about these issues, but do let us consider whether such questions help us become better stewards’ so as to avoid unnecessary car travel? Look at energy ratings on electrical purchases? Or plant trees to make up for printing their church newsletter? Use ecologically friendly cleaning products? Or use locally sourced communion wine? The questions could go on. Let’s not get judgmental or prescriptive about these issues, but do let us consider whether such questions help us become better stewards and cause the one who has entrusted so much to us to be proud of the way we handled our stewardship.
BOOKC A SE with Richard Dodge
Who Made God? Professor Edgar H Andrews EP Books I can always tell when a book is going to be great because of my inability to put it down. Who Made God? is an essential and indispensable read, not only for those interested in the creation/evolution debate, but for anyone who has been bamboozled into thinking that evolution is ‘proven’, whether by New Atheism or for that matter embracers of Theistic Evolution. In an age where anyone who dares to question evolution is branded ‘ignorant, stupid or insane’ (Richard Dawkins) this book, written by an eminent and distinguished scientist, challenges anything that contradicts Biblical creation in a way that is witty, yet weighty. It is extremely well-written and highly readable, with chapter headings such as ‘Sooty and the Universe’, ‘Yogurt, cereal and toast’, and ‘Steam engine to the stars’ etc, but at the same time is a masterly combination of science and theology. Who Made God? is also an excellent evangelistic tool which not only deals with the Biblical account of God and his creation, but all the time points the reader directly to the gospel of Christ as the only hope for mankind. To my mind this book is one of the most important books written in 2009/10 and I thoroughly recommend that you buy the book, read it and pass it on to your unsaved friend! Reviewed by Robert Clarke Hardcover, £9.95
Nevertheless John Kirby Christians Against Poverty Books If you are looking for a book to sit and read for relaxation – don’t get this one! The challenge of God’s dealings with one man who had it all – but then discovered huge debts and nowhere to go will grip you. He has since found that God can do great things with ordinary people. Paperback, £6.99 Crafts, Crafts, More Crafts Tirzah L Jones Day One Publications S u b t i t l e d 101 great ideas for youth and children’s clubs, this book should be in the hands of all of our youth workers! The constant demand to find adequate and simple activities for junior programmes will be greatly helped with this book. Buy it! A4 Paperback, £8 Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Keith Warrington Hendrikson Publishers Those who attended Keith Warrington’s excellent Bible Studies on ‘Hope’ at this year’s Conference will want to get hold of this book! Although a ‘doctrinal’ book it will assist readers to a better understanding of the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Paperback, £11.99
The D elusion of
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Being a chaplain is about changing the atmosphere in the workplace, as Elim minister Iain Hesketh explains.
Chaplaincy: it’s not just for Anglicans! If I’m completely frank, the idea of chaplaincy was not something that I had ever given serious thought to; it is what Anglicans do, right? How wrong and narrow minded of me! The opportunity to be a chaplain to the Police arose unexpectedly through a member of the congregation at West Bromwich Community Church, where I minister. After what seemed like a long process, going through the necessary checks, I started as a West Midlands Police chaplain to Sandwell North police officers and staff in March 2009. The reason that I so readily jumped into chaplaincy, with the full support of my church leadership, is that we felt that this opportunity was an extension of my ministry and the ministry of the church. Our vision at WBCC is to see the people who are being changed by Jesus being effective in ministry to the town in which we live. Jeremiah 29:7 says, ‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.’ For me chaplaincy is about seeking the welfare or peace of the city or, in our case, town. In my role as a chaplain I
Above Elim minister and police chaplain Iain Hesketh Main image One of the advantages of being a Police chaplain is joining blue-light runs!
don’t have a flood of officers or staff queuing up to see me and be counselled or ‘pastored’ and, if I’m honest, I can count on one hand the number of times that people have asked to speak to me. If chaplaincy were simply about people waiting to listen to people and offering a ‘there, there’ pastoral service then it really wouldn’t be for me! Chaplaincy for me is so much more than just providing a pastoral service to the Police; it is being a carrier of the presence of God into what is a tough working environment. It is to be a visible and distinct influence for the kingdom of God in a very real way, in both words and action. Just before Christmas 2009, I was visiting Wednesbury Police Station and it was fairly quiet as most of the officers were out. However, there were a number of neighbourhood officers in the main work area; an officer kindly made me a drink and we began to talk. He told me his story and I listened. In the middle of our conversation he said something along the lines of, ‘every time you come into this station the atmosphere changes.’ I didn’t immediately jump in and boldly tell him the gospel; it would not have been appropriate, and I would have probably
got the sack! But this simple phrase served as a reminder to me as to why I do this and continue to do so. It is my prayer that as I continue in this role I will get increasing opportunities to share about the transforming grace of Jesus. Chaplaincy is one of the ways in which I am able to live out my faith which does not include church activities or being surrounded by lots of Christians. I’m privileged to be released by the church to minister in a full-time capacity; however, there are some dangers of being cut off from the ‘real world’. By this I mean losing sight of the pressures of a workplace where the majority of people do not hold the same values as you. So, for me, as one who spends most of my time with Christians, it is a good reminder of what the majority of WBCC people face every day. Being a chaplain to the Police has afforded me opportunities to be aware of issues that otherwise I would have been ignorant of, which in turn will help shape our mission as a church to see lives transformed by Jesus. And it’s not all work, work, work! There are some advantages of being a Police chaplain like accompanying traffic officers on patrol in a 3.0-litre BMW on blue-light runs!
Ruth Jones was on the brink of committing suicide until her life was changed – when in desperation she put on an Elvis Presley CD. Becky Barlow reports
How King of Rock ’n’ Roll led me to the King of Kings
Above Ruth Jones was on the brink of taking her own life when she cried out to God Main image Ruth today with her husband Stephen. Inset, Ruth during her years hooked on drugs; Elvis Presley
Ruth Jones was certainly ‘all shook up’ when Elvis Presley’s Amazing Grace track boomed through her sound system speakers as she tried to commit suicide. But it wasn’t the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll who convinced her not to end her life – rather the King of Kings! Bound in drugs and gambling addiction, Ruth was suffering from depression and was prepared to take her own life in June 2001 following a series of bad choices and unhappy relationships. She recalls, ‘I was so depressed. The antidepressants didn’t seem to be working and I felt like I was dying inside.
All these voices were going through my head telling me to kill myself. ‘I knew there was a bottle of whisky in the other room, so I thought about washing some pills down with that or just going ‘A beam of light came in through the window and power went through my body’ and getting a razor and ending it all. The voices were telling me that no-one loved me and that I was nothing and my life was a mess. I just couldn’t see another way out. ‘To drown out the voices I decided to put a CD on. I picked
up this Elvis CD. It came on at track four which was Amazing Grace.’ It was at this moment when Ruth – whose father Len Garry was in famous band the Quarrymen – began to cry out to God. She reveals, ‘With every ounce of my being I cried out to God. “If you’re real, help me! I don’t want to die.” ‘These words were put into my mind and I said, “Jesus, I believe that you are the son of God and you died on that cross for my sins.” A beam of light came in through the window and power went through my body from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. I felt like
liquid love came into my body and I was convulsing on the bed as spirits flew out of me. ‘I remember feeling a presence touch my mouth. My mouth opened and was under the holy anointing of God and out came this spiritual language. I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and felt so clean and pure. ‘Everything left me that night. I had such a peace. I couldn’t swear any more, the gambling addiction had totally gone. Smoking, getting drunk, drug taking – everything had left. I was totally changed.’ Ruth, now 37, was brought up in a Christian home and was dedicated as a baby, but when she hit her teenage years, she
‘Everything left me that night. I had such a peace. I couldn’t swear anymore, the gambling addiction had totally gone’
rebelled against her upbringing and at the age of 17 she hit Liverpool’s nightclubs. A year later she was introduced to the casino scene. ‘The first game I ever played was roulette and instantly I was hooked – then it was blackjack,’ she explains. ‘Soon I was out at the casino at least three nights a week. My life consisted of men, dancing and gambling.’ At the age of 20, she met her first husband, Ken. ‘I was still hooked on gambling then I got hooked on bingo,’ she remembers. ‘Our relationship wasn’t very good. I hardly saw him so
bingo became my escape.’ One night, following a bustup with Ken, Ruth was forced to leave the house. But when she returned the following day to pick up some of her belongings, she was devastated to find that Ken had taken everything. With her life falling apart she was put on anti-depressants and tried to block everything out by starting another relationship. But her new boyfriend introduced her to a new addiction – methamphetamine, also known as speed. ‘He told me it would make me feel good,’ she says. ‘I’d carry a little stash with me everywhere I went. I lost loads of weight. I was so into myself – it became all about dressing up and going out clubbing. I wanted to cloud things out with the drinking, gambling and the drugs. I didn’t want to think about life.’ Then she received a phone call saying that Ken was in hospital. It turned out he had a brain tumour which explained his strange behaviour. ‘I realised I didn’t love him any more after all that I’d been through,’ she says. ‘He asked me to get back together, but I told him I was filing for divorce.’ Then, on a holiday to Cyprus, something was awakened in Ruth that had lain dormant from her childhood. She explains, ‘Part of the holiday was a cruise to Israel and Egypt. I remember walking where Jesus walked and being touched by it. Years on, Ruth is re-married to Stephen and attends Elim’s Liverpool City Church. She says she will never forget what happened the night she listened to Elvis. ‘I could have died so many times but I believe that God was looking out for me. I’ve been at City Church for about a year now and am really happy here.’
Respected author and theologian AW Tozer is still widely read today, more than four decades after his death. In this essay he tackles the importance of spiritual growth among believers
We need to produce better Christians To talk of ‘better’ Christians is to use language foreign to many people. To them all Christians are alike; all have been justified and forgiven and are the children of God, so to make comparisons between them is to suggest division and bigotry and any number of horrible things. What is forgotten is that a Christian is a born-one, an embodiment of growing life, and as such may be retarded, stunted, undernourished or injured very much as any other organism. Favourable conditions will produce a stronger and healthier organism than will adverse conditions. Lack of proper instructions, for instance, will stunt Christian growth. A clear example of this is found in Acts 19, where an imperfect body of truth had produced a corresponding imperfect type of Christian. It took Paul, with a fuller degree of truth, to bring these stunted disciples into a better and healthier spiritual state. Unfortunately it is possible for a whole generation of Christians to be victims of poor teaching, low moral standards and unscriptural or extrascriptural doctrines, resulting in stunted growth and retarded development. It is little less than stark tragedy that an individual Christian may pass from youth to old age in a state of suspended growth and all his life be unaware of it. Those who would question the truth of this have only to read the
‘The spiritual climate into which many modern Christians are born does not make for vigorous spiritual growth’
Above AW Tozer
first epistle to the Corinthians and the book of Hebrews. And even a slight acquaintance with church history will add all the further proof that is needed. Today there exist in the world certain Christian bodies whose histories date far back. These have perpetuated themselves after their kind for hundreds of years, but they have managed to produce nothing but weak, stunted Christians, if Christians they can be called. Common charity forbids that we identify these by name, but any enlightened believer will understand. Evangelicalism as we know it today in its various manifestations does produce some real Christians. We have no wish to question this; we desire rather to assert it unequivocally. But the spiritual climate into which many modern Christians are born does not make for vigorous spiritual growth. Indeed, the whole evangelical world is to a large extent unfavourable to healthy Christianity. And I am not thinking of Modernism either. I mean rather the Bible-believing crowd that bears the name of orthodoxy. We may as well face it: the whole level of spirituality among us is low. We have measured ourselves by ourselves until the incentive to seek higher plateaus in the things of the Spirit is all but gone. Large and influential sections of the world of fundamental Christianity have gone overboard
for practices wholly unscriptural, altogether unjustifiable in the light of historic Christian truth and deeply damaging to the inner life of the individual Christian. They have imitated the world, sought popular favour, manufactured delights to substitute for the joy of the Lord and produced a cheap and synthetic power to substitute for the power of the Holy Ghost. The glowworm has taken the place of the bush that burned and scintillating personalities now answer to the fire that fell at Pentecost. The fact is that we are not today producing saints. We are making converts to an effete type of Christianity that bears little resemblance to that of the New Testament. The average so-called Bible Christian in our times is but a wretched parody on true sainthood. Yet we put millions of dollars behind Movements to perpetuate this degenerate form of religion and attack the man who dares to challenge the wisdom of it. Clearly we must begin to produce better Christians. We must insist on New Testament sainthood for our converts, nothing less; and we must lead them into a state of heart purity, fiery love, separation from the world and poured-out devotion to the person of Christ. Only in this way can the low level of spirituality be raised again to where it should be in the light of the Scriptures and of eternal values.
Listed here are just a few of the hundreds of Elim churches. For more details visit our website: www.elim.org.uk
PUTTING YOUR CHURCH ON THE MAP
Bucks, HP27 0AX
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Blackpool area? We offer you a warm welcome.
(The Storehouse), 1st Floor, 6-8 Westbury Avenue, Turnpike Lane, London N22 (Opposite Turnpike Lane Tube Station and Bus Garage)
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Tel: 020 8878 7252 Transformed Lives...Transforming Lives
Kensington Park Road, London W11 3BY
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0121 236 2997 www.birminghamcc.co.uk
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Reach Others. Place your Elim Church here for as little as £10
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173 Upper Richmond Road West, East Sheen, London SW14 8DU (EL00)
For more information
We meet in: The Frank Townend Community Centre, Kensington Road, Cleveleys (nr Blackpool) FY5 1ER Every Sunday at 10.30am and Thursdays at 7.30pm
For details of where we meet visitInour site us a call. theweb Heart of or thegive Chilterns We offer you a warm invitation to come and enjoy fellowship 28 High Street, Princes Risborough, during the week in our Oasis Coffee Lounge and Bookshop Bucks HP27 0AX Sunday morning meetings held at :The01844 Community Centre; Wades Park; Stratton Road; Princes 275822 www.chilterns.org Risborough from 10:30am. River Meetings and Soaking Senior Pastor: Centres on Sunday evenings. Phone for more information Geoff Blease 344556 Senior Pastor – Geoff01844 Blease 01844-344556
Christ Harvest Centre
Chilterns Christian Fellowship CHILTERNS FELLOWSHIP 28 HighCHRISTIAN Street, Princes Risborough
Senior minister: Colin Dye
Family Fellowship Spain
9am & 11am Celebration Service 2.30pm Teaching Service
elim @ bristol city church
5pm Equipping Service
Services in English, Sundays 11am & 6.30pm. Many Weekly activities. Rev Howard Coley, Rev Susan Coley and Rev David Hodgson extend a warm welcome.
7pm Revival Service
Weekday services Mon 7pm – Revival Prayer Meeting Tues 7pm – Revival Training
00 34 695 115 496
Wed 7pm – Revival Healing Service Sat 7pm – Revival Celebration
Bethany Community Church 100 CHURCH ROAD, GATLEY, CHESHIRE, SK8 4NQ (near Manchester Airport)
LEYTONSTONE ELIM PENTECOSTAL CHURCH
Every Sunday 10:30am Many weekly activities
Hainault Road, Leytonstone, London E11
CHELMSFORD Elim Christian Centre
www.elim.org • 01245 358855 (GF61)
Tel: 0161 428 8891
Sundays 9.15am, 11.15am & 6.30pm Senior Minister: Mike Sherwood
Sunday Services: 11.00 a.m. & 6.30 p.m. Mid-week Prayer Meeting: Weds 8.00 p.m. MINISTERS: MERVYN TILLEY & SAMUEL GILL Telephone 0208 539 2286 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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Senior Pastors: Tony & Jane Powell Website: www.bethanyuk.org
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‘We all felt that we had a part to play and that we were making a difference,’ Lifelink leadership team member Karen Green reveals after a recent trip to Stip, Macedonia
God was with us every step of the way on mission trip
Above Karen Green was deeply moved by her trip to Macedonia Main images Clockwise from top left: Sophie Lavery with a local gypsy child; gypsy children welcome the team; the Lifelink team; a local girl checks out some of the food bought by the Lifelink team
The time we had in Macedonia was heart-changing. I know that most who go on a mission trip say that, but for our visit it was very true. Three of the ladies had collected money from their churches and Lifelink groups and brought it with them, so we had over £1,000 to distribute. We spent the first evening with Tony and Norma Coles, our missionaries there, discussing where and how to give this money away. What a wonderful feeling it was for all of us – we felt like ‘secret millionaires’. The next day we went shopping to buy things to bless the families we were to visit. We bought many things that in Brit-
ain we would see as ‘normal’, but that are a luxury for them, such as eggs, cheese, ham and sugar. We spent around £40 on each family. We had such fun just shopping for the people we would soon meet; the team was great and we really enjoyed being with each other and laughing together. We then split into groups and some took food to an old lady called Svette, whose married daughter Susanna is in a wheelchair and has a little girl, the rest went to visit gypsy families where they were able to give shoes and t-shirts. The true impact of our gifts of food and money and our
personal visit with each of these is really difficult to describe. The lady Mandy and I saw lived in one room where the plaster was falling off the walls, the ceiling was caving in and the window had just been vandalised for the third time. For us to go with so much made her break down in tears and she found it impossible to speak to us for a long time, she was so overwhelmed. Our hearts broke for that dear lady who loves the Lord and has great concern for her family. We came away from these homes, having wept together and laughed together, declaring, ‘This is what Lifelink is all about.’
Music Reviews with Mark Wreford
and around the main streets at strategic points. We all felt useful, we all felt that we had a part to play and that we were making a difference. We all felt so strongly that God had provided, protected and gone with us every step of the way. We had spent seven days together crying, sharing and laughing so much. We had known God ministering to our hearts as we have never known before; we have all come home changed one way or another; and all because we went on a Lifelink mission. What an adventure. Maybe next year it will be you that we are writing about!
The Friday evening saw us in the Stip church where Mandy and Christina shared testimonies of God’s power to change lives and to heal bodies. Then we ministered to the ladies by doing haircuts, manicures and make-up. This really broke the ice and many of them came along and brought unsaved friends the following evening, when we had coffee and cakes in a local restaurant and Karen and Lynn shared their testimonies. There were more than 30 ladies listening and asking questions. On the Sunday morning we were praying at the entrance to the town, on the high points
Farewell Show Delirious? It’s impossible to sum up the impact of Delirious? on the Christian music world. Seventeen years of passionate worship music, having penned some of the scene’s best-loved songs, is hard to sum up in one show. But that’s what the boys in the band did as 2009 closed, taking one of the finest proponents of modern worship music with it into the history books. All the classics feature on the double disc CD and DVD chronicles of the final stage outing of Delirious? It’s hard to sniff at a set list that includes Majesty, Historymaker and Deeper among the many other Delirious? favourites. It’s more than just an album, though. Including some fine worshipful moments amid the madness of a rock and roll show, the overriding sense of emotion
comes right through the recording. The fabulous rendition of Majesty will have the hairs stood up on the back of your neck, and indeed the whole way down your spine. Historymaker provides Martin Smith with an opportunity to pass the Delirious? torch to a very willing crowd. That’s the theme for this last offering from the band. All over the packaging sits the latin ‘Fabula est Vestri’, meaning, ‘The story is yours.’ Perhaps that’s what made Delirious? so special. They were always convinced that it was never about them. All in all, this is an inspiring last look at one of the Christian scene’s giants. There’ll never be another Delirious? and this Farewell Show recording proves that they went out right at the top of their game. Price: CD £14.99 DVD £14.99 • Label: Furious? • 2CDs 21 tracks DVD 22 tracks
Surrender Marc James Better known as the frontman of Christian rockband Verra Cruz, Marc James is a talented singer songwriter. This is his debut solo worship project, and from the outset his soulful voice shines. Packed with heartfelt lyrics and an edgy feel for a worship album, Surrender is a great record, especially if you feel stuck in a creative rut. It has a clear link to the grunge feel of Verra Cruz’s albums. Price: £12.99 • Label: Survivor • CD 10 tracks
The4Points Theband w it hnoname The release of The4Points marks the end of Thebandwithnoname after nearly a decade producing tracks that have caught the attention of listeners around the world. It’s a great best of, featuring some new tracks alongside old favourites and it serves as a timely reminder of the brilliant songs which the everchanging line-up has produced over the years. Price: £14.99 • Label: Elevation • CD 20 tracks
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STORIES GOOD NEWS
VE CLUSI g D EX about bein to New Life WORL l band d’ Welch talks heavy meta 40p • Issue 197 JULY 2010
LUS part in P 10,000 take event major prayer groups do
Revival School Evg. Roz Day will be holding a
ONE DAY ‘REVIVAL SCHOOL’ Saturday 2nd October, 10 – 4pm ‘The Factory’ Elim Christian Centre, SALISBURY
In her ministry around the world, Roz has seen 1000’s saved (many by personal ministry) 100’s healed & churches set on fire by God’s Holy Spirit, come & be empowered.
Christian people London.” Timms MP, still ousand T E N t h pray last month Stephen surgery to g from to be a flocked recoverin stabbed in May, that aims at an event a 500-day prayer after beingmake GDOP his catalyst for chose to ic appea ra nce . campaign of Ch r ist ia ns f i rst publattack. He said: Crowds Ham’s since the greatly helped d at West congregate ground for the “I’ve been large number of Upton Parkof Prayer (GDOP) by a very for me. Global Day people prayingfan of Global in London. mayor Boris “I’m a big It’s a wonThe capital’s the event Day of Prayer. n and reattended Johnson ulated those Church derful celebratio fact the and congrat flects the in London and is turned up. paswho had “I believe is growing y diverse group He added: the message a remarkabl ons, but one in that sionately faith is that congregati of in Christ.” of the Christian back if you their faith are planning a come possible you can Leaders that will the best there don’t get prayer campaign1 this year life, because you. August start in to he lp run from 31, 2011. a re people Ch ristian it y to December That’s whatand that’s what me Inset, means to Day of Prayer. the Global uctions Photography
meet the Comedian Who Won’t YED FOR HIM GiVe YoU HEN DOC PRA the BLUes! ED DEAD...T
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A n s w e r s
eLIM e X PerTs K eeP YOU POs TeD
You ask the questions for elim experts to answer. This month’s writer: Michael Meyers, who is senior pastor of the river Church, exeter, with his wife Marion
Believe in God, but keep taking your medication I’m diabetic, but I believe that God wants to heal me. My friends have had a release of faith and prayed over me. Should I stop taking my medication? Jesus is certainly the healer for the whole man! He is moved with compassion when he sees us in pain and discomfort and this is evident through the release of faith that your friends have sensed toward you. After all, God uses people to accomplish his work on the earth. Thank God for giving us godly friends that care for us and pray for us! Taking medication or not taking medication is not a sign of the presence of faith nor a sign of the lack of faith. Our faith is based in our relationship with God and the promises of God’s word, not in stopping our medication. when Jesus healed people in the gospels he commanded them to show themselves to the priests where they would inspect and verify that the healing had taken place. In like manner, I would suggest that you go to your doctor to verify whether the manifestation of your healing has taken place. Once verified and on his advice you can stop taking your medication. If however your condition remains unchanged then don’t be discouraged. Keep on believing God and taking your medication. Why do people talk about the Holy Spirit ‘coming’ into a meeting? I thought he was there already? Psalm 139:7 says, ‘where could I go from your spirit? Or where could I flee from your presence?’ God’s omnipresence means he fills the universe in all its parts and is present everywhere at once so there is no place to go where God is not already there. so when we meet together God is already present,
but he may not be manifestly present. For example there is always a certain level of moisture in the atmosphere around us even though we are unaware of it – like God’s omnipresence. Moisture however intensifies in certain areas and manifests as clouds or mist. To be in these clouds or mist would make its presence ‘felt’. This is likened to God’s ‘coming’ into a meeting where he makes his presence felt. The Holy spirit does not come into a meeting for our sensual pleasure or some Charismatic frivolity. He comes into our meetings for a purpose. The more we can discern why he is present the more effective our meetings will be. My youth group are trying to stop me going out with a girl just because she’s not a Christian. Is that not the same kind of misguided ideological approach to humanity that led Hitler to attempt to ‘cleanse’ the world of Jews? I don’t think you can liken your youth group’s motives to the ideology of an evil leader. Your youth group care for you and your prospective girlfriend by giving you God’s counsel. 2 Cor 6:14 says we shouldn’t become emotionally connected with people who hold different belief and value systems to us. Although you may both have some commonality of values, they may not have the same priority as each other. For example you may have a common interest: she may want to spend her sundays with you while you will want to put God first by going to church. The tension caused by this means that either you will compromise and live ‘emotionally’ or follow Jesus and live ‘principally’ [based on his word]. This becomes true of the places you go, the people you
hang out with, how you spend your money, what music you listen to, how far you go physically etc. God calls this emotional connection being ‘yoked together’. whatever you are yoked to you will carry the burden of. Before you become yoked to this relationship you need to consider how it will burden your life. I really want to help my church grow, but I’m convinced that any feedback I give will be perceived as unwanted negativity. Why do churches seem to want to hear only positive comments? The simple answer is that your leaders are probably acutely aware of the gaps and shortcomings in the church’s activities and feel much more burdened by this than you do. They carry the vision of God in their hearts and are working it out to the best of their abilities with the limited human and financial resources they have available to them. They are probably doing the best they can. Church leaders are also used to being criticised for almost every reason under the sun with the critics offering no solutions and no help to ease the burden they carry. It’s easier to break down than build. I suggest that if you aren’t already, become involved in your church by giving of your time, talent, treasure and tongue. Get under the weight of glory that God has placed on your leaders and as a co-worker labour with them. Learn obedience! Once you carry the heart of your leaders then they will be more open to hearing what you have to say. earning this ‘right to speak’ may take years. Finally, when you do bring feedback to your leaders ALwAYs bring solutions with you. Best of all, be the solution by being a gap filler instead of a gap finder!
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A N D F I N A L LY . . . by John Lancaster
Getting through to God Little Miss Jones was both perplexed and irritated. She had phoned the church office but only the voice on the answering machine responded. Three times she tried to call and then her frustration proved too much. ‘Why don’t you answer me?’ she cried. ‘I know you’re there, I can hear you! Don’t be so rude!’ Most of us have suffered the same frustration in having to listen to a metallic litany of absences. Or, even more likely, we’ve been urged to ‘press one, or two, or six’ to be led down IT corridors in order to gain entrance to electronic offices which seem permanently closed while canned music fails to calm our increasing impatience and a repetitive voice intones, ‘All our operators are busy, thank-you for waiting!’ So much for ‘advanced’ modern communications. In a hotel room thousands of miles from home, I turned on the TV and found – a preacher! ‘When you want to get in touch with God,’ he said, ‘you won’t get a voice saying, “Please leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible” or a celestial PA who says, “I’m sorry, he’s in a meeting at the moment, how can I help?” God says, “Call to me and I will answer you!”’ (Jer 33:3). Unlike the great men and women of the world who make sure they are inaccessible to ordinary mortals and difficult to reach
even by their equals, the Lord of all the earth is always available to those who seek him with all their heart. Interestingly enough, that message to Jeremiah came when he was in prison for preaching the truth. His position was precarious, but it was as though the Lord called him on his mobile and said, ‘Look, I know you’re in a difficult situation, but don’t forget, I’m always on call. The lines are always open. Keep in touch!’ The psalmist has explored the availability of God in Psalm 91 – the one that talks about living in ‘the secret place of the Most High’. In verse 15 he anticipates God’s promise to Jeremiah with almost identical words, but at the same time stresses the human factors which are necessary: ‘because you have made the Lord your dwelling place (v9)… because he holds fast to me… because he knows my name...’ (v14) a believer can be sure his prayer will be answered. True, there are times when we don’t seem to ‘get through’ in prayer, but that is not due to God’s reluctance to hear us. Sometimes he puts us ‘on hold’ in order to test the genuineness of our desire for him; sometimes the reason lies in our own failure to persist (Matt 26:40), and sometimes in satanic opposition (Dan 10:12-13; cf. Eph 6:12). But there may be other reasons – note also Psa 66:18.
It is simple trust and obedience, not status or achievement that make access to God possible – ‘this poor man cried and the Lord heard him’ (Psa 34:6). Moreover, God desires more than 999 calls. While he says, ‘Call on me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you’ (Psa 50:15), he also loves, like every earthly father and mother, those leisurely calls from the family when the children ring up and simply chat (Matt 6:6), and those calls from his servants when they just want to ‘talk shop’ (see Jeremiah 29:1114). To that end he has provided in Jesus someone always on hand to lead us into his holy presence (Heb 10:19-22). Asked what song he liked best in church that morning, a little boy replied ‘God is still on the phone!’ He was not far wrong – both the throne and the ‘phone’ are always available to faith. The lines are always open.
‘When you want to get in touch with God, you won’t get a voice saying, “Please leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible”’
‘Satan was out to kill me’
Suzette Hattingh is back on her feet after a year ministering from a wheelchair ALSO Peterborough • Silverdale • Ledbury • Manchester
ever y mon th
‘Jesus became real to me’
Top darts player hits bulls-eye
Faith helps former champion turn his life around
Planting the kingdom of God in Britain’s worst dive estates Faith breaks cycle of violence, crime and guilt
e itiv os ep b to ng ali se he ho r c o I f
Ever thought of Bible college? Just because you’re called doesn’t mean you’re prepared, says Nigel Tween
Looking for God?
Elim helps with brilliant new gospel website ALSO Haiti • France • Halesowen • Newcastle
foc AFT us ER
We talk to rock musician turned worship leader, missionary & Bible Week guest, Lara Martin
How iPrayer is becoming an integral part of Mark Pugh’s online day
Get your Elim’s interactive prayer communityDirec
eli ev eG
IP SH S? LEIOU ith CIPLIR tin sSumieew DISDE Mar isinterv
Manchester • Halesowen • Timothy Initiative
w ro ab te a ou b t it oo ! k
Shell Perris tells how faith transformed her life
b y jo m
Beverley Trotman • Barry Killick • Neil Hudson
PL O YE
Megachurch leader talks about ministry
God healed my anorexia
Church took a chance on me
My Mum’s got dementia
But it made my faith grow stronger, says Sheila Jacobs
The Evangelicals must be heard Believers are getting political, says J John
Church growth explosion rocks Ethiopia How one Elim church is helping meet the need for leaders
IT IQ U A r sh
at The Gathering 1,700 young people head for Telford and an uncompromising message
AoG’s National Leader to speak at Elim Conference
DYING TO LIVE
‘I see a time of miracles again in the UK’
MAY 2010 Issue 104 £1.70
The penny drops when people see Christ’s grave in Jerusalem, says Richard Meryon
Stratford • Senegal • Greenock • Llanelli
THE TOMB IS EMPTY!
Fashion’s size zero ideal is dangerous
‘Perfect proportions’ are bad for us, says Rachel Tween
E THIP &H KES CK ICL O in TRIP MR ity PACHA istiansulaend IS SDT S Chr isIre
Meet the ladies determined to help Blackpool’s homeless
Sally Livingstone’s gripping account of ministry to addicts
Reaching out, come rain or shine
We interview key national leader, Dr Joseph Serwadda
JULY 2010 Issue 106 £1.70
Over 24% attend ‘Born Again’ churches ‘My horrific abuse turned into hope’
APRIL 2010 Issue 103 £1.70
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b Explosive growth rocks Uganda
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