Posts from August 2016

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September Blogs

by Rebecca Edward

To find out about the final leg of John’s sabbatical in India, click on the links below. September 1st – Expectancy September 2nd – Good News! September 3rd – Forever England September 5th – Church Leadership September 9th – Worldviews

August 30th – Theological Education & Training III

by John Smuts

The second, and far more serious problem, is that we focus on skills rather than character in our training. As I read Paul’s criteria for ‘overseers’ in 1 Timothy 3 I am struck by how they are all about character. There is only one that refers to an ability – able to teach. Even then […]

August 30th – Theological Education & Training II

by John Smuts

The first problem to address is not the most serious but needs to be faced first. And it is the need for more academically rigorous theological training. The world is changing and so the method of delivery may well change (e.g. More flexibility – part time, distance learning etc.) but there is a greater need […]

August 30th – Theological Education & Training

by John Smuts

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” That phrase is a constant frustration to church leaders. I understand the main point – change is painful,  so only make changes when it is necessary. I get that. Honestly. I do. However, it basically puts leaders in an impossible position. It means that, in order to advocate […]

August 28th – Help, I’m a celebrity, get me out of here!

by John Smuts

As we arrived at New Life Church (Avadi, in Chennai) the service had already started and so we were ushered inside. As we walked through the entrance we came across about 200 plastic chairs under a roof all facing the front and the place was already fairly full. Then I realised that this was just […]

August 26th – Pastoring the Pastors

by John Smuts

I know the photo looks like a sweating white man with a manic squint has been photoshopped into it but I was really there and I had just finished preaching. (I was especially hot because the electricity went off part way through – no fans – and also because I was wearing a shawl which […]

August 25th – the very bottom of India

by John Smuts

Pastor Joshua Vijayakumar runs a church planting ministry in India. To be more precise his vision is to plant churches that plant churches. Along with the Evangelical Church Growth Mission he runs the Timothy Training Association which runs groups around Tamil Nadu and across India. Therefore as we drove down to the very tip of […]

August 23rd – taking the bull by the horns

by John Smuts

Tomorrow I drive back to Madurai to spend some time with Pastor Joshua. Madurai is home of the famous Jallikattu (Tamil: சல்லிகட்டு, challikaṭṭtu / Jallikattu) an event held in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations ( their harvest festival in January). Bulls are bred specifically by people of the village for the event […]

August 22nd – Coffee

by John Smuts

I remember first trying coffee as a boy. It was so bitter that it needed several spoons of sugar. But it was a grown up drink. Adults drank it and it seemed to be the lubricant for social conversation. Plus it was that or tea. And to my mother’s disappointment (who drinks it by the […]

August 20th – Periyar Tiger Reserve

by John Smuts

Thanks to Joseph and Sharmilla I am enjoying a few days in Kerala, on the west coast of Southern India. Up in the hills it is much cooler here – well, 28 degrees in the day and 19 at night but that is cool compared to the plains of India. Back in tourist mode I […]