Sunday, 20 November 2011

Kettle's steps

Yesterday I had the (rather emotional) joy of going back to a church I served for some 21 years
I will blog a bit more about that later on.
The church is now in an interregnum which in Baptist parlance means they are looking for a new senior minister
It seemed appropriate to me to speak from Joshua on some of the qualities needed for leadership

The last one I mentioned was that leaders need to be alongside the people.They must know people well

I had meant to tell the story  of Kettles steps. Maddeningly I forgot! (age)

 It is a story related to me many years ago by an elderly church member and I can only assume it is true

If you go outside the front of Ross Baptist  church and turn left there is  a very narrow passageway between the church and the next building as you go up Broad St.
In my time we would occasionally get youth groups and others  to do sponsored cleans ups of the area  because it gathered litter and broken glass.

At the top of this passage were some very steep steps that led directly into an outer vestry-
 The steps meant that you could enter the building without going through the church itself

I was told that a Mr Kettle (pictured above) a minister at the church in the early part of the 20th century had had the steps built to enable him to arrive just before the service began without having to encounter people and to leave as soon as the service had finished without having to encounter people! So the steps  had become known as Kettles steps.

If this was true it struck me as a great illustration of how not to do ministry

Really effective preaching has to surely be in the context of relationships. A critical (if  sometimes tiring )part of building those relationships happens as we encounter people on Sundays.In that respect the coffee time is part of the ministry too

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