Celebrating Small Churches

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines2 Comments

I’ve heard from a few ministers who spend time speaking at big events that the two most common questions that church leaders ask each other in greenrooms at such events are ‘how many people does your church have?’ and ‘what’s your budget?’ The implication is that bigger is better and that these are the two main markers for success. The … Read More

What Church Success Looks Like for Me

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual DisciplinesLeave a Comment

Recently I was asked why I was working on gathering a faith community, Commoners, in Hamilton when it’s obvious to some that if I did the same thing in Auckland I could probably have something that would fit the traditional definitions of reasonable success fairly quickly. It’s probably true. I’m sure that if I did in a central Auckland space, … Read More

3 Reasons Why I Love Traditional Church Buildings

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines2 Comments


Up front I need to mention that I am not part of a faith community that meets in a traditional church building. These days that seems to surprise people. The faith community I am a part of meets in a facility that houses a number of community groups. It has its own beautiful appeal that speaks of God’s redeeming work … Read More

Why NewsLeads?

Reverend Francis RitchieHumanitarian Work2 Comments

I’m a person who loves the Church (obviously) and I’m also a person who loves the media. I see the media as acting like a prophetic voice in our culture; speaking truth to power, critiquing our failings, celebrating our successes and putting a mirror up to who we are. I also think it’s fair to say that the media is … Read More

William Temple on Christianity & Social Order

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellanyLeave a Comment

I haven’t read William Temple’s ‘Christianity and Social Order’ but there are excerpts from it in another book I am reading. Some of his thoughts caught my attention. Firstly he outlines what he thinks should be the Church’s impact on society. First, the Church should make its principles known. Secondly, in relation to society the Church should enable those who … Read More

For the Love of Holy Communion

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines2 Comments

Holy Communion

Last night I curated the small liturgical Holy Communion service I do once a month. I went through an interesting process in the lead up to it, one that I go through from time to time. You see, last night, as with most nights I do it, it was a very small group. There were three adults (not including myself) … Read More

TEAR Fund’s Discovery Process

Reverend Francis RitchieHumanitarian WorkLeave a Comment

TEAR Fund's Discovery Process

One of the things we aim to do at TEAR Fund is equip churches to fulfill their mission to be ‘salt and light’ in their communities. To that end we offer a process called Discovery, that enables churches to pursue community development in their own geographical areas. TEAR Fund’s Discovery process is a gift from us to the Church and … Read More