Following on from last weeks blog message when I reflected on making the preaching plan out (down to last 7 gaps), I`v e been reflecting on my Ministry and why it is that some days I`m on an absolute high whilst at other times I feel lethargic and frustrated.
Since last week I`ve been on a few days `holiday` (each quarter Ministers are expected to take three consecutive days away from the work: not many achieve it) and yet because of having to progress the plan, and deal with one or two bits of administration, and attend a meeting this morning its been a bit of a mixture. Last Sunday felt wonderful; Alison and I had a good friend to stay for a few days, a couple more friends joined us for a meal on the Saturday evening and then two good services on the Sunday. Sunday night I travelled up to Dads for a few days and caught up with my brother and his wife while I was there. All in all it was a good time, and yet now that I`ve had a mixture of relaxation time and the preaching plan I feel quite flat.
The more I think about it the more I come to the conclusion that I was called to share the Gospel of Jesus amongst people and that I think is the source of my frustration; meetings are necessary for forward planning and thinking but often they can be unproductive; plan making is necessary for the organised delivery of worship and preaching to those already inside the Church; even Church tea-parties/coffee mornings etc. can be deemed necessary for the fellowship of the Church folk; however none of these fully meet my need to tell others of the one who came to save me and who I desire to follow each and every day.
To put it bluntly “I get my buzz from being among people telling them about Jesus; teaching them discipleship; seeing someone draw closer to Jesus and the Kingdom”
This is why I love preaching more than plan making; why I enjoy taking risks for the Kingdom rather than holding a meeting to talk about it; why I enjoy sitting with someone who wouldn’t dream of entering a Church and chewing the fat with them.
None of this is to deny my love of my Church people and nor is it to deny the skills and gifts of colleagues right across the Connexion for whom the pastoral side of Ministry is important, but it is to explain that for me the work of an evangelist tugs at my heart far more than anything else. I long to be among my Church folk again sharing what I know, believe and exploring with them how we can be more Kingdom orientated. In short “I`m a people person”
I`ve always known this and at the same time always lived with the tension of a desk based Ministry versus a people centred Ministry. So often its about balancing the two, but, boy, do I find it hard when the former begins to dominate the latter. That’s when things are out of kilter as it were.
I hope you enjoy the pictures. They are of a sculpture based in the Chapel at the National Memorial Arboretum, which always appeals to me. Its title is “The Storyteller” and its designed to depict the children listening to the storyteller (Jesus) each having the potential to become apostles of the Lord.
“Lord, help me to tell your story so that others will follow you”