Summary: A sermon preached at the Farewell Service of my colleague, after a successful and fruitful ministry.

The Legacy of good leadership. Acts 20:17-21:1

Farewell sermon on Robin’s (Youth Pastor’s) leaving. WBC 7/8/5pm

Before I flatter you, Robin… I think I ought to show the congregation your TRUE nature and what it is realy like to work with you:

- how hard you have worked and what a ’sacrifice’ it has been (1 - Robin 023.avi)

- the kind of biblical/technical tools LBC equipped you with for Youth Pastorship. Very deep and meaningful. (3 - Robin 025.avi)

- Your Pastroral care. How people follow your example and then you pick them up when they fall (as anyone would!). (4 - Robin 026.avi)

- Your worship leading (132-3210_MVI.AVI)

- And following the ’play’ theme… what you get up to the minute THE BOSS is away. We found two clips from Pre LBC when you worked in the bank. (things1.mpe, things2.mpe)

SADNESS 20:36- 21:1

One of the legacies of good leadership… a successful ministry is this: sadness. Sadness at leaving. "parting is such sweet sorrow"

- seriously!

- It’s unavoidable in a GOOD ministry

- It’s a sign of how God led you both here, has bonded our hearts, has used you.

o It’s a +ve sign. Something that affirms and confirms

It’s like in this passage. And I say this because not ALL ministries are like this!

- Sometimes it’s relief when the pastor goes! (Illustr: WGBC & BBC "I’ve seen x ministers come & go & I’ll see out!"

- And in some sectors pastors are virtually trained to

o Keep their distance

o Keep hold of your hearts (lest you be hurt)

o Not forge friendships

o Be a professional (’never let your congregation see you in your slippers’, Richard Baxter)

What’s the point of that, then? Doing church like that- from either side? Is that Biblical ministry? What God wants? What Paul and the Ephesian Elders did?

- no way!

- Cf : our series on 2nd Corinthians 6:6 "we have opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection. open wide your hearts’

- I don’t believe, and won’t do, ministry any other way

The pain in parting is a sign of the rightness of all this. How good it has been. Right.

There are lots of partings in the scripture… and pain with it

- Jacob: when he has to flee to Laban’s

- King David- having to flee because of Absalom

But isn’t it great to know you are both going because of something RIGHT not wrong?


In this passage Paul didn’t WANT to leave. But life… Christian life isn’t as simple as that!

- we serve the Lord!

- and he had felt the call of God to go elsewhere. To Jerusalem

o he words it "compelled by the Spirit".

o Dunno of that meant ’words across the sky’. It probably just meant the same as you have felt

" "this is right"

" "I don’t know fully what awaits me! (v22)

" (we pray and believe, none of the things Paul mentions. But you never know with Leeds!)

Paul wants to complete the task God has given him. And the call comes to do that

So- I want to encourage you: trust in God in this.

- you have not made this decision lightly ’yes, no’ in the same breath

- You have prayed, sought God, and are now responding to His CALL through OASIS and the BU region

- THIS IS NOT A MERE HUMAN MOVE. This is the call of God. Therefore trust God in this. Have faith and confidence. Be at peace. "I will trust and not be afraid"

o You’re stepping out BUT holding God’s hand

Thought you might appreciate this about God’s leading. I think I got it from Kathryn!

The minister of a Baptist church decided that God was calling the church to a new vision of what it was to be and to do. So at the Elders’ Meeting, he presents the new vision with as much energy, conviction and passion as he could muster. When he had finished and sat down, the chair of the meeting called for a vote. All 14 elders voted against the new vision, with only the minister voting for it.

’Well, pastor, it looks like you will have to think again,’ said the chairman. ’Would you like to close the meeting in prayer?’

So the minister stould up, raised his hand to heaven, and prayed, ’LORD, will you not show these people that this is not MY vision but it is YOUR vision!’

At that moment, the clouds darkened, thunder rolled, and a streak of lightning burst through the window and struck in two the table at which they were sitting, throwing the

minister and all the elders to the ground..

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