Wednesday, 25 May 2011
The Shape of Gospel Partnership| Part 3b: Partnership for the Sake of the Gospel (2)
There are two key areas that come under this heading:
i) Training the local church. Every member of the church is a partner in the gospel; they are all gospel workers with a unique part to play. We need, therefore, to be thinking about how we can be equipping the members of the churches we serve to serve faithfully as members of the body of Christ. This will mean training them as Sunday School teachers, Youth Group leaders and Bible Study leaders etc.
ries). On a larger level, it would be helpful to think how we could be doing such training on a country-wide level. Perhaps an annual conference for training members of the local church in the various ministries they are involved in their local church.
ii) Training full time gospel workers. As well as training those in our congregations to serve in our congregations, we also want to be training others to be sent out to serve in other parts of the harvest field. If we are to see Ireland and beyond reached with the gospel, both in our lifetime and beyond (if Christ has not come before then), then we will need to be working hard about raising up a new generation of gospel workers.
4) Supporting Gospel Workers
The work of the gospel is not something that we can do, or should attempt to do, alone. We need the support and accountability of others. It has been said that ‘lone-rangers are dead-rangers’. The more and more we isolate ourselves the more danger we put ourselves in of making a shipwreck of our ministries, causing great damage to those we serve and bringing the gospel into disrepute. Therefore, it is essential that we are thinking carefully through how, not only can we raise up gospel workers, but also how we can give ongoing support and accountability to one another for the whole of the ministries that God has given us.
There are many ways that such support can happen. Here I want to mention just a few.
Secondly, on a slightly larger scale, in order to keep us fresh in our preaching and teaching, a local preacher’s workshop would be of great value. This would be where pastors in a local area come together on a regular basis to sharpen one another up by listening to and giving feedback on one another’s sermons. This could also include keeping one another fresh in our thinking by reading good meaty books and discussing them together.
Fourthly, printed resources can be a great support to gospel workers. There are many great magazines and periodicals available which are aimed at keeping gospel workers fresh. However, what about such a magazine written from and for an Irish context, aiming to keep us going and thinking through how we do gospel ministry in an Irish context?
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