The weather does not seem to know it is summer, but according to the calendar it is. And so far it has been busy and exciting to see what the Lord is doing and allowing me to be a part of.
I want to share a few “firsts” with you. These posts are late in being shared, but I hope you can enjoy what the Lord is doing.
The first “first” was being a part of an ordination council. Alan Campbell was ordained to the ministry on April 21st, 2012. I met Alan just a short while after he had been saved. He visited our church in Northern Ireland with one of the young men who was a member there. Alan’s full testimony is on his website, www.berestored.co.uk. He admits that for a while he just kept a pew warm, but during a youth conference I organised with Travis Snode (www.intoalltheworld.net) Alan felt God challenging him to serve him.
Long story short, when we later moved to Sunderland to work with Pastor Stephen Boreland, Alan felt led of the Lord to join us there. He became the first full-time student at the school I helped Pastor Boreland in and has studied there over the last few years.
During the ordination council, on which I sat with a number of other men, Alan was questioned regarding numerous areas of faith and practice. His theology and ethics were checked thoroughly.
As I explained to Alan, I do not believe an ordination council gives a man permission to preach, God alone calls and authorises men into the ministry. In my mind the ordination council served the purpose of checking Alan’s prepardness to fulfil the high calling we already know God has put on his life, to reveal any areas of weakness which need strenthening, and to give testimony to the broader circle of churches that we recommend him to the ministry.
It was a privilege to be a part of Alan’s life in helping prepare him for ministry and I continue to value his friendship and partnership in ministry a great blessing.
Sign up for Alan’s updates at his site and pray for him!
Lastly, in my mind this is what missions is all about. An American missionary, Tom Dotson, led me to the Lord. Under his ministry I was called to serve the Lord, he trained me up both before and after I went away to Bible school. As the Lord opened the door for me to go out into ministry God gave me the privilege of helping train up another British man for ministry. Alan is now involved in the ministry leading others to the Lord and training them for the ministry.
It is the model of missions I find in Scripture. I thank God for Pastor Dotson who followed the Biblical model for missions work and was used of the Lord to start a chain of events which continue much further and deeper than we may ever now.