Do you live in the shadows or in the sun? If you take a few minutes to consider the highs and lows of your life so far, how do you think it adds up? We all want to live on ‘victory hilltop’ but often find ourselves in the ‘valley of defeat’. This can be related to achievements, finances, relationships, moral decisions, faith and our walk with God. Rather than being a steady progression, for many Christians life seems more like a game of ‘Snakes and Ladders’ – one minute riding high and the next crashing down a spiral of disappointment when apparent success has given way to abject failure. This woodland walk is beset with pitfalls from unseen hazards in the shadows but there is a better path heading towards the light. How to get on the path where gains outweigh losses and victory triumphs over defeat?
Think back to the last time you had some tough news and consider how it affected you. How did you take it? We can adopt various coping strategies consciously or unconsciously – glib denial, rejection with anger or accepting it with faith. People talk about ‘taking it on the chin’, but does that mean with or without trusting God? Can you think of someone you know who has accepted bad news well? How about being told that you were like a mighty tree that blessed many people but that you were going to be cut down to a mere stump, bound with iron and bronze? Not a pleasant thing to be told but this is what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon 605-562 BC. None of us likes being ‘cut down to size’ let alone the idea of our recovery being prevented for seven years but it was the precursor to great things for the man who is famed for the ‘hanging gardens of Babylon’. You can read about this in Daniel 4. Perhaps you are facing hard news now – could this be a ‘tree stump moment’?
“Years of development and trials which began in 2008 led to the launch of C4L Online in 2015 - a new set of free ministry online and app resources. From Easter 2017, there is now a free high-tech extensive set of outreach and discipleship resources to match the established hard copy versions.” – Olaf Fogwill, Ministry Director with Connect4Life
This features two free apps – MY CONNECTIONS for discipleship and BEST CONNECTIONS for outreach – which accompany two short courses, TCL and ABC.
“Five years on, Pentecost 2015 seemed an ideal time to bring out a new set of free ministry online and app resources. Church Connections sets out to help churches make multiple connections within their communities” – Olaf Fogwill, Ministry Director with Connect4Life
Countless Christian parents and church leaders suffer the constant pain of lost contact with their prodigals. Back in 2007, research from Tear Fund showed 16 million people have stopped attending church – the lost generation. Findings from new research released today gives in depth insights from people who have reconnected and from church leaders about the causes and possible solutions.
A panel of 16 national church leaders has come together to reflect on the data from research carried out by Connect4Life for the wider church to address this problem. The list of commentators includes Bishop Graham Cray (Fresh Expressions), Michael Harvey (Back To Church Sunday originator) and Debbie Thrower (TV Presenter), with other leading figures from denominations and youth ministries.