Sunday, September 14, 2003
Wow - two really good questions, definitely more than I wanted to be thinking about on a weekend :). Let's see.......
From Judy: When God calls you to leave work and go to full-time ministry(not that right now it's not full-time, because a Pastor's job is 24/7). Where do you see yourself going? and Why? I know we don't choose where to go, but is your heart wanting to minister in any particular place?
You're assuming that I'll leave "the real world" for "full-time ministry," but you answered your own question. I don't see the contradiction there. My calling is more involved in making sure that my job is more fully consumed by my 24/7-ministry, that I be real about it in the office as much as in the sanctuary. I think there will be fewer and fewer "full-time ministry positions" in the coming years. It will probably often be considered unnecessary in new church plants, you know? Anyway, I won't tie God's hands - like I could, right? - but I don't see me ever leaving the work sector for something else. If I were to engage ministry in another location, I can't imagine being anywhere other than my own neighborhood. A church with walls is isolated from alot of things, but starting a fellowship in your front yard - that would be so cool, so much more community-driven, so much more 24/7 then we can fathom right now.... I'm not that involved in my immediate neighborhood right now, something that I really feel is a mistake/shortcoming on my part (next question), and something that I really need to be open to more and more.
From Ailina: What do you feel was your biggest failure/mistake to-date as a Christian, and how have you overcome it?
Disobedience. Right off the top of my head, there's the example of me not submitting to authority and having a terrible time internally with the fallout. A couple of Octobers ago, our church had decided to ignore Halloween. Having the fall festival or even handing out information was going to give more validation to the "holiday" than we wanted. Before this decision, however, I'd "decided" that it would be a wonderful idea to meet the parents in the neighborhood (read answer above on connecting with neighbors) where we were having a weekly Bible study/gathering. We could setup cokes and coffee for the moms and dads as the anklebiters walked around the other surrounding houses, have conversations, etc. And we basically did that, against the decision to do nothing. It was much more of a big deal internally then outwardly - no one probably knows the extent of how bad I felt in disobeying Pastor, and on top of that leading others into "rebellion" with me. How have I overcome it? Still working it. Obey. Submit. Remember that God is in charge, and that submission to the Pastor is proper, and that it's easier than Lone Ranger-ing on my own. This isn't a legalistic thing, but an understanding that he's following God, and that I'm submitting to Christ through him. There's lots of room for abuse - but that's not the case, and even then I'd be slower today to advise disrespect for and disobeying a spiritual leader.