Posts Tagged ‘Maida Vale Baptist Church’


Fun Factory is one of the highlights of the church year at Maida Vale Baptist Church. A lot of preparation is going into this event, and I’ve even been getting together my clown costume in preparation. Yep, that’s right, the green wig that I used during Baptistcare’s 40th anniversary celebrations is coming out of the box again.

The reason for the clown costume is that our theme is circus and we’ve got a heap of great activities during the first week of the school holidays.  You can check out all the information at the church website.

Circus is a fun theme, but there are some principles behind circus that are important to life. Reg Bolton was a pioneer of circus in education in Western Australia and did his PhD thesis on the theme of “Why Circus Works – How the values and structure of circus make it a significant developmental experience for young people”.

In his thesis he said that behavioural abnormalities or psychoses are often linked to developmental stages that have been missed, uncompleted, repressed or associated with trauma, and contended that “caring adults, who may not necessarily be trained counsellors or psychologists, by offering the circus experience to children and teenagers can provide them an opportunity to make good those deficits, by giving them more chance to advance to adulthood without gaping holes in their psycho-social personae”.

Bolton drew on a 19th century jingle as an aide to develop his theory on child development:

Monday’s child is fair of face (self)
Tuesday’s child is full of grace (fun)
Wednesday’s child is full of woe (risk)
Thursday’s child has far to go (dreams)
Friday’s child is loving and giving (trust)
Saturday’s child works hard for a living (work)
But the child that is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

From this he used the five fingers to expand his thesis on the personal qualities of childhood.

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 4.26.38 pmWe’re making use of some of Reg Bolton’s theory as we work our way through the week of Fun Factory, and we’re drawing on some stories in the Bible that say the same things about human development and growth – all wrapped up in fun.

Counting the sleeps till Fun Factory!!

What a fantastic time we had at Christmas at the Fair yesterday.

The event, now in its sixth year, has turned into the major community event of the year for High Wycombe and this year was definitely the best ever. The volunteers from Maida Vale Baptist Church who planned Christmas at the Fair, and did all the hard work in putting it on have to be congratulated for doing a great job.

I am pleased to see the church taking a lead role in the community in providing services that build social capital and help our neighbourhoods to grow in a healthy way.

Take a look at the video and enjoy….

There are a few things that the church should be doing. The church was established to worship but it was also sent out to represent Jesus in the marketplace. At different times in history, and at different locations, the marketplace may differ.  For one person it is their place of work, to another their golf club, to another their school or university, and to another it is with their friends in the coffee shop.

Yesterday Maida Vale Baptist Church was at one of the marketplaces where we have found a spot each year for a number of years. We spent the day at the Zig Zag Art and Craft Festival in Stirk Park, Kalamunda, where we ran a kids craft activity.  It was a full day’s work, spending time with hundreds of kids and their parents and grandparents. We weren’t there to preach, but simply to represent Jesus and to make a contribution to the lives of people and to the community as a whole.

It was a joy to see the smiles on the kids faces as they participated in activities they had never done before, like gluing, creating, drawing, and enjoying the day with their families and friends. And it was good to hear the comments from parents and grandparents who appreciated what we were doing for their families.

It’s good for the church to be in the marketplace.




During October and November I will be doing a series of talks at Maida Vale Baptist Church on the subject of discipleship. What is discipleship? Well, the word comes from the group of 12 people who followed Jesus during his time on earth – disciples, followers, or learners.

Another word may be apprentice. An apprentice is someone who learns on the job. That’s the whole idea behind discipleship.  Not just following Jesus, but learning from him, and putting his teaching into practice … on the job.

The interesting thing is that not only did Jesus call 12 people to follow him, and learn from him, but he also told them to go and make disciples. It seems that part of learning on the job is passing on what you’ve learnt to another apprentice who passes on what they’ve learnt to ….

Here’s a video I have put together about the series, The Art of Discipleship.  Hope you like it.

I loved the comment that appeared on my blog this week: Just a story I would like to share following on from the Fun Factory: Adam was saying to me today that when he went to the Fun Factory activities in the holidays that they told him about a man who lives in the sky and stops bad things happening to people and he couldnt remember his name, I told him it would have been Jesus, he said oh yes it was. I said that some people dont believe in Jesus and he said sternly: ‘Well that’s because they didn’t go to the Fun Factory isn’t it!’

If you’ve been to Fun Factory you’ll love Messy Church that is held at MVBC on the fourth Saturday of each month. The difference is that Messy Church is not just for kids. In fact, more and more I’m thinking it’s what church should be like. Kids and parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, teens and singles, all getting together to work together, play together, worship together and eat together. We do all those things in a pretty informal way and through it all we’re getting to know Jesus better.

In a changing world it’s important that we reimagine the church and look for new and different ways that we can gather together as followers of Jesus, and even as people who are thinking about what following Jesus might look like. Messy Church is one of those options that are available and I suspect we also need to think about other ways we can help people move closer to God.

I’m convinced that the church has served God well over the centuries, but it has changed during that time and needs to continue to change if our world is going to experience the good news of Jesus. I’m loving be a part of that change and looking forward to what may be around the corner.

If you want to get a picture of what Messy Church looks like, take a look at this video from our Grand Final Challenge on Saturday.

A Better Way

I’m very excited about a new series of talks that I start on Sunday on the letter to the Hebrews in the Bible.  I’m calling it the email to the Hebrews, because like many of our emails, it seems to me that it has been sitting in people’s Inbox for a long time without being opened.

One of the commentaries I read said it was the most theological book in the Bible which is probably why it often isn’t read, but I have found it to be a book that is full of astounding news about Jesus, and is not at all boring, not that “boring” should ever be considered an alternative word to the word “theological”.

The theme of this series is “A Better Way”, because the idea that the coming of Jesus’ Kingdom of Justice and Righteousness is better than anything that went before it, is central to the whole letter – or email. What is significant about this is that the writer to the email doesn’t criticise the religious experiences of the past. Rather he talks about how important they were, then says … but, there is a better way.

Did you see the video I prepared as an introduction to the series? Have a look here.

OK, I’m not a professional video maker, but here’s my latest effort at a video, this time to promote a new preaching series that I’m starting at church this Sunday.

We don’t write letters too often these days, but often when people get emails they leave them sitting in their inbox until they have time to read them. The letter to the Hebrews in the Bible is a bit like that. I reckon a lot of people haven’t read this letter, but it contains some astounding news that too many people have missed.

It deals with the history of religion, and the way in which everything we read in the Bible actually points to Jesus and a better way of living than you could ever imagine. I’m really excited about this series so I’m hoping that people will take advantage of coming to hear it.

Have a look at the video and let me know what you think.

By the way, did you see my “Waterfall” video?