I share the leadership of our EQUIP ministry with John Benson, who spent many years running a very effective Anglican mission in Singapore. From time to time we each write EQUIP booklets aimed at helping church leaders, and these are available from the Mathetes Trust. John’s latest booklet, which he calls Be Bold, seems to me to be particularly relevant in the present times.
John begins with Habakkuk 3.17-18:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
Though the Covid restrictions continue and the churches are struggling, though restructuring brings no improvement and our mission bears little fruit, though the churches are nearly empty and there are few children or young people, though synods make ungodly decisions and people see no need for God or the Good News, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
Starting from there, John calls us to recover the dynamic boldness that was a prominent characteristic of the early Church. He includes a Bible study which directs us to the boldness of Peter and John in Acts 4.13, to Paul’s description of the outcome of his bold preaching described in 2 Corinthians 3; and to many other places. Filled by the Holy Spirit, Paul, Peter and John were bold to speak the word of God at every opportunity, and bold to approach God’s throne and pour out their hearts and appeal for his power to accompany their preaching.
Bold to preach, bold to pray; needed for our churches in our times just as boldness has been needed every time the church has been overwhelmed with difficulties. If you would like a copy of John’s booklet please get in touch, and we will be pleased to pop one in the post for a nominal donation of £2.50 to cover costs.
To find out more about our EQUIP programme click here.