News about My New Ministry Role and Recent Ordination:

This month, I have reached a meaningful ministry milestone and also began pioneering a new ministry role.  Here are some reflections on both. Thanks for your interest in my life!

1. Recent Ordination

On Monday night, my Ordination was approved by a FEB Ordination Council and then enacted by High Park Baptist Church leadership.  I am thankful to supporters and praising God upon this ministry milestone of Ordination.  It is an honour to be formally and fully set apart for the Baptist ministry in Canada among our FEB association’s many amazing Pastors, Chaplains and Missionaries! 🙂

This is me in the process of reading and defending my formal statements of personal conversion, ministry calling and theological convictions to the council of FEB Pastors at 9 Hewitt Avenue for about 3 hours.

The difference that ordination makes is both objective and subjective: ability to officiate marriages in Ontario; ascribed the Reverend title (Rev.); access to discounted golf at some golf courses on Mondays; meaningful peer recognition and affirmation of my calling.  It is somewhat comparable to a lawyer passing their bar exam or a thesis defence for an academic.  Ordination is a meaningful ministry milestone for which I thank God.  Rev. Dr. Darryl Dash gave a memorable charge to me from 1 Timothy 1:12-17.

2. New Ministry Role

I am grateful to have learned so much as I have served the Lord as Lead Pastor at High Park Baptist Church from 2008-2012.  I am grateful and motivated for the opportunity to continue serving the Lord among the newly merged community of his people called Westminster Chapel at High Park (WC@HP), which I started on October 1, 2012.  My new role at WC@HP is Pastor of Community Outreach and Institutional Chaplaincy.  Click here is my staff profile on the Westminster Chapel website. Take some time to read about the church by exploring the website.  In the “Institutional Chaplaincy” efforts of my new role, I am “asking, seeking and knocking” for “open doors” of ministry with the following groups.  Please pray for contacts, discernment,  wisdom and favour in exploring service to/with:

  1. Clergy of all religions.
  2. Political Agencies, Parties and Leaders.
  3. Secular Business Leadership through BIAs and direct visits.
  4. Hospitals and Health Centres (UHN, CAMH, etc).
  5. Schools, Universities & Libraries.
  6. Police, Fire, EMS and Canadian Forces.
  7. Other NGOs. (Habitat For Humanity, etc)

Many initial indicators of the church amalgamation all point towards beneficial results for the faithful “flocks” and the broader community because two churches choose creative partnership through crisis.  Come by and experience worship among us one of these autumn Sundays at 10:30am!  I hope that the newly merged churches can carry out more for the Gospel as one new community together than we could as two independent communities.  I am enjoying the teammates in the staff and the opportunity to specialize in an area of passion and gifting! 🙂  During the transition, I have been praying the following Biblical benedictions as pastoral “wish-hopes” for all people who are interested, impacted and involved in the positive changes:

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” – Romans 15:5-7

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13

“May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” – Romans 15:33

Thanks for reading my reflections on my new ministry role and recent Ordination in this edition of the RumBlog.

Adam aka Reverend Rumball, Pastor of Community Outreach and Institutional Chaplaincy.

Summary of my short funeral sermon for your reflection: Do you believe this?

Today, I gave a short funeral sermon on the unique and exclusively Christian hope. Here is a polished summary of what I think I remember saying. 🙂

Funerals are important times to aid the processes of grieving and teaching.

I tried to be brief (7-10 mins not my normal 45-55min) and clear to benefit the audience and occasion.

I started by suggesting that on this occasion, they may be wondering, “What will happen to me after I die?”

I stated that my intention was to explaining the Christian hope as the resurrection of believers to eternal life with God, modelled by Jesus himself and offered to them.

I read and explained John 11:25-27:

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

I made some observation and asked some questions that emerged from the text:
1. Jesus states the claim that he is Resurrection and the Life. The Christian hope is centred on the person of Jesus. Is he your only hope?

2. Jesus explains the condition that believers in him will have life, in spite of physical death. The Christian hope is unstoppable life winning over unavoidable death. Eternal life is a term referring to both quality and a quantity. Do you want eternal life with God after you die?

3. Jesus asks if she (Martha grieving Lazarus) believes his condition and claim. THe Christian Hope requires a personal profession of faith in Jesus. Today I asked the congregation at the memorial service if they believe that Jesus is their Resurrection and the Life. Do you believe this?

Believers trust Jesus to be their Resurrection and Life. The word “resurrection” means stand again. The female name “Anastasia” comes from the greek word for “resurrection”, meaning “to stand again” or “return to status”. This promise of standing alive again in God’s presence is achieved exclusively through believing in what Jesus did through his death for sins and resurrection to life. Living Christian’s look forward to their future, bodily resurrection after their death. Read 1 Cor. 15 & 2 Cor 4&5 for more texts that explain this. Here are two succinct ones:

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:22-23

…knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. – 2 Corinthians 4:14

PROMISE: You will be with Jesus before and after you die, if you believe that he is the Resurrection and the Life proven by his death for sins and resurrection to life.
Do you believe this? Martha and I do. I hope the whole congregation and all of you do too! 🙂
Do you know what will happen to you after you die? I hope you share the Christian hope of resurrection to eternal life! 🙂

One Day of Extending Christ’s freeing love to the Spiritually Hungry in Roncesvalles and Parkdale.

Cheming and Marion led HPBC in a great outreach day!

Today was a great day of stepping out in faith to bless our neighbourhood through service and conversation then reflecting on the experiences as a group. Cheming is our Food and Clothing Bank Director. Marion is our Intercultural Initiaves Director. They are a dynamic ministry couple whom God has used to help churches overcome barriers in the way of them fulfilling their God-given desire in reaching out. They have been residents of this local Roncesvalles area for over 28 years!

Schedule of Activities:

10am-12pm: 9 people walked 2 out of 4 planned prayer routes around our neighbourhoods. The goal was to lovingly connect with our neighbours through conversation, service and general visual observation. We prayed for neighbours we met as we picked up garbage and prayer walked the planned routes. It was fun to be active outside together for a good goal!

12-1pm: When we returned to the church, we swaped stories and initial impressions over lunch. My mom and I picked up lunch from Village Bakery, one local donor of food to our Food and Clothing Bank. It was nice to eat with the people who had just reached out together. There was a sense of team solidarity as we shared meal after serving together in the cold spring weather. 🙂

1-3pm: 15 people joined the discussion time to de-brief the experience and discuss personal “burdens and barriers” to personally extending Christ’s freeing love to the spiritually hungry. We reflected on biblical passages, personal stories and guided reflection questions. The numerous questions and passages could be blog posts in and of themselves.

My personal highlights were 1. my direct conversations with numerous neighbours on Dundas and in Sorauren Park as well as 2. knowing that our church was stepping out in faith together in order to bless our neighbours. I believe we pleased God with these steps of love and faith together.

Tomorrow 10:30am: Join us at 1030am tomorrow for an outreach training message from John 4 followed by more discussion groups afterwards.

This was a soul-satisfying day of integrity for me and many others because we extended Christ’s freeing love to the spiritually hungry.

May God give us many more resources and opportunities do impact lives in High Park neighbourhoods.

An electoral map of our neighbourhoods.
4 prayer walk route maps plus garbage bags and gloves to pick up garbage.
9 High Parkers planning our 4 prayer walk routes. This means asking God's spiritual and practical blessing on people we see in our 'hoods. 🙂
Picking up garbage and chatting with neighbours behind the Sorauren Dog Park, near the train track fence.
Marion leading us in discussion and reflection on our individual and group learning experiences of the day.
Cheming is telling a personal story about overcoming barriers to friendships.
Group discussions about personal barriers and burdens to reaching out.

When and How to Pray for Spiritual Strength from Ephesians 3:14-21. The POP method.

Pray for spiritual strength when…

You are faint-hearted from sufferings of serving the Lord (Ephesians 3:13).

The darkness of doubt closes in on your emotions.

You feel powerless to change circumstances.

How do you pray for strength? Here is the POP method I invented.

  1. Pick it. Select a passage on prayer or a topic you are experiencing.  You can find these using the tools found in the back of most translations or from experience with previous readings that you have recorded.  For example, look at a passage I preached on recently: Ephesians 3:14-21 copied below from the English Standard Version.
  2. Observe it. Read it with an eye for attributes of the Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit) and the promises in the passages.
  3. Pray it. Ask that those promises become actualized and those attributes are recognized in your life.

Prayer for Spiritual Strength (Ephesians 3:14-21)

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

What response does that beautiful prayer evoke from your soul?

Here are some responses of mine.  Please pray them for me too, in support of God’s work in me and others.

  • Heavenly Father, I know you hear me as I kneel and pray.
  • Heavenly Father, help me comprehend of the expansive love of Christ, which is like an ocean, enveloping me.
  • Christ, teach me your love for me so that your way of love can overflow from my heart.
  • Holy Spirit, fill me and empower me.
  • Heavenly Father, strengthen me by the Holy Spirit, in my inner being because this is consistent with your rich glory.
  • Heavenly Father, root me and ground me in Christ’s love so I can be filled to your fullness of character.
  • Heavenly Father, I believe that you are abundantly able to do more than we can ask, dream, think, plan or imagine.
  • Heavenly Father, use Christ in me as an instrument of your glory in the church for generations.
  • Triune God, give me spiritual strength to know your love and power at work in me when I am discouraged, faint-hearted, doubting or powerless.

Next time you need spiritual strength POP a passage on prayer, like Ephesians 3:14-21!

My Top 10 personal devotional themes with Bible verses from 2011 plus a prayer verse for 2012.

Lake Scugog, Christmas 2011. Scenic views of nature help me reflect on biblical ideas for my life.

Christmas and New Years week is a natural time for looking back and reflecting on 2011 as well as projecting and planning for 2012.  It feels like our lives come under the microscope of analysis as we do things like see family and friends at reunions, read and make “top ten” lists and/or resolutions.  At this time of year, we naturally evaluate how we used the 365 days and what look for gems of what profited us in our most valued relationships.  For me 2011 was an especially steep and taxing year of growth and learning through tests and trials.  I know I will learn a lot in 2012 as well, but I hope for a smoother road and protective grace to buffer my heart and mind.  I’m an ironic mix of tired and enthusiastic these days.  I hope and pray that 2012 to be my best year ever, personally and professionally.  You probably do too. 🙂  So, in order to fuel your seasonal reflection, here are some Bible verses that God has used this past year of 2011 to set me in the right direction of heart and mind for a fruitful 2012!  Perhaps you might want to look at this list as you plan 2012.  Perhaps you have some key verses from 2011 to share in the comment section.  Maybe you want to memorize one of these for 2012.

In 2011, God used these verses to teach me about my calling:

1. Contentment:

Philippians 3:8 – Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.

1 Timothy 6:6 – But godliness with contentment is great gain,..

2.  Effectiveness:

John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

3. Opposition:

Hebrews 12:3 – Consider him (Jesus Christ) who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

4. Interpersonal Attitudes:

Colossians 3:12-13 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

5. Teaching:

2 Timothy 2:1-2, 22-26

1-2 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

22-26 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

6. Progress:

1 Timothy 4:15-16 – Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 – But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;…

7. Temptation:

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Timothy 6:9 – But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

8. Joy:

Nehemiah 8:10 – Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

9. Mindfulness and Though Life.

Romans 12:2  – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

2 Corinthians 10:5 – We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,…

10.  Heaven:

Revelation 22:3-5 – No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

My encouragement prayer for everyone of you readers in 2012 is from this verse, which has been massively encouraging to me during tough times of this year:

Colossians 1:11-12 – 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

4 Images of Spiritual Growth Plans after you Receive Christ: Walk, Rooted, Built Up, Established

I really want my RumBloggers to be syncronized with what I am teaching. This past Sunday, I totally loved teaching the HPBC fall launch message! The 1 hour presentation was organized like this:

(1) 37 minutes to describe a deep, clear vision of spiritual growth from the Bible passage Colossians 2:6-7 called “4 Images of Spiritual Growth Plans after you Receive Christ”.

(2) 23 minutes to explain our Root Group Strategy through a live testimony and then explain the HPBC Enfolding Process Diagram PDF below that was part of a larger handout.

Listen to my fall launch message here: Rooted In Christ

Read the stuff below as well. 🙂 If you want the original handout, then I can get you a copy.

Colossians 2:6-7 breaks into the following phrases.

  • Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord,
  • so walk in him,
  • rooted and
  • built up in him and
  • established in the faith,
  • just as you were taught,
  • abounding in thanksgiving.

HPBC Discipleship Process of Enfolding Diagram PDF: Sept 2011 HPBC Enfolding Process

HPBC Root Group Strategy:

  • Everyone who wants to be in a root group can have one before summer.
  • I have been praying that God will raise up godly, organized, hospitable, caring root group facilitators.
  • Root Group Strategy: Incarnate the 4 values by gathering in groups of 3-8 around the city by sign up sheets and informal invitations.
  • Let’s get organized into root groups again this year.
  • The biblical call to growth is served by groups.
  • You may feel the need for RG in these symptoms: individual isolation, need for knowledge, capacity to care, burden burnout, spiritual stalling.
  • Sundays are not enough to become Christlike fast enough.
  • Experience shows the cultivating supportive community is important for you to become more effective in mission and more exhibitive of the values by this time next? September 2012.

Personal Reflection Questions on Root Groups:

Q: How would a Root Groups make you more like Christ?

Q: What has you past experience been with small groups, growth groups, bible studies, prayer meetings? What will be different this fall?

Q: Who are the 3-8 people would you put roots down with this fall in a Root Group? When?

Q: What does the picture of growth described in Colossians 2:6-7 make you want to do differently this fall?

How to Pray for Your Church Leaders, including me.

In his book, “The Prayer Shield”, C. Peter Wagner states that, “The most underutilized source of spiritual power in our churches today is the intercession for Christian leaders.”  He further states, “No question exists in the minds of those who have experienced it; committed, faithful intercession brings increased spiritual power to Christian ministries.”
How to pray for your Church Leaders:
1.  Read over Hebrews 13:17, 1 Timothy 2:1-2 before you pray t0 remind you of your duty to pray supportively for their place in God’s sovereign will being accomplished.
2.  Pray for the leaders of your church by name and office.  At HPBC we have Pastors, Deacons, Leadership Council, Root Groups, Task Forces and Committees.
3.  Pray for the vision and values of your church to be accomplished through effective leadership. Click here for HPBCs.
4.  Pray for things like these: Deep roots in Christ through personal quiet times and supportive discipleship community (we call them Root Groups at HPBC), protection against burnout, harmonious efforts and communication skills, new leaders to be developed, increased favour with God and humans, purity and power in the Spirit, physical healthy and vitality, protection from sin, selfishness and Satan through schemes of intimidation, deception, temptation and oppression, pursuing prosperous priorities, emotional needs, building the strong bonds of family dynamics.
Thank you for praying for me in this way as I seek to take joyful refuge in God’s character of Holy Love and remain content and abiding in Christ as I serve him and his church here at HPBC.
I love preaching, praying, leading and listening.