Ministry is the rhythm of prayer, preaching, teaching, evangelising, administering the sacraments, leading, caring, administering - and nothing else. I've been doing a lot of most of those in the last few busy weeks. At the moment it's all being conducted against a backdrop of making preparations for our move North. My final Sunday is July 18th.
Last Sunday I preached on the Israelites crossing the Jordan, and then on Jesus healing the demon-possessed boy after His transfiguration, both of which should be here.
Yesterday I managed the afternoon at the Evangelical Ministry Assembly. I've been to the EMA for the majority of the last 13 years, and under God owe this conference a tremendous debt for the way I've been taught, sharpened and encouraged. It was terrific to catch up with precious friends. I saw a handful of friends from University days, as well as brothers serving all round the UK and beyond. I wondered if there were as many young men as there should be, or whether it was my constituency and above getting greyer together. I found John Piper to be a disappointment in the afternoon, as (to me, at least) he seemed to be lacking his characteristic clarity and drive in his preaching. Still, he has two more sessions to take, and should warm to his theme. If humanly possible, I'll try to pop in tomorrow.
This Sunday evening we have several baptisms at Gunnersbury, which we're all looking forward to greatly.
Next week I go away for two days in order to edit a book I've written for publication. I would value your prayers for energy, disciplines and insight.