Friday, March 24, 2006

Today's Thoughts

Just thinking a couple of things this morning (which actually demonstrates an increase in brain activity over typical mornings).

This Pastor of Discipleship job has been an interesting journey for me. In my two previous careers (environmental engineer and legislative assistant), I was responsible for producing tangible products- erosion control plans, artificial wetland design for wastewater treatment, policy position papers, legislation. At the end of the day, I could look back and hold in my hands the work I had done. I could send something home to my mom and say, "Here's what I did today. Thought you might want to put it on the fridge."

In this new job, there aren't many tangible products. At the end of the day, I often look back and wonder what in the world I did all day. There's nothing to show for it and I wonder if I am wasting the NCC tither's money. Usually, the days are filled with just being with people. Talking, listening, praying. And I am slowly beginning to realize how important that is.

Margaret Feinberg
said something at Catalyst which has helped me make a lot of sense out of all of this. I can't quote her directly, but she was talking about ministry with today's emerging generations. She said that ministry in today's context requires us to spend significant amounts of time just being with people. The emerging generation wants to connect and process and find quality time with others. And that's the most important thing we can offer them-- our time.

My goal is to facilitate changed lives. Lives that follow Christ more closely and that look more like Him. That's not something you can measure at the end of the day. It takes time. I can invest my time, but I need God to step into the equation and miraculously turn that time into small moments of growth. He turned water into wine and a few fish into a feast, so I figure he can do something significant with the time we invest in others.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it is that I am supposed to be doing. And in some ways, I hope that I am always trying to figure things out to some degree so that I stay completely reliant on the Holy Spirit. I don't even know where I am going in this post, so I am going to stop there.


At 10:23 AM, Blogger Elaine B said...

I'm sure it is very difficult to make the transition from tangible to intangible results. But you are so right-spending time with others is essential and might even be the only worthwhile thing that church really does. People are always talking about how to connect and be relevant in a "post-modern" age, but I don't think there are any new principles to do that. I think in the modern, renaissance, all the ages, relationships are God's chosen vehicle for transformation. Maybe the church just forgot that for a while and that's why all this "post-modern" talk seems so new and exciting. Because really, we're just recreating John Wesley's small groups! And he was just recreating the Moravian small groups that rose from the ashes of the 30 year war. And they were just recreating the communities started by Jesus and Paul and the other apostles. (I'm sure once I've taken Church History 1 I'll be able to fill in the blank between Jesus and the Reformation).
Point being, you are following Christ in a very specific, literal, and powerful way! And that's the goal, isn't it?

At 10:30 AM, Blogger jonathan said...

Whatever it is you are doing, keep doing it. I for one am benefiting greatly from the time you are investing - and I know I am not alone.
You are teaching those around you to grab ahold of vision - seek more of God - and live our passions.
We are honored that you are spending the time.


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