Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Never Stop Asking The Questions

When Zac's Place began 14 years ago, we called it, 'Zac's Place - Church In A Pub?' The question mark was always very important, as we really didn't know what, if anything, it would develop into. In many ways, although we are now 'Zac's Place - A Church For Ragamuffins', it remains important to ask the questions - What is Church and are we fulfilling the mandate that we find in the Scriptures?

In the current series of studies and discussions at our Tuesday evening Tribal Gatherings, we are looking at those issues. I often ask three questions of any church activity to ascertain whether it fulfills a role or whether it's just something we do because that's what we've always done. They are all based on relationship - how does what we do affect our relationship, (and therefore connection, view, understanding etc) with a) God b) each other and c) the wider community we serve. If we struggle to answer at least one of those positively for any endeavor as 'church', we really did ought to be asking ourselves, 'what are we doing it all for then?'

This week, we also welcomed Roy Jenkins from BBC Radio Wales to join with us. You can catch an interview with me and various  sound bites from our time together on his 'All Things Considered' Programme on BBC Radio Wales this Sunday, 30 Sep at 9am and it will be available on iPlayer afterwards and on their Podcast.

Listen to this interview here:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

... And Home Again

It was great to have had so much opportunity on the road this past week. Meeting new people and catching up with so many old friends along the way was a great encouragement. Each event attracted a wide diversity of people, which is exactly how I think it should be. The final two dates in Leeds and Stoke were no exception to this and I enjoyed the varied dialogue with as many people as possible.

Feedback has been really positive and very kind - certainly enough to make me think the week on the road has been worthwhile. I really do hope that some have been inspired to re-evaluate the basis of what it means to be a follow of Christ on the margins and others who came along, feeling somewhat walking wounded, feel they have had some food for the soul to keep going.

The week finished off with a diversion back north to the BBC in Manchester, to do a short interview for Radio 4, before heading south to Swansea.

Thanks to everyone that helped out at the venues, put me up, fed me and supported the dates.

For those that weren't able to get along, here's a few snippets of feedback that have come our way:

"My head is spinning today, I couldn't get to sleep last night. What you said hit me and the mrs like a sniper's bullet. Daring to take up the challenge of following the Lord where he leads us."

"It was great to hear your radical and refreshing approach Sean in Reading on Monday."

"170 MILES, bit damp and chilly after a days work. BUT oh so worth it mate, enjoyed the entire evening. Keep up the good work."

"Encouraging, uplifting, honest, down to earth and to the point!
Nothing more than I would expect from Sean Stillman but I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tour Update

The good news is the format seems to be working well and the response from folk at each venue has been wonderful. The bad news is only two dates are left!
Reading was a precious homecoming - so many reunions - some after 25 years and wonderful to see so many loyal travelling companions that have supported, shaped and encouraged me along the way for so many years.

Cambridge seemed like a long shot due to not many contacts in the area - but what a fab evening of soul searching and a welcome so warm. So pleased to have included this date on the tour.
Crashing out at friends throughout the week means conversation runs late into the night before hitting the road where the solitude that that brings, provides the head space to collect thoughts for the next stop.
Great to be in Derby at Ozzy Road Church. The minister there, Graham, called by Zac's whilst on his sabbatical a few years ago - so it's been good to see signs of the great work they are doing in the heart of their city. More special reunions with a surprise visit from the Fresh Expressions media team added to what was another diverse gathering of folk - again a wonderful welcome and enthusiastic response.
Continue up the M1 to Leeds for Thursday night, back down to Stoke Friday and home via Salford on Saturday to record an interview for Sunday's BBC Radio 4 morning programme.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Tour Venue Details

As I make the final preps to next week's five dates on the road - here's a reminder of the venue details. I'm looking forward to seeing many old friends, travelling companions and meeting new people along the way! Deeply appreciate the good folks at Fresh Expressions who have supported this venture and also the host venues for being open to it. See you on the road . . . !

READING Mon 10 Sep
All Nations Christian Centre, Berkeley Ave, Reading, RG1 6JE
Melbourn Baptist Church,  Melbourn, SG8 6DB
DERBY Weds 12 Sep
Ozzy Road Church, Derby, DE1 2GU
01332 349468 
LEEDS Thur 13 Sep
Harehills Lane Baptist Church, Leeds, LS8 4HF. 
0113 2628080
STOKE Fri 14 Sep
Wesley Hall Church, ST1 6HR
01782  281818
All events run from 7.30 - 9.30pm. 
Admission is free but donations will be accepted.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

BBC Radio Interviews

Sean will be featuring on the following regional BBC radio stations on Sunday 2 Sep - speaking about Zac's Place and other aspects of mission.

0730 STOKE

0810 DERBY
0830 CORNWALL (On iPlayer until 9/9/12 apx 2h30min in)
0840 LEEDS
0850 CAMBS