Talking about things helps, especially when there’s such an encouraging bunch of you reading this drivel I churn out.
I’m not totally sure if it was meant for me, but this felt like it, for starters. As you’ve said Andy, there is a ministry in blogging, and you’ve just exercised it!
The process of responding to your messages off-blog has actually been really helpful – considering the validity of your points against what I’m thinking, has helped start to put things in perspective a bit, a bit like turning corners on a road and revealing new views, among the same scenery.
One of my real senses I mentioned yesterday is that I don’t love enough to minister – I’ve been reading various things for the Mission Module, and two of them (Bosch and also Singlehursts ‘Sowing, Reaping, Keeping’) have talked about mission and ministry being an overflowing of love towards people. I don’t think I do, at least not enough.
Added to this is a sense that my conversation with God is very God orientated, I’ve never had a big thing about Jesus, which might sound daft, when I know what he did, and why he did it was for me, and for everyone. My conversation however is with God, through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus doesn’t necessarily feature in that though he is the supreme example of that love stuff I was just talking about. This is however making all the stuff about Mission that we’re doing, which in my mind at least is very Jesus centred, a bit tricky.
Then there’s the whole ministry thing being about ‘taking up your cross’ – very Jesus-centric. I suppose yes that’s what I’m doing, though I’m not sure exactly what that cross is at present – just the shear doing of ministry stuff I suppose, especially when with big L-plates, I don’t feel that comfortable doing any of it. If ministry is to bring me Life with God in Jesus in a new way, I know it won’t be dull. Usually I don’t want a dull life – even if it seems attractive right now, but that’s probably just the physical tiredness talking.
Lay ministry does feel right, at least in the sense I know that I’m just not ready for the other step that others have suggested to me over the years. If I can get this hung up over Licensing, perhaps God knew that was all I could cope with at this stage in my life, and even if it feels a bit tough at present it means he’s actually being quite gentle with me.
One person contacted me off-comment and suggested that
a) God had helped her through my online ramblings in the past which was quite startling (interesting since although we have a mutual real friend who isn’t a Christian, she is, but we’ve never met)
b) that this could well be the devil trying to stop God’s work: “The devil really won’t want someone like you to be put into ministry – it really won’t be good news for him. He knows that God has got a tight hold on you so the only way he can try to influence you is via doubt.”
This rings true with various things that have happened in the past – G spent a week in hospital when he shouldn’t have needed to, just after we’d agreed to start an All Age ministry here at St Ps 10 years ago, but before we actually got it going. So perhaps time to kick the devil’s work out then?
I’ve been asked for an image or quality that I would like to be prayed for… and yes, LOVE would be a big thing, love of Jesus, and love of others, real love for people especially if they’re ‘not my type’, not just the social justice sort of love that means Micah 6:8 drops off the tongue easily. From that I guess the joy and enthusiasm, as well as the insight might all come as side benefits, along with some I don’t anticipate if God acts true to his usual self!
A 36 hour days would help as well, but perhaps praying for the ability to balance life better might be more realistic – so a 12 hour day then!
Tonights baptism-prep visit went a little better I think, but then they seemed a little interested in starting a journey of faith with the little step of a child’s baptism. Please God they are authentic to their words.