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Living to the Max

"When the time comes to die, make sure that all you've got to do is die."

Peter Baker | 21:58, Thursday, 08 September 2011

The fact that those words were written by Jim Elliot, a man who died aged 29 serving the good news of Jesus in Ecuador, gives them added poignancy.

After a summer break, and for many of us a welcome holiday, we pick up again the challenge of living to the max for Christ as a church and as a Christian. Not that we ever take a vacation from discipleship! It’s just that times away allow for reflection. So for a few days in Paris and nearly two weeks in a caravan, I was able to zone out in order to zone in.

Of course Jim Eliot’s martyrdom is not the only measure of true Christian conviction. It may be the ultimate price, but it is not the only expression of a life where every second counts. Nor should we assume a hyper-active model as the only style with which to deliver a 100% faith commitment. There are other models of Christian discipleship. The contemplative life of St Benedict, for example, has much to commend it.

Having said that, I am by temperament and theological persuasion a “rather burn out than rust out" man myself!

As a church, we hit the ground running this term with the departure lounge of Highfields particularly busy: Andy and Helen Cort to Edinburgh, Owen and Rhian Brown to UCCF Wales, Huw and Alison Williams to Turin and next month Simon and Sharon Price to Bristol.

In the arrivals lounge, we welcome on staff Laura Jones (nee Orr) and Obi Aniagolu as Ministry Apprentices, to the role of Student Worker Alison Taylor and to that of Minister in Training, Pete Evans.

Pete will be working with me in particular on the development of a strategic vision for a fourth Highfields congregation in Pontprennau. Getting this satellite model right will occupy much of our thinking and praying this term. It’s exciting but daunting.

I have been impressed again by the strategic nature of city-centre churches like ours which are uniquely placed to reach the culture. Pontprennau is the most under-churched yet fastest growing suburb of Cardiff. We need to embed a missional church up there. Go to to watch a video which introduces a possible location and building.

I remember with fondness an older song with this verse, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Jesus will last. "

The tune may be dated but the theology is bang on the money. So let’s make a difference and finish the race knowing that we couldn’t have given any more.

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