Martin Gordon, A life lived in community

First published 30th June 2010

There are a number of different perspectives from which ordination can be approached, and here Martin Gordon, who has worked in politics and international development, gives us an insight into the way his belief in community has underpinned his path to ordination.

Martin Gordon is someone who believes in community. "We're not called to a lone-ranger sort of faith," he states. It is for this reason that he is eagerly anticipating his new role. Following his ordination as Deacon in July 2010, he will work as part of the team at St Michael's Stoke Gifford, as they communicate the love of Christ to those in the local area.

"I'm looking forward to sharing in the lives of a wide variety of individuals and families," he explains. "It's exciting to be involved in people's lives as they take steps of faith and grow in their relationship with God."

This emphasis on the centrality of community to the development of faith is one which is evident in Martin's approach to his spiritual life and training. Prior to beginning his training for ordination, he had been meeting regularly with three other men in an accountability group, expressly for the purpose of asking tough questions and being honest, challenging and encouraging one another.

"This was a real time of growth for me," reflects Martin. "I faced things in my life that God wanted me to deal with, but did so with the love and support of good friends". It wasn't until his second year at college that he realised the value of this discipline by its absence, and began meeting again in a similar context, finding this to be crucial for his spiritual development.

Another example Martin cites of the importance of community is the practice he adopted during his training of spending time daily after lunch with a couple of other students, reading the Bible together and allowing God to speak. He describes this as a sustaining activity, and one which illustrated to him that "God has given us each other as a gift of grace to enable us to grow to be more like Christ."

Having studied politics at Edinburgh University and worked in Parliament, as well as been heavily involved in social justice campaigns, and going on to the role of International Campaigns Manager at Christian Aid, Martin is also passionate about the global community. Whether meeting with three people or championing the rights of millions, collectivity is at the heart of our calling as people of faith, and it is this conviction which has lead Martin to ordination.

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