The IBTM Newsletter

Good morning from frosty Bare, Lancashire

Saturday I returned from a productive visit to the States, and on Sunday we very much enjoyed church in our home, several first-time guests also attending. A number drove here from Manchester, and one of their guests turned out to be our neighbor. Preaching was Archie Kendal (Liverpool), who’d just returned from Nepal and was full of energy and faith as he spoke from John 13. Afterwards we enjoyed one of Vicki’s tasty lunches and then a stroll down to the Promenade (at the seafront). In the evening our normal online communion service featured a message on Jacob’s Ladder (Gen 28 + John 1).

Monday was pretty much a decompression day. (Reminds me of the decompression stop when you’re surfacing from a scuba dive. Not healthy to surface too quickly!) Did a little work, also caught up on rest. Enough about my week. I trust yours is going well.

In this bulletin, I wanted to highlight an intriguing little book (102pp) I enjoyed on the recent flight to America. The author, Thomas Rainer, carefully categorizes churches in four groups: healthy (10%), sick (40%), very sick (40%), and dead (10%). (Where does my congregation fit in?)

Says Rainer, “It is rare for a long-time church member to see erosion in his or her church. Growth may come rapidly, but decline is usually slow, imperceptibly slow. This slow erosion is the worst type of decline for churches because the members have no urgency to change.”

For us personally there is a little irony here, as our apartment — along with 12 others — was crafted from a decommissioned church building. We live in “Christ Church” every day. Yet it’s up to us all to make him known, to take our ministry seriously. Anyway, do check out this slim but punchy volume. Order HERE.


Unfortunately, with the recent announcement from the Israeli Defense Minister that the war will probably drag on into the New Year, and in consultation with our agents, we’ve decided to cancel the two February tours. Our next Israel BST is scheduled for May 2025.

The Antioch Seminar in Turkey and Cyprus, however, is still taking place in June 2024. For more on either opportunity, please click HERE, then scroll down. These are wonderful, faith-building opportunities.


Those in the UK who can make it to Watford next Saturday are in for a treat. The AIM UK & Ireland session is on Counseling and Psychology. Classes may be joined online, too.

The practical material includes:

  • The Use & Misuse of Scripture in Counseling
  • Do I Need Counseling?
  • Boundaries: When to Say Yes and When to Say No

We all need some degree of counseling. And the world desperately needs it. Come and learn! Sign up HERE.


Two weeks ago I happened to sit down next to one of the world’s foremost experts on Islam, Jay Smith. (This is one of my fields of interest.) What a conversation we had! Want to read some stunning revelations about the origins of Islam, the second largest world religion—24% of all humanity? Come back next week. Until then,

Yours in Christ,