Jon has been complaining recently that some of his bloggy chums have not been blogging so much recently. I can only assume that since his exams are finished, he has too much time on his hands and wants to fill the long empty hours perusing edifying prose. Since he reads this space, and since my post rate has dropped catastrophically to around once per week, I can only hold my hand up to make public confession of the aforementioned failing.

Before I explain why I have not been blogging, let me first explain briefly why I do blog. Firstly, I blog because I have time on my hands and naively believe that what I say might change something ‘out there’. The second reason is that I don’t have time on my hands, I have some work to do, but I really don’t want to do it. In other words, blogging is a means of procrastinating, under the guise of doing something useful. I don’t think there are any other reasons.

So if I don’t blog, what are we to conclude? Well, that I don’t have time on my hands and I want to be doing the other things that I should be doing.

So, what have I been doing? We it is a bit of a saga that began back in March. I had to do a church placement as a module for my theological studies degree course. I sorted out a placement with a church plant project in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, working with an experienced Baptist church planter and three others like myself. There is not a single church in that town that is consistently gospel-preaching.

Under God, with a lot of hard work a church meeting has been established with on average 30 people attending. It turns out that, unknown to the planting team, there has been a core of Christians in the town praying over the last ten years or so for such a church to begin. So it has been hugely encouraging.

As a result of working on this project, I have been asked to work part-time over the next six months with another small reformed (in the broader sense of the word) church on a housing estate in Derby. My work has begun formally last week, though I have been easing into the work informally since my exams finished. This work will impact on my studies, since I will have to reduce to 60% of full-time study.

There are several advantages of this plan:

  • Firstly, training: the completion of study while also doing real ministry work is appealing. I have been concerned for some time that my studies have removed me too much from the real task of ministry. This way I can make sure that what I am learning is fully grounded.
  • The specific area of church planting and evangelism is worth learning about in these days.
  • It is another step in testing the call to ministry. I will be preaching usually once per week. As my mentor says, some people improve with such an opportunity, while others get worse!
  • To play a part in the progress of the gospel in, as far as I can see, a largely untouched area of Derby.

There are some cons, though:

  • I will be supporting a (mainly) Baptist work when my convictions are Presbyterian. Since this is a training opportunity, I must keep this secondary.
  • It delays completion of my studies for a year.
  • Disrupts the family with respect to church involvement. It is confusing for all of us to be members of one church (Woodlands) yet me being heavily involved in another. Needs to be handled with wisdom.
  • It will be a tough job in a tough area of town!

So there you have it. Things have changed for me, I have been busy, I have enjoyed it, and therefore I am not blogging so much. You should perhaps worry for me if I start blogging a bit more!


One thought on “Excuses

  1. Jon says:

    Awwww… Stephen… you shouldn’t take everything I say so seriously! (no one else seems to… :-p) But it was nice to hear what was going on and encouraging to hear of your practical commitments… after all, isn’t that why you are studying… your ultimate calling?

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