Last year I wasn’t very productive in terms of writing on here. It was a busy year, with many changes and so much growth – personally and as a Ministry Team. Paul and I have found ourselves (it’s an ‘only God can do that’ scenario!) leading a group of incredible Christ followers who desire to live out and grow in their faith, in the community they live in.
We recently travelled to Port Augusta from Moree (3100km round trip) to attend the Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship National Conference for 2020. We took 4 days to travel there. Paul and I love travelling together. So many of our chats and indepth discussions take place while we are on the road. I still had some finishing touches to put on the Orientation programme and Ministry Journal component of the GAP (Gospel Applied Practically) programme we are offering this year. So, I thought, I’m going to start reading through Romans.
My favourite bible character would be the Apostle Paul. He was just so daring, brave and courageous, yet cared deeply that people would come to faith in Jesus Christ and grow up into maturity in that faith. It’s not that he didn’t care for the consequences of his choices for teaching truth, but rather the fear of the consequences had no hold on Him – His bottom line was Christ Born, Christ crucified and Christ resurrected – whether free or in chains.
What started happening though, as I started reading through Romans was that I sensed God was forming a model of ministry that I hadn’t understood or been able to articulate before. For years I have struggled to describe our view of ministry to people. I have tried using words like, “mission life-style, living life with Jesus, missional living, complicated”.
There were certain terms that I tried to refrain from and steer away from. I don’t like the idea of ‘ministry’ being viewed also as a job, 9am – 5pm. I have struggled with ‘ministers’ who get so involved in the ‘job description’ that they lose their walk with Jesus and end up so disillusioned with the ‘concept’ of the Church that they feel the need to then go through some form of dangerous, misguided deconstruction, not only of their life, but of their Faith and family.
Ephraim House was established out of a desire to disciple, inspire and encourage followers of Jesus to reach out to their local communities, with the gospel, according to the gifts God has given them. We have identified Gospel Centred Values and described ways in which we saw these being applied in our circumstances. Yet, here I was, unable to identify and articulate how we believe we should carry out the mandate to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into all the world.
Romans 1:14-15, is where clarity started forming…
“I am under obligation both to greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”
Continued in Part 2… PART TWO