Posts with the tag “vision”

Vision & Values – Refresh
by Darren Parker on April 16th, 2023
Hopefully, you will remember our Vision & Values series from January and February of this year. We spent six weeks unpacking the statement: “Who we are and why we are here”. We unpacked those eight words, with seven key words: Son – Father – Spirit – Grace – Community – Kingdom – Love We reminded ourselves that our purpose flows out of our identity – we are Kingdom bringers because we are image bearers.   Read More
Vision & Values 6 – Love
by Darren Parker on February 12th, 2023
So we come to the end of this Vision and Values series. Reminding ourselves that who we are will always shape what we do. Our purpose as Kingdom bringers flows out of our identity as image bearers. Discipleship leads us to the Kingdom. This week in our sermon we recognised that our vision of following Jesus together as a covenant community is not always matched by our reality. Our individual and corporate imperfections – those bits of us that are not yet quite like Jesus – cause us disappointment and pain.  Read More
Vision & Values 5 – Kingdom
by Darren Parker on February 5th, 2023
About a year after I became a Christian and was baptised I felt God call me to leadership – a call that he has confirmed many times since. That first time back in 1984 the call came through scripture – specifically Isaiah 61 – why don’t you take a moment now to read it through. Three things happened in my heart on that first occasion – what I realise now will have been the first time I would have read those words. Firstly I realised that it was all about the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me. Secondly that I was being called to preach the gospel and thirdly that the gospel was about more than just personal salvation – it was about the Kingdom of God.  Read More
Vision & Values 4 – Community
by Darren Parker on January 29th, 2023
Christians should love the church. Jesus loves his church, community is God’s idea and the church is his plan A for impacting the world with his kingdom. However, the reality is we can often struggle with church. The latest census reveals that in the UK 46% of people would still describe themselves as Christian – that is actually quite encouraging – but less than 5% are part of a church community. Why is that? When God exists in community, creates out of community, creates for community, saves through community and Jesus built community. What is it that causes so many people to identify as Christian, yet not commit to a local church?  Read More
Vision & Values 3 – Grace
by Darren Parker on January 22nd, 2023
Ephesians 2 verses 1-10 is one of the great levellers of the New Testament. You do not need to be a biblical scholar to understand it – though a bit of study will help you with some of the beautiful nuances. But at first reading it leaves you in no doubt as to its meaning. We were dead in our sin – unresponsive to the majesty of God. Lost in our own selfishness. There was no hope! But God – who is rich in mercy has made us alive in Christ!! The richness and generosity of God is brought to bear against my spiritual poverty. I am transformed by the grace of God. The grace of God secures my salvation and holds my salvation secure – wow.  Read More
Vision & Values 2 – Father & Spirit
by Darren Parker on January 15th, 2023
Jesus points us to the Father and promises us the Holy Spirit. Jesus also models for us a relationship with the Father and a life lived full of the Holy Spirit. Although Jesus is fully God, he is also fully man, and as such he displays in his life how we can live our lives in relationship with the Father and dependent on the Holy Spirit. Jesus uses the spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship and study to engage with and deepen his relationship with God and his dependency on the Holy Spirit. This is not because he is being religious, but because he knows it is all about relationship.  Read More
Vision & Values 1 – Son
by Darren Parker on January 8th, 2023
This week we have begun a 6 week journey together. A journey in which we will be aiming to remind ourselves of who we are and why we are here! As part of this journey, our Devotions – both our video and written versions – will take on a slightly different format. They will work closely with the sermons being preached in our venues each week. Their aim will be to ground some of the concepts that we are unpacking in the reality of our daily lives. Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that the leadership gifts that Christ gives to his body the church are given to equip and mature believers. When we preach on a Sunday or Online, this is our aim. To open the scriptures in such a way that those listening, those watching, those taking notes (always a good idea!) are not just kept awake, or entertained, but are equipped.  Read More
Vision : Matthew 28:16-20
by Darren Parker on September 4th, 2022
Vision is vital. We live in a changing world. Some of that change is God ordained. Seasons in the natural world, stages of life, day and night. These are all part of the rhythm that God placed in the world for our good and wellbeing. However, we are also surrounded by unstructured change. From pandemics to drought, from the war in Ukraine to economic challenges. These seemingly random changes can cause us to drop our heads and just try and get through the day. It is vision that lifts our heads. It is God’s vision that reminds us that we are created for greater things, for eternal things, for Kingdom exploits.  Read More
Vision Reminder
by Darren Parker on April 24th, 2022
I felt called to leadership when I was 16 years old. I had become a Christian in a Baptist church in Bedford in 1983 and got thoroughly plugged in to an amazing youth group. We would gather to pray on a Friday night, intending to pray for an hour and ending up praying until the early hours of the morning. It was an incredible time of blessing and many of us have gone on to lead within the church. We would also gather for larger worship events with visiting worship bands – often from other parts of the world. It was at one such event that God spoke to me so clearly from Isaiah 61.  Read More
Vision 2022
by Darren Parker on January 9th, 2022
Vision is vital. When I was a small boy my father worked for Worcester College for the blind. We would regularly have students over for lunch and I marvelled at how these young men with no sight negotiated our home and the unwitting traps set for them by a 4 year old boy. They were amazing, but their lack of vision made life harder. The Bible is clear, a lack of vision, or having the wrong vision, in our lives is even more dangerous. We are created for purpose – Kingdom purpose. From Genesis 1 when God creates humanity in the image of the divine to bring the authority and rule of God over creation, to Matthew 28 when the risen Christ commissions the disciples to take the gospel to all nations, scripture is clear.   Read More