The ‘Almost’-Pastor’s Pen
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2
It is a great privilege to begin this part of my ministry amongst you early, but by way of the keyboard, not the pen!
As you know, I am now free from my commitment to Cheltenham Evangelical Free Church, although the dear members and friends there remain high on my heart. This has led me to begin thinking and planning for the year ahead, with the help of our dedicated Church Secretary.
In recent days, the excitement of ‘thinking and planning’ has begun to give way to a heavier sense of the responsibility that I (willingly) accept. Therefore, I was glad to attend a study conference in Derbyshire. A gifted professor and pastor from California, USA, taught for four days on History, Church Organisation and Theology, all from a reformed Baptist perspective. The key document which sums up the historic Baptist faith is the Second London Confession of Faith, published in 1677 and ‘adopted’ by Baptists in London in 1689. As you may know, I ‘subscribe’ to this 1689 confession, as I believe that it most excellently summarises the main things that the scriptures teach us. Perhaps you would like to read it for yourself – if so, ask, and you will receive!
I chose the verse above because it has encouraged me, and although it is written to Timothy, himself a young Pastor (it is thought he was in his 30s), it should be an encouragement to all of us. Firstly, because we know that as we seek to live for Christ and to make Him known, we are dealing with sure and certain truths. We do not believe or teach what we have imagined for ourselves, but rather, what God has clearly told us in His Word. The Apostles still teach us today, just as they taught the first church members.
Secondly, we should be inspired as we are reminded of the purpose of the local church – ‘teaching others also’. We have an amazing gospel to proclaim, and we live in times of ignorance not seen since the 18th century. Please pray with all your heart for the preaching of the gospel in Thornbury. Pray that more ‘faithful’ believers would be joined to us as we seek to exalt and proclaim our great King, Jesus Christ, and that many unbelievers may also be saved. Who are we that God should use us in His great work? Yet we know that He does and will use us – otherwise He would not have commanded us to proclaim Him!
May God bless each one of us as we seek to know more of Christ, and to make Him known, until He returns or calls us home.
Yours, in His precious name