Three years ago today I preached the first sermon at Creek Road South Bank, and someone took this photo.
Perhaps now is as good a time as any to confess my personal hatred for photos of preachers being shared on social media... especially photos of me. Not only is preaching fundamentally meant to be about Jesus; church is fundamentally about the body of Christ gathering and no talk I give, or thing I think or write, is ever just 'my' work; it's ideally a reflection on God's work, that gets read, lived and shared in communities (and so passed on), and should come out of and express the life of the 'body' I'm part of so that we 'preach' together.
In a thing this morning we read this bit of 1 Corinthians, a letter Paul might well have written against making preachers into celebrities using photos on social media. I was struck by:
"“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
1 Corinthians 1:13
I'm all for using social media to give people a picture of what being part of church is about; but let's make sure we honour all the parts; and more than that, let's do exactly what this first talk was all about, make it clear that church is all about Jesus.