It’s the summer. And I’ve just got back from camp. It’s now August. And so I can legitimately and officially ‘down tools’. I’ve got a month off from preaching. And, might I suggest, a well-earned rest!
But that means that someone else needs to fill the schedule. We don’t have a pulpit to fill. We use a music stand. But since the staff is mainly off, swanning around on the continent, we need someone to step into the breach and continue to serve our congregations with faithful Bible teaching.
This week it was one of our much cherished elders. And he did a good job. He stitched me up somewhat by showing that it is in fact actually possible to preach a sermon in fifteen minutes. That wasn’t helpful. But it many other respects, it was. I was prompted to think about Jesus’ comment that he’s the gate for the sheep to a full life of protection and provision. That fed my soul. And it led to some great conversations with our kids over lunch.
There’s something wonderful about having your elders preach. You can’t do it too often. They’re busy men. And after a while people will start to wonder why we employ a Minister. But it’s good for the congregation to see their elders teaching the truth and refuting error at the front of church. After all, everyone knows that they get the ‘party line’ from me. I’m paid to be a reformed evangelical Christian preacher. For the record, I don’t just do it for the money. But there’s nothing hugely surprising about me saying the things that I do from the passages that we cover. But it’s different when someone who’s not in the paid service of the church family gets up and gives you the very same gospel with the very same passion and conviction, when they preach Christ and then call people to repentance and faith. These senior mature Christian men don’t get paid to say this stuff publicly. But when they do it comes with years of accumulated integrity. It’s just a shame we tend to get them up when not everyone’s around to hear them.