Vicar's letter for February

Vicar’s Letter – February 2015

‘The Joy of Serving’

Dear friends

In 1882 Charles T Stud was a member of the English cricket team which was beaten by Australia for the first time. Studd was a Christian and was wondering what to do with his life. In October 1884, he said, ‘How could I spend the best hours of my life in working for myself and for the honours and pleasures of this world while thousands and thousands of souls are perishing every day without having heard of the Lord Jesus Christ, going down to Christless and hopeless graves?’

He went to a missionary meeting and heard John McCarthy tell of the great need for workers in China. Through this, he became convinced that God was calling him to China but when he broke the news to his mother she was devastated. She begged him not to go. The whole family went into a kind of gloomy depression. He could not sleep at night with all the conflict and confusion in his own mind. On 4th November he took out his little pocket Bible whilst waiting for a train at Kings Cross station. He opened it and was struck by the sentence from Matthew 10:36 ; ‘A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household’. That spoke to him that God was indeed calling him to overseas mission work and for the next 40 years he served God in China, India and Africa.

God still calls his followers to serve him overseas in a strange and unfamiliar culture. But he also calls us to serve him where we are in the ‘front line ministry’ that he has set before us. Whether overseas or at home we make it our aim to serve the Lord and find joy and adventure in following Jesus.

Serving one another

Not only do we serve God through our work, our responsibilities and the opportunities he present to us but we also serve one another in the life of the church.

            ‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many’ Mark 10:45

One in four

When newcomers join our church and we have a ‘welcome’ evening at the Vicarage as we did the other week, I usually give a talk in which I spell out the vision and values of our church. One of the measures of belonging to Holy Trinity is that we serve one another and express this by participating on one of the teams that help to resource our Sunday worship by committing to serve one Sunday a month. So one Sunday in every four each of us will be on a rota to express our love for God through serving one another.

At the moment, particularly in our children and youth ministry the joy of serving is falling to a faithful few who are giving over and above what is required because others have not come forward. We need 60 adults (15 per week) to maintain our Sunday ministry to children and young people.

The challenge

There is no more important work than investing in our children and young people. They are the ones who will ensure there is a church in the future and through our ministry be those who will be the leaders of tomorrow’s church. We don’t need to go to China like CT Studd, we just need to be available to serve for one hour on one Sunday morning per month.

Can we all examine where we are serving in the life of the church on a Sunday morning? Where we have not yet explored an opportunity, have a word with Lynn (our children’s worker) or Sam (our youth worker) about visiting (without obligation) one of the Sunday groups. To leave a legacy of faith in the lives of the young people is an investment that has eternal value.

So what rota are you on? One Sunday in 4 - that’s all we ask.  In just over two weeks time we will be starting the season of Lent. This year instead of giving up some minor indulgence, why not give yourself away and commit to serve one another as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. 

In Christ,