Education: My secular education ended with no real credits as a rebellious time in my life came to a conclusion. Within a few years God called me to Bible college where I studied for the ministry for three years. Whilst studying at Elim Bible College in the U.K. God did a real work in my heart and embedded in me a passion for reaching this great nation of ours through a significant church that is moving in the power and reality of the Holy Spirit.
Comment to those looking at my sermons: These are words. Words can seem clever and seem to suggest that the author is clever. Anything you see in my sermons that seems good is from God and anything that seems lousy is probably from me. When all is said and done it’s not what we say but what God does with it that counts.
Sermon or series that made a difference: In the autumn of 2000 I did a short three part series entitled ’The Cross: God’s answer to the cosmic crisis’. I know for many of our people is was a real blessing, but the one person who benefitted most was definately ME. I was reminded as I prepared and preached the greatest theme of all, that my Saviour paid the highest price possible, and gave me as a gift the greatest prize possible. A timeless truth that can never be preached too much.
One of my favorite illustrations: It’s one that I used in my very first sermon.
A little boy had adventurously climbed an apple tree when he realised there was no way ne could get down. His Dad stood at the bottom of the tree imploring his child to jump so that he could catch him. The child took much convincing until he finally enquired of his Dad. "Can I really let go of everything and trust you?" - I have learned that I can.
Family: My wife Amanda and I have been married for 16 years (2005) and have three children. Matthew who is a keen sports fan, especially soccer, is 14 years old. Gareth is an active 11 year old with a keen artistic eye and Lydia who is now 4 has just started school. God has blessed us with a wonderfully happy home which I consider to be my primary ministry as both husband and father.
What my parents think of my sermons: They’re just great and tremendously supportive. They want tapes all the time and don’t always realise that I am who I am today because of what they taught me.
What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: She is not honest enough at times. If you listened to Amanda you would think I never had a bad day, when I know that I do. Her constant support is as certain as the sun rising tommorrow morning. Second to my salvation she is God’s greatest gift to me.
Best advice given to me about preaching: My Father-in-law once told me that the people listening to me when I preach will only hear 15% of what I say. So I pray hard ..... ’Lord make them hear the best 15% !’
Books that have had an impact: There seem so many. But to name a few.
George Verwer - A revolution of love and balance
Rick Warren - The purpose driven church
Max Lucado - In the grip of grace
Philip Yancey - What’s so amazing about grace
Robert Lewis - The Church of Irresistable Influence
THE BIBLE - of course !
Hobbies: I am a keen football fan.I also enjoy fishing, golf and watching as much sport of TV as my patient wife will allow, or tolerate.
If I could Preach one more time, I would say...: We have no choice but to ’press on’ ; we have discovered the only way this life works is in Jesus. It’s no good moaning about what we do not have when we have the most wonderful gift of all. I would have to say with the disciples when Jesus offered them the opportunity to turn back ... "Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68)
Something funny that happened while preaching: I was preaching about the wonder of being able to look in the mirror and declare that I am a son of God. Unfortunately I declared to the church in passionate tones that I could stand confidently on this platform and announce "I am the son of God". An example of where ’the’ and ’a’ can make a lot of difference.
What I want on my tombstone: His passion for God and God’s purposes never expired like his remains below.