‘Quite a ride’: Paul reflects on 50 years in ministry

Dave HallByDave Hall

‘Quite a ride’: Paul reflects on 50 years in ministry

Every church is different because God is not in the business of cloning.

That’s one of the lessons in a CRE At Home 2020 seminar given by Rev Paul Beasley Murray in which he recounts five key lessons from his 50 years in Christian ministry.

He also speaks of the value of remembering people’s names, how to regularly affirm people, the passion needed for leadership and finally, the problem of retirement. 

‘The five decades have proved quite a ride,’ he reflects. 

Within three days of his ordination Paul was in Congo for two years – teaching Greek and New Testament in what became the Protestant Theological Faculty of the National University. He then spent 13 years as pastor of the Baptist Church in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, where his ministry boosted a membership of under 90 to more than 300. He then moved to London to become principal of Spurgeon’s College before spending 21 years as pastor of the Baptist Church in Chelmsford, Essex where again the congregation rose from 400 to a church family of 1,500 – until his retirement in 2014.

With six books already to his name, he has added a seventh, 50 Lessons in Ministry (Darton, Longman and Todd). It is from this book of reflections that he picks on what he considers five of the major lessons he has learned. 

‘We need each other’s wisdom to expand the scope and vision of Christian ministry,’ said Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York. ‘These 50 lessons are a very good place to start.’

Paul is part of the Chelmsford Cathedral Community, regularly leading the cathedral’s Sunday morning seminar-style ‘Breakfast with the Bible’. He is also chair of theCollege of Baptist Ministers launched in February 2014.

Click here to watch the seminar.

• Darton, Longman and Todd are exhibiting at CRE National 2021 (Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey, 12-14 Oct)

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Dave Hall

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