Ministry Journey Blog

Thoughts on Ministry

18 Nov

A Joke

Posted in Uncategorized on 18.11.10 by Merlyn

My counselor who I see from time to time for a check in, told me a joke this morning: A group of workers went golfing together. Later that day they came back and all of them looked very stressed, some crying. Another person asked how it went and they said it was awful. When asked why, they said that Ed had a heart attack on the 4th hole and died. There was much grieving. Another person mentioned that it must have felt awful, to which on employee replied ‘what was worse was having to drag Ed after each hole of the remaining 14 holes.’ There is a point to this terrible joke, see below.


Ministry is filled with failure, conflict, and pain. In being sinful people working with sinful people in a flawed community, these things are unavoidable. Sometimes you can learn and grow from these experiences even in the midst of pain. These things can always be used for the glory of God and are always redeemed by the author of all humanity. Sometimes these conflicts, failures, and experiences of pain can become dead bodies that we carry around in ministry, even after we move on to a new ministry. The joke is ridiculous and the notion that someone would do such a thing (yes, even for golf) is more ridiculous yet most pastors I know (myself included) have some dead bodies we are carrying. Let’s work together not only to preach the gospel of redemption and grace, but embrace it ourselves and leave the dead bodies at the 4th hole for THE PROFESSIONAL to deal with on our behalf.


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04 Nov

More on the Consumer Church

Posted in Uncategorized on 04.11.10 by Merlyn

“For centuries, most Christians have been eager to adapt the ways of the world and tell it that it is right. So doing, we make ourselves redundant.” Rodney Clapp, A Peculiar People


The quote above is a powerful one, one of those quotes when you read it you think ‘they just put into words something I have been thinking for a while!” The world has changed the church, not the other way around. I think in our attempt to be gracious and to make faith more attractive we have compromised many of our views. Much of this comes from our treatment of the Scriptures. We have been eager to adapt to the world and give it permission for almost anything. This has made us redundant because we then are no different than the world. I would also add to what Clapp is saying here adding that we have also become irrelevant as well. In our attempts to be relevant we have become irrelevant. As a result our churches are in decline while the world continues to seek community and something bigger than themselves, but cannot find it in our religious institutions because we have lost sight of the source, of the movement, of Jesus Christ who is the one who can actually meet the needs of the church and the world. The Kingdom of God is like opposite day. The Kingdom of God is an upside down world, a different kingdom. May we become more like the kingdom.

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