Last Sunday was a marathon day: I led worship and preached in three different services, back to back, that demanded focus and a lot of energy. I preached at SouthWest, Union United and St Andrew’s, Delson, led Communion at two services and celebrated a baptism. In my favour, the metro was running well and the Champlain bridge was flowing. Thank God!
What made this possible was the leadership in each local congregation, the elders who continued the service at SouthWest when I left early, who stood with me at the table at Union and Delson, who read, prayed, and even helped prepare the parents coming for baptism.
I am not alone in ministry. I serve in team with leaders who make it possible to be a community of faith with each giving their talents, time, ministry..
One of the stories of the Bible describing the origins of elders is when Moses’ father-in-law suggests that elders from the tribes be named to help give leadership and lighten the tasks. (Exodus 3:16, 12: 21, 18: 13-27). The early Christian church had elders recognized in the early stages of their growth (Acts 14: 23, 15: 4, 23). One passage instructs that those who are sick ask the elders to lay hands on them and pray. (James 5: 14-15). There is strength, wisdom and greater impact when there is a leadership team!
Ministry was never meant to happen in isolation. The image of a body with many members is also true of elders whether called a session (the grouping of eldership), council, board or even a committee model that allows input, support, accountability and shared vision. Ministry needs all the colours of the rainbow prism
We live in changing times when organized religion is in decline. I believe that what we call church can transition into new expressions of Faith Communities with committed leaders at its core. I am honoured to serve with the team at SouthWest and St. Andrew’s, Delson. And if invited elsewhere to support, encourage or preach, to not stand, pray, or minister on my own.
We are not not alone.
Thanks be to God!
We are pilgrims on a journey, fellow travellers on the road,
we are here to help each other, walk the mile and bear the load.
(VU 595, Richard Gillard, 1977)