I’m happy to share my first published bit of writing in a national publication.
It’s an article entitled,
Surviving Ministry Means Knowing Ourselves. (I thought of better titles later, but it works.)
Its premise is that ministry brings a level and pain and trauma. To make it through we must get to know ourselves better and understand how we process such pain.
God observed at creation that it is not good for humans to be alone (Genesis 2:18). And we observe this in our own lives.
And yet too often when it comes to our own need for healing and help, we choose to go it alone. We experience pain, and at the moment we most need support from others, we withdraw.
This is easy for any of us to slip into, but we must understand that we cannot walk alone AND walk the path to healing, or even the path of following Jesus. They are, of course, the same path.
And this path is always walked with fellow pilgrims. It’s never walked alone.
I’ve found the primary thing that keeps us walking alone is…
I just returned from Nairobi, Kenya, where I spent time training the pastors and management staff of
Mission of Hope International. They believed I was there to teach them.
I knew I was there to learn.
And I did. Here are two lessons, gifts really, I was given and am still processing…
This week I’m in Kenya teaching my course,
Self-Care and Self-Leadership in Pastoral Ministry, to the pastors and staff of Mission of Hope International.
Here’s a small excerpt…
The class of Maasai pastors I taught last year at the Mission Institute of East Africa
I’m excited about my upcoming return mission to Kenya. The Lord has opened a door of opportunity for me to further the work we began last January.
I and a team from my church will again minister to residents of one of the worst slums on the planet, the Mathare Valley of Nairobi.
How can church leaders proactively develop mature followers of Christ who are well-equipped to lead the church into the future?
This is a question I spend my days and nights seeking to answer, and one Gordon MacDonald attempts to answer in this book.
He summarizes his motivation to write
Going Deep in its preface:
Those who’ve discovered the Adventure Advantage realize that
we are part of a team and that team is the Church.
We don’t go it alone. Our local church family is the primary and best vehicle designed and provided by God for us to experience the adventurous Christian life. When the church is on mission and focused on the right things, making God’s mission its primary objective, then every effort and act of service within the church fuels the mission.
I believe that in each of us is a flame, or at least there can be. That flame is our love and passion for Christ. Its heat provides energy and motivation. Its light provides wisdom and guidance.
I know this is a metaphor, but some metaphors are so appropriate they are very nearly accurate. We may ask ourselves: Is there a such fire in me? Do I want such fire? Or do I simply want to enjoy its light and warmth?
This message of this video is revolutionary and worth eight and a half minutes of your time.
I strongly believe the following two things:
1. The Church is called to make a real difference in this world; and it can only do that to its fullest potential when everyone in it is serving–joyfully and sacrificially–in ministry and mission.
2. Christians are called to grow and mature in their faith; and they can only do that to their fullest potential when they are serving in or through their local church.
We each need to find a meaningful way to serve–for our own good and for the good of the Church in the world.
So much depends on it.
How have you found yourself growing and maturing through serving?