On February 1 this year I took up the position of lead pastor at Central Evangelical Church in Canberra. The previous pastor had resigned in September and the church was seeking a pastor with experience to lead them into the future. It was a big decision as to whether to take on this role. The state of my health loomed large in the equation, but so did the fact that I expected to have to work through many issues facing the church—and some of these weren’t likely to be easy.
Over two months have now past since taking on this role. I’ve moved my chemotherapy back to Mondays in order to maximise the likelihood of being able to make church every Sunday. So far, so good! I’ve just finishing preaching for nine consecutive weeks—something I hadn’t achieved since 2011, before cancer. In fact, I hadn’t done three weeks in a row since then.
We’ve been working through the book of 1 Peter, which has proved most helpful in focusing the church on the things of God. Last Sunday people shared together what they’d been learning from this New Testament letter and it was a great joy to see the impact of God’s word in people’s lives.
Last Sunday we voted as a church to change our name to Stromlo Christian Church. We believed this will help us to engage better with our local community. While it may not have been the wisest thing to push for a name change so early in the transition, we recognised that much would flow from this—websites, advertising, signs, and the like. There was strong support for the new name and this helps us to proceed in unity together.
If you would like to see some of the things that are going on at Stromlo, then you can check out my new blog at jamesfourfifteen.com. I’m using this blog to facilitate communication with the church about issues we are facing, changes we are making, and to share a vision for gospel ministry as we move forward.