This month we have two of the world’s Evangelical leaders visiting our Cathedral. They will speak at our Spring Convention on Saturday afternoon (15th) and preach at our Sunday gatherings on the following two Sundays (16th and 23rd). The Spring Convention will address the two questions: “What on Earth is God Doing?” and “What on Earth are We Doing?”
William Taylor is the Rector of St Helen’s, Bishopsgate, in the city of London. This is the church made famous by the ministry of Dick Lucas. Sited in the centre of the business district of London, wedged between the two modern icons of the Lloyds building and the Gherkin, St Helen’s has conducted a large and significant lunch time Bible study ministry for about fifty years. Out of this lunch time ministry has grown three large city ministries to families, students and young professionals. In addition to this, St Helen’s has sponsored the Evangelical Ministry Assembly, the Proclamation Trust and the Cornhill Training Course, while actively planting churches in London.
William is a great preacher of God’s word – committed not only to Biblical exposition but also to raising the standards of Biblical preaching. He leads a huge ministry team in a vital and vibrant city ministry. He is in the forefront of Evangelical Anglican leadership in Britain today. An ex-army officer, he stands fearlessly for Christian truth in the present troubled times of the Church of England. A man of great principle and action, he and his staff have refused to be paid by the Church Commissioners, in protest over current policies.
Mark Dever is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. – only a few minutes walk from the United States Capitol building. This famous church had huge membership during much of the twentieth century. The great Evangelical leader and scholar Carl Henry was one of its Sunday School teachers. But by the time Mark was called to the church in 1994, the attendance had dropped to about a hundred. The last fifteen years have witnessed a remarkable turn around as this church has once again grown in size and confidence in God’s word to become one of the leading congregations in Washington and within evangelical church life of North America. Through Capitol Hill Baptist Church’s “9 Marks Ministries”, a real challenge has been issued to the very nature of church life and its current expressions in America. By this means Mark Dever has become a leader, not only in his own denomination, but also across the whole Evangelical community.
Mark is a man of great energy and engaging personality. He is quite the scholar with degrees from Duke University, Gordon-Conwell and Southern Baptist Theological Seminaries and a doctorate from Cambridge. He has written several books both at the scholarly and public end of the spectrum. He has ministered both in England and America and this will be his second or third trip to Australia.
The main reason for their invitation to preach in Sydney is to speak at two clergy conferences conducted by the Diocesan Department of Ministry Training and Development. The first conference is called “The Ministry Intensive” on the topic of “Ministry Today: New Opportunities”. It is open to all Christian ministers and will be at the Cathedral on Monday the 17th and Tuesday the 18th August.
Following the conference, there is a residential conference at the Anglican Youthworks property in the National Park, for assistant ministers who are enrolled in our Ministry Development programme. This gives about 150 of our recently trained ministers the opportunity to hear and engage with Mark and William in a much smaller setting.
Please pray for these men and their ministry to our city. Thank God for them, their churches and their families. Pray for our hearts and minds that we will be willing to listen in humility to what God has to say to us from his word through his servants’ teaching.