The joy of presbytery

I’ve been at a presbytery meeting the last two days and I know – most of you are already rolling your eyes thinking what a boring way to spend 16 hours.  But actually, I really enjoyed it.

I’m ordained in the International Presbyterian Church which is a small group of Presbyterian churches started by Francis Schaffer about 50 years ago.  We are small but growing by God’s grace.

I found our meetings enjoyable for the following reasons:

1. I was able to reconnect with old friends and make new ones who are working in very different contexts from west London.  From London, to Warrington, to York, to Scotland, to Belgium to Italy, to Azerbaijan – it’s great to hear stories of God at work through His people.

2. We were intellectually challenged through lectures on definite atonement  (part of a coming book on the work of Christ) and on gospel thinking in regards to the controversial issues of our day.

3. During our afternoon break, a number of us went for a pint at the Drayton Arms in West Ealing.   Discussing church planting with a young (younger than me) minister who is dreaming about the future was very encouraging.

4. I had a chance to chat with a visiting non-IPC pastor who is thinking “outside the box” in terms of church planting.  It’s great to meet guys who don’t want to just do church in the same way as everyone else.

5. Several of the “old-timers” shared a bit about the history of the IPC.  It’s always good to know your past and thankfully several of our elders are still around to share stories of those early days 50 years ago.

6. Some of the Korean ladies treated us with a full Korean meal for dinner Friday evening.  If you know anything about presbyterians – you know we love kimchi! (That’s not quite true but we do enjoy working together with our Korean brothers.)

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Chris Hatch

Seeking to love God and neighbor

4 thoughts on “The joy of presbytery”

  1. I liked these reasons, they made me a little envious of Presbyterians and the bonds they can build. I did notice however that prayer and worship where missing as well as talking through struggles and heart issues, seems more head than heart orientated. Very excited that you get to be a part of these things, very encouraged that the IPC is growing.

    1. We did have a sermon from Psalm 137 and a time of small group prayer along with other short prayers after each agenda item. Usually, there’s a time for singing – musicians must have been sick!

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