John’s Sabbatical

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September 9th – Worldviews

by John Smuts

I had thought I had finished my Sabbatical posts but here is one last one before I write up a report for the LT at church. Two books have both referred to a helpful framework about worldviews in mission across the globe. Brian Nelson leant me The 3D Gospel before I left for Sri Lanka […]

September 5th – Church Leadership

by John Smuts

Another issue I always asked about on my travels was church leadership – what forms of leadership they were used to and which forms seem to be most effective in South Asia. Across Sri Lanka, North and South India, I got pretty much the same answer. The mainline churches were characterised by weak and ineffective […]

September 3rd – Living in England

by John Smuts

“… Upon this charge, cry ‘God for Harry! England and Saint George!” (Henry V) For centuries England has been a Christian nation. By that I mean that our Kings & Queens have been Christians, the state church has been Christian and our government has privileged the Christian religion. Whether England ever was a truly Christian nation […]

September 2nd – Good News!

by John Smuts

So much of the ministry we saw in South Asia was good news to the local community. Whether it was in the drug rehab centre working in the slums of Colombo or the Christian hospital treating snake bites in Varanasi, it was very good news to the locals. As a result such organisations are thought […]

September 1st – Expectancy

by John Smuts

One of the things that impressed me while away was the level of expectancy among believers in South Asia. This is certainly one positive aspect of Pentecostalism that I hope we can learn from in the UK. Generally speaking there is a simple (again, not naive) faith in God and in the gospel of Jesus […]

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 […]