Day 38 – Sat 9 Oct – It was a pretty normal Saturday morning with chores and the like, never finishing the list of jobs you have to do. The evening was just in with Claire and the kids. In the afternoon I took Noah along to Gwynne Evans retirement do. It’s the kind of thing my father would have done to me, the boy did well and actually really loved the tea afterwards, he’s forgotten the somewhat interminable service. Gwynne has been the minister of Hayes Town Chapel for 17 years and before that was in Droylsden up in Manchester for over a decade. He’s from Cardiff originally.
The service was 2 hours long and there were different folk taking part, Gwynne spoke very warmly of his time in Christian ministry – I loved his line that he and Shirley share when they’ve been talking late at night about the concerns and travails of church life ‘ we’ve got to put the church to bed’.
Bill Dyer preached and I felt for him getting up after an hour and 10 minutes had passed. Bill had a remarkable ministry in Pontefract for 40 years and for the last decade has worked with EFCC trying to encourage younger men. He took his theme from 2 Tim – ‘the privilege of serving the Lord and investing in the next generation’ – it was a warm hearted exhortation and a joy to hear. In the midst of feeding Noah sweets and placating his pleas for the service to end I wrote down these notes..
1. Paul is realistic about Christian service but wholly positive
He has no regrets, no bitterness or resentment at the end of his ministry.
It’s a good fight
2. The priority of working alongside an experienced man or team of men
3. All Ministers are given this solemn charge
Preach the Word, do the work of an evangelist.
At this point Bill gave an evangelistic appeal and went after peoples consciences. ‘You know this is true, listen to your conscience’ It was powerful stuff.
4. Spiritual Warfare
Fight/ Run/ Wrestle
There is a toughness and a ruggedness about Christian work
”More often we look more like Dad’s Army than God’s Army”
”Where once the church in this country displayed awesome spiritual weapons now we have ended up firing blanks.”
He quoted Derek Swann saying ‘There is too much of the playground and not enough of the battleground in our prayer meetings’
We were taken to Luke 9 where the disciples did not have enough spiritual voltage and the need for prayer and fasting.
5. Motivation for serving the LORD
A crown of righteousness
Bill finished with the illustration of American not really wanting to get involved in the second world war. Pearl Harbour changed that, suddenly young men were volunteering, desperate to get involved. Something in the gospel has happened which is more significant than Pearl Harbour.