The Pace of Ministry

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and in today’s cyber-crazed world, that’s no way to go about business.  I know that.  However, I’ve been running hard.   Between Good Friday and Easter preparations, the process of interviewing candidates for the preaching minister/catalyst leader position at the church, the leadership and management of various ministries at NW, the writing and directing of a series of short videos for the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, preaching every week, and working toward some personal goals related to the milestone called my 50th birthday, life has been more hamster-wheelish than usual.

But I’ve also been brooding.

As you would expect.

Feels like it’s time to come out and begin to speak again.

I’m fairly convinced that I’m going about all this in a way that’s not quite right.   What I mean is that I’ve fallen into one of the classic traps of ministry.  It’s not that I think it depends on me.  I’m fairly convinced it doesn’t.  But having said that, there is still a sense that if I work a bit harder, a bit more efficiently, if I communicate to a few more people, send a few more emails, have an hour-coffee with a few more strategic people, work with this one more ministry, gently confront this one key person…on and on…that the “one more thing” might be the thing that will unleash what is so plainly a logjam of devotion and energy and life among the gathered people I’m working with.  And of course,  this easily slides into a subtle call to working in ways that are simply not sustainable.

Sabbath gets run over, and the inner resources to do ministry get depleted, and when confronted with conflict, passion, and vehement criticism from well-meaning people, patience runs thin, desire for control asserts itself, and dark clouds gather.

What’s funny about all this is that I wrote about it a long time ago in a novel called Leaving Ruin.   It’s not as if I didn’t know.

So, here’s to repentance, and slowing down, and going deep.

And blogging again.  Twitter and tweating I’m not as sure about, but I think I get it.  We’ll see.   I’ll be traveling this week to Chicago and Cincinnati, and will be posting from there.


4 Replies to “The Pace of Ministry”

  1. Hey! Been following the blog for a bit, our interests intersect quite a bit, and you’re going to be in town, Cincinnati.

    Anyway, if you’ve got some time for coffee, or are going to be speaking somewhere, would love to say Hi.

  2. Welcome back! I’ll pray for peace. Something I’ve been needing (and getting thankfully). We have a lot to catch up on!

    1. Thanks…yes, sorry it took so long to get back to you. It will be great to have you here…can’t wait.

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