|Written by Peter Johnston|
|Saturday, 04 February 2012 16:05|
I hadn't been in Bonnybridge for many years, but drove up the road (through the teeming rain!) this morning to participate in a conference organised for local churches by Rev George Macdonald, minister at Bonnybridge St Helen's Parish Church, and previously from Hamilton South & Quarter, which is how I know George.
The first session I led, talking about our own story here in Blantyre with Hillhouse and Trinity as our youth ministry has become ever more a shared ministry, and exploring the nature of cooperative ministry through this experience.
Jen Robertson, pictured, followed with a superb introduction to how we engage with scripture and prayer alongside young people. Some of the ideas I think will be used tomorrow night at the Cosy Café Sundays when we're looking at the "Big Question" of where the Bible comes from and what it means for us.
Unfortunately, I had to dash away after lunch to return to Blantyre for this evening's Juice children's event when we're going to try to explore the stories Jesus told of the lost sheep and lost coin. It would have been good to have heard the presentation from the final speaker, Dan, of Urban Saints. Another time...
While the timing for this event was a bit of a disaster, coinciding as it did with the frantic last push to get Issue 3 of Spill the Beans finished, once I was there it was great to meet some of the folks there who obviously have a real heart and passion for encompassing all ages within the church community, and who are going through many of the same challenges that we too face.
I hope the strong message about the benefits of cooperative ministry was of help in their thinking about how they can find ways through which to engage with young people. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that this spirit of cooperation and shared working where possible is a long-term benefit for the church and commonwealth of God as a whole. It means that even where there are changes of personnel, as we have seen over the past year and will soon see again as Fiona Wilson moves to Dalmellington Parish Church, the ministry continues.
And speaking of ministry with young people, time to join the team at the Nazarene Hall for Juice!