Starting work at Christ Church Walkley

A little bit of my story

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The journey of coming to work for Christ Church Walkley (CCW) began quite a while ago, when life was quite different. CCW wasn’t even at the planning stage, Jen and I had no children, I was studying Physics at uni and Jen had just started work as a doctor. I honestly can’t remember whether I approached Tim (the minister of Christ Church Central, CCC) or he approached me to discuss doing an apprenticeship at CCC. But, as we sat on Devonshire Green I vividly remember him saying that if I did become an apprentice then it needed to be with the genuine possibility of heading towards full-time Christian ministry. 

The idea had been on my mind on and off for a couple of years, but that moment felt like a fork in the road for Jen and I. Seek out a job in the world of physics, or start down an unknown and unpredictable road towards vocational ministry. We chose to head down the path of an apprentice, and God has been good to us as we’ve walked that road; Christ Church Walkley was born a year later, an opportunity and the funds to study at Oak Hill from Sheffield arose and our family has grown to 4. For much of this time we’ve had little idea what coming next, but we’ve learned to trust God.

About a year ago I finished training at Oak Hill and CCW began the process of seeing whether we could find a way of me working in a ministry capacity full-time. By the generosity of the church family, and a trust, we’ve pretty much got there so I started this September.

So what am I actually doing?

Ephesians 4:11-12 gives the broad principle behind what I hope to do as a shepherd-teacher:

"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherd-teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ."

In the first instance the particular equipping that I’ll be focussing on is developing pastoral care within CCW so that the church family is more able to care for those inside and outside the church. Pastoral Care is an area I’ve increasingly become interested and experienced in, mostly through walking together with broken people in a broken world where we all need God’s word to do its work in our lives.

This applies to both Christian and non-Christians – we all need to be pastored with God’s word. At a recent conference evangelism and pastoral care were linked like this:

"Evangelism is just pastoring non-Christians. Pastoral care is just evangelising Christians." (Glen Scrivener)

So, my hope is that I’ll be able to equip the church to pastor one another so we grow in maturity, and to pastor our friends so they come to know Jesus.

For the first few months this means I’m starting to put time into developing some of the good things that are already in place. Including training and looking after small group leaders, and others, who have an interest and gifts in this area. I’m doing a course on Biblical Counselling over in Liverpool to learn from the wisdom and experiences of others with a view to seeing how we could use this evangelistically. This is alongside the regular things of prayer, preaching and teaching, and general overseeing that comes with being an elder!

Get in touch with Kenny Larsen here.