Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordling check on expository sermons.

Bloggers at the moment seem to be fascinated by Wordles.

I thought this might be a good way to do a rough check on an expository sermon as to whether the sermon hits the same themes as the text....

Here's the wordle of my sermon from Mark 4:35-5:43 on Sunday

Here's the wordle of the ESV text that I preached from:

Mmmn, had I made death bigger than Jesus in the sermon, when it doesn't even appear on the wordle of the text? I don't think so! I think that the whole text is about Jesus authority over the realm of death, and so many of the other words on the text world (unclean, tombs, afraid, shackles, chains, disease, demon-possessed, dead, blood) are about death, our fear of it and the shadow it casts.

Wordles are interesting, but if we just look for the biggest words, we might fail to see the whole atmosphere that is created by a text with groups of words that are associated with one big theme. The word at the centre of the theme doesn't appear in this text until the very end - the death of Jairus' daughter.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sermons now available online

So, the Twynholm website is really shaping together now, and sermons are available for download
and podcast here

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Induction service

Pictures from my induction service are available here

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Church Website

Our new website at is now up. It is still a work in progress (pretty much just a homepage at the moment.) some of the other content that will appear there is available at

I think the new site looks rather good... Well done Leigh and Jeffrey!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A church where people have come to faith

One of the hugely encouraging things about the church I now serve is the large proportion of the congregation who came to faith through the ministry of the church.
I have started meeting with members of the congregation and interviewing them in a similar kind of way to how I would interview someone applying for membership.
The first four I interviewed, all in their 20's/30's were all saved at Twynholm. Emma through door to door evangelism. Leigh, now her husband, through Emma's witness. Marcos through door to door evangelism. Faye, now Marcos's wife through friends in the youth group at Twynholm.
My guess is that about half of the membership came to faith here. I pray that the Lord would continue to use us to bring many more to faith.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Great quote from Spurgeon for a new pastor

Young pastor, preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace... by not gossiping with your people. So says Spurgeon (HT: DG):
It is the extreme of unwisdom for a young man fresh from college, or from another charge, to suffer himself to be earwigged by a clique, and to be bribed by kindness and flattery to become a partisan, and so to ruin himself with one-half of his people. Know nothing of parties and cliques, but be the pastor of all the flock, and care for all alike. Blessed are the peacemakers, and one sure way of peacemaking is to let the fire of contention alone. Neither fan it, nor stir it, nor add fuel to it, but let it go out of itself. Begin your ministry with one blind eye and one deaf ear.

(HT: Thabiti)