Some thoughts on minsitry

For my most recent assign­ment (fin­ished yes­ter­day yay!) I have had to think through what I believe min­istry is, my own gifts and pas­sions, how these might influ­ence my choic­es in min­istry and put togeth­er a train­ing plan for the next few years.

I found the assign­ment help­ful because it helped me clar­i­fy for myself why, how and what it is we are doing here. In one sense, it was a pret­ty sim­ple assign­ment. While for some peo­ple start­ing at col­lege, they have no idea where they are head­ing or even how they hope to struc­ture their course, hav­ing many years of CV con­fer­ence and dis­cus­sions with our pas­tors has meant that we have already had the oppor­tu­ni­ties to think through the why of full-time min­istry work and the how of train­ing for it. Even spend­ing so much time con­sid­er­ing which col­lege we would attend for this stage of our train­ing meant that we thought care­ful­ly about our goals for col­lege and had con­sid­ered what fac­tors would be impor­tant to us in terms of training.

As part of the assign­ment we had to dis­cuss it with two peo­ple. I was able to dis­cuss it with our two min­is­ters (from Adelaide and Melbourne) and it was excit­ing for me to be able to con­nect with peo­ple who have been through this stage and see what they con­sid­er impor­tant in retrospect.

The term min­istry means ser­vice, although I’m not sure it has always been used in that way, for exam­ple our par­lia­men­tary min­is­ters are there to serve the coun­try, although some­times they seem to be more inter­est­ed in pow­er plays than becom­ing the least. Nevertheless, Christian min­istry is Christian ser­vice, ser­vice to God and to the church. It is clear in the scrip­tures that all Christians are called to Christian min­istry (let me know if you want more details about this) and there are many dif­fer­ent forms Christian min­istry may take. All of which have the goal of build­ing up the church and liv­ing out God’s pur­pos­es in the world. Within the church some peo­ple are set apart for par­tic­u­lar types of ser­vice. These include lead­er­ship roles and var­i­ous min­istries. Everyone is a min­is­ter, but some have par­tic­u­lar defined roles. Some of those roles we also finan­cial­ly sup­port, so as to free up the per­son from out­side work in order to focus ful­ly on that role.

In choos­ing peo­ple for par­tic­u­lar roles (espe­cial­ly lead­er­ship) the bible describes cri­te­ria of a good bib­li­cal under­stand­ing, per­son­al god­li­ness and abil­i­ty to ful­fill the role (eg abil­i­ty to teach). Therefore these are the areas that I’m keen to make my goals for the next few years. Biblical knowl­edge through sub­jects at bible col­lege, per­son­al god­li­ness is not some­thing that can be taught, but I’m hop­ing that with sup­port from the col­lege com­mu­ni­ty and church as well as per­son­al dis­ci­pline in God’s grace I will be able to grow in this area. I have already start­ed try­ing to improve my min­istry skills in ways I haven’t done before, par­tic­u­lar­ly through church but also in being on a chapel team at college.

So, all in all it looks to be an excit­ing time ahead (as it already has been) as we seek to be equipped for a life­time of min­istry in ser­vice of Christ.

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