This week we attended a friend’s ordination and induction at the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (Sydney congregation in Riverstone). The church had been without a resident pastor for over 30 years, so you could definitely feel the weight of the occasion! It was appropriately solemn, yet also a joyous celebration.
We marvelled at God’s providence in preserving His church, and in blessing them with a man who is equipped with the word and called to gospel ministry.
At the same time, I wonder how many other Australian congregations are without pastors? I have not yet found statistics on this, but we’ve met others from regional areas who have not had a pastor for years. In these cases, either there is no suitable church or their church is unable to support a pastor. Believers resort to downloading sermons or holding worship services at home. These are sincere Christians without an under-shepherd.
One reason I work in Sydney is because of the influx of people here. But how can we help the regional areas and churches without pastors? Perhaps it’s an opportunity for the return of itinerant preachers.