Essentials

Every now and again you get the ‘interesting’ opportunities in a community to speak about the Army at all sorts of places. Today I visited the ladies group at a local baptist church.

On my first visit to these groups, I generally give my testimony, sing a couple of solos and give a gospel message using the flag as a prop. It gives me the opportunity to tell my story again. The second visit, I usually talk about special moments in ministry – usually involving to ministry to the poor and ‘un-desirables’. People can debate scripture and the existence of God all they like, but they cannot deny our stories.

As the years go by I find myself becoming more and more distanced from my past. In many ways that is good, but I am always determined never to forget what it is like to be lost. I am determined never to stop marvelling at the way God has transformed my life. I am determined to sing my salvation song forever.

I came away from my meeting today with £10, a bunch of daffodils for my wife and some valuable thoughts…not just from the meeting, but in reflecting on what I’m about:

1. God has plucked me out of a living hell as well as an eternal one through his Son.
2. I will never understand lack of urgency in mission…from anyone…and I’ll always act to counter it by stripping away apathy. Hell is hot and it gets fuller by the day. I find myself getting angry about this, and I’m not always sure that the anger is misplaced or wrong. Its more what you do with it I suppose.
3. I will be confident in ministry because it is God who has given me it and it is him who has shaped, and continues to shape it, to be what he wants it to be.
4. I must continue to embrace prophetic ministry, even when that is unpopular, when I’m misunderstood, misinterpreted or misrepresented.
5. Although I’ve perhaps not always communicated well or demonstrated as fully as possible where I’m coming from, I’ll continue my ‘crusade’ to transform our concepts of pastoral care, resisting at all times the ‘clericalisation’ of the pastoral ministry in favour of every member ministry.
6. I’ll continue to shout about freedom as an essential part of holiness and discipleship to see believers living as fully Christian lives as possible.
7. I’ll never understand or accept worldly values that creep into the salvationist mindset
8. I’ll continue to advocate gift-oriented ministry and a widening awareness of spiritual gifts in general….but especially the gift of prophesy. Paul said he though it was one worth eagerly desiring!

Every now and then you have to capture these things, write them down and allow them to speak to you afresh.

yours
Andrew

4 thoughts on “Essentials”

  1. Inspiring as always; I’m just wondering though, as you talk about giving our stories, where does that leave those of us who have stories that are too long and quite uninteresting. What I mean is, those of us who grew up in the Church, and grew in faith and wisdom before realising our need to give ourselves fully to God.I’m saved, there’s no doubt of that for me, but I can’t tell a short story about how I wasn’t saved one day and then was the next.Anyway, was just wondering on your thoughts.

  2. Hi David,I believe that people who have been brough up ‘Christian’ often underestimate the power of a life completely lived in the context of Christian faith. The difference is faith, if there is one there, because ultimately it is a testimony to the glory of God. It may not seem as dramatic, but it doesn’t cease to make it a story. You have a story, don’t you? blessingsAndrew

  3. Hi AndrewI am so glad that you sing solo’s, can I put you down for a couple for the North Scotland adult and family ministry rally in inverness in October ?This is from Catherine Wyles DDWnot Russell,who thinks this is a real cheek !!!!

  4. Very funny…I seem to remember a certain Major Catherine Wyles singing very professionally at the South Western Divisional Congress a few years ago…you did a much better job than I could! :o)I’m not that spectacular, but if you let me know the date, I’ll see what I can do! Nice to hear from you…blessingsAC

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