Hi everyone and welcome to my blog!
I am Chris Porter and I am the Senior Minister here at Andover Baptist Church. In this blog you will find some reflections and thoughts on church life, leadership and general life. I will be aiming to add one or two entries each week, so please do keep checking back for the latest updates! I hope you enjoy it!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 19 March 2018
I reckon you know you need a shepherd, even if you don’t like to admit it.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 15 March 2018
However you do it, engage with the Bible…it will change your life!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 12 March 2018
In the same way that Jesus reaches out to that woman he reaches out to us and as he does so he isn’t just the light of THE world, he is the light of OUR world.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 09 March 2018
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 March 2018
All of this reminds me of a few things. Firstly it isn’t the end of the world to look foolish…
Chris Porter’s Blog - 02 March 2018
The current conditions at our church site our very treacherous and the MET Office are forecasting freezing temperatures again tonight with more snow. We are also aware that a number of people (including many of those involved in our services and children’s and youth teams) travel in from the surrounding villages where conditions are worse.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 25 February 2018
The God who made the world and everything and everyone within it cannot be adequately represented by anything we have built so he represented himself, came near to us and revealed his fullness to us in Jesus!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 18 February 2018
Adopting the same mindset as Jesus, one of self-sacrifice and service, is the calling of every Christian for the sake of the unity of the Church and it’s counter-cultural mission in a self-oriented world.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 11 February 2018
Love is the priority, the greatest element of the Christian faith and the true mark of a church that is filled and led by the Holy Spirit. Love matters more than any other aspect of our mission. We need to defy the gravitational pull of the church towards a view of spiritual depth that doesn’t centre around becoming more loving.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 04 February 2018
The gravitational pull of the world is towards becoming insular, legalistic and judgemental, towards thinking that we are holier than others and they should comply with a code of conduct we approve of. This is nothing but bad news for the church and for the world but God has called his church to a different mission, the mission of sharing good news about Jesus!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 29 January 2018
In ancient building the cornerstone was the one on which the whole of the rest of the building depended.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 25 January 2018
We realise that these changes will require some sacrifice on all of our parts, but mission never happens without sacrifice and if we are continue to reach out to new people and have space to put them we will need to make those sacrifices.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 22 January 2018
This is why falsehood is so serious - because it destroys community
Chris Porter’s Blog - 15 January 2018
Growing to be more like Jesus means adopting attitudes that are like his
Chris Porter’s Blog - 12 January 2018
An opportunity for us to come together as a community of people to focus on God and his heart for ABC
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 January 2018
As we enter in to a new year, are we ready to embrace all that God has in store for us?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 03 January 2018
Happy New Year everyone. I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and found time for friends, family, rest and relaxation as well as celebrating the birth of the one who came to save the world.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 22 December 2017
Chris Porter’s Blog - 18 December 2017
If you let him in, he promises to be with you in the inconvenient times of your life.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 10 December 2017
Some of the first people to experience Jesus and tell the world about him were people that the religious folk of the day probably considered to be unexpected strangers.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 08 December 2017
At our Church Meeting last week we shared with everyone the plans we have for solving our capacity issues at our 11.00am service when we move back into our refurbished building in the new year.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 01 December 2017
We can know that God is with us, the light of the world, who has stepped down even into the deepest, darkest circumstances of our world and brings us hope.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 28 November 2017
One of the ways we can be an extravagantly generous church is to care for the poor and the marginalised
Chris Porter’s Blog - 26 November 2017
It is only when we are willing to make major adjustments to our lives and schedules in order to obey God that we are truly able to experience the wonder of his presence and plans.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 20 November 2017
Today we are asking, how do I know if as far as it depends on me I have done all I can?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 14 November 2017
We are going to look at what Jesus said to do when bad blood starts in a relationship
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 November 2017
We need to remember when we feel betrayed that Jesus knows just how we feel.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 31 October 2017
There are tears, sadness, resentment and a broken family. This is what happens when bad blood caused by negative emotions starts to creep in to a relationship and no one deals with it.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 27 October 2017
As a church let’s make sure that we are extravagantly generous in our desire to love people and engage with them.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 24 October 2017
You can’t control how other people behave or respond, but you can control what you do and how you respond.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 21 October 2017
We can become extravagantly generous in mission when we put the needs of those who haven’t got a relationship with God ahead of our own needs.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 17 October 2017
Throughout this series we have been discovering how we can allow the blessings of God to flow into our lives and then out from us to others.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 03 October 2017
Last Tuesday evening we gathered together for a Church Meeting.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 18 September 2017
To live out that mission and to become the kind of church that God has in mind for us to be, we need the power of God to work in us and through us.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 11 September 2017
So let’s head back 2,000 years to the origins of the church to see for ourselves what those first churches were about and what we can learn from them.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 04 September 2017
Yesterday we put our faith into action and demonstrated the love of God and it was great!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 30 August 2017
Have you ever had one of those experiences where you meet someone who recognises you and starts talking to you but you have no idea who they are!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 22 August 2017
It’s a story told by Jesus of a loving and gracious Father reaching out in compassion and with extravagant generosity
Chris Porter’s Blog - 15 August 2017
The greatest Picnic- This is a story about the character of Jesus and how his selfless motive in approaching us is so often contrasted with our selfish motives for approaching him. The real miracle is that God sees our sin and yet his response is still to provide for us through the sacrifices made by Jesus!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 August 2017
The story of Elijah on Mount Carmel is all about who or what people are following and what has the priority in people’s lives.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 04 August 2017
I don’t know about you, but I long for my life to be fruitful.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 01 August 2017
We all need delivering from something…we need to be set free.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 24 July 2017
I want to use this blog to pay tribute to all the amazing staff and volunteers who work week in week out with our children and young people
Chris Porter’s Blog - 27 June 2017
We must make every effort to resist judging others.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 20 June 2017
The antidote to worry is to seek the Kingdom of God first.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 13 June 2017
Doubt loses its power when it is held up to the resurrection of Jesus.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 06 June 2017
Do you want to know how to overcome your fear even when there is something to be afraid of?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 02 June 2017
What all of this tells us is that the desert place is really significant.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 30 May 2017
In the same way that hitching ourselves up to money, relationships, fame etc. for our self worth and identity can cause us problems, Christians hitching themselves up to these other things can lead to problems.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 23 May 2017
We are just back from an amazing weekend away with our church family.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 01 May 2017
Right at the end of the film Saving Private Ryan there is a really powerful scene.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 25 April 2017
God has poured his very breath into the words of the Bible.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 13 April 2017
Part of the joy of this trip has been to see the progress that is being made
Chris Porter’s Blog - 11 April 2017
Leaving was horrible. It was so sad to have to say goodbye to these wonderful children and the amazing staff who work with them
Chris Porter’s Blog - 10 April 2017
We traveled down dust roads full of lumps and bumps and when we arrived in Morcombay we were met by the school children and the head teacher who had come especially to meet us.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 09 April 2017
You can’t help but give away pieces of your heart to this place!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 08 April 2017
To see these lovely children having such a great time and displaying such determination to make it across the beach to the water was a real privilege.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 April 2017
So all in all a long, tiring, dusty and traffic laden day, but it was absolutely fantastic to see the progress that is being made at both the home and the school in Tombo.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 06 April 2017
As soon as you step off the plane you know you are in Africa. The heat hits you (34 degrees centigrade today) and you hear the crickets.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 03 April 2017
At 3am on Wednesday morning my family will be setting off on a 4,000 mile journey to Sierra Leone in West Africa.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 02 April 2017
People who believe in a creator are often presented as unreasonable. But in fact the opposite is true.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 29 March 2017
That would change things wouldn’t it? If everything we did today, tomorrow and through the rest of this week was done in Jesus name?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 20 March 2017
When a church is working right there is nothing like it. It can transform communities and lives. But to be working right everyone needs to play their part and we need to resolve to grow together to be more like Jesus.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 14 March 2017
We need to become a hesed church. One that refuses to condemn or judge people, one that finds the way to love.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 March 2017
We are on a mission as a church…sometimes it might be hard, sometimes it might be going really well. With God’s help we will make progress and our mission will start to become a reality.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 03 March 2017
This coming Sunday I am going to be using this new series to talk about a simpler mission statement for us at ABC.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 06 February 2017
On behalf of all the families and staff on Piam Brown Ward, I am writing to thank you very much indeed for your generous donation of super gifts for the young people on our ward to enjoy over the Christmas period.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 20 January 2017
I love apps on my phone and my tablet and I thought I would blog about a few that I highly recommend and that you may find useful.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 17 January 2017
As we go through life we will find ourselves hurt by situations or by other people. That hurt may well not be intentional (although sadly in might be), but it hurts nonetheless. When other people hurt us there are several strategies that we might employ to move on. We might seek revenge, isolate ourselves, hold a grudge or carry around bitterness and frustration. The problem is that all of those strategies harm us more than they harm others and ultimately none of them help us really move on. Is there a better way?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 10 January 2017
Intention alone doesn’t change the direction or quality of our lives. What we DO is what matters. Application is everything.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 03 January 2017
When we look ahead to seasons like the one that is coming up in the life of the church, we have a choice. We can choose to be scared and anxious or we can choose to embrace it as an adventure with fantastic opportunities for God to do amazing things.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 21 December 2016
If you are an ABC regular, you will probably know that we support several people and families around the world who are working in various situations to help and support people and introduce people to the love of God.
One such family are the Judkins and they are currently living and working in Brive-La_Gaillarde in France.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 December 2016
To that end we would like to ask you all to be praying for all of this as an matter of urgency.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 25 November 2016
Those things would really help us ensure that we have a bit more space so everyone can get in and in particular those who might be new can find a space for their car and for their bottom!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 23 November 2016
We need truth to enable us to grow, but the environment in which we receive truth is so important. Think about a time when someone you didn’t know very well or you didn’t trust said something to you that may have been true but was also difficult for you to hear. I suspect that you were immediately defensive and may even have been hurt. It doesn’t matter how true something is, if it isn’t presented within an environment of grace it can be really damaging.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 November 2016
Showing grace to others is merely a reflection of the grace that we ourselves have been shown by God. Remembering how in need of grace we are can help us demonstrate grace to others.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 31 October 2016
I love the phrase that the leaders at North Point use to describe what it is that they feel called to do…they say that they are trying “to build a church that unchurched people love to attend.”
Chris Porter’s Blog - 26 October 2016
We can all be tempted at times to walk away from vital conversations but Habakkuk a great example of what can happen in our relationship with God when we remain committed to keep praying.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 24 October 2016
Over the last few days I have been in Atlanta, USA. I flew out on Friday with two friends and colleagues to visit a church called North Point Community Church
Chris Porter’s Blog - 17 October 2016
If you are a regular at one of our two morning services at ABC you may have noticed a few subtle changes over the last few weeks.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 13 October 2016
I don’t know about you, but when I am working on something, I like to know whether I am getting somewhere. Am I making progress? Am I achieving anything? Am I winning?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 12 October 2016
God is bigger than we can get our minds around and that is good news. After all it wouldn’t make him much of a God if we could completely understand him.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 04 October 2016
You will be happiest when you have good relationships in your life. And for good relationships you need breathing room.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 27 September 2016
God is much more interested in our quality of life than our standard of living. Creating some breathing room with our finances may lower our standard of living, but it will raise our quality of life.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 26 September 2016
Next Sunday morning (2nd October) at both of our services we are going to be celebrating harvest and thanking God for all of his provision for us.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 22 September 2016
An incredibly powerful tool in our lives is to be on the giving end rather than the receiving end.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 20 September 2016
When we remember that time is limited, we can start to prioritise what is really important. When we remember that our time is limited we start to invest in the things that really matter. When we remember that our time is limited we start to limit what we do with our time.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 16 September 2016
The busier we get the more intentional we need to be about praying
Chris Porter’s Blog - 13 September 2016
Something or someone will set the pace of our lives. We can let other people and their expectations or our culture or our fear set those limits or we can intentionally and proactively set them ourselves.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 06 September 2016
I want us to see ABC as a big fishing team.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 30 August 2016
When we live lives of ridiculous generosity, we demonstrate what God is like to the world. After all, the most famous Bible verse of all tells us “God loved the world in this way- he gave…”
Chris Porter’s Blog - 23 August 2016
God wants a good relationship with us and regular honest conversation is a vital part of any healthy relationship. That’s what prayer should be…
Chris Porter’s Blog - 16 August 2016
Whatever you do please make sure you are in the serving game…it is so important and will not only change the world a bit, but it will change you too!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 11 August 2016
The Soul Survivor festival is just brilliant.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 09 August 2016
On Sunday Rob was inspiring us to read the Bible for ourselves on a regular basis. There are loads of great resources out there to help us and this blog will tell you about some of them.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 04 August 2016
I want to encourage you to be praying for the pre-school particularly at this time.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 01 August 2016
The topic for first part of the series on Sunday morning was Worship and I talked about how individually and corporately we are called by God to worship with the whole of our lives. I thought I would follow up with some ideas for how we can continue to grow in that direction.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 26 July 2016
Language really matters and when we refer to church we have to take a lot of care we aren’t meaning a building.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 21 July 2016
Last Sunday morning I had the most amazing and moving experience.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 18 July 2016
This morning as I read all of this I made a note in my journal which was more of a personal challenge than a note and it was this: “Am I a bringer of the peace of God? Will people see the peace and love and grace and mercy of God today through me and how I act, speak and behave?”