>Image via WikipediaI saw a couple of blog posts last week from clergy type folk talking about what it is that they are learning about at this point in their ministry. I thought I’d share some of the stuff I’m learning at this point.
1) MISSIONAL THEOLOGY — How the church participates in the MISSIO DEI — The sending of God. This is looking at the church as a place from which we are sent. You have the church gathered (on Sunday AMs for instance) and the church sent (as we go from that place). So primacy is placed on how people are the embodiment of Christ on the “other” days of the week.
2) COMMUNITY BASED MINISTRY — I think this comes before the missional theology. For the last few years we’ve been working to turn Girdwood Chapel outward and be a place that is involved in ministry in the community. Now that we have a new building, we’re looking at how that space can be used to “be Christ” to the community and how we can love our neighbors through that space.
3) MONEY — We are in debt as a church. I’m learning about the various ways we got to where we are and am part of conversation about how to get out, knowing that we need to continue to be involved in ministry as we do this.
4) SMALL GROUPS — Yeah, I’ve always known they are important for “disciple-making” and support, but it is taking on an urgency as I question how good a job we’ve been doing at making disciples. And since I’ve been around over 10 years I can’t say I haven’t had time.
5) ADMINISTRATION — You don’t go through a church-building process and not learn some of this. There is a whole lot of coordination that has had to happen to get us where we are.
6) RELYING ON THE POWER OF GOD — The longer I’ve been in Girdwood, the less I’ve felt like I have the tools, the gifts to make stuff happen. When I first came into ministry in 1994, I was pretty sure I could do this all myself. I don’t have that belief anymore. I am dependent upon the power of God to do anything.
7) TAKING CARE OF MYSELF — I’m 41 years old, gettin’ on 42 (where I think I’m supposed to learn the meaning of life, the universe, and everything). I’m overweight. I’m in a high stress job as I enter into people’s pains and have administrative responsibility for a 1.5 million dollar facility and the care of the spiritual lives of about 75 persons, not counting community responsibilities for those who won’t ever come to church. Our family’s been struggling with schedules with our 5 kids. I haven’t been real good at delegating. I need to do better at taking care of myself. I’d like to be around for a while.
8) JESUS — Yeah, not a bad person to learn from. But I’m finding the current sermon series on the person and work of Jesus to be refreshing. Tough stuff. Good stuff.
I’m sure I could think of others if I took more time. I’ll probably do a little more reflection on this over the coming week and come back with some revisions. Now I need to go and get ready for worship.
God is good. All the time.
And he ain’t done with me yet.