If people tell you that you are awesome this may not be the place for you

Simon Gillham, Moore College

This is not likely to be reported, Simon Gillham, Vice Principal of Moore College said during a talk he gave at the college’s open night last week. “I can see a few people with cameras around the newspapers haven’t got onto it, really have they? It’s probably not going to make the nightly news tonight. There may not be many kind of websites devoted to this.”

Well, here’s a kind of website happy to report him.

“Can I say if you are here tonight, because everybody’s been telling you how awesome you are and how lucky the church would be to have you serving it, I’m sorry, but you may have come to the wrong place. ” Gillham told prospective students. “This might not actually be the place that’s going to equip you for that ministry because we’re into weakened, fragile vessels that display the glory of God and are strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. So if you are here, although you feel weak, but you trust in a mighty saviour you’re in the right place.”

Referencing 2 Timothy 1, Gillham had urged people thinking of being involved in ministry to “be strong, the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Not strong in your ability, in your competence, but be strong in grace.”

Writing to his protégé Timothy, Paul gives a second criterion for selecting ministers. “The second command is and trust these things to reliable people,” Gillham said. “Paul tells that to Timothy in those fragile early days of the church, find reliable people and entrust the great treasure of the gospel to them …

“How is it that the churches that were so fragile back then would ever get strong? How would they grow? How would they thrive? Just one by one as the gospel was entrusted not to extraordinary people, but to reliable people who would pass it on.” 

And so, despite being a degree-granting University College, Gilham emphasised Moore is not about qualifications: “That’s what this place is all about, right? Not about qualifications, it’s about finding qualified people and helping them to teach others, [we] want to equip people to teach others the truth.”

In his talk Gillham described the college in a very un-PR manner.

“I don’t want to kid you to start with this is actually a very ordinary, we’re an ordinary place, full of ordinary people, and we make ordinary mistakes, and all of us are like it. 

“All of us are like that. We are flawed, we are unimpressive in so many ways. And yet in his kindness, God has been using this place for more than 165 years to raise up men and women for the service of his gospel and the leading of his people. And that’s an extraordinary thing, isn’t it.”

Image: Screenshot of Simon Gillham’s talk



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