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Character speaks Volumes

17th September 2021

The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill is a recent podcast much listened to and talked about. It describes the story of Mars Hill, a megachurch in Seattle, US. At the heart of its meteoric rise was its pastor, Mark Driscoll, an incredibly gifted leader and powerful preacher, whom God used to communicate the gospel to many thousands. Despite Mark’s many gifts it turns out his character was not as strong, and the culture of bullying and meanness emanating from the church (largely stemming from his influence) ultimately forced his resignation and the church to implode and be dissolved in just three months.

Contrast that with my old friend Adrian. I’d got to know Adrian while living in London many years ago when we were both in our early 20s but hadn’t seen him for ages.  Sadly he lost his battle with cancer just a few days ago and this lunchtime I was able to watch his funeral service online. What shone through as several people paid tribute to him was his Christ-like character. Another friend of mine was the last person to see Adrian alive, and told me how right at the end, although racked with pain and very weak, Adrian was using his final breaths to pray for others.

God certainly gives us gifts and calls us to use them for him. But it doesn’t matter how gifted we are, if we don’t display the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23) through our character these gifts may even end up being something of a curse, rather than a blessing.

Tomorrow we’ll finally gather to celebrate our dear brother Brian Hill who died back at the start of the pandemic. We’ll certainly have the opportunity to remember Brian’s many achievements and gifts, but more importantly his character. He was a really godly man, loving towards others and passionate for Jesus to the end. We thank God for him.

God bless