Saturday, January 29, 2005

Answering Questions About "Ministry"

I asked for some "brainstorm questions" the other day to help my mental processes for an upcoming gig teaching/preaching with a college/singles group in the area. I think the gist of the two responses hinged on my thoughts about "ministry", a word that's feeling a little more full and maybe a little more heavy and unnecessary to me right now.

Another question had to do with my "favorite verse" - um, Psalms? Isaiah? First John? I don't like to think about a favorite verse, because the way reading the Bible has changed for me and changed me over the past few years does not lend itself nicely to prooftexting a passage that sums anything up neatly - if that makes sense without sounding too prideful. Sorry, I just don't think that way right now. Ok, maybe Romans 12:3, reminding me not to think more highly of myself than I ought, but that's another story.

Being "in ministry" and balancing a family and career, and following the senior pastor and leading the flock and your portion of the group is a constant thing, but it's also what makes your boat float. Anyone who enjoys what they're doing knows, no matter how difficult, you wouldn't stop. That's the way it's been with me in serving at church over the past fifteen or so years.

There was a question about "calling", and that's probably the million dollar question: do you think you've been called (paraphrased)? The answer is YES, and that I have no idea what that will mean or what that will entail as it plays out. There is a calling to minister in a more intentional way, that's for sure. I'm ordained, and I've been on staff for the past few years at a small non-denom church here in town. For now, I'm still getting my feet wet - getting back into ministry after stepping down last summer. After a few months "off", I see myself being "called" to get back in the game.

My biggest influences have been people who have made me think, who have made me uncomfortable in my thoughts and ideas about life, the universe and everything. I have learned that submission means to allow others to influence my life, and that being submitted means following hard and close to what God is saying even through conflicting and opposing voices. In all, I just want to be intentional about how and why we're following God and living the kingdom life, moreso now than in the past.

One more paragraph on "denominations" - I'm not currently a part of a denomination, and really don't think the discussion pros and cons on why they are or are not necessary is a fruitless conversation. If they empower people to find God, to love God, to respond to God, to love others and server people - it's a good thing, an organization that's focused on the kingdom and here's how we're gonna follow. If it can't do any of that, get out. It's not so much that denom's all hate the other groups, though some do think they'll be the only ones in the Promised Land when it's all done. It's more about finding like-minded and like-focused communities of people seeking to live Christ now. How's that?


Blogger JP said...

Good stuff, Rick, nice read. If you still need your mind to work on overdrive, let me know and I will throw some more question at ya. :-)

30/1/05 3:22 PM  

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