Over the past weeks a majority of my ministry responsibilities have kicked off, and it’s a great joy to be teaching people about God in various formal and informal capacities! One of the ministries I’ve been involved with are ‘Explore’ & ‘Belong’ bible studies, which have been attended by a number of people exploring Christianity, refreshing the basics, and/or joining our church for the first time.
In these studies we get to spend time diving deep into fundamental tenets of our faith. We had much fruitful discussion on the meaning of “justification”, which describes being ‘right with God’, and God’s “grace”, which is his unearned gift to us if we trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection. There have been a number of lightbulb moments as attendees ask questions, grapple with God’s word, and grow in their understand of how great the gospel about Jesus truly is – and we still have 5 more studies to go!
I’m also now 2 weeks into the Cornhill preaching course at Moore College, which I have been attending on Tuesdays with Helen. In this rich and jam-packed course we have begun two long-term subjects: “Old Testament Overview” where we spend an hour on each OT book unpacking the big picture and how it fits into the biblical canon; and “Introduction to Preaching” where we consider what exactly preaching is, and a method of “exegesis to exhortation” (or “explanation to application”). Preaching has been compared to mountain climbing: first you have to climb the mountain and “get it right” biblically, then you have to come down the other side and “get it across” to those you teach. We’ve also enjoyed ‘text-to-sermon’ seminars from the books of Ruth and Hebrews. It’s a joy to meet with other keen students of God’s word each week, as we encourage each other in our respective ministry responsibilities across Sydney churches.
On Wednesdays, we MTS interns (sometimes joined by our student ministers) are run through various theological and practical trainings by our church pastoral staff and admin team. Carmen, our Kids Church minister, has been taking us through MTS orientation and “‘10 commandments’ for ministry workers”. As I settle into ministry life, I often need to reflect and make sure to “work when I work, and rest when I rest”, to “remember who God is, and likewise who I am”, and “remember to meet with the King”.
It is a great temptation to forge ahead with ministry work and forget about whose work it is (God’s!) and who I’m doing it for (also, God!). When I forget to rest, I forget that God rests and commands us to do likewise (Exodus 20:8-11), and that rest is a great reminder of God’s power and salvation for us his people (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). I would value prayer to settle well into ministry rhythms, and to maintain a work-life balance with good boundaries and habits to be a sustainable and suitable sacrifice in my ministry (Romans 12:1-8).
Praise and Prayer Points
- Thank God for the attendance at our ‘Explore’ & ‘Belong’ bible studies as we unpack God’s good gospel. Pray for my school friend who has continued to attend and ask good questions, that they might come to faith in the hope that we share.
- Thank God for the opportunity to study God’s word at Cornhill from expert trainers and preachers, and for the building of new friendships amongst peers.
- Pray that I might continue to grow in love for God as I meet with him in prayer and his Word, and display godly character through intentional and refreshing rest from work.
PS: I haven’t been very proactive in taking photos during my ministry activities and hope to have some more for the next newsletter! Feel free to remind me to take photos when you next see me haha 😊