Weighing Ministry Priorities
This was the only non-official-ministry meal invite i agreed to in the last week. The Supervisor had reminded me that my natural sociability, though good for ministry that requires endless energy and interaction (and, indeed, the encouragement of others), needs to kept on a tight rein to ensure that adequate preparations are made for talks and Bible studies – because it is God’s very word that I will teach in these sessions. Hard decisions about the 24 hours of each day: to work with sweaty diligence at understanding God’s word so as to teach it faithfully to people, yet also to minister pastorally to so many of God’s people – parents whose babies’ hearts stopped suddenly, people in troubled marriages, workers persecuted at the office because of Christian beliefs, theological students suffering from depression, classmates struggling with their faith, youngsters worried about their new relationships etc. This is not to forget that currently, one email inbox has in excess of 10,000 unread emails.
Ah, but for one night – a lovely dinner with incredibly warm Tolkien country + commuter town folk. Almost 5 hours of very detailed discussion on the modified Lutheran view of the Heresy of the Month – the interaction between the Mosaic law and the gospel (interspersed with insights into the pineapple of politeness, traditional toasts to King Jesus, and the 1950s culture of modern day English Baptists, and readings from Puritan literature to demonstrate exactly why their exegesis left much to be desired, and teasing about someone’s altar consisting of John Calvin, Martin Luther, Phillip Jensen, and Vaughan Roberts).