What do people expect of their church leaders, Vicars, ministers, and elders today?

And with that, the apostles were on their way, continuing to witness and spread the Message of God’s salvation, preaching in every Samaritan town they passed through on their return to Jerusalem.  Acts 8:25 (The Message)

The apostles were the first to lead the church. They didn’t spend a great deal of time drinking cups of tea and being polite to the people who paid their keep. They didn’t spend all their Sunday’s preaching to those who filled their pews. The job of the apostle was to go and spread the Message of the Good News of Jesus. They went to every town in Samaria on their way to Jerusalem. They were missional in their work and were supported by the Jerusalem church despite not spending all their time with them. There were every day folk in the church who were able to look after the pastoral care and teaching while the apostles were away doing the work of God elsewhere.

If today you are part of a church community have a good close look at where the priorities of your church life lie. If it is in self-service then the need to take on the philosophy of the Jerusalem church to release its leaders to the work of God is essential. If your leaders seem to be satisfied with the pastoral and preaching ministry within their church then it is for you to raise the challenge for them to take the gospel into the ‘Samaritan towns’ that surround  your church. There is a false security in expecting our leaders to preach what we know to who we know, but taking who we know to those we do not know takes a real security in Jesus.

On the journey with Christ, let us see that taking steps outside of where we feel most comfortable is to take the Message of Salvation to those ‘Samaritan towns’ on our door step.  In order that we are faithful to the vision of Christ let us stop off at ‘every Samaritan town’ on our journey to the new Jerusalem. Amen.