"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)

"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)

It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Get a Trade Pastor - bi-vocational.

"As I write this, I’m sitting in the Denver ChopHouse in terminal A. Two young guys in their midtwenties are sitting right behind me, talking about finishing seminary. One is deciding between staying in seminary forever as a theology professor or taking a church job. The other guy wants to move right into a senior-pastor position. Excuse me while I pull away from you for a moment and try an experiment to see if I can get these guys to consider working a job. I’ll be right back. Twenty minutes later … Okay, so I just met Josh and Evan. Both are newly married, and Josh has a two-year-old son. I bought their dinner, so they were happy to chat, but the talk didn’t go so well. I let them know that in ten years America will be as unchurched as the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Australia, Portland, or Boulder and that there probably won’t be many churches looking for pastors. And even if they choose to start a new church, they won’t be able to make a full-time living for quite a while because people don’t give as much to churches anymore. Also, seminaries, denominations, and other structures that have been formally tied to the growth of local churches and their financial support will also begin to tighten up on spending as they struggle to survive. I asked them the big question I ask most young wannabe ministers: “If there were no churches to pay you to be professional Christians, what would you do to provide for your wife and kids while you answer the full-time call to ministry?” Evan was open to my question and said that he was presently working for UPS and could conceive of doing that for a while but couldn’t wait to get out of it so he could serve God fully in a church. Josh said, “Well, if I had to work a real job, then I wouldn’t feel that I had a full-time call to ministry at all. I’d feel like I would have to pick one or the other.” He continued, “I also don’t think God would ask someone to be so focused on ministry to people and still have to hassle with the normal pressures and fatigue that come with a normal job.” After listening for a while, I said, “Guys, did you know that from the time Jesus was old enough to work, He did? As a Jewish boy, and then a Jewish man, Jesus put in a nine-to-five until He was thirty.” They looked at me like the thought had never occurred to them before. Then I mentioned the apostle Paul’s bivocational life after his conversion, as well as that of the disciples, and reminded them of many great saints throughout history who had massive influences on the movement while sustaining their own livelihood. John the Baptist, Barnabas, Priscilla and Aquila, Saint Patrick, John Wesley, and John Calvin, just to name a few. “Guys, the gospel got to you and me primarily through men and women who were lawyers and plumbers, prostitutes, meat carvers, or folks who just lived off their own land. And the day is coming fast when the gospel will again pass through the lives and ministries of normal people who have a full calling to ministry but also have a trade.”

Hugh Halter. FLESH

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