Things are winding up at my current church, next year I will be moving on from All Saints North Epping.
I have enjoyed my time there, made many friends and grown in my skills. It was good to experience a smaller growing church; a change from Narrabeen.
Next year I have accepted a student minister job back on the beaches. This time further north, in Avalon. I’m really excited about returning to the NB (Northern Beaches) It is where my heart is and where I feel most equipped and effective in doing ministry. I know the beaches culture well, I have a desire to see people in such an affluent area love Jesus and have Him as Lord, not themselves, their kids or the beauty that is God’s creation.
St Mark’s Avalon is also a small church, but like All Saints is seeking to grow and serve the tight knit community that is Avalon and Palm Beach. I will be involved with the youth ministry there, running the youth group, caring for the leaders and seeking to help the crew that are there to plug in and serve both their church and community with the love of Jesus. I will also be preaching and leading at Sunday services. I am really looking forward to working with the people there as they train and encourage me in the ministry God has predestined me to do.
I am becoming more convinced that full time ministry of the word of God requires a calling from the Lord. This doesn’t need to be in an audible way. It is most likely going to come from reading the word, praying and searching the desires and passions God has set in your heart. It also involves the advice of others to be evaluated and considered. For me I have a great love to do youth ministry for a long time, having experienced that faithfulness in my own life and observing its fruit. I also have a great love of the beaches and the people there, especially the youth. It is where I grew up, it is what I know well and a place I pray that will be transformed for Jesus and his Glory.
I have had people tell me, I need to experience ministry in a completely different context, and to an extent I can see their point. It places me in a place I will feel uncomfortable in, that exposes my own sin and cultural baggage and helps me to consider how to do the work of Jesus in a new context. Epping although not greatly different from the beaches, has helped in a few of these areas. Yet I also see how returning to the beaches is the wise and most effective place for me to be. I know the way of life, and as I search the culture I see more clearly the faults and stains that it has, but I also see the way this needs to be addressed. I wont need to spend time getting to know the unique culture that is the NB, cause I already get it. The barriers of being an outsider are reduced and current relationships are able to be built on.
In prayer I have assessed my motives and my desires. There is a great joy in returning to the NB and was an easy decision. One that in istelf going to be a huge barrier. Yet It also excites me and fires me up to do ministry and do it well because of the call and passion that I have been given. I am truely greatful and count myself blessed to be returning to the NB and I thank God much. With the possibility of full time youth ministry in 2010 in Avalon after this next year, I consider it great joy to serve the Lord and thank Him for his grace and blessing in my life.