Clergy Reviews – Realistic and Hopeful? by Vivian Coleman

Vivian Coleman is a Presbyterian minister who has also served in the Baptist context. She is passionate about supporting pastoral leaders.

How do the insights and systems of the business sector inform the management practices of the Christian church? About five years ago, I began studying Human Resources Management in the corporate world, and enrolled for Masters of Business with a view to researching how churches practice evaluation and accountability of their clergy. I had participated in or observed pastor review processes that were helpful, as well as some that were painful, or inadequate, Continue reading

Imagination – Our Last Remembering

I wrote the following poem a few weeks ago for the funeral of a woman from the Bryndwr part of The Village Church – thus some of the specifics come from her story.  I wrote it as an imaginative exercise as I thought about the flash of memory that seems to be a common element in the experience of dying – at least that is what those who didn’t quite die tell us!

The invitation for those of us who remain, I suggest, is to accumulate memories for that final flash of memory.  Continue reading

Review: Church Refugees

Church Refugees:
Sociologists reveal why people are DONE with church but not with faith
by Ashleigh Hope and Josh Packard, Group, 2015

Reviewed by Wayne Matheson

Do you know that thought you have that something is going on; you have your own suspicions or ideas…and then you read something and have one of those ‘aha’ moments? I had seen, heard others talking, and wondered about the stories that lie behind statistics…for it seemed to me I was becoming aware of a group of people who had been activity engaged in the church, and then left. They still had faith…just that they were done with church. Continue reading

Influences: J I Packer – Spiritual Mentor and Guide

By Stephan van Os

Looking back on some 40+ years of Christian discipleship there are various significant marker points which on reflection turned out to be not only significant but life changing. Such was my encounter with the work of J I Packer. To this day I can recall the moment when I was browsing through the theology department of the Otago University library and spotted what looked to be a new book in the midst of a whole bunch of fairly old and dusty tomes. It was the recently published hardcover edition of Packer’s Knowing God.

At that time I had not been a Christian all that long. The title looked promising so I checked it out of the library and took it back to my digs. There I proceeded to devour its contents. It was life changing. Continue reading