All posts tagged: church

Everything isn’t about us….

A few years ago, Templeway Church began with moments spent with God in our living room dreaming, listening, reading and sharing conversations with friends. It has been hugely difficult at times. We have struggled personally in the face of mounting responsibilities. Leading a community has often required tangible expressions of this dream in order for it to feel alive and we were constantly learning in reverse, struggling to frame this vision. In the wave of all of this, sometimes God’s voice would become small and insignificant, sometimes we cheated by depending solely on our own abilities and charm. There have been so many moments where God has literally torn us from the edge, reminding us of his presence, whispering to us his all consuming love for a heart that is humble and willing to listen. This morning my simple prayer for you is that as you navigate the path you are on, you will pause to listen, you be humble to receive, you be gracious when filled with God’s power and you will come alive …

Jesus, Fireflies and Bonfires- Part 3

Who doesn’t love a good story? As a boy I grew up in the countryside and in the absence of video games, mobiles phones and the internet I regularly had moments with friends where we would sit in wonder with the sound-effects of crickets and the soft glow of fireflies all around us, listening to rich stories. We covered our faces, we cried, we shouted when things got exciting. I was involved in the physicality of the story. My mind was always alive, imagining the scenarios. But what makes a story epic? I know for many people a great story is all about the plot. What is the sequence of things that are important? For others a good story is sometimes about the rules. What commands are important. What is the secret code that needs to be unlocked perhaps? Maybe a good story is all about me. It’s about my personal enrichment; so we ask ourselves questions like, 1. How can I live a better life. 2. What are some of the things that are …

Jesus, Secrets and Lies- Part 2

Okay confession. One of the things  I fear more than life itself is the thought of letting people down. It’s one of those relics that has stayed with me from a time when I had very little control over my life. Growing up, I lived in an environment that was built on a lot of pain; physically and emotionally; and so one of the ways I learned to cope was by presenting a picture of emotional wellness that was actually really really far from reality.  Just the possibility of being seen in someones eyes as less of a person was super difficult and so whenever I found myself  in a conversation with someone, I always imagined this other Joel standing there smiling, with  a sort of glassy  tension behind his eyes and a restrained painful laugh that was reactive, but incredibly hollow. I’ve literally spent most of my life always mentally cutting and editing my conversations before they went  LIVE.  I was always very noticeably thinking of the next step, always straining  to keep this virtual reality version …

Jesus, pizza and community- Part 1

When I moved to Potters Bar one of the first  things I did was join a gym. It was too cold to play basket ball, I don’t know anything about football, so the gym felt like the most logical thing really. The fact is I’d been eating a lot of food since getting here. As a church community we had been asking ourselves – what is Jesus telling us about how we should live. We weren’t interested in all the theological noise that sometimes fills our heads with numbers and times- leaving us all  nervous and shattered in our beds clutching a calculator in one hand and a flashlight  in the other- waiting for the impending doom. We knew that somewhere -Jesus was shouting out an answer that was so much better; So incredibly real and natural and with a grand sense of community. One day over dinner, Peter- an Aussie, a juggernaut of a wizard in all things, shared something with me that has totally overtaken my understanding of Jesus. I will now share this with …