There are many heroes of the faith – Paul, Peter, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Chappo – the list could go on. (And no doubt you are thinking of big names I have missed!)
But there are also billions of ordinary Christians who serve Jesus, who pray, who toil in the work of the Lord, whose names will never again be spoken. There are billions of ordinary Christians like Tychicus and Epaphras. Colossians 4 tells the story of these two men who wrestle in prayer, encourage hearts, strengthen the church and work hard for the Gospel. My suspicion is that the vast majority of us will never have given them more than a cursory thought.
But that is the shape of Christian ministry. You don’t serve to receive accolades or adoration. You serve because Christ first served you. You serve because all of your time, talents and treasures belong to the Lord and ought to be used to glorify him. You serve because you want to see Christ’s church built up and reach out so that other people may hear of the Lord Jesus and be saved. You serve because that’s just what Christian people do.
And thanks be to God that the Christian people of Campbelltown Anglican Churches have always done just that. Truth be told, throughout our time in Campbelltown I have had many moments where I have been blown away by the willingness of people to get in and serve the Lord. There are too many faithful servants of the Lord to mention and the risk of mentioning some and forgetting others would be too much to bear!
There are people who have served by teaching the Bible through preaching, growth groups, youth and children’s ministry, 1-1 ministry, accountability ministry, mentoring and more. There are people who have served by ensuring everything was ready for us to sit under God’s Word by setting up chairs, managing technology and sound, handing out books and flyers, preparing and providing food, playing music, leading in prayer and reading the Bible and more. There are people who have served by seeking to connect outsiders with the Gospel through Arvo Kids, ESL, Food ministry, Jesus is nights and more. There are people who have served in the background, where you will never see them, during the week and even in the dead of night when the alarms go off. There are people who have managed money, governance and policy to ensure we can keep doing
ministry through Parish Council, Safe Ministry and Risk Management. There are people who have chased up the missing, visited the sick and prayed for the lost. You get the feeling don’t you that this list could go on and on. What incredible servants of the Lord you are. Thank you!
If I must isolate one thing that has been of great joy to me, it is this: from time to time people have messaged or come and asked me, “How can I pray for you this week?” There is no greater act of service than to pray and bring requests and thanksgiving before the Lord. In what way will you be the Tychicus and Epaphras of 2020?