Home service by Tim Thornborough: Sweating the hard stuff

photo: iStock

photo: iStock

We got around to 1 Timothy 2.8–15 at home group recently.

It was an educating experience for me as a leader. The passage has been a heated battleground for alternative interpretations over the last 30 years, so I was interested to discover how influenced my group members have been by these views, when our church’s preaching and practice has been uncompromisingly complementarian – women and men are equal, but have different roles.

Paul’s text says: ‘I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness – with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.’

Confusing discussion

We had a great time talking about how men should pray, not fight. We had a good discussion about the particular issues the women in the group faced on the clothing v godliness issue. I spent a long time on these two questions, secretly hoping that the discussion over verses 11–15 would be squeezed a little shorter….(to read more click here)

Tim Thornborough is the Creative Director at the Good Book Company.

This article was first published in the October 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

The Home Service from Tim Thornborough: Tail wags dog?

Tail wags dogHistorically, most UK churches ran a central prayer meeting at the church.

This often had a Bible talk at the centre of it (and sometimes, bizarrely, not much prayer). But what started in the 1960s as a radical experiment has now become a standard feature of the life of most evangelical churches: small groups gathering week by week in people’s homes, led by ordinary church members. They may be called Bible study groups, growth groups or a host of other titles.

What for?

But why have we found these groups to be so indispensable to church life? Let’s get back to basics: what is a home group actually for? When you ask a random selection of small group leaders (which I did!)… (to read more click here)


This article was first published in the April 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.