Re-discovering Local and Trans-local Ministry
By Andrew Rollinson, Selkirk Baptist
I am instinctively wary of the rhetoric of the surprising blessings that have flowed from the
pandemic. For too many of us it has been a period of frustration, pain, sadness and disorientation.
Yet, by God’s grace, it is true that new skills have been learned and new horizons discovered.
One such for us at Selkirk Baptist Church in the Scottish Borders is the realisation that a new rhythm of
local and trans-local ministry is not only possible but refreshingly enriching. Our pastor left us 18
months ago and since then we have worked hard at developing a local preaching team whilst
enjoying the ministry of preachers much further afield. During lockdown all sermons were pre-
recorded. However, now we are emerging from isolation and physically gathering together again
with relative normality we have decided to capture the best of both worlds.
The rhythm that we have developed is to have three in-person local preachers per month and one
pre-recorded sermon from someone much further afield, shown on a large screen before the
gathered congregation (and livestreamed to those still wishing to isolate). All preachers follow a
schedule and at the moment we are working our way through the second half of Mark’s Gospel.
Thus, once a month we have had inspiring input from members of the BUS team and from such
places as Girvan, Alva and Pitlochry.
We are developing a parallel pattern in our prayer meetings with a once-every-three-month Zoom visit from our four global mission partners. At our last prayer meeting we were joined by BMS World Mission partners in Kosovo. It is difficult to read the New Testament and not see the enormous impact of inter-church emissaries.
Whether via Roman roads or digital highways, God delights to see both the local and wider Body of Christ ministering to one another.
Andrew Rollinson, Selkirk