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Post-Lockdown Church, ‘The New Normal’ & the Return of small churches

Just when we thought we’d had enough podcasts, books, and articles on the church, Covid happened. Now that we are on the roadmap out of lockdown, many leaders are discussing what church will look like. I’ll be honest, I find a lot of the talk wearying. Mostly because a lot of church talk seems to be about trying to forecast trends (Will people turn up? What will our services look like?). An over-riding theme is the expression that leaders can’t ‘go back to the way it was’. I have a hunch that Lockdown has given pastors a much needed sabbatical from pressures, expectations, and programs. No wonder many of them don’t want to go back. Another challenge is for the ‘mega churches’ – which in Scotland is a church between 2-300. With government caps of 50, that could mean trying to run six services on a Sunday. That’s hard to sustain. Even when the cap of 50 is lifted, most halls that normally have a capacity of 100/200 will have their capacity more than halved because of two-metre soci
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The Daily Roar 3: The Fearful Roar

  The fear of the Lord is an attitude of heart which is a result of the Spirit’s presence. It cannot be manufactured in the flesh. The Holy Spirit produces the fear of the Lord. When we have the fear of the Lord in our hearts we have a deep sense of reverence and awe as we draw near to God, yet at the same time, the fear of the Lord is also the key to overcoming all other fears. The fear of the Lord will extinguish every other fear. As a result, the fear of the Lord will enable us to live a life with “no fear.” We desperately need to recover the fear of the Lord in our churches today. A recovery of the fear of the Lord will produce many other benefits. When we fear the Lord, we sin less, we are quick to repent, we will strive to live in unity, we will walk in obedience to God’s commands, we will pray more fervently, we will evangelise more urgently and we will worship more reverently and authentically. The restoration of the fear of the Lord will lead us back to the normal Christian li

The Daily Roar 2: The Roar of Judgement

  The Daily Roar 2: The Roar of Judgement  When the Trumpet blasted in the Old Testament it was time to sit up and take notice. A trumpet blast was a warning blast. It was also a call. A trumpet blast should raise the alarm, only a senseless and complacent people would be indifferent. According to Amos, the prophet’s call is likened to the trumpet blast. Further, calamity and disaster is also likened to a trumpet blast and a prophetic wake up call. In other words, when disaster strikes our world, we need to respond as if we were hearing the blast of the trumpet. We need to hear what God is saying prophetically. Do we honestly think that a new virus which is killing many, and which has shut down the global economy, is not a blast of the trumpet? Can we not sense the prophetic nature of the times that we are in? If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it? Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His

Daily Roar 1: The Roar of the HARVEST

  For the next seven days, Brand from the Fire will be releasing The Daily Roar. The Daily Roar is composed of short extracts from one my best-selling books, 'The Lion's Roar'. Here is the first instalment: Daily Roar One: The Roar of the HARVEST The Lion’s Roar, is the Lord’s roar, he is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. But the Lion’s roar is also heard through the prophets’ roar. Are we hearing the Lion’s roar? Or are we desperate for things to go back to “business as usual”? Do our online church services have a prophetic edge, or are our church services just simply, “Business as usual?” It’s time to awaken the Bride – the King is coming! Before the Lord comes for his church, he desires to come to his church. There will be an international harvest of souls before the Lord’s return. Hosea the prophet states: They shall go after the Lord he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west; they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt a

Alistair Matheson Reviews ‘Restoring Tongues of Fire’

‘Restoring Tongues of Fire: rekindling tongues and setting the world ablaze for Jesus’ needed to be written. It is a breath of fresh air from a man of God who connects spirit and mind, doctrine and experience, personal experience and the publishing of the Gospel.  John Caldwell is an intelligent fire in the body of Christ, and 'Restoring Tongues of Fire' is not the work of a cerebral academic. Neither does it lack in biblical and logical rigour. But couched in personal testimony and burning passion, it is a book that champions the inseparable nature of what we believe, how we worship and the fruit we bear. Perhaps one of the reasons some Christian leaders, not least Pentecostals and charismatics, seem to have veered away from talking about tongues (even if they haven’t ceased speaking in tongues) is the fear of causing offence, perhaps even accompanied by a sense of embarrassment?  But as the content and structure of this book demonstrate, the gift of tongues and the baptism

An Interview with Sam Gordon

Hi Sam!  Welcome to A Brand from the Fire Blog and thank you for agreeing to do this interview. I really appreciate you taking the time, and I know your contribution will be a blessing to my readers.  Let’s jump straight in!  1. Can you begin by telling our readers a little about yourself, your ministry, your previous books, and the kind of churches you usually minister in?  Originally from Bangor, Co Down - but have lived ‘on the mainland’ since the early 80s. This year, 2020, will be 45 years in fulltime gospel ministry - 20 years as a pastor - the rest in parachurch ministry (for example, 11 years as an on-air radio Bible teacher with Trans World Radio - daily program Truth for Today … almost 9 years as director of Messianic Testimony - a ministry to Jewish people around the world … then since June 2016 serving with Truth for Today - check out the website for more info and loads of free resources - www.truthfortoday.co.uk  … over the years, I’ve usually ministerd across the

Gran’s Eulogy

The last few weeks have been something of a whirlwind. A few weeks into Lockdown my gran was taken into hospital by ambulance. She was just approaching her 86th birthday. We didn’t know what was wrong. She was generally in good health. It wasn’t Covid19. It was lung cancer.  She was sent home the following week for end of life care. My mum came up from England to be her primary carer. Within a week Gran deteriorated rapidly. I joined them in gran’s home to help with the care. In less than a week Gran passed away. Yesterday was the funeral. Gran was Roman Catholic, although she hadn’t been to Mass for about 20 years. However, Father Michael McMahon had connected with gran during his pastoral visits to people in the village. Father Michael provided excellent pastoral care to gran in the final week of her life. He was also great with me and mum. He was also quite prophetic, he predicted that it wouldn’t be long even when the medical staff were unwilling to be so specific. H