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Forming (in) Community – Practice of Servant Gifts (3)

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Recap and Intro: Paul’s earliest teaching (54 AD), on what I called ‘The Manifestations Gifts’ of the indwelling Holy Spirit, is in 1 Cor 12. Though he lists nine such gifts in vv.8-10, it’s clear from vv.28-30 that it was not a fixed and final list of spiritual gifts. Let us look at some of those other gifts that he mentions, from Rom 12:1-8 (‘The Motivation Gifts’ in the Body of Christ) and Eph 4:7-13 (‘The Ministry Gifts’ of the ascended Christ). Once again, they’re ALL servant gifts, given by God via each member of Christ’s Body, to heal, form and grow us to maturity. The gifts represent THE ministry (service) of Jesus Christ: it’s not ‘my ministry’; we’re doing HIS ministry! Each of these texts teaches the key of relational inter-dependence and unity for the gifts to function effectively – next week’s teaching.

Motivational Gifts of the Body of Christ in Rom 12:1-8 (written in 57 AD)

The context: Rom 1–11 is Paul’s ‘theology’, his breathtaking vision of God’s plan and work of salvation. Rom 12–16 is his ‘praxis’, his practical application: how THEN do we live and behave for God’s sake? He begins with, “Therefore, I urge you, in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices to God… which is your spiritual act of worship” (12:1). The rest that follows – all that we obediently do in our bodies – is our worship of God. Continue reading Forming (in) Community – Practice of Servant Gifts (3)

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Following Jesus to be lead pastor at Valley Vineyard

Just over 3 months ago Gill and I responded to a call from the leaders at Valley to come and help in a process of evaluation and direction in terms of the where the church was at. There was a serious struggle on a few fronts, not least in regard to attendance and finances. That process came to an end in mid August when the leadership said they were ready to make decisions for the way forward. Trevor (the existing team leader) and the elders wrote me a letter of invitation or call to become the new team leader, and Trevor would be re-positioned as the associate pastor with a focus on ministries going out from Valley, particularly Emthonjeni HIV/AIDS project south of Johannesburg (which needs more of his time because of its recent growth with orphaned and vulnerable children taking up residence in house built by Habitat for Humanity).

Gill and I feel right about this decision before God. I believe God wants me to give leadership to Valley Vineyard for the remaining season of my paid-ministry life. I am keenly aware that I am entering the last part of my full-time working life as a senior pastor of a church. I know that I am now entering the peak of my experience, gifting, calling and ministry, so I am taking this appointment very seriously under God, as his precious gift entrusted to me for the years ahead. This is going to be a joy to walk this journey with God and the followers of Jesus at Valley Vineyard. I am asking God for at least 15 to 20 years of productive leadership and ministry with health and strength in my body to do this work for God’s glory and honor. Gill is equally excited at this opportunity, to stand side by side with me and do this for Jesus. Continue reading Following Jesus to be lead pastor at Valley Vineyard