Six Months In
It’s been about six months since Opengate church called me to be a minister - what a privilege... and what an exciting time it’s been for me! Sometimes we’re not very good at keeping people up to date with what’s happening: So in this blog post I’m aiming to just let you know what’s going on - with me personally and also with some things in the wider church.
First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has stepped up, helped, volunteered or offered their encouragement since October. Thank you for every time you have prayed for me, my family, the leadership team and the whole church - every prayer really does make a difference! Graham leaving for Coventry was obviously a massive thing in the life of our church, and the hole that he has left in our hearts, lives and the ministry of Opengate will never really be ‘filled’: He is unique and what he did here was similarly unique. Let’s keep praying for him and Chris as they make the transition to Queen’s Road, that they will know God’s power and encouragement as they start the work that he has called them there to do.
I am now in my third year, the final year of training at Spurgeon’s College. I will graduate this summer and will be ordained and inducted as minister to the church in June. Training for the Ministry has been the hardest, most stretching, but most brilliant and rewarding thing that I think I have ever done. It’s pushed me in ways that I never expected… but through every trial God has been amazingly faithful. I’ll never stop learning and growing, but these three years have been something quite special.
In January I finished the first college semester of this final year: I managed to pass all my assignments without any dramas, for which I am grateful! I’m now well into the second semester and already working pretty much every spare moment to get the final essays and assignments finished: The workload in this final semester is about double a ‘normal’ one. So if I’m a bit vague at the moment, please bear with me! My mind is in about eight different places and I’m a bit cream-crackered! Please pray for my very patient wife and kids who have to put up with a busy (and occasionally tired & grumpy) husband and dad for these last couple of months…
Once college has ended, I’ll be starting full time at Opengate in July. We are in a season of transition, but it is a really exciting time. Elisa preached about the Parable of the Sower recently. I’ve been drawn several times to Mark’s version of this story, where he says that the seed in the good soil gave a harvest, multiplying 30, 60 or 100 times. I think this really speaks to where we are at now: How do we want to invest? How ambitious are we for the kingdom? How much faith do we have? What does 30, 60 or 100 times mean for us? Are we ready for what that might mean?
I am excited and blessed more than I can express to be able to share this journey with you, as part of a very special church in a very special town. We have challenges ahead to be sure: But if we stand together, pray for one another, think the best of one another and love one another, we will be astonished by what the Holy Spirit can do in our midst.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Written by: Jamie Fredricks