Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yes, I *am* a fan of Selwyn Sexton (Part 1)

The Scriptures are clear:
But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
So (while being incredibly thankful to God for the ministry and courage of Dr John Piper and Don Carson, Mark Driscoll, C.S. Lewis, Tim Keller, Philip Jensen, Peter Jensen, Ravi Zacharias, Kent Hughes, etc), I would now like to declare that I am, in fact, a fan of one Selwyn Sexton.

Selwyn Sexton.

I've repeated his name so that you all will remember it!

It is not likely a name you've heard of. I just now googled "Selwyn Sexton", and there were 7 listings. No podcasts, no webpages, no 'www.selwynsextonministries.com', no books, no facebook group, no fan-club. So chances are you haven't heard of him.

In 1979, Selwyn was perhaps a 40+ year old missioner and evangelist. He came to my school in Sydney and preached the Gospel. I sat there and understood the Grace of God: I was a sinner, and Christ had died in my place. I was 9. I could tell you were I was sitting when I heard about the Grace of God. So I 'signed up'.

In 2001, I was a Youth Pastor at Christ Church St Ives. And I was about to go away and model what Selwyn had modeled to me: Preach the Grace of God in the face of Christ. So I Googled his name back then and found an email address. So I emailed him. I've cut and pasted it here. This letter is dated July 2001:

Dear Mr Sexton,

You will have no idea who I am, but I wanted to write to you and thank you for your important part in my coming to faith in Jesus Christ.

Sometime around 1979 you came to my primary school in Eastwood [Northern Sydney, Australia] and explained to the entire school the truth of substitutionary atonement. You made it very simple - you used a simple illustration - and yet God used you very powerfully that afternoon. I understood for the first time that Jesus had died for me. I can remember where I was sitting and how I felt about it. I was then 9 years old.

You must have been involved in some outreach event with Eastwood Baptist church, because you invited any who were interested to know more to go to the Tuesday afternoon club. I decided to go, and you called for those who wanted to give their lives to Christ. My next door neighbour and I came to see you, and you prayed with us. I remember at the time thinking that I was bothering you. However, I prayed with you to become a Christian that day.

I was a child in the Sunday School at a good evangelical Anglican church in Sydney at the time that all this happened. I went to the Baptist Tuesday group for about a year and a half, and eventually was grounded in the Youth Group at the Eastwood Anglican.

Those moments were very significant for me. And I thank God for them. You are part of my testimony to this day. I went on to finish a BA at Sydney University. I was heavily involved in Youth Ministry at St Barnabas Church Broadway, and eventually studied the Scriptures full time at Moore Theological College. I now serve at the Youth Minister at Christ Church St Ives - a large and vibrant church on the North Shore of Sydney.

I am writing to you for two reasons: First, to thank you for your part. [I got your email address from a search engine]. Second is that next week, we are taking 100 or so 12-15 year olds away for a camp where we will be looking at the death of Jesus. I will be thinking specifically of that time when I first understood the cross 21 years ago - and my prayer for these kids is that they will experience what I experienced all those years ago.

I write this as an encouragement to you.

In Christ, Justin Moffatt.

So I am a fan to a part of the body that has 'lesser honor', so that the Body of Christ may be unified.

Tomorrow -- Part 2: From Sydney to Africa and back to Sydney.

In the meantime, is there anyone for whom you'd like to give honor (that may have lacked it in this world of celebrities)?

Comment here...

Or better still, find them, and write to them.



Gav Perkins said...

I became a Christian through reading a John Chapman tract... but he's a bit too well know, so I'm not sure I'm allowed to be his fan! :-)

Justin said...

You, Gav, are free to have whomever you will as your fans!

God bless Chappo. Seriously.

And I have people like this too.

But I'm just thinking of the Modus Operandi of 1 and 2 Corinthians. Who was 'small' and yet shaped your life? Show us that God's all surpassing power comes not from the sophistry of men, but from God himself.

I'm looking for a demonstration of the Spirit's power -- that even with 'weakness and fear and trembling', people come to faith in Jesus.

Anonymous said...

There have been a few i guess but one worth a mention was Dave Cain (AKA Daytime Dave or Killer Cain)

Dave was my youth leader for a year when I just started highschool - so we're talking 1988?

I don't remembr any bible studies (although i know we did them). What i remember about Dave was that he was the first guy i met who was Christian man but gentle and patient. He didn't 'teach' me this in a study but it's something I came to realise intuatively. For a 13yr old boy - this is a big deal, a big lesson.

Scott Tubman

Justin said...

Scott Tubman -- I knew you'd get it, mate. There are some who do, and some who never will! :)

Killer Cain! -- Where are you now? He was a colleague on my Year 12 study camp in 1987, and he was also in my 1st year of Moore.

I reckon you should contact him as soon as you can. Google him.

Oops, I just did. He's a nominator for the parish of North Sydney. See Here.

I reckon you just need to ask the office at St Thomas' for an email address, or to pass on an email. st-thomas@st-thomas.org.au

jodi said...

did selwyn ever write back?

Bumble said...

Yep, God used everyone for his glory.

My "Selwyn Sexton" didn't even have an email address and his name can't even be Googgled. But God used him to model a life of faithfulness to me in flesh and blood too.

That's what matter.

Son of the King said...

Selwyn Sexton also led me to Christ in around 1989 (if it's the same guy). Our church had a childrens camp partnered with OAC Ministries and Selwyn came along. I'd love to be able to contact him now and also thank him for his role in my salvation.

Justin said...

Son of the King -- not sure how to contact him now. Perhaps do a Google Search...