Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes

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How to thrive in a video-cast conference

Since 2010 we have hosted a OneThing video-cast and have had amazing times of worship, teaching, fellowship, ministry and feasting. This week: December 28-31 you can join us – 1229 Windermere Ave, 7pm each evening.

While you might think that a conference by video is like watching church on TV, let me encourage you, this is not the case. Each of us can enjoy the full benefits of the conference with just a few simple practices. Continue reading


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Who does God prefer?

True or False? What does Jesus say?

This was the sign on a church: God prefers kind atheists over hateful Christians.(found it on a Facebook page).  I wondered, “Is this true?”  Then I considered, “What is true about loving and hating and atheists and Christians?”

I think I understand that this pastor wants to be able to dialogue with those of differing faiths.  I might be inclined to believe this.  If I was an atheist, I’d feel safe in talking to this pastor about my beliefs.  This is all good.  But I’m also wondering what kind of conversation I’d have with Jesus on this topic.  What would Jesus say to the kind atheists?  What would Jesus say to the hateful Christians?  What is Jesus saying to me?

Continue reading

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How Can I Grow Leaders in My Church?

Leadership is a big deal in our world.  Good leaders are hard to find and poor leaders seem to be plentiful.  The church is a very tricky place to raise leaders because we can’t just use the models around us in our culture.  We’re given very clear instructions from Jesus that we’re not actually to have any leaders among us (“And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”)

Leading is shared on the tandem.  But what we lead is different.

Leading is shared on the tandem. But what we lead is different.

In conversation with Bill Bonikowsky (my cooworker at Alpha Canada) Michael Brown shared how his church, Langley Evangelical Free Church, uses Alpha to grow leaders at their church.

We use Alpha as part of our leadership development in many different ways. The training is fantastic, and once you have gone through the training and have led or hosted an Alpha group you are pretty much ready to lead any small group discussion in any setting. Continue reading

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A Story of Redemption

Sometimes (often actually) I get asked what to do after Alpha.  My answer is usually, Alpha.  After Alpha comes Alpha.  Now I’m not saying that there aren’t other things to learn as you grow in your faith, but The Alpha Course does so many things that are hard to replicate.

Often churches and Alpha groups get disappointed that there are not as many participants as they’d like, or it’s hard to keep the volunteers envisioned and motivated.  Here’s a story that highlights why a church should keep running Alpha.  Imagine if this church didn’t have an Alpha Course running.

(from the Regional Alpha Team of Northeast Ohio)

Running Alpha Courses followed by Alpha Courses is kind of like having eaves troughs on your house.  You don’t just put them up when it’s raining, you keep them up all the time (though some of my neighbours seem to disagree, but that’s another story).

Be faithful.  Tell his story often.

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2

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The Manitoba Boys Alpha Update

I know, you’ve been waiting for it (because you think about me so often) and here it is.  What keeps Robb so busy?  (Besides 4 kids and a beautiful wife.)

2012 Winter Newsletter

And as you consider how you will give this Christmas and through the next year, we’d love for you to prayerfully consider Alpha and the work of helping churches with ongoing donations or a special gift. Printable Donation Form

A great break in our very busy Alpha Staff Retreat.

A great break in our very busy Alpha Staff Retreat.