‘The New Family’
It’s now over 40 years since we left Bible College in Birmingham and we want to pass on some of the lessons we have learned through our ministry years. Our first web site was dedicated to the theme of ‘encouragement’ and we have not moved away from this theme in this new website as we want to build up our brothers and sisters in Christ because we know encouragement works!
Please listen to this talk given in 2018 at Javea International Baptist Church which has blessed and encouraged hundreds of Christians over the years. Enjoy the laughter as my wife brings alive the sketch ‘Tales you lose’ (audio file).
One of the main sources of encouragement is our relationship with our brothers and sisters within the local church. Jesus called His disciples friends and family, His revolutionary teaching made it clear that ‘the new family’ needed to grasp that His sacrificial love was all inclusive (John 13:34, 15:12-14). Over and over again Peter, John and Paul stress the need to love sacrificially.
Paul’s passage in Philippians 2:1-11 sums up the love of Christ we should all have in ‘the new family’ - a love that puts the interests of others first; that builds real relationships, empowering us to admonish and even teach one another! (Romans 15:14 & Colossians 3:16). This relational love is rooted in patience, kindness, forgiveness and of course encouragement (1Thess 5:11, Heb 3:13, 10:24,25).
John Stott was well known for his mentoring and the releasing of many people into ministry at ‘All souls church’, London, over a 25 year period.
He explained his mission this way: “The New Testament concept of the pastor is not of a person who jealously guards all the ministry in his hand and successfully squashes all initiatives, but who helps and encourages all God’s people to discover, develop and exercise their gifts”
He clearly practised what he preached! Sadly, not all ministers follow his good example.
The Church of England has recently decided to introduce a test for trainee priests to weed out those suffering from ‘Narcissism’! The New Testament makes it clear that these people existed two thousand years ago (3John 9)! Whenever we have met one of these people suffering from ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’ we have noticed their lack of empathy and inability to encourage others in their ministry. Jesus and especially Paul built a team ministry that not only related but encouraged when possible the giftings of others.
Releasing your Power to Bless
I wrote some years ago ‘Releasing your power to Bless’, to emphasize the fact that we have many teams in our church life such as stewardship, worship etc but where is the ministry team?
The following comment was made by ‘Joy Magazine’ and is one of many endorsements from evangelists, pastors and Bible College Principals who believe that teamwork is vital if we want to fulfil Ephesians 4:16.
"Greg Walton writes out of many years of 'hands on' experience as an evangelist and church planter. His plea is for all believers to offer one another genuine encouragement and support. Only then will effective life and ministry be released into the church today… I was struck by the passion of the message in this direct and challenging book"