Welcome to the blog of the Common Slaves. This page is to tell you a little bit about who and why we are.
We are Slaves:
“…am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” Gal. 1:10 HCSB
It is a great honor to be a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul indicates, to be a slave of Jesus means our priority is to win the favor of God, not people. We are committed to living in the fear of God, not the fear of man. Jesus Christ is our Master; Him we will serve.
“…we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus.” 2Cor 4:5 HCSB
The way in which the Common Slaves serve Jesus is by being slaves to His church, to serve her with whatever strength and gifting God has provided to us. Jesus loves the church, Jesus died for the church; we are committed to following His example for the good of the bride.
We are Common:
Beyond being a reference to the fact that we are anything but towering titans of a commercialized Christianity but rather ordinary laborers in the sparsely populated segments of the harvest field, the word “common” refers to these three things:
- Common Confession
Titus 1:4 speaks of a “common faith.” Jude 3 speaks of a “common salvation.” It is necessary, and has been from the beginning, to carefully and deliberately define the doctrines to which one holds. This need exists because laboring in the fields of the Master is His enemy, who is planting rival seed, which does not bear fruit for eternal life. “Doctrines of demons” exist, and for that reason, the church has always, even as the New Testament was being written, (see 1 Cor. 15:1-3, 1 Tim 3:16) fashioned creeds and confessions to carefully define truth and separate from error.
Our common confession is rooted in the labors of those elder brothers who, laboring under the shadow of the massive doctrinal upheaval known in history as The Reformation, found it necessary once again to craft a document that would carefully and succinctly define the doctrines of the Protestant faith. The Common Slaves, recognizing that such an anchor to a carefully defined faith is as necessary today as it was in the 17th century, gladly rest on the shoulders of the writers of the Westminster Confession and the London Baptist Confession as men who have faithfully and carefully set forth our understanding of the Apostolic “common faith.”
- Common Calling
We find a point of commonality in our Divine calling to serve Jesus’ bride as pastor/elders. This is a weighty calling, being an exalted privilege to serve in such a capacity at the calling of our Savior, and yet the loftiness of the call is continually shadowed by the intensity of the labor and the sorrow of the incessant struggle against the sinful corruption that exists in ourselves and those to whom we serve. It is our privilege to love and care for the flock of the Chief Shepherd. It is our sorrow to mourn when a sheep wanders away. So we share in the joys and sorrows that are the nature of our common calling.
- Common Field
The fields in which the Common Slaves minister are the rural towns of Central Minnesota. Though the gospel does not change, and human nature does not change, we understand that there are aspects of ministry that look far different in a small church in a small town in Minnesota than they would in, say, downtown Beijing or San Francisco. We are students, not only of the Gospel, but of our given locations, seeking and striving to minister to our people as best we know how. For this reason, while we can be thankful for the labors and encouragements of the evangelical titans of our day, we recognize that the authors of the latest, greatest books, while helpful in a broad sense, cannot speak to many of the “realities on the ground” here in rural Minnesota like our slaves serving in the same fields. We especially appreciate the ministry and input of those faithful men of God who have served here in these fields for a lifetime, and provide a deep fountain of wisdom for ministry – it is our joy to draw from these deep wells waters of practical, (dare I cautiously use the word “relevant”?) instruction that are not found in any other place.
It is the purpose of the Common Slaves to foster a brotherhood and network of mutual encouragement and edification among brothers who are united doctrinally, yet diverse denominationally. Furthermore, we wish to encourage and foster a sense of community and fellowship between the churches we are privileged to serve by providing regular events at which multiple congregations may gather and worship together, with a focus on the ministry of preaching. It is our hope that the lifting up and strengthening of pastor and congregation, of shepherd and sheep, will strengthen the entire rural church in our corner of Minnesota so she may be more bold in her witness and striking in her resemblance of her Savior, for the good of the little communities in which we live, which so desperately need the gospel.