Malcolm Duncan, Senior Pastor of Dundonald Elim Church, is back for a third week.
He talks about some of the impressions of the Northern Ireland he has returned to. He suggests that there is a lot of hope (‘if you see cranes in a city, it’s a sign of hope’), while there is also a degree of uncertainty.
We discuss the theme of exile: how do we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? Malcolm suggests that here is a difference between a church that sings and a church that shouts and he argues that we need to spend more energy telling the Church to get its house in order than telling the world to get its house in order.
He offers some ideas on how the Church needs to respond to the secularisation of society: the Church in Northern Ireland needs to be a hopeful community and a source of hope that could flow beyond these shores.
He reflects on some of the early Irish missionaries and how they went about their work and wonders where the big story tellers are at a time when we may have been guilty of overly dissecting the gospel. Cultivate a bigger vision of the gospel by cultivating a smaller vision of its reality – which means looking for ‘the green seeds of hope’ in your community.
He talks about how he feeds his mind and soul and shares at some length about how he approaches Scripture.
He also talks about the ‘niteblessings’ which you can follow on his social media platforms: @MalcomJDuncan on Twitter and Instagram; RevMalcolmDuncan on Facebook – and watch out for the upcoming book!
Towards the end of the podcast, he shares some of the most important things he has learned in leadership:
- You cannot be a good leader unless you are a good follower.
- There is always more to learn (‘I understand God less than I have ever understood him, but I love him more than I have ever loved him’).
- Leadership is as much about learning to trust God as it is about leading other people (‘I do not need to understand God in order to trust him’).
- God is good and his love endures forever (‘I have learned the gift of suffering’).
- ‘I have nothing to prove!’
Listeners of a certain age will catch the reference to Larry Norman!
Here is the podcast:
For your reflection:
- How can the Church learn to sing more than it shouts?
- What does it mean for the Church to be an alternative community on the edges of society?
- Have you a big vision of the gospel?
- What might it mean to find God at work in your community, as Malcolm describes it?
- How do you feed your mind and soul?
- Have you developed a pattern of engaging with Scripture?