First of all, can I express the hope and prayer that if you have been away on Holiday in recent weeks that it was a refreshing time for you? It is good to get away from the daily routine of things and to recharge our so called “batteries” again!
Can I also express my own thanks to those who led worship at Chalmers Church during my own three-week break? As I said on my return to the pulpit on 12th August I am learning quickly that Chalmers Church is quite a self-sustaining garden! We are blessed with many very talented people whose ministry amongst us is much appreciated.
If you’ve been to Church recently, you will know that I have just started a six-week series of sermons about Paul’s letter to the Church at Philippi and our opening observations about that letter showed us, not only how warm Paul’s relationship with these people was, but also how much he values the sharing of Ministry.
The common image of St Paul is that he was a bit of a one-man band! Some of his writing can seem terribly assertive and confident. When he has something to say, he says it! And yet, here we discover a more tender side to Paul, where he acknowledges that what he is seeking to do is to build a fellowship and a team that will fulfil Christ’s command to go to the world and spread the good news.
Contrary to popular opinion then, Paul is not a one-man band! As I also said in my opening sermon in this series - sharing the responsibility for ministry is something that the modern day church is beginning to rediscover, and not a moment too soon!
We are discovering anew the joy that can be found in shared ministry and in helping people to discover the gifts that they have.
As Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians 12 we all have gifts and talents that God can use. Moreover, each of those gifts is a unique contribution to the work of Christ’s church. Like parts of a jigsaw they fit together to make something bigger and more all-encompassing.
As we journey through Paul’s letter to the Philippians we will continue to discover what that shared ministry meant to him. What lessons can we learn? What gifts and talents can we offer? How can we spread the gospel to those who need to hear it?
These are the challenges of the modern-day church, just as much as they were the challenges of the early church.
Can I wish all the organisations starting up again after the Summer break every blessing? Your work is appreciated more than you could know.
Your friend and minister
Robin Allison (Rev)