Last night I was formally inducted, or commissioned for my work in the Winterhoek (Uitenhage) Circuit. Having taken part in this service on the same day as the covenant service, the morning service was fresh in my mind.
And just as we shared in the covenant of Holy Communion, so it was brought to mind our covenant as ministers with the Church. Unlike many of the independent churches, ministers are not "employed" by the MCSA - our relationship is one of covenant. We believe that we are called by God to the ministry of Word and Sacrament, and the Church provides the space for us to discover, develop, and exercise that call.
To facilitate this call in my case, the Winterhoek Circuit has provided me with congregations to minister to, a Superintendent to train and oversee me, a flat to reside in, and a stipend to enable me to live. The wider MCSA has provided me with the means to continue my studies, and a Phase One programme to enable me to receive instruction.
All this ultimately is made possible by the generosity of God's people, who have responded to God's love by sowing of their finances into their local churches. God forbid that I should ever abuse this generosity.
No siree - the Church doesn't owe me a thing. In short, the Church has fulfilled its part of the covenant. Now it's up to me to fulfil my part.
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