Category: Article

February 12, 2013
Are Mission Agencies Hurting Missions?

We have seen a sad development in modern evangelicalism. Churches believe that they exist to make disciples of their own local community. Churches send money to a missionary society in order for that society to make disciples of other nations. We have cut off the local church from its commission to make disciples of all nations. It […]

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February 11, 2013
The Importance of Friendship

There are plenty examples of friendship in the Bible. We have the example of David & Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18:1–3: “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day […]

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February 5, 2013
How Too Much Discipleship Kills Christians

Our current church membership stands at about 70, with another 10 or so waiting in the wings to be baptised. We have a Sunday attendance of anywhere between 70 and 100 (I suspect that’s roughly the same number of urinals found at many mega-churches). By any description, we are a small church. Yet, as of […]

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January 30, 2013
Why Female Outreach Workers Are So Necessary in Housing Schemes

We have baptised at least a dozen people in Niddrie over the last six months, and it has been a powerful reminder to the congregation and the local community of the saving power of Christ even in the most hardened heart. When I came to Niddrie over seven years ago, there was a young woman […]

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January 28, 2013
Why Should We Bother With the Idle and Ungrateful?

Despite lots of discussion on working with the poor and mercy ministry in many evangelical circles, not much is said about the ‘undeserving’ poor. In other words, those who purposely do not want to work or better their current situation. Shouldn’t Christian ministry focus its attention on those who ‘deserve’ our kindness, particularly in housing […]

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January 24, 2013
The Keys to Breakthrough in the Housing Scheme: Avoiding Paternalism and Dependency

Many great, Western missiological thinkers have battled with the issue of paternalism in cross-cultural contexts for decades. What exactly is paternalism? “The essence of paternalism is providing outside direction and resources by some “mature” party to someone considered “immature” and not yet capable to carry full leadership responsibility. Though it is much more than providing […]

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January 23, 2013
The Keys to Breakthrough in the Housing Scheme: The Local Church and the Poor

Mark Dever, in an article published at The Gospel Coalition, notes that: “Since the Fall, the trajectory of unredeemed human history—the City of Man—is always in the Bible to judgment (the Flood, Babel, Canaan, Egypt, Jerusalem, Babylon, Rome & then Rev. 19). (Not quite as universal as gravity, but seemingly as inevitable in its overall […]

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January 22, 2013
The Keys to Breakthrough in the Housing Scheme: The Church and Community

Part A: Church Based Community DevelopmentIn his book, Generous Justice, Tim Keller states: “All I know is, if I don’t care about the poor, if my church doesn’t care about the poor, that’s evil.” Jesse Johnson, writing an article for The Cripplegate Blog, has a somewhat different perspective. He writes: “. . .the fact of […]

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January 21, 2013
The Keys to Breakthrough in the Housing Scheme: Listening

It is noticeable in Niddrie that there are many housing association groups and various other social agencies, largely staffed by outsiders, some of whom impose their ideas and ideals on to the community without much prior discussion. It is often taken for granted that these ‘professionals’know what we need. Likewise, many church plants, churches and […]

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January 17, 2013
The Keys to Breakthrough in the Housing Scheme: Leadership Development

This is a key area of gospel ministry in housing schemes. Many local churches completely devolve their responsibility in this area to Bible Colleges which I think can be, in some cases, to the detriment of the church and the person being ‘trained.’  Certainly, in housing schemes, we need to have a clearly defined, multi-faceted […]

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