Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit and preach at Darwin Presbyterian Church (DPC). While Kath was doing a church consultancy in Maclean I hopped a plane and was met at Darwin Airport by Josh Bouzanquet. Josh and Sybille are from Creek Road PC originally and moved to Darwin when Josh was appointed there as an Army Chaplain. It was great spending time with Josh and Sybille getting a sense of Darwin and a bit of the history of Darwin Presbyterian Church.
Darwin has a population of about 150,000. There is a big representation of defence services personnel as well as overseas students and people who come in for the dry season to run businesses in the service industries. It became clear talking to people that the year is structured by the wet/dry season weather pattern and everyone enjoys the dry season. I must say our time on Saturday night at the Malak Food Market was a real treat.
Sunday morning church at DPC was at Haileybury Rendall School, Berrimah Road, Darwin. Being Mother’s Day, we were down a little in numbers.
DPC is without a minister and is under the Presbytery of North Queensland; the interim moderator is Jason Smart from The Willows Presbyterian Church in Townsville. It was Jason who asked if Phil Strong (also on the Church2Church team) and I, could help out with some preaching at DPC. Because they are looking for a minister I thought we should have a look at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, and the ministry of Paul, Silas, and Timothy would be appropriate.
We looked at how different Paul was in motivation from the travelling preachers of his day called sophists, who were basically mouths for hire and wanted to impress men and get financial support and patronage. Paul’s ministry team worked and served the church at Thessalonica despite being persecuted. Paul used three images for their ministry approach:
- Gentle like little children
- Like a nursing mother not only giving the gospel but their very selves and
- Like a good father urging his children to live lives worthy of God’s calling.
This is the sort of person they should be looking to serve them as their pastor but this is also how they, DPC should see themselves as a pastor to the non-Christian community of Darwin and have these characteristics as well.
After church, I had a great time getting around and having a chat with everyone before being dropped off at the airport to get back home to Brisbane.
Please pray for Darwin Presbyterian Church that our loving chief shepherd will lead them to a pastor after His own heart.