Latest News

  • How to handle conflict in your church like Jesus

    Conflict in churches can be horrible. We are, after all, supposed to be able to get on with each other, and most of the time we do. Relationships can be close, friendships warm, trust absolute. When that's broken, it's really hard to deal with.
  • Five ways to help young people engage with the Bible

    A recent LifeWay research report published in the States earlier this month identified regular Bible reading as one of the top 10 factors that help young people keep the faith as they grow into adulthood. In fact, the report identifies reading Scripture as the most significant indicator of 'spiritual health' among young people.
  • The Christian way to cure your bad mood swings

    If you experience mood swings, you know how unpredictable your moods can be. Don't you just wish you knew how to deal with them once and for all? I'm pretty sure you do – especially if you realize just how troublesome they are.
  • One way God uses your spouse to change you

    God desires His children to become like Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. God is so committed to sanctifying and making all of us who believe in Christ holy, He will use each and every circumstance for it.
  • Jesus said 'Judge not...' So why are we so judgmental?

    I don't want to be a Mrs Mangel Christian. If that doesn't make any sense to you, then you probably didn't grow up in the UK or Australia in the 80s and 90s, and I should probably explain. Nell Mangel was the semi-villainous old busybody in long-running Aussie soap opera Neighbours, back when the show had an inexplicably enormous following. She was, at least according to her own recurring phrase, 'a good Christian woman', and it was apparently her faith which drove her interfering, occasionally malevolent actions. She didn't like the young people enjoying themselves too much; she tutted and told tales as the older characters became romantically involved. Essentially, she saw every individual as a person to be judged against her own high moral code, and every situation as an opportunity to be judgmental – where possible even dishing out a sentence too. This, for her, was the bedrock of the Christian life.
  • 'Reaching the unreached' – and other phrases guaranteed to alienate your community

    A newly-refurbished church near where I live has just had new signage done, in an effort to engage and draw in passers-by. They've got so much about it right: the colours aren't too garish, the type is clear; they've even managed to avoid the use of Comic Sans. The only real problem is the wording of the sign itself, which loudly proclaims the church's apparent mission statement. The slightly archaic church name is followed by six excruciatingly out-of-touch words which are presumably designed to entice and enthral, but actually do anything but: 'reaching the unreached of our community'.
  • Building on solid ground: 9 Bible verses about construction – and faith

    After the deadly destruction of the hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the reconstruction begins. Natural disasters are not new – they appear in the Bible, with Luke referring to Jesus' parable about the man who built his house on solid ground, on 'rock' so that the floods could not tear it down – an allusion to faith. What else does the Bible say about rebuilding, or specifically building?
  • Why the Church needs to reclaim Halloween

    My husband Mark and I are expecting our first child this autumn. While we are unbelievably excited and thankful for this little gift of new life, there's one thing (giving birth aside) that I'm a little bit nervous about: Baby McDonald is due to make an appearance on 31 October. Yes, our little boy's due date is Halloween.
  • Why every church should build a kids' holiday club into its mission plan

    I'm sitting in the middle of the stage at the front of my church, while nearly 200 children point at me and howl with laughter. I'm wearing a spectacularly unflattering orange t-shirt, not that you can see much of it, since gloopy blue gunge is currently running down my face and all over my clothes. There's mess everywhere; I and the rest of the team behind this debacle are in a constant state of near-chaos, and yet everyone in that packed room is having a profound – and perhaps even spiritual – experience.