On Saturday 9th September, we welcomed our newly appointed Associate Pastor, Andrew Clark, into ministry at Hertford Baptist Church. Colin Broomfield reports…
A packed church welcomed our new Associate Pastor, Andrew Clark, his wife Tracy, and their three children to HBC in a special Service of Induction on 9th September. A good number of members and friends, guests from Andrew’s previous churches, and representatives of neighbouring churches gathered to witness the formal induction of Andrews into the ministry of Hertford Baptist Church.
Stephen Copson of the Central Baptist Association introduced the service, and Nigel Hollingsworth told the story of the search for an associate pastor, which culminated in a church meeting where 100% of those present voted in favour of calling Andrew.
Andrew described how he had felt God was calling him elsewhere and was looking for a church where he could put down roots. He felt that God was calling him to HBC, and that “these people
were all right.” The congregation and minister the joined in a formal covenant ‘to serve and encourage this church and community to respect and care for each other….. recognising that we are called to be a prophetic, … inclusive, … sacrificial, … missionary, … and worshipping people’. Andrew gave us an additional covenant, ‘that he would meet with us whenever we needed him, provided that in turn we would go with him to meet with the community outside’. Stephen Copson and Dave Sunman than led several members in prayer and laying hands of blessing on Andrew.
A long-standing friend of the Clarks, James Faddes of Bishop Briggs Community Church, brought a message from Jeremiah chapter 1. Despite three surrounding superpowers threatening to overcome Jerusalem, God’s people felt that they would be safe inside Jerusalem. Jeremiah while still a young man was called by God to bring a more challenging but encouraging message. James said : “God doesn’t call the equipped: He equips those who he calls to be prophets.
Andrew himself reaffirmed this message on the Sunday morning, using Jesus’ opening proclamation of his ministry in Luke 4 : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me….. to bring good news to the poor…. to proclaim liberty to the captives… and set free the oppressed.” Charles Spurgeon said a Christian was either a missionary or an impostor. Andrew spoke about Spirit Empowered Mission, Transformational Mission, and practical ways to make the Church’s mission statement real. When John the Baptist’s disciples came to ask Jesus “Are you the one.? ” (Matt 11) he was able to point to proof : “Tell them what you see!”
If the church was to have a transforming effect, we should seek the missionary spirit each day, be alert to daily opportunities, and create an act of kindness to someone in need. Andrew’s humour, his openness and friendliness, and his commitment to mission, promise well for his new ministry at HBC.