Articles from April 2012



Building Collaborative Relationships

  As we consider the future of the Baptist family, many of us are dreaming dreams about what church could be like at local, cluster, regional and national levels. Financial constraints are focussing our minds on structures and patterns. I suggest that we also need to look from a different perspective: that of relationships. I […]

Juggling with Chickens

“Juggling with Chickens – Reflections on Pastoral Ministry today” is a book in progress. A variation of the first chapter was published in the Baptist Times. The current version lives online starting at http://www.pbthomas.com/jugglingwithchickens/ I have added that first chapter here as a page linked from the menu bar above.

“The Prophet-hood of All Believers”

There is so much I would like to say about government by church meeting and that will have to wait for a later post. For today I have added a new page to this blog, “The Prophet-hood of All Believers”. This started life as an essay for Baptist ministerial Probationary Studies and was refined by […]

7 ideas to make Home Mission support more effective

As a Home Mission Visitor and a Mission Consultant for more than 20 years I offer the following suggestions about Home Mission support. Although they referring primarily to churches receiving a grant to help them have a minister they can also apply to other mission situations. 1)  There should be a time limit on grants. […]

Things I miss about the good old days with lots of Associations

More than thirty years ago Bushey Baptist Church encouraged me to become a lay preacher in Hertfordshire Baptist Association. By the time I came before the Association Ministerial Recognition Committee five years later I had preached in half of the churches of the Association, and at least half of the Committee members had actually heard […]

Why the most important Baptist Distinctive is “The Believers’ Church”

 For four days in 2008 I took part in a conference at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg on “Congregationalism, Denominationalism and the Believers’ Church”. This brought together mostly academics but also pastors from the Baptist, Mennonite and other Brethren traditions from Canada and the Northern USA. I then spent ten days experiencing the life […]

Why I am glad I resisted the temptations to bivocational ministry

More than thirty years ago I trained as a teacher and then taught science for five years before studying theology and entering pastoral ministry. Teaching is a career which it is relatively easy to pursue part time in conjunction with church ministry. How might life have been different if I had been led to follow […]