Looking back and ahead
Yesterday we had our semi-regular pastor’s fraternal here in Crawley, and it was a delight to welcome my friend, Brian Croft (who blogs at Practical Shepherding), to preach on the subject of pastoral perseverance.
Over two sessions (outlined here), Brian called on us to persevere by looking back and looking ahead. Then, because once a year we try and do something in which the whole church and other churches can share, we had an open meeting at which Brian developed his theme from Hebrews 12.1-3:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
It was solid, sane, sweet stuff, full of right challenges and needed encouragements, and is available to listen to here. Brian, with friends Nathan Eikenberry, Matthew Davison, and Shawn Hughes, then headed for Edinburgh, where I hope to join them on Friday with a view to preaching alongside Brian, Matthew, and Ray van Neste at the Call Conference on Saturday.