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 - 18 January 2019
It would be really easy to slip into despair…and yet…
Chris Porter’s Blog - 14 January 2019
Cooperation, friendship and community lead to a rewarding life.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 11 January 2019
It is sometimes in the simplest, smallest moments that God answers our unspoken prayers
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 January 2019
Labels are powerful things – they can determine the direction and quality of our lives, how do we break free from the power of labels?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 21 December 2018
It seems to me that God so often does his best work in the mess!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 18 December 2018
Simeon was a man that had been waiting his whole life for an incredible gift that he had not yet received, but that had been promised to him by God.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 09 December 2018
Whatever you believe about Jesus, it’s impossible to deny that he changed the course of human history. His story may have started in a manger in a small town in Israel but it didn’t stop there. Today there are over 2.3 billion Christians in the world, and despite being from different cultures, people groups and nations, all these people are united in faith. What I want to suggest to you this morning as we ask the question, “What child is this?” is that Jesus is the hope of all humanity.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 03 December 2018
When you are suffering and you meet someone who understands it’s different isn’t it?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 27 November 2018
Contentment is somehow something on the inside that is a peace even when everything on the outside is going crazy
Chris Porter’s Blog - 19 November 2018
There is hope in the darkness, keep going, and when you have hope - shine!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 12 November 2018
Have you ever found yourself in one of those situations when there seems no way forward and no good way out?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 09 November 2018
I have arrived back full of enthusiasm and renewed passion and it has been great to see all that God has been doing in the life of the church over the last few weeks
Chris Porter’s Blog - 04 November 2018
The cross is a place where the kingdoms of earth and heaven are juxtaposed and where our current fears are both realised and conquered simultaneously!
Chris Porter’s Blog - 28 October 2018
Over the last two weeks we explored how Jesus came to deal with our guilt and to be with us in our pain but where does that leave us in terms of an ongoing relationship with God? The good news is that the cross is also about our ongoing relationships, with God, and with other people. A vital dimension of the cross is reconciliation so that those who were once enemies can now pursue an ongoing friendship.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 21 October 2018
The suffering of the Jesus is the greatest argument for trusting that God never deserts us, never breaks his promises, and is utterly committed to us for ever.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 14 October 2018
The good news for the guilty is that Jesus came to redeem sinners like me and like you so that, if we believe in him and accept what he did for us on the cross, we can be given right standing with God as a gift paid for by him.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 10 October 2018
There is a great deal of value in stepping away from the day to day busyness of church leadership to reflect, pray, spend time with God
Chris Porter’s Blog - 27 September 2018
Sometimes people wonder if you can be a Christian and have doubts about God.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 24 September 2018
“Above all else, guard your heart, because everything you do flows from it.”
Chris Porter’s Blog - 14 September 2018
I believe that God has even more in store for us in our relationship with all these great people in Szczecin.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 10 September 2018
We have to decide whether we will flirt with or flee from sexual immorality? Fleeing honours God - your heavenly Father who loves you and wants the best for you.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 03 September 2018
Guardrails are what keep us from straying into dangerous areas
Chris Porter’s Blog - 28 August 2018
I have just got back from a couple of days spent with our gang of young people and their leaders at the Soul Survivor festival.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 13 August 2018
God can turn the difficult situations we face into songs of deliverance.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 23 July 2018
We have a vision to be a church that is known for being for Andover and yesterday we certainly got the chance to put our faith into action and demonstrate just that.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 17 July 2018
Let’s go beyond the rules and into relationship; with God, with Jesus, with others
Chris Porter’s Blog - 25 June 2018
Jesus does away with the qualifications to be a follower of his, but that means he also does away with the excuses.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 17 June 2018
Jesus has given everything. Are we willing to go all in and give all of ourselves and re-commit ourselves to being not just a fan, but a true follower of Jesus?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 11 June 2018
There are no gender, no social class and no age barriers to the Spirit
Chris Porter’s Blog - 07 June 2018
I really hope that lots of us will get involved and continue to demonstrate together how we are #ForAndover
Chris Porter’s Blog - 04 June 2018
Are we having such a profound and powerful experience of the presence of God as he camps out with us through the Holy Spirit, that we can’t do anything else but declare the wonders of God in our words and in our actions?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 01 June 2018
Without regular exercise our emotional and spiritual hearts can become hard and calloused
Chris Porter’s Blog - 29 May 2018
The Spirit is the power of God, promised by Jesus, it is a gift from God, and the Spirit is to equip Jesus followers to share God’s love with others.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 25 May 2018
Are there any areas of your heart, relationships, health, mind, day to day life that I have closed off from God?
Chris Porter’s Blog - 21 May 2018
We have become risk averse, paralysed with fear, comfortable.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 16 May 2018
Everyone was so complimentary about how they had been made to feel so welcome.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 08 May 2018
So the question that God asks of you and me in response to all this is “Are you all in?”
Chris Porter’s Blog - 02 May 2018
I can’t stress how important this is. We can’t do it for you, but we can help! Make sure you connect so you don’t get lost.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 24 April 2018
The Lord is standing near me, he is with me, he is for me.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 22 April 2018
I wonder how many opportunities we are presented with every day that we don’t realise are right there, just waiting to be taken. You might be completely unaware of what you’ve been missing out on and I believe God is calling you to explore more
Chris Porter’s Blog - 19 April 2018
It is clear that spiritual growth happens when each of us takes responsibility for doing things that help us to grow
Chris Porter’s Blog - 15 April 2018
If you read the whole Bible in context, you’ll discover that the answers to life’s biggest questions were never meant to be portrayed as simple. Perhaps the most freeing thing you’ll discover is that faith can be expressed in different ways, some of which are quite surprising!Perhaps the best example of this is found in the Old Testament part of the Bible where the story of a character named Job can be found.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 09 April 2018
God has experienced suffering of the most extreme kind and knows what it is like to suffer.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 06 April 2018
When we put on those (and other truths) about God it frees us.
Chris Porter’s Blog - 03 April 2018
Are there dead things in your life that need resurrecting?
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.