Thursday, 24 December 2009

a meaningful ministry... and the best is yet to come!

It wasn’t NewDay (that would start the following summer), but it was a New Frontiers summer youth camping event, with a schedule of worship and preaching and seminars and all the usual stuff. Except that this was the first year I’d been sidelined.

For well over a decade I’d been involved not only with local youth events in my church, but also with national youth events through the various Bible Weeks and the two very special events at Plumpton Racecourse in 1989 and 1990.

this year, despite making my availability very clearly (and pointedly) known to the chap in charge of recruiting the teaching team, I discovered I was surplus to requirements. I was no longer flavour of the month and was clearly too advanced in years to be a part of this. I sat down with the programme magazine, and flicked idly through, wondering what they should have asked me to do… when, gently, kindly, but very firmly, God asked ‘Why do they need you?’

I looked again at the list of familiar names: Joel Virgo below (leading the team) and Phil Wilthew were (among others) featured speakers, while Tom Foster & Keith Gamon were part of the list of characters speaking at seminars. All of them had been part of the youth group where I had faithfully ministered. As I read, I began to weep at my own self-centred foolishness, and God gently (no need to be firm, this time) said ‘Remember what you asked me to do?’

Years before, when I became involved in youth work with the 11-14s at Clarendon Church, I prayed ‘Lord, if I have anything to pass on to these youngsters, help me to do it well. And when I have passed on the baton, let them run ahead of me and do things for you that I could not ever do…’ And I realised that this was exactly what had happened.

A baton had been passed, and now these chaps were running on, most of them elders in their churches, each of them dynamic for God in a way I had tried to be yet able to have a po
werful ministry in more locations and with different skills and using a range of gifts…

I am prompted to consider again the way God has answered my prayer. Each of these characters were part of the Dunamis youth group as youngsters (many of them were members of my PowerCell)

Joel Virgo - now lead elder in Brighton
Matt Sweetman above right – lead elder in Chicago
Keith Gamon – lead elder in Macclesfield
Phil Wilthew – elder in Newcastle
Steve Boon – elder at CCK
Simon Virgo left – lead elder at Kingston
Anna van Rhyn – married to lead elder, Capetown SA

And then I worked alongside some pretty stellar characters, too:
Alan Rose right– elder in York
Tal Fahy – leadership team in Brighton
and of course,
Russ Lowman – leadership team here in

That’s one of the many advantages of having a little bit of track record... These people are trophies – not for any glass cabinet or hall of fame which reflects upon me, but precious gifts for me to offer to the Lord Jesus when I meet him face to face. Obviously I’m not solely responsible for how well they have done (and most decidedly not for their mistakes!) but I have played my part here for the sake of the Church and for Jesus’ sake.

1 comment:

Alistair said...

That's quite a roll of honour! Well done, 'tis a great thing to be fruitful - have a great Christmas. Al