Hitting the Wall
One of the hardest things in ministry to deal with are the power struggles of the people, with each other and with the pastor.
I often contend with myself and with the congregation about getting out there and exerting their powerful ministry, and wind up caught in power struggles about place.
The purpose of ministry is to be the best you you can be, using all the of the gifts God has given you, and moving into the world to be present in the world in this way.
I got an interesting article in an email today from Kevin Witt, who is the General Board of Discipleship Director of Camping. He pointed to an article from Lovett Weems about the leadership of the pastor.
Those of you who are unfamiliar with Lovett would do well to know that his primary interest is growing the church, through the development of our younger clergy and making the pastorate viable again as a career option for young people.
I find it interesting to read through the article and see the "preacher" lifted up as the key for the two lives Weems presents. Preaching is indeed one of the things I love about ministry, but it is not THE piece of ministry that I keyed in on when I discerned my call.
I love the teaching aspect of ministry. I love to teach the Bible, in my preaching and in classes. I love to teach how to change the church and make it more effective. I love to teach about how to do the things we do better, and why we do the things we do so that more passion can be inserted into the ministries we do. I love youth and children's ministries because of the teaching. I love camp because it provides a constant avenue for teaching, as this is a group of people who have come together with an expressed understanding that they will be changed, transformed and educated in their time together.
Teaching is what holds the ministry together for me. Other aspects of ministry are about being taught and educating others, from the committee meetings, to the preaching, to the liturgy, to hospital and in-home visitation. This is all about teaching and learning for me.
May your ministry be grown through your gifts, recognizing that they shape you, and allow you to shape others.