I have been involved in Christian ministry since the summer of 1973, when I became pastor of two small churches in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. Although I had done a bit of preaching before that, this was the beginning of my career in ministry. Since that beginning, I have been involved in some form of paid ministry almost continuously, except for brief periods between various ministries. In those years, I have been a pastor (both full and part time), a missionary, a prison chaplain and a professor at both Canadian and Kenyan theological schools. I am currently in one of the in-between situations. I am providing Sunday worship for a couple of small struggling congregations while I wait for the next stage of my ministry.
In all these years of practising, studying and teaching ministry, I have discovered a few things about ministry that have become bedrock foundational truths about ministry. I have discovered a lot of things that seem like such bedrock foundational truths but really aren’t. I have also discovered a lot of things that help and hinder ministry, depending on the specifics of the setting. Overall, the list of things that are solid, bedrock foundational truths is very small but very important and the list of things that fit in the other categories is very big. But just which category a particular ministry approach or idea or theory is put in can be very controversial and confusing.
All this means I have spent a lot of time in ministry wondering about stuff. Sometimes, I have shared the wonderings with others; sometimes, I have written about the wonderings; sometimes, I have used them as the basis for preaching and sometimes, I really haven’t done much with the wonderings. I hope to use this blog to share some of these wonderings. If you connect with anything you read here, great–it doesn’t matter if you agree on not because the truth is that some of these things I may change my mind on as I continue wondering. I would be very interested in your comments and thoughts on my wonderings.
In order to help contextualize my thoughts, it might help to know that I am an ordained pastor in a Baptist denomination. Baptists on the whole are fairly conservative but I tend to be in the centre or a bit to the left of the Baptist theological spectrum. I have primarily ministered as a pastor in small rural congregations and have spend a lot of time studying and working with such congregations. While I have been both a full time and part time pastor, I have spent more time as a part time pastor and have even written a small book on part-time ministry.
I am not sure where this blog will go or how long it will continue but right now, it seems like the right thing to do. I look forward to your comments.
May God’s peace be with you.