Saturday, January 3, 2015

January ministry

Note I sent to one of the ministers at church:

The other night I was wondering about ministry over January; maybe it is not such a concern at our church, but as a young man, I often felt quite adrift over the summer; the support and engagement I'd had in small groups vanished as families retreated into their holidays. It was often a bleak period, particularly when I had time free from university.

This was solved at St Barnabas, Broadway where I was in fellowship in the early 90s. There was a summer group that met at the church centre through January. Was good, and it served well many singles, some couples and particularly uni students who were far from home.

Then I got to further thinking about the frustrating intellectual aridity of church life when I was younger. I would have loved then, and others may love it now a summer school at Bible college. I enjoyed a number of such events at Capernwray Bible School in Moss Vale in my mid 20s (when Allan Catchpoole was principal), but wonder if such would be possible in Sydney.

This might be able to go some way to giving intellectual structure to believer's own developing apologetic and spiritual reflection, enabling more rigorous discussion with peers. In my early 20s I remember how I only had the language and thought-tools of simple non-conformist Christianity which paled quickly in almost any conversation with an intelligent non-believer.

Young students at uni discuss the great intellects of their fields (well, at least some did when I was there), but the Christian kids by and large discuss the intellectually trivial....I was never able to find anyone with whom I could chat about what I was reading: Thielicke (who I was blessed to hear speak at Moore College), Carl Henry, and Pannenberg, for instance, and could not then marshal the conversational resources to deal with the (as I now see them) pathetic anti-christian nonsense my opinionated lecturers spouted.

Just some thoughts...

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