Unintended consequences of failure porn

I’m seven episodes into The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill and my feelings are more mixed than before. Not particularly towards the podcast itself. I have some questions about particular editorial choices in the more recent episodes, but I still feel it’s an important project, generally well-executed, and a valuable though painful listen. But…

Disciples or Devices?

I was in a meeting the other day, discussing how to rebuild community post-COVID. We were talking about how to encourage people – whether new visitors, or old-faithfuls returning to in-person services – to be an active part of the church, get involved in midweek groups, find a team to serve on, and so on….

Unwanted retronyms and the physicality of preaching

Retronym (noun). A new term created from an existing word in order to distinguish the original referent of the existing word from a later one that is the product of progress or technological development. An acoustic guitar was simply a ‘guitar’ until the electric version was created. Then a new name was needed for the…

The Spirit Filled Life: Empowered for Mission

The resurrected Jesus stood before his disciples and breathed upon them, giving them the Holy Spirit. In this talk, Liam considers the significance of this strange act, and looks at how Jesus sends us out with his message of forgiveness. Audio:  Listen or download Here is a small-group practice to help you reflect on and…

The Spirit Filled Life: Not by Power or Might

The prophet Zechariah saw a strange vision of olive trees and lampstands, and heard a promise of a new temple. In this talk, Liam unpacks Zechariah’s vision and looks at what it means to build, not by might or power, but by God’s Spirit. Audio:  Listen or download. Here is a small-group practice to help…

A Church Called Tov

Some reflections on A Church Called Tov, by Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer

The Spirit Filled Life: Order from Chaos

The Bible begins with the Spirit of God hovering over the chaotic waters and bringing forth order and life. In the first talk of our new series, Liam considers how the Holy Spirit empowers us to continue his work today. Listen or download To read more about the story of Pastor Mick Fleming from Burnley,…

NASA, Nigella and the power of the table

I’ve recently spoken and written on loneliness and the idea of church as family. In summary, I’ve argued that we have a deep need for human connection, and when we lack it, we experience loneliness like a deep aching hunger. One of the central symbols of the church is a table around which we gather,…

Church for a lonely city

On Sunday I spoke on the subject of church as family, and I argued that the church is God’s means for meeting one of humanity’s greatest needs – strong, deep relational connection. It is to be the place where, as Psalm 68:6 says, ‘God sets the lonely in families.’ This should be great news for our…

Kingdom Come: Family (Mark 3)

Loneliness in an epidemic, which leaves us feeling empty, and points to our deep need for human connection. In this talk, Liam considers how the church is God’s plan for dealing with the problem of loneliness, by placing the lonely in families. Listen or download audio