I’ve had a lot of fears recently – fears of all the things I need to do.
While I was in London attending the Alpha Global Leadership Conference, I had the most profound personal experience. As I drew near to God in surrender and worship a whole lot of those fears just went, completely and utterly gone! I’ve returned knowing that I can now step into what I need to do.
This is a challenge for each one of us. What fears have we got? What things are holding us back? What things are stopping us from taking the next step in terms of gospel growth? Quite possibly those fears are not out there but are rather within us. We need them removed, but only the Lord God himself can do that.
God taught me that all I need to do is come to Jesus, hold his hand and walk with him. We need to allow Jesus to blow our fears away.
Prior to the trip, I had been thinking about what it means to be part of Apostolic ministry. What does it mean to follow in the pattern of the Apostles? And, how should this understanding shape our ministry?
While I was in the UK four things struck me. Apostolic ministry is about:
- Laying of gospel foundations – through the preaching of the word and our gospel ministry.
- Caring/pastoring of our churches – loving our churches, growing them, being alongside them, being present with them, giving them opportunities to grow in Christ, and caring for them.
- Raising of leaders – we need to be an over supplier of leaders, not just for the Anglican Church but for the wider Christian Church, as our leaders are the church in the future.
- Breaking new ground – not just for our ministries, but for the church in the future.
It was encouraging to see lots of people in the UK doing simple new things to break new ground.
It’s challenged me to ask: What new ground can we break? Is it starting a new service? Revitalising something that already exists? Starting something from scratch again? Or even planting a new church?
Obviously, this will look different for each one of us in our contexts. What new ground is God calling you to break?
What I do know is that it’s about looking forward with more faith, less fear and with new confidence to trust God, draw near to him and work with him hand in hand to break the new ground.
The Revd Pete Adlem
Rector, St Clements Church, Kingston
Footnote: In May 2019 a group of Ministry Leaders (some Rectors and the Anglicare Parish Development Worker) travelled to the UK to attend the Alpha Global Leadership Conference and to see some of the new things happening in the Church of England. After his return The Revd Pete Adlem shared the above reflections with other Ministry Leaders.