The Blog of Pastor Mike Wilkins
"The long run" referred to in the title of this blog is, in the first place, the many years Mike Wilkins served as West London's solo pastor, and then its Senior Pastor, since he and his wife Deb moved to London (and this church) in 1984.
In these past few years (beginning November 2011,) Mike's various health challenges, particularly a serious and ongoing case of cancer, has added another layer to the "long run" metaphor, and lots to blog about. Mike is currently on an extended Sick Leave, but generally worships with the church family on Sunday mornings.
With the publication of a book he wrote in 2016 entitled "Glory in the Face" (now available electronically and in paperback from Amazon.ca, and other online venders), Mike has just launched a new website, which will serve as a sort of scrapbook for readers of the book, with relevant background photos, for example, of That Last Final Solo Canoe Trip in May, 2011, as well as additional information about the book, and--coming soon--a new set of blog posts, mostly about the peace of God and the joy of the Lord and the face of Christ and the strength to face anything. You'll find the new website now at www.gloryintheface.com.
Jun9SunJune 9, 2013
June 9, 2013
1. I am thrilled to announce that the two-year pastoral apprenticeship of Nate Wright has just this last week come to a completely successful conclusion. The intention of the program has always been that a gifted young man with aspirations to become a pastor moves into the centre of West London church life for two years of personal training and ministry opportunity, all the while trusting the Lord to prepare him to become the pastor of a church of his own AND to lead him to that church. Last Sunday, Nate was soundly elected to the position of Pastor of Crossroads Alliance Church, which happily for us is only about 20 miles east of here, between Ingersoll and Thamesford. Nate begins his new work on August 1. Of course, we will be sad to see him go, but that was always a part of the plan. (I never meant to find us an Apprentice Pastor whose exit we would be looking forward to!) As a church, we should be happy that our investment of time and money has provided a sister church of ours with such a wise and godly young leader. At the same time, we should all be very happy for Nate and Colleen. This appointment is a great opportunity for him to exercise and develop his pastoral gifts and leadership and is a great opportunity for both Nate and Colleen to be a rich source of God’s blessing to the Crossroads congregation --- for whom we should also be very happy.
2. This whole combination of mixed emotions raises a pair of obvious questions: “Who replaces Nate?” and “What happens to the Apprenticeship Program with Mike being so sick?” These two questions lead to my second piece of good news. I want you to see what the Board and I have come to see about how well and faithfully the Lord has gone before us. About eight months ago, as Nate entered his second year of the two-year program, I began conversations with a friend of Nate’s about the possibility of him being our next Apprentice Pastor. A lot of prayer has followed that first conversation, and a lot of discussion: between him and me, between him and his wife, and between me and the Board. As the nature of my sickness became known, the plot certainly thickened and our praying and discussing increased, but all these months later, as the time of Nate’s departure was approaching, the Board and I have come to the unanimous conclusion that God has wonderfully provided our church with this very man --- for just this time. His godliness, his spiritual and personal maturity, his Bible knowledge and well-developed theology, his many years of local church lay leadership and his whole-hearted love for God, the Word of God, the kingdom of God and God’s people combine to make him an ideal candidate for this position at this time in West London’s experience. He is here this morning --- with his wife, Nicole, and their family --- and I have asked him to take a few minutes just now to introduce himself to you, although I know some of you men have already made his acquaintance. He begins his work as the Apprentice Pastor this coming August 1 --- and his name is Jude St. John.
NOTE: Jude's introduction can be heard on this website, on the page where the audio recordings of the sermons are found.