Minister: Revd Solomon Aryee-Brown
Call to Ministry:
I have slowly responded to a call that I am fully convinced is the voice of God. I had an early passion to become a preacher from childhood. The whole experience of church attendance, Bible class, support, assurance, and guidance of immediate family members, Ministers, and friends, all helped strengthen my faith. I started formulating my theology and this also grew through teachings, retreats, conversations, Bible class, and preaching I received. I came to realise that theology is not something to be ‘handed down’ but something to be lived out in a community of faith-filled Christians. These individuals may have different views but we’re all learning and growing together.
This journey encouraged me to ‘dig deeper’ via Training for Learning and Serving (TLS). I grew further in faith and in theology and this deeper learning gave me wider views and understanding. I became a nationally accredited lay preacher in 2008 and was preaching in various local churches in East London. In the same year, I completed my Higher National Certification in Computing. I had a busy family life. I was a full-time employee as a Data Centre Engineer, an active serving Elder, a lay preacher, and a part-time student. I enjoyed the juggling of that lifestyle and I can see the similarities in dealing with competing pressures and prioritising in my future ministry.
My passion for pastoral care became even stronger as I went about preaching and sharing the word of God. I had the opportunity to become a church leader in my local congregation of over 120 members and later on a leader of another church. I gained a variety of experience in Ministerial duties, ranging from church administration, pastoral care, and relationships with members, and across the leadership styles of both congregations. Working with experienced Ministers and Elders in the Local Area Group, gave me more confidence and valuable experience that I have been able positively to transfer to other settings.
I usually liken my call to ministry to that of Samuel when God called him and the young boy did not have a “clue” but was guided by Eli. More and more of my life eventually became full of serving in the church, that was the point at which I took my calling seriously and decided to respond to the voice of God. Having been accepted, the process of training has provided beneficial opportunities. I feel that the practical and spiritual training I have received, together with the various placement opportunities, have equipped me to be an ordained minister of word and sacraments, to be more informed, open and above all it has been extremely humbling.
Future Ministry: –
I am an open-minded individual who recognises all the various gifts and talents that different people bring to promote the well-being of the church. I would always encourage the spirit of sharing, caring, loving, and co-operation to foster peaceful and loving co-existence. I am an encourager who seeks to help people explore their God-given abilities in the church. I have worked with different personalities in Eldership groups in the past and I believe the variety of experience will help me to work with elders and members in the future.
My understanding of the Gospel has continued to evolve throughout my faith journey, with an ever-increasing awareness of how God manifests himself in several ways; through preaching, teaching, serving, and theologically reflecting on ancient yet contemporary understandings of Biblical text. The Good News of Jesus Christ is that which brings salvation through grace; hope to the hopeless, and propagation of unity among humanity of varied faiths and denominations. I believe the ever-challenging mission of the Church is to continue the incarnational ministry of salvation through liberation by reaching out to the physically, spiritually, and emotionally marginalised. I believe in practical Christian living which challenges the worldview on sin, privilege, equality, matters of justice/injustice, prejudice, and science, which causes us to rethink our divine commandments on these issues. It is about advocating and promoting genuine forgiveness, encouragement, inclusivity, enablement, and demonstrating God’s love towards humankind.
I am a staunch believer in prayer and would try to ensure that the spiritual life of a congregation is encouraged and maintained. I would encourage members to set time aside for prayers, Bible study, and reflective time to enable the enrichment of spirituality. I am aware of the different distractions that can challenge a church that can sometimes overshadow the spiritual aspects. I would work with Elders and members to agree on a church’s priorities.
I consider myself an all-rounder who works well both independently and in collaboration with a team. My experience as a team leader and senior engineer in my previous jobs and as a church leader has equipped me to understand how I work, and helped me to know my strengths and weakness in relating with people, handling projects, and leading congregations. I am aware that some church members have particular expectations of a Minister, and I believe it is better to make things clear from the outset, to help mutual understanding to be established and to develop strategies and action plans.
I am willing to conduct an infant or believer’s baptism; I am aware of the theology and biblical arguments of both and I respectfully and graciously hold both, knowing that God himself has ways of reaching out to people. I remain hopeful that the spirit of God ‘sown’ in an infant during their baptism would one day manifest publicly for them to openly confirm their faith. I don’t think I have the authority to prevent anyone who expresses the desire to be part of God’s Kingdom in this way.
I would work with elderships and church meetings to discern together the decisions of both church and minister in relation to the conduct of weddings. I would, of course, provide welcome and pastoral support to all couples.
I have a strong passion for the care of God’s people. I relish getting to know people where they are, and encouraging them on in their journey. I am aware that evangelisation can sometimes be too much. I seek to put people’s well-being and happiness before anything else. I am aware of how poverty and isolation can affect many people, especially children, and vulnerable adults. I would seek to join forces with Elders and members of the church to reach out to many, including such vulnerable people in their communities and beyond.
I believe the different placement environments and my lay leadership experience have prepared me well enough for such ministry and beyond.