This year’s 102 graduates from Moore Theological College have been called upon to “die to self” in their ministries, so that their work will produce more fruit for the gospel.
The address, focusing on John 12:24 and delivered by former Director of the UK Cornhill Training Course the Rev Christopher Ash, directed people to the pattern of Christ, who in his own body gave himself to death to bring life to humanity. In the same way, followers are to die to self, and instead serve others, to share with others the life found in the gospel.
“I’m so thrilled for those who are heading into different Christian ministries, but for those following the Lord Jesus in the ministry of the gospel, there is a kind of dying,” said Mr Ash. “Dying to self, daily to self, is necessary and costly, but it will be fruitful. It is necessary also for ourselves, following the way of the cross, to die daily to self. And we grumble, don’t we? A friend of mine once said grumbling about following the cross is like a youngster playing in his first game of rugby, coming home bruised and saying ‘Oh Mum, it hurt!’. To which the proper answer is, ‘Son, if you’re going to play rugby, it’s going to hurt.’.”
Graduates across the range of degrees are planning to head off to all sorts of future ministries. Some are heading into parish ministries, others are returning to secular work but with a sharper theological focus. Prison chaplaincies, SRE teaching, church planting, Christian welfare work, and a range of other future ministry directions were all represented.
“The long term plan is to stay in Sydney one more year, and then head towards India, in Delhi especially,” said Gladwin Joseph, a Bachelor of Divinity graduate from this year who spoke to the audience in a pre-recorded video interview. “I would like to work in a local church over there as an assistant pastor. God willing, I’ll be involved in some sort of student ministry as well. I’m hoping God will provide opportunities for me to be involved in training young men and women in gospel ministry.”
The night also feature twelve postgraduate students, two of which completed thesis projects in the Master of Theology course.
Mr Ash, in finishing his address to the graduands and other attendees, called on students to produce fruit in ministry in the pattern of Jesus Christ.
“May your lives, and may my life, be that life of following in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus,” he said. May it also be a life that, in the kindness of God, and through the promise of the Lord Jesus, bears much fruit.”