My friend, Luke Plant, offers a compelling, fulsome and helpful answer. Even if you don’t agree on all the details, I think the exegetical work to get make its main point is very well done.
I can take a good guess exactly what you are thinking about having read the title of this one. But it is a helpful thought experiment that tells us something else useful for our Christian life.
These things often come as a surprise to new pastors. Nothing has gone wrong if you feel like this, it is normal.
I agree in the most part with this. It is for this reason we happily planted a church in Rochdale led by a former Anglican minister. It operates as an independent paedobaptistic church. We supported by helping in every way we could, financially and practically, and continue to partner together now. None of us had to dilute our personal convictions on baptism or membership and catholicity is clearly served as we partner together, support each other, share resources and other such things. We direct people to each other’s churches, but haven’t had to go against either of our consciences.
And in doing so, we can draw a lesson about ‘big time’ ministry and small time faithfulness.
‘Today in a video message, he asks, “Do you want to be comforted by a falsehood?” It’s a good question and an important one. Does anyone want to find consolation in a fabrication? Does anyone want to pour all their hopes into a dead end?’ Murray Campbell offers an answer in this one.
From the archive: If you really want to be a resource church, send your trainees to those best placed to train them
‘We shouldn’t assume, because we’ve managed to grow a big church somewhere else, that we’re somehow well equipped to train anyone to plant in an entirely different context. A large church does not necessarily equate to success and, even if we think it does, it does not make us experts on growing large churches everywhere. Leading a large city centre student church is not going to be a great grounding for figuring out how to reach working class people in an unreached, non-university town. If you want to genuinely train church leaders for different contexts, you would do well to send them to train in different contexts. Send those would-be church leaders to a context that is more likely to prepare them for the deprived community they will eventually be sent into.’