What Is The Spirit saying to the Church
Malcolm Duncan began the afternoon session, by exhorting the Lay Preachers :-
1. To take seriously their opportunities as visiting preachers .
2. To remember, It’s not about you, but about Christ whom we preach.
3. To hit the ground kneeling.
4. To make sure you have something worthwhile to say.
After this Invigorating challenge, we continued in the study of:-
How The Holy Spirit, Chisels, and shapes us, to become His Preachers
Jeremiah 20:9 His Word was in my heart like a burning fire
We can’t help preaching, It’s our calling to proclaim & keep the scripture central. Also to allow ourselves to be transformed by God’s word.
The art of Double listening (John Stott)
Not only must we listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, but also be sensitive to the culture we aim to reach. Preaching isn’t only a “oneway” communication. It should be a dialogue where we listen & learn from our hearers. Yet we must be faithful to our text, but relevant to the culture. The Gospel was handed on to you as a baton; be faithful in your preaching, so that you can hand it on unchanged to others.
Cultural relevance All 7 of the letters to churches in Revelation refer to a geographical characteristic, that was specific to that area. Keying into the relevance of culture & context.
The Unchanging God chooses to mediate truth through you 2Tim4:1-5
The Trinity is not The Father, Son, & Holy Scripture, even though many preach this way. We mustn’t make a paper pope.
Deuteronomy 5:3 The Lord did not make the covenant with our fathers, but with us here today who are alive.
We must Imagine the text. Digest the text,break It down until It gives strength to every organ of our bodies. So that we see like Jesus, feel and hear and speak like Jesus.
The subjects of:-
Inherency : Interpretation, & Imagination , were concluded in this session.
Doctrine of accommodation
God chooses to make Himself understood by the simplest of men. He spoke in Isaiah 55:1 in the language of the street people . We mustn’t think using fine words is bringing Glory to God, when He is deliberately reaching down to the outcast. We must submit to the authority of the text, not exercise authority over it.
What is the authority of the Bible.
It’s not my understanding of It’s meaning that conveys power – It’s the very words of scripture that: Heal the sick , raise the dead, & set captives free. Often, Evangelical believers in particular will preach charismatic traditions they have gathered along the way. Without questioning the origins. Somehow our views & opinions still seem to creep into our preaching, when we should simply read & believe the scriptures. The word of God must never be used to bully, squash, or dominate people.The scriptures always welcome & invite us to come closer.
Tools to help us Hear The Spirit
Complete reliance on Him
Communicating facts is not passing on truth-to know Him not about Him
Our sermons can be accurate but lifeless.
We continued to look at:-
Kerygma Preaching: proclaiming the centrality of the Resurrection.
The Power & place of The Spirit in our preaching.
Partnering with the Spirit in preaching
Finally: Eph 5:18 Be Filled with the Spirit
The session closed with a time to be anointed with oil during Communion
Response Time at the SBLPA.
For me the response time came and it was wonderful to hear Malcolm asking those who wanted to be anointed to come forward. About 15 people were anointed including me. It was good and could feel the Holy Spirit moving among us. The word preached was meant for me and it addressed what as person was going through. Praise be to God when he answers our prayers. During the response time we has Holy Communion and for me that was the icing on the cake. I really enjoyed the day as a whole and hopefully everyone was touched on Saturday. Thanks Glen for such a wonderful day.
SBLPA CONFERENCE 2013
As a new member of the SBPLA this was my first conference and I can say that I was not disappointed, far from it in fact. The venue was impressive, the welcome was warm and friendly, the lunch was good but most of all the teaching from Malcolm Duncan of Goldhill Baptist church was outstanding.
Malcolm began the morning session by quoting from an article by Craig Brown Larsen in which he said that “a sermon is the most condensed source of dignity that a person can receive”. In a sentiment that Malcolm obviously shared, Larsen concluded, we were told, “I can serve people in no better way as a preacher than investing my time, my effort, my passion my intellect and my love in preparation that will help them see Christ. This is why I preach this is why preaching is so important.”
In this day and age when the church, he said, is in danger of losing the centrality of preaching Malcolm reminded us that preaching is a privilege as well as a responsibility. He reminded us that we are called to handle the Word of God, and are charged with the responsibility of interpreting eternal truths in a way that is relevant to our hearers and to the culture in which they find themselves thus we are not free to interpret it as we please. Malcolm made clear however that we cannot handle God’s word at arm’s length, so to speak, but rather we must think about it and engage with it in such a way as to be ourselves changed by it. “I wrestle every day with scripture and scripture wrestles with me” he declared.
Malcolm encouraged us to think about three principles when we preach.
Firstly that scripture is not only inerrant but inherent, that is, that God inhabits his Word.
Secondly that we must learn to ask ourselves, “what if I am wrong”, for we are always in danger of thinking that it is not the scripture itself but our interpretation of it that is authoritative.
Thirdly we need to use our imaginations when we preach so that the word lives and breathes in us.
I enjoyed what Malcolm had to say immensely. I liked that he addressed us specifically as preachers and that not only did he encourage and challenge us in our preaching but also that he dignified our office for it is indeed a privilege and responsibility to preach.
As I arrived at Newton Mearns Baptist Church the day started when I met the rest of the team. On the agenda the first thing we had was our AGM. Jim McFarlane our president announced he was stepping down from his post as God had opened a new door for him. Jim was now going to be pastor of the Ladywell Baptist Church in Livingstone. It was rightly acknowledged by Glen Cartwright our secretary that Jim was a great spiritual leader for us all and prayers were said for Jim as he starts his new ministry.
The committee has unanimously voted for Douglas Inglis to be the new President of SBLPA. It was clear to everyone that Douglas was a humble man and he gave us his assured commitment as he leads us forward. Douglas also said that he looked forward to working with Glen and asked all his fellow lay preachers that we would pray for him.
As Glen gave his secretary’s report, he stressed that we are being very much used as an Association. Glen assured everyone of his continued commitment to the SBLPA. On behalf of all the SBLPA members I thank God that we have such a committed secretary in Glen.
Lionel Gibbs gave us the treasurer’s report and it was rightly acknowledged the hard work that Lionel does. It was encouraging for us all that five new members were welcomed in and prayed for. It is clear that the SBLPA is going forward. It was very touching to see Glen call Harry Mooney forward and present him with a gift for 25 years service to the Association. I personally had the privilege to sit at Harry’s table for lunch. I was glad that our new president, Douglas, ask all to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Syria. On a sad note it was very sad for me personally to hear that fellow lay preacher Andrew Page was unwell. As a young Christian 20 years ago, Andrew came to my home Church in Hawick to preach. Andrew was a great help to me in those days and I pray for his recovery. Finally thank the lord for the sense of unity in the SBLPA, which was felt throughout the AGM.
OVERVIEW OF SBPLA CONFERENCE 2013
By James MacKenzie (Aberdeen Christian Fellowship)
My abiding memory of the conference is the words of Psalm 103 which were read and sung during one of our worship times. I found myself singing this over and over again: “Bless the Lord, O my soul…” and I asked myself, why? I think the answer is that the experience of the conference put a song in my heart and on my lips. The teaching we received from Malcolm Duncan relit the blue touch paper for me and I suspect for many other attendees too. By this I mean that as I listened to the teaching and engaged in the worship I felt a renewed passion for preaching and a commitment to rely more on the Holy Spirit’s guiding in preparation for preaching and more on His empowering for the act of preaching itself. What the Holy Spirit was saying quite clearly to me was this: “Without me you can do nothing.”
The SBLPA members who attended were joined by a significant number of friends from NMBC and beyond. It was a dreary Scottish morning with the cold rain falling horizontally and little sign of Spring in the air, despite the fact it was 11 May. That was outside however. Inside there was a warmth of unity in a common purpose facilitated by a funky arrangement of seats that, depending on which way you were sitting, took its toll on the neck muscles! However we found our little group gelling and staying together for a mini-conference over an excellent lunch. Some of the high spots of the conference included the seamless handover of the baton from the outgoing president (Jim McFarlane) to the incoming one (Douglas Inglis), with timely words of exhortation from the latter. The times of corporate worship were soul-enriching, and the light-hearted interview with Malcolm Duncan set the tone well for what was to follow. Malcolm was certainly not “The Weakest Link” when it comes to firing up lay preachers!
The teaching on “What is the Spirit saying?” certainly had the effect of presenting to us as lay preachers our total reliance upon the Holy Spirit for all we do. Malcolm Duncan also reaffirmed the importance of the centrality of preaching as something that we must pass on to the next church generation and restated the challenge of being faithful to the text of scripture while engaging meaningfully with our culture. I find this a real challenge, to be a bridge between God’s revealed truth and our culture, allowing the truth of Scripture (rather than culture) to shape us. This makes preaching a dynamic thing involving the Holy Spirit, the preacher, the hearer and the text of Scripture where people are not just fed information, but experience revelation and transformation. I think the teaching for me was summed up in one memorable quote from Malcolm: “We cannot hope to be Spirit-empowered preachers until we have recognised the centrality of continually being Spirit-filled Christians.” Yup, that’s it. As preachers we need to be better Christians, holier Christians, more Christ-like Christians and then we will be Spirit-filled preachers. All of this put a song in my heart and my mouth. “Bless the Lord O my soul…and worship His holy name.” The rain had stopped, the birds were singing, the clouds were dissipating and the sun was shining as we left NMBC (well almost…). Believe it or not as I type this I am still singing “Bless the Lord, O my soul…” Can’t wait for the next preaching engagement!
SBLPA Conference 2013
As soon as I entered the building there was a relaxed, friendly welcoming atmosphere that put a personal touch on the whole day and this was continued throughout the sessions where people rather that business seemed to matter.
The terms AGM and conference can present a picture of business and heaviness and concentration but that was far from the reality on Saturday. I found the well organised welcome, the smooth AGM, the well timed food breaks and the pleasant surroundings made for a relaxed, yet purposeful day. The worship leaders did just that - they brought us close to the Lord with their singing and readings, so that we were ready to receive the enriching truths that Malcolm Duncan brought us. The interview with him at the start made me open and ready to listen to him. His honesty, humility and passion as he talked about wrestling with the Scriptures rang clear bells of reality for me. The quiet ending with the response time and communion put the seal on a day of strengthening, friendship and renewed purpose as a preacher for me. Thank you for all the preparation that made it possible
A Date for your Diary!
Please join us to learn more about Abraham with authors and international speakers
Sylvia Penny, Michael Penny and William Henry.
22nd June 2.30pm – 6.30pm
- Abraham: The Call and the Promise
- The Lord’s Appearances to Abraham
- Abraham: his life and experiences
- Abraham – the man’ faithful but flawed
- Questions and discussion
- Abraham’s seed in the Gospels; the true seed
- Abraham’s seed in the earlier letters; who are they?
- Abraham’s seed in the later letters
- Why no references to Abraham in the later letters?
- Questions and discussion
There is no charge and refreshments between sessions will be available free of charge. There will be an opportunity to make a donation towards the conference expenses should you wish to. And there will be the opportunity to purchase books and booklets, CDs and DVDs.
For directions and further information please phone
Willie Henry on 0141-638-7834
Call The Open Bible Trust (01491-671357)
Today 11th May 2013 10:00am – 3:30pm