My first reading of today’s passage from Galatians left me a little uneasy about the model of church leadership it presented. Where would we be as a community if everyone – or even just the leaders – decided what needed to be done and then simply went ahead and did it without any consideration of or consultation with others in the leadership team? Or, as St Paul claims, waiting three years before checking- in that it was O.K.? Great, you might think. No committees, no negative comments, just action. But, to be banal, imagine the seating in church being constantly rearranged to the personal taste of whoever feels like moving it! In reality, a balance is needed between the freedom to get on with things and the value of ensuring that activity is directed towards a common purpose. That purpose is giving glory to God and enabling lives to be transformed by an encounter with Jesus Christ. When Paul’s letter is read in context and with an understanding of his life and ministry we quickly see this is the purpose on which he focuses. When he says (as in today’s reading) God has set him apart before he was born, he is expressing his profound sense that in meeting Jesus he is ‘coming home’. He responds with a life of service in which he experiences all manner of hardships, disappointments and persecutions – as did his Saviour – but always directed towards the building up of individuals and communities in faith and witness to the gospel “received … through a revelation of Jesus Christ”. As you offer yourself in response to God’s call, please pray for, and help, the leadership team (clergy and wardens) as they seek to encourage and co-ordinate all those responses and keep them focused on God.