Yippee!   at the weekend I found out that I had passed all the final academic parts of my Faith and Worship course.  Just 3 days after successfully surviving the final interview at the Local preachers meeting with the outcome that the Methodist Church is now happy to recommend me to be an accredited Local Preacher.

it has been a long journey, some of which I have shared on this blog.  One of the parts of the interview was to share my growth as a Christian in the last 3 years.  I would like to share with you all now, especially as I have been humbled by the knowledge that this blog has been read internationally. Those who have read this in the past, you will be glad to know that I mentioned you in my interview!

Well, here is my story I shared:

My journey towards being a local preacher has led to a deepening of my personal relationship with God to a level that I had never felt possible when I started even though back then I was arguing in my initial statement before being accepted on note that relationship with God was key.  I have found that God majors on surprises and faithfulness.

I believe that my call to preach has been strengthened in the experience and feedback that I have received over the last 3 years.  I have been fortunate to receive positive feedback from all age groups, young to old. People have said how messages have touched them personally.  In reading scripture and in studying scripture and reading around the subject, I have become more aware of God grasping me in this way.  It is not an exaggeration to state that my life has been changed beyond recognition by this journey.

I have helped in Sunday school, at a recent youth alpha event, and attended two HTB leadership conferences.  Now a steward at GMC, I have set up a listening ear project having gained a qualification in Christian Counselling for the local Community, which includes Chair Exercise Classes and managing 2 Counsellors who provide free counseling to those in need.  This is proving to be a significant outreach to many who have no knowledge of God and for whom their experience of the inside of a Church is on a Friday afternoon.  We have attended Churches together in Medway to highlight our work in the towns.  Next month we will be holding a Carol Service for the users of the Listening Ear instead of our normal Chair Exercise Class.

It is something that I would very much like to develop if possible into a chaplaincy role

I am aware that I still need to develop in both my worship leading and preaching and I look forward to further guidance and development under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, with the support of this group and GMC.

I have found that as a person I have become calmer, and I find it easier to cope with extremes of emotion.  I think this is as a direct result of spending time with God.  I still feel irritation with poor thinking, but I am learning to apply the active listening that I use in my day job in all situations and I am aware of the need to love the person and argue the process.  I am fortunate that I have enjoyed the complete support of my family, and it was my absolute delight in July to assist at the adult baptism of my two daughters.

Finally I have found a talent for writing poetry and hope to publish a meditation for easter.

Thank you for all your support in my journey.  I remain a pilgrim, and my journey goes on.

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