church leicester

by Roy Todd

Picture the scene. It’s a balmy Virginia morning in early August – about 9am. The sky is brilliant blue and the sun is shining brightly. My wife and I are still buzzing from the day before when we celebrated the wedding of a beautiful young couple whose lives are bursting with joy and optimism. Now, in the afterglow of such a fabulous occasion, we’re enjoying a quiet breakfast under the shade of an Ash tree at a downtown street cafe. The vibe is peaceful and relaxed. We just sit there for an hour or two, chatting, laughing, drinking coffee, people watching. It’s all good. The name of the town? Charlottesville.  

One week later, the heart of Charlottesville is torn apart by the hatred of racism. A mob of white supremacists (mainly transported in from other places) contaminate the atmosphere, turning it nasty and vicious. Destruction and death are the inevitable consequence of its bigoted ideology which is intent on creating division and promoting fear. It is evil, pure and simple. The awful carnage it creates is a wake up call regarding the menace which lurks deep within. Its sinister motivation masquerades as acceptable, empowered by stoking the fires of division. Suddenly, 2017 feels more like 1817. In many ways, these are even more dangerous times. The voices of hatred & fear are growing ever louder, taking advantage of the uncertainty that exists around the world. It’s how evil works.

The very notion that any one race holds superiority over another is not only utterly delusional, but is as contrary to biblical teaching as it is possible to get. Galatians 3:28 clearly states ‘There is neither Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus‘. It couldn’t be any clearer. We must never be silent at even the faintest hint of racist thinking. The bible is unambiguous and unequivocal about this. The same should be true for all of us.

My thoughts turn to Britain, the nation I love. We would be wise to reflect on the events of Charlottesville, and understand that the menace of bigotry lurks here too. The UK Church is not exempt from this, subtle though it may be. Instead of paying lip service and engaging in moral protestations which make us feel morally better, it’s far wiser to put Galations 3:28 into practice. Our actions speak far louder than our words. It’s always best to model what is right.

If any community on earth should be showing the way ahead, it’s the Church. We are one in Christ. It is His amazing grace which unites our hearts. There is no place for racism here, subtle or otherwise…ever. 


junction collective

by Junction Collective

Hey!! We’re excited about releasing two albums. Yes, TWO!! 

The first is called VIBE, a 14 track instrumental album which is a soundtrack to what’s happening in the life of our church. We really wanted to create something that’s upbeat, capturing the heart of what God is doing. We’d LOVE it if you would download the album HERE. 

Then in 2018 (January), we’re releasing our first worship album. This is called HOPE WILL ARISE. We’re currently finishing it off and you’ll hear more details about this soon!

Worship means SO much to us at the Junction Church. When we meet together as a community, we sing songs that express our love and passion for God. But why is music so important? Well, for a start, this is an art which is clearly used in the bible. For example, over 55 of the psalms were actually song lyrics that are prefaced with the instruction ‘for the director of music‘. It’s a pity recording devices weren’t around then as it would be awesome to hear what those songs actually sounded like!! Then in the New Testament, Paul sometimes quotes words from what many scholars believe where early Christian songs. Philippians 2:5-11 is probably one of them (it’s totally worth a read).

At the Junction Church, our heart is to create songs that are biblically based and which also reflect life in Century 21. Our boundaries are ancient but our outlook is eternal. The first part is really important to us and we totally believe in the importance of declaring God’s Word rather than just writing a bunch of nice lyrics. It’s the Word that produces faith (Romans 10:17). Without the certainty of biblical truth, all you get is a clash of confused noise. However, it’s also important to us that we reflect what God is doing today. Our heart is to help a generation connect with Jesus through the language of music.

Junction Collective is a team of musicians at the Junction Church who are passionate about using our skills for the glory of God. Our ethos is that none of our individual names are attached to the songs we write. That’s because we want to keep our ego’s in check. Our heart is to serve and we think this is really important.  We really love our church and we’re excited about what God is doing today.

If you’re a musician or singer and you’d like to get in contact, send an email to

church in leicester

by Roy Todd

When you find a church community that you can truly call ‘home’, cherish it deeply. It will prove a massive blessing to your life. Our heart for people who come to the Junction Church is that we would be a family where they feel loved, appreciated and where they can play their part. 

If you’re checking out the Junction Church, then here are 10 practical tips to think about on your journey:

1) Don’t search for perfection

Sounds obvious, right? But it’s important to remind ourselves that there’s no such thing as a perfect church. Because people are involved, there will always be flaws. So it is wise to settle in your heart that there will be plenty of imperfections.

2) Test the waters

We’re really relaxed about people checking us out. Many people have done this and ended up staying around because they love it. However, we totally recognise that we won’t be the right church for everybody. The important thing is to find a community where you can feel at home. Give yourself some breathing space and ‘test the waters’ to see if it’s right for you.

3) Have a heart to serve

Every church needs people who are willing to get their hands dirty and get stuck in. This requires our ego to be put aside. Serving is incredibly helpful in this regard. The great thing is that serving is by far the best way to forge friendships – and it’s REALLY good for us.

4) Make Sunday a priority 

Sunday gatherings are important. Think about it….there are only 52 Sundays in a year – which means just 52 opportunities to gather as a church community for corporate worship. So it’s wise to make Sunday a priority since there aren’t that many of them. At the Junction Church, we deeply respect people and so work hard to make Sunday’s meaningful, helpful and relevant to people’s lives.

5) Be part of a life group

Of course, there’s more to church than Sunday’s. That’s why mid-week life groups are so good. They are smaller gatherings where you can grow in community and do life with other people of faith.

6) Join the ‘planted in the house’ course

Four times a year, we host ‘planted in the house’. This is held over four Tuesday nights and is an opportunity to find out more about the vision of the Junction Church. It’s also a great way of catching the heart of who we are.

7) Be a contributor, not a consumer

It was President John F Kennedy who said ‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country‘. Well, maybe we could apply this to church too? Actually, it’s when we contribute that we get blessed.

8) Remember, friendships take time

We totally ‘get it’ that people are looking for meaningful friendships. So we work hard to create an environment that is friendly, welcoming and conducive to them. But it’s important not to try and force them. Truth is, developing authentic relationships takes time and commitment. So be patient, stay gracious and then watch what happens.

9) Church is not the answer to your needs

Say what? Yup, this might sound like a strange thing for a pastor to write – but it’s true. GOD is the answer, not church. Church is simply a community where we journey with others who follow Jesus, study the bible together, capture God’s heart and do life with others. God is our source for everything. Wise people manage their expectations.

10) Be open to a new experience

The Junction Church is a community that seeks to be biblical and contemporary. We are who we are. Our worship is current. Our teaching deals with everyday issues. We love Jesus with an uncompromising passion and we are committed to reaching those who don’t know him yet. So be open to a new expression of church. It will probably be different to anything you’ve ever experienced before. Avoid comparing it to previous churches (whether positive or negative) as this is never helpful. The point is…you’re on a new adventure in a new season. So enjoy the journey!


These are 10 tips that will hopefully help you find a church you can call ‘home’. If that’s the Junction Church, we’d love that. If not, we pray that you will find a community where your faith will grow and your relationship with Christ develop. Whatever happens, we pray that God will bless your life, your family and your future. #TheBestIsYetToCome 



Church Leicester

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. 



church leicester


If the vibe of your everyday conversation tends to be voiced with sarcastic put downs and mean spirited ease, it is your right to speak this way. However, it is wise to understand that nothing of nobility or worth will ever emerge from this kind of talk. It simply flows with thoughtless effort, monotonously submitted to a tedious tide of cultural toxicity which has been gathering momentum for years. 

When you’re swept away by the pressure of it’s current, it is normal to drag others with you, deep into an ocean of discouragement. Your vision becomes blurred by the seas of cynicism, so much that you can’t grasp just how utterly suffocating this is to vitality and confidence, not least your own. Only when you experience the freshness of a genuine alternative can you truly breathe and impart life to those around you. However, this means raising your head above the waters, going against the flow and daring to be different.

Words matter. In a hurting world, they can either add to the weight of people’s hurts and drown them in negativity – or lift their sinking hearts and breathe the oxygen of God’s healing grace to their souls.

When we first planted the Junction Church, part of our vision was to create a church culture that was so filled with encouragement that when people walked into our environment, they would experience something that is rare….love. We totally understood that this intentionality might appear strange and over the top to some, especially to those who’ve only ever known cynicism as the norm. However, what has transpired over these past few years is a quiet revolution in the hearts of numerous people. One person I spoke to recently told me of the impact this culture has had on their family. The pessimism they’d struggled with for years has been profoundly challenged and replaced with a life giving optimism they had never experienced before. 

In truth, this vibe should be the norm for any church community. The bible says ‘mercy triumphs over judgment’ (James 2:13). If we believe this is true, this means that in a world of never-ending pessimism and judgmental accusation, we are the eternal optimists. How could we possibly be anything else?

No-matter how theologically correct a local church community might seem, if the atmosphere is not overflowing with the language of encouragement and uplifting others, then the toxicity of worldliness has come flooding into it’s culture, and is suffocating the potential of it’s people. Beneath the ‘spiritual’ surface are powerful currents of carnality which are both corrupting and corroding to life.

God has called us to carry a different culture – the culture of HIS Kingdom. It is totally different to the culture of the world. This has to have an impact on the way we converse and leaders must always model this first. If a leader isn’t carrying it, then the people they lead will never grasp it.

In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says ‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up…that it may give grace to those who hear.’

It’s time for us to have the courage to challenge the ‘norm’ of cynicism and create an alternative vibe to the culture of doom and gloom that’s so prevalent in our world. How do you start? By making sure your words are building others up, not pulling them down. By bathing your language in honour. Think about it. If enough people do it, this could shift the tide of momentum. It means going against the flow…and daring to speak life.


church leicester


Wise people profoundly understand the difference between flattery and encouragement. It is perilous to mistake one for the other. Whereas flattery seeks to quickly buy influence, encouragement works to slowly build trust. 

Unfortunately, many people succumb to the charms of flattery’s fleeting vice before finally realising they’ve been duped. It poses as a loyal friend and lavishes you with over the top gestures. But as it feeds your insecurities and tells you what it thinks you want to hear, it’s hollow grandstanding is a cynical distraction while it takes advantage, pursuing it’s own selfish agenda (whatever that might be).

Flattery is the fake imitation of encouragement. It has no interest in anything other than itself. If your heart can be easily flattered, then your life will be easily shattered. So it is better to clearly identify it for what it is so you don’t waste years picking up the pitiful pieces of relational carnage it always causes. You see, behind flattery’s false exterior lies a cold, calculating & uncaring heart which gets it’s kicks from trading people against each other.

Encouragement is so very different. It is genuinely caring and authentically loving, not issuing empty words which it thinks you’d like to hear – but journeying with you over the long haul, helping you become the best you can possibly be. It is not driven by any need to appear popular either, but instead is willing to engage in the tough conversations which challenge you to get better. There’s an honesty and specificity with encouragement that sees potential in people which they often don’t see themselves. It follows this up with love, care and commitment, investing it’s time in championing others.

Encouragement’s most telling characteristic is it’s track record. It has a history of faithfulness whereas flattery has a habit of fickleness. It’s always wise to carefully observe this.

In a world of discouragement, one of the best things you can possibly do is to get yourself planted in an environment of real encouragement. That’s why healthy local church culture really matters. If any community in the world should be building genuine trust, it’s God’s house. For all our imperfections, this is what we’re passionate about creating at the Junction Church in Loughborough and Leicester. We do real, not fake. We do encouragement, not flattery. 


church leicester

by Roy Todd

There’s a story in the bible about a blind beggar who caught wind that Jesus was in town. Upon hearing the news, he started yelling at the top of his voice ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!‘ (Mark 10:47). The reaction to his loud bellowing was one of predictable monotony by the religious people who stood by. They mocked him, ridiculed him, sneered at him and attempted to silence the noise. But the blind man was having none of it. He just shouted all the louder and eventually caught the master’s attention. Jesus absolutely loved it.

This story teaches us that religion hates noise. That’s because the resonance of authentic faith disturbs religious fakery and offends the miserable silence of tedious respectability. Religion stands tall in a prideful pose, puffed up by it’s own sense of spiritual superiority & looks down with intolerable contempt on those who refuse to conform. But what it doesn’t realise is that it is blinded by it’s own self-righteousness. The irony of the story in Mark 10 is that the man who was physically blind could see more than anyone else in that crowd. He saw who Jesus really was – but the crowd were oblivious to this reality. His simple faith honestly believed that the ‘son of David‘ had answers to his needs and that he could hear him, hence his shouting. He was right and those who tried to quieten him were wrong. When the miracle worker is in town, how could anyone possibly stay silent?

The passivity of religion will always try to silence the passion of relationship. That’s because religion is emerced in a cosy world of quiet selfishness & pretence. When anyone ever tells you that your love for God and His house is too loud, too enthusiastic or too over the top, then always conclude that this is the voice of religion trying to shut you down. It’s what it always tries to do. 

No, its time to challenge the norm of religious thinking and shout louder, just like the blind man in Mark 10. It’s time to big up what God is doing, without any apology whatsoever.

God loves enthusiasm. It’s better to have a passion for Jesus that creates some disturbance than a respectable religious demeanour in which silence is the comfort zone. God has no interest in making us comfortable. His desire is to get us from convenience to calling, from faithlessness to faithfulness, from passivity to purpose.

Yes, there’s a time for silence. But now is not the time. The Gospel is God’s good news. How can we possibly stay silent about that? The local church is the hope of the world. How could we ever keep this under wraps? Jesus changes people’s lives. What possible justification could we offer for not shouting this from the rooftops?

This is a message that’s worth making some noise about. Don’t ever let religion silence you.



church leicester


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.


church leicester


We’re now well into the season of lent. This is a time when many Christians opt to give up things as Easter approaches. For some it might be a particular food they enjoy, like chocolate. For others it might be TV or social media (if it’s the latter, you won’t read this until after Easter – ha!).

This is all well and good. However, I’d like to suggest that giving up chocolate altogether for lent is about as helpful as a poke in the eye. Same with social media. Sure, don’t let any of these things dominate your life – but don’t take them THAT seriously either. The occasional look at FaceBook isn’t going to kill you, especially when you’re eating a Malteser or two in the process!

This lent, there are other things that we’d be far better giving up. Come to think of it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just quit them altogether. Here are four of them:

1) Negativity

Some people think that negativity is the same as honesty. They’re not the same at all. One sees the worst. The other searches for the best. Be honest. But quit being negative. It’s no good.

2) Cynicism

This is one of the greatest enemies of faith. It’s suspicious. It questions motives. It’s distrustful. But it produces horrible low trust culture where nothing ever gets done. Remember, if you sow it, you WILL reap it yourself. So quit it.

3) Bad Attitudes

Think about it…people give up chocolate for lent because sugar is meant to be bad for us, right? Yet bad attitudes are just as bad for us, even worse actually. Think about it…a little chocolate won’t harm you. But a little bad attitude WILL. So why not just give up bad attitudes altogether? Refusing to pander to selfishness is always a wise decision.

4) Gossip

Gossip is like a toxin…it kills relationships. There is never any virtue in it…EVER. Besides, if you really need to know something THAT badly, why not just graciously ask the source? You might even get an answer. Problem is…gossip doesn’t really want to know the real answer. It just likes to gossip. So best to ditch it. Speak life instead.

It’s time to quit the nonsense this lent. Eat whatever you want (within reason!!). Just give up the stuff that’s hindering you from being everything God has called you to be.

Happy Easter!



church leicester

by Roy Todd

A year ago, I brought six weeks of teaching to the Junction Church called ‘You can’t offend a dead man‘. It was perhaps the most significant series (to date) in the life of our church, with many saying how much it challenged them (me included!). I mentioned that one day I would write a book on the subject. Well, I’ve been burrowed away, quietly working on this for a while now. There’s a long way to go…but watch this space!

Offence is such a massive issue in our world. It’s a huge problem in the universal Church too. For example, how many Christians do you know who are living with offence in their hearts? Some people seem to take offence at the slightest thing, perhaps because they’ve felt overlooked or maybe it’s to do with jealousy, envy or insecurity? There are those who seem to actually WANT to be offended, as if the victim status affords them some kind of unique identity. This is a sad way to live and it in no way whatsoever reflects God’s best for us. The very opposite actually.

Of course, offence is real. But apart from the occasional exception, it tends to be mainly caused unintentionally. In other words, it’s not that most people go out of their way to offend others – it’s that they’ve probably been a bit insensitive in how they’ve gone about saying or doing something. As Christians, we all need to watch out for this and try our best to be gracious and considerate in our relationships. However, it’s also important to understand that there will ALWAYS be times when people let us down. We shouldn’t judge them too harshly for this. After all, we all have this innate ability, right?

Think about it, before you ever go ahead and accuse someone of offending you, how many people might actually accuse you of offending them? Do you then extend the same level of judgment toward yourself as you do to others? Or are you more lenient and forgiving to yourself for your own sins? Is the offence you have ever caused less important than the offence you have ever received? Does the fact that you ‘feel’ offended make it more justifiable in your judgment? Truth is, if we’re all totally honest, the offence we harbour can be extremely self-righteous and deeply hypocritical at times.

The point is, offence is an inescapable fact of life, whether intentional or not. But living with offence is a choice. Repeat…living with offence IS a choice. It means there is a part of us that needs to die. It indicates the existence of a thriving ego and an unforgiving heart which refuses to yield to Christ’s grace. What other explanation could there possibly be? There is NO excuse for a Christian to live offended. You can’t offend a dead man.

Here’s what Paul said in Romans 6:1-4 (esv) ‘How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his’.

It’s time for old you to die and NEW you to rise.