In this first edition of Essentials for which I have editorial responsibility I am glad for the quality and range of focus on the content that follows. If there is a thread that holds together each element of Essentials Spring 2019 it is the theme of ministry.
Simon Manchester, now approaching the conclusion of thirty years as Senior Minister at St Thomas’ North Sydney, reflects firstly on the importance of a pastoral approach fuelled and characterised by grace rather than frustration. Simon then steers us towards three books that focus on the weighty responsibility and matching joy of gospel ministry.
Adrian Lane reminds us of the wonderful work of BCA in this its centenary year, and in that light also gladly commends to us a new and expanded edition of Leon Morris’ autobiographical account of his time serving as a BCA minister during World War II.
On a sadder, but nonetheless vital, note Christopher Ash considers how we ought to respond in a wise and godly way when a Christian ministry is undermined by revelations of abuse.
In his review of the new book of essays from the Doctrine Commission of General Synod Marriage, Same Sex Marriage and the Anglican Church of Australia, Bishop Rick Lewers helpfully draws out the results of two contrasting approaches to ministry that flow from two contrasting attitudes to the nature and authority of Scripture. In the process we are drawn straight to the heart of this issue.
As I read through these contributions and others in this edition of Essentials I am reminded of the core truth that although ministry is not getting any easier or less complex, the gospel of repentance and faith for the forgiveness of sins is no less powerful or glorious. Even when we fail, or when those around us fail, God is good and Jesus is keeping his promise that “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:47, NIV).
Gavin Perkins - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Gavin Perkins is Rector of St Jude’s Bowral, NSW