How a local preacher can encourage
I preached here, in the Basingstoke Circuit, in February, 1965. (I had only preached my first sermon the previous month, at Oakley.) My text was some words of Jesus found in Matthew 4:19 – “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
I had been ‘fledged’ into preaching by an elderly local preacher called Leonard Wardell, shown in the photograph. He spent hours with me, always finding time whenever I visited him, to open the Bible to me, exhort, encourage and pray with me.
When I preached in February at Bramley, he took the trouble to contact various friends and acquaintances of his and gather extra hearers for my encouragement. When I went to university, he continued his ministry of encouragement by writing letters.
Elderly Christians must never forget that they can exert a lasting influence for good on young believers who are just starting out on Christian service.