November 2017 saw the induction of a new pastor at Hall Green Baptist Church in Haworth, West Yorkshire. Paul Lintott, who has pastored churches in Hartlepool and Fressingfield, has joined four other elders — including previous pastor Mick Lockwood — and three deacons, to head up the team.
The congregation at Haworth was joined by brothers and sisters from Hartlepool, Fressingfield and a dozen local churches. Such warmth and evidence of prayer for the work in Haworth is a great encouragement.
David Campbell from Preston spoke helpfully to us about the importance and privilege of being a pastor, before we enjoyed pie and peas together.
Following the induction, I asked Mr Lintott four questions. The first was, ‘How difficult is it to leave one pastorate for another?’ He said: ‘Very difficult. One of the joys of pastoral work is the strong connection made with the people one pastors, and to leave them for another work is a real wrench.
‘This was so with the move from Hartlepool to Fressingfield, and from Fressingfield to Haworth. Furthermore, there is earning trust, and working out where people are spiritually, which takes time. God has been very good and we already feel welcomed and loved in Haworth’.
I also asked, ‘What are your objectives in Haworth?’ Mr Lintott replied: ‘As I understand it, the role of an elder is to shepherd God’s people by declaring the Word to them publicly and privately, and praying for them.
‘This is how God’s people are “equipped for works of service”, and so, giving my time to that will be a large part of what I do. God willing, opportunity for further training and equipping will follow’.
The third question, ‘What are you most looking forward to?’, was met with this response: ‘Seeing how God is working here. My experience is that God uses different people in different ways to build his church. To see how that works out here, with those already part of the church family and those God will call into his kingdom in days to come is very exciting’.
Lastly, I asked, ‘What would you ask the Lord’s people to pray for?’ Mr Lintott responded: ‘Pray for the continued faithful preaching of the Word of God. Pray for people to be saved. Pray for partnership in the gospel, so that the church keeps loving each other and reaching out. Pray that we will love Christ’.
As a church we pray for Paul, Claire, Skye, Calvin, Talitha, Owen and Idelette, and thank God for them.