church nottingham

HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU? 
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?

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH NOTTINGHAM HERE.

church nottingham

FOUR THINGS TO PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR 
by Roy Todd

People sometimes ask me ‘how can I pray for you?‘. Truth is, every church leader needs all the prayer they can possibly get. It is both a massive joy to pastor a church, but it can also be an incredibly vulnerable experience too. 

The latter might sound surprising. But when your head is above that parapet, you’re immediately exposed to the harsh winds of critique & the raw edge of judgment. I guess that’s just par for the course in any form of leadership in life…yet in church leadership it carries the added dynamic of spiritual experience and emotional investment. Meanwhile as a church leader, you’re all too aware of your own flaws. They are out there for all to see and this is something which needs to be managed with humility & grace. After all, leaders are imperfect humans who don’t always get it right. Yet, the bible is clear that part of the role of spiritual leadership is to protect God’s church against unhelpful influences. This presents a tension which every pastor must manage between doing what you believe is right – and knowing that the heart behind this might be misunderstood. Ultimately, it’s God to whom leaders are accountable, and this sobering reflection concentrates the mind more than anything else. 

Any good shepherd will always watch out for wolves who pose as sheep. With deceptive charm and cunning subtlety, they pursue personal agenda’s, slowly turning good people against each other and creating division. In the first few years of pioneering the Junction Church, we encountered this challenge. I must be honest, I didn’t even always see it. Truth is, a fledgling community could easily have been devoured. But it is amazing how the Holy Spirit helps. I have no doubt there were people praying for me, and God graciously answered their prayers.

So if you want to pray specifically for your pastor, here are four key things to ask God to give:

1) Wisdom to see what God sees

2) Discernment to hear what God says

3) Courage to stand firm during the challenges

4) Grace to keep moving forward into God’s purpose

Remember, prayer works. So be intentional about it!!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH NOTTINGHAM HERE….COMING SOON.

church leicester

VISION UPDATE

We’re excited about what is happening in the Junction Church. In just five years, the church has grown to become a thriving community made up of over 30 nationalities, dynamic Sunday services in Loughborough & Leicester, and around 20 Life Groups which meet throughout the week.

If you’d like to listen to our most recent Vision Day talk, here it is below. Further down the page are the bullet points of everything it covers. Want to get involved? Email: amy@junctionchurch.net 

 

 

VISION DAY UPDATE

Some key developments over the past year

– The Junction Church has grown by over 25%

– New campus in Leicester city centre which is doing really well

– Summer Madness (social action programme)

– First album released 

– 350 decisions to follow Christ

– Dozens baptised

– Campus coordinator employed for one day per week

– Church suite (app) launched last January

 

Some of our key ministries in the Junction Church

– Brotherhood (men’s ministry)

– Sisterhood (woman’s ministry)

– Junction Kids

– MVMNT youth

– Students

– Equip (teaching ministry)

– Worship team

– Media Team

– Young Professionals

– Reach Team

– Prayer Team

– Encounter Team

 

​Key Dates

2017

– v3 conference 2017 (11-12 nov)

– christmas 2017 (all Sundays in December)

2018

– easter (Fri 30th March – Sunday 1st April)

– hillsong conference (wed 25th – fri 27th july)

– v3 conference 2018 (sat 10th – sun 11th nov)

Key vision goals for 2018

– grow healthy leaders

– grow healthy life groups

– grow healthy sunday services

– grow healthy community

– grow healthy culture

– grow healthy teams

– grow healthy ministries

– grow healthy resources

– grow healthy campuses

– grow healthy church

Key vision goals over next two years 

– employ people to serve in church 

– junction church academy (internship) (sept ’19) 

– new mid week life group in Nottingham (sept ’18) 

– transition Leicester to sunday morning (sept ’19) 

– pioneer sunday The Junction Church Nottingham (sept ’19)

More about our Nottingham Church HERE.

KEY NEEDS

FINANCE (FOR STAFF & RESOURCES)

STAFF

– CAMPUS COORDINATOR

– ADMINISTRATOR

– STUDENTS & YOUNG ADULTS COORDINATOR

– KIDS COORDINATOR

– YOUTH COORDINAtOR

 

RESOURCES

– EQUIPMENT (E.G. TABLETS, KIDS WORK)

– PA– VAN HIRE

– VENUE HIRE

– HQ & OFFICES

VISION OFFERING

SUNDAY 19TH NOVEMBER

give online anytime:

junctionchurch.net/give 

church leicester

LET’S TALK LEADERSHIP 
by Roy Todd

John Maxwell once observed that ‘everything rises or falls on leadership’. True as that is though, it’s one thing to know the theory of leadership – but quite something else to actually show leadership. In the Church, leadership starts and ends with love – the kind that works it’s butt off so that others can rise to fulfil their God given potential. 

Bad leadership is selfish, indecisive and lazy, only doing that which is convenient and self serving. It is mainly interested in competing for power and position without carrying the real weight of responsibility. However, this ultimately creates unhealthy culture which eventually drives good people away. After all, who wants to be around that?

Good leadership is about quietly getting on with it – high capacity, low maintenance, profoundly secure, developing strong initiative, resolving to learn & get better, reading the road ahead, spotting the potential pitfalls, steering away from pointless crisis & creating an environment where people can flourish. 

In essence, the less noticed the leader is, the better the leader. You see, its behind the scenes where great leaders cultivate great culture. They’re not looking for adulation or applause (only insecure ego’s search for that). The best leaders have a ‘just get on with it’ mindset and they are the living example of everything they speak about. They ai for excellence and do it with gladness because the cause they live for is far bigger than themselves. 

This is the kind of leadership we’re passionate about raising up at the Junction Church – gritty, real, creative, high calibre & committed to growing. It loves people enough to build an environment where others can prosper. The ultimate example of this kind of leadership? Jesus. He is our inspiration.

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH LEICESTER AND THE JUNCTION CHURCH LOUGHBOROUGH.

church leadership

LEADING FROM THE FRONT LINE 
by Roy Todd

Here are two quick stories which both illustrate great leadership…

1) During WW2, a new British general appeared on the scene who was unconventional in comparison to his predecessors. General Montgomery was largely disliked by the establishment – but deeply loved by his troops. The reason for both reactions was largely the same. Instead of being a theorist on the back lines, he insisted on leading from the front lines. Monty (as he was affectionately known) would travel from trench to trench and spend time chatting to his men, asking them questions about their wellbeing, enquiring how their families were and encouraging them in battle. It is said that Monty’s front line leadership boosted the morale of the British army and was a significant factor in their victory.

Great leadership is not about sending troops into battle. It’s about leading the way with courage and bravery. 

2) When I first started out in ministry at the age of 21, a man called Paul Weaver (then leader of the Assemblies of God) was a great encouragement to me. One day, he asked me for my preaching schedule and promised that he’d come and support me. I was amazed that a man like this with such a significant ministry would even contemplate such a thing let alone do it. The very sentiment was a boost to me! But true to his word, I happened to be speaking at a little church in a rough housing estate one night – and without any advance notice, in came Paul Weaver. He’d travelled quite a distance just to be there and when he arrived, he sat on the third row – but acted like was on the front row, encouraging me, cheering me on & willing me to do well. I can’t begin to explain what that did for my confidence as a young guy just launching out in ministry.

This man’s front line encouragement meant more to me than all the leadership training sessions in the world. He got out there and championed one of his own. 

Far too many people in this world want power and position without the pressure of responsibility. But great leadership is about getting out there, loving people, serving on the front lines, championing others, feeling their pain, embracing discomfort, taking some risks and selflessly willing people to succeed. THIS is great leadership. 

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH IN LOUGHBOROUGH AND THE JUNCTION CHURCH IN LEICESTER HERE.

Church Leicester

WHY WAS JESUS SO COMPELLING?
by Roy Todd

Lets talk about Jesus (my favourite subject!). He is the most compelling person the world has ever encountered. During his ministry, people flocked to listen to him.

Here are 7 reasons why he was so compelling…

1. He spoke “as one who had authority’

In other words, Jesus knew what he was talking about. This was unlike the confused message of the religious establishment who were all over the place. Yet in a world of confusion, his voice was crystal clear. Read more about this in Matthew 7:28-29.

2. He was relevant to people’s lives

The religious establishment tried to smear Jesus as a “friend of sinners” (Luke 7:34). But it unwittingly emphasised just how completely relevant he was (and how irrelevant they were). Jesus was a man of the people. He spoke a language they knew. They respected that.

3. He connected with people 

For example, Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector. This man was as corrupt as they get. Yet when Jesus met him, he didn’t harshly confront him. Instead, he spent time with him. It must have been a compelling conversation as Zacchaeus emerged with a resolve to give his wealth to the poor and repay those he’d swindled. Result. 

4. He was a great story teller 

Jesus spent much of his time communicating through stories. Luke 15 is a great example of this. The religious establishment dismissed this as shallow and lacking substance. But they had no idea how to relate to people. Jesus did. People connect with people before they connect with truth. 

5. He empathised with people’s needs

You can see this in Matthew 8:3. Here, Jesus met a leper. During their conversation, he reached out and touched the sick man. This was an act of immense compassion by Jesus. After all, who would take the risk of touching diseased skin? Jesus did. He showed massive empathy, coming alongside a man in desperate need. 

6. He was vulnerable  

The shortest verse in the Bible is in John 11:35. It says “Jesus wept”. This was because his good friend Lazarus had died. Such a public expression of emotion was a demonstration that Jesus was profoundly touched by grief. He wasn’t cold and clinical. His vulnerability was actually a sign of strength. (READ A BLOG ABOUT THIS HERE)

7. He understood the power of appropriate silence

In John 8:1-11, the religious establishment confronted Jesus with the case of a woman caught in adultery. His response? Silence. Then, in a moment that could have been academy award winning, he invited any Pharisee who was without sin to be the first to throw a stone. They left. But Jesus stayed….cos that’s what Jesus does. (READ A BLOG ABOUT THIS HERE)

 

Read the Gospels for yourself, and you’ll see that religion was the enemy of everything Jesus was about. It still is. Jesus heart was warm and gracious towards people…and he was relevant to their lives. We could learn much from Jesus. 

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH LEICESTER HERE AND OUR CHURCH IN LOUGHBOROUGH HERE.

 

CHURCH LEICESTER

LET’S TALK POLITICS  
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.

 

 

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH LEICESTER HERE AND THE JUNCTION CHURCH LOUGHBOROUGH HERE.

church leicester

FAITH IS NOT A FORMULA  
by Roy Todd

Faith is far more gritty than grandiose. It is forged on the rough terrain of life’s experience, not by clinical calculation and theorising in comfortable surroundings.

The danger with a formulaic faith is that it lulls us into a false sense of security. As long as the formula seems to work, everything appears fine. But the moment it falters, that’s when trust is shaken and a crisis ensues. People’s lives then get rocked to the core because of their mistaken concept of ‘faith’ which bears no relation to what the bible actually teaches. Problem is, this kind of shallow ‘faith’ will always lead to disillusionment because it is flawed at the root, more of a superstitious pastime than a spiritual pilgrimage. 

Don’t put your faith in faith. Anchor your trust in God, especially during the storms of life.

While faith is simple, it is not simplistic. Glib answers to tough questions are not credible. Authentic faith doesn’t yield to challenging circumstances, but it doesn’t deny them either. The latter is something which has too often been missed by an erroneous theology that refuses to acknowledge the very existence of suffering. This is more akin to fear than faith, a way of living which is bereft of the courage to face life’s issues with integrity. It’s no good.

True faith is not formulaic, but has confidence in God’s grace. It doesn’t understand everything, but chooses to believe Him no-matter what. Yes, it will have questions & concerns – and these are important to address. But the healthiest relationships can withstand the rigour of difficult questioning, and still emerge strong. Read the Psalms, and you’ll see how they powerfully illustrate this. 

Perhaps the greatest definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1. It says, ‘Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’. Notice the paradoxical language of this verse, using words which don’t normally appear together (‘sure’, ‘hope’, ‘certain’ ‘do not see’). There’s nothing formulaic about faith here. It’s messy, it’s real, it’s gritty, it’s authentic. As believers, we root our trust in God’s ultimate goodness. Now that’s faith.

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH IN LEICESTER HERE.

church leicester

REMEMBER, WHEN YOU GIVE UP,

The definition of “delusional” could be this: ‘Thinking that when I stop, everything else stops‘. But this is not how life works. Wise people settle in their minds that the world goes on, no-matter what. Sure, it can feel unfair and even brutal at times. However, the card you’re dealt is what you’ve got. You can either wish you had something better OR do the very best with what you have. The latter is always the smarter option.

What tends to happen when people give up in life is that they consign themselves to the sidelines and become mere spectators. Then they watch on with a sense of nauseating horror as things progress without them, utterly mystified that this could actually be happening. Often, it’s at this stage that bitter resentment digs in and begins to metastasize, starting in the heart. You see, the unspoken expectation was that everything would cease when they stood aside. This is not what happens. There will always be someone who steps up to the mark to have a go…always. If you don’t walk through the open door of opportunity that is before you, somebody else will. It’s a ruthless truth….but true nonetheless.

In the Old Testament, there was a prophet called Elijah who had to face this challenge. As gifted as he was, he was also prone to bouts of insularity. In 1 Kings 19, he decided to retreat into the reclusivity of the desert and give up altogether. While he was there, God spoke to him and gently reminded him that if he should decide not to continue serving, God had 7000 other people in reserve from which a successor could quickly be chosen. It was an incredibly gracious, yet deeply sobering word to the man of God. God’s purpose will never be hindered by the withdrawal of human cooperation. It will always come to pass, and the onus is on us to run with unshakable conviction.

Whatever happens in your life, don’t be a quitter. Keep going. Stay planted. Hold your nerve. Maintain a servant heart. Tough times come and go. So it’s best not to make a permanent decision in a temporal storm.

Think about Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’

Keep going!

CHECK OUT THE JUNCTION CHURCH LEICESTER HERE.

church leicester

REACHING OUT IS A CULTURE

Healthy churches are inclusive communities, constantly reaching out to those who don’t yet know Jesus. Archbishop Temple got it right when he said that the Church ‘exists for non-members‘. One of the greatest dangers for any local church is that it becomes an exclusive club where Christians have nice meetings and enjoy insular spirituality. This is not only extremely unhealthy but profoundly unbiblical too.

What often happens when a church feels challenged about it’s lack of outreach is that a committee is formed and plans are made for an ‘evangelistic event’. This is something that usually takes place in an alternative venue (so as to look ‘normal‘). The idea is that people bring their friends along and are hopefully impacted by it. Problem is…these isolated events tend to be a bit surreal and unreflective of ‘normal’ church, a bit like an office away day to the zoo. They convince Christians they’re achieving something, but actually produce little or nothing. However, what they do provide is some temporary relief from the guilt which many church leaders feel about their lack of outreach, thus allowing the church to get back to normal thereafter…at least until the next outreach event.

In my experience, these kind of events do more harm than good if they’re not feeding into great culture. For a start, they highlight an intrinsic problem. Reaching out is NOT an event. It’s a culture. For example, in the book of Acts, people were added to the early Church because of the exuberant and uncontainable passion of those who already followed Jesus. There was lots of misunderstanding and it could all look a bit messy at times….but in the mess, miracles happened. There was massive growth, not because of ‘events’ but a culture of outreach. This was just the norm.

Sometimes, I talk to church leaders and will ask them ‘how many people have started following Jesus in your church over the past year?’. The numbers mentioned are often very low, which indicates a lack of practical commitment to inclusivity, even if the heart and sentiment is otherwise. Remember, facts are stubborn things which speak for themselves. So good leaders don’t deny them but rather make facts their friends.

If John Maxwell is right when he says that ‘everything rises or falls on leaders‘, then it stands to reason that leaders must personally carry the culture they’re believing for before they can ever expect anyone else to catch it. In other words, leaders must model outreach and inclusivity. This means everything we do is open to constant challenge…from the way we speak to how we worship, what needs to be stopped and what needs to begin, the way we shape our services, how we schedule our week and prioritise our goals etc etc…it ALL matters if we’re serious about reaching out. 

In the end, what’s normal becomes culture. Everything that happens in the life of a local church should be seen as an opportunity to connect with more people…everything. When this way of thinking becomes the new normal, it’s amazing what can happen.

CHECK OUT OUR CHURCH IN LEICESTER