Ferndale Welcomes the Girls Brigade

Posted on 23 January 2009
Leaders of the local Girls Brigades gathered at Ferndale last night.

Stephen was asked to lead the Devotions in which he made the following comments:

“Not a few pulpits (especially in older churches) have a text pinned to the back of the reading desk. It is John 12:21: ‘Sir, we would see Jesus’. It is, perhaps, a gentle reminder of the besetting sin of the ministry: self-glorification. Possibly more to the point it stresses the fact that if the listeners do not meet with Jesus through the ministry, the activity of preaching has been in vain!

“And what is true for the minister is, I venture to suggest, true of every GB officer. Unless your work among the girls is directed to leading them to meet with Jesus, you have lost your way just as much as the preacher.

But what does it mean to lead a person to Jesus?  Here are some observations that would appear relevant:

• we are not performing our task adequately if we are merely teaching morality or offering instruction about ‘God’ (perhaps, ‘we should all be good’ and ‘God made everything’);
• we are not performing our task properly if we simply inform children about Jesus: we are not merely educators but called to undertake the task of discipleship… to lead a person to a personal encounter with Jesus;
• we must avoid accepting the assumption (implied in much literature designed for Sunday School teachers and the like) that young children cannot be led to Jesus because they are not old enough to make a ‘mature’ decision. All can respond to him in a way appropriate to age and experience.
• we must avoid speaking of God’s love and Jesus as ‘our friend’ without setting this in the context of his saving work.
• we can only perform this task adequately if we teach the ‘ordo salutis’. In other words we must speak of sin, guilt, divine displeasure of sin, judgement, Jesus’ substitutionary, penal sacrifice for sin, the hope of heaven and the necessity of the response of personal faith.
• we can only perform this task if we lead our ‘little ones’ who respond into a life of daily fellowship with Jesus. The disciplines of prayer, study of the Bible, fellowship, etc. are vital to their ongoing growth.

All of which requires self-examination, starting with ourselves. God give us grace!“

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