Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss Reformer, preached his sermon on ‘The Shepherd’ in 1523. The sermon and its publication was widely influential in the developing role and model of ministry in Zwingli’s Zurich and later in Calvin’s Geneva.

Times change but some things must remain the same. The task of shepherding the flock of God, a clear theme in both Testaments, is as vital today as at any time.

Handley Moule said that 2 Timothy, Paul’s last epistle, was impossible to read without tears in the eyes. Paul’s weighty last words to his young pastoral friend Timothy, are to ‘preach the word’, to be ever ready to do so and to do it persistently, ‘reprove, rebuke and exhort’ (2 Tim. 4:1-2).

The task of feeding the sheep, visiting and tending the flock, declaring, testifying and proclaiming the Kingdom, is the task God has assigned to pastors, and for this they will give an account to Him.

Paul could say: ‘I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God’ (Acts 20:26).

The role of the Preaching Club, held once each quarter, is to encourage faithful, engaging preaching of the Bible, a central feature of the pastor’s calling.

The programme for the Club’s meetings in 2021:

1st Quarter, Ray Galea will preach to the Clubs and speak about how he plans and prepares his sermons and how he maintains his own spiritual fitness.

2nd Quarter, Club members will preach for group feedback.

3rd Quarter, Club members will preach for group feedback.

4th Quarter, David Jones, formerly the minister of Ann Street Brisbane will preach and talk about sermon preparation and self-watch.

There is no cost of being a part of a Club, but we ask that each member commit for the four meetings. Good coffee and food are provided.

At the moment, one Club meets at Abbotsford and one at Cronulla, but others may develop as the need arises. Please register your interest on the Contact form at the Trust’s website: eptrust.org.au

One of the Club members has said: ‘it hurts but it is helpful. I like the fact of the commeraderie, we are all there to help each other, there is a uniform desire to see one another grow and be better preachers, not that that is an end in itself, but because this in turn will help God’s people to grow’.

David Cook.