The story of a mini-induction
Yesterday was my induction service as Senior Minister of Newbury Baptist Church. It was a lovely occasion – joyful, humbling affirming and visionary all in one. To stand there, surrounded by members of my own family, my new church family, the wider church and those from other churches where I have served was a moment whose joy will linger for many months to come.
However, perhaps the most special moment of all was being ‘put on the spot’ by representatives of the children and young people of the church. I had especially asked that they should play a role in the service, since I am as much their pastor as anybody else’s. Below is the text in full of my ‘mini-induction’:
Young person: We give you this plant to remind you of today and we have three questions for you.
Child 1: Please will you teach us all about Jesus by telling us lots of stories?
Richard: I will
Child 1: This pot has all our names to remember who we are and that we will listen and learn
Child 2: Please will you help us to get to know God as our Father by answering all our questions?
Richard: I will do my best
Child 2: Please take this plant to remember how we want to grow, we promise to ask lots of questions.
Young person: Please will you lead us and guide us in the spirit that so we can learn to have all the fruits of the spirit?
Richard: I will
Young person: Please accept this Olive tree and its fruit as a reminder of the fruits of the spirit we will use together
Youth person: Now we want to pray for you….
Of all the promises I made yesterday, I’ve a feeling it is these ones which will challenge me the most in the years ahead.