Charge to Steven Boose and Knox Georgetown and Limehouse Presbyterian Churches

by Sean Foster on August 16, 2013

NOTE: This was a charge preached and given to Mr. Steven Boose who was inducted by the Presbytery of Brampton on Sunday August 18, 2013, during a public worship service at 7:00 p.m. within Knox Presbyterian Church, Georgetown, Ontario.

Steven, by God’s Grace and his love, God has called you to this ministry of Word and Sacraments with the good people of Knox Georgetown and Limehouse Presbyterian churches.

I believe historically that the church has done ministry in two ways; and both I have seen lived out.

One: You can, do ministry on your own, all by yourself
– or –
Two: You can do ministry with Christ together with the body of Christ.

Steven, I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to choose the latter: to do ministry with Christ together with the members of Christ’s body.

The ministry to which we are called – it is Christ’s ministry. It is not our ministry.
• Christ calls,
• Christ gifts,
• Christ empowers,
• Christ equips us for the ministry.
The ministry is not about us, it is about Christ working through us.

Wendy and I agreed a few weeks ago that she would would prepare and deliver the sermon this evening and I would prepare and deliver the charge to you and the congregations of Knox and Limehouse. And since that time of agreeing to give the charge, most of that time I have been on holiday. And so it has been in the last few days that I have been thinking, praying and preparing, but in so doing, I felt led to Paul’s letter to young Timothy. In fact, these are some of Paul’s final words, and they are words of encouragement to Timothy and his ministry.

And so, I want to read to you from Paul’s second letter to Timothy, chapter one, verses 6 to 10.

It reads: For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Steven, In the name of Jesus Christ, I charge you to fan into flame the gift of ministry that God has given you.

God has given us,
God has given you,
God has given the whole church,
Gifts to do the ministry that Christ has called us to do.

And note in this reading that one of the first things that Paul reminds Timothy is to not be afraid. God has not given us a spirit of fear. Do not be afraid, God is with you.

And so, Steven, in the name of Jesus Christ, I charge you to trust and cultivate your faith in Christ. Do not be afraid!

I can understand why Paul would say this – many times ministry can be scary, overwhelming and even feel lonely. You never know what you are going to face in ministry.
• Death.
• Despair.
• Depression.
• Anxiety.
• Lonelieness
• Anger…
But never forget, you are not alone in ministry! We serve the one for whom nothing is impossible.

God has not given you a spirit of fear Steven. Trust God through those difficult times.

I am happy to say that most of ministry is a joy and a blessing. I have often found that the people I minister to have been more of a blessing to me that I guess that I have been to them.

God has given you a spirit of power. Steven, in the name of Jesus Christ, I charge you to let the power of God work through you so that, – that power can bless those you work with, and minister to.

Cultivate your relationship with God continually so that God’s power can be unleashed. God has given you a spirit of power Steven. Use it!

You have also been given a spirit of love. It is of course, the love of Christ in you. A love that is so great it is beyond our comprehension.
• A love that humbled God’s Son to come down from heaven to live among us.
• A love that humbled the Son of God to face death on our behalf.

And so Steven, in the name of Jesus Christ, I charge you to put that love of Jesus at the very center of ministry.

Love is costly. God in his love for us did not even spare his own Son. And to give love will always mean giving of yourself. Let the spirit Christ and His Love guide your ministry.
• Love changes people.
• Love heals.
• Love comforts.
• Love protects.
• Love renews.
• Love celebrates.
• Love always sees the best.
• Love always hopes.

Fill yourself with the love of Christ that people may be able to experience Christ’s love through you.

Finally Steven, self discipline. In the name of Jesus Christ, I charge you Steven, to cultivate the spirit of self-discipline God has given you.

This may be the hardest spirit to cultivate because it is about setting yourself aside. But I believe that as you cultivate a spirit of self-discipline, it actually helps you to grow and develop the gifts, tools and abilities that God has given you fro ministry. Self-discipline, is all about putting Christ first.
• A disciplined prayer life.
• A disciplined time spent in God’s Word.

And so, in the name of Jesus Christ, I charge you again, to fan into flame these gifts that God has given to you.

And now to the congregations of Knox and Limehouse:

You have been given a great gift. Through God, prayer, and discernment you have called a remarkable pastor steeped in gifts and talents and abilities to be used in ministry and to excel his ministry. And so, seize this opportunity and the blessings that God has in store for you.

This is a new chapter in the life, ministry and mission of your congregations.

But Steven cannot do this ministry on his own. God has also called you to be part of this ministry.

And so, in the name of Jesus Christ, I charge you Knox and Limehouse,
• To love,
• To support,
• To work with,
• To pray for,
• And to do ministry with your minister, the Reverend Steven Boose.

Steven can’t do everything. He is here to work with Jesus together with you to accomplish ministry here.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I charge you Knox and Limehouse congregations:
• To love your minister and his family;
• To support your minister and his family;
• To work in team with your minister;
• To respect the leadership of your minister
• And sometimes you will need to forgive your minister.

Steven has a family, and so in the name of Jesus Christ I charge you to look after, to love and care Steven and his family pastorally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I mean congregations are forgetting how to do this and it really is so easy to do – and it costs so little. Let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean.

After seeing your minister go through a difficult time of ministry, how ‘bout a Sunday off. I mean, what does it cost you? $150 for pulpit supply? And allows your minister to recover and be at his best. And no, it is not a vacation day. It is looking after your minister and his family.

How ‘bout a night of baby sitting and a gift certificate to a restaurant, so that the minister and his wife who she sees so little can have a date night? It really is so simple. If you care for your minister and his family, they will care for you and effectively lead you.

May the grace, peace and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you Steven, your family, and the congregations of Knox and Limehouse.

A-men.

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