The following article was written by Tom Clay and was originally posted on his Doxology blog. Tom is the worship leader at Grace Life Church of the Shoals.
I will interrupt my series on the RP, NP, and BP with a few thoughts from my time in London, England. As I type this I’m in a hotel in Southall, which is the Indian section of London. Jeff Noblit (my pastor) and I served at a conference in Angel, London Thu-Sat. with Barry King and the Grace Baptist Partnership (GBP) (along with Ali MacLachan) and then served on the Sunday service at Grace Baptist Church in Southall this morning. We are heading (Lord willing) to Scotland in the morning to do basically the same conference there over the next three days.
This has been my first time out of the United States. I must say that I was a bit apprehensive about the trip leading up to it (I’ve only flown four times in my life–not quite the jet-setter) but now that I’m here, I’m having a wonderful time.
I thank God for my pastor. It is wonderful to see Bro. Jeff in this environment. It’s like I’m hearing him in a whole new way. He has such wisdom and insight into how to build a healthy church and his passion for the Bride of Christ is even more evident over here (if that’s possible!) I have truly enjoyed traveling with him and greatly appreciate him on a personal as well as ministerial level.
I thank God for Barry King. England doesn’t know what it’s got! If you are looking for an opportunity to support a missions work PLEASE check out the GBP. There is not a more “bibline” man on the planet. He has poured the scriptures as well as himself into this wonderful flock here. The church planters that I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting have been some of the most humble, loving, God-centered, scripture-saturated brothers I’ve ever met. Humanly speaking, that credit goes to Barry King.
I thank God for diversity. How refreshing it’s been to lead music in a totally different environment! I love the challenge of adapting to a new culture while making objective truth central. If I had tried to do the music here exactly the way we do it at GLC, it might have been a distraction to some. We’ve been able to make a few adjustments and thereby (hopefully) increase the communication of the lyrics. But I’ve also had the thrill of singing along with Indian, Burmese, Romanian, Iranian, and British (as well as other) brothers and sisters. London is the melting pot of melting pots.
I thank God for the gospel. I have had a kinship with these wonderful folks over here in a matter of days through the power of Jesus’ mighty saving work that I’ve never experienced with many folks I’ve known my whole life. When truth is central, true fellowship and unity is experienced that is absolutely supernatural. I’ve never been more aware of that as now.
I thank God for Grace Life Church. GLC has truly been somewhat of a lifeline for many of the folks I’ve met here. London is such a spiritually dark country. Many who are partnered with GBP have looked to our church as a model for building healthy church plants. I can hardly believe that I get to go back to such a wonderful place (DV).
I thank God for my girls. It’s so nice to know that while I’m out “across the waters” that Marla, Emily, and Aubrey are home waiting for me. I can’t imagine their not being there when I would arrive home (DV). Oh to grace, how great a debtor!
I’ll have more to say about Scotland soon. Hopefully, I’ll post some pics and possibly some video when I get back to the states.