church nottingham

by Roy Todd

Losing perspective on life is an easy mistake that even the best among us can make. There are all kinds of perceptions which can conspire against what’s true, causing us to miss the reality of what is really going on. 

A loss of proper perspective usually results in an over-exaggeration of a challenge – or – a failure to recognise the seriousness of the current course. Either can be very dangerous and will eventually lead us to destinations we were never meant to visit. Over the years, I’ve seen people make rash & foolish decisions based on false perspectives. Too many times, those same people ended up living in deep regret because only afterwards did they realise how badly wrong they’d got it. Misunderstanding, insecurity and suspicion all create sinister illusions when the eyes of our heart fail to see God’s grace on the horizon.

So how do you maintain some kind of proper perspective on life, especially in the more challenging times? Here are four thoughts…

1) Watch out for tiredness

Sounds simple, right? But this one is big….REALLY BIG. Not getting enough sleep will cloud your judgment and blur your focus. It is imperative we learn to rest well. The lack of it can be catastrophic, both mentally and physically. Be sure to give this some serious attention.

2) Guard your heart

You are the gate keeper of your heart. No-one else can do this for you. YOU decide what goes in. YOU decide what stays out. So guard it ferociously. Get around those who build your confidence rather than pull it down. A healthy heart will help you maintain a healthy perspective on life. The company you keep is crucial here.

3) Recognise the danger of isolation

Isolation is fake. There, I said it. It makes YOU the centre. It teaches you bad habits. Thing is…the perceived vulnerability of community is nothing compared to the real danger of aloneness. Sure, there are times when you need your own space. But all the time?? No, that’s not healthy. It’s also how you completely lose perspective on life. Don’t cut yourself off from reality. Never good. Ever.

4) Make God’s grace your refuge 

Have the courage to believe the best. Then never stop believing it, no-matter what. This is not just about being positive. It’s about seeing God’s grace in every situation. That’s the grace which saved you. It’s also the same grace which others need too. When we learn to extend a little grace, it helps us gain God’s perspective on life. Suddenly, everything makes some kind of sense.

Whatever you do, don’t believe the first thing your emotions tell you. They’re SOOO fickle. God’s word is true. That’s the perspective that really matters.


church nottingham

by Roy Todd

Many years ago, I spent some time teaching at churches and colleges in India. After one particularly rough bout of illness which lasted a couple of days, we got on the road again to speak at an event that evening. En route, I was powerfully overcome with hunger the like of which I’ve never experienced before. My body craved food to the point of desperation since I hadn’t eaten for the past 48 hours. Strangely enough, I really fancied a slice of pizza. But in rural India, there’s never a pizza joint around when you need one…at least that’s what I thought. Yet as we drove along that lonely country bypass, suddenly in the distance a sign appeared which looked like it said ‘PIZZA HUT’. I seriously wondered if I was just hallucinating at first. But true enough, it was an actual pizza restaurant. I quickly requested the driver to pull in…and all I can say is that I consumed the finest slice of the round stuff I’ve ever eaten in my life. My gosh it was good!

Hunger is a powerful feeling. It alerts us to what we need. Jesus spoke about hunger in his famous ‘beatitudes’. He said ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.’ (Matt 5:6).

When you’re physically hungry, you don’t have to be told to eat. No, you actively search for food. The same is true for spiritual hunger. I believe God is looking for a generation who are hungry enough to seek him, to serve his purpose, to grow in faith and to make a difference. 

Apathy is the sign of a lack of hunger. It has no appetite and is therefore uninterested in experiencing real fulfilment. It disengages from seeking because it is self-satisfied. There’s nothing more uninspiring than being in a culture which has no interest in seeing more.

At the Junction Church, I don’t ever want us to become apathetic. I really like being around people who have a hunger to learn and develop. It’s the most refreshing thing to do life with those who are really hungry for growth. That’s the kind of environment where fulfilment is found.

As we start out on a brand new year, my prayer is that we will experience a greater  hunger than ever before to see our towns and cities impacted with the life giving power of the gospel. I’m hungry to see more salvations, more healings, more miracles, more breakthrough’s. How about you?

Jesus promises that those who hunger for what’s right will not only be blessed, but they’ll be fulfilled. How hungry are you?


church leicester

by Roy Todd

Life is a series of seasons. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us of this truth when it says ‘To everything, there is a season‘. The problem for many people is that they get lost in transition. You see, seasonal changes are inevitable, but they’re rarely clear cut. They can even look uncertain at times. For example, it doesn’t suddenly stop being winter one day and then turn into spring the next. Transitions are far less pronounced than that. Just when you think spring has sprung, winter reappears again and hopes can feel dashed. The same is true in life.

Resist the temptation to despair when it feels like things are not working out for you. What looks apparent is not the real story. In the seeming chaos and upheaval, God is at work. There’s a shift happening in the atmosphere. You’re moving into a new season, even if it doesn’t seem obvious. It can be messy, inconvenient and can even feel a bit unsettling. But that’s ok. Stay the course and dare to keep trusting God. The transition will pass and you’ll eventually find your rhythm again.

Yet how many people have given up too soon? How many people have misread their situation and assumed that it would be better to bail out? Sadly, what then tends to happen is an aimless journey of wandering begins – without meaning and lacking vision – it eventually ends up in a pit of deep resentment. If only they’d held their nerve a little longer. The transition would have passed. There was a new season of opportunity ahead, but it was missed by yielding to fear.

Whatever you do, don’t miss your God given purpose! Life is too short to live in bitterness and disappointment. Seasonal transitions are part of the tension we have to manage. That’s just life. Every day, you get a little older & every morning you wake up, life has moved on a bit more. Instead of fearing change, embrace it. Trust God through the times when you’re not quite sure what’s going on. It’s ok for everything not to be ok. What matters most is that God has your back. Don’t get lost in transition. Be found in Jesus. That’s how you overcome (1 John 5:5).


church in leicester

by Roy Todd

I recently read some Christian blogs which were full of complaint about churches that have ‘hipster’ lights, punchy music & a ‘style’ that is not to their liking. Afterwards, I found myself thinking….SO WHAT??? In a world that’s in desperate need of the life giving hope of God’s good news, are these things seriously worth getting so angry about? I mean, in the grand scheme of things….really?? 

So what if some churches like a few lights? So what if there’s a bit of beat in the music? So what if some churches don’t conform to traditional ways of doing things – and sing songs that have been written in the last 2 years rather than 20 or 200 years ago? So what???

Surely what REALLY matters is that people are encountering the life transforming grace of Jesus Christ? Surely it would be better to celebrate churches that are courageously reaching out and impacting a generation with the greatest news on the planet? Surely the REAL travesty is that there are so many churches out there where new salvations are few and far between?

The Pharisees detested Jesus because he didn’t fit with their expectations of how things should be done. They even accused him of being a compromiser, or as they put it, a ‘friend of sinners‘ (Matt 11:19). But what was meant as a carping, sniping criticism was actually an unwitting compliment. You see, Jesus related to everyday people, used illustrations they could identify with and connected with their lives. Meanwhile, religion loves to stay in it’s own little theologically correct bubble and feels better about itself when it is pontificating about what it doesn’t approve of. Every Christian would do well to take care not fall into it’s pit. It’s a death trap in which many churches today are paying a heavy price, their very existence on the edge of extinction.

If we’re going to win a generation, then the Church (capital C) is going to need to shake itself out of complacency and recapture the raw heart & essence of Jesus message. Think for a moment about the first line of the most well known verse in the bible – ‘For God so loved the world‘. That one statement tells us everything about the ONE we worship. If it matters to him, it ought to matter to us. In the end, that’s what REALLY matters.


church leicester


It’s better to be underestimated than overestimated. When expectations are too high and unrealistic, disappointment is inevitable. What’s really important is what happens behind the scenes. To be victorious in life, you must win here first.

The bible character who illustrates this best is King David. Before he became king, he was deeply underrated. This was something he’d experienced all his life. For example, when Samuel was looking for a new king in the land, all of David’s brothers were in line first before David was eventually chosen (1 Samuel 16). Years later, when the Philistine champion Goliath taunted and humiliated the armies of Israel, David’s offer to confront him was treated with complete scorn (1 Samuel 17). Then when he finally stood on the field to face Goliath, the colossal giant was insulted by a kid who he looked down upon with utter contempt. What infuriated Goliath all the more was the fact that David only had a sling and some stones, wearing none of the usual armour a soldier would carry. However, in those next few moments, history was made as an astonishing victory took place. With one stone, David hit the giant and subsequently defeated the Philistine armies. Wow. With one stone!!

So….was this a fluke? Was it luck? Not at all. Behind the scenes, David was totally prepared for this battle. What Goliath didn’t know was that David had already defeated a bear and a lion (1 Samuel 17:34). Furthermore, David was highly skilled in the art of sling throwing. It is said that David’s skill would have been so accurate that he could have hit a target from a significant distance and with incredible precision. So in reality, whilst David was perceived as the underdog, the real disadvantage lay with the nine foot giant. He was an easy target for David that day. David was more than happy to be seen as the underdog. You see, status didn’t matter to him. What really counted was victory.

Underdogs are underrated because they are perceived as weak. But the perception is often flawed. When people aren’t aware of the battles you’ve been through in life, they often underestimate what you’re made of.

Before we planted the Junction Church, we hosted a series of Sunday night meetings in a small village. On reflection, those two years were the toughest of our lives. In that short time, we dealt with virtually every issue it was possible for leaders to deal with. The pressure was great and it nearly broke us. I can’t begin to describe what we went through there. Yet as painful as it was, it was absolutely necessary we passed that test. When we went on to plant the Junction Church, we were prepared for what lay ahead. Why? Because we’d been through the fire and not only survived…but thrived. We gained invaluable experience which prepared us to build a community that would be strong and healthy. 

What happens behind the scenes of your life REALLY matters. If you want to live in a place of victory, then this must be fought for when no-one else is looking. The battle is in your mind. It’s also imperative to overcome the struggles in your heart. When we deal with these well, that’s when we’ll triumph in life. Nothing will be able to stop you. When you learn to win those unseen battles, they create a steel inside you which prepare you for your key moments. You see, the real victory happens when we win while no-one else is looking. 



by Roy Todd

Anyone who is willing to raise their head above the parapet and be subjected to intense public scrutiny is worthy of respect. Yet, as our nation finds itself facing one crisis after another, it is genuinely concerning to observe how febrile the political culture has become. This creates a growing sense of marginalisation where any alternative viewpoint is derided with scorn – and a road ahead which presents some very real challenges for democracy. 

An unhealthy political system is what lies at the heart of the problem, not democracy itself. It is egotistical, self indulgent, self righteous and antagonistic. Take a look at social media and you can often see this up close and personal. Hate filled put downs are what are increasingly passing for political discourse. Gracious discussion and measured reasoning are becoming less and less common, giving way to the spectacle of wild hysteria and yobbish behaviour. It seems that it is easier to smear an opponent’s character than engage in civil conversation. As Eleanor Roosevelt once observed, ‘Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.‘ 

It is difficult to recall ever having witnessed such incendiary politics in our nation. Any attempt to silence those who might hold a different point of view will concern everyone who cares about freedom and democracy. By all means should ideas be robustly challenged and alternatives presented. But Voltaire was right when he said ‘I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it‘. 

Our nation is the poorer because of a political system that has moved from adversarial to antagonistic. Politicians would be wise to think very carefully when they condemn hate speech – as hatred has become the language of their own profession. Those in power set the tone and people ultimately follow. Moral authority is earned through what is modelled more than maligned. That is why the vibe of political discourse desperately needs to change, and this begins with those in leadership taking responsibility and demonstrating a better way.

Meanwhile, in the midst of the political turmoil, it is always helpful to keep a healthy perspective of God. Proverbs 14:34 says ‘Doing what is right exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.’ We would do well to pray that God will help our nation. How we need his grace.




junction church leicester

by Roy Todd

At the Junction Church, we believe in the importance of water baptism. This is something which every follower of Jesus is privileged to experience. It was widely practised by the early church. Even before then, it was taught by John the Baptist, a man who truly lived up to his name and baptised thousands of people in the river Jordon. 

The vast majority of churches today maintain the practice of baptism, believing it to be both biblically compelling as well as an important profession of faith. But what is baptism? Why is water used? And what is the significance of total immersion? Lets think about these questions.


Mark records in his gospel that John preached ‘a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins‘ (Mark 1:4). Here, we learn that baptism is an outward sign of a life that is freed from sin. To ‘repent’ simply means to turn around, to change direction, to walk away from selfish living and to journey instead on the path of Godliness.

The connection between repentance and baptism is highlighted yet again in Acts 2. Here, as Peter was preaching to a large crowd, he told them to ‘repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins‘ (Acts 2:38). Of course, the act of being baptised in itself cannot forgive sins. Baptism in the New Testament is always preceded by repentance. Therefore, it is a testimony to what has happened in our lives.


When a person is baptised in water, this symbolises the washing away of sin, hence the involvement of water. Baptism portrays an analogy between the physical cleansing of our bodies and the spiritual healing of our hearts.

There is nothing mystical about the water in which people are baptised. It is purely symbolical. The Greek word for Baptism is ‘baptizo’ – which literally means ‘to fully immerse’. Interestingly, it was a word used by sailers to describe a ship being drenched by waves during a storm. 

This picture of baptism by total immersion is clearly portrayed in the book of Acts where we’re told that Philip ‘went down into the water’ in order to baptise a government official (Acts 8:37). It is also highlighted in Jesus ministry too. Mark 1:10 says that after Jesus was baptised in the river, he ‘came up out of the water’. This strongly indicates that the proper practice of baptism involves full immersion in water, rather than mere sprinkling. Incidentally, what is fascinating about Jesus is that he didn’t need to be baptised, yet he was fully immersed anyway in order to demonstrate it’s importance for us. (Matthew 3:15 & 2 Cor 5:22).


In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he explains that ‘having been buried with him (Jesus) in baptism, you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead‘. (Colossians 2:12). This verse points out that baptism is symbolic of death and resurrection, the very reason why we can experience God’s forgiveness today. Therefore, being immersed in water is an identification with the death & burial of Jesus Christ. 

When a person is baptised in water, they are, in a sense, publicly declaring that they are dead to the old way of life. As Colossians 2:12 states, it means we are ‘buried with him (Jesus) in baptism.’ Thankfully though, the person being baptised is not left under the water for very long (only a fraction of a second!!). When they rise up again, this symbolises the birth of a new life in Jesus, the one who rose from the dead. This means we can live in hope, and water baptism powerfully illustrates this.


Yes, water baptism is something that a Christian only ever does once. Ephesians 4:5 tells us that there is just ‘one baptism’. Of course, baptism doesn’t lead to a sinless life. We still make mistakes and get things wrong. However, this does not mean that the bible provides us with an excuse to live sinfully. No, it actually encourages us to lean in to God’s grace where forgiveness and healing are always found. That’s why Paul says ‘we should no longer be slaves to sin‘ (Romans 6:6).


Baptism is an act of obedience because Jesus commanded us to do it. Just read what he said in Matthew 28:19. In the same verse, he also views baptism as an important part of our journey of discipleship (i.e. following him). It is always a sign of spiritual health when a Christian is willing to be baptised in water. Yes, it may require some courage, but it is the right thing to do and our lives are blessed for it.


We do dedicate babies at the Junction Church. However, we do not baptise very young children. The reason for this is that there is simply no scriptural precedent for it. While we don’t set an age restriction for baptism candidates, we do insist that each person clearly understands what they are doing. Ultimately, being baptised is a decision that those of the age of understanding must make for themselves. Unfortunately, infants are afforded no choice in this, and the idea of ‘confirmation’ is really not found anywhere in scripture. 

Of course, we would never wish to dishonour those who have had their newly born children baptised (or who themselves have been baptised as infants). However, we do strongly encourage everyone to search the bible for themselves, and choose to have their own experience of baptism. Even if you were baptised as an infant,  if you have subsequently decided to follow Jesus as an adult, then by all means get baptised by full immersion in water. This is totally appropriate.


We host baptism celebrations throughout the year at the Junction Church. Last year, dozens of people were baptised at these events. Our friends at Loughborough Baptist Church have very kindly invited us to use their building for our baptism services. These tend to happen on a mid-week (usually a Thursday). This is a very simple event which includes some upbeat worship songs, a short 10 minute message, stories from those who are being baptised and then the actual baptisms. 

Before each person is baptised, I (or a member of the team) will say these words: ‘According to the confession our your faith, we now baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’. After this, the baptism takes place. It only lasts a couple of seconds but it is always accompanied by lot of cheers afterwards as people celebrate this important step of faith.


If you would like to be baptised, get in touch with us ASAP. We’ll then give you some details on when the next Baptism celebration is going to be. Baptism is an amazing experience and it is totally worth doing. For more information, email:

leicester church

by Roy Todd

There is something mind numbingly tedious about the word ‘balance’. It is often hoisted up as the pinnacle of all correctness which absolutely must be achieved if we are to enjoy a peaceful and harmonious existence. My problem with this is that I don’t want to just exist…I want to LIVE!! I find that ‘balance’ kills creativity, stifles life and induces apathy.

A far more helpful word than ‘balance’ is ‘rhythm’. This is all about creating seasons of work and rest. Sometimes, life goes at 100 miles per hour. There are deadlines to meet, expectations to fulfil, responsibilities to honour, meetings to attend and about a million other things to do. Frankly, the last thing you can do in the midst of all this is to suddenly stop and then force your way into the middle ground of stillness. That’s just not how life works. Sure, the theory of this is great – but the practicality isn’t. The unrealness of it actually adds unnecessary stress and ends up doing more harm than good. 

However, thinking in terms of ‘rhythm’ is altogether better. It takes away the guilt you might feel when you’re in a season of busyness, whilst at the same time helping keep you disciplined and intentional about creating space for rest and play in your life. That latter is incredibly important, and is something that needs to be part of the beat in our seasonal rhythms.

Have you ever seen one of those big old grandfather clocks? The pendulum swings from one side to the other, maintaining momentum and keeping perfect timing. If the pendulum is balanced in the middle, it may give off the impression of quiet serenity….but that’s simply because the clock is not working! It’s utterly useless without movement. That’s exactly why it’s far better to create rhythms in our lives where the pendulum swings back and forth from relentlessness to rest, from pressure to peace, from chaos to calmness, from busyness to breathing space. Wise people work hard to create healthy rhythms that ease into one another. This is far more helpful than the monotony of ‘balance’.

Here are some really great words from Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 (the message translation). “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Forget balance. Think rhythm.


church leicester

by Roy Todd

In a nation that is as riven with divisions as ours, it’s refreshing to hear calls for unity growing ever louder. This is especially true of the UK Church. What better contrast to the apparent drifting apart of a nation than the coming together of the Church? 

However, one of the challenges with ‘unity’ is that while the intent behind it is honourable, it can so easily succumb to hysteria & rush. This is something which is never healthy for the long term. In the desire to model an alternative to the divisions of society, Church unity can end up being shallow, lacking authenticity & even appearing pretentious in the eyes of the very people it is meant to be reaching. 

When the surface of ‘unity’ doesn’t honestly acknowledge & address the deep undercurrents of toxicity lurking within it’s own waters, it accomplishes nothing. Unity is not an event. Nor is it even about church leaders meeting together for coffee, cakes & conferences. Great unity has everything to do with great culture, something which starts in the heart. It’s a lifestyle that genuinely champions & provokes others to greatness, far beyond the monotony of mere platitudes. It builds an environment where others can thrive instead of being suffocated by the self-righteous disapproval of religiosity.

No relationship can ever truly flourish in a culture that lacks affirmation. This tends to produce unhealthy unity, the kind that is more about what it’s against than for. Gossip is the glue that holds this kind of unity together. It is the most subtle killer of great culture in the Christian Church today, more so than is ever realised. Yet too often, it is given permission & acceptability, excused as mere small talk. Wise leaders understand that careless words are corrosive to great relationships. So they create a new normal in their everyday conversations, one that is disciplined in the art of building up rather than the crassness of tearing down. Ultimately, you reap what you sow.

The only way healthy church culture can ever truly develop is when leaders grow it in their hearts first. This challenges everything…demeanour, outlook, gossip, generosity, words, conversation, vibe. The weeds of cynicism get uprooted & replaced by the seeds of authentic faith. They take a while to plant and the growth can be slow, but what matters is that God looks at hearts, not gestures. This is where it all really begins and blessing is commanded.

When great culture grows on the inside, then great unity flourishes on the outside. The result? The city receives great life.

church leicester


I recently read an article which took aim at churches that pursue the value of excellence. The writer suggested church should be a messy environment reflecting the reality of a messed up world. Excellence, it was asserted, alienates people rather than connecting with them. 

Well, who could disagree with the importance of loving & reaching people where they’re at? But abandoning excellence is not the answer. Of course God accepts us as we are…but He loves us far too much to leave us that way.

I was born in west Belfast during the height of the Northern Irish troubles. I grew up in one of the most deprived areas in all of Europe. But what I observed during that time of conflict was the aspiration of a working class generation who dared to dream. They searched for something better than what they’d known up to then, resisting the patronising overtones of their middle class superiors which suggested they should “get used to the mess cos this is your lot”. So many of my peers sought to pursue a more excellent way because they longed to rise higher and go further in life. They had the audacity to believe for more..and so looked beyond the doldrums of despair toward a brighter future.

The point is…God never designed HIS church to pander to mediocrity, but rather to shine as a beacon of light in the fog of unbelief. As Paul says in 1 Cor 12:31, love offers ‘the most excellent way‘. We do a gross disservice to our towns and cities when we ever lower the bar and try to keep people where they are. That’s exactly what mediocrity does.

Excellence is a state of heart. It’s about doing the very best you can with what you have. It’s not about money. Nor is it about facilities and resource. It’s ALL about having a passion to help people reach their God given potential. A culture of excellence reflects the heart of a community which loves our world and wants to help others rise higher. We’ve seen this happen at the Junction Church over the past few years…where people have been so impacted by the culture that they’ve taken it into their families, schools, universities, work places & peer groups. Surely it’s this kind of gritty, everyday stuff that changes the world? Some call it ‘bringing the Kingdom’. We just call it ‘doing life well.’

If anywhere in the world ought to reflect excellence, it’s Church. It should never be thrown together in a shoddy, messy, untidy way. What inspiration is there in this? That’s why one of our values at the Junction Church is excellence…and we make no apology for it. It brings God glory when we create an environment that loves people, lifts their vision and helps them rise to greatness. That’s why excellence matters.