Welcome to this blog. You may think the title is rather negative. Is this a place for whingeing?
No. I hope not! It’s about being someone who doesn’t fit a lot of popular stereotypes as a minister in a mainstream church. And it’s about how we might live creatively in that tension.
But let’s face it: all of us inhabit institutions – and perhaps especially churches – that we would have built otherwise. We are heirs to policies and procedures and physical environments that have aspects we’d happily do without. Sometimes we bristle under the constraints put upon us by founders and historical bodies that could know nothing of our contemporary challenges. All of us have daydreamed about what it would be like to be free of such constraint – to “reimagine” the institution from scratch. Then, we tell ourselves, we’d really be free to push forward our mission and vision. But now, in the real world, these constraints are like millstones, anchors dragging us on the bottom as we try to steer the ship forward into new waters.
Could we ever imagine receiving such constraints as gifts? Indeed, is it possible that the constraints of handed-down traditions could be catalysts for creativity and imagination?
For me, the constraints fall around being an introverted character where extraverted ministers are preferred, being an evangelical in a mixed/liberal denomination, being a big picture thinker where attention to detail is prized, and indeed being a thinker of any kind when it isn’t always welcomed. There are other issues that sneak up behind me and catch me unawares, too.
So how have I survived since 1992, when I began ministry? This blog seeks to explore that in as positive a way as possible, and I hope it helps others who feel the stresses, too. Current ministry pressures mean I aim to post about once a week.
The blog title comes from a journal article I started writing several years ago for Ministry Today, but never completed.
The original image I have used for the blog header and the site icon is by a photographer called David Pacey, and can be found here. The image at the top of this post is by Alan Turkus and the original can be found here.